2004-06-18

Clueless on 9/11

The following essay is my own opinion, and may ruffle a few feathers.

The commission investigating the 9/11 attacks has released some major details in the last few days. There is one thing that bothers me in what has been said the whole time:

We had no clue to this kind of attack.

I think there may have been a few clues. All we have to do is look to our strongest ally in the Middle East. Israel has been dealing with terrorists who are willing to kill themselves to violate society and kill civilians in non-military situations for a very long time.

And what has been the response to Israel, even today? Don’t take any active steps to fix the situation. Give in to the terrorists. Give them land. Give them their own country. Give them legitimate power.

So the terrorists have learned that terrorism is an acceptable means of political action.

It hurt me inside every time the world gives legitimacy to terrorists. Because this legitimacy encourages it.

Now terrorism is being felt more and more all over the world.

We had no clue to this kind of attack.

We had plenty of clues. But we had a different mind set, that made us blind to the clues. We were complacent. We thought that we were safe in our houses and jobs in America. We thought terrorism was confined to a corner of the world far away, where terrorists love to target a group of people the many people in the world love to unfairly hate.

We thought we should negotiate with terrorists. Terrorists would never want to kill themselves to kill a bunch of Americans. They just wanted to achieve a political goal, such as freeing a top-level militant. In the end maybe a few innocent people would die, but the Swat teams would always capture or kill the terrorists. We trusted that no one would want to kill us in our own land.

We had no clue to this kind of attack.

Was the only thing we learned from the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center is that we need more concrete in front of our buildings? We even faced terrorism from our own, in Oklahoma. Did we learn much then? We learned to be a little more paranoid. We were learning that terrorists were cowards – they always left the bomb to go off after they ran away to safety. But that was not what they were doing in Israel. But did we notice? We only encouraged it.

But on September 11th, our mindset changed. It now was similar to our ally, Israel. We learned the terrorists could no longer be trusted.

I am amazed and proud at how quickly our mindset changed. It changed in about an hour. It only took 3 planes for us to change our minds. On the fourth plane, our national mindset changed. Due to the plane trying to fly below the radar, cell phones on the 4th hijacked plane worked. The civilians on the plane learned the fate of the previous 3 planes: suicide bombs targeting large casualties and major emotional structures. The people on the 4th plane realized that these terrorists were not looking to negotiate. This was in spite of the lies the hijackers told the passengers. And in spite of the big lie that the American people had been living under for so long.

The people on the fourth plane came to a conclusion. Basically the same idea that was having trouble making it to the pilots of the fighters who could have shot down some of the hijacked planes. They realized that the plane could not stay in the hands of the terrorists, even if it meant everyone on the plane had to die. Because everyone on the plane was dead anyhow if the terrorists stayed in control. And if the terrorists stayed in control, many more people and emotional targets could be hit.

So, the people on the 4th plane struck back at the terrorists. Perhaps they were lucky, with one less person in the terrorist cell on their plane. But I think the resolve of the new mindset had taken over. They denied the terrorists a fourth target. They limited the 4th cell’s damage to just one plane. I salute the people on this fourth plane.

In is an interesting bit of irony that the least damaging attack on the September 11th terrorist attack was about the worst level of foreign terrorism that we had suffered until that day. The 1993 attack on the World Trade Center complex took less lives than the bomb that destroyed the Pan American plane over Lockerbie.

But now we knew that we couldn’t negotiate with terrorists on planes. If someone tried to take over a plane, we knew that we had to stop them at any cost. Because we knew our lives were already lost if we didn’t stop them. And the costs would likely be much higher if we didn’t stop them. We now live with the new mindset.

But do we have a full new mindset? We are definitely more paranoid about proven ways of terrorism. We now know that our own planes, filled with our own people, can be turned into flying bombs with just a few brainwashed terrorists. But have we thought about it enough?

We no longer were willing to simply wait for political negotiations and embargos to root out the leaders of terrorists. When the Afghanistan government refused to actively police their country, and turn over the leaders of the terrorists, we moved in with military force and removed the leaders and replaced the government. We refused to allow those who harbor terrorists to sit by and allow it to happen.

Yet Israel is told not to use military force to take care of terrorists. The political powers in the ‘occupied territories’ are not held accountable for rounding up and turning over terrorist leaders. The Israeli government is repeatedly told to negotiate with the existing leader. A leader who has direct connections to terrorist organizations.

Yet we continue the war into a new country: Iraq. Based on spotty assumptions and past histories. Don’t get me wrong; the Iraq government is a proven terrorist. They used illegal chemical weapons on their neighbors. They sent scud missiles into Israel, a non-combatant during the first gulf war. They attempted global eco-terrorism by blowing up oil wells and dumping crude oil into the gulf waters. They threatened to send chemical weapons on our troops and allies. They used oil-for-food money to buy weapons and build up leaders’ bank accounts.

It is interesting to note that the first gulf war likely would have been a nuclear conflict. Except for one thing: Israel had made a surgical bombing strike into Iraq to take out the nearly functional breeder reactor. At that time Israel was condemned dramatically for the strike. Yet because of it, we did not face nuclear bombs during the gulf wars. We have that many less rough nuclear weapons in the world. We should have thanked Israeli for helping make sure that Iraq did not have that method of mass destruction. Let me say it here: Thank You! I think we were wrong for condemning you.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think everything that Israel has done it right. I think it is a shame that they have grabbed land without any compensation. But those of us living in America, in places like Manhattan, Massachusetts, driving Appalachia in our Cherokee SUVs, should be careful of the stones we throw in our glass houses.

I also think it is a shame that Israel lets the world slant the news against them, and rarely speaking up. But maybe they speak up more than we hear. Most of the time, all I see on the news is spokespersons from the ‘occupied territories’ spouting obvious lies. I have to read between the lines in the newspaper to try to get an even feel for the story. I have to read to the end of the article to get some details on what the terrorists did wrong. How can you call hundreds of people throwing stones as a peaceful demonstration? There are things that Israel does wrong, but they are wronged 100 times over by the dirty politics.

But we tell Israel to be nice to the people who grow terrorists. And are growing them younger and younger. In fact, we send over money to help out people in the ‘occupied territories’. Yes, in some areas they live in very poor conditions. And their economy has been dramatically impacted by the fact that Israel doesn’t trust them to come to work in their areas. Would you trust them? So we give them money to improve their governments and living conditions.

So what kind of improvements does the money buy? They buy and smuggle weapons from neighboring countries. They take ambulances and convert them inside to transport weapons and fighters.

And these are they same people who reported to have cheered when the September 11th attacks occurred. There have been some questions as to how much celebrating really happened September 11th. A number seemed to show appropriate sorry afterwards for the cameras. But considering how they cheered when scud missiles fell in Israeli towns, I am inclined to believe that a large number celebrated our losses on 9/11. There were a number of widely believed reports in the Middle East that the September 11th attacks were a fabrication of the Jews. Some reports say the attacks didn’t really happen, but simulated like some say about the moon landings. Or that Jews arranged the attacks, and set it up to blame Islamic groups. One lie attempting to back this up is the false claim that no Jews were killed on 9/11.

The American government is pushing for a separate state for the Palestinians. It seems to me that Iraq owes us some war reparations. I think we should carve off a piece of Iraq and call it Palestine. Okay, even though it has some real value, I doubt that idea will go over well with most people.

But it seems there is a driving force for a Palestinian state in the lands in or adjoining Israel. So far, the leaders there have shown about the same responsibility as those who were previously in charge in Afghanistan. And the America government has publicly stated it will go after terrorism. It will root it out.

Perhaps the problem is that a major terrorist hot spot is within the subjugated people under our ally Israel. If America sent in troops now, we would be attacking Israel.

My question is this: when the Palestinian people get their own country, and they continue terrorism, does America plan to live up to is guarantee of going after terrorism? In other words, when the future country of Palestine continues to encourage terrorism, will the American military do an Afghanistan on them?

I think Israel should move as quickly on giving the Palestinians their own country. Because when there is terrorism from that country, Israel would have more right to expect action. When the leader of the new country fail to act correctly, Israel could expect military action to be a valid response, either from outside or on their own.

I think the limits should be pretty clear. In Afghanistan, American set the limits. If a large terrorist action is taken upon our people, the government harboring the leaders of the plan have one month to pursue and extradite the criminals, or risk full invasion and removal.

When there are terrorist attacks from the future country of Palestine, the leaders have one month to find and turn over the leaders, and to be proactive in discouraging any future terrorism. When they fail to do this, they can expect allied forces to use significant military power to remove the failed leaders and any areas related to terrorism. This area has proven again and again to contain Weapons of Mass Destruction.

We had no clue to this kind of attack.

I think we have some big clues. We need to take the magnifying glass of the media off of what Israel is doing wrong. There are more murders in New York City over drugs than there are casualties in the Middle East. We need to focus it on ourselves, for legitimizing terrorism. We need to focus it on the area of proven, continued terrorism. We need to send a strong, consistent signal that all terrorism is wrong.

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