On September 11, 2001, my wife and I were newly arrived in Whitefish, Montana, following my retirement. I made coffee and an English muffin with peanut butter and sat down to watch the morning news while gazing out on Whitefish Lake – one of the most serene settings in the world. I turned on the television and watched, mouth agape, the reruns of a large jet slamming into the North Tower of the World Trade Center and listened as stunned reporters tried to make sense of what had just happened. And before they could gather their wits, a second large jet plunged into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Within minutes a third jet crashed into the Pentagon. And then a fourth plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. In all nearly three thousand people were killed. Hundreds have died since due to injuries sustained and poisons breathed in the collapse of the Towers.
Within hours, authorities had determined that all four incidents were caused by teams of Islamic terrorists who hi-jacked the planes for the purpose of causing death, destruction and panic by crashing them into buildings representing the economic power and the leadership of America. Only the fourth team failed in their mission when a group of passengers, knowing full well that they were going to die, rushed the terrorists and removed their ability to fly the plan into the White House.
Standing at the ruins of the Pentagon shortly thereafter, President George W. Bush promised that as a nation “we would never forget.” Shortly thereafter, standing in the rubble of the Twin Towers, Mr. Bush noted that he could hear the sorrow and anger of the crowd, that the world could hear them and that soon the terrorist would hear them. Politicians, left and right, solemnly pledged likewise that “we would never forget.”
Now, twenty-one years later, we have in large part forgotten. Not the brave men and women who ran towards the danger to rescue and retrieve as many survivors in the buildings as they could – an army of advocates and charities have arisen to remind people of the heroism of these first responders. But even there, the advocates and charities have broadened their reach to first responders from throughout the country as well as the brave men and women who have sacrificed in defense of our nation – and rightly so. All gave some, while some gave all.
No, what seems to be fading from our collective memories is the act itself – the continuing assault on America by Islamic terrorists. First it was former President Barack Obama who refused during the entirety of his presidency to acknowledge “Islamic terrorism.” He followed that by working diligently to empty the prisons at Guantanamo Bay returning many of the terrorists to their countries of origin only to see them reappear in battles in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, the Sudan, and even the Palestinian territories. He was only thwarted in releasing the worst of the worst by host countries refusing to accept them and by Congress denying funds to continue the effort. By the end of Mr. Obama’s term he and the progressive members of the Democrat Party had so thoroughly erased reference to Islamic terrorists that one was hard pressed to remember that a branch of the Islamic religion had been radicalized by twisted mullahs and imams so as to blame the Western world in general and America in particular for the fact that their countries remained firmly mired in the 12th Century (or earlier) while the rest of the world evolved, improved and prospered. And by improved I mean all aspects of life: economic, commercial, scientific innovation, communications, agricultural, educational, and everything else and, most importantly that it improved across gender, racial, and religious boundaries.
That radicalization remains today and it is what continues to propel the savagery of those who have embraced the radicalization of Islamic thought. It is what is the underlying basis for the everyday attacks by Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization movement against Israel under the false guise that Israel occupies Palestinian lands – a canard as deep and false as Adolph Hitler’s blaming the Jews for Germany’s economic woes. And elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa these animals continue to kill, murder, maim, rape, pillage and destroy – tribe against tribe, Islamic sect against Islamic sect, ancient hatreds fanned by the “religious” leaders to justify their own bloodlust.
Neither Mr. Obama, nor his adoring press, nor his compatriots on the liberal/progressive wing of the Democrat Party fooled President Donald Trump however. He knew a vicious animal when he saw one and he called out the continuation of Islamic terrorism in no uncertain terms. He also delivered a strong message early in his presidency when he dropped the massive MOAB fuel bomb in the mountain passes between Afghanistan and Pakistan in response to the increasing number of strikes by Islamic terrorists against American forces in Afghanistan. It was reminiscent of a scene in The Untouchables:
“They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.”
But it delivered a strong warning that Mr. Trump will utilize overwhelming force in response to any provocation. It was a far cry from the mewing advice from the lily-sniffing Elis of the State Department that cautioned proportional and minimal responses. He did it again when he sent the Special Forces after Abu Bakur al Bahgdadi the vicious psychopath who led ISIS on its murderous rampage across the Middle East during the latter days of Mr. Obama’s “go-soft-on-Islamic-terrorism” policies. And he did it again in his waning days in office when he released the drones on Qasem Suleiman, the Iranian general and head of the Quds Forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who was responsible for most of the Iranian sponsored and funded terrorism in the Palestinian Territories, Syria, Iraq, and other Middle East nations. Terrorism begets force – overwhelming force, force that hits the generals as well as the cave dwellers.
And then came current President Joe Biden – Mr. Obama’s acolyte. The useful fool for the liberal/progressive wing of the Democrat Party. The titular leader for the resurgent Obama lieutenants. And the man who will read anything they put on his teleprompter. He promptly entered into negotiations with the terrorist regime of Iran to reinstitute the one-sided nuclear accords which previously lined the pockets of the Iranian Islamic regime and prompted increased funding for terrorism across the world. And he did it by promising them even more riches in return for – well for nothing. They already have the materials and the technology for a nuclear weapon as well as the delivery systems to reach Israel and much of Europe, but not yet America.
In addition Mr. Biden threw open our Southern border and we have had incident after incident where known Islamic terrorists have crossed with the real migrants of Mexico and Central America. And he has begun anew the release of terrorists from Guantanamo. It’s as if Mr. Obama never left office. And it sends anew the signal that we are not serious about the dangers of Islamic terrorism. How this continues to escape the understanding of Messrs. Obama and Biden and the remainder of the liberal/progressive wing of the Democrat Party is beyond me.
This is not over. This will happen again – sooner rather than later. It will happen again because we have become complacent again. Complacent because our leaders lack the will to solve the problem or, at the very least, clearly enunciate a policy of asymmetric retaliation carried out on their soil, and against their leaders and acolytes. Messrs. Obama and Biden and the remainder of the liberal/progressive wing of the Democrat Party would rather distract than confront – hoping that they will not be blamed for the next attack, the next mass wave, the next September 11th.