In 1919, with President Wilson felled by a stroke, anarchists detonated a bomb outside the home of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer. For the anarchists, not a wise move.
On Jan. 2, 1920, there began what historians call "the Palmer Raids." U.S. agents swooped down on immigrant enclaves, collared anarchists, roughed them up and booted 3,000 out of the United States. The raids were led by 25-year-old John Edgar Hoover, who would later take over a corrupt federal agency and convert it into the most respected anti-terrorist organization on earth: the FBI.
After Lenin's coup ignited a reign of terror in Russia, Palmer let Congress know that Trotsky had plotted it all in New York. Enough said. When Leninists attempted to seize power in Berlin, Bavaria and Budapest, Palmer -- not a man to take chances -- sent Hoover's boys after the Bolsheviks. They cleaned house.
Among the expellees was famed radical Emma Goldman, who had been the Britney Spears of American anarchism. Goldman had inspired both her lover, Alexander Berkman -- who stabbed and shot Henry Clay Frick of Carnegie Steel during the Homestead Strike of '92 -- and Leon Czolgosz, who murdered President McKinley.
As James Fulford tells the story on Vdare.com, the website that urges immigration control, Goldman wailed all the way to the boat that America was behaving like czarist Russia, though she was being packed off to the Workers Paradise. But even Lenin and Stalin soon had enough of Emma's act; for they, too, booted her out.
Walter Lippmann decried the Palmer Raids and Red Scare, but when a terrorist bomb exploded on Wall Street outside the House of Morgan on Sept. 16, 1920, killing 33 and wounding 400, the attorney general seemed more in touch with reality than Walter.
History, or rather those who write it, has not been kind to Palmer or Hoover. But their raids took place after 30 years of mass immigration and social tensions, when Americans wanted to put their house in order. And with Harding's landslide, the United States would reform its immigration laws and close its borders for 40 years, until LBJ and Great Society liberals threw them open again.
Progressives may deplore the immigration quotas from the Coolidge to the Kennedy eras, but not one act of terrorism occurred on U.S. soil in those years. Even in wartime, Hoover's vigilant FBI kept America secure from sabotage and terror. Indeed, it was not our Nazi enemies, but FDR's communist friends who carried out the only successful acts of espionage and treason.
America has now completed a third of a century with massive immigration, and Sept. 11 should be a final warning that open borders represent an intolerable threat to the national security.
In the Eisenhower-Kennedy era, America was one nation and one people again. We learned the same history, spoke the same language, listened to the same radio and TV shows, went to the same movies, sang the same songs, honored the same heroes, read the same books.
But the times, they are a'changing.
At the U.S.-Mexico soccer game in L.A. in 1998, the U.S. national anthem was booed by 90,000 Mexicans, the Americans flag was torn down and the U.S. team was showered with debris as it left the field.
Last month, another soccer match was held between the French and Algerian teams outside Paris. France's national anthem, the Marseillaise, was booed by 60,000. Spectators in corporate boxes were told to lock themselves in, as Algerians began to chant the name of Osama bin Laden. When youths ran onto the field waving Algerian flags, the stands erupted in wild cheering. Spectators fled.
We are only just beginning to see the dark side of diversity.
Western peoples must begin to ask themselves questions our ruling class has kept off the table too long: Are there not some peoples, from radically different countries and cultures, who are far more difficult to assimilate in Western societies than others?
Gov. Tom Ridge is in charge of homeland security, and the place to begin is at America's borders. The president and Congress should impose an immediate time-out on all immigration, shift the 90-10 pro-Third World bias in immigration to 50-50 First World/Third World, and begin the systematic deportation of illegal aliens.
Ridge should begin with the aliens from nations that harbor terrorists, any who consort with or fund terrorist organizations and any who applauded the horrors of Sept. 11. When rounded up, these folks should hear just five words, "Get out of our country!"
Meanwhile, let the Ashcroft Raids begin.