My wife and I flew on Christmas day. We entered the West Palm Beach airport at ten a.m. approximately an hour after the terrorist incident in Detroit. Having no knowledge of what was occurring, we did notice some heightened concern with dogs sniffing around and what seemed like tighter controls.
Seeing all those around us dutifully emptying their pockets and removing their shoes and outer clothing, I remember thinking how bizarre it all was, people obediently led like sheep to the slaughter, stoically allowing their privacy invaded as strangers pored over the contents of their suitcases and checked them for foreign substances as they moved through machines.
“How had we come to this?” I thought. How had we allowed ourselves to be cowed by religious fanatics bent on killing us for reasons too far fetched to rationally contemplate? While we knew the process was self-protective and defensive, we felt humiliated, powerless and, yes, frightened. We were well aware of the horror of 9/11. Indeed, we had seen the consequences first hand. Don’t we remember the signature spectacle of people jumping from the high floors of the Twin Towers during that terrible episode? It was appalling, devastating. These were innocent people going about their daily chores. What ugly thoughts were in the mind of those blind idiots who destroyed them?
Indeed, I remember those days well, the agony and hopelessness of the survivors who pasted the pictures of their loved ones all over town in the vague dead-end optimism that somehow, by some miracle, their cherished children, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts or friends had survived. They took solace in such advertising surely knowing deep in their hearts it was fruitless.
Whenever I walk through Grand Central Station or subway stations and see armed soldiers, I feel slightly queasy and somewhat insulted that we have let these evil monsters intrude on our way of life and inhibit our tranquility for reasons beyond explanation. I have never gotten used to living this way. For how many years will this go on? Generations, perhaps, unless we can summon the courage to defeat these mad men. Thinking about this, experiencing it, my sense of outrage never goes away.
As the years go by since the events of 9/11 and the promise of our then President to boldly attack those who had done this foul deed or who were inflaming the world against us, I was encouraged by his declaration to recognize that there were those with us and those against us, and those against us needed to be aware that we were not going to take this or any attack on our people without consequences to the perpetrators.
Yes, I was reassured by his words. It was exactly the right tone. It was the kind of response we needed then, it is the kind of response we need now.
While we sent our boys and girls into the heart of this foul nest of America haters and killers, we seemed to have grown complacent on the home front. Perhaps we have gotten used to these countermeasures, taking them for granted, and waving away any Jihad motives like the killings at Fort Hood and ignoring the plots against us that are reported daily in our media. Apparently we are all similarly undressed like that Emperor with no clothes. Have we become naked fools?
Our new wave of politicians gained power by assuring us that the threat against us was exaggerated, that the danger was not as dire as we were told, that previous politicians had pumped up the panic for their own political advantage. The mantra of the new politicians in power was that the previous politicians were cynical alarmists. They, on the other hand, were the compassionate peacemakers determined to right the wrongs done to those poor souls on Gitmo, try them as criminals on American soil, forgo harsh methods of interrogation and, if possible, ship them back to their wonderful countries of origin, like Yemen, where they would tend their gardens in peace. Really?
Apparently, they lectured us that those previously in power didn’t try hard enough to befriend our enemies, to understand their point of view, to accommodate them and negotiate our differences. American exceptionalism was elitist and arrogant, they informed us. We are ordinary we were told, ignoring our remarkable history, just one country among many, hardly better. In fact, a lot worse.
The destruction heaped upon us was all our fault. We are to blame for all the ills of the world. Even the use of the word “terror” had been deliberately excised from the political dialogue.
Jihadists are not really terrorists, we were told, merely people with grievances or extremists. We are now encouraged to change our ways, to drown ourselves in the distorted premises of political correctness. Don’t profile potential jihadists. Not all Muslims are terrorists. Of course, we know that. What we don’t understand is why those Muslims who are not terrorists appear to support those who are, remain strangely silent, or merely observe, often with glee, as their co-religionists attack us. Should not their voices of indignation be the loudest of all, forthright and decisive? Are they not ashamed of what their Jihadist co-religionists do in the name of Allah?
Our present leaders seem to have forgotten how our mad enemies arrived at our shores to do their dirty work. Mostly, they came through self-righteous Europe via their Middle Eastern spawning grounds, from countries where freedom is mocked and whose citizens are ardent cheerleaders in the America bashing chorus. To compound this sham, our President has apologized to the Europeans for our alleged bad conduct and bowed on bended knee, quite literally, to Middle Eastern dictators to symbolically atone for our evil deeds.
Hell, these were the people and countries who made it possible for these monsters to attack us. They should be apologizing to us for their conduct.
The recent incident in Detroit seems a blessing in disguise. It reminds us of our vulnerability and the determination of our enemies. They want to kill us, to blow us into oblivion. Is more evidence needed? Why is this such a hard lesson for some of our politicians to understand? Does any sane person doubt that Iran is working to make atomic bombs? And how do they intend to use them? Who will they supply with this doomsday weapon? No amount of making nice-nice will change them. The monsters in Iran have signaled their intent just as Hitler signaled his in his own words just a few short years before he set off a conflagration that destroyed many million of lives. Our leaders should be aggressively supporting in word and deed the bravery of Iran’s courageous young insurgents.
The abject stupidity of our Homeland Security boss who blandly stated when asked about this current terrorist attack designed to kill nearly 300 people on an aircraft, that the “system had worked” mocks all logic and indicates her bald incompetence. Is this someone in charge of keeping us safe? What really worked was some version of divine providence. The damned device never went off. In my view, Napolitano’s ridiculous statements are one of the worst examples of blather I have heard since Neville Chamberlain waved a piece of paper signed by Hitler and declared it would create “peace in our time.” She should go the way of Chamberlain, into the rubbish bin of history.
We hope this event in Detroit will be a wake up call, or, at best, a reminder that America can no longer slumber in denial. We are at war, a fearsome nasty war. Accuse me of exaggerating or panic mongering, but the fact is that if we don’t get serious and put in place people who know what they’re doing in pursuing our enemies, we will evolve into a nation whose people will wake up one day to a situation that will make what happened on 9/11 a walk in the park.