Tags: Revenge | Dish | Best | Served | Cold

Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Cold

Thursday, 13 September 2001 12:00 AM

As soon as I woke up at 4:00 this morning I called our newsroom to ask if anything had happened. Nothing.

I had hoped for cruise missiles, bullets and bombs. I wanted to see Kabul and Baghdad smoking, maybe even glowing. I want to see those same Palestinian faces that were cheering on Tuesday afternoon wailing over the loss of their own loved ones.

Will Saddam Hussein hold a meeting in Baghdad today to check on the progress of his various biological and nuclear projects? Maybe not. Maybe he's hiding, too – waiting for the USA to cool down. We always cool down, don't we? After all, we're civilized. We won't do anything rash.

Are you like me? Are you asking just why we haven't done anything yet? Just how long do we wait? How long should it take?

The leaders of Afghanistan have gone into hiding. Before they burrowed underground they sent a plea to the United States – a plea not to attack their poor, pitiful, impoverished country. These are religious zealots who have been providing a safe harbor for Osama bin Laden for years! They harbor a terrorist. They protect the terrorist training camps – then they beg for mercy as thousands of people lie buried under the rubble of the World Trade Center.

And what of Yassir Arafat? How did you like that disgusting spectacle he generated yesterday – giving blood for New York victims. This bastard has refused to condemn and to take action against his terrorist followers, then he seeks the PR advantage by having a needle stuck in his arm.

That heading I used for this section – "Revenge is a dish best served cold" – I don't know who said it, but it's sounding about right. I'll keep waiting. We have no choice but to have faith in and support our current leaders. I'll keep waiting. The pager stays on my nightstand – waiting to erupt into joyous beeps when the Afghan Taliban leaders come out of their caves and the cruise missiles are launched.

This is the sad side of American anger. Did you know that in some cities people are just going into phone books looking for the word "Arab" and then making threatening phone calls? Some of these people are even attacked. Sikhs are being attacked and harassed. Yeah, they wear robes and turbans … but they're from India, not the Middle East.

Remember, please. This terrorism – this hatred of America – is not something shared by all of Middle Eastern ancestry. Every act of senseless violence against Americans of Arab descent, Arab businesses, or visitors to our country will stand as proof to some that America is just as ugly as the terrorists believe us to be.

We're learning now that some of the terrorists who took command of these hijacked airplanes were trained to fly right here in the United States. Two flight schools in Florida are implicated. Others may be.

When I hop in my airplane to do a little practice over North Georgia I keep my radios tuned to the tower of my home airport (PDK). When the weather is good I can hear the students from the various flight schools practicing their takeoffs and landings. It's amazing (and now a little frightening) how many of them have the unmistakable Middle Eastern accents.

America has long been a Mecca for flight training. Many foreign airlines do ab initio training in such places as Tucson, Arizona, and South Florida. Why? Because Americans have the freedom to get into their airplanes and head for the skies on a mere whim. Of course there are rules to follow – including specific rules for specific sections of our national airspace. The rules, though, are fair and reasonable and the "free flight" capabilities of American pilots are the envy of general aviation pilots around the world. Even in neighboring Canada the restrictions are much more onerous.

Is this about to come to an end? I have a friend who has been sitting at the bedside of his sick daughter in Pittsburgh for weeks. His daughter is doing much better now, and he's ready to come back to Atlanta and resume work. I would like to go pick him up and bring him back. I can't. My airplane sits unused and virtually useless in my hangar.

I recognize the security concerns and the need for patience. I do wonder what the future of general aviation will be, however. Will I ever be able to just get in my airplane and head into the sky with the freedom to fly just about anywhere I want again? Will flight plans become mandatory? Will 100 percent of our airspace be controlled? Will I have to make an airspace reservation and file paperwork every time I tuck the wheels up?

For my fellow pilots, you may want to lend your support to the AOPA. This is the organization that will be at the forefront of the efforts to keep the skies safe and free. Here's the website. http://www.aopa.org.

A national poll says that 66 percent of Americans would be willing to give up some freedoms and liberties in order to fight terrorism. My friends, count that as a win for terrorists. The very purpose of terrorist activity is to instill terror in the victims. People will surrender to terrorists the very freedoms that they would defend from an armed invasion force.

Remember Pan Am 103? That's the airplane that was brought down by a bomb over Scotland. One Libyan terrorist has been convicted. Was the Libyan government held responsible? There was ample evidence that Ghadhafi (there are 341 ways to spell it) was part of the plot. Did we go after him? Hardly. Seth Lipsky, writing in today's Wall Street Journal, tells us that the Clinton administration even acted on behalf of Libya to prevent families of the victims from pressing claims against the Libyan government. Oh, and that convicted bomber? Guess who has joined in handling his appeal – not in American courts, but in the Scottish courts. None other than our Clintonista pal, Alan Dershowitz.

So – just why did the Clinton administration work so hard to keep Libya from paying for the Pan Am 103 bombing? Maybe there's a good reason … so, what is it?

There's more. American citizen Alisa Flatow was killed in an Iranian-funded terrorist attack in Israel. Our Congress passed a law that allowed American victims of terrorism to sue in court. Sovereign immunity for acts of terrorism was removed by that law. Alisa Flatow's family sued, and won a big judgment. When the Flatow family tried to collect under the law, the Clinton administration stepped in and argued against the Flatow family in court. Clinton wanted the Iranians to be allowed to keep their property and assets.

So – how is this for fighting terrorism? American citizens are victimized by terrorists. They work through the legal processes – even under a law passed by our own Congress – to recover damages from the parties responsible. Then along comes Bill Clinton and his gang to protect – who? The victims? NO! The terrorists!

Can someone please explain this to me?

Some reports that the terrorist war on America could bring on a global recession. If that happens – another victory for terrorism. Just how long does the list have to get before the civilized world dedicates itself to the cause of ridding the world of terrorists and the nations that harbor them.

Ever heard of a hip-hop group called The Coup? The Coup, and its lead "singer" Boots Riley, are identified as anti-capitalist. One of their first hits was something called "Kill my Landlord." Nice, huh? Well – they have a new CD coming out in just days. One of the cuts is something called "5 Million Ways to Kill a CEO." Wow! Just can't wait to hear that one, right?

Oh – there's more. The Coup had to rush to the printers to change the CD cover. The cover they had printed showed Boots Riley standing in front of some buildings with an explosive detonator in his hands. Behind him … the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center – exploding.

Heard it last night on Fox News Channel. One of the talking heads said something to the effect that you cannot look at the American people three years from now and tell them that you have cleaned up the terrorism problem in the Middle East if Saddam Hussein is still sitting over there in Baghdad testing biological weapons as he is right now.

How true. It's in Bush's hands right now. Americans are wondering … is he up to it?

I felt them come last night. Watching television. A woman on the West Coast was talking about her husband. He was on the hijacked American Airlines flight to San Francisco. He made three cell phone calls to his wife. He told her that the plane had been taken over by hijackers and that a stewardess had been stabbed to death. He told her that he and some other men were going to have to try to do something about it. This American Airlines flight is the one that crashed outside Pittsburgh. It never made it to its target in Washington, D.C. – the White House or the Capitol. The woman told her children that their daddy had died. They asked if he was in heaven. She assured them that he was. Then …. "Can he call us on his cell phone, Mommy?"

The wonderful innocence of our children. This is getting unbearable.

Reports that the FBI has identified at least 10 terrorists who were trained to carry out these attacks and who were not on any of those four planes on Tuesday. These people are, so the story goes, still at large. Air travel is shut down to prevent them from moving very far – from getting on an airplane and leaving the country.

The Washington Times is running a story today with the headline "Politics Gives Way to Unity." Yeah, sure. For now.

My prediction? It won't be too long before the Democrats drop this veneer of unity, cooperation and patriotism to resume their campaign to regain permanent control of the government of the U.S. They are simply too dedicated to this cause to allow any outside threat on American citizens to get in their way. To that end, look for them to suggest that in light of the tremendous cost of responding to the terrorist attack on the United States it is necessary to immediately roll back the Bush tax cut – but only for upper income (Republican-voting) Americans.

Hillary bashing? Go ahead, call it what you will. I steadfastly believe – more convinced than ever – that Hillary Clinton is the most dangerous politician this country has bred in over 100 years.

Did you happen to see Hitlary on television last night? There she was, droning on and on about how tough New Yorkers are and how they were going to fight back and rebuild. I have tapes of other Hillary statements – and I compared her voice in those to her comments last night. No change. Just the same. That droning monotone – completely void of any emotion or feeling. She's cold. She's calculating. She's dedicated to one thing, and one thing only. She's dedicated to her quest for political power. She scares the absolute hell out of me.

We hear this morning that the Clinton administration knew the exact location of Osama bin Laden in December 2000. Now, you will remember that Clinton made one military attempt to wipe out bin Laden earlier in his administration. Sadly, the attack failed. So – here was another opportunity right at the end of his administration. But it was an opportunity not acted upon.

Is this just another of my complaints about Clinton (of which there are many)? Actually, no. America had just gone through a very divisive election process. Clinton had less than a month in office. Is this the time to call for a military strike on a foreign enemy? In hindsight, it might not have been such a bad idea. But at that time it probably wouldn't have been well received. It might have been viewed as a last, desperate act of a discredited president to build some sort of a positive legacy for his presidency.

Who, my friends, would want that job?

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As soon as I woke up at 4:00 this morning I called our newsroom to ask if anything had happened.Nothing. I had hoped for cruise missiles, bullets and bombs. I wanted to see Kabul and Baghdad smoking, maybe even glowing. I want to see those same Palestinian faces that were...
Thursday, 13 September 2001 12:00 AM
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