Do you remember what you were doing on 9/11? Like most of us, I do. I felt helpless not knowing for sure what was going to happen next. Were we under attack? If so by whom? Why was our guard down and around our ankles? On that day most of us just stayed by the television and watched in horror as we discovered that over 3,000 of our fellow citizens had perished that day...victims of terrorism. "They finally got us", I thought!
That night I was at a local eatery and every patron in the place was glued to the television as President Bush addressed the nation. You could have heard a pin drop! I was in uniform and the manager saw me with my wife and approached me to ask if everything with dinner was ok. After my positive response, he said sir, dinner is on me! To which I replied thank you, but why? He said, "Just because...well, I guess I appreciate our military now more than ever!"
In the days and months following we were just hoping to get our hands on the scum that planned these horrific acts and secure and defend our country from any follow-on attacks. Flags rose everywhere...patriotic bumper stickers made waiting at traffic lights go quicker. Politicians said they were behind the President...the only rhetoric you heard from them is that we stand as one. It felt good to see us together with purpose and conviction. My colleagues simply said, "Let’s go get 'em!"
Well, it’s been 5+ years now and I think time has caused us to grow complacent. For example, I came across this piece today in the Los Angeles Times written by what would appear to be a very smart person, Ms Rosa Brooks. Well, according to her bio she is a graduate of Harvard, Masters at Oxford, and has a law degree from Yale. Oh yeah...she's a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and has written articles on of all things, the law of war. Guess what? Terrorist don't care about the law of war. Here's a snippet of what she wrote today:
Since 9/11, our political leaders have proceeded on the assumption that Americans are cringing, cowardly souls more than ready, when we hear the word "terrorism," to suspend our critical capacities, mortgage our futures and jettison our civil liberties and our principles — all for impossible assurances of "safety." The awful thing is, many of us obediently conformed to this condescending stereotype. The United States is the most prosperous and powerful nation in the world, but after 9/11, many of us started to act as if we're in danger of imminent extinction. The 9/11 attacks were appalling and tragic, but they did not threaten the survival of the nation...
Excuse me for a moment...I felt threatened that day! So did most people I know! Then Ms Brooks attempts to tie her argument to gun control and remarks made earlier this week by Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani regarding vulnerability to future terrorists attacks should a Democrat be elected President. The truth of the matter is that we more than likely will be hit again. I just pray it's not with a nuclear bomb carried in a suitcase. That said, we will have then rocketed over the gun control worries. It will be radiation burns and sickness...who knows...nuclear winter for at least a week in Los Angeles if the winds stay calm. Then it moves slowly across the country killing countless victims in the dust cloud's path, interrupting air travel (jet engines don't particularly like flying through dust clouds which would be similar in magnitude to those resulting from Mt. St. Helens), contaminating food supplies and livestock, possibly infecting citizens with heavy doses of radiation poisoning. This could be the next 9/11...sounds like fun...doesn’t it ;) ? Remember Chernobyl? Let me see, what did Ms Brooks say:
The United States is the most prosperous and powerful nation in the world, but after 9/11, many of us started to act as if we're in danger of imminent extinction. The 9/11 attacks were appalling and tragic, but they did not threaten the survival of the nation...
Ms Brooks, we need to be on the offensive not on the defensive! If it means giving up some civil liberties to protect our country from as you indicated in your article "...maniacs..." so be it! It's time to take the gloves off and use sufficient force get the bad guys...hit them hard! I want to win...don't you?