By Hadleyblogger Drew
I know this is outside my normal scope of commentary, but I hope you don't mind me offering a few thoughts on this sad anniversary. A lot of words will be written about today, and you don't really need more coming from me, so I'll keep them brief and to the point.
It's hard sometimes to remember that we're a country at war. We don't act like it, we've been encouraged to keep living normal lives, and except for the threats that occasionally pop up we seem to be content to let it drift into the background. Most of the time we don't think about it unless it's to complain about the latest security measure.
But there are people out there, evil people who are dedicated to destroying us and our way of life. They murdered thousands of innocent people five years ago today, and they've been at it ever since, though not in numbers so spectacular as those. The Islamofascists are nothing if not xenophobes, with a paranoid fear of anything and anyone different from them. Unless they're stopped they intend to try to finish what they've already started.
Now, there are those who say that we brought on the terrorist attacks ourselves, with our support of Israel, our arrogant stance in the world, our hedonistic lifestyle. The more conspiracy-minded even doubt that there were terrorists involved at all. And then there are the Nervous Nellies out there who wring their hands and fret about just war doctrine and how we're treating our prisoners and whether or not we might actually be killing people during this war. There are others who discount the whole Islamofascist movement, who say that it's ridiculous to think that these terrorists could actually take over the world, and that if we just ignored them the theat would go away.
There's probably a bit of truth in each of these propositions. I think, for example, there's a lot of merit to the idea that September 11 represented a chastisement from God, a warning that as a country and a society we'd gotten too far away from His will for us. (After all, you'll remember that it had been just a few days previously that Bush had made his disasterous stem-cell decision.) Unfortunately, things have, if anything, gotten even worse since then. If September 11 was the first chastisement, I shudder to think of what the next one will be.
But we must remember all the innocent men, women and children - not only in this country, but around the world - who, by the very fact of being alive, stand in the terrorists' crosshairs. Whatever else its sins may be, and they are legion, our government owes it to these innocents to protect them from those who seek to destroy them. It may be true that the idea of the Islamofascists conquering or converting the entire world is a preposterous one. What is not preposterous is the idea that these insane barbarians can destroy the world, nor is it absurd to suggest that they lack the will to do so. "Better Dead than Red" was the joke of the Cold War era; in this era of the shooting war, "Better Dead than Non-Islam" might be their rallying cry.
It's thought somewhat insensitive nowadays to be in favor of "total victory" in war. But that is what this defeating the terrorists is going to require. Total victory, no matter how hard it may be, how long it may take, how difficult it may get. The threat is out there, a threat to our lives and our way of life. As you watch the memorials today, as you remember the images of people leaping to their deaths from the burning towers, of the pictures of missing ones that lined the walls of buildings in New York for weeks afterward, of the candlelight vigils that took place, keep in mind that these murderers are still out there, with bloodlust in their hearts. They must be destroyed, each and every one of them.
We cannot afford to wait for them to strike again. They have already made their intentions known, and we must do the same. This does not mean that we resort to their tactics, that we become animals as they are, that we toss away the last shreds of morality that we may posess. There is a just way of waging war, and we have to follow that. We also have to recognize the folly of doing anything without the presence of God in our thoughts, our plans, our way of life.
Can it still be done, at this late hour? Only God Himself knows. But we do know our task. The threat must be met, head-on. The Islamofascists must be defeated and their reign of terror ended, however long it may take. If this bluntness offends anyone I'm sorry, but that's just too bad. The people responsible for this, and those like them, must be killed, defeated, destroyed.
The clock is running.