Thursday, September 11, 2003

Two Years after the attacks of September 11, it is important to continue to pray for the those who were lost and those who are in the thick of the War started on that fateful day. We must reflect on our personal feelings of that tragedy and understand the nature of the fight we are currently engaged in.

In the Days following September 11th, the most important thing the Nation needed was defiance and steadfast resolve in the face of that horrible tragedy. Now, two years later, the nation needs patience and understanding of the significance of that infamous day.

What has been accomplished in these two short years is nothing short of remarkable. First, we have disrupted our primary attacker's base of operation, that being Afghanistan and the Taliban. We have transformed Afghanistan from a 3rd world haven of evil to a fledgling democracy, one that has far to travel in its overall journey to freedom and liberty but much less of one than it did just two years ago when it was a model of oppression and terror. Al Qaida no longer has a safe haven it can look to for safety and freedom from the prying eyes of those of whom they seek to destroy. They are now resigned to hiding in caves, no longer having the ability to operate in the open as they once did. Furthermore, the leadership of Al Qaida, and those who wish to follow them, have the ever present thought that one wrong move and they could find themselves in the cross hairs of a hellfire missile. Finally, those who wish to support Al Qaida, have the ever-present specter of the potential of ending up in jail and loosing all their worldly assets, but hey what do they need worldly possessions for anyway, they get those 72 virgins right?

Next, one of the charter members of the Axis of Evil is no more and that country is moving towards a government based on freedom and democracy. Make no mistake about it, Iraq and the former regime of Saddam Hussein, was Evil. This is shown in the countless mass graves uncovered, filled not by American bombs or UN sanctions, but by the brutality and oppressive actions of Saddam. In addition, some evidence of his WMD program has been released, but the true evidence, the smoking gun, is soon to come. Saddam was not a benevolent individual attacked by the US, but rather an evil dictator who, given the opportunity, would like nothing more than to see the US destroyed and because of which suffered the very fate he wished upon us.

Many myopic policy makers have questioned how the Iraq campaign fits into the war on Al Qaida, that question, in and of itself, is misguided. First off, let us remember what President Bush called for, A War on Terror. There were no limitations to just Al Qaida, but the qualifier "we will make no distinctions between those terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them." The Secretary of State later defined the terror organizations in question as those with global reach. That being said, it is important to note that an Iraqi intelligence officer, Abid Al-Karim Muhamed Aswod, assigned to the Iraq embassy in Pakistan, was responsible for the coordination of activities between Iraq and Osama bin Laden. There were many meetings between the two organizations, and at best a loose agreement of ideas and goals between the two groups. Furthermore, certain groups, loyal if not connected to Al Qaida were found to be operating in Iraq prior to our attack. Finally, we must understand that this is a War on Terror, and Iraq, situated between the three largest supporters of Global Terror, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia, is a beachhead in this new war and a vital strategic base of operations.

September 11 was not the opening volley in the current war we are engaged in, but the most costly and noticeable one that resigned this nation to action. We must not forget the first attack on the WTC, or the attack on the USS Cole, or the attack on the two American embassies and we certainly should heed the lessons of inaction in response to those past attacks and understand that weakness and inaction only emboldens our enemies and encourages them to carry out larger and larger attacks. We must understand that regimes and the enemies of freedom and democracy can not be vanquished overnight, nor can democracies and free nations based on Liberty and equality be built in a time period suitable to fit the 24 hour news cycle. We must understand the fight we joined on September 11th is the first Great War of the 21st century. Many in my generation have not lived through such a great endeavor and many that have lived through the great wars of the 20th century are lulled to sleep by the differing nature of World War Three. Make no mistake about it, we are involved in a great World War begun on September 11. The Nature of the fight has changed, but the stakes are just as high. We can not falter, we can not fail, and we can not relinquish the initiative. The fight has been joined, and victory is the only acceptable outcome, for if we fail, or if we disengage, the forces of evil and oppression will have won.

We must continue to roll, and defeat those who wish to destroy us and all we stand for. We may not wish this great task be placed upon our country, nor we may not want the sacrifices, both past and future, or the burdens we face in the coming battles, but divine providence has place us in the unique position as the one chosen to fight this battle, and like it or not, these are our tasks to perform. For if we deny our duties, many will suffer, many will die, and the forces of Evil will gain the initiative as a result of our lack of resolve.