On Monday, John Ashcroft (search) retired and all around the world legions of horrified Ashcroft-phobes breathed a sigh of relief. After all, this was the guy who not only wanted the Patriot Act (search), he wanted it beefed up.
"What?" the world squawked. "Doesn't this Ashcroft know about human rights, individual rights, the rights of minorities, the rights of Arabs who happened to be in America, the rights of Muslims who happen to be passing through America? Ashcroft trampled all these rights!"
At least that's what they like to say in Euro-land.
But Tuesday, in the New York Times comes the eyebrow-raising news that in Britain — where Bush and Ashcroft as especially reviled — they're kicking Muslim imams out of the country, for suggesting young Muslims go fight jihad in Iraq.
It's the same in France of all places. The authorities there have warned imams: step out of line and you're gone. And they do it too. One Muslim preacher found himself in Algeria before he could say, "Jacques Chirac is my best friend."
In Germany they're rounding up these young Muslims who have decided they are the next wave of Al Qaeda. Germany just rounded up 22 people suspected of being Al Qaeda volunteers, along with dozens of forged passports and a load of jihad propaganda material. German cops think they were smuggling young men into Iraq.
The Brits have a long complicated deportation process to go through, but they are doing it. And the most famous militant imam is facing deportation — not to Pakistan, or Yemen, but to the United States where he will be prosecuted for September 11 terrorist charges.
So, Mr. Ashcroft, leaving his job as America's foremost terrorism alarmist — in the opinion of our friends the Euros — might very well look at the world and take some satisfaction in what he has wrought.
In many places the loudmouths have put a sock in it and the Ashcroft-types are doing their jobs: Rounding up those openly calling for jihad and terrorism and putting them out of commission.
That's My Word.
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