Like most people, I remember where I was and what I was doing when I first heard that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. I also remember thinking that it was some sort of weird accident involving a traffic helicopter or small plane. I think a lot of other people thought that as well. Until, that is, the SECOND plane flew into the other tower.
Then we heard that a third plane had flown into the Pentagon. Or maybe it was a rocket, no one was sure at first.
Then we heard that all planes were being grounded by the FAA immediately, but that one plane was not responding to the radio.
Then that plane crashed into a field in Shanksville, PA.
Then we had no idea what was happening or who was flying all these planes into buildings.
Slowly we started to figure it out and for a while America was united in grief and more than a little bit of fear. Those were not happy days, not happy at all.
Suddenly, we were at war and the first attack had happened on American soil.
It wasn’t that we weren’t warned. The same buildings were attacked in 1993 by the same sort of people that ended up attacking us in 2001. Their cohort had attacked US interests abroad several times during the intervening years.
We had a Presidential Administration that treated these several acts of war as if they were bank robberies. That is, they were treated as crimes, not as the acts of war that many people knew them to be. Those people were silenced when they tried to point that out. No, no, they were told, this is best handled by arresting the perpetrators and conducting trials in civilian courts.
That didn’t work out too well, did it?
When the September 11, 2001 attacks occurred, we had a different President. He and his advisers saw it for what it was. An act of war perpetrated on us by an ideological group who owned their allegiance not to a nation-state, but to a theocracy. Much harder to track down and fight, but since they were earthbound, they had to be somewhere. Somewhere turned out to be first Afghanistan and then the Afghan-Pakistan border.
This President issued an ultimatum and then followed that up with military action. An oppressive regime was toppled and some of the enemy was captured. The person identified as the “leader” fled to Pakistan where he hid for 11 years. He was killed under the very noses of agents of a government that is our supposed ally.
Yet a third President announced this death and pronounced that we had won the war against the terrorist enemy.
If we’ve won the war, I’d hate to see what a defeat would look like.
The oppressive regime that was toppled almost 14 years ago is back in Afghanistan and might well regain control. They understand that this Administration isn’t serious about fighting them, and like generations of Afghani fighters before them, they are willing to wait out until the President, the press, and the public lose interest in the country. Sadly, the first two and a good portion of the third have already done so. Will that make any difference to us in the long run? Do we care about what happens in Afghanistan? Only to the extent that it can be resurrected as a base of operations to send terrorists out to attack us again.
Of course the enemy, which the President and press can’t bring themselves to name, doesn’t need Afghanistan. They have plenty of other bases from which to work and they have become adept at using the Internet to recruit people already living here to extend their war against us. And when I say us, I mean all of us. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that the enemy isn’t interested in attacking people living here.
The Boston Marathon bombers were not from Afghanistan or the Middle East. They didn’t need to be because they shared the ideology of the people who flew planes into buildings 14 years ago. It’s an ideology that transcends borders, national identities, and even skin color.
The people who tried to shoot up a Mohammed art exhibit in Garland, Texas were of the same ilk. It being Texas and the police being forewarned didn’t work out so well for them, but what is an attack like that happened in New York City or even Chicago?
I won’t even try to list the number of attacks that have happened in the US over the last 14 years. Some were mislabeled as simple crimes (DC Sniper), others as “Workplace Violence”.
The perpetrators of the vast majority of them share the same ideology, which we aren’t supposed to talk about for some reason.
All of which is to say that I am far less than optimistic about the direction of this war that isn’t a war and dare not speak it’s name.
The press has joined in this curious omerta where the word “Terrorist” can not be used, let along “Islamic Terrorist”.
We can’t win a war if we can’t even admit that we are at war. We can’t win a war if we can’t bring ourselves to name our enemy. We can’t win a war, if we consider blowing up buildings and people to be no different than robbing a convenience store.
We can’t win a war if our political leadership is composed of cowards more worried about their re election than their country. That includes politicians of both parties.
We can’t win a war if the media, the ones supposed to be telling us the truth, are too politically correct to name the enemy or even tell us that there is an enemy.
This isn’t the post I sat down to write. I was going to do pretty much what I’ve done since I started this blog. Remember the people died as innocent victims or even defending themselves and their countries on that black day. I started typing and what you’ve read is what came out.
14 years later and I can’t even say that their sacrifice and the sacrifice of thousands of other since then means anything or was worth their lives.
I’ll leave you with this picture, which I’ve posted several times before. Sadly, the answer to what was once a rhetorical question is “Yes”.