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September 11, 2009

Have you forgotten?

Joe Charlebois

Eight years ago today, an earthquake shook the American psyche as four  passenger airliners carved scars into the New York skyline, the Pentagon and a farm in Somerset County, PA. When the tremors subsided – in true American fashion – we came together as one to start healing the wounds that a group of Islamic extremists – sponsored by al Qaeda – inflicted on that beautiful September morning.


What is hard to believe is the fact that the collective memories of that fateful day have faded. We as a society have forgotten.


We – the western world – have capitulated to an enemy that will never quit. They see every extension of outreach as a sign of weakness. They continue to be funded by wealthy families and sympathetic regimes. We have failed to keep those entities accountable for their complicity. Leadership in the west has forgotten. They look to new beginnings in extending a hand of friendship. Whether they realize it or not, they have joined history’s long list of appeasers.


The administrations of both the United States of America as well as Great Britain have become apologists and weak willed. Under the previous administrations of President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair plans were implemented in a decisive and unapologetic manner with mixed results. Although the most important result – in America at least – is that no further attacks have hit our land.


The previous administration had its faults. Mr. Bush continued to maintain close ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia even though the fact that the 9/11 hijackers received much of their monetary support from that country.


Have we forgotten that the Bush Administration was burned on the release of many detainees who were deemed not to be a threat to the United States or its allies? As the Allied forces pushed into Iraq and Afghanistan many of these enemy combatants were responsible for many deaths in the early years of the War on Terror. This may explain the reluctance for the administration to release further detainees from the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp in Cuba.


Have we forgotten who our ally in the Middle East is? Since the Obama Administration took power, the chilling attitude the United States has shown toward Israel has given the foes of Israel reason to hope that soon a nuclear Iran will be able to once and for all rid the world of the Jewish state.


The administration has hinted that they are ready to prepare for a nuclear Iran. What type of ripple will that send through the Middle East and elsewhere? Are we ready to take action should a nuclear weapon be used against Israel? The message that this administration is sending is unsettling at best.


Have we forgotten that it was unlawful enemy combatants that were held at detention centers both at Guantanamo Bay and abroad? These men were captured and detained under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. They were not subject to civilian laws as they were captured in a war zone. Obviously, the courts have since ruled against military tribunals and for the access of these unlawful enemy combatants to the United States Courts. The judicial rulings only weaken the ability of the United States to try these men because to do so would potentially reveal classified information or the identity of the operatives involved in their capture.


Have we forgotten that the Department of Justice lawyers and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives were under extreme pressure to come up with plans to keep this country safe from further attacks? These policies were made and carried out with the full knowledge of the intelligence committees of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. If there was any objection it was never noted. Why are we looking to prosecute those who have kept us safe and did so under what at the time were legal remedies to elicit pertinent information?


The families of those lost in the Pan Am Flight 103 disaster have not forgotten and are appalled at the thought that a convicted terrorist – sponsored by the state of Libya – was sent home to a hero’s welcome. They are reminded daily by the absence of their missing loved ones.


The tragedy that took the lives of 259 (passengers and crew) in the air over Lockerbie, Scotland, as well as the 11 residents of Lockerbie on the ground was to some a distant memory, to others anything but…


They must be even more outraged that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was released by Scottish officials under “humanitarian” reasons.  According to The Telegraph of London the doctors who examined Megahi were paid by the Libyan government. There was also an attempt to influence the prognosis. If Megahi had but three months to live he would be released on humanitarian grounds. How likely this prognosis is true will bear out in the future.


Recently the release of Megrahi by “one” Scottish official shows just how much we have forgotten, and how far the west will go to appease those in the Middle East who hold a valuable commodity, oil. Since his release contracts with Libya have now been awarded to British Petroleum.


The more the west backs away from a vigilant stance on the War on Terror, the closer we get emboldening the rogue regimes and independent terror organizations to repeat the horrors of September 11th. So far the administrations of President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Gordon Brown show that they are hoping that appeasement will win the day.


How soon we forget the lessons of history. Have you forgotten?


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