Fifteen Years After 9/11 – America’s Leaders Have Forgotten The Pain
Just about everyone remembers where they were when they found out about the attacks on 9/11. But many of us, especially in the Obama administration have forgotten the collective pain, the reasons we were attacked, and the appeasement that made the terrorists strong. Under Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry, the U.S. government has returned to the pre 9/11 mindset of treating terrorist acts as crimes, and the terrorists as criminals who can be rehabilitated. Most importantly we’ve forgotten that the hateful ideology and the malignancy of their terrorist tactics that are still alive and very well.
It was fifteen years ago but I have the vivid memory if remember driving into Manhattan at six a.m. that day as I did every day. For some reason as my car made its way over the bridge leading to the midtown tunnel, I gazed downtown at the two towers of the World Trade Center and thinking that it was a particularly beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky. Little did I know that just a few hours later the view of the towers would be replaced by an impenetrable black cloud, and the world was about to changed forever.
About three hours after leaving my house, sitting in my office at Nickelodeon (I was the publisher of Nickelodeon Magazine) and working on 2002 projections I received an AOL IM from my brother Paul, “hey Jeff some idiot just flew a plane into one of the trade center towers.”
One of the advantages of working for a cable TV network was the television hooked up to Time Warner Cable sitting in my office. After reading Paul’s IM I quickly grabbed the remote, and turned on MSNBC (it was a real news network back then). As soon the picture cleared, the TV showed a plane flying into one of the Trade Center towers. My immediate thought was they were showing an instant replay of what my brother messaged me about, but it was the second tower being hit. The same thing happened later when the impossible occurred; one of the towers collapsed, then the other.
It was all so surreal running through my mind was this couldn’t happen didn’t they know this was the United States of America. But it was happening—and only a mile and a half from where I sat. Eventually we learned it also happened at the Pentagon the home of our military, and the passengers of a fourth plane attacked the terrorists who crashed their plane preventing it to be flown into the capital building.
Much of the rest of the morning is a blur, my staff crowded into my office we watched in horror as people jumped off the burning tower to their deaths. Then again as we saw the smoldering Pentagon building, and finally as each tower collapse. We even heard rumors of a fourth plane that was shot down over Pennsylvania (in actuality Flight 93 was purposely crashed by the Hijackers because the brave passengers had decided to take control of the plane back). The Anchors started talking about possible anthrax attacks, as if they knew what would happen in a few weeks.
At twelve noon there was an announcement the East River crossings were once again open allowing people to travel back to Long Island. I called my wife to tell her I was coming home, she begged me not to fearing another attack, but I had to get home and see my family. I raced for the garage and began a 40-mile drive that took way over four hours.
Leaving the building which was less than two miles from the now smoldering ruins of the towers one could taste the air. Breathing felt strange because the air had a texture it felt like particles of glass were mixed in with the oxygen, and the air tasted almost like burning rubber.
Manhattan had always seemed larger than life, but that day it seemed small and vulnerable. Actually it wasn’t just Manhattan– all of a sudden the most powerful nation on Earth, the shining city upon a hill, the United States that seemed vulnerable.
As my car crawled its way across the 59th Street bridge it looked like a scene from a bad “Godzilla” movie…crowds of shocked people were on the bridge, crossing on foot to make sure they got off that tiny island of Manhattan as soon as possible. It was a scene duplicated on the other NYC bridges.
But this was not “Chiller Theater” it was unbelievably real. Looking out the car window toward downtown Manhattan, the beautiful skyline and cloudless sky noticeable during the drive westward a few short hours before was replaced by an impenetrable curtain of black over the East River. The aroma of the invigorating autumn air was replaced by a noxious burning smell seeping into my car through the air vents.
|Escaping Manhattan on 9/11/01 Via The Brooklyn Bridge|
It seemed as if every single person on the island of Manhattan was trying to use their cell phones at the same time, cell towers were overwhelmed and service was non-existent. Three hours into my drive I finally reached my wife now frantic because I was out of touch for so long.
Finally, my car made it out of the borough of Queens and into Nassau County and onto the Long Island Expressway, sometimes known as the world’s largest parking lot…but it wasn’t a parking lot that day.
The traffic wasn’t just light; it was eerily non-existent (especially on the west bound lanes which lead back into the city). At every single exit Nassau County police cars were blocking the west bound on-ramps. The message the police cars were sending was very clear, people were free to leave New York City but no one was getting back into Manhattan until the authorities knew for sure, this foreign attack on the continental US was over.
Finally reaching home, I spent the rest of the day watching the first reports of heroism, or the serendipitous reports of people who were delayed from being at their offices in the towers on time—saving their lives.
At 7:45 pm I drove to my Synagogue for the evening minyan. Usually we had a group of 15-20 people at evening prayers, but this day was different. People began to filter into Shul in groups. Congregants whose Synagogue appearances are usually limited to the High Holy days showed up. Each one (including me) had a dull shocked look on their face, slowly walking into the sanctuary. Our normal crowd of less than two dozen was more than three hundred, desperate to appeal to God for the safety of their friends and family whose fates were still unknown, and for the success of their country in the war they knew would follow.
This scene was duplicated in houses of God, for many faiths from ‘sea to shining sea.”
September 11 was not the first terrorist attack against the United States, the attack was foreshadowed by incidents such as the First Trade Center bombing and the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen. And those attacks came after years of world-wide appeasement of terror on other areas of the world, especially in Israel. But instead of heeding those warnings our actions toward terrorists such as Yasser Arafat taught radical Islamists that terrorism was a legitimate form of political expression.
It was only after 9/11/01 this country realized that there was a worldwide network of people willing to kill themselves to bring down our way of life. Only after 9/11/01 did we stop searching for “criminals” and begin a war against Islamist Terrorists (at least for a little while) at least until the 2006 midterm elections, when the Democratic Party was rewarded for treating the war on terror as a political issue with large gains in congress. But it was not just the Democrats, President Bush opened the door to the criticism by launching a second war, this time into Iraq which at first had the support of both parties but after ousting the tyrant Saddam Hussein, the war was mismanaged by the president, and it took a surge operation which finally provided the necessary manpower and tools for our brave heroes to finally win this war (at least until the next president decided to pull out all the troops and pull defeat out of the jaws of victory).
Despite president Obama says, we are fighting a war against Islamists who use terrorism in their efforts, to destroy theWest— our freedoms and lifestyle. People who want to use violence to establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate. Theirs is a very patient ideology that will wait centuries if necessary to kill the evil “great Satan.” That is their advantage, we are a culture who demands immediate gratification, instant victory.
In 2008 we elected a President who refused to recognize our enemy. An attack on our heroes by an Islamist terrorist at Fort Hood was called “work place violence.”
On 9/11/12 when a terrorist attacked our mission in Benghazi, Libya we were told it wasn’t terror, Obama and Clinton made up a story that it was just a mob angry about a lousy video on Youtube. It was almost as if we were being told it was our fault. When the Boston Marathon was attacked we called it terror but “lone wolf” type terror, not attacking those who radicalized the two murders. The Orlando terrorist attack was also called our fault, this time for not cancelling the Second Amendment.
Over 2,500 years ago, in his book” Master Sun’s Rules of Warfare,” (also known as “The Art of War.”) Sun Tzu wrote:
Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy, but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril.”
What Sun Tzu was telling us is that unless we really understand who and why we are fighting we are doomed to fail, even if we have the greatest military in the world.
To put it another way, as written in the book “BANNED: How Facebook Enables Militant Islamic Jihad” by Joe Newby and Adina Kutnicki:
…given two antagonists—one a moral relativist, the other a moral absolutist, then, all other things being equal, the absolutist is more likely to persevere and win in any protracted conflict. It is doubtful that the Allied Powers in the Second World War would have conquered Nazi Germany had they not believed that Nazism is evil, and that freedom or liberal democracy is worth fighting and dying for.
This is precisely the psychological state of affairs underlying or affecting the conflict between Islam and the United States— and this conflict began before 9/11. Muslims believe in the absolute righteousness of their cause, the cause of Islam, and that liberal democracy is evil. This moral disparity or asymmetry is precisely why the more powerful United States, whose decision makers have been influenced and emasculated by multicultural relativism, is retreating from the Middle East, just as it retreated from Communist-led North Vietnam, a tenth-rate military power. But mark this well: as in the 1960s,
The terrorists hate everything about us…they believe via their zealotry and disregard for human live they will save the world for their children (at least their children they don’t have blow themselves up).
On the other hand, our leaders like Obama and Clinton refuse to believe that we are in a war against radical Islam. Rather than fight terrorists and the disgusting philosophy of political Islam, we try not to insult them, we are worried that our words or actions might make them angry. For God’s sake, what has being nice to them led to? It’s led to noting but Boston, San Bernardino, Orlando, etc. Negotiation is not possible with these animals…the only way to protect our children’s future is to rally this country to crush the people who want us destroyed, as we have always done when attacked. And for those of you who are upset and my description of these terrorists as animals–you are right. They are lower than animals…they send their children out to kill, even animals know to protect their children.
Our Secretary blames terrorism on the fact that the media cover too closely. The day our media…heck …the day my fellow Americans believe a terrorist attack is too commonplace to cover –we are beyond saving.
Terrorists have taken over Libya, most of Syria, and part of Iraq. And along with the many capitulations in the P5+1 deal, our President is paying billions of dollars in ransom to Iran, the world’s number one sponsor of terrorism, inviting them to take more hostages and fund more terrorists.
On 9/11/15 for the first time since that day that started with a beautiful sky and ended by changing the world, the U.S. President was not at the ceremony at Ground Zero, or the one at the Pentagon. He did have a moment of silence at the White House, but absent from the site of the attacks. It was as if he was saying, it’s okay to forget the pain.
Far too many people have forgotten the taste of the air, the curtain of black smoke, the scenes of horror, acts of bravery–everything associated with that horrible day that changed our lives. Even worse, our leaders in the Obama, Kerry, Clinton adminstration have forgotten.
When we vote for President in November, one of the factors we should consider is which candidate remembers the pain of 9/11/01 and is most likely to rally the country into destroying the radical ideology whose goal is to destroy our way of life. IMHO that candidate is Donald Trump.
Fifteen years after that horrible Tuesday morning, for too many the answer to Darryl Worley’s epic song “Have You Forgotten?” is yes (the song is embedded at the bottom of this post).
May we never forget the evil that attacked us on 9/11 even if our leaders do. May God continue to comfort the bereaved and May the memories of the dead always be for a blessing.
Lord who grants salvation to kings and dominion to rulers, Whose kingdom is a kingdom spanning the entire universe and all eternities; Who places a road in the sea and a path in the mighty waters – may you bless the President, the Vice President, and all the constituted officers of government of this land. May they execute their responsibilities with intelligence, honor, compassion and love for the constitution wonderfully crafted by our founding fathers. May you grant them the understanding that the threat of terrorism still exists, and the knowledge of how to eradicate it from the world you created. May you always bless these United States and provide our leaders with the comprehension of your role in making this republic the land of the free and the home of the brave.
First published at Lid Blog
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