Addresses the Nation
Five Years After 9/11, Our Achilles Heel Remains Our Unity and Resolve
Milestone No. 5
By John E. Carey
The Washington Times
September 11, 2006
On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack was unprovoked and unannounced. No state of war existed before the attack.
On April 18, 1942, just more than four months later, America retaliated with a bomber attack on Tokyo. The pilots had been trained and qualified, in that short time, to do something never tried before: fly off a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean, conduct a bombing mission and ditch instead of land at an airfield.
On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked at the World Trade Center in New York City and at the Pentagon near Washington D.C. The attack was unprovoked and unannounced. No state of war existed before the attack.
On October 7, 2001, less than a month later, the United States attacked Afghanistan.
It is difficult to imagine any other nation in the world being able to respond so quickly and so professionally after an attack like that suffered by the United States on December 7, 1941, or on September 11, 2001.Both days were dark days.
Both days challenged our unity and resolve. Both days ended with great jubilation in quarters of the enemy camp. And both days marked commencement of a long, arduous struggle.
Since September 11, the damaged section of the Pentagon has been rebuilt, a plan is in place in New York, and despite terror attacks in London, Madrid and elsewhere, there has not been a significant follow-up strike against the United States on U.S. soil.
By carrying the battle to the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan, with our professional military forces and not our women and children and other innocents, we, as a nation, have already achieved a significant advantage over the enemy.
And, as the president said last Thursday during an interview with Katie Couric, of this new enemy: "They share the same jihadist mentality, this radicalism. See, that's the interesting thing about this war, Katie. It's -- we're not facing a nation-state. We're facing people from other nation -- around the -- around the globe, frankly, that share an ideology and the desire to -- achieve objectives through killing innocent people."
So this war is different from all others. And we have responded differently. We reformed our government and created the Department of Homeland Security. We energized and reformed our intelligence services and created the director of national intelligence (John Negroponte) above the Central Intelligence Agency director. We monitored the terrorists' communications, computer networks, financing and banking. We commenced a war like no other war ever on Earth.
We, the United States, redefined war. The war on terror we are engaged in, what the Pentagon calls the Global War on Terror (GWOT), and the underlying wars like the war between Israel and Hezbollah, may best carry this new definition: We will do what we have to do, on all levels throughout the world, to keep the enemy on the run, off-balance and living in fear.
The GWOT is more than a military confrontation. It is also a spy game, a media battle for "hearts and minds," a war of financial sleuthing and intrigue, a war on the internet and much more.Saddam Hussein is behind bars or in court.
Despite some ugly military prison scandals of our own, the rule of law prevails and reforms are in place. We have not lowered ourselves to the level of the terrorists.
Sure, one can criticize. Sure the effort has proceeded slowly and deliberately. Sure, the enemy has changed the rules of the game several times (he is not stupid) like springing Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on us and attempting to instill sectarian violence so severe Iraq may splinter into civil war.
But our nation is perhaps the only nation that could have responded so quickly, so professionally and, seemingly, so effortlessly to the attacks we sustained.
Shopping malls in America still teem with happy shoppers. Cars still sell. Gas is not yet even $4 a gallon. Our economy is strong. We continue to pursue projects in space.
Yes, we have made sacrifices, principal among them the sacrifice of life and blood and limb by our men and women in the combat forces.
But what is the second biggest sacrifice? Processing before an airline flight takes longer? One has to remove ones shoes before boarding a plane?
Our schools continue to function. People still go to work. Our mass transit systems are operating just fine. Our football season is getting underway.
No American has spent a night in a bomb shelter -- even though many Israelis spent a month or more living in bomb-proof underground facilities as Hezbollah rained down missiles.
We should not be complacent. As the president has said: This will be a long war.So what is our weakness?
Our Achilles heel is our own resolve. Our weakness is our own lack of unity, now exacerbated by an election cycle.And our enemies are still with us.
In Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defies not just the United States but the entire international community. He is the first president ever to defy the United Nations in the pursuit of nuclear projects. He pushes ahead despite U.N. Resolutions to the contrary.
What are Mr. Ahmadinejad's goals? Well, he calls the United States the Great Satan. Israel is only the little Satan. And he blithely says he intends to "wipe the Zionist state off the map."
So what will his plan be for the Great Satan?And in North Korea, an attention-seeking dictator has nuclear weapons and strives to perfect his long-range ballistic missiles.
So, like the Roman Emperors, we face the Huns on many fronts.
And like our forefathers in Rome and in other great civilizations, we have to guard against our own disagreements and divisions from becoming crippling. We have to watch our Achilles heel.Because our enemies are real. And they want to win.
Mr. Carey is former president of International Defense Consultants Inc. He frequently contributes to The Washington Times.
9/11: Five Years On:
Getting it Right
By Ralph Peters
The New York Post
September 11, 2006 -- THE biggest story since 9/11 is that there hasn't been an other 9/11. According to our hysterical media culture, everything's always going wrong. The truth is that we've gotten the big things right.
On this fifth anniversary of the cold-blooded murder of thousands of Americans by Islamist fanatics, it's tempting to settle for grand rhetoric honoring our dead and damning our enemies.
But the greatest tribute to those lost on that September morning is what we've since achieved.
In this vile political season, with those on the left suggesting that our president's a worse threat to civilization than Islamist terror, the rest of us should just review what's happened - and what hasn't:
Islamist fanatics have not been able to stage a single additional attack on our homeland. For all its growing pains, our homeland-security effort worked. In this long war with religion-poisoned madmen, the most important proof of success is what doesn't happen - and we haven't been struck again. Wail as loudly as they can, the president's critics can't change that self-evident truth.
Eventually, some terrorists will get through. That's just the law of averages. But we've enjoyed five golden years of safety and prosperity, thanks to our men and women in uniform and those who serve at all levels of government.
Al Qaeda is badly crippled. While the terror organization and its affiliates remain a deadly threat, al Qaeda is no longer the powerful, unchallenged outfit it was in the years of Clinton-era cowardice. Instead of holding court, Osama bin Laden's a fugitive. Almost all of his deputies are dead or imprisoned. The rest are hunted men.
And yes, we'll get Osama. Those who whine that we haven't offer no specific solutions themselves - and they'd like us to forget how long it took to apprehend criminals such as the Unabomber here at home. Al Qaeda can still kill, but its power has been reduced by an order of magnitude.
Terrorists no longer operate in freedom. Even Europeans have begun to awaken to the nature of Islamist fanaticism. One terror plot after another has been foiled. Those that succeeded proved counterproductive, mobilizing anti-terrorist sentiment. The world hasn't fully come to grips with the threat, but the progress has been remarkable. The terrorists are now on the defensive.
Our enemies fear our military again. Despite tragic mistakes in Iraq, we've already accomplished one crucial mission neglected for a generation: We've resurrected the reputation of the American soldier.
After our maddening retreats from Beirut and Mogadishu, and the Clinton administration's unwillingness to retaliate meaningfully after terrorist attacks, Islamist extremists concluded - and bragged - that Americans were cowards who wouldn't fight and hid behind technology. Well, Iraq proved that our troops don't run, but fight more fiercely than any other soldiers on earth.
Now it's the terrorists who rely on stand-off weapons - roadside bombs. They're terrified of taking on our forces in combat. The importance of regaining our street cred can't be stressed enough.
Iraq has become al Qaeda's Vietnam. No end of lies have been broadcast about our liberation of Iraq and Afghanistan "creating more terrorists." The terrorists were already there, recruited during the decades we looked away. Our arrival on their turf just brought them out of the woodwork.
As for Iraq, Osama & Co. realized full well how high we'd raised the stakes. They had to fight to prevent the emergence of a Middle Eastern democracy. As a result, they've thrown in their reserves - who've been slaughtered by our soldiers and Marines.
The media obsesses on the price of this fight for us, but the terrorists have been forced to pay a terrible cost in trained fighters - while alienating fellow Muslims with their tactics. Pundits will argue forever over whether deposing Saddam was a diversion from the War on Terror, but the proof of its relevance - even if unexpected - is the unaffordable cost we've forced on al Qaeda.
We've achieved new levels of domestic security without compromising civil liberties. Frisking granny at the airport may be silly, but (despite the lies of the Left) Americans continue to live in unprecedented freedom. The Patriot Act and other measures worked - without harming the rights of a single law-abiding citizen. The only people who lost out were the terrorists and their supporters. We should be applauding the feds, not running them down.
America is much stronger today than we were five years ago. We have new homeland-security structures up and running, improved intelligence agencies - and the most experienced military in the world.
The dishonest nature of domestic politics and the media's irresponsibility obscure the fact that no one - not even the terrorists - now believes that our enemies can win a global victory. The terrorists are no longer fighting for conquest - they're running a salvage operation.
Does that mean everything's perfect? Of course not. As noted above, some terrorists will manage to hit us again. But if attempt No. 500 succeeds, it doesn't mean it wasn't worth stopping the other 499. Yet, after the next attack, we'll hear no end of trash-talk about how the War on Terror "failed."
The truth is that we're winning. Hands down. We just can't afford to revert to yesteryear's weakness and indecision.
WHAT should we worry about? Plenty. First, the unscrupulous nature of those in the media who always discover a dark cloud in the brightest silver lining. They're terror's cheerleaders.
Second, the rabid partisanship infecting our political system - when "getting Bush" is more important than protecting our country, something's wrong.
A third concern is the Internet's empowerment of fanatics, conspiracy-theorists and all of the really good haters - on both extremes of the political spectrum. If there's one thing all responsible citizens, conservative, centrist or liberal, should agree on, it's that all extremism is un-American.
On this September morning, let us dedicate ourselves to living for the values the hijackers feared: freedom, tolerance, human dignity - and the invincible strength of our democratic society. The greatest tribute we can pay to the dead of 9/11 is to be good Americans.
Commentary: A Force for Good
By Donald H. Rumsfeld
Special to American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2006 – We remember where we were that day.
At 9:38 a.m., the entire Pentagon shook. I went outside and saw the horrific face of war in the 21st century. Those present could feel the heat of the flames and smell the burning jet fuel -- all that remained of American Airlines flight 77.
Destruction surrounded us: smoldering rubble, twisted steel, victims in agony.
Last week, President Bush greeted the families of September 11 victims in the East Room of the White House and told them about the efforts to bring to justice those who attacked our nation -- and those who supported them.
He said, "The families of those murdered that day have waited patiently for justice. ... They should have to wait no longer."
He announced that 14 high-level terrorists, including the man referred to as the mastermind of the attacks, have been transferred to the Department of Defense and incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay. There they will be treated humanely -- though their victims were not -- and, if and when the necessary legislation is passed by the Congress, prosecuted for their crimes, in accordance with law.
President Bush has reminded us that this enemy is still seeking new ways to attack us. He told us about captured terrorists who provided key information about planned attacks on buildings here in the U.S., and about al Qaeda's efforts to obtain biological weapons. Information the interrogators received from these terrorists has led to the capture of other terrorists, who have in turn led us to still more.
Yet, even with these victories in the war, President Bush reminded us that it is important to understand the nature of this enemy, and what it is seeking to do. The extremist movement that threatens us is not a reactionary force -- it actively looks for opportunities to acquire new and deadlier weapons, to destabilize governments, and to create discord among our allies and within our own country.
This enemy has made its immediate strategy clear in public announcements and in captured documents: to undermine the Coalition effort in Iraq, drive our forces out, and then use that nation as a base from which to destabilize the surrounding nations. They seek to extend a hoped-for victory in Iraq to a broad part of the Middle East and even parts of Europe and Asia -- to restore an ancient caliphate.
Iraq is the linchpin in their effort. Osama bin Laden calls Iraq the "epicenter" of this war, and he believes that "America is prepared to wage easy wars but not prepared to fight long and bitter wars."
When Gen. Abizaid, commander of Central Command, was asked what effect pulling out of Iraq would have, he said the extremists would become "emboldened, empowered, more aggressive." They will turn whatever part of Iraq they can control into a safe haven for terrorists, just as Afghanistan was before September 11.
They likely will attract still more recruits, inspired by their "victory" over the West. To stop them in Iraq, our country has sent our finest young people -- all volunteers -- to help the Iraqis defeat the terrorists seeking to control the region.
And while our military tactics, techniques and procedures have adapted as the enemy has changed its tactics, the guiding principle of the overall military strategy remains constant -- namely, to empower the Iraqi people to defend, govern and rebuild their own country. Extremists know that war and anarchy are their friends -- peace and order their enemies.
There are many challenges ahead in this young century: Among others, Iran's nuclear aspirations, North Korea and the proliferation of dangerous weapons, and the need to build on recent progress in missile defense. All this while fighting a war in the media on a global stage. As I recently mentioned in remarks to the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, everyone is watching: the enemies, their supporters, their potential supporters, our allies and our potential allies.
In this very public battle for hearts and minds, we must be as confident in the rightness of our cause as the enemy is in its evil purpose. We cannot allow the world to forget that America, though imperfect, is a force for good in the world.
(This article first appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Sept. 11, 2006.)
President Bush's Saturday Radio Address,
September 9, 2006:
This Monday, our Nation will mark the 5th anniversary of the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. On this solemn occasion, Americans will observe a day of prayer and remembrance, and Laura and I will travel to New York City, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon to take part in memorial ceremonies. Our Nation honors the memory of every person we lost on that day of terror, and we pray that the Almighty will continue to comfort the families who had so much taken away from them.
On this anniversary, we also remember the brutality of the enemy who struck our country and renew our resolve to defeat this enemy and secure a future of peace and freedom.
So this week I've given a series of speeches about the nature of our enemy, the stakes of the struggle, and the progress we have made during the past five years. On Tuesday in Washington, I described in the terrorists own words what they believe, what they hope to accomplish, and how they intend to accomplish it. We know what the terrorists intend, because they have told us. They hope to establish a totalitarian Islamic empire across the Middle East, which they call a Caliphate, where all would be ruled according to their hateful ideology.
Osama bin Laden has called the 9/11 attacks, "A great step towards the unity of Muslims and establishing the righteous [Caliphate]." Al Qaeda and its allies reject any possibility of coexistence with those they call "infidels." Hear the words of Osama bin Laden: "Death is better than living on this earth with the unbelievers amongst us." We must take the words of these extremists seriously, and we must act decisively to stop them from achieving their evil aims.
On Wednesday at the White House, I described for the first time a CIA program we established after 9/11 to detain and question key terrorist leaders and operatives, so we can prevent new terrorist attacks. This program has been invaluable to the security of America and its allies, and helped us identify and capture men who our intelligence community believes were key architects of the September the 11th attacks.
Information from terrorists held by the CIA also helped us uncover an al Qaeda cell's efforts to obtain biological weapons, identify individuals sent by al Qaeda to case targets for attacks in the United States, stop the planned strike on a U.S. Marine base in Djibouti, prevent an attack on the U.S. consulate in Karachi, and help break up a plot to hijack passenger planes and fly them into Heathrow Airport or the Canary Wharf in London.
Information from the terrorists in CIA custody has also played a role in the capture or questioning of nearly every senior al Qaeda member or associate detained by the U.S. and its allies since this program began. Were it not for this program, our intelligence community believes that al Qaeda and its allies would have succeeded in launching another attack against the American homeland. We have largely completed our questioning of these men, and now it is time that they are tried for their crimes.
So this week I announced that the men we believe orchestrated the 9/11 attacks had been transferred to Guantanamo Bay. And I called on Congress to pass legislation creating military commissions to try suspected terrorists for war crimes. As soon as Congress acts to authorize these military commissions, we will prosecute these men and send a clear message to those who kill Americans: No matter how long it takes, we will find you and bring you to justice.
As we bring terrorists to justice, we're acting to secure the homeland. On Thursday in Atlanta, I delivered a progress report on the steps we have taken since 9/11 to protect the American people and win the war on terror. We are safer today because we've acted to address the gaps in security, intelligence, and information sharing that the terrorists exploited in the 9/11 attacks.
No one can say for sure that we would have prevented the attacks had these reforms been in place in 2001 -- yet, we can say that terrorists would have found it harder to plan and finance their operations, harder to slip into our country undetected, and harder to board the planes, take control of the cockpits, and succeed in striking their targets.
America still faces determined enemies. And in the long run, defeating these enemies requires more than improved security at home and military action abroad. We must also offer a hopeful alternative to the terrorists' hateful ideology. So America is taking the side of democratic leaders and reformers and supporting the voices of tolerance and moderation across the Middle East. By advancing freedom and democracy as the great alternative to repression and radicalism, and by supporting young democracies like Iraq, we are helping to bring a brighter future to this region -- and that will make America and the world more secure.
The war on terror will be long and difficult, and more tough days lie ahead. Yet, we can have confidence in the final outcome, because we know what America can achieve when our Nation acts with resolve and clear purpose. With vigilance, determination and courage, we will defeat the enemies of freedom, and we will leave behind a more peaceful world for our children and our grandchildren.
Thank you for listening.
Comments from Our Leaders,
September 11, 2006
"We were meant to take it personally," the Vice President told a pentagon remembrance crowd and a national TV audience, "and we still do take it personally."
"We persevere with courage and honor," the Vice President said.
--Vice President Dick Cheney
Senator John McCain
"We cannot afford to lose. I think we can win. If we pull out of Iraq chaos will result. The result will be terror on our shores."
"We have magnificent men and women putting it on the line. Right now they are doing their all to ensure our freedom here at home."
I believe with all my heart the consequences of success in Iraq would be magnificent and the consequences of failure would be devastating."
"They [the terrorists] are a source of evil in the world….we are stronger and we will win."
--Senator John McCain
On the Fox News Channel with Bill Hemmer
September 11, 20061215 PM Eastern
Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld
“We remember all that we saw and heard and felt on that Tuesday morning and also how much the world changed on the 11th of September, 2001….9/11 is a day of national unity. The memories stay with all of us because the attack was directed at all of us. We were meant to take it personally, and we still do take it personally.”
“The highest tribute we can pay to them is to commit ourselves to doing everything possible to fight the extremists wherever they are, to making every effort to stay united as a country, and to give our truly outstanding men and women in uniform all that they need to succeed…..And, I must add, to always give our troops the benefit of the doubt. They deserve it.”
“Americans have shown throughout our history that we an meet any challenge.”
--Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
At the pentagon remembrance ceremony
September 11, 2006
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
General Peter Pace, USMC
“It is my privilege, as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, … to recommit to each of you and to the American people that the 2.4 million Americans, active, Guard and reserve, who wear the cloth of this nation today recommit and promise you that we have one very simple message for terrorists -- those who would seek to prevent this kind of a gathering, those who seek to change our way of life -- and that simple message is this: not on our watch.”
“There are no words that can soothe your pain and no way that we can truly understand all the sacrifice that you have made….We hope in some way that this remembrance today and the ceremonies like it all over our country will tell you that we are with you; we will never forget.”
Gen. Peter Pace, USMC
Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
General Michael Hayden
The director of the CIA remarks about what has been accomplished since 9/11:
More than 5,000 terrorists have been captured or killed in the five years since the 9/ll attacks, CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden said today.
Hayden's remarks were made in a videotape statement distributed to CIA employees around the world.
Hayden called the 9/ll attacks "an unforgettable blow" from a "plot we had not been able to prevent."
Since then, he said, "Al-Qa'ida's core operational leadership has been decimated, and theirsuccessors are in hiding or on the run."
Hayden paid tribute to four CIA employees killed in Afghanistan: Mike Spann, Helge Boes, Chris Mueller and William Carlson.
Veteran CIA officers continue to praise the leadership of Gen. Hayden, who took over earlier this year from Porter Goss.
As part of his effort to highlight CIA accomplishments, his videotape statement was distributed to reporters.
General Hayden's complete text at:
The two essays below are not meant to diminish in any way the importance of 9/11. But we thought this an appropriate time to mention that there may have been plenty of warning signs prior to 9/11. The controversey over tonight’s ABC TV "docu-drama" special, "The Path to 9/11,"revolves around that belief.
Strikes Show Defense Matters
By John E. Carey
Published in The San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, August 21, 1998
Yesterday, the President ordered air strikes against terrorist sites in Sudan and Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Cohen said the target in Sudan was a chemical weapon facility able to supply terrorists groups hostile to the United States.
Post-Cold War foreign policy has taken a new turn.We are living in a new strategic environment that we do not yet fully understand.
Many potential adversaries pose threats to us in new and different ways.
Bombings at embassies, barracks, and office buildings show how vulnerable we are to less sophisticated yet determined adversaries.
The bombings to date would pale in comparison to the use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, the “weapons of mass destruction.”Some of our adversaries are undeniably at work developing ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction.
This ushers in an entirely new age of threat, terrorism, intelligence and defense.
Our newest threat comes from terrorists like Osama bin Laden, a Saudi by birth that hates the U.S. and is intent upon exporting terrorism.
Republican candidate Matt Fong, running for the U.S. Senate in California, believes we need to abolish the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. He says we need to prepare defenses against ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction. His concerns deserve a closer examination.
Since April of this year:
*Pakistan tested its new medium-range ballistic missile, Ghauri. Ghauri threatens all of India.
*India responded with not one but two rounds of nuclear tests. India already has proven ballistic missiles, Agni and Prithvi, that can hit all of Pakistan.
*Pakistan, despite pleas from the United States, conducted its own tests.
*North Korea’s Nodong medium-range ballistic missile, which can hit targets in South Korea and Japan, became operational.
*A bi-partisan commission headed by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld unanimously concluded that several countries are developing longer range ballistic missiles and that the proliferation of ballistic missiles is accelerating at an alarming rate.
*The commission said that North Korea is developing an even longer range ballistic missile, which will have the capability to reach targets in Alaska and Hawaii. The commission also said it believes that the Iranian Shahab-3, a medium-range ballistic missile, “may be flight-tested at any time.” A week later, Iran tested the Shahab-3 missile.
*Intelligence estimates and a State Department official confirmed that Iran is pursuing Shahab-4, a longer range ballistic missile, and is probably embarked on a nuclear weapon program. Shahab-4 could threaten people as far away from Iran as Central Europe.
*A new CIA report to Congress confirmed that China, Russia and North Korea have been major suppliers of weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems to “countries of concern.” Countries such as Iran.
*Last Monday, the New York Times reported that as many as 15,000 people in North Korea could be engaged in nuclear developments.
The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was made in 1972 with the Soviet Union, a nation that no longer exists. The world has changed. Nations like North Korea and Iran are unencumbered by this treaty. They find ways around our counter-proliferation efforts.
The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty is no defense against ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction in the hands of rogue nations or terrorist groups.We need a long-term view of our future security, defense and intelligence needs.
No single easy answer is apparent but one thing is certain: intelligence and defense still matter. Some treaties made during the last half century may need to be reviewed. Ballistic missile defense may become a necessity. Increased intelligence resources may be needed.
John E. Carey is a retired Naval Officer and a missile proliferation analyst in Arlington, Virginia.
Ann Coulter made one of the better lists of the troubles that should have alerted us prior to 9/11:
Global War Against Terror
Didn't Start in 2001
By Ann Coulter
July 26, 2006
On Sunday, John Kerry said of Israel's war against Hezbollah, "If I was president, this wouldn't have happened," adding, "we have to destroy Hezbollah."
But wait a minute -- Hezbollah didn't attack us on 9/11! Wouldn't fighting Hezbollah distract us from the urgent task of finding Osama bin Laden?
Democrats can't come out and admit that they refuse to fight any war in defense of America, so they utter the "Where's Osama?" incantation to pretend that they'd be doing something. To wit: dedicating the entire resources of the U.S. military to locating Osama bin Laden. Thus, in the third presidential debate, Kerry complained about the cost of the war in Iraq, saying the war was "the result of this president taking his eye off of Osama bin Laden."
After making the capture of Osama bin Laden their sole objective in the war on terrorism, now Democrats expect us to believe they would have been fighting every other Muslim jihadist on the planet like mad -- just not one of the main sponsors of Islamic terrorism, Saddam Hussein.
But they'd be merciless with every other mass-murdering, Islamic terror-sponsoring lunatic.
Israel's recent tussle with Hezbollah reminds us how absurd the Democrats' fixation on Osama is.
America has been under attack from Muslim extremists for nearly 30 years. Not just al-Qaida and certainly not just Osama bin Laden. Here's the highlights reel for anyone still voting for the Democrats:
*November 1979: Muslim extremists (Iranian variety) seized the U.S. embassy in Iran and held 52 American hostages for 444 days, following Democrat Jimmy Carter's masterful foreign policy granting Islamic fanaticism its first real foothold in the Middle East.
*1982: Muslim extremists (mostly Hezbollah) began a nearly decade-long habit of taking Americans and Europeans hostage in Lebanon, killing William Buckley and holding Terry Anderson for 6 1/2 years.
*April 1983: Muslim extremists (Islamic Jihad or possibly Hezbollah) bombed the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, killing 16 Americans.
*October 1983: Muslim extremists (Hezbollah) blew up the U.S. Marine barracks at the Beirut airport, killing 241 Marines.
*December 1983: Muslim extremists (al-Dawa) blew up the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, killing five and injuring 80.
*September 1984: Muslim extremists (Hezbollah) exploded a truck bomb at the U.S. Embassy annex in Beirut, killing 24 people, including two U.S. servicemen.
*December 1984: Muslim extremists (probably Hezbollah) hijacked a Kuwait Airways airplane, landed in Iran and demanded the release of the 17 members of al-Dawa who had been arrested for the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, killing two Americans before the siege was over.
*June 14, 1985: Muslim extremists (Hezbollah) hijacked TWA Flight 847 out of Athens, diverting it to Beirut, taking the passengers hostage in return for the release of the Kuwait 17 as well as another 700 prisoners held by Israel. When their demands were not met, the Muslims shot U.S. Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem and dumped his body on the tarmac.
*October 1985: Muslim extremists (Palestine Liberation Front backed by Libya) seized an Italian cruise ship, the Achille Lauro, killing 69-year-old American Leon Klinghoffer by shooting him and then tossing his body overboard.
*December 1985: Muslim extremists (backed by Libya) bombed airports in Rome and Vienna, killing 20 people, including five Americans.
*April 1986: Muslim extremists (backed by Libya) bombed a discotheque frequented by U.S. servicemen in West Berlin, injuring hundreds and killing two, including a U.S. soldier.
*December 1988: Muslim extremists (backed by Libya) bombed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 on board and 11 on the ground. (Then came an amazing, historic pause in Muslim extremists' relentless war on America after Ronald Reagan won the Cold War by doing the opposite of everything recommended by Democrats, depriving Islamic terrorists of their Soviet sponsors. This confuses liberals because they don't understand the concept of terror sponsors, whether it's the Soviet Union or Iraq.)
*February 1993: Muslim extremists (al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, possibly with involvement of friendly rival al-Qaida) set off a bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center, killing six and wounding more than 1,000.
*Spring 1993: Muslim extremists (al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, the Sudanese Islamic Front and at least one member of Hamas) plot to blow up the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the U.N. complex, and the FBI's lower Manhattan headquarters.
*November 1995: Muslim extremists (possibly Iranian "Party of God") explode a car bomb at U.S. military headquarters in Saudi Arabia, killing five U.S. military servicemen.
*June 1996: Muslim extremists (13 Saudis and a Lebanese member of Hezbollah, probably with involvement of al-Qaida) explode a truck bomb outside the Khobar Towers military complex, killing 19 American servicemen and injuring hundreds.
*August 1998: Muslim extremists (al-Qaida) explode truck bombs at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 and injuring thousands.
*October 2000: Muslim extremists (al-Qaida) blow up the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole, killing 17 U.S. sailors.
*Sept. 11, 2001: Muslim extremists (al-Qaida) hijack commercial aircraft and fly planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 Americans. America's war with Islamic fanaticism didn't start on 9/11, but it's going to end with 9/11 -- as long as Americans aren't foolish enough ever to put a Democrat in the White House.
Our Covert Enemies
By Michael Barone
The Washington Times
August 22, 2006
In our war against Islamo-fascist terrorism, we face enemies both overt and covert. The overt enemies are, of course, the terrorists. Their motives are clear: They hate our society because of its freedoms and liberties, and want to force our submission to their totalitarian form of Islam. They are busy trying to wreak harm on us any way they can. Against them we can fight back, as we did when British authorities arrested the men and women who plotted to blow up a dozen airliners over the Atlantic.
Our covert enemies are harder to identify, for they live in large numbers within our midst. And in terms of intentions, they are not enemies in the sense that they consciously wish to destroy our society. On the contrary, they enjoy our freedoms and often call for their expansion. But they have also been working, over many years, to undermine faith in our society and confidence in its goodness. These covert enemies are those among our elites who have promoted the ideas labeled as multiculturalism, moral relativism and (the term is Professor Samuel Huntington's) transnationalism.
At the center of their thinking is a notion of moral relativism. No idea is morally superior to another. Adolf Hitler had his way, we have ours -- who is to say who is right? No ideas should be "privileged," especially those that have been the guiding forces in the development and improvement of Western civilization.
Rich white men have imposed their ideas through their wealth and use of force. Rich white nations imposed their rule on benighted people of color around the world. For this sin of imperialism, they must forever be regarded as morally stained and presumptively wrong. Our covert enemies go quickly from the notion all societies are morally equal to the notion all societies are morally equal except ours, which is worse.
These are the ideas that have been transmitted over a long generation by the elites who run our universities and our schools, and who dominate our mainstream media. They teach an American history with the good parts left out and the bad parts emphasized. We are taught that some of the Founding Fathers were slaveholders -- and are left ignorant of their proclamations of universal liberties and human rights. We are taught that Japanese-Americans were interned in World War II -- and not that U.S. military forces liberated millions from tyranny.
To be sure, the great mass of Americans tend to resist these teachings. By the millions they buy and read serious biographies of the Founders and accounts of the Greatest Generation. But the teachings of our covert enemies have their effect.
Of course, this distorts history. We are taught American slavery was the most evil institution in human history. But every society in history has had slavery. Only one society set out to and did abolish it. The movement to abolish first the slave trade and then slavery was not started by the reason-guided philosophies of 18th century France. It was started, as Adam Hochschild documents in his admirable book "Bury the Chains," by Quakers and Evangelical Christians in Britain, followed in time by similar men and women in America. The slave trade was ended not by Africans, but by the Royal Navy, with aid from the U.S. Navy even before the Civil War.
Nevertheless, the default assumption of our covert enemies is that in any conflict between the West and the Rest, the West is wrong. That assumption can be rebutted by overwhelming fact: Few argued for the Taliban after September 11, 2001. But in our continuing struggles, our covert enemies portray our work in Iraq through the lens of Abu Ghraib and consider Israel's self-defense against Hezbollah as the oppression of virtuous victims by evil men.
In World War II, our elites understood we were the forces of good and victory was essential. Today, many of our elites subject our military and intelligence actions to finetooth-comb analysis and find them morally repugnant.
We have always had our covert enemies, but their numbers were few until the 1960s. But then the elite young men who declined to serve in the military during the Vietnam War set out to write a narrative in which they, rather than those who obeyed the call to duty, were the heroes. They have propagated their ideas through the universities, the schools and mainstream media to the point that they are the default assumptions of millions. Our covert enemies don't want the Islamo-fascists to win. But in some corner of their hearts, they would like us to lose.
Michael Barone is a nationally syndicated columnist.
Pentagon Memorial Ceremony
Remarks by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, The Pentagon, September 11, 2002.
President Bush, Mrs. Bush, members of Congress and the Cabinet, distinguished foreign guests, family members, General Myers and the Pentagon family, welcome. We're here today to honor those who died in this place and to rededicate ourselves to the cause for which they gave their lives, the cause of human liberty.
In a sense, we meet on a battlefield. If it does not appear so today, that is because of the singular devotion of the men and women who worked day and night to fulfill a solemn vow that not one stone of this building would be out of place on this anniversary. We thank you for your dedication and your accomplishment. (Applause.)
But one year ago, this was a battle zone, a scene of billowing smoke, towering flames, broken rock, and twisted metal. It says much about our nation and the fierceness and resilience of the American people that were we not here now in this solemn ceremony, a visitor passing would see no hint of the terrible events that took place here but one year ago today.
But we must not forget what happened here. Dedicated men and women came here on a clear September morning to serve their country, and then, in an instant were taken from us. We gather today to remember them, but we're here for another purpose as well; to mark that first anniversary of a day that will be remembered by history and commemorated by successive generations so long as we remain free people. For a battle was joined on that day -- a battle still unfolding between a nation of free people and forces that seek to plunge that nation and, indeed, the free world into the darkness of tyranny and terror. We assemble today to ask what has been accomplished in the name of those who died and on behalf of those who lived.
One month after the attacks, our commander-in-chief came here to the Pentagon to speak to us, to console us and to encourage us for the struggle still ahead. Of the terrorists, Mr. President, you said they dwell in dark corners. With patience, the terrorists will be pursued; they will be isolated, surrounded until there's no place to run, to hide or to rest.
Well, to the men and women of the armed forces, this you are doing. In Afghanistan you have rescued a country and liberated a people. You have rooted the terrorists out of the caves and the shadows. You are performing heroically. Know that the American people value what you do for our country. (Applause.)
In this past year, some of your comrades have given their lives in the defense of freedom, and we remember each of them today. And to their families, we offer our sympathy and thank you for the love of country that you instilled in each of those extraordinary human beings. And we remember in our prayers each of the allied soldiers who have fallen on the field of battle. From the first moments of this struggle, America knew she was not alone. Support came from every corner of the world.
Mr. President, the coalition you have assembled is truly remarkable. Some 90 nations -- literally half of the world -- have joined in this effort, the greatest military coalition ever assembled in human history. Many coalition partners are here today, and we say to you, thank you for standing with us. (Applause.) And please extend our gratitude to your fellow citizens. Tell them how much we value their friendship and their steadfastness.
In the past year we've been awakened to our vulnerabilities, made conscious of the dangers we face in this new century. That awakening came at a terrible price.
But the terrorists aspire to even greater destruction. Unless they are stopped, the light of history will fade from this day, turning its gaze instead to subsequent days, when not thousands but tens of thousands of lives could be lost.
The road ahead is long. But while we have not yet achieved victory, we know, in one important sense, that the terrorists who attacked us have already been defeated. They were defeated before the first shot was fired in Afghanistan. They were defeated because they failed utterly to achieve their objectives. The terrorists wanted September 11th to be a day when innocents died. Instead it was a day when heroes were born. The terrorists wanted September 11th to be a day when hatred reigned. Instead it was a day when we witnessed love beyond measure.
We saw it in the rescue workers who rushed into burning buildings to save lives, knowing they might never emerge. We saw it in the passengers on Flight 93, who learned what was happening and decided it was better to fight and die in a grassy Pennsylvania field than allow the terrorists to reach our nation's capital. And we've seen it every day since, in the service of those who have risked their lives and given their lives to stop terrorism.
The terrorists wanted September 11th to be a day when free people learned fear and self-doubt. Instead it was a day when a sleeping patriotism was awakened in this country. Even as they wiped away their tears, Americans unfurled their flags. They flew them from seemingly every house and car, in schools and parks and playing fields. And in town squares all across the nation, citizens gathered to light candles and to pray.
The fruits of September 11th were not hatred, fear or self-doubt, as the terrorists intended. They were charity and courage, patience and perseverance.
We have cause for hope, because we have seen evil reveal itself in our midst and then watched it humbled by the power of simple goodness. From the construction workers who rebuilt this wounded building, stone by stone, to those wounded here, who have inspired our nation with their courageous struggle to recover, to the thousands of schoolchildren who sent pictures to comfort us and to lift our spirits -- and they did lift our spirits -- the American people responded in ways that stir the soul.
Many Americans ask, "What can we do to help?" The answer is you have helped. You've prayed, you've volunteered, you've given your sons and daughters to defend our freedom.
We will win this war on terror.
We will win, no matter how long or hard or difficult or costly it is. One day our grandchildren will back on this time and ask, "How was the war on terror won?" And we will tell them about the brave men and women who gave their lives so that we could live in freedom.
We remember them today, and to their families, many of whom are here, know that we have not forgotten. But let us do more than remember. The greatest honor we can bestow on them, the best memorial we can fashion for them is to protect our liberty and secure it for generations to come.
That is our charge, that is our responsibility.
May God bless our nation in the struggle ahead. (Applause.)
With 9/11 Film, Kean Finds
Tough Critic in Hamilton
By Dana Milbank
The Washington Post
Tuesday, September 12, 2006; Page A02
There have been few political love stories as beautiful as that of Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, the former chairman and vice chairman of the 9/11 commission.
"I have never worked with anybody I've come to respect more than Lee Hamilton," Republican Kean said at a Sept. 11 fifth-anniversary joint performance with Hamilton yesterday.
"He is one of the preeminent public servants of our day, bar none," came Democrat Hamilton's well-worn reply.
So it packed even more punch when Hamilton, at the National Press Club luncheon, lectured his friend about the falsified Sept. 11 docudrama Kean helped ABC produce.
"It is either a documentary or it is a drama, and to fudge it causes me a great deal of concern and suggests to me that news and entertainment are getting dangerously intertwined," the former congressman from Indiana said of his friend's film. "And I do not think that that is good for the country, because an event of this consequence is very hard to understand, and to distort it or not to present it factually in this kind of a presentation, I think, does not serve the country well."
Kean, the "co-executive producer" of this disservice, stood at Hamilton's side, his hands clasped in front of him, grinning awkwardly.
In the past five days, the former New Jersey governor has infuriated many a Democrat who saw him as a nonpartisan truth-teller. In his work on ABC's "The Path to 9/11," Kean has blessed what has been documented to be a collection of falsehoods -- a disproportionate number of which make the Clinton administration look bad.
Critics on the left say Kean's bout of partisanship was brought on by the campaign of his son Tom Jr. for a Senate seat from New Jersey (ABC News was confused enough between father and son to say in its political calendar that "candidate Tom Kean Jr." was appearing with Hamilton). Whatever the motive, Kean's foray into the land of make-believe has thrilled those who seek to discredit the 9/11 commission's report.
The press club was thick with such people yesterday before Kean's arrival. In the Edward R. Murrow Room, conspiracy-minded characters hung posters announcing: "Neither planes nor fires brought the buildings down. Controlled demolitions did."
"They label us as kooks or wackos or conspiracy theorists," complained David von Kleist, making quotation marks with his fingers for the audience. But the "bottom line," he added, is that "this was an inside job . . . the terrorists didn't do it."
Lynn Pentz asked why plane wreckage was not seen at the Pentagon. "We're essentially to believe that the two six-ton titanium engines vaporized?" she asked.
The participants said the ABC show, which initially had claimed to be based on the 9/11 commission's report, proved their thesis that Kean lives in the realm of fiction. "It's a dramatized fraud of a fraud," said Jim Marrs, author of "The Terror Conspiracy."
Next door, in the John Peter Zenger Room, a group of 9/11 families were touting a new documentary, "9/11: Press for Truth," which promises that "the coverup" will be "exposed by the 9/11 families."
Kyle Hence, the documentary's producer, used Kean's role in the ABC film as his opening. "The consensus seems to be that this verges on propaganda; it distorts what happened," he said. "We'd like to put forward '9/11: Press for Truth' as a counternarrative, as a true documentary, not a dramatization, not a distortion of the truth."
An hour later in the press club's ballroom, Kean professed to being puzzled by the conspiracy crowd.
"It seems every time there's a traumatic event in American history, it spawns conspiracy theories," he said with a laugh. "I mean, people still think that John Wilkes Booth got away and hid somewhere in the South. As for the 9/11 conspiracy theories, he said, "I don't know what to do about them."
Kean saw no link between the conspiracists and his work in the docudrama trade. When the ABC question was put to him, Kean declared himself mystified by the criticism.
"I've been confounded by this whole controversy," he said innocently. He said that the film's creators are "serious people who wanted to do the best job possible," that it "was a responsible project" and that "I thought they did a good job."
His one attempt at distancing himself was halfhearted. "I was not the producer or director or the author or the writer or whatever else," said co-executive producer Kean.
Hamilton, a tireless Kean booster, answered with some rare public criticism of his partner. "They didn't ask me to participate in this," he said acidly, adding that complaints from Clinton officials were "accurate in their criticisms of ABC." As for the "docudrama" format, the no-nonsense Hoosier said: "I don't like the ring of that."
Spontaneous applause followed Hamilton's criticism.
If Kean was surprised by the scolding, he shouldn't have been. Even before the ABC question came, Hamilton volunteered some stern remarks about the importance of truth. "Facts are not Republican and they're not Democrat," he said. "They're not ideological. Facts are facts."
On this point, Kean was silent.