Tags: Five | Years | Later

Five Years Later

Monday, 11 September 2006 12:00 AM

– Charlie Daniels, "This Ain't No Rag It's a Flag"

How short is the national memory? Shorter than ____ (fill in the blank).

Most of us remember where we were and how we first learned of the epic tragedy of 9/11 ... and how we felt. There was a brief (all too brief) period when Americans were living Charlie Daniels' lyrics: "And we'll all stick together, you can take that to the bank ... yeah, the cowboys and the hippies and the rednecks and the yanks. ..."

It was an awful, wonderful, horrific, unifying – and fleeting – moment in our culture.

We've come a long way from 'Let's roll!' to 'Let's run and hide and pull the covers up over our heads.'

A lot has been and will be written about 9/11.

It is beyond fascinating that only five years later, we are where we are.

Madmen bastardizing a religion to rationalize an atrocity attacked us.

A 14th century fanatic squatting in a cave temporarily succeeded in personifying the Charlie Daniels Band's "In America": "We're walking real proud and we're talking real loud again in America." [ www.charliedaniels.com/lyrics2/inamerica.html ]

That was then ... this is now.

It didn't take all that long for petty domestic and partisan feuds to overshadow and overwhelm the national focus. By the time all those post-9/11 flags and red, white and blue streamers had faded or wore out, partisan politics joyously capitulated national unity faster than the Vichy French embracing Hitler. We stand on the brink of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and the anti-war resurrected Chamberlain appeasers need a good slap upside the head.

Rather than focus on petty partisan b.s., blame gaming, and ad nauseam ‘what if'ing, we as a nation desperately need resolved statesmen to bludgeon smarmy politicians into unity and a decisive action plan.

Sure, mistakes were made – LOTS of mistakes – before, during and after 9/11. There is abundant blame to go around. But picking at scabs is counterproductive AND counterintuitive.

We need to learn from the mistakes, correct them, not repeat them, and NOT cover them up with C.Y.A. obfuscation. Past sins are just that – PAST.

Meanwhile, the enemy remains united and committed in its resolve. Too bad we're distracted, because the enemy is not.

The bad guys still want to you kill you. They want to destroy our country, our culture, and our way of life.

By the way, the bad guys are ecstatic about the division and acrimony they see in the U.S.A. It serves their objectives.

When Charlie Daniels sang, "Our people stand proud / The American crowd is faithful, loyal and tough / We're good as the best and better than the rest," he was right ... THEN. We WERE "faithful, loyal and tough." However, we have allowed our clan rivalries and ‘Jack spit' politics to overshadow our national interests ... and in so doing we have both weakened our own resolve and emboldened the enemy.

For five years we have been told, and told, and told, again and again, that eventually, inevitably, despite our best efforts to prevent it, the statistical probability of terrorists hitting us again, in a big, bad way, is for sure.

We don't know when, or where, or how, but it WILL happen.

During World War II we spent from 5.8 percent to 37.19 percent of our federal budget on defense. [ www.eh.net/hmit/gdp ]

The Heritage Foundation notes that "With the stakes no less than survival of the free world, leadership by the United States is essential to winning the 'Long War' now raging against the forces of Islamic fascism ... this means a long-term U.S. commitment to making the necessary resources available to the military." [ www.heritage.org/Research/features/issues/issuearea/Defense.cfm ]

And it has NOT happened. Why? Because politics has trumped both national security and common sense.

Both "stay the course" and "bring the troops home" are myopic, pandering, and flat wrong.

This is the time to remember and embrace our forgotten outrage.

A couple of years ago, Victor Davis Hanson wrote a piece for Imprimis worthy of note. [ www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson102304.html ]

Hanson said that General George Patton had two phrases that he used like breath. The first, from Georges Jacques Danton, a leader of the French Revolution, was "Audacity, always audacity, still more audacity." The second was from Rudyard Kipling: "the unforgiving minute," which referred to certain times in war when the collective will of a people or an army can without warning collapse — at least for critical moments that must be capitalized on.

Have we squandered that "unforgiving minute"?


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- Charlie Daniels, "This Ain't No Rag It's a Flag" How short is the national memory?Shorter than ____ (fill in the blank). Most of us remember where we were and how we first learned of the epic tragedy of 9/11 ... and how we felt. There was a brief (all too brief)...
Monday, 11 September 2006 12:00 AM
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