When the second plane hit the second tower, we all knew – for sure. We didn’t know what was in store, but we knew it was not good. We all knew that the world would never be the same.
As we all sat transfixed in front of a TV screen, watching the worst horror to ever have befallen our nation, we searched for some kind of reason, for some explanation of the events we were witnessing but could not believe. Before that horrendous day ended, one way or another, we all were resigned to the idea that tomorrow, and every day thereafter, would be different from the normal routine we had enjoyed before Sept. 11, 2001.
The next several days produced emotional responses, and heart-rending photographs of the vicious attack on the United States of America. Much of that history is preserved here.
Now, five years after the event, we do well to re-evaluate not only the event and the reasons for it, but also our response to it.
The reason for the attack is now clear: The attackers view the United States as the primary obstacle that prevents them from achieving their goal. Their stated goal is to bring civilization under the rule of Islam, specifically, fascist Islam as interpreted under Shariah Law. This law authorizes death for the infidel and honors martyrs who give up their life to advance their cause.
Not all Muslims subscribe to this brand of Islam. Those who do not, however, are unwilling, or unable, to prevent the Shariah practitioners from pursuing their goal. Consequently, all of Islam is suspect, and our response must be governed accordingly.
On Sept. 12, 2001, our nation stood unified, in much the same way it stood unified Dec. 8, 1941, against the enemy – even though we didn’t then know the enemy. Today, we know the enemy, but the unity has dissolved into petty party politics and ideological division.
The enemy we fight is the same, whether in Afghanistan or Iraq, in Lebanon or Gaza, in London or Spain: The enemy is Islamic fascism. Islamic fascism is the belief that all people should be governed completely by an all-powerful Islamic ruler.
This belief collides head-on with the principles of freedom enshrined in the Constitution of the United States. Islamic fascism cannot coexist with freedom. The two terms are mutually exclusive. The two ideas are repulsive to each other. Collision, at some point, was inevitable. That collision occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, and continues to occur with each new bombing, each new beheading and each new explosion staged for news cameras.
The strength of our national response has been diluted by the division of those who fail to recognize the enemy and instead blame America’s foreign policy, or our addiction to oil, or our arrogance. America is not to blame. Nor should we offer any apology for our love of, no, our demand for, freedom. We fought for and won our freedom from tyranny 200 years ago. We defended our freedom from another form of tyranny during the last century. We are called on again now to defend our freedom from this new Islamic tyranny. Failure to recognize this fact and fight effectively to defeat the enemy could cost us the freedom we cherish.
The strength of our national response has been further diluted by petty party politics. Sadly, for some people, political power is like an aphrodisiac that erases responsibility and common sense and compels its victims to pursue immediate gratification, without considering the disastrous consequences of their actions. Winning an election or regaining control of Congress is not as important to the nation as defeating the enemy in Iraq, in Afghanistan and wherever else he may be found. This fight transcends party politics, yet it is party politics that has prevented the implementation of policies sorely needed to defend against this threat and to ultimately defeat this enemy.
Five years after the attack, we have not taken the steps necessary to open our oil reserves, to reduce our dependence upon the very nations that support our enemies. We have not taken the steps necessary to secure our borders. We have not taken the steps necessary to strengthen our national manufacturing and food production sectors. Every effort to do so has been thwarted by aspiring political opposition. And every step taken by our military, under the current president, is severely and publicly criticized by political opponents.
This fight is more important than party politics. It goes to the core of our national character. If America is to remain free and continue to be a symbol of hope to the world, we cannot, we must not let party politics or ideological division dilute our determination to defend our freedom and defeat our enemy.
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