Saturday, September 11, 2010

Who Done It?

We live in a world obsessed by crime stories. We have a conditioned reflex to identify the victim and then the perpetrator. The normal process is then to seek, through evidence, motive and ability, proof of the crime and then prosecute the villains. This fascination with solving crimes established Conan Doyle as an author and the reputation of his lead character, Sherlock Holmes, as the master sleuth. Holmes was introduced in 1887 in Doyle’s work the Study in Scarlet and our fascination with crime has never abated but rather provided an avalanche of interest by the public over the next 133 years. Witness if you will, the massive presence of “crime dramas” on your TV menus. People are sympathetic to those who seek justice.

Whether by deranged individuals, self-seeking nations, or ideology; humanity is offended by unrepentant criminality. The willful and unpunished perpetrator then becomes a stain on the fabric of our lives.

Today we commemorate the ninth anniversary of the most heinous crime to ever occur on American soil. The horror of the event is encapsulated in the innocence of the victims. They fell into two general categories: those who were simply reporting for a normal work day with no particular axe to grind and those who lost their lives attempting to rescue them. Although a huge element, the loss of property pales to insignificance in comparison to the loss of life. In total, 2977 persons from 70 separate nations lost their lives in addition to the 19 total suicide perpetrators.

Unlike the December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor, one could not easily assign a national interest to those who carried out the attack on the twin towers. Even the attackers had variant nationality although Saudi Arabia contributed the majority of the highjackers. Various leadership positions have been identified and al Qaeda claimed responsibility but absolute responsibility remains murky still. There is one common element which all the criminals involved share—the ideology of Islam.

As a nation with a constitution which demands respect for a huge variety of religions and protects each of those faiths equally, we have a conflict in seeking retribution. Sorting through the problems of dealing with the ideology of Islam which espouses “death to infidels,” has become a major barrier to action which respects the 1st Amendment. As Americans with a good grip on our history and the founders’ intent, we are hobbled by our understanding of our sacred document and inhibited in seeking justice for those who have sullied our national purpose. It is possible that the time has come to clearly define that which is a religion and that which is an ideology. To not do so may well spell the end of our nationhood as we know and understand it.

If 9/11 were an isolated incident and not accompanied by rejoicing at the time on the streets of various Islamic communities in the world, it would be a completely different matter. Obviously the news of America’s loss was greeted more as a military victory than a successful criminal action among the believers in Islam. The broad smiles of Muslims and signs (in English) proclaiming “death to America” do little to substantiate the allegation of “a religion of peace.” The evidence clearly points instead to an avowed enemy which holds a vision of our complete and absolute destruction in mind.

For those who wish to hide behind claims of tolerance and historic actions of other divergent faiths the time has come to confront the willful destructive force which resides in the hearts of the Islamist ideology. The failure to understand the effectiveness of the surge in the Iraq war is symptomatic of misunderstanding the psyche of the Islamic mentality. When confronted with absolute power they are cowed and respectful. To cede the high ground of superior force is understood in that region as capitulation and cowardice. This is what happens when we declare a withdrawal date for troops in any Islamic theater. Their attitude is based upon having a century’s long history in the region and the patience to wait until we are exhausted. Facing a billion and a quarter protagonists with a millennium of experience cannot be successful unless we continue to the end.

Conan Doyle, through Sherlock Holmes would have remarked: “elementary my dear Watson.” This is not about revenge, or retribution, or retaliation. It is about sustaining the existence of the most benign force this earth has seen since the advent of Jesus Christ. We have made mistakes as a nation but to ignore this particular threat would be the death of life as we know it. To depend upon mounting bureaucratic security measures in lieu of active resistance to the threat is suicidal for our nation. Turning to the United Nations would be the epitome of insanity. We are an exceptional nation because we learned long ago to clean up our own mess. Yes, we have had allies and will continue to have but eventually, it will be our initiative which will win the day.

What better day than September 11, to realize what we must face as a nation and to resolve to summon the will to do so. May God help us!

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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