Skip to comments.Terrorism, War, and Evil: Reflections on September 11
Posted on 09/11/2003 11:02:10 AM PDT by Mr. Silverback
There's something sacred about a day on which three thousand innocent American civilians died in a barbaric terrorist attack. As I reflect again on that bright September morning just two years ago, a number of thoughts come to mind.
First, I'm reminded that evil is real. Through the nineties, we hung onto the utopian notion that history had come to an end, ushering in peace and happiness evermore. September 11 shattered that -- and, thankfully, our worldview has become more realistic and more biblical since then.
Second, I remember that we're in a war against terrorism that is, in some ways, more threatening than World War II -- for, here, the enemy is disguised. But the terrorists have the same goal as our enemies at that time: the destruction of Western civilization. Read what Osama bin Laden and other Islamist activists have said. They're not hiding their purpose. September 11, 2001, was a declaration of war against, not only the United States, but also the civilized world.
Our response was absolutely correct in the wake of September 11. We went to Afghanistan to break the back of the Taliban and deny al Qaeda its base of operations. It was clearly a just war, the only possible response to a deadly attack on American citizens. And it has turned out to be a huge setback for al Qaeda. We've been on the offensive ever since, and we've put them on the defense -- the best military strategy there is.
What about Iraq? Iraq, as I have argued, is the second theater in the war on terrorism. The evidence makes it clear that Saddam has strong ties to terrorists. That includes the al Qaeda cell that operated in northern Iraq since June 2001 and is, in part, responsible for terrorism in Iraq today.
In recent days we've heard the chorus of the critics: "We didn't plan well. We didn't figure out what was going to happen after we attacked." Well, let's remember: Divisive criticism and any sign of turning away now can only fan the flames of Islamist fanaticism and terror.
Princeton Professor Bernard Lewis, one of the world's leading authorities on Islam, argues that Islamic radicals saw America's responses to Vietnam, Somalia, Lebanon, and the attacks on the U.S.S. Cole and our embassies in Africa as evidence that we would cut and run -- even when attacked at home. Well, we didn't, and now, in Iraq, we can't. We're not fighting terrorists in the streets of New York. Thank God. We're fighting them in Iraq.
Our troops well understand the connection between their work and the September 11 attacks. In a WALL STREET JOURNAL op-ed, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz wrote that when Christy Ferer, a September 11 widow, recently gave Gen. Tommy Franks a piece of steel recovered from the World Trade Center, "she saw this great soldier's eyes well up with tears. Then, she watched as they streamed down his face on the center stage before 4,000 troops." The general knows well why we fight that war.
We must never forget that fateful day. And we should remind our neighbors that in the face of anti-war rhetoric, we must demonstrate unity, strength, and resolve in the war on terrorism -- or risk our national survival.
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