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The hope that it was just a tragic accident evaporated when the second airplane flew into the second tower that Tuesday morning, 10 years ago. Work stopped everywhere, as everyone who found a television set watched the unprecedented disaster unfold in New York City. Nearly 3,000 people died that day; nearly 300 million people wondered why.

Most Americans had no idea that we were so hated. Even fewer Americans knew that in 1996, bin Laden had issued a fatwa, or declaration of war, against the United States as the leader of what he called the Zionist-Crusaders alliance. Those who knew just laughed at the audacity of this nomadic wannabe giant killer. No one laughed on Sept. 11, 2001 – except radical Islamists and the Palestinians who danced in the streets.

The terrorist attacks on 9/11 served as a wake-up call for America, but not everyone heard the same alarm.

The immediate reactions of several people were captured; most reflect a need to identify, find and destroy the enemy. One immediate reaction, however, took away an entirely different meaning from the day’s events. Gar Smith, from the Earth Island Journal, seemed to think that the attack was deserved by the United States and that the attackers were completely justified.

Smith’s rant was quickly removed from the Earth Island website, but not before his words were captured for posterity. Bin Laden’s fatwa revealed extreme Islamists to be the enemy of America, and Smith’s response revealed extreme environmentalists to be the enemy of America. Both have continued their attacks with varying degrees of success.

Ten years of bombs and bullets, and the death of bin Laden, have done nothing to defuse the Islamists’ determination to destroy America and Americans, wherever they may be found. Ten years of unfolding evidence that climate change is a natural phenomenon that has occurred over the millennia with no help from human activity has done nothing to deter the environmentalists from their goal of empowering government to manage every facet of human activity. Both of these forces are the enemy of the United States as it was fashioned by our founders in Philadelphia, during that long, hot summer of 1787.

America should be the place where individual freedom to pursue happiness and prosperity is the paramount value. The paramount value for Islamist extremists is adherence to the Quran as interpreted by myopic radicals. The paramount value for environmental extremists is government-enforced protection of every bug, beetle, weed and mud hole. Both of these views are enemies of America.

The difference between the two enemies is the method of attack. The Islamist extremists are willing and eager blow up anyone – including themselves – to kill Americans. The environmental extremists are unwilling to live the life they work so hard to get government to impose on everyone else.

Al Gore is a classic example of green hypocrisy. He travels around the world in carbon-burning jets and limousines while preaching the anti-carbon gospel. His sermons stress faith in the fiction that human activity will submerge Florida under ever-rising oceans, while ridiculing scientists whose research reveals the flaws in his pronouncements.

America should have awakened to both of these enemies, but it didn’t. The New York Times advocates embracing Sharia law. Hundreds of publications and non-government organizations support the extremist positions taken by the Earth Island Journal, which favors government control over human activity, rather than individual freedom and the pursuit of happiness envisioned by our founders.

Freedom has never been free. There are those who champion freedom, and those who fear it. Enemies of America are among those who fear freedom. Until now, America has been the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is not bravery that seeks to destroy a free market in favor of government control, while waving the flag of environmental protection. It is not bravery that refuses to bring to trial the remaining perpetrators of the attack on the World Trade Center.

The instigators of the tragic attack 10 years ago wanted to plead guilty in December 2008. For nearly three years, the current administration has not provided an opportunity for a guilty plea, and the Department of Justice says they have no idea when or where a trial may be arranged. Does this action display the strength of a free nation – or fear of offending Islamists?

From every corner of the country, Americans should revisit the events that occurred 10 year ago and vow anew to defend the freedom our enemies fear. We can never win using only bombs and bullets. We must use the ballot box at every opportunity, to see that the people we elect honor the Constitution our founders crafted and revere the individual freedoms enshrined therein. We must reject the enemies of freedom, regardless of the extremist stripes they wear.

Lest we forget, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks provides a great opportunity to reflect on the values we cherish, and to focus on the enemies who want to destroy them.

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