last three days have proved to be nothing less than amazing. Yes,
I said amazing! How, you ask, can any sane person
find amazement in the wake of so much horror and destruction? Has
the beloved publisher of the Pavo News finally toppled over the brink
of his own, already questioned, sanity? Surely he is so wrought
with anguish that he is beside himself, you say. Make no mistake,
my friends, I have complete control of my senses, at least as well
as I have ever been able to sustain them. Just as were you,
I was shocked, appalled and overwhelmed upon hearing the initial reports
of this cowardly deed. The images coming across the Networks and Internet
where just too unthinkable to digest. Was I really watching the World Trade Center, the twin
pillars of Manhattan, crumble to the ground? Where these images
of my America, today, or reruns of some bad 70's disaster flick?
If only the later were the reality! I cannot describe
how I felt, and I am sure many Americans will find those initial hours
difficult to define. I now, truly, understand the meaning of
"a hollow feeling in my gut". Three days have
passed since those treacherous hours and I have run through a labyrinth
of emotions. I now stand at a place called amazement.
Let me endeavor to explain.
First, I am amazed at the number of denizens of
this great land, who cannot comprehend the fact that a foreign (or
domestic) entity would consider, much less, attack the citizenry of
this country on our own soil. Perhaps they have been away to
another planet and missed the past five decades or so. It isn't yesterdays
news; freedom and democracy have always had their detractors and foes.
The United States is the symbol and the righteous bearer of
the torch of liberty, so, is it that much of a stretch to have supposed
that the sword would one-day fall upon our heads? I think, and
have thought, not. And in light of our past administrations
foreign policy debacles (Rwanda, Bosnia, Serbia, Haiti, etc., ), defense
cutbacks (CIA, NSA, Military installations, training, R&D, ...
, ), lack of diligence in the pursuit and apprehension of our proven
enemies (i.e., Osama Bin Laden), willingness to trade nuclear technology
with suspect countries (China) and many other considerations not mentioned
here, can we really have believed that this was not observed and perceived
as a great weakness and an opportune time for our enemies to strike?
Someone has and someone did.
I also find it amazing that people are, just now,
bringing into question the security measures practiced in this country.
Anyone who has had the opportunity to travel abroad should recognize
that we have fallen far short of the procedures followed in many other
nations. It can be no surprise that we have become such easy
prey. It is amazing that it takes tragedy of this magnitude
to pry open our eyes so that we may see what many have warned us in
the past. Amazingly, we have not learned from prior misfortunes
that have befallen ourselves or others. We have lived in a vacuum,
somehow believing we are protected by the shear fact that we are Americans,
as if some invisible barrier shields our shores from the atrocities
of this world. I am astonished that after world wars,
cold wars and undeclared wars, it looks as if we where humbled by
a single man with a towel on his head. I am astounded to hear
the voices of a few make claim that this is evidence that we should
make more effort at negotiation and compromise for the sake of peace,
rather than defend ideals and principles. Do the words Nevile
Chamberlain, Nazi Germany and the policy of appeasement have any meaning
when used in context? We have spent more than our fair share
of time around the council fires smoking the pipe of peace while our
enemies grow more resourceful and strong and plot our demise. The
times of talk have ended, the time of action must begin!
What will amaze me the most in the months and years
to come, will be how quickly the lessons learned this week will fade
from the conscience of the American populace. I am more than
certain that once calm has been restored, the shock and anger has
abated and the perpetrators punished, we will fall back into a state
of apathy and denial. Should the past be any indicator, I will not
be too far off base. Personally, I do not believe we possess
the resolve to fight the type of battle that is needed to eradicate
present, nor future, adversaries of this breed. A new boundary
has been crossed, there is no turning back.
Only justice and retribution are acceptable avenues
of pursuit. We must follow through on our declaration of war
against terrorism. This is to include all those
that practice this gutless means of waging war, not just the parties
that are directly responsible for this barbaric act against our great
nation. Just as President Bush indicated, anyone or any country
that harbors or gives aid to these madmen, should be just as accountable
as the madmen themselves. We must take the war to the enemy,
and all those who support him. We must make them expend a price
they will be unwilling to pay ever again.