America Will Never Be The Same
By Stephanie Therriault
September 19, 2001
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This submission has a dual purpose, to serve as a way for me to vent my feelings and to share with you what I think we should do as AMERICANS. It's very much like Carolyn's contribution, an "off the top of my head" submission. Please forgive my random thoughts and my lack of extensive and unconfirmed research.
Mindsets: America vs. Radical Islam
Before September 11, 2001, America, a free and open society was apathetic and most importantly naive to the ills that plague other parts of the world. Just as a little child feels he is invincible, America thought it was immune to the kind of violence that rocks Israel and non-islamic peoples on a daily and monthly basis. September 11, 2001, America was shaken out of it's false sense of security. We can no longer return to an ignorant bliss in regards to the goals and aims of a far away hatred filled people.
Before September 11, 2001, Radical Islamic Militants, a closed, racist culture was aggressive and most importantly active in perpetrating it's evils upon Israel and U.S. targets around the world. It seeks to reverse history and restore ancient Islamic rule with an iron fist. It has always subjugated it's own people (especially it's women) to horrors that remain significantly ignored by other countries around the world. Radical Islamic Militants and their followers scorn capitalism, opulence, freedom and all western values. After September 11, 2001, this culture still feels this way. Perhaps even more so. How dare America, the "great Satan" stand up against (what they feel) are righteous acts of "ethnic cleansing"? In a Foxnews.com article by Fred Siegel, Islamic militants are characterized this way:
"...wherever radical islam is in power, it subjugates people it regards as infidels. The Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights, an organization supporting those persecuted by militant Islam, argues that 'radical Islamism is a world ideology, fielding a world terror-army, which oppresses millions with a racist ideology' that deems non Muslims less than fully human."
"For all their grievances against America, there have been no Cuban, Vietnamese or Serbian suicide bombers bringing death to our shores, and their people haven't been celebrating in the streets at the sight of American blood."
"America, not Israel, is The Great Satan. It was hard to acknowledge before the World trade Center attacks, but radical Islam has been at war with us for a long time."
Their hatred can only be compared to Hitler's during the second World War. When you think of Usama Bin Laden, think Hitler. The Radical Islamic cause is as racist and as dangerous as the race superiority of Hitler's Germany. It should be a cause of concern beyond America and Israel's borders.
Most rational thinking individuals across the world and in the stricken United States, realize that the Muslim faith does NOT condone acts of terrorism. Their faith is based on The Koran. It teaches peace and love. While it is understandable that we, as non-Muslims will look at anyone from the middle east in a suspicious way, we must NOT act violently and lash out. Those who do are NO BETTER than the terrorists themselves. We must be above that.
The Holy War
Even though, it is being reported at this moment that Islamic Clerics are meeting in Afghanistan to discuss the possible extradition of Usama Bin Laden. Most of us know that that is NOT enough. And they also have not yet "declared a Holy War" but are in preparations for it if the U.S. attacks. Excuse me, but they've been in a Holy War for hundreds of years. They don't have to declare a Holy War when an act of war has already been perpetrated. As I've said, I believe that their animosity extends beyond Israel. What does a Holy War mean? It means killing as many innocents as possible. It means using deception, lies, and any weapons necessary. It means the brainwashing of it's people to extend it's ideology down generations. It means total domination (and annihilation?) of all non-Muslims. Usama Bin Laden has been reported to say that he'd not hesitate to kill innocent women and children to advance his cause and rid the world of "infidels". Be not ignorant, fellow Americans, you are a target. "The only good American is a dead American." I take this personally as all Americans should. My kids, your kids, your mothers, wives, and daughters are all in the cross hairs of this man and his followers.
They have not declared with their mouths a Holy War. No one is fooled. The Holy War began a long time ago, it's only now that Americans realize we've been targets all along. And as long as there are Islamic Militants and kids brainwashed into the doctrine, none of us are safe anywhere. Their goal will always be to target the most amount of victims in as many acts of terror and if possible, be sure symbols of what America Stands for are destroyed in the process. It's no accident that in 1993 they tried to bring down the WTC towers. Why are we surprised that they attacked again and were successful this time?
Indeed, this will be a war unlike any other. Unlike Hitler they do not have their own true country with it's own borders. The closest we get to that is Afghanistan. But we know better. They are a patient enemy. They've had hundreds of years of this type of warfare to perfect it. Do you not know they will adapt? When they tried to bring down the WTC towers in 1993, they ineffectually used a car bomb. Ten people's lives were lost (and their families have suffered). Ten dead Americans are a drop in the pail for these people. They adapted their methods from a car bomb to as many commercial airliners they could with full loads of jet fuel known to burn at outrageous temperatures.
If they cannot further use commercial airlines to bring their destruction, they will be patient and they will adapt. They will turn to alternate methods. Their targets may even remain the same, but their methods will change. We must recognize this. Major cities all over the U.S. will need to be on HIGH alert in ALL MODES of transportation. The Subways, the trains, the highways, and the airlines. I hope we are not blind sided again.
History teaches us, or it should
If you do not believe that the Holy War has been ongoing before September 11, 2001, you are greatly deceived. Just because prior to last Tuesday, terrorists hadn't successfully struck on American soil, doesn't mean SQUAT. Our US embassies and US Military Installations have been targets for years and years. And we know that the WTC towers were targets since 1993. If anything, terrorists' resolve were strengthened when a traitorous American by the name of Timothy McVeigh SIMPLY drove a Ryder truck filled with explosives up to the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City and killed 171 (168 adults and 3 unborn children) lives and destroyed their families. If anything, in 1995, as they were planning these attacks on NYC and DC, they could taste victory even THEN.
Why are we surprised? Because we've stuck our heads in the sand. Why are we in shock? Because, like my nearly two year old son, we thought we were immune to such violence. Indeed, we are not. And it's not over. We are STILL the Great Satan in the eyes of our enemies.
Our Course of Action?
How long have the "peace talks" between Israel and the Palestinians been going on? Have they EVER been successful? Again, according to Fred Siegel's recent article from Foxnews.com, "The issue is not Israel, Usama Bin Laden blew up a U.S. embassy when the Oslo 'peace process' was at the height of its 'success.' The issue is the inability of Islamic regimes around the globe to come to grips with the modern world."
It is my opinion, based on what I know and what I've heard about the mentality of radical islamic militants that diplomacy and negotiations with these murderers will NOT work. In fact, they will see it as a sign of weakness and further support their (however misguided) perceptions of America and non-Muslims. They are NOT a peace loving regime, people! They are a regime that knows ONLY violence and hatred.
As we prepare to go to war against terrorists and their regimes, we must soberly ask ourselves, "What cost is too high for fanatics such as these?" What cost can America inflict on these militants that would cause them to pause and perhaps re-evaluate further terrorist attacks? Given their views on women and non-Muslims (as being less than human), and given their propensity to scream, "Allah" happily as they commit murder and suicide at the same moment, what cost can we inflict that would stop them? If we are to be honest with ourselves and face hard core reality, I believe there is NO COST too high. That is why we are told by U.S. officials (who also realize this harsh reality) that this war is going to be measured and lengthy. And as an American, there is NO alternative for me but to support a military action. Yes, women and children in the pathway of war will no doubt lose their lives and for that I am grieved (despite the news clips of Palestinian women and children dancing in the streets). But for me, and my opinion, it is either us or them. My life and my family life will always come first with me.
In addition to military action, I feel it is IMPERATIVE that we identify and freeze any and all financial assets that support Bin Laden and his networks of terror. At the same time, we need to free-up and enable our intelligence agencies to gather the necessary intelligence to prevent further attacks. I also feel it is important that sponsor states of Bin Laden and terrorist cells need to feel consequences far beyond "sanctions" and economic woes. These were organized attacks that signify that their is an infrastructure in place abroad and WITHIN that enabled these attacks. That infrastructure must be dismantled and destroyed.
Finally, we must recognize that our military is ready to do it's primary job: protect the United States of America. Those who enlist are made aware that they can be deployed anywhere at anytime by our government to do their jobs. And they know the risks. My heart goes out to the families of those in the military. I myself was a military brat who nearly may have grown up fatherless because of Vietnam. But if there was any time that our military should be deployed, it is now: in defense of OUR nation.
Terrorism: US problem or World problem?
It should not pass notice that those were the WORLD trade Center towers that were destroyed. Sixty-two countries lost civilians in this attack. Yes, it happened on American soil, but it had world-wide ramifications. Bush's measured response began with the efforts to build an international alliance. Key to this alliance to battle the scourge of present day earth are those Muslim and Islamic states who declare that terrorists and their actions don't represent their states. Their resolve to stand with the United States against terrorism needs to be tested and evaluated. And if found their resolve to be honest, have it utilized.
Other countries who have freedoms and participate in the global economy cannot make the same mistake as the US. They cannot afford to stick their heads in the sand. The "not us" mentality will not survive. That happened in WW2 with Hitler. Both terrorists leads and Hitler have striking similarities: the superiority of their race; the propagandizing of the masses; the recruitment of the young; and the elimination of other races and creeds. No doubt, if Bin Laden and Hussein had the kind of State recognition, support and power as Hitler's Germany did, they would use it to achieve their grisly goals.
Countries of the world MUST unite with the U.S. against the scourge of terrorism, or fall victim to it.
What the "average Joe" should do
First of all, we must recognize reality. Recognize terrorists have and continue to live among us. We must educate ourselves and our youth about what drives hatred filled regimes and their methods of enacting terror among innocents. We must concentrate on prevention through simply opening our eyes. No longer can we afford to be introverted and oblivious to others around us. We must remain aware of others, stand vigilant against suspicious behavior and individuals, and be the eyes and ears extension of the government agencies tracking terrorists around the globe.
We must ALWAYS remember the events of September 11, 2001. We cannot ever grow complacent in the face of such loss and tragedy. I can tell you, that the people of Oklahoma City will NEVER forget the events of April 19, 1995. I have visited the Memorial that has been built upon the remains of what once was The Alfred P. Murrah Building. It is a SOBERING experience. The silence of those paying tribute to the lives loss screams at my heart. I toured through the memorial museum where I got to see the face of every person who lost their lives. I got to read the names of the unborn children who never got a chance. I got to hear the deposition tape that caught the sounds of the blast and the screams of the victims. Those who visit there, although may not have been directly impacted by it, leave with a scar on their hearts. No, we cannot forget Oklahoma City and we cannot forget the massive loss of life in New York City and Washington D.C. I'll never get to see the face of everyone lost to these attacks like I did at OKC, but my heart aches like never before. I sobbed and sobbed in and for Oklahoma City and rejoiced at it's triumph over evil. I didn't know I could ever feel worse than that. But I can. With terrorism, it can ALWAYS be worse.
So, don't live in fear and paranoia. Be survivors who stand vigilant and strong and defiant in the face of evil. In the end, we know that good will triumph.
As for me....
As for me, I have always been patriotic and proud to be an American. It has saddened me to think that there are people out their in our schools and universities who teach against the values that founded America and keeps it prosperous to this day. And it's even more tragic that the massive loss of life we suffered as a nation September 11, 2001 was what it took to return to a patriotism not seen in more than ten years.
As for me, I have resolved to learn a martial art that not only teaches self-defense but an offense should I ever find myself staring death in the face due to terrorists. I will not go down a victim, but a patriot seeking to avert disaster. I am also endeavoring to learn more about the regimes and culture that would see us destroyed. I'm even considering learning Arabic and perhaps Farsi. I am determined to be an integral part of the prevention of further tragedies on American soil. I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. I don't apologize for who I am or how I feel. I am first a child of God: the God of Abraham in the Bible. And I am an American, a civilian in the greatest nation on earth.
Copyright 2001 by Stephanie Therriault. Not to be reproduced in any fashion, in whole or in part, without written consent from the author. All rights reserved.