Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years

It seems like just the other day when my wife called me at work and told me to turn on a radio, that an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center. It does not feel like 5 years had passed since that nation changing day. But when you think about it, a lot has happened during those short 5 years.

The United States has been involved in not just one, but two significant wars overseas. Our military has done an outstanding job in record time. The battle for territory in both countries went quickly with very few casualties. The occupations are going better than reported by the media, but still not as well as hoped. In Iraq enemy combatants are coming from all over the Middle East to fight and attempt to disrupt the new Iraqi government, military and police. I never thought that this would be a quick war, but it appears that many in government did, at least they are saying they did.

Enough time has passed that our politicians have forgotten the importance of pulling together as a nation and fighting terrorism with one voice and one goal. Partisan politics has gotten as ugly as I have ever seen it. Nothing this administration does is right, the Democrats hinder the presidents efforts at every opportunity. Americans look at these actions on the hill with a touch of disgust and resignation to politics as usual. The enemy, be they terrorist or insurgents, look at this as a weakness that they can capitalize upon. They know that if they create a little bit more havoc, kill a few more Americans, there is a faction in our government that will use this news to try and divide our country further. The enemy understands the meaning of the strategy "Divide and Conquer". The enemy makes good use of our media to promote divisiveness here in the United States.

We have had a very public and partisan 9/11 commission convene to determine how this happened and how to prevent an act such as this from happening in the future. For my money, the commission was a waste of time and money. It did come up with a few good ideas for increasing security, but most of what they came up with was already in the works.

The Patriot Act was passed and reached the end of it's first sunset period. I am torn on this act, there are parts that are necessary, and there are parts that are a violation of the freedoms that we Americans hold dear to our hearts. The Patriot Act does need some cropping and tweaking to make it something that will work for Americans.

Since 9/11 five new grand babies have been added to our family to make a total of six. What lies ahead for these children? Are they going to grow up in a world where radical Islam spreads throughout Europe and suicide bombers walk the malls of America? I do fear for the future of my grandchildren. I fear that they will grow up in an ever more repressive environment of stronger and more invasive security requirements. I fear that may live to see a shooting war in the United States. I fear that they may watch the United States decline until it is not much different than a third world country due to unimpeded illegal immigration, and a majority of "New Americans" not being willing to assimilate into our culture.

Which leads me to what we have not done in the last five years:

We have not secured our borders, and it does not look like our representatives are too awful interested in getting that task done.

We have not figured out that the vast majority of terrorist are Muslim Men, between the ages of 18 and 45. We have not directed our security screening at airports and other public places to people that fit the description of most terrorist. Yes, we do still need to randomly check the general population, but lets see a little more emphasis placed upon the people who really want to kill us, not my Mom.

We have not really gotten serious about airport screening at all. We hire a bunch of high school graduates with no experience in dealing with people, much less in a security atmosphere, how can we expect them to succeed. We should be looking at what Israel does at their airports. How have they been so successful in screening out potential terrorist? If it works for them, maybe we should use some if their procedures.

We have not done much to get away from our dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

This started out to be a memorial to what happened five years ago on Sept. 11th, but it turned into a bit of a rant. I apologize to my readers, but sometimes you never know just where your fingers are going to take you when you sit down at the keyboard.

So, what is the best plan for the future? How should we go forward and ensure a great future for our children and grandchildren? I think Big White Hat has nailed it on the head with this post.

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