I have not really gotten into the September 11th issue here. There is an idea on the conservative side we should use the anniversary to remind the country of the horrific lengths our enemies will go to just to get our attention and voice their dissatisfaction against us. Liberals want to use the anniversary to highlight the evils our country has continuously coerced the world into accepting. Obama wants to use the anniversary to do the one thing her knows and knows really well, community organization via his national day of service. Well, all of this is good in many ways but we are still realistically spinning our wheels over what happened and what to do next.
September 11th was something we never saw before. The only thing close was Pearl Harbor. The major differences were at Pearl Harbor it was a military on military attack and we know who did it, Imperial Japan, and we knew how to get revenge, war. This attack was different, a stateless, faceless, loosely bound group of radical fanatics thusly we have had no way to deal with it – militarily, economically, nationally, emotionally, or personally. Sure we have heard talking heads and ‘experts’ spew off this and that about motives, missed opportunities and warning signs, and even others who have gone too far is stating we deserved it (Van Jones, Rev. Wright). This open ended lack of reason and acceptance have prevented closure more then the inability of our government to get the top leaders who authorized and financed the operation, the highest we got was the architect and initial planners.
Why am I bringing all this up? Well, for one it needs to be and two, we have lost the meaning of the day just a few years after that day. Yes, the families and survivors will never forget, and they will never forgive the results of that day. For those who were there and witnessed the events and results of that day will also never forget or forgive those responsible. My duties in the US Navy as well as tax payer funds paid for my training to understand and combat the intentions of fanatic terrorists, who are different then other terrorists, think IRA verses al Qaida. I understand why they did what they did, the justifications and lies told to those who executed the act and those who assisted them. Most Americans don’t and they should not have to either, but they should understand the amount of hate and ill will inspired this and that little if anything we can ever do will make those and the ones they inspired to ever stop.
In the case of Pearl Harbor it was easy to rally and solidify support of the entire nation against Japan. This never happened with September 11th. Sure, after the initial shock we had some common ground, but by January it was all gone as the bitter in-fighting and politicizing of the day and its aftermath began. We had lost before we even started to fight. Sure, we overthrew the Taliban in Afghanistan, bombed the crap out of some mountains and disrupted the networks of terrorists globally to such a degree they were forced to hide and go on the defensive. Well, that ended quickly because we were fighting a new kind of enemy. Our leaders had failed to explain to us the depth, length, and breadth these men and their associates were willing to go to destroy us. They got side tracked with old scores, new opportunities, and personal vendettas. This left a vacuum that took the solidarity out of the public and resulted in some of the bitter in-fighting we have seen across the nation since the Patriot Act. We have lost trust and faith in our government and as a result we are now paying the price.
Those who lost their lives on this day, civilians, first responders, and innocent bystanders have thus had their sacrifice tarnished by our petty bickering and loss of focus. Our country was attacked, our own symbols of strength and prosperity were taken down in front of us by using the very conveniences we took for granted, our lifestyle and freedom. Our enemies were not attacking New York and Washington DC, they were trying to demoralize us and embarrass us to the point of giving up. They want us to stay on our side of the ocean, stay out of the world’s affairs, stay out of the world economy, why, so they can fill the void and spread their message of hatred and fear. This is the message that was lost. We got side tracked over abuses of executive powers, letting politicians run wars, and trying to focus on enemies who did not need our attention at that particular moment. We took our eye off the ball. We have given the orchestrators of this horrific attack the upper hand and a victory.
Seriously, look at where we are today and where we were 8 years ago. Some out there believe we can just say we are sorry, humiliate ourselves and apologize for past digressions and all will be forgotten and forgiven. Well, that ain’t going to work, it will only embolden and encourage our enemy because they will then smell fear and weakness. Strength is all they understand and respect, look at the historical record of the region. We no longer are fighting against those who attacked us, most of us don’t even know who we are fighting, or why we continue. We have disconnected from the war believing it is over because there is no symbol of the opposite side remaining. Its hard to fight against an enemy that has no country, territory, economy, infrastructure, or tangible asset we can see, measure, and destroy. The largest defeat is by our leaders who have decided to move past this issue because they feel it is now a back burner issue. We have already hardened our defenses, made strides in securing our infrastructure to prevent a repeat of the exact same attack. Well, our enemy is resilient and inventive, they will not use the same tactic twice. Our ignoring them will not discourage them or convince them to go away. We need to take this day, September the 11th, and use it as a day to remember those if lost their lives tragically, heroically, and unaware of why and we should remember it was all done out of pure hatred toward us as a people, country, and culture and those responsible will never concede or give up because they believe their fight is just and right. It is of a basic primal fight, us and them. We need to get our heads out of the sand and remember this on this day, else we invite a different attack, and if we allow that, it will be far worse for us all.