(Fred Weinberg/The Penny Press) – While the Republican candidates for President were slapping the snot out of each other down in Florida, a much bigger story began playing out in Egypt which, amazingly has not been addressed by any of those candidates. And we’d certainly like to hear where they stand on the issue before Saturday’s Nevada Caucuses.
A young man named Sam LaHood—whose father happens to be Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood—has been, essentially, held hostage in Egypt.
Well, on one level it is being from the United States and working to spread Democracy through the Arab world. The military junta ruling Egypt doesn’t like that, but that hasn’t stopped them from taking over a BILLION dollars of our money in military aid.
You read that right.
We’re giving these clowns huge money while they hold a kid from Peoria, Illinois hostage.
You’ll notice that I said “on one level” LaHood’s “crime” is working to spread Democracy throughout the Arab world.
On another level, we suspect that his real “crime” is being the scion of one of America’s premier Lebanese Catholic families.
The LaHoods are leaders of a large contingent of Lebanese Catholics who came to America and have done extremely well for themselves.
And nothing irritates the Muslim Brotherhood more than Arabs who are Catholics or, God forbid, Jews.
We, out here in flyover country, don’t know much about diplomacy, international relations or urinating away taxpayer dollars on military aid to military juntas, but we do know this:
If we were in Secretary LaHood’s shoes, we’d head on out to Andrews Air Force Base, commandeer one of those pretty airplanes that say “United States of America” on the fuselage, and take a news crew or two to Cairo International Airport.
Then, we’d park the plane on the tarmac at high noon, with the world’s media watching, and stand in the door with arms folded and say, “Bring me my son, NOW!”
And stay there until they do.
If, for some reason, his boss, the President, would say no to such a mission, we would resign from the cabinet and do the same thing privately.
There’s no grey area here.
A bunch of thugs who are essentially on our payroll are holding an American hostage. It happens his father is a Cabinet Secretary which means we are in a position to really make the kind of statement which needs to be made.
If we let our “friends” get away with this, imagine what our enemies will do to American citizens with impunity.
We are in this situation because we have a President who bows to Saudi kings and can’t act decisively.
Not that it should make any difference, but Ray LaHood is the only Republican in his cabinet. I, personally, cannot believe that our President has not already suggested this course of action to Secretary LaHood.
What would the American response to this have been had our President been George W. Bush? Or Bill Clinton—who it should be noted went on a privately financed mission to North Korea to rescue two reporters.
If LaHood were to take this course of action, he would send a message to thugs all over the world that American citizenship has its privileges, one of which is that we care about what happens when thugs hold our citizens hostage.
We would think that the mere suggestion that such an action is a possibility would end the issue. But if what Government is supposed to do is do for its citizens is what they cannot do for themselves, than LaHood should already be making the arrangements with the full support of his boss, the President.
Wimping out here is not an option.