Getting Back on Track
Tough times put enormous pressure on people to face up to the demands of the hour and instinctively know what is the right course of action to follow.
We are certainly facing tough times these days and they are not about to get easier any time soon.
September 11th forced us to get a glimpse of a new kind of enemy. Certainly there were earlier warnings from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing to other attacks against Americans on board the USS Cole and various US embassies, but it wasn't until 911 that we knew for sure that things have changed. As Jews we understood the realities of this type of war in Israel but as Americans we were unprepared for the shock when similar tactics were implemented on our shores.
In the aftermath there was shock and anger but Americans pulled together in a show of patriotism not seen since WWII. Do you remember American flags flying everywhere? I sure do. Do you remember how we started appreciating our police officers, firefighters and EMS workers? I sure do. Do you remember how our differences, politics and personal agendas were swept aside as our common bonds helped us strengthen our spirit and reconnect with our values at the same time we honored our friends, relatives, fellow citizens and guests in our country that were lost? I sure do. And do you remember the personal pledges we each made not to forget what happened? To track down those who sent these killers to our shores? To identify those who would do this to us again if we gave them the opportunity? I sure do and I still feel that way but how many of you can say the same?
The cadre of hateful evil people determined to murder us and like minded people are still there. We have seen their handiwork in places like Bali, Turkey, Spain and Iraq as they targeted innocent freedom loving people who were just going about living their lives. These terrorists have used bombs, ambushes, suicide killers, rockets and decapitation of kidnap victims and who knows what other despicable plans are in their twisted minds.
They don't like that we are hunting them down but how can we do anything less? They don't like that we have replaced the murderous regimes of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban and opened a door for Iraqis and Afghanis to have a taste of a new life free from intimidation and fear. So they bring their intimidation and fear to bear on the lives of those people and on the lives of our soldiers, contractors and citizens as well.
Then they promote the big lies. Just pressure Israel and give the Palestinians what they want and we will not hurt anybody. Or just leave Iraq and all will be well. Or just get every American out of Saudi Arabia, in fact get the current rulers out of Saudi Arabia and things will be fine. It is clear that there will be no end to their "requests" for them to stop the violence until they transform us into carbon copies of themselves.
We should have learned from the example of Neville Chamberland that appeasement will never satisfy bloodthirsty killers. We should know that abandoning our friends after giving them hope, which is what we did to the Kurds following the first Iraq war, will only increase the deaths and foster greater cruelty.
We should be able to recognize the enemy. They do fit a profile and political correctness should not blind us from identifying them and taking appropriate measures to protect ourselves from them.
However if our resolve to be vigilant, strong and vicorious erodes or is continually attacked then it will systematically undermine our ability to protect ourselves and those we are trying to help. A case in point is that presidential politics is pitting Americans against each other instead of against our common enemy. Liberal vs. conservative ideology is doing the same. We can not allow ourselves to be distracted from who the enemy is... who the killers are... who wants to subdue us and people everywhere so that they can impose their way of life over us. Make no mistake about it - this is not merely about a war in Iraq for the freedom of Iraqis and containment of deadly weapons. It is an ideological struggle of radical fundamental Islamic militants against the rest of the world.
They are trying to export their philosophy everywhere and attract an army of mindless robots to do their bidding.
We need to stay in touch with our moral compass, with our American ideals of every human being having the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and of our resolve not to be blackmailed to give up on on these core values.
Any politician or group or individual that deters this from happening deserves our disdain and should be disregarded and shunned. There is too much at stake to allow partisans and the media with agendas to beat up America over things that go wrong while we are desperately trying to make things go right.It is time to focus on our achievements, to understand problems without undermining our efforts to defeat the real criminals and murderers that want nothing less than to see both us and our lifestyle vanish.
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