Five Years Later
While Americans should be happy that there hasn't been a terrorist attack within the borders of the USA since the tragic deadly ones five years ago on September 11, 2001, our collective resolve, vigilance, and even prayers should never diminish either.
Remember how many years occurred between the first attacks on the WTC and the ones that brought both towers down . . . Eight years! So, it could be another three years before an even more destructive and deadly attack occurs somewhere in the USA. Just visualize it being nuclear, chemical, and/or biological ... and in several populated areas at the same time.
And sadly, the terrorist's have shown one trait that many Americans and other citizens in the free world seem to lack when it is vital to be just the opposite. Yes, it is patience.
Now, I understand Iraq was not involved with the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Yet, it is now pivotal to the overall discussion on terrorism and how bad the situation could develop if the terrorists and insurgents win the battle of patience and resolve. They might even have renewed hope when hearing about the political debate on coalition efforts (primarily American) and the media coverage about the waning support for efforts in Iraq. Does that embolden them to do even more terrible atrocities with the real intent to manipulate media coverage that further helps to deteriorate our collective will?
Do we really want an unstable Iraq coming under the control of Iran and terrorists groups? It sure seems very likely if our enemies get their way by out waiting the will to remain to give Iraq the best chance to withstand the hostile meddling from its regional neighbors.
Oh, don't get me wrong . . . I am all for seeing our valiant troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan sooner rather than later, but only if it means their mission has been completed. Nor do I believe American and allied troops should remain a day longer in combat situations once Iraqi and Afghanistan troops can do the heavy lifting against insurgents and terrorists in their respective countries.
Still, I must also ask...
Then there are countries like Russia and China playing both sides of the table with the Iran nuclear issue. Patience with them is the rule too. Hmmm . . . Have you given any thought to who supports the terrorists that have attacked Russia including the one on the school? Could it be Iran through surrogates like being done in Lebanon?
Nor does it accomplish anything beyond winning political points for election purposes to use revisionist history when at the time the decision was made most of those pointing fingers supported the action taken with some doing so out of “conviction” then and the others for the same reason now . . . scoring political points. Honesty and conviction seems to disappear from some when the priority is winning the next election with some even turning their back on their on personal convictions of what is best for America and their fellow citizens. I will not go further here, as the point is not about one's political affiliation, but what is done as an elected official.
Hmmm . . . I shudder at the thought of what would have happened if the same media coverage occurred during World War II. What would have been the reaction of seeing imbedded reports of just D-Day? (Watching the scenes of it in Saving Private Ryan were difficult enough and that was knowing nobody was actually being killed and maimed.)
Which brings me back to . . . lack of patience and will . . . that is best reflected in the change of attitude by elected officials and coverage by media. Oddly and sadly, Bin Laden and his still living deputy terrorists never changed their minds after failing to take down one of the WTC towers in 1993. Oh, how I wish they did give up, but they are zealots with no motives towards winning the next election. They just want to change things by inflicting death and destruction, which has nothing to do with the ballot box, besides eliminating it.
Just think again . . . about the eight years between 1993 and 2001. What do the terrorists already have planned with people and weapons in place in the USA and elsewhere that have yet to be discovered? Then there are those "unfriendlies" and weapons that have found their way into their targeted countries since September 11, 2001. All just waiting for the order or common event(s) to start new devastating attacks. (I even wonder if Bin Laden has a standing order to attack upon his death, as it might be all about perception in the eyes of his followers.)
Yet, I refuse to characterize my words with “gloom and doom”, as America and Her allies have always overcome those who wished our freedoms' demise. We just might have to pay more in national treasures than we want and with an undetermined time frame that will continue to test resolve for many.
Speaking of time, America and its allies need to win the hearts and minds of children and future generations of those who are most likely to become a terrorist and support terrorists. Organizations like Operation Iraqi Children (founded by the accomplished actor, Gary Sinise, and acclaimed author, Laura Hillenbrand) are noble causes that exemplify what can be done to reach children in areas that breed terrorists. Hopefully, these children's parents and other loved ones are influenced favorably, as well.
Then there are organizations, like Gear-up Foundation, that provide other types of positive assistance to third world countries, which help to promote goodwill towards America and other countries with similar charity activities.
Finally, we all must do what we can in support of our well trained and disciplined troops . . . as I personally know how it can be perceived as a parent of one who served in Iraq. These brave young ones should always feel the respect and pride from their fellow citizens, especially when in harm's way.