PLAIN TALK ON 9-11 DAY, 2006
President Roosevelt called December 7th 1941 “A day that will live in infamy.” The sneak attack on Pearl Harbor by the military force of Japan against the military force of the United States killed 2,403 American service members. I’m old enough to remember Pearl Harbor Day. And I’ll remember the day forever.
Like everyone else, I’ll also remember another day of infamy: September 11th, 2001 – “9-11 Day.” I was at home here in Anchorage, awakened by my daughter Robyn’s phone call, whose office building is on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC. My son Bob Jr., was also in downtown Washington DC, assigned to the US State Department. They could see the smoke arising from the Pentagon.
On 9-11, 2973 people died, mostly civilians. This was no sneak attack of military against military. It was the premeditated brutal killing and maiming of civilians. It was an attack against the Judeo-Christian culture of the western civilized world.
I’m amazed by clueless people who would “blame America first” and ask, “Why do they hate us?” The answer is irrelevant. The only point of “understanding the terrorists,” is to learn how we can better protect ourselves from them, and to lessen the threat.
Turning airliners into kamikazes to fly into buildings and murder thousands of innocent Americans is an act of war. Period. End of story. “Wrongdoings,” real or perceived, of the modern American culture, or our sometimes inconsistent foreign policy, is irrelevant.
Unfortunately, the perpetrators of 9-11 weren’t simply a gathering of crackpots. They were advanced troops from the malignant and pathologic world of Muslim fascists who aim to convert or kill. To some degree, this war has been going on for a millennium.
And this is a religious war (there, I said it). Not recognizing the reality of religious war doesn’t make it less so. This isn’t a matter of “religious tolerance.” I am very tolerant of other people’s religions – until they try to kill me, my loved ones, and my fellow Americans. Every government has the inherent right to protect the safety of its own citizens. Remember: our Islamic fascist enemies have sworn to strike again (and I believe them).
Unfortunately, we not only have to fight the terrorists – we must also deal with appeasement politics, short memories, political parties pointing fingers, Pollyanna neo-pacifists, and those who would merrily sing “Kumbiyah” - while the enemy plans and executes the next outrage.
Our president set the standard when he said, “I will not forget this wound to our country or those who inflicted it. I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people.” Patriotism is not a dirty word. Self-defense is not aggression. Like all wars, victory will belong to the strongest and the most perseverant. Put the accent on perseverance.
Refresh your memory of 9-11 at