GEOFF CUTLER: Time to See This Terrorism Thing for What It Is
From his own online messages of Feb. 20, 2005, the Nigerian would-be bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is thought to have said, "All right, I won't go into too much details about me fantasy, but basically, they are jihad fantasies. I imagine how the great jihad will take place, how the muslims will win insha Allah and rule the whole world, and establish the great empire once again!!!"
While officials try to figure out what went wrong in the apparent letdown of terrorist surveillance and airport security that led to the attempted destruction of an aircraft over the United States, here is this simple statement from a well-to-do young man about Muslims re-establishing control of the world. Such a pure and simple reiteration of our extinction, as voiced by so many before him.
I have often wondered since 9/11 whether we truly appreciate what it is we are up against, and whether our resolve to combat the enemy is what it should be. Our military has fought brilliantly and deserves nothing but our thanks and praise. But what about the rest of us, particularly our national leaders?
For example, is this really a war against terrorism, or is it the third world war? The enemy seems to originate from almost every continent, and they are marshaled together behind a single cause. While warped to be sure, in that it is a twisted reading of the Koran, it nonetheless seeks to annihilate any and all who don't fall in line. Sounds oddly familiar.
So if we honestly assess what happened on Christmas, what we should see is not necessarily a breakdown of anti-terrorism tactics, though that surely happened. Nor should we try to blame one person, president, organization, or country. Maybe what we should question is whether we have ever fully recognized the scope of this war, who the enemy is, or that our will to win must match theirs, or we'll lose.
It is worrisome that maybe we don't comprehend that there is no room for waffling, hand-wringing, intellectual pondering or political correctness in this fight. It's not encouraging when the aftermath of this latest attack sees powers-that-be climbing over one another to find fault and lay blame for supposed shortcomings in intelligence and security.
Is our will to win as strong if the first thing we do for Abdulmutallab is find him a lawyer? Shouldn't we maybe interrogate him first -- just a little? Do we know the enemy when we continue to yank elderly American ladies from lines waiting to board airplanes and body-wand them?
Do we honestly believe that the astronomical expense of closing Guantanamo and relocating prisoners to Illinois somehow helps us win this war, and that looking better in the eyes of intellectual Europeans is a good battle tactic?
Will our closing Guantanamo save us from the Abdulmutallabs of the world? Does bringing the 9/11 plotters to New York for criminal trial convey a message to the enemy that we intend to win this war?
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, now under fire for ridiculous statements made shortly after Christmas Day, won't even recognize the term "War on Terror." She's the one who likes,"Overseas Contingency Operation," as if somehow this usage will make the enemy less intent on our destruction.
The reason to fire her is not that she is somehow to blame for letting Abdulmutallab getting through all our security measures, it's because she and many like her apparently don't understand what the heck we're up against.
The goal of Islamic terrorists is hideously simple: Destroy Western culture and all that it represents. Our goal needs to be just as clear, because it's only a matter of time before terrorists once again succeed on our soil, as they did on 9/11. If a nuclear device detonates in one of our cities, God forbid that we are then embroiled in a blame game for who let the last terrorist through the cracks.
The time has come for the world to get together the way we did against Hitler, understand the seriousness of this enemy, and figure out how to win this thing. For starters, let's ditch political correctness before it gets us all killed.
Geoff Cutler is owner of Cutler Tree LLC in Southern Pines and is a regular contributor to The Pilot and PineStraw magazine. Contact him at email@example.com.
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