Today is the anniversary of the worst terror assault on American soil- the third major attack on the homeland by enemy forces since the end of the Revolutionary War.
September 11, 2001 is a day that everything changed. Throughout history there have been few events that, in the big scheme of things, impacted nearly every person in a nation– even fewer that affect the entire world’s population. The events of seven years ago today did just that. Like the sacking of Rome some 1600 years back, what happened on that jarring day will be remembered until the end of time. What we continue to do (or not) in the aftermath, will likely determine the course of civilization for the next millennia. It is up to us to ensure that the Dark Ages that followed the collapse of the Western Roman civilization does not repeat itself.
If you don’t think that a calamity of that nature could befall us here in modern times, it might be wise to recall your ancient world history. When you understand the heights of civilization achieved by the Roman Empire, it is all the more incredible to contemplate the shear magnitude of its fall and aftermath. In the absence of Rome’s long nurtured institutions, the next 1000 plus years were spent trying to undo the systematic destruction wrought by the attacking barbarians working in concert with internal cultural decay.
What would a world without the United States look like? Just imagine Europe in World War II without the help of America. The European “union” flag would undoubtedly feature a Swastika as its centerpiece. By our present time, how much of the world would be “ethnically cleansed” of Jews and other so-called “undesirables”? How many millions in the Pacific Rim would be toiling today beneath the banner of the “Rising Sun” for the benefit of some Emperor-god?
A resurgent Russia is on the march. The mad mullahs of Iran work feverishly towards a nuclear bomb. Al Qaeda continues to issue threats and brainwash new footsoldiers on the Internet and through a world-wide system of mosques. China is still ruled by the communists. Make no mistake about it—without the United States; a tide of slavery and totalitarianism would most likely envelope the globe.
We must remind those who cannot see the threat—like Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, who views the Iranian problem as “small” compared to the “dire circumstances” of the Cold War— not to forget the intentions of the September 11 murderers. On this day of anniversary, we must, as a Nation, carefully reflect on the objectives of our attackers. Never forget that our enemies’ intention was not to teach some lesson. Seven years ago, the objective was not to exact some sort of revenge. The goal was, and still is, the absolute downfall of the United States of America, along with Western Civilization, as we know it. Consider the targets. The symbolic centers of our economic lifeblood, our national defense, and our national seat of government were marked for destruction. To what end did our attackers work other than total collapse?
Those who think that I exaggerate the danger need to consider some facts. Ever since the Iranian hostage crisis in the late 70’s right on up to September 10th, the United States has been seemingly helpless in the face of numerous acts of terror and outright war perpetrated by the growing Islamic fundamentalist extremist movement: Iran hostages, Beirut barracks attack, Khobar Towers, the USS Cole attack, the African embassy suicide bombings, the WTC bombing 93 and possibly even Oklahoma City are among the most notable. What was our response? Nothing. The U.S. couldn’t even really complete the first Gulf War. Why wouldn’t our enemies, fresh from routing the Soviets in Afghanistan and perpetrating the Somalia debacle think, that if they struck us hard and terribly enough, we might utterly collapse from the chaos sure to follow?
Just in case you’ve forgotten, here are the numbers, as found at the Wikipedia:
Excluding the 19 hijackers, 2,974 people died in the attacks. Another 24 are missing and presumed dead. The overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians, including nationals of over 90 different countries. In addition, the death of at least one person from lung disease was ruled by a medical examiner to be a result of exposure to dust from the World Trade Center’s collapse, as rescue and recovery workers were exposed to airborne contaminants following the buildings’ collapse.
George Bush spoke of the events of September 11th, 2001 at a ceremony remembering that other day of infamy when the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor:
“We’ve seen their kind before. The terrorists are the heirs to fascism. They have the same will to power, the same disdain for the individual, the same mad global ambitions. And they will be dealt with in just the same way. Like all fascists, the terrorists cannot be appeased: they must be defeated. This struggle will not end in a truce or treaty. It will end in victory for the United States, our friends and the cause of freedom.”