Thirteen years ago today the United States was attacked. More than 3,000 people lost their lives because a radical group of monsters saw a giant sleeping and took advantage of it. It could easily happen again.
The mood in the pre-9/11 world was one of contentment and ignorance. The United States was the only remaining superpower, and we felt invincible. But human beings are not invincible, a lesson we learned that horrible day.
We’d turned away from the rest of the world after the fall of the Soviet Union, thinking the threats to our security were crushed under the crumbled Berlin Wall. We were wrong.
We’ve returned to that pre-9/11 mentality of willful ignorance to world affairs and threats from abroad. But this time is different; this time it’s purposeful.
Whereas Presidents Clinton and Bush should have been more aware of, but couldn’t fathom the growing threat from radical Islam, President Obama is fully aware of it and doesn’t care.
President Obama ran in 2008 as a candidate who thought his mere existence would be enough to appease people who want to kill Americans because we exist. He was going to “restore America’s image overseas” by…giving a few speeches. He actually thought America’s involvement in foreign affairs was the reason we were attacked on 9/11.
But al Qaeda didn’t want to send a message to “back off” on 9/11. It saw an opportunity. Our principle adversary dissolved, Presidents Clinton and Bush focused on domestic policy, paying only cursory attention to the rest of the world.
We were complacent, and that was foolish. But it was somewhat understandable. The Cold War – a 40-year geopolitical project – had just ended. Most Americans have never known the world without the Cold War.
It’s different now. President Obama had the benefit of hindsight when he took office in 2009 and ignored it.
Obama wanted to “fundamentally transform” America, not defend it. He seemed to think he could stave off our very real enemies by ignoring them, as if radical Islamic terrorists would hear they were no longer going to be targets because the president was going to overhaul the health care system. He couldn’t have been more wrong if he’d tried.
The rest of the world needs leadership, to one degree or another. No other nation has the moral authority, let alone the military and diplomatic strength, to hold evil actors in check.
Evil exists in the world not because of American foreign policy; it exists in relative check because of America’s foreign policy. Or at least it did.
There are evil people on the planet who seek to harm, rape, enslave and kill people who do not adhere to their worldview and religious sect. Disengagement doesn’t take the United States off their radar; it gives them time to plan.
You can’t rationalize with these evil people who embrace death. Osama bin Laden famously said, “We love death. The U.S. loves life. That’s the big difference between us.” Obama seems to think he can talk them into loving life too, but it’s impossible.
They firmly believe paradise awaits them upon their death, and by killing as many people as possible, they are doing the bidding of the gatekeeper of that paradise. Rational thought is a rock against a brick wall when it comes to that mentality.
Evil is not rational – it will never be convinced it is wrong. It can only learn things the hard way. Unfortunately, people who expect paradise and find Hell can’t return to share their new knowledge.
When decisiveness is needed, Barack Obama waits. When a strategy is required, Barack Obama delivers a speech. When leadership is needed, Barack Obama golfs.
The lessons of Sept. 11, 2001, are not lost on Barack Obama. But they’re unimportant. The lip service he pays to the threats facing this country are hollow words designed to placate. He has not shifted any of his focus away from his domestic agenda.
As we mark the 13th anniversary of America’s darkest day, we can’t lose sight of the threats the world still, and will always, present. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty…even if the man currently holding the checkbook isn’t interested.