My writing about 9-11 over 12 years shows how perspectives shift. 9-11 didn’t change. The world turned, things happened and my perspective shifted. Much of my understanding and feelings remain the same. Yet, you can walk through my words and see for yourself what changed. See my closing thoughts today.
2001. My first op ed. Maybe my best for predictions and prose.
One Front: Two Wars
The first front of the World War against International Terrorism (WW-T), our American Homeland, is remarkably united – today. Getting nine out of ten Americans to agree to anything is heady stuff. Yet, the adrenaline cocktail of shock, fear and anger intoxicates only for a season. Someday soon enough Americans will waken with headaches and ask themselves ‘Why’.
Will the hangover of a patriotic binge be worth it if war and its consequences become a daily, lifelong addiction? Or, will the glum awakening, even on the brightest of mornings, be the residue of restless nights worrying over our resolve?
Our America shall have many, many nights of anguish as we struggle with the’war questions’ Americans always ask – during a war of ever changing dimensions, consequences and demands for commitment.
Americans will speak to the dark hours of legitimate doubt with characteristic straightforwardness:
- Who are we fighting?
- Why? What are we defending?
- What will be victory?
- How much, how long, what risk will war cost?
- What must I do?
The answers to these questions over time will result in two wars being waged for our Homeland Defense. The first, the WW-T, will lead to another, but different, Civil War in the U.S. Prayerfully, hopefully, the severity of both wars- the consequence management – will be minimized. Regardless, the nature of both conflicts merits the name – war – and will be fought to the ultimate ends of any and every war – peace through victory or defeat.
When WW-T expands beyond the destruction of one species of terrorist vipers – the Al Qaida organization – the coalition will devolve. The best efforts and high purpose of the magnificently experienced and talented Bush team can not stop shifting tectonic plates of history, culture and the clash of civilizations. Sooner or later, WW-T will be the West and its shifting Moslem Allies vs. Raging Islam. Then, Americans will realize some fuzzy, global, generic, secular human ‘freedom’ is not under attack, but the West – Western Civilization – is the enemy of the resurgent Islam that breeds radicals and rage.
What is the American Civilization worth defending for long decades? What must be preserved at all costs? Who will bear any price for what liberty? These questions will split the unity of our nation along the fault lines of our
American Culture War. Americans with different worldviews will seek alternatives for peace.
Some will be happy to defeat one group of terrorists and pretend there are no more until another bright September morning explodes in a new terror attack. Some will shake in fear and shout ‘stop’ when an Islamic country turns on us as we pursue the next den of snakes or when a radical Islamic coup topples some friendly despot.
Some will stay the course to defeat the enemy, and their means of attacking the West, everywhere and suppress their successors’ ability to attack ever again – for decades and succeeding generations to come. The nation will divide between
those who seek peace at any price – because they don’t see the ultimate destruction of America and the West – and those who know that a hostile ideology – a vigorous, aggressive theology – must be defeated utterly and completely.
WW-T will be waged on the terms of the old Roman Empire. Our enemies will fight us for generations – even centuries – until they change their way of thinking or are conquered or we are defeated from within. Our America, as the leader of the West, has imperial responsibilities without imperial ambitions.
Moreover, our nation faces its greatest test since the American Civil War (ACW I). Can a nation so powerful, so rich, so hated remain a Republic with the protected individual freedoms endowed by our Creator? The American Culture War will become ACW II. WW-T and ACW II will be fought on the same front – our American Homeland. The distinctions between today’s liberals and conservatives will as WW-T progresses. When ACW II heats up – may it be a war of words and battles at the ballot boxes only – the two primary sides of the conflict will shape up in new alignments of allies, perhaps with new political labels.
One side will be soldiered largely by citizens who know that since 1776 America is the country where it is safe to be a believing, practicing, proselytizing Christian and Jew. Their troops will advocate the big ideas, the worldview supporting American Civilization and the West, namely, Judeo-Christian thought. This side will show tolerance for the Moslems, the pagans, the atheists among us, but not cede the nation to their hyphenated ideas of life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness.
America faces a long, long perilous WW-T and ACW II indeed. May the God of America’s Founders, the God of Jesus Christ and Abraham,have mercy on us all. May God Bless America. In God We Trust.
2006. 5 years later.
Five Years into the Long, Long War
WW IV* didn’t start on September 11th, 2001. It could be dated to the first attack on the Twin Towers by Islamists in ’93. It may have started in ‘79 with the Islamist takeover of Iran. It may be ’72 with the Islamist terrorist attack at the Munich Olympics. Perhaps, it was the genocide of the Jewish village of Qurayza by Mohammed in 627 – five years into the era of the new religion of ‘peace’. For America, WW IV starts for real on 9-11. Now, five years have passed and WW IV is still fighting. WW II didn’t take this long for the U.S. That’s because WW IV will be like our Indian Wars, not WW II.
The ideologies motivating ruling cabals of the WW II nation-states Japan and Germany were destroyed when their governments and their military were defeated. Likewise, Saddam Hussein’s Baathist party was destroyed when his military was defeated. If Operation Iraqi Freedom must be compared to our WW II, then what was almost four years in the 1940s took about 6 weeks in 2003. But, it’s the wrong comparison.
There is a world war because of the scale and scope of the Islamist enemy. If 10% of Muslims are Islamists then there are 120 to 150 million Islamists. Yet, nthe world war isn’t against a nation-state. The world war is against an
ideology which is a naturally-occurring outgrowth of a civilization and culture based on Islam which is so far behind that it is barbaric to Western Civilization.
Instead of the dreaded clash of civilizations, this world war is, today, a clash of one sub-culture against the world. Someday, it could become a full blown clash of civilizations but that reckoning is years or decades to come. The decision to make the enemy Islam more than just the Islamists will be made by Muslims, not the West.
Our Indian Wars were a fight between American Civilization and many sub-cultures of Indian nations. They started in 1608 and ended in 1890. 283 years. That’s the kind of war we are in now. American Civilization had a Magnificent Destiny to spread the American ‘Empire’ across a continent. The Indian cultures (they hadn’t risen to civilizations yet), based on a Neolithic culture was so barbarian that Indians are referred to as ‘savages’ in our Declaration of Independence. Indian tribes and American Civilization could not co-exist in the same place and time.
Today, our Munificent Destiny is to protect the golden goose of capitalism and flame of freedom in our country and the Allies of the Willing. Our imperial responsibilities without imperial ambitions are to maintain zones of peace and security – which may become zones of prosperity and freedom. Unlike occupying a continent, our mission is to keep the Islamists out of our continent. Also, the U.S. must attack and destroy the Islamists on a case by case basis. Containing them in the Muslim world is vital until, and if, Muslims have their own Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, and, maybe, Great Awakenings. Or, until they convert to Christianity. This is a mission for decades, if not centuries.
The regime change to get rid of Saddam Hussein was necessary to eliminate a clear and present danger to the U.S. The failures to properly occupy the country and plan for occupation lay squarely on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The buck stops at the top with President Bush for not knowing the difference – and for Vice-President Cheney for not giving him the good counsel which was lacking.
The future of Iraq is up to the Iraqis. Iraq is many battles at once. Killing thousands of Islamists who come to Iraq to kill Americans is best done in Iraq. This is why the Iraq War is central, at this time, in the World War against Islamists – our WW IV. The self-determination of Iraq will be settled by Iraqi arms and will against one another, not by purple-fingered votes. It may take years. Once this war is over, it could all come undone quickly. This is the Middle East. Its understanding of democracy and the Rule of Law is about where England was when the Magna Charta was signed in 1215.
The future of WW IV will be raids and occasional regime changes as needed. Eventually, our Homeland security will fear less about racial and religious profiling and focus more on criminal identification. Yet, as that simple issue
shows, the domestic conflict between Liberals who will surrender – eventually – and Conservatives who will never surrender – ever – will worsen. Eventually, our domestic struggle, a Second American Civil War, will get resolved and one worldview will become our consensus culture. Until that day, America stands divided, and potentially as weak, as Rome before the Barbarians.
*US participation in World Wars
WWIV 2001 – present
2011. On the 10th anniversary.
I had two surprises about 9-11. The timing of the attack and the appalling ignorance of so many Americans on Islam and world history
1. The timing – the actual year – of the attack was a surprise. The attack itself and the means – civilian airliners - were not a surprise. Using civilian airplanes as weapons was played in the Army After Next Wargames (1997-2000). I was on the Red Teams that covered the whole gamut of possible tactics, techniques and procedures for terrorists. These discussions were unclassified.
But, my personal estimate of when the Islamists would attack was around 2005. Sometime around then, give or take a year, I expected the U.S. would be hit by a major terrorist attack.
I was working in my home office for the Army Future Combat Systems project when I heard on the radio that a plane had hit the Twin Towers. I looked at the blue, blue sky outside my window and knew the weather was not that different today up in NYC. So, I got up and turned on the TV in our master bedroom. I knew America was being attacked. Within a few minutes my oldest daughter called from her office in Charlottesville. I heard the concern in her voice. I told her it was a terrorist attack. I was watching and talking to her on the phone when the first tower went down. I had no idea it was going to fall.
In the days that followed, I was amazed, gratefully, that the casualties weren’t much, much higher.
2. American’s appalling ignorance of Islam today and throughout history was a complete surprise. I knew Liberals believed in the multi-cultural fairy tales that being Muslim is like being Methodist. Just another religion in the wonderful diversity of America. I wrote op eds to educate. Ten years later, I am more amazed at how willful many Americans are in persisting to wallow in ignorance.
Islam is no religion of peace. It’s only the peace of the dead and the subjugated. Islam is a bloody barbarism that hasn’t improved from the 13th century. Islam is a totalitarian ideology that includes a religion.
Islam’s Sharia law is anti-thetical to the Rule of Law in our American branch of Western Civilization. Supporting Sharia Law in America makes a person a domestic enemy of the U.S. Constitution.
Islamists are a naturally occurring 10% of today’s Muslim population. They are following the letter and history of the Koran, not hijacking Islam. The bloody history of Islam started in 627 A.D. – and never stopped its murder, robbery, rape, conquest, suppression, and oppression.
Muslims may be lovely people, but their religion is a blot on humankind – like the murderous Aztec religion and Islam’s pagan heritage in Baal. Islam is as evil as any pagan religion – ever. The exceptions to the rule are when Islam is ignored – secularized and modernized to accept innovations of Western Civilization.
I’m dismayed at the continuing willful ignorance of elected officials about Islam - or what is their willful cowardice.
2013. The 12th Memorial.
America and the West still need a public leader who will say Islam is the problem. It would be good if it was an elected official so the other pols can see a person speak the truth in wisdom who stays in office. This man or woman should say Islam is a Totalitarian ideology and identity that includes a religion. It includes lovely people who are more lovely the less Muslim they are – they less they follow the Koran.
This leader should continue to explain how the Civilized world is at war with Islam. Islam started it. Islam continues it, because Islam based on the Koran is stuck in the 13th Century at best. Which means Islam is still fighting Jihads against all infidels.
Furthermore, because Islam is a Totalitarianism at war with American Civilization, the religious freedoms protected under the 1st Amendment are limited. Any person who believes the Koran and, consequently, seeks to establish a Muslim state – or Sharia Law anywhere in our federal Republic is an enemy of the U.S. Constitution. Any non-Muslim who supports Sharia law in the United States is an enemy of the U.S. Constitution.
Immigration of such persons should be severely limited. Approving security clearances should strictly screened. Such persons in public office should be removed, recalled, impeached – whatever is the legal necessity to keep domestic enemies from power.
Foreign funding to spread this Totalitarianism should be reported, reviewed – and taxed heavily or disallowed.
Finally, this leader should explain that until Islam has a Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment and several Great Awakenings it will remain 800 years behind Western Civilization. And, the wars Mohammed began with his first act of genocide – against Jews – in 627 AD could continue for more centuries. And, while the U.S. might disengage from ground conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan after a dozen years of fighting, American involvement in the wars will come back – sooner or later. The fighting may be in Europe as the Muslim population reaches the tipping point to seize power. But, it’ll come again, somewhere.
So, be ready.