It's been five years since our world changed. Two years ago, I wrote this piece on the subject. I've just went back and reread it. It holds up well, even if it could stand some editing.
Five years is enough time to let the wounds of 9/11, if not heal, at least scab over. It's also enough time for our memories of the shock and horror of that day and the days that followed dim. That's probably not a Good Thing.
There is one inescapable fact. We have an enemy out there, and he wants us dead. Me, you, our spouses, our children, out friends, our kid's friends, out neighbors, they guy you drove by on the way to work, all of us dead. It's either that, or convert to Islam and turn the calendar back a millennia.
Those of you who have read my ramblings for any period of time know that I worked in my own small way to help George W. Bush be re-elected. You also know that I haven't shied away from raising hell when I thought the government was going too far in the War on Terror and infringing on our rights unnecessarily. I'm not ashamed of either set of actions.
There are some who think that if we aren't lock-step with Dubya 101%, we're traitors. Sorry, but my God-given intellect didn't die on September 11, 2001. I reserve the right, granted by God, to free speech. If I think my government is wrong, then it's my duty to stand up and say so. I may be right or I may be wrong, but I have a right to speak my piece.
There are others, whom I view as misguided, who persist in thinking that everything we've done since well before 9/11 is wrong, we're bullies, we're imposing our views on others, we're murdering the Arabs and any other sort of yammering that they can get out of their mouths that indicates they hate the country of their birth.
Yeah, they have that right--freedom of speech works in all directions. But I can't help thinking that if they really hate the USA so badly, then they need to pack up and go somewhere else that better suits them.
This is a war, and it is absolutely unlike any war this country has ever faced. There is no enemy country like a Nazi Germany, who can be invaded and subdued. Our enemy is everywhere, perhaps within our own borders. We know that our enemy is composed primarily of young to middle-aged Arab males of a specific religious outlook. We also know that, at least in the younger groups, dying in order to kill even one of us is regarded as a path directly to their version of Heaven.
Yet we continue to fight a war hampered by our own political correctness. We cavity search Granny, but we allow a group of young Arab males to board the plane without a through search. We boot an Orthodox Jew off a plane for praying, even though no Jews have been involved in attacks on this country. We plod barefoot through airports, throwing our shampoo in the trash in the holy name of "SECURITY".
Worse yet, we hobble our warriors in the field, silently tolerating our media's skewed version of the facts and their failure to tell the full story. In the meantime, we second guess each soldier's conduct in battle--should he have shot that man in the darkened building who shouldn't have been there in the first place--the one making a movement that looked like he was shouldering an RPG?
The way we're fighting this war is bullshit, both on the home front and on the front lines. At this rate, the best we can hope for is a long, drawn out draw. At worst, we'll lose.
It's time to get this thing into high gear. Stop trying to fight a politically correct war against a fanatic and implacable enemy. These people won't surrender, and you can't negotiate with them. Get over it.
As I see it, we have two workable options. First, we can try to make them so afraid of us that they'll leave us alone. Second, we may have to simply kill them, each and every one, and keep on killing them until no more stand forth to die.
I say that because the way we've been fighting this war for the last 5 years, while working currently, can't work forever. We are asked to make more and more sacrifices, while a conclusive end stays stubbornly out of reach.
We can surrender some of our freedoms, temporarily, during this time. But we won't surrender them permanently--no more taking temporary laws and making their provisions permanent. No more Patriot Act trickery.
Our best will keep volunteering to fight and die--at least for a while longer. But if you drag this out, and it seems as if the war will never end, they're going to quit volunteering to fight a war with no apparent prospect of victory.
Enough is enough. Cut the politics, cut the political correctness, and let's go win this war. The sooner we do, the better off we'll be as a nation.