After the shock and horror wore off, 9/11 tended to settle into
history as a monstrous blitzkrieg which the nation survived.
And then life resumed its course.
A year ago the sniper killings in Washington demonstrated on home
ground the impact of sustained terrorism.
Children were kept home from school.
Public events were cancelled.
For the residents of that area an alarming insecurity shrouded each
day. Even so, that chilling
episode also seems to have slipped down the memory hole without generating
a national recognition of the dread new reality which fanatic Muslim
terrorism has imposed on the United States and much of the rest of the
The 9/11 attack carried out in hijacked planes was as stupefying a
landmark in the history of warfare as the atom bomb.
All the military weaponry developed to provide protection against
aggressors had instantaneously become obsolete.
The whole world was transformed into a war zone.
The enemy that mounted the attack was not a nation or a coalition
of nations against which a defensive war could be waged or with which
peace could be negotiated, if that action were judged desirable.
The enemy troops are scattered throughout the world and their
identity, as well as their whereabouts, is virtually unknowable.
Their motivation is a religiously orchestrated murderous hatred of
the United States and its allies.
In a 10/16/01 address to the National Press Club, Winston S.
Churchill, the Prime Minister’s grandson, spoke of the suicide bombers,
hijackers and terrorists recruited by Osama Bin Laden.
He cited a CIA estimate that 70,000 militants had been trained in
Bin Laden’s camps who were subsequently dispersed to 55 nations.
An illustration of the spiritual and emotional conditioning for
potential Muslim terrorists was provided in a 6/26/01 article in USA
Today. A leader of the anti-Israel Hamas organization explained that
the preparation of suicide bombers begins in kindergarten and continues
through college. A father was
interviewed who was making preparations for a party to celebrate his
son’s having killed twenty-one Israelis as well as himself.
“He has become a hero,” said the father, “What more could a
father ask?” A Hamas
spokesman claimed they have five to twenty young men constantly available
for suicide attacks and thousands of youth “ready to follow in their
Shortly after 9/11
Newsweek published a map identifying
Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan as nations with
state-sponsored terrorist activities. It indicated a Bin Laden presence in all those nations and
twenty-seven others. Afghanistan
was selected as the first place to begin to curtail terrorist activity
because Bin Laden’s headquarters was there.
Iraq was chosen as the second target.
Saddam Hussein had revealed his intent to make Iraq a nuclear power
when in 1981 he purchased from the French Government enough weapons-grade
uranium to make three nuclear bombs.
Shortly after Winston S. Churchill reported this transaction in the
London Times, the Israeli air force destroyed the Iraqi nuclear
reactor at Osirak. In 1988, Saddam’s demonic cruelty was manifest in the
mustard gas attack by his air force on his own Kurdish citizens in Halabja.
That readiness to maim and kill and destroy in order to achieve his
ends has been tragically revealed again and again in the mass graves and
torture chambers being discovered by coalition troops.
The price that is being paid to free the populace of Iraq from one
of the most heinous and brutal tyrants of all time, and to assist that
nation in establishing self-government is a very large one, monetarily,
and in the lives of the troops that are lost.
Every one of those deaths is a tragedy for our nation as for the
bereaved families, but, for perspective, as those overseas war victims are
reported day by day, it needs to be remembered that in America about
16,000 people are murdered each year.
The war which Muslim fanatics launched against the United States
two years ago is not likely to subside in the foreseeable future.
On the contrary, the probability is that it will persist and impose
continually greater burdens upon our country – more loss of life,
increased expenditures, and rising levels of fear and anxiety.
The era we have entered, as is always the case in time of war,
requires among the nation’s leaders a level of statesmanship that has
not been evident in a long time, leaders who will subordinate personal
advantage to an honest and reasoned judgment of what will best serve the
nation and what will most effectively shield innocent people against the
suicidal assaults of terrorists.
In this time of political campaigns, statesmanship is especially
needed among all the public commentators as well as among the
office-seekers. America has
entered into a prolonged period of crisis and its citizens must rise to