Lost in the discussion this week on global warming and presidential politics was a little-noticed article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that is most troubling. It says much about society and sadly perhaps, it may well tell us what lies ahead.
By way of background, 22-year-old Mousa Abuelawi of St. Charles was charged this week with possession or distribution of a machine gun. Given his Arab ethnicity and the state of the world today, it was easy for federal officials to believe Abuelawi had terrorist notions on his mind. Turns out that Abuelawi had other plans - he was planning to help equip gang members in St. Louis with weapons for a turf battle.
A friend - Thaer Abde Sumad - told officials that Abuelawi was simply trying "to make a buck" and that because they were of Palestinian descent "they're trying to make it bigger than what it is."
Abuelawi bought three rifles and an anti-personnel mine to arm the gang members. He was negotiating to buy a case of hand grenades, according to the newspaper.
Well, I am most certainly relieved by this news. Now we no longer have to be concerned about terrorists because we can concentrate our fears toward gang members in St. Louis armed with hand grenades and anti-personnel mines. How reassuring is that?
But here's what floors me. These gentleman thought little about arming gang members and actually wondered what all the fuss was about. Surely we were profiling them because of their national origin. They were not terrorists, they proudly proclaimed. They just wanted to make a buck by selling high-tech weapons to the gangs of St. Louis.
It's a twisted world when this logic prevails. When seemingly sane people see no social issue in arming criminal gangs. When law enforcement is actually relieved they are not facing a terrorist plot but rather a local turf issue.
I have always reasoned that the greatest threat to this country is internal, not external. Once we've addressed all of the worldwide problems, once we've attacked terrorists in the far-flung regions of the world, we'll finally get the opportunity to address the enemy within. Wasn't it Pogo who said: "We have met the enemy and he is us"?