Two years and counting...
Today is September 11th, 2003. Most of us realize that this is the second anniversary of those horrific attacks that killed approximately 3,000 American citizens in New York, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Since that time, American Forces have swept across the Middle East, toppling tyrannical regimes and attempting to bring peace and order to the region. "The War on Terror". That seems to be the catch phrase that everyone uses to describe what many believe is protection against radical islamic extremists. However, we are not winning the war, not on terror at least. Yes, we did beat the Taliban, we crushed Saddam's best troops, and we have begun to round up lunatic after lunatic. However, we are still terrified. So much so that we question the sincerity of our government's efforts. We are terrified about money, terrified about how thin our Army is being stretched. We fear that today there could be an attack by Al-Qaeda that could commemorate the attacks on September 11th. We are terrified of "them", of "each other", and of the "unknown". People have likened George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and John Ashcroft to Hitler (Personally I think this comparison of 3,000 Americans dying to 6 MILLION Jews dying is an insult to their memory). We worry about the Patriot Act, we eye Homeland Security warily and wonder if "Big Brother" is watching.
Through all of this terror, we have forgotten one thing. This is the United States of America....the revolution never stops. If we don't like what our government is doing, we have the gumption, the gall, and the "right" to question it. We think we can spread Western ideals throughout the rest of the world. Such radical concepts as equality, freedom, and justice. I know....you have to be thinking. "Get off the soapbox and put the apple pie down." But I mean it.
I do wonder about Weapons of Mass Destruction...where are they? I do wonder about Osama Bin Laden. Where is he? I do wonder about our Armed Forces. How many more will have to die? I do wonder about what the war effort is costing us. 87 billion more? I do wonder how long we will have to be in Iraq and Afghanistan. How much longer? But, I have promised myself that I will no longer live in terror. That completely negates the aims of the terrorist. Much more so than simply occupying territory.
Many people ask if there is a connection between all of the things that we are involved in. Palestine, Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, Al-quaeda, Ansar al Islam, the Peshmerga, The Fedeyenne, Hamas, the PLO. I answer yes....yes there is a connection. The fact remains that the most violent and volatile place in the world is the Middle East. Until there is peace there, there will be no peace elsewhere.
When I think of terror, I think of the people jumping from the top floors of the World Trade Center in an attempt to escape the flames, the heat, and the smoke.
That is terror...terror in its truest form. However, the terror that most Americans now feel...save those that have family overseas....is the terror of our past, and our uncertainty about our futures. But, I do know that terror is alive and well. There are some places where September 11th is just another day, no different than any of the rest, simply because violence, death, and terror are commonplace.
I would hope that we will continue to remain strong in our resolve to be "above" the violent gestures of the radicals of the world. I would also hope that while we seek to protect ourselves and others from their twisted sense of justice, that we would also seek to not only have compassion for their souls, but to find what can be done to motivate change for peace.
Lastly, I just want everyone to do their part to fight terrorism. That is simply to no longer be terrified. If we can do that, then we will already have achieved victory. Have a great day everyone.