Wednesday, September 12, 2001

America at War

America At War
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 11-12, 2001

Terrorists attacked the United States on Tuesday, Sept. 11 with such force, in such epic proportion, it made the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor resemble the Boston Tea Party.

That is not for one second to diminish the severity of Pearl Harbor, an attack and declaration of war by the Japanese provoking the United States into World War II. No, instead it is to emphasize the heinous nature of this cowardly attack that Arizona Sen. John McCain, himself a veteran and war hero of the Vietnam War, called an act of war.

Four events unfolded almost simultaneously on Tuesday. Four United States commercial airplanes were hijacked and eventually crashed into targets wreaking such devastation its enormity may not be fully realized for days or even weeks. The first two planes crashed into the two Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City ultimately turning those 110-story buildings into rubble and dust killing potentially, thousands of innocent civilians.

The third plane found its target smashing into the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., partially destroying that symbol of America’s military. The fourth plane supposedly heading toward the White House crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

While there is sadness, and rightfully so, for the devastating loss of life, there should also be anger. Anger over a lax security system at America’s airports. Anger over a lax immigration policy in the United States.

This is the boldest, most horrific attack against the United States in its history, anywhere. The legend of First Lady Dolley Madison running through the White House to save the portrait of George Washington during the British attack on Washington during the War of 1812 does not compare to the thousands of people running through the streets of Manhattan following the crumbling of the World Trade Center as if chased by the bulls of Pamplona, Spain.

Thousands of innocent lives have been lost. They should be mourned. Go to synagogues, churches or mosques – remember the dead, pray for their souls, and pray for their survivors. Let’s not forget the policemen and firefighters – those who survived and those who perished. They are true heroes. Each and every life lost should also be avenged.

“This is an attack on our civilization,” said Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Terrorists do not deserve justice. Justice is for those who can feel remorse. Justice is for those with a conscience. This was a tyrannical attack by cowardly zealots reveling in the suffering of others. Just look at the footage that came from the Middle East with Palestinians dancing and cheering in a refugee camp in Lebanon.
“They hate us for our freedom,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) from the floor of the Senate on Wednesday morning.

“Those with a demonic view,” have attempted to destroy “the freedom that is the foundation of our nation,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) from the House floor Wednesday morning during the One Minute Speeches.

Americans have a long history of defending the freedom of other nations of the world. Today America is rebuilding the shattered psyche of a people to enable it to once again enjoy freedom at home.

The United States must take swift and certain steps to demonstrate that it will not take this act of aggression lying down. A determination of who is responsible must come quickly. Military forces must be mobilized and the retaliation must be proportional. A message must be sent that America will not roll over.

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright said it is important for the United States to have international support before it reacts to the violence perpetrated against it. That kind of liberal pandering will only demonstrate that the United States is weak and unable to vigorously stand up for itself.

America must not concern itself with world opinion. Its first concern must be the safety and protection of the American people. America must not allow infiltrators to wreck the fabric of the American way of life it has earned through years of hard work and a constant striving for betterment. It must demonstrate that it is still a strong and vital nation that will not slink away in the face of pressure and distress, but instead stare adversity in the face and not blink – acting swiftly and severely.

American intelligence agencies continue investigating and seeking out evidence, which thus far points to Osama bin Laden, a Saudi fugitive believed to be harbored by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Bin Laden was affiliated with the World Trade Center bombing of 1993. He and supporters, particularly the American supporters he has in places like Florida, must be eliminated without hesitation. The nation of Afghanistan and/or any other land harboring bin Laden and/or his supporters must pay the price for their alliance with extreme severity.

This should not be an invitation for random attacks upon American Muslims or the desecration of mosques. In an attempt to head off any such attacks, boxing great Muhammad Ali, an American Muslim, said, “If the culprits are Muslims they have twisted the teachings of Islam.”

The borders must be sealed and a strict immigration policy needs to be adopted and adhered to. People who are not American citizens should not be allowed to flit from nation to nation willy-nilly. Today’s immigrants are not the same kind of immigrants that poured through America’s ports from the 1880s through the 1920s.

The southern and eastern Europeans coming to America were forced to have a job, the promise of a job and/or a sponsor who would bear responsibility for the new immigrant. Those same new immigrants came to America speaking Yiddish, Italian, Greek, Magyar, Russian and many other languages indigenous to southern and eastern Europe, and without the benefit of English as a Second Language classes, managed to learn English – with pride. They studied and became citizens – citizens who vote, serve on juries (willingly or unwillingly) and volunteer to make their communities better places.

Many of today’s immigrants have made a decided choice not to learn English or become citizens, yet somehow have been able to take advantage of the social programs invented by liberals that only encourage a greater influx of immigrants. This is not a case of xenophobia, but a dose of reality.

Airports nationwide have admitted to less than circumspect hiring practices and a lack of scrutinization of employee credentials. The level of security must be raised to the point of visibility and total saturation at airports, border stations, schools and stadiums. America has already learned the hard way that its enemies have placed a zero value to human life.

The not knowing when and where the next attack may be struck is much akin to the nation holding its collective breath in 1961 during the Cuban Missile Crisis when Soviet nuclear warheads were aimed at the United States.

Life as it is known in these United States will be forever altered. Transportation systems such as subways, bus and train depots and airports must experience a heightened security. The borders of the United States must be more securely guarded. An increased police presence in communities from rural hamlets to overpopulated metropolises is becoming mandatory.

“This was an indiscriminant cruel thing,” said renowned sportscaster and author Jim McKay, who remained on the air throughout the Arab terrorist kidnapping and ultimate slaughter of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes during the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics. In comparing the murder of the 11 Israeli athletes to the terrorist attacks on American soil on Tuesday, McKay said NFL games should not be played this coming Sunday. It is an issue of safety for both the teams and the fans – 60,000 to 70,000 people in the stands. “Something else could happen,” said McKay, who called the two events the most tragic since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. In a decision he admitted he regretted NFL Commissioner, the late Pete Rozelle, determined that the NFL scheduled games for that Sunday would be played.

It should be noted that following only a one-day suspension of competition, that included a memorial service attended by 80,000 people, the then 84-year-old IOC president, and anti-Semite, Avery Brundage declared, “The Games must go on.”

Let the indelible pictures of the fireballs, collapsing buildings and dust reminiscent of nuclear winter, be the constant reminder of the evil that has been perpetrated against this great nation. Let the void where the World Trade Center used to stand be the memorial for those who will also no longer stand.

Citizens should demonstrate their patriotism by flying their flags and observing Constitution Day on Monday, Sept. 17. This year is the 214th anniversary of one of the greatest documents ever written.

The gauntlet has been thrown down at the feet of the United States. The United States must pick up that gauntlet and strike back with a vigor and gusto that declares: never again will this great nation fall prey to such ugliness.

“Our grandchildren will not just ask where we were on Sept. 11, 2001, but what we did about it,” said Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY) from the House floor on Wednesday during the One Minute Speeches. “What we did about it – the only way to eradicate terrorism is to eradicate terrorists. We must move forward forcefully.”

May G-d continue to bless America and the American people.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer living in Sterling, VA.

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