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9/11: After 10 Years, Have We Really Learned Anything?

(Photo by Chris Hondros/Newsmakers)

This morning in services at Bible Baptist Church, Pastor Mike Rucker reflected on the events of September 11, 2001.  We watched Radney Foster’s “Angel Flight” during the services.  The service was moving, inspirational and patriotic.  If you can watch “Angel Flight” and not get teary-eyed, well, you’re not right.  I still cannot watch the video of the attacks on 9-11 without getting angry.  The men who carried out those attacks were thugs, cowardly punk bastards who took innocent men, women and children to their deaths.  They are of the lowest order.  I get some solace in the thought that those vile pieces of excrement are burning in hell, but it still makes me angry.   I arrived at work that day, just minutes after the second tower was hit.  News Talk 1290 had only recently moved to Parker Square and was not yet fully prepared to handle the flood of news that was coming down the pipe.  We all scrambled to run wires and hook up feeds to capture every network feed we could.  In mere minutes, all four of our studios were broadcasting the news of the heinous attack.  18 hours later, I went home, slept for a couple of hours then came right back.  Every last one of us was exhausted, physically and mentally. Like every other radio and television station in the country, it was all that we talked about, all that we covered.  We gave the pubic every ounce of info we could get.  And as much shock as we were in, we could not even begin to understand the shock and feeling of helplessness that surrounded the survivors of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.  We could not even begin to imagine what was going on the minds of those who fought back on flight 93.  But the fact is, we were all targets of these cowardly attacks.  I have no doubt they had much more in mind for us, but planes were grounded and the nation went into lock-down mode too quickly.  The work that has been done by our nations military to chase down members of Al Qaeda has stopped other attacks in the last decade.  I’ve had the privilege during my years in broadcasting to sit down with members of congress, our military and even Homeland Security to talk about the war on terror.  I prefer to talk to our military.  I guess I feel like they think more like I do.  Some questions they can answer and some they cannot.  The average person in our country, sadly, does not keep up with what’s really happening.  They see the news, but they don’t read between the lines nearly enough.  Even after all that has happened, so many among us still don’t seem to get it.  Even many of our elected officials and most of the media remain in some kind of fantasy world of denial.  Diplomacy only works when both parties are receptive.  The Islamo-terrorists have made it clear they have no interest in such.  What are we to do?  Continue to fight in parts of the world where we are hated just for who we are or call the whole thing off?  Can it be that simple?  Afghanistan, for example: part of me says pull our guys out, send in the tactical nukes and melt the damned place.  Part of me says pull our guys out let them kill each other.  But as much of a hawk as I have been on the war, I’m getting frustrated.  I’m part hawk, part isolationist, but there is a bigger mission at stake is so many ways, I know.  A thank you seems inadequate for those in uniform who have sacrificed their freedom, their family life and even their own lives in this fight.  Lot’s of young men (and women) have paid with their lives.  And there seems to be no real end in sight.  One of the things I find disgusting is that ten years later, we still have not rebuilt at “ground zero”.  Is that very fact not, in itself, a victory for the thug terrorists? Leaders cannot come to a resolution on what should be rebuilt there,  yet plans continue to move forward to build a mosque near the site of the worst attack ever on the continental U.S.  It’s a slap in the face of every American.  9-11 is not a day of celebration, but of reflection.  It’s a day that, just like December 7, 1941, should live in infamy.  We know who our enemies are and we need to go after them, not with the intent of making friends or reasoning with them.  No, there is no comparison between the Japanese of WWII and the terrorists behind the 9-11 attacks.  What the Islamic terrorists have in mind for is far more insidious than anything Emperor Hirohito could ever have concocted.  Why are we so afraid to profile?  We profile everyday.  It’s part of our nature to be aware and alert of who is around our personal space, our homes, our businesses, and so on.  If someone looks out of place, acts suspiciously and yes, if they are dressed in such a manner that does not fit in with everyone else, it commands our attention.  Everywhere, apparently except at an airport.  TSA is a joke.  The little blue haired 80 year-old great-grandmother is not the threat.  The little 5-year-old girl from Brooklyn is not the threat.  We know exactly who attacked us on 9-11-01.  We know who continues to threaten us and attack our troops on foreign soil:  Islamic extremists who are hell-bent on the destruction of everyone else on this planet.  And they are everywhere, not just the middle east.  They are in our own country, even 10 years later.  It’s well past time for our leaders, our media and our nation to come together and realize that the threat remains.  Diplomacy will not deter al Qaeda or any other terror group.   There will be more attacks on our soil. It’s not if, but when will they happen.  And what will we do about it?  How will we deal with it?  What have we learned since 9/11/01?

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