The Beginning of the Beginning
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
The attack on the Boston Marathon was an event many Americans have been waiting for -- and dreading. It marks the beginning of the beginning, if you will. The beginning of a campaign by terrorists aimed directly at American's freedom and liberty.
Terrorism will now use the freedom and liberty Americans have taken for granted since the American Revolution -- against us.
I am sorely afraid this is the premier of a campaign of attacks on American shopping malls, sports arenas, churches, subways, trains, municipal buses, (God forbid -- school buses) anywhere and everywhere an attack can bring maximum pain, suffering, death, and most important -- terror to Americans.
If the Boston attacker was, indeed, a "Lone Wolf" it is quite possible to expect more attacks similar in nature-- and soon, especially if there is not a fairly speedy arrest.
Terrorism is a double edged sword. Not only does it create terror, it creates a yearning for security by a people who suddenly feel vulnerable. That yearning for security can very easily move a people to trade freedom for security. Therein lies the 2nd danger -- the second edge -- of the terrorism sword.
So what do we Americans do? We suck it up. we bury our dead, we suffer our grief, and we get on with our lives. I understand that it sounds crass, but, really what choice do we have? We cannot give in to fear. The moment we do that, the terrorists have won.
For an example of how a society deals with these types of terrorists attacks we have only to look to the people of Israel. For over six decades they have suffered relentless terrorist attacks. Yet they refuse to give in to the terrorists and continue to get on with their lives.
America is renown for being able to deal it out. Now the question is -- can we take it, as well?
Not only are Americans going to have to defend against terrorists, we are going to have to defend against legislators in our government who will, no doubt, move to increase government power over the American people. Fear is, perhaps, the greatest motivator. And there are always power hungry leaders eager to use any crisis to seize more power for themselves and their political party.
Yes, I understand it is impolitic to speak of such dangers just days after a gut-wrenching terrorist attack on American soil, but such is the world we live in today.
I hail from the generation of Americans who performed the "duck and cover" drills in school. We lived our lives under what we believed was a constant threat of nuclear annihilation. We KNEW the world could end at any moment. For the most part, none of us, save for the experts, knew that our duck and cover drills were absolutely useless and would not save us from a nuclear attack.
But those drills gave us something to do, something to instill a portion of confidence that we could survive and live. And so we would duck and cover, crouch down and hug a wall in a hallway, drop into a ditch, even pull an opened newspaper over our bodies as we lay on the open ground.
After a while, the fear became a part of who we were. We lived with it day and night. In time we learned to deal with it and get on with the routine of daily life.
Unfortunately, we may have cycled right back to the duck and cover mentality of the middle of last century. If so, we are about to learn what modern Americans are made of.
America is a "target rich" environment for terrorists. It is a terrorist's dream.
Consider this: "The United States proclaims itself the world's foremost economic and military superpower - the mightiest nation on Earth, "land of opportunity" for those who want to work hard and prosper. But as Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon illustrate, the reality is that, from sea to shining sea, this is a nation of "soft targets," full of opportunities for those who want to do it harm." SOURCE: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20130417/DA5N4K100.html
Here's the thing, as I see it: We're Americans, damnit! We don't give in and we don't give up. Terrorism will not break us. Sure, we'll be afraid -- initially. Then we're going to get mad as hell -- and when we do, retribution will be visited upon the perpetrators, their children, their grandchildren, and their great-grandchildren. If we find it is possible, we will reach into the afterlife and torment you in your version of paradise.
You wouldn't know it today by observing our national leadership and our media, but America is a warrior tribe. The LAST thing the terrorists want to do is get our blood lust up. If they don't know that now, they soon will.
I can only hope our Commander-in-Chief has already ordered our fleet of drones to rain a veritable hailstorm of hellfire missiles on known terrorists, their homes, and their encampments around the globe. Our counterterrorism must be stepped-up exponentially and we must continue to do so around the clock. There must be a price to pay, far in excess of what the terrorists are willing to pay, for attacking the American homeland.
The problem, as I see it, with "winning" over terrorism is this: When a people hate America more than they love their lives, or the lives of their children, the only way to stop their attacks is -- extinction.
Another thought in passing: If these soft target attacks continue in America, maybe more Americans will begin to understand the thinking of our forefathers during the 1940's when we opened internment camps for the Japanese-Americans.
Remember, dear reader, back on 911 the terrorist took down two buildings. America, in turn, took down two countries.
They will only defeat us if we allow them to defeat us. We can only lose -- if we quit.
I'm not about to quit! Neither will my fellow Americans.
© J. D. Longstreet
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