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Our National Neighborhood By: Tammy Bruce
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, August 20, 2002

You remember, don't you? The images of people jumping from the windows of the World Trade Center; the phone calls from loved ones on airplanes, doomed to die; Americans working in their offices, all slaughtered on September 11 by beasts who thought only of themselves. These Islamist thugs parasitically inserted themselves into this country with the sole goal of destroying their host.

I remember, which is why I wholeheartedly support Operation TIPS (Terrorism Information and Prevention System), a part of the Citizen Corps, designed to enable the public to participate directly in homeland security. Here's how the Citizen Corp website describes TIPS:

The initiative's design is based on existing programs, such as Highway Watch and Coast Watch, that allow truckers and ship captains to report dangerous conditions along their routes. In response to significant demand among industry groups, Operation TIPS would make these programs available nationwide by providing specific industry groups a single phone number for reporting potentially terrorist-related activities occurring in public areas.
Unfortunately, this important effort is now on hold until Congress returns in the fall after a chorus of objections from across the political spectrum that it will make Americans "spy" on each other.


There is no reason to be afraid of a nationwide Neighborhood Watch and yet that is exactly what the Left has achieved. After decades of condemning and questioning the motives and character of the average American, this is their legacy. In this time of war, however, it's time we remember who we are. Indeed, it is that remembering, that unity, that so frightens the Left Elite because it completely contradicts the image of the ugly, sexist, homophobic, slaveholding American they so very much prefer and feed on.

What is their goal? The Left Elite is determined to make the enemy in this war on terror you. From the beginning they have felt sympathy, and expressed it, for those who would murder you and your child at the drop of a hat. Why? Because they hate themselves and want to drag you into their bottomless pit.

That's been their goal all along. You've heard it — we did something wrong; we caused the attacks; we mercilessly oppressed all those good Islamists. Oh, I know, there are those on the right as well who have issued concern as well. Unfortunately, it is simply reflective of how successful the Left's brainwashing of all of us has been during the past few decades.

Case in point, the usually thoughtful Washington Times joined in the cacophony of Chicken Littles. A column was published about Operation TIPS issuing concerns that "Conservative gun owners would be likely targets of antigun liberals. Hunters will be reported by animal rights activists. Career rivals and rivals for the attention of a member of the opposite sex might be tempted to nudge each other out of contention with "suspicious activity" reports." Yes, and cats will begin sleeping with dogs. Enough already!

TIPS asks people who are on the road or do work regularly in a certain area to keep their eyes open. It's that simple. You know what's funny? TIPS has already been implemented in various ways throughout this country. Your Neighborhood Watch project asks you, because you live in a certain area and know it well, to keep an eye open for unusual, suspicious activity.

You notice a van that pulls up into your vacationing neighbor's driveway. You notice the male stranger lurking around the neighborhood lingering where the girls play. You notice if the newspapers and mail of your neighbor, who is not away, begin to pile up. Have you become a spy? Hardly. You've become part of the community, and it works. Millions of neighbors have made their neighborhood better and safer.

On the national level, we have a program that have saved countless lives and caught hundreds of America's most wanted criminals. That's right-the "America's Most Wanted" television program does exactly the same thing — asks regular folks to look for and be aware of certain types of people and activity. Have we turned into a nation full of Mad magazine's hooded Spy vs. Spys? Of course not.

Will there be the occasional stupid or vindictive report? Certainly. Law enforcement deal with those all the time, and they easily sift the chaff from the wheat. Make no mistake-there is only one insidious message perpetuated by the arguments against operations TIPS: Americans cannot be trusted. I reject that notion and you should, too.

Most of all, however, the Left Elite know a program like this will make America stronger. How? Because it will finally disprove the Left's malevolent position that Americans are ugly, bad people. They can cloak their "concern" however they wish, the bottom line is September 11 brought this country together-the false race and class divisions created by the Left evaporated at least for a time. We were reminded about what we have in common for a change and eclipsed the Left's preference to keep us divided.

You now must decide who is going to control not only how best to protect this country, but the debate about who we are as Americans. Are we a people so vacant and malicious that we will turn on each other in a nanosecond given the opportunity (I know Louis Farrakhan and Jesse Jackson promote that idea), or are we a nation of remarkable people who created the greatest country on Earth with compassion, character, loyalty and integrity?

There are those of you who think expecting the best of Americans is naïve. If so, then the Chomskys, Sontags, and Farrakhans of the world have won. I prefer to not let them.

Tammy Bruce is a Fox News Channel Contributor and author of The Death of Right and Wrong.

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