Mohammed Atta woke up in a motel room on the coast of Maine the morning of September 11th. A few hours later, much of our national security apparatus, both offense and defense, became obsolete. Maine’s old coastal forts are symbols of that. There are quite a few up and down the coast. Three were built within a few hundred feet of each other over a span of 350 years near Popham Beach. None were ever attacked. All three are evidence of the admonition: “If you want peace, prepare for war,” and they represent the highest and best use of any military equipment - that they exist but are not utilized.
Exploring them, my wife and I found ourselves at the site of the first English colony in New England - the Popham colony founded in 1607 in what is now the town of Phippsburg at the mouth of the Kennebec River. There’s nothing there now but a small parking lot and a sign with a drawing of Fort St. George as it was four centuries ago. Its settlers were prepared for a French attack by sea and relied on ramparts and cannon for defense. What defeated them was not the French, however, but Maine’s winter. They abandoned the fort after little more than a year. Across a small cove to the east are the remains of Fort Popham a hundred yards away. It was begun in 1861 but abandoned in 1869. Precisely-cut granite stones lay around still waiting to be lifted into place. Bolts protrude from the floor to receive artillery pieces never needed because the British never entered the war and the South surrendered. Closer to Fort St. George but invisible behind trees are the remains of Fort Baldwin, built before World War I and expanded during World War II. It too is only about a hundred yards away and up a hill to the south. All three forts relied on ramparts and artillery and each is typical for its time.
The threats Maine and America faced altered relatively little for four centuries, but everything changed when the 21st century began. On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, Mohammed Atta woke up at the Comfort Inn in South Portland, a few miles south of the three forts. Hours later, nothing was the same. The danger faced by Maine, the United States, and all of western civilization rendered fortifications of little benefit. Artillery isn’t entirely useless though as Maine’s Army National Guard employs it in Iraq in a forward defense strategy - better to kill terrorists in their homeland before they attack civilians here. Our enemies could still hit the United States but haven’t because they’re busy fighting our soldiers nearer their own countries. The best defense has always been a good offense.
Instead, terrorists are attacking Europe. France, Germany, Britain, Sweden, Holland, Belgium and Spain are under virtual siege. Europeans attracted millions of Muslim immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East, then encouraged them to preserve their way of life in what they thought would be multicultural bliss. Now, many immigrants and their offspring are more inspired by Islamofascist terrorist groups like Al Qaeda than by the European Union’s Constitution. They apply sharia law in sections of French cities where they live on the dole but resist secular authority. Every night, they burn cars and attack those police officers who still try to preserve order. As a result, many police, firemen and ambulances are unwilling to enter Muslim sections of cities across Europe. Radical Muslims exercise de facto control of large areas. In Malmo - Sweden’s third largest city - Muslims will soon comprise the majority of the population and half are on welfare. This is what multiculturalism has wrought - not tolerance and acceptance, but a clash of civilizations. One French Police union calls it the “European Intifada.”
Meanwhile, birth rates of native Europeans have fallen to way below replacement levels while birthrates of Muslim immigrants are huge. Should those trends continue - and they show no sign of abating - Europe as we’ve known it will cease to exist in little more than a generation. It will become “Eurabia.”
Mohammed Atta woke up in South Portland, Maine September 11th, but he came to the United States from Hamburg, Germany (Muslim population 200,000) after training with Bin Laden in Afghanistan. Shoe bomber Richard Reid, arrested at Logan Airport a little further down the coast, is British. “Twentieth hijacker” Zacarias Moussawi is French. Testimony before the US House Subcommittee on Europe and Emerging Threats states: “[Of] 373 radical Muslim terrorists arrested or killed in Europe and the United States from 1993 through 2004 . . . an astonishing 41 percent were Western nationals, who were either naturalized or second generation Europeans, or were converts to Islam. . . . Future terrorist attacks that will be damaging to American national security are therefore likely to have a European connection.” It’s much easier for terrorists to come here with European passports than with Middle Eastern ones.
Against this kind of threat, border fences, terrorist profiling by airports, Coast Guard vessels, immigration officials and the Homeland Security apparatus would be far more effective security than the old ramparts-and-cannon approach. After securing our borders, we must reimpose the Melting Pot model on immigration policy. Multiculturalism has been a disaster for Europe but it’s not too late yet to scrap it in the United States.