What can I say? It’s been a month now since the attack on the World Trade Center, and I’m still mad as hell. I decided to stuff this into IMHO instead of The Pit or Great Debates because, while it might invite criticism of the kind commonly associated with those two forums, it is first and foremost My Humble Opinion.
Here’s what I can say:
It’s not enough to say that the destruction of the World Trade Center was the “deadliest act of terrorism on US soil.” No, it goes much deeper than that. With the exception of the mass genocide perpetrated by the Nazis during World War II, I will maintain that this is the single most horrendous undertaking in recorded history. This was the action of thoughtless barbarians who aim to attack what I consider the greatest hope for the future of mankind.
With the exception of the earliest claims of what we can call Civilization, the Middle East has contributed little to further the advance of the human race. Sure, they came up with writing, mathematics, and agriculture, but if you look at the advances in technology, economics, and medicine since then, the most important ones have been the product of either European or American ingenuity.
The United States is the most powerful country in the world. It may sound like jingoism to some, but I dare say not even the likes of the UK, Japan, or Germany are going to be responsible for the greater achievements that lie ahead. It’s going to be us, and we need to act now to defend not only our future, but the future of all other civilized nations on the planet.
Bush is doing the right thing. He is teaching the Taliban that they can not harbour or support the barbarian Al Qaeda without feeling the vengeful wrath of those they have hurt. He is teaching the ignorant Afghans that the United States holds the supreme power in this world, and that even without resorting to atomic force, we can reduce any nation, no matter how fanatical, to shambles. He is also teaching the Arab world that we know right from wrong - he feeds the oppressed with one hand as he crushes the tyrants with the other.
That’s better than what I had come up with. I would have been satisfied with the absolute destruction of the Afghan nation, but I am a little hot tempered.
Watching the strong show of support from such countries as Germany, Great Britain, and Australia, I think it’s pretty easy to figure out who’s willing to soar into the 21st century with us, and who’s going to have to be dragged from the Dark Ages, kicking and screaming all the way.
In Indonesia, Muslims are demanding their government sever diplomatic ties with the US. Fine. I’ll have my dress shirts made in Bangladesh and India, and when you’re sick and starving because you cut off the hand that feeds you, we’ll still be here, and I’m sure we’ll have no problem shipping you tons of food and medicine you don’t deserve.
I’ve heard from friends who have relatives over there that in Saudi Arabia and Palestine, the TV replays the World Trade Center collapse on an almost daily basis, and the locals cheer like they are watching their favourite team win the Superbowl. For them, I can only say that if it weren’t for the oil they were fortunate enough to be sitting on, their countries would provide the world nothing of value - nothing at all! Don’t think that you can applaud the actions of those who should be the most wanted men in the world and remain allies, friends, or customers… or anything but the most hated of foes.
Both here in the US and abroad, there are those who call for a peaceful solution through negotation. To them, the best I can say is “get real.” The moment those planes hit their targets, if not days before, the men responsible for these atrocities were cowering in their deepest darkest hiding places, knowing that the hunt would be joined on September 12th.
There can be no reasoning with people who strike out in cowardly suicide attacks, hiding facelessly behind an illegitimate government that oppresses its own people so deeply that they are kept ignorant of even the internationally know (despised?) actions of their own countrymen (even if, technically, bin Laden is Saudi and not Afghani).
I have no doubt that the United States will defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and that bin Laden - or his corpse - will be dumped out in front of the world to be held accountable for what he has done. When that day comes, my hope is that the ignorant savages of our world will finally realize that prosperity is not based in the misguiding words of fundamentalist clerics or ceaseless war with the “infidels,” but hard work, education, and above all, democracy.