Photo Credit: screenshot

{Originally posted to the author’s website, The Lid}

Just about everyone remembers where they were when they found out about the attacks on 9/11/01. But many of us, especially many of the leaders of the Democratic Party have forgotten the collective national pain, the reasons we were attacked, and have reverted to the appeasement that made the terrorists strong.

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We now have a President who believes that terrorism must be defeated, a welcome change from the previous eight years as under Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry, the U.S. government returned to the pre-9/11 mindset of treating terrorist acts as crimes, and the terrorists as criminals who can be rehabilitated. President Trump believes that terrorists must be defeated.

It was sixteen years ago but the vivid memory of driving into Manhattan at six a.m. that day (as I did every day) is still fresh in my mind.  For some reason as my car made its way over the bridge leading to the midtown tunnel, I gazed downtown at the two towers of the World Trade Center thinking that it was a particularly beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky. Little did I know that in just a few hours later,  that view of the towers would be replaced by an impenetrable black cloud, and America —indeed the entire world, would be changed forever.

About three hours after leaving the house sitting in my office at Nickelodeon (I was the publisher of Nickelodeon Magazine), working on the 2002 projections for management, I received an AOL IM from my brother Paul, “Hey Jeff some idiot just flew a plane into one of the trade center towers.”

That was in the days before one could watch TV on a computer. However, an advantage of working for a cable TV network was the television hooked up to Time Warner Cable in my office.

After reading Paul’s IM I quickly grabbed the remote and turned on MSNBC (it was a real news network back then). As soon the picture cleared, the TV showed a plane flying into one of the Trade Center towers. My immediate thought was they were showing an instant replay of what my brother messaged me about, but that assumption was wrong— it was a live broadcast of the second tower being hit. Whether we liked it or not America was under attack. At least most of the people in the towers would be okay. It wasn’t like the towers would fall down or anything like that. Obviously, that was wrong. Less than an hour after being hit by the second airplane the South Tower collapsed. And when the North Tower followed suit a half hour later, the people in my team who were watching in my office initially believed it was a replay. Sadly that was incorrect.

At least most of the people in the towers would be okay. It wasn’t like the towers would fall down or anything like that. Obviously, that was wrong. Less than an hour after being hit by the second airplane the South Tower collapsed. And when the North Tower followed suit a half hour later, the people in my team who were watching in my office initially believed it was a replay. Sadly that was incorrect.

My team crowded into my office and watched in horror as victims jumped off the burning tower to their deaths rather than burn to death in their offices.  They saw the smoldering Pentagon building, and finally each tower collapse. They heard the rumors of a fourth plane that was shot down over Pennsylvania.  And TV anchors started talking about possible anthrax attacks. Everybody watching the horror had the same thought, “This couldn’t happen—didn’t those terrorists know this was the United States of America?”

But it was happening—and it was happening only about a mile and a half from where I sat. They attacked downtown Manhattan, near Wall Street, the epicenter of the powerful American economy.  Then they attacked the Pentagon, home of the most powerful military on Earth.  And only because of the bravery of passengers on a fourth plane the U.S. Capital was saved. The passengers heard what was going on and attacked the terrorists who had taken control of their flight. Under attack, the terrorists purposely crashed their plane killing everyone aboard.

At twelve noon there was an announcement the East River crossings were once again open allowing people (like me) to travel back to Long Island.

I called my wife to tell her I was coming home, she begged me to stay put,  fearing another attack. But I had to get home and see my family.  I raced for the garage and began what usually was a 40-mile, 90-minute drive home, on that day it took way over four hours.

Leaving the building which was less than two miles from the now smoldering ruins of the towers one could taste the air. Breathing felt strange. The air had a texture— feeling like particles of glass or sand were mixed in with the oxygen. The air tasted almost like burning rubber.

Manhattan had always seemed larger than life, but on that day it seemed small and vulnerable. It wasn’t just Manhattan– all of a sudden the United States of America, the most powerful nation on Earth, the shining city upon a hill, seemed vulnerable.

As my car slowly moved its way toward the 59th Street bridge Manhattan looked like a scene from a bad “Godzilla” movie…crowds of shocked people were walking across the bridge on foot trying to get off the now tiny island of Manhattan as soon as possible. According to the news, that scene was duplicated on the other NYC bridges.

But this was not “Chiller Theater” it was unbelievably real.  Looking out the car window toward downtown Manhattan, the beautiful skyline and cloudless sky noticeable during the drive to work earlier that day was replaced by an impenetrable curtain of black over the East River. The aroma of the invigorating autumn air was replaced by the noxious burning smell seeping into my car through the air vents.

Understandably millions of people in the big apple were trying to use their cell phones at the same time, leading to overwhelmed cell towers and non-existent service. Three hours into the drive I finally reached my now frantic wife to tell her I was out of Manhattan and perfectly fine.

My car made it out of the borough of Queens and into Nassau County and onto the Long Island Expressway, sometimes known as the world’s largest parking lot…but it wasn’t a parking lot on September 11th. The traffic wasn’t just light; it was eerily non-existent (especially on the west bound lanes which lead back into the city). Every single westbound exit ramp had a Nassau County police car were blocking the way.

The message the police cars were sending was clear, people were free to leave New York City but no one was getting back into Manhattan until the authorities knew for sure, this attack on the continental US was over.

Finally reaching home, the rest of the day was spent watching the first reports of heroism and the initial serendipitous reports of people who were delayed from being at their offices in the towers on time—saving their lives.

At 7:45 pm it was time to leave the house again and go Synagogue for the evening minyan. Usually, there was a group of 15-20 people at evening prayers, but this day was different. People felt the need to talk to their creator.

People began to filter into the sanctuary in groups. Congregants whose Synagogue appearances were usually limited to the three days of the High Holy days showed up. Each one (including me) had a dull shocked look on their face, as they slowly walking into the sanctuary. The normal minyan crowd of less than two dozen expanded to more than three hundred people, desperate to appeal to God for the safety of their friends and family whose fates were still unknown, and for the success of their country in the war they knew would follow.

This scene was duplicated in houses of God, for many faiths from ‘sea to shining sea.”

September 11 was not the first terrorist attack against the United States, it was foreshadowed by the first Trade Center bombing and the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen to name a few. Those attacks came after years of worldwide appeasement of terror in other areas of the world, especially in Israel. But instead of heeding those warnings, the Western world’s actions toward terrorists such as Yasser Arafat was to demand they be rewarded with concessions. Those demands taught radical Islamists that terrorism was a legitimate form of political expression.

It was only after 9/11/01 this country realized that there was a worldwide network of people willing to kill themselves to bring down our way of life. Only after 9/11/01 did we stop searching for “criminals” and begin a war against Islamist terrorists, at least until the 2006 midterm elections, when the Democratic Party was rewarded for treating the war on terror as a political issue with large gains in Congress.  It was not just the Democrats however, President Bush #43 opened the door to the criticism by launching a second war, this time into Iraq which at first had the support of both parties.  But after ousting the tyrant Saddam Hussein, the war was mismanaged by the president, and it took a surge operation which finally provided the necessary manpower and tools for our brave heroes to finally win this war (at least until the next president decided to remove the troops, and pull defeat out of the jaws of victory and allow the creation of ISIS).

Despite what the liberals say, we are fighting a war against Islamists who use terrorism in their efforts, to destroy the West— our freedoms and lifestyle. Theirs is people who want to use violence to establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate. Theirs is a very patient ideology that will wait centuries if necessary to kill the evil “great Satan” also known as the United States. That’s one of their advantages, they are very patient– we are a culture who demands immediate gratification, instant victory.

On 9/11/12 when a terrorist attacked our mission in Benghazi, Libya we were told it wasn’t terror. And to prove their point, Obama and Clinton made up a story that it was just a mob angry rioting because of a lousy video on Youtube. It was almost as if they were blaming America for the attack.  When the Boston Marathon was attacked we called it terror but “lone wolf” type terror, instead of attacking the animals who radicalized the two murderers. The Orlando terrorist attack was also called our fault, this time for not canceling the Second Amendment.

Over 2,500 years ago, in his book “Master Sun’s Rules of Warfare,” (also known as “The Art of War.”) Sun Tzu wrote:

Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy, but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril.”

What Sun Tzu was telling us is that unless we really understand who and why we are fighting, we are doomed to fail, even if we have the greatest military in the world. They have the motivation to fight and win, our leaders’ goal is to get everyone to “play nice.”

As written in the book “BANNED: How Facebook Enables Militant Islamic Jihad” by Joe Newby and Adina Kutnicki:

…given two antagonists—one a moral relativist, the other a moral absolutist, then, all other things being equal, the absolutist is more likely to persevere and win in any protracted conflict. It is doubtful that the Allied Powers in the Second World War would have conquered Nazi Germany had they not believed that Nazism is evil, and that freedom or liberal democracy is worth fighting and dying for.

This is precisely the psychological state of affairs underlying or affecting the conflict between Islam and the United States— and this conflict began before 9/11. Muslims believe in the absolute righteousness of their cause, the cause of Islam, and that liberal democracy is evil. This moral disparity or asymmetry is precisely why the more powerful United States, whose decision makers have been influenced and emasculated by multicultural relativism, is retreating from the Middle East, just as it retreated from Communist-led North Vietnam, a tenth-rate military power. But mark this well: as in the 1960s,

The terrorists hate everything about us…they believe via their zealotry and disregard for human life they will save the world for their children (at least the children that don’t blow themselves up).

Democratic party leaders refuse to believe we are in a war against radical Islam. Rather than fight terrorists and the disgusting philosophy of political Islam,  our leaders say “try not to insult them, we are worried that our words or actions might make them angry.”

For God’s sake, what has being nice to terrorist done to make them stop.

Negotiation is not possible with these animals…the only way to protect our children’s future is to rally this country to crush the people who want us destroyed.   And for those of you who are upset at my description of these terrorists as animals–you are right and I apologize. They are lower than animals. These Islamists send their children out to blow themselves up–-even animals try to protect their children.

Far too many people have forgotten the taste of the air, the curtain of black smoke, the scenes of horror, acts of bravery–everything associated with that horrible day. Thankfully in November 2016, we elected a President who remembers. years after that horrible Tuesday morning, for too many the answer to Darryl Worley’s epic song “Have You Forgotten?” is yes (the song is embedded at the bottom of this post).

Sixteen years after that horrible 9/11/01 Tuesday morning, for too many, the answer to Darryl Worley’s epic song “Have You Forgotten?” is yes (the song is embedded at the bottom of this post).

 

Lord who grants salvation to kings and dominion to rulers, Whose kingdom is a kingdom spanning the entire universe and all eternities; Who places a road in the sea and a path in the mighty waters – may you bless the President, the Vice President, and all the constituted officers of government of this land. May they execute their responsibilities with intelligence, honor, compassion and love for the constitution wonderfully crafted by our founding fathers. May you grant them the understanding that the threat of terrorism still exists, and the knowledge of how to eradicate it from the world you created. May you always bless these United States and provide our leaders with the comprehension of your role in making this republic the land of the free and the home of the brave.

 

 

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