“We Remember.” “Never Forget.”
If only those phrases referring to the 9/11 attacks held the true meaning that so many ascribe to them.
But here’s the reality: There’s what people want to hear; there’s what people want to believe; there’s everything else; then there’s the truth.
It’s time to cut through the emotion and get to the heart of where America really stands a decade later. Be warned: It’s not a pretty picture. And through it all, no leader has yet emerged who can steer the nation back on track.
After spending billions on security and trillions on wars, is America stronger? Not even close. Despite the blood and treasure expended, this nation is in its most precarious state.
Manufacturing jobs are still being hemorrhaged, inflation is increasing, and the national debt has America on the brink. Most of this can be attributed to the abject refusal to institute a policy that utilizes America’s energy resources.
The result is reliance on foreign oil, especially from hostile Middle Eastern nations whose regard for America resides between zero and nonexistent. So rising fuel prices continue to put companies out of business, citizens on the unemployment rolls, and keep bank foreclosure executives very, very busy.
Most tragic, American’s sense of pride and nationalism has taken a hit.
Once, our “can-do” pioneering spirit pervaded American life, where “impossible” was not in the American lexicon. That resolve vanquished the axis powers. It’s what opened up the western United States, ultimately making California alone one of the largest economies in the world. It’s how we put a man on the moon a mere 66 years after the Wright brothers’ famous 12-second flight.
And yes, it’s how, under the leadership of Ronald Wilson Reagan, America won the Cold War — and provided freedom for millions.
Failure to achieve success was the exception. Now it’s the norm.
The best example of our malaise of mediocrity? Ground zero. The most startling aspect of that hallowed ground isn’t that the twin towers are gone, but that NOTHING stands there. Sure, there are reflecting pools and trees, and a shell of a building. But that’s it.
It’s been 10 years! A decade with no real progress. How could we have let the enemy win that important part of the battle?
If the Empire State Building had been attacked during World War II, it would have been rebuilt immediately. No moral victories for the enemy.
And if the Sept. 11 attacks had felled China’s buildings, they would have been resurrected — bigger, better, and bolder — in a year. Guaranteed.
Why? Because the Chinese took a chapter out of America’s playbook, and are mastering it. You know, the one that we relegated to the dustbin.
Despite advances in intelligence, we are not safer, for there are two gaping holes: borders are wide open and we refuse to profile. Both are easily rectifiable, but political correctness wins the day, so Americans are living with a false sense of security.
Borders: What good does securing airports do if al-Qaida can simply walk across the border with a suitcase nuclear weapon? Incompetent as that organization has proven to be, they’re not dumb. If they haven’t already smuggled weapons and terrorists via our porous borders, they soon will.
So much for real homeland security.
Profiling: Grandmothers continue to receive prisoner-like exams at our nation’s airports, while olive-complexioned individuals from the Middle East stroll by, unquestioned, with smirks. Why the pass? Precisely because they look Arab.
America's lawmakers have caved to a small element that shouts "racist" anytime profiling is employed, especially in airports, since a mere few feel “offended.”
Get over it.
Profiling is an effective tool to determine who and what may be a threat, based on an ever-increasing array of data. And yes, certain Arab and/or Muslim individuals, based on historical events, appearance, mannerisms, and financial transactions, should be questioned.
There is nothing wrong with profiling in security-sensitive areas. Yes, it's a form of discrimination. So what? All 19 highjackers were Muslim Arabs. And the shoe bomber. And those who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, the USS Cole, the Madrid trains, and the London subway.
Why are we so scared to profile? What will it take to enact common-sense policies that protect, not appease? Probably another terrorist attack.
Al-Qaida will not stop, and if we continue to give them openings, they will take them. And it will be unconscionable if another attack occurs and was preventable.
To truly honor the memory of those who perished on 9/11, we need to jettison political correctness, enter the real world, and combat threats in a meaningful way.
God help us if we don’t.
An accredited member of the media, Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com.
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