We’re approaching the 15th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. It was a Tuesday. I was in Mrs. Coate’s 5th grade class, just shy of eleven years old. While two planes were slamming into the World Trade Centers, I was playing The Oregon Trail in my computer class. I remember that our favorite part of the game was the hunting where you’d click on the little bison and deer to ‘hunt’ for food to avoid starvation. The teachers hated that we paid so much attention to that particular aspect of the game. They must’ve thought it was too violent. I remember another teacher coming in the room, clearly distraught but keeping it together, whispering something to Mrs. Coates. They looked distressed, but it could have easily been something simple like another kid got hurt on the playground. ‘Grown-ups always overreact’, I thought to myself as I picked off another bison.
The day resumed and the school never told us what had happened. I know a lot of schools told students about the attacks, had the news turned on in classrooms, or just sent children home. I do remember some students coming to get picked up by their parents, but didn’t think anything of it at the time. I had no reason to believe anything was seriously wrong, yet somehow I remember that morning more vividly than any other day prior, and I hadn’t even found out yet. The human brain is miraculous in that regard.
When the bus dropped me off in front of our house in Northern Kentucky, my mother was almost crouching in the driveway. She looked terrible. Her knees were weak , she looked like she’d been crying all day, just hoping the events of the morning were the end of it and no more danger would come that could threaten her precious babies. When I stepped off the bus, I was confused to see her that way. I hugged her and asked what was wrong. Holding me and fighting back some sobs, she told me that something bad had happened, that it was going to be okay, but we had to go inside and be together as a family. I am still crushed by that image I have of my mother in the driveway. I will never forget it, and I pray to God I will never see her or any of my loved ones like that again.
That was my September 11th, 2001. How blessed am I to have escaped with only an upsetting memory of my mother crying? Thousands of Americans were much less fortunate.
I want to express how I’m feeling on the weekend of the 15th anniversary of that day. I contend that whatever America was on September 12th, 2001, and for some time prior, we are no longer. We were a nation that supported each other, mourned together, fought together, and died together to respond to such a brutal attack on our country. We loved one another, our president, and our country. The day after 9/11, we were all patriotic Americans, and growing up I understood that to always be true. I was conditioned to trust that beneath the social and cultural strife, the unpleasant discourse I saw on television, the divisions that grew during times of war and economic upheaval, everyone in America shared at least one common value…
Love of country.
That day, George W. Bush said “freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended”. I believe at the time that was true. At the time, everyone felt that way. The man who would later become one of the least popular presidents in American history could do no wrong in America’s eyes. My father always said George W. Bush was a common man who was presented with an uncommon challenge and he rose to the occasion. Say what you will about Bush’s policies, I think that is accurate. He was the leader we needed at the time; a decent and honorable man who loves his country. He has shown us no less in is post-presidential life. With respect to what he said on September 11th 2001, hindsight is always 20/20, and we have learned a lot since that day.
Here are a couple of things we now know:
They ‘re not cowards, they’re evil.
This is not a defense of terrorists, but an acknowledgement of truth that is required in order to understand your enemy and defeat them. Cowards don’t hijack planes and fly them into buildings, ending their own lives to achieve their ends. This makes them evil, and even more dangerous, but not cowards.
The infidel, not freedom, was their target.
We know incontrovertibly that this attack came from radical Islamists acting in accordance with their ideology that requires them to destroy the enemies of Islam. They cite America as their greatest enemy, but also attack other states of western civilization. For some bizarre reason, Americans seem to feel better in the aftermath of a terrorist attack – especially one carried out in America – if the terrorist can be classified as a ‘lone wolf’. We prefer to believe that the 9/11 hijackers were simply evil men doing evil deeds because, well, it happens, and it makes it easier to hope it doesn’t happen again. While it’s true that some people are just evil, the ideology of radical Islam is widespread and cannot be denied. It seems that if there is no direct link, no hidden emails or evidence of contact with a larger terrorist network, that we can dismiss them as just another petty criminal, a ‘coward’ who took innocent lives. In my opinion, the fact that they were inspired by a radical ideology, requiring no special instructions or contact to carry out their deeds, is worse. It’s much, much worse. It makes it less predictable and more challenging to defend against.
For the millionth time, we all agree that America is a sanctuary of religious freedom and tolerance, and that not all Muslims are terrorists. In fact, it doesn’t matter if you agree with that or not because it’s in the first amendment of the Constitution. You’re allowed to be Muslim in America, without question. Muslims who live in America, who assimilate into our culture if they’re foreign immigrants, who respect our laws and liberties, are 100% welcome here, deserving the equal protection of their rights under our Constitution. I know some of them. I’ve worked with some of them. However, it doesn’t change the fact that all radical Islamic terrorists are acting in accordance with their interpretation of a spiritual, ideological jihadist mentality that has been raging for centuries.
If we’re to keep each other safe and survive as a free people, we have to be honest about it. But we’re not honest. We’ve fallen for the lie that to oppose radical Islamic terrorists is to oppose an entire religion and all who subscribe to it. Americans who actually feel that way are few, and were much fewer before being subjected to years of scorn and vitriol from radical Islam’s apologists. Furthermore, we’re actively importing tens of thousands of ‘refugees’ and people from countries who subscribe to radical Islam with no reliable way of vetting them. If you criticize this policy, one that is enforced by the federal government against the wishes of many states and without congressional action, you’re smeared and labeled a bigoted racist who just hates foreigners. This is what people mean when they say they want to take our country back. It doesn’t belong to foreigners and it doesn’t belong to the federal government, it belongs to we the American citizens.
Senator Ted Cruz calls this lie a ‘willful blindness’. Much of America responds by calling Ted Cruz a bigot, racist Islamophobe. Congresswomen Michelle Bachmann was shamefully driven out of Congress for her work on exposing the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood in America, having her character and name smeared along the way. She was also labeled a bigoted Islamophobe for her actions. No one felt that way on September 12th, because it’s not true. We’ve been lied to and it’s well past time to face facts.
This was planned years in advance.
The attack on September 11th, followed by the spread of radical Islam we’re seeing today, was all a plan in progress years before 9/11. If you’ve never heard of ‘The Project’, it’s time you did your homework. This isn’t conspiratorial nonsense, it’s real. The Project is an official document outlining the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to infiltrate America. Most of America doesn’t know this exists.
The Islamic State is no accident, but much like The Project, is part of a comprehensive plan to establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate. If you read this 2005 reporting of this plan, you’ll notice the phases leading up to 2016 have happened almost exactly as planned. Meanwhile, we’re pretending to fight a war against ISIS and the results are abysmal. What’s worse is our leadership is apathetic to the results. They lie to the American people, saying they’re doing everything they can and that we’re even winning the war, but it doesn’t take much to see this is untrue. We drop leaflets to the enemy to warn them before dropping bombs. We handcuff our soldiers with ridiculous rules of engagement, undermining their ability to properly fight and win a war. We even abandon Americans when they call for help, letting them die and lying to the world about the reason for the attack.
While it’s true that radical Islamic terrorists, unlike Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan, have no nation, no flag, and no official borders, there are nations who subscribe to and govern by Islamic Sharia Law. We now know with near, albeit vague, certainty that the Saudi Arabian government had some involvement with the 9/11 hijackers, perhaps funding their efforts. Perhaps more. The documents detailing this involvement were kept secret for years, only recently facing serious efforts for a complete release.
Knowing this, it’s inconceivable that Saudi Arabia is a top recipient of American foreign military financing, as well as consumer of American arms. We sell weapons to the country that was involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This is only one example of this behavior by our government, as we’ve also established a relationship with Iran, the largest exporter of terrorism in the world, sending them billions of dollars in untraceable cash and enabling their nuclear program. Furthermore, there is quite a bit of evidence that America has been arming the Islamic state, also known as ISIS. These are not the actions of the same nation who cleaned up the World Trade Center fifteen years ago. These are not actions of a serious nation.
Freedom will not be defended.
I don’t say this lightly or in any way wish to detract from the thousands of men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their nation. Our soldiers undeniably defend freedom, crawling into hell-hole after hell-hole, taking bullets, and with supreme courage face America’s enemies. For those men and women, this becomes a deeper betrayal.
In fifteen years, America has forgotten what freedom even is. We no longer share the common values that we did on September 12th, 2001. We no longer care about our liberty, our American heritage, our history, or our founding documents that protect all of those things. We were once a nation of men and women determined to live free and virtuous lives. We are now a nation determined to destroy itself from within, lying to one another along the way. We don’t teach our children our history or anything that made is the greatest country in the world in the first place. We lie to them, telling them our founders were racists and nothing but slave owners. We tell them not to listen to their parents. We tell them not to be skeptical of government, but instead to be skeptical of each other. If they’re whit, we tell them to be ashamed of themselves rather than judging them for their merits and the content of their character. We tell them the American flag, the like the one they raised over the twin towers while they still burned, is offensive to some Americans. We’ve allowed hatred and division to be cultivated in our communities. Many of us lie to ourselves because it’s easier than confronting the liars. Many are responsible for intentionally undermining America, and many more are responsible for failing to recognize the threat.
Just this week, amidst the anniversary of 9/11, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would allow the victims of terrorism to pursue legal action against the Saudi Government, something that never should’ve required legislation in the first place. It’s expected to be the start of a Congressional showdown, and President Obama has already threatened to veto the bill. How quickly would that have passed on September 12th, 2001 had we known what we know now? Also happening just this week, a history professor tore down several 9/11 remembrance posters on a college campus in California. Her actions are likely to be applauded by many.
I could write thousands of words and cite literally endless examples of this sort of thing. We used to cite injustices for the sake of loving our country and one another. Now we cite loving our country as an injustice and deem you a threat and a problem.
There are millions of patriotic Americans in our country. Many of them volunteer to serve and protect us in the armed forces and as first responders. For everyone one of them, there seems to be at least another who doesn’t care about this country. They seem to believe we don’t deserve what we have as Americans, that we stole our way of life, and that we ought to be taken down a notch. They also have a powerful, charismatic leader who shares the same sentiments – the President of the United States.
So on this anniversary of September 11th, I do remember those who died for our freedom. I think about my mother and how she must’ve felt the day I got off the bus, overwhelmed with relief to see me safe. I think about the mothers who weren’t allowed the same blessing. But I also think about how far we’ve fallen and the people responsible for it. As for those who died, I will never forget. As for those who spit on their graves, I will also never, ever forget.
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