Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Maybe We Need Another 9/11

Before I begin, the title of this post comes from something I heard at the end of a show about 9/11 on Sunday night. And while I'm going to talk about why we need it to happen, I want to be absolutely clear: I do NOT want this country attacked by terrorists EVER again.

However, our country is a master at forgetting the past, then mindlessly repeating it.

After we fought the War to End All Wars (we wish), WWI, we dismantled our military and went pretty isolationist. And a little over twenty years later, we were scrambling back to Europe to fight the Germans again. And since WWII, we've even lost our short-term memory. Our country utterly lacks any resolve, any sense of history, any ability to think beyond the next lobotomy-inducing episode of American Idol (or American Idle, whichever you prefer) to consider things.

We have been fighting an enemy with no clear nationality, an absolute fanaticism, and a resolve that lasts a lifetime for 6 1/2 years. They have been moving against us for closer to two decades, from many overseas attacks, to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. But they were an overseas nuisance we occasionally dealt with whenever they crawled out of their caves (where they kept their favorite goats) to start some shit. It wasn't until they racked up almost 3000 dead in one morning that Tuesday in September that we woke up to the threat.

Since that day, we passed several war measures to fight the enemy (which are now being condemned insanely), we launched attacks in places where our enemies could be found (except Pakistan and Iran and every other place the terrorists are), and dealt with many enemies who seek our destruction (and we'll be letting them all out in 2009, no matter who is elected). In addition, we are bogged down in a country with a porous border loaded with Al Qaeda (Pakistan) and finally making headway in Iraq, despite having languished there for a while after the reasons we went in changed.

In other words, we've forgotten why we started fighting in the first place. From antiwar fanatics trying to drag back the incivility of the 60's (like the braindead Code Pinkos) to the usual blathering suspects (I wish Ted Kennedy a speedy recovery so I can insert my usual crack about him in here) to naive presidential candidates (Damn, can't make a McCain shot work, guess Obama gets to do the job here) we are again fracturing and fighting each other when there are so many terrorists left to shoot dead.

This is why we need another horrific attack on this country. We forget too quickly why we fight and why we must be unified in this. After December 7, 1941, our resolve was galvanized to such an extent that we weathered a draft, hardships at home, and a gruesome body count overseas for 3 1/2 years of fighting, some of which saw great setbacks. But we persevered and won. But now, with the distractions of party politics, a media structure that deals in bad news rather than hard news, and the utter inability of a populace to give a glow-in-the-dark rat's left nutsack about anything other than their own self interest, we are headed into another election where we will vote with something other than our heads, except in cases where those heads are lodged firmly in a particular orifice.

The 9/11 report said that the attack occurred because of a "lack of imagination". Well, we no longer have to imagine. Will the next 9/11 report say the cause of the attack was a lack of memory, or a lack of resolve?


Dave Miller said...

Patrick, it is true that it seems as if we have lost our will. But that, I believe can be summed up in one word, leadership.

FDR called on America to sacrifice, pull together, and fight to overcome an enemy that was openly changing and doing evil in the world.

America was with Bush in Afghanistan. The world was with America in Afghanistan. Even Iran offered help, which we spurned.

But Bush was never able, or chose not to make the case that all of America must sacrifice, not just the great military that we have.

When we went into WWII, FDR and our gov't forced us to make do with less. He said we needed the raw materials for the war effort. Taxes were raised to pay for the effort. Even gas was rationed.

Yet America endured because our leaders had made the case to the people that the sacrifices we made would be short lived, and that soon the world would be a better place.

Contrast that with our current Admin. We were told to live our lives, spend money to keep the economy humming, and pray for our soldiers.

What sacrifice was the average person asked to make? A few daily moments of prayer for our soldiers?

Leadership. Throughout WWII, we made tactical mistakes, but the mission always remained constant. Defeat the Germans. Defeat the Japanese.

In our incursion into Iraq, we have seen those tactical mistakes come up, which you will always see in the "haze of battle." But we have also seen the mission change. Or at least what most people perceive as the mission changed.

Saddam is gone. There are no WMD's in Iraq to threaten us. Even McCain says Al Qaeda has been defeated in Iraq. So why are we still there?

America has not lost her will. Her people have grown tired of a President who has chose to wage a war against an enemy, Iraq, that never attacked America, when we had that enemy totally contained and isolated in the world.

Toad734 said...

The problem is, if we get attacked agian, lets say by Al-Qaeda in Pakistan, Bush will invade Nigeria. So you are right, we forgot why we were fighting in the first place and took our eye off the ball in Iraq.

This is why you can't vote for a Republican in November

Dave Miller said...

Toad, to tar an entire party because of one, or even hundreds, of screwballs is just wrong.

Since the Dems have just as many screwballs, what do we have left?

We are not in the current mess as a result of one party. It took a concerted effort on both parties to get us here.

That is what the partisans do not get. We got here together. We will need to find a solution together.

Patrick M said...

Dave: America has lost their will. And much of that falls on the Bush administration for failing to produce the evidence their original case rested on, for failing to fix the problems as the mission evolved (although they did after several years), and for failing to inspire and lead the country.

The big question I have is: Will the next president do any better?

Toad: What Dave said.

Shaw Kenawe said...

The big question I have is: Will the next president do any better?


I can imagine Obama will do worse than what Bush's administration has done, so therefore, his administration will do better.

Toad734 said...

Ya but the Republicans were in control of both the House and the Senate when Iraq was voted on. So yes, several hundred, even thousands of people, including the Republican base, were all about this war. Don't act like there were an "elite" few who thought Iraq was a good idea but no one was really behind it.

Patrick M said...

I can imagine Obama will do worse than what Bush's administration has done...

Shaw: So can I. (Don't you hate typos?) I can't say for certain if Obama will do better, but his statements lead me to believe otherwise.

Toad: The majority was behind the administration on Iraq. Somehow you manage to twist everything 180 so you can try to score points.

Toad734 said...

So I wasn't generalizing??

Dee said...

Darryl Worley's beautiful song, "Have you forgotten?" captures this sentiment exactly. It was less than 2 years after 9/11 when he wrote that song, its sad how people have forgotten way too quickly what we are up against.