Last year's piece on September 11 still encapsulates my recollections and feelings from that terrible day.
Ten years ago, the international symbol for Western democratic capitalism were destroyed; the World Trade Centers. The World Trade Centers were completed in less than seven years. They broke ground on Aug. 5, 1966. Building 1 was finished in December of 1972 and Building 2 was finished in July of 1973. I still remember the celebrations, especially the one in 1973.
The World Trade Centers were built in a time when America, particularly New York City, was the locus of "can-do-ism." There wasn't anything that American's couldn't do. Many of our friends and neighbor proved it during the World War II and we had all just seen American men walking on the moon, planting our Flag. If it was possible for men to do it, Americans certainly could!
Ten years after the World Trade Centers were destroyed, other than a little new park ground, the place is still a scar on the Earth. It seems to scream to the world that we can't do it.
Osama bin Laden proclaimed that Americans were too fat, spoiled, and weak to ever win a war against him. How happy it is that in his own personal case, he was decidedly wrong. However, the international jury may still be out on the subject.
In bin Laden's culture, it is normal to kill a woman who touches the hand of a man who is not her relative or her husband. In his culture, it is expected that you butcher the old, the young, and the female to prove that they should be Shiite not Sunni or Sunni not Shiite and blow up their churches while you are at it. We send hundreds of thousands of soldiers into those lands, and after the first few months, we tell them that they had better not kill anyone. If they do kill someone, it had better be under perfect circumstances. There had better not be any religious people, women, or children around when the killing happens. Going on and on with the restrictions and consequences for violating them makes me want to puke.
It makes me wonder whether we really do have what it takes, the ugliness, the brutality, the ruthlessness, necessary to defeat a true enemy. Would Hitler or Hirohito have surrendered to such an adversary or army as ours today? I doubt it. Does anyone remember Dresden or Nagasaki? It is beginning to look like we are poised to spend multi trillions of dollars to effectively not fight, and definitively not defeat our committed enemies.
George Washington lost almost every military engagement with the British but won the war by convincing them that they were tired of fighting and wanted to go home. Are we about to be on the receiving end of the same lesson?
What changed? Was Osama bin Laden right?
A friend of mine from Pennsylvania points out that the American People haven't changed, but the American government has. He reminded me of the New York "Hard Hat" movement. In 1970, hardworking unionized democratic construction workers who, on their lunch break, came off the World Trade Center project, picked up signs saying "America! Love It Or Leave It!" and waded into more than 1,500 anti-war protesters to prove the average American wasn't these long-haired pansies, but was in fact the toughest people on Earth and supported our soldiers in Vietnam and were committed to America winning every one of its wars. These same hard hats also got the World Trade Centers done ahead of schedule.
I believe today, the most popular music format is Country. I expect it wouldn't be hard to get many country music stars to spontaneously shout, "America! Love It Or Leave It!"
The majority of Americans aren't the way that Osama bin Laden described us. But the Majority of our government is.
They say we get the government we deserve. I am not so sure. Ten years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, our government is filled with politicians who can easily spend a half an hour filling the air with meaningless words trying desperately to avoid offending anyone so they can more easily keep their semi-worthless jobs.
Now, more than ever, we need a government who deserves us. The real patriotic Americans who are willing to fight so that our children and grandchildren can still be the best that ever was on God's little Earth.