over Detroit and failed. Despite all the training he says he received from al Qaeda in Yemen,
the son of a banker was stopped by fellow passengers and a disaster averted.
Imagine if Al Gore had been president on September 11, 2001 and the whole nightmare
played out once again. The World Trade Centers collapse, the Pentagon is hit, and the plane
crashes in Pennsylvania heading for the capitol. How would the Republicans have reacted?
Congressman Peter King of New York would have immediately called for the President to
resign. Congressman Pete Hoekstra would accuse the Democrats of treason and ask for
donations so the Republicans could protect the nation from an imminent invasion. Senators
McCain, Grassley, Lieberman (Oh no, he would be Vice President...what a scary thought) et.al.
would be calling for the heads of the CIA, NSA, the Joint Chiefs, and anyone else associated
with national security. On every news program, Republican talking heads would be attacking
Democrats for being asleep, afraid, timid, soft, in bed with terrorists, and derelict in their duty
to protect this nation. There would be no unity.
Flash forward to the days following the attempted Christmas bombing. The voters have
long since literally thrown the Republicans out of office! The Democrats are in charge. We
have heard from King and Hoekstra, McCain and DeMint; and we are now predictably being
told President Obama is soft on terror. He should not be closing Guantanamo nor proceeding
with criminal trials for accused terrorists. He hasn't done enough to fight terrorism (two wars
aren't enough?). He is too distracted with domestic items and his intelligence apparatus has
Hey! Time out! Isn't it just a bit disconcerting to see how little our politicians have
learned and more than a little depressing to see how we Americans have just as little testicular
fortitude today as we did in 2001? Isn't it time to grow up? Isn't it time to get real?
There is no doubt in my mind this country will be hit again by terrorists. Someone will
slip through. Somehow a terror network will find a weak link or a chink in the armor and
exploit it. For eight years, bin Laden and his gang were satisfied because our politicians were
doing a fine job of cannibalizing the nation for him. In eight years, our politicians turned us
against ourselves and as a result the American dream was lost and our treasure mindlessly
spent. More than one trillion dollars has been spent on unnecessary wars, thousands of young
soldiers died, and tens of thousands wounded. Returning veterans are inundating the V.A. and
will need hundred of billions of dollars in treatment. Our image and reputation in the world
was destroyed by revelations about everything from Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo to secret
torture prisons. The military is so broken that even if there was a reason to think about
military intervention in Yemen, we couldn't pull it off. For about $500,000 in seed money,
bin Laden has been able to sit back and watch us devolve.
Today, however, we have a new President who has begun to rebuild our image in the
world. He speaks of bringing some troops home from Iraq. He wants to close Gitmo and
he has ordered no more torture. He is trying to improve the nation's healthcare system while
shoring up an economy in shambles a year ago and he has been awarded a peace prize simply
because he isn't the guy who used to have the job. The American people are more scared about
losing their jobs than about terrorism; so al Qaeda decided to take a new shot, but because of
dumb luck, failed. The fear-mongering is back in full force and the politics of terror are being
employed. The American people are being encouraged to be afraid, be very afraid. Will it
work? Are we still a nation of sheep? Hanbaugh and the rest will have a field day conjuring
up images of terrorists under every bed and reminding us Obama has a Muslim name and was
raised in a Muslim country. The only question is can Americans be so frightened again as to
further weaken an already shaky nation. I hope not; as the only real threat to this country is
an internal one.
I hope we see how terrorism is a minor concern compared to putting people back to
work, saving people's homes, and rebuilding a healthy economy. I hope we see the real danger
to this country is from ourselves. Our security rests on a strong middle class, strong job
creation, and prosperous citizens; and if we have that base, no terrorist can ever sucessfully
I hope we will remember strong civil liberties and constitutional protections are what
keep us secure in our homes and possessions, not invasive body imaging machines or more
government surveillance. I hope the merchants of dread and doom find few takers among
the American people this time. What do you think? I welcome your comments and rebuttals.
Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org