Friday, September 9, 2011

Remembering; on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11.

(To be given on a memorial service in North Reading Massachusetts this coming Sunday. Unfortunately, I will not be present to deliver it. BTW By coincidence; this is my 100th entry)

About eight months ago, I agreed to an interview with Paul Hair, a Conservative Blogger who writes on Islam, the US Military and Politics. He is also continuing to serve his country in the Army Reserve after a 6 year tour of active duty which included combat in Iraq.

Here is the last question he asked me:

"The World War II generation is called the Greatest Generation. Yet when that generation fought they fought with a generally united nation and when the Draft existed. What do you think of your son’s generation who fights today when a large portion of the nation doesn’t support American troops and no Draft compels service?"
I will give you my answer at the end.

Ten years ago, today, 19 Al Qaeda affiliated hijackers stole 4 jets and flew them into the World Trade Center Buildings, the Pentagon, along route 95 and attempted to crash a fourth into some as yet unknown target. That fourth plane never reached it's "reassigned" destination. In all, 2998 people perished at the hands of those 19 zealots of a seventh century, demonically inspired ideology.

I refuse to call them terrorists.

Terrorist is but one of many misnomers that has been associated with a segment of the world population that believe the actions of that day were righteous. Make no mistake about it; the nineteen men that committed that atrocity on American soil that we remember today were but the tip of the sword.

As Americans, we have grown to respect the concept of self determination, freedom of speech, the right to assemble and freedom of religion. We cherish a live and let live attitude that has drawn many to these shores, seeking refuge from a world seemingly gone mad. Over the many centuries since that small group of exiles landed on the east coast of what would become the United States of America, escaping religious persecution from their own homeland, this country has stood as a beacon of freedom, and a haven of rest.

However, as is all too often true of people, this country has been lulled into a coma, comforted by the fact that we have been insulated from the ravages of war and the abuses of tyrants for all these years. Except for a very few isolated incidents, including the events of September 11 2001, we have been blessed with relative peace on these shores. What the apathetic forget, however, is that peace has been bought and paid for. As the old adage goes; "Nothing is free"; not even freedom.

In New York City, today, all of the families of the victims, of those 19 True Soldiers of Allah, the Politicians of that City and a representative contingent of Politicians from Washington DC, will gather at the World Trade Center site to remember the events of that day.

Notably absent will be those who stood shoulder to shoulder with others who willingly sacrificed their own lives in an attempt to save those trapped in those two towers, that day. They will not be there, because they were not invited.

The Apathetic have forgotten.

While today is a memorial for those who died in those attacks, it is imperative that we also never forget that many were not in those buildings that day to make money, they ran into those buildings to save lives and that selfless act ultimately cost some of them their lives.

Since that day, hundreds of thousands of United States Service members, have been compelled, by this government, into harm's way to hold responsible those who plotted those attacks. Tens of thousands have been wounded, some with life changing effect. Nearly five thousand have died doing the same.

Their combined sacrifices are a direct result of the actions of that day and yet, they are neither remembered nor their brothers, invited. We compound this injustice by perpetuating an insidious act of political cowardice by not naming the enemy who inspired those attacks, cheered the attackers and with whom we are still, presumably, locked in battle.

If America wants to know what a real memorial looks like we need not look further back than the few short years following a similar event which occurred on December 7th 1941. That generation had absolutely no problem naming their enemy or delivering them a mortal blow. The devastation that was rained downed on Germany and Japan in answer to the events of that day, were a grand manifestation of the righteous anger, the resolve and the moral courage of not only a focused nation, but true, leadership.

What we are witnessing today, in the Halls of those great political institutions in DC will be chiseled in stone to be viewed by future generations as the meanderings of the feeble minded, the self-centered and the cowardly. For anyone who declares himself a Leader and then abandons the selfless hero on the field of battle and forgets him at the Memorial, is no leader. He is a scourge on his nation!

I was on a jobsite in the serene mountains around Rangeley Maine when word of the first plane hitting the first tower came in. I instantly knew the ramifications of the impact of that plane. I also knew my Marine Corps Reserve unit would be buzzing, even before I got the first call. By the end of that day was I angry, like every other American. The transformation I witnessed in the attitudes in this country over the next few weeks, was hopeful. I still believe, America can be as it once was, but not if it continues to flush the blood of it's heroes, down the toilet bowl of history.

My admonishment to you it is this; never forget to uphold those who have been willing to pay for your freedom with their very lives, even as you mourn your victims.

My encouragement for you is in the answer I gave to that question from Paul Hair. It is encouragement because as long as it is true; we still retain a remnant of the hope those Pilgrims brought with them from their 
estranged homes:

"That generation rose to the occasion. I believe there is a segment of every generation that is great and it is measured by acts of selflessness. There is very little in society or even life in general that could be defined as acts of selflessness. The Armed Services of this nation will never have to wonder about that. The very act of joining ensures you will be acting apart from self. Those who have served are the best of their generation; PERIOD!"
My prayer is that while we remember those lost on that day, ten years ago, we also remember, with humility, those who have sacrificed their very lives, and hopes, and dreams that we might continue to live in the relative peace and comfort we have been blessed with, these many years.

Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard

Monday, September 5, 2011

The "First Fruits" of our Support of the Arab Spring Endeavour in Libya!

The fruit of our "compassionate support" for the "oppressed" Islamic peoples of the world is now starting to show. In the past two weeks, both the United States and France have reached out to the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) and predictably, the NTC turned it's back on those very same nations that came to their rescue.

The US State Department reached out to our "new friends" in Libya, hoping to retrieve Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the mastermind behind the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing and the NTC said no. The no was neither tentative nor was it contingent on some prerequisite understanding or action. They said no with emphasis. The NTC spokesman said; " [We] will not give any Libyan citizen to the West…". So much for thanks, the spirit of cooperation, any understanding of right and wrong or any semblance of a common understanding of human rights, just; no.

Days later, the NTC dismissed a report that they, presumably, had promised 35% of it's oil production to France. One would have to assume that since France was under the opinion they had a deal; they then, had a deal. While political conditions in Libya probably won't gel into it's final form for months, if not years, there are rightful expectations by members of NATO and others who supported this "Arab Spring" version of an election, for at least a spirit of cooperation; and fair play.

For those who choose to immediately dismiss these as the "growing pains" of a new regime protecting it's interests, let me say that this continued naïveté toward the Islamic mind and their collective vision of the west and all non-compliant nations, is delusional! These are not the actions of righteous people whose vision includes a belief that all men are created equal. These are the actions of a people who deem all men are either submitted to Allah or they are not; and there are consequences for non compliance.

Naïve or not, the United States and our NATO friends, embarked on a mission to help secure freedom for the Libyan people, as though freedom is a universally understood concept. The US Constitution generally defines freedom as every individual's God given inalienable right to self determination. The Bible describes freedom as freedom from the bondage of sin. What the Koran teaches is anathema to any constructive understanding of personal freedom. Rather it teaches submission and it's adherents, to propagate, by the sword if necessary.

This is not a new revelation, this is an age old truth as defined in the Koran, the Hadith and the very words of the Islamic Scholars. So what continues to give hope to our western minded "leadership" that what these various rebellions are seeking is indeed, freedom? And what gives them the idea that supporting their efforts will in the end support our unilateral interests to defend these shores, and our Constitution? Please… tell me.

Something new was revealed, however, from a news source that would never be confused as "friendly" to the west, the United States, the John Locke/Jeffersonian view of freedom or that which Patrick Henry exhorted his fellow Congressmen to take up arms for. Al Jazeera reported (gleefully, I expect) that Al Qaida operative, Abdul al-Hakim al-Hasadi, had taken control of the Tripoli Military Council (TMC) which effectively puts the power behind the NTC in his hands. So what we all knew and a few members of this administration, suspected, is now known fact and even supported by the Islamic propaganda machine; Al Jazeera.

Feeling all squishy about this administration's wonderful insight into the world of Islam; now?

So this administration finds itself in yet another awkward position - created by itself; first "battling" Al Qaida in one country while throwing in with them in another. What makes this so incredibly insane is that this administration and, I am ashamed to say, members of the supposedly more rational right wing, applauded the removal of Ghadaffi by these Al Qaida operatives.

Let me be clear; the world will be no worse off with Ghadaffi's head on a pike but supporting a gaggle of 7th century thugs who would have Al Qaida in their number never mind in a position of leadership, will set us all back two decades. It was Ronald Reagan, who last struck Libya in response to the 1986 Berlin Disco bombing. And while this did not halt Ghadaffi's hand in terrorist activity, it certainly curtailed his zeal.

In any case, an aging, withering idiot is a lot less formidable than a young force of zealous Islamic soldiers even if they are a gaggle. How was removing this old relic in favor of new, demonically contaminated blood supposed to serve the national security interests of the United States? This is a question that is never going to be answered by this administration or anyone in Congress or even the former administration. And the reason it won't is because their collective foundational premise is that the religion, at it's core, is pure and peaceful.

The American Politician's inexplicable love affair with the "downtrodden" Islamic citizens of Islamic regimes, around the world, will prove to be the worst foreign policy vision in the history of this nation - if not the world! While Ghadaffi and others may have fostered hatred for western nations and even been heavy handed with their own citizens, they were never-the-less, a known quantity and an aging one at that. The greatest threat they posed was to their own citizenry.

What we are in the process of helping to unleash in regions of the Islamic world that was tethered, is most certainly going to prove to be just as formidable and just as destructive to our national security, western ideals and Israel as anything we have seen to date. Within those nations where the Arab Spring "electorate" live, however, we have helped unleash a zealous, unrepentant, spiritually awakened behemoth with an insatiable lust for blood; infidel blood!

In another era, a nation which miscalculated the side effects of an ill-conjured attack declared; "We have awakened a sleeping giant.".

Let's pray this naïve decision, unabated by the obvious realities on the ground, to continue giving aid and comfort to our demonically bound enemies does not become our "sleeping giant".

Semper Fidelis;

John Bernard