Monday, September 9, 2013

Where were you when the world stopped turning?

Weekly Opinion Editorial

by Steve Fair

     There are events that happen in our lives where you remember where you were when they happened.  I distinctly remember where I was on November 22, 1963 when President Kennedy was shot and killed.  I was in the fifth grade at Geronimo Elementary school in Mr. Hawthorne’s class.  I remember him crying and being upset that my teacher was so upset.  It was a dark day in America.
     I remember where I was on April 19, 1995 when the OKC bombing occurred.  I was in Evansville, IL on business and watched the news accounts on a television in a restaurant during lunch.  I recall seeing people I knew running down the street past a building in OKC where I used to work.  That hit very close to home.   
     I remember where I was on September 11, 2001.  Driving to OKC, I remember listening to the radio as the announcer described how a plane had flown into the World Trade Center.  At first, it was thought to be just an accident.  I remember watching on TV as a second plane flew into the second tower and then watched as the two towers came crashing down killing almost 3,000 people.  The realization then hit this was intentional. 
     On September 11, 2001, more Americans were killed than were at Pearl Harbor.  It was a dark day in America.   On Wednesday, we will mark twelve years since that fateful day.  What have we learned as a nation since 9-11-01?
     First, we learned that America has enemies.  Some liberal minded people mistakenly believe if you play nice with evil people, they will reciprocate with kindness.  That is just not the case with the Islamist terrorists America is at war with.  They hate our way of life and our country.  If you will study American history, you will find we have been at war with Muslim terrorists since before we became a nation.   Some countries in the world would love to see America wiped off the face of the map.  Those who fail to recognize that are living in a fantasy world.
     Second, we learned this war is not a conventional war. Our enemy is difficult to identify.  They don’t live in a particular country or geographical area.  They are nomadic and the tools they use are deceit and dishonesty.  They have no respect for human life and are willing to strap on a bomb and blow themselves up for the cause.  This isn’t your grandfather’s war- it’s being fought using a strange mixture of technology and guerrilla warfare.
     Third, we learned America lacks the commitment to winning the war.   We have alternately been aggressive and passive in our war on terror.  When liberals are in control of government, they mistakenly believe we can negotiate with terrorists.  Even when Republicans are in control, the resolve and will to winning the war often wanes.  There has not been a long term consistent commitment to winning the war.  The terrorists recognize this inconsistency and exploit it.    They hunker down when we are aggressive and wait for a more opportune time to attack. 
     Augustine wrote, “The purpose of all war is peace. “  Because of the nature of man, we know that war will always be with us.  Plato said, “Only the dead have seen the end of war,” but as we remember 9-11, let us pray that America will have the political resolve to fight the war to win it.  Anything less is defeat.

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