Monday, September 11, 2006

Viewpoint: September 11th Remembered

This article appeared in the Tuesday, September 12th, 2006, edition of The Marquette Tribune. Words in bold are what was cut-out of the final version of the student editorial in order to fulfill the newspaper’s five-hundred word-limit.

The fifth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks has come upon us and I feel I must be frank in my assessment of the war against terrorism. We are safe, safer then we were on 9/11, but only in specific areas and overall we are not nearly as safe as we could or should be.

The Twin Towers need to be rebuilt; I can not emphasize this enough. This should have been a top priority following 9/11 but was deplorably neglected. The fact that we have gone five years without having done a single thing with Ground Zero is a humiliation for this country. As it is it serves only as a symbol of encouragement to Osama Bin Laden and his Islamic fascist followers.

Another key step would be to redesign the Flight 93 memorial entitled the 'Crescent of Embrace' so that it honors the actual heroes of that doomed flight and not the terrorists. The crescent of course is a prominent symbol of Islam, especially so when it is pointing in the direction of Mecca as designs of the memorial have indicated, and would embolden al-Qaeda.

A foiled plot this past August to blow up British airliners in route to the United States in midair using liquid explosives is a standing reminder that we are no safer in the air then we were before 9/11. As old ladies are felt up by airport security and experts propose new passenger screening measures such as psychological (screening measures like psychological (yes, let’s encourage, with the ACLU’s backing of course, the terrorists to plead insanity) or even, dare we think it, racial profiling, we are distracted from the clear and obvious solution to airport security. What needs to be implemented is religious profiling which specifically targets those of Islamic faith, particularly young males under the age of thirty who are most likely to carry out terrorist attacks.

The Republicans in Congress in the two years since garnering majority control of both houses have done nothing in terms of advancing national security, or much else for that matter. The Democrats are no better, if not worse. They’ve lambasted nearly every single security measure this administration has proposed while at the same time refusing to offer alternative solutions which weren’t a step backward in terms of defense. Enough is enough. It is time for the Republicans to grow a spine and for the Democrats to either put up or shut up.

And Israel, like the U.S. in the aftermath of Vietnam, has learned a valuable lesson – when you let the media and the politicians fight the war for you, you are going to lose. We can only hope they will take it closer to heart and not become the paper tiger the United States has so often shown itself to be. Hezbollah survived and what's more is that they have grown more powerful then ever before because they stood up to Israel and won. Now Israel, faced with their own Vietnam, is no longer the symbol of intimidation in the Middle East at a time in history when we need them to be, as nuclear talks commence with Iran, making it much more difficult to resolve the conflict. Israel must get its act together if it is to survive at a democracy in the Middle East.

We need to stop beating ourselves up every time terrorists hold themselves up in mosques because we’re afraid that if we bomb it we’d offend the Muslim community. I don’t remember the Christian community chastising the Allied Powers for bombing Christian churches to liberate Europe from the Nazis in WWII. Then again Christians during that time didn’t allow little girls to be burned alive in a blazing school building on the basis that they weren’t wearing the hijab either. That is the ‘religion of peace’. Our enemies are waging a PR war and we must fight back, both aboard and at home. We can’t simply stand idly by while the media becomes the tool of those who seek to destroy us and all we stand for.