Yesterday, I posted that it was far less likely that a terrorist attack such as we saw in London, would take place in the United States. A number of readers disagreed, weighing in alongside the MSM that only distance and racial demographics have prevented such an attack up to now. I must strongly disagree, to the point of suggesting that the good readers might well need to “unlearn” things they have heard for so long from the mouths of the Stepford Rathers. America is different in many ways, for good or ill, and it’s vitally important to understand that character.
Before the advent of Television, the clear distinction between the American character and other nations could be found in many famous quotes. Some examples:
“It is part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate – to surmount every difficulty by resolution and contrivance” – Thomas Jefferson
“Two things in America are astonishing: the changeableness of most human behavior and the strange stability of certain principles. Men are constantly on the move, but the spirit of humanity seems almost unmoved.” – Alexis de Tocqueville
“I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth” – John Adams
“We have, as all will agree, a free Government, where every man has a right to be equal with every other man. In this great struggle, this form of Government and every form of human right is endangered if our enemies succeed” – Abraham Lincoln
“Young man, there is America--which at this day serves for little more than to amuse you with stories of savage men and uncouth manners; yet shall, before you taste of death, show itself equal to the whole that commerce which now attracts the envy of the world” – Edmund Burke
Pretty words, but of course others could counter that many nations have such praise. Indeed, if flowery prose were the currency of valid right, France would still be a world power. But I note the quotes by and about Americans, because for good or ill we have an unparalleled effect on the world, in every venue and enterprise. To speak bluntly, we always win in the end. Yes, we have lost wars before, to Canada and to Red Cloud’s Sioux, and in Vietnam, but always we came back later. We made Canada our veritable ward and junior partner in the continent, and the Sioux are extinct today. And Vietnam comes to us these days at our banks and boardrooms, hat in hand to ask for our assistance in their ventures. We obliterated every tribe of Apache and Iroquois and Comanche that dared rise up against us, and so too put down Mexican incursions into territory held by U.S. troops. Right or wrong, our history is one of ruthless victory, an inevitable tide sweeping away all opposition. We crushed the natives on land we wished to take, but we also swept away piracy on the high seas. We established a de facto empire on the North American continent, but have prevailed to make Civil Rights a reality in every place we control, and an issue not to be ignored in every nation who wishes to treat with us.
What does this have to do with Global Terrorism, and the risk to our cities? Lessons are taught in blood and horror, believe these sorts of men, and they themselves listen to instruction by pain. They raised the stakes by attacking our children, and we in turn raise the stakes again by promising the end to their culture. Not the culture of Islam, which threat would incite a true Jihad for the survival of their faith, but the culture of death and thuggery.
Osama bin Laden is proved a fool in the cast of Benito Mussolini, and Musab al-Zarqawi has been shown a fraud in his presumption, not unlike Pol Pot. That is, such men believed, like the fools before them, that the American character could be bullied into subservience, that the murder of our innocents would quell us into still acceptance of their control. It is the founding lie of Wahhabism and Fascist Terrorism, that strength is shown through butchery, that the more obscene the violence the greater and unstoppable the will. Instead, they have found that while there are weak Americans, there are many more who have hidden reserves of ideals and courage, who are not long dismayed by such atrocities, but they shall rise to fight it down. Knowing the threat, Americans are not content merely to avoid it, but seek its destruction and to crush the fathers of such evil. We may pause when led by weak men, but inevitably return to the challenge resolute and determined to make an end of the world’s vipers.
The tale of the last century should have made this clear. Europe could not avoid a useless war on its continent between monarchs who cared more for their pride than for reform to mutual gain; the Americans came in to end that fight, and it behooves notice that none of the participants in World War I who had a monarch going into the war, now has one in the same fashion or authority as they did when they began, but the Americans are now as they were then. When the Fascists rose, the British were steadfast and many allies were brave, but none doubt in fact that it was America which ended the war and remade Europe. When Communism held half the world in sway, it was America to whom the world depended to keep hope alive, and while some leaders proved unsuited to the challenge, others were beyond equal in their ability and moral stamina, setting the example and condition not only for resistance against the Red threat, but also setting the template for future leaders to follow. Now comes the threat of the dissolute order, where petty warlords and gangs of immoral theocrats think to hold sway over a region through sheer intimidation, believing that by abandoning the basic decency of human morality they can impel acceptance of their command. For a time, because Clinton was weak in the mold of Chirac and Schroeder, they were able to grab land and souls for their possession, but it did not last. On September 11, 2001, they attacked an America which did not exist as they believed. We were drowsy to the clarion but not dead, and President Bush was not a man to ignore the needs of the nation or of our responsibility.
The Taliban once held all of Afghanistan under its control, believing that no one could wrest away that rocky distant land, but they were wrong. Not only did the United States remove the Taliban from Afghanistan, but that nation has held free elections in voice of its future, a victory so complete that even the hypocrites on the Left who once opposed it are now silent, lest the truth of our cause and their own cowardice be made even more evident. Saddam Hussein once not only thumbed his nose at the terms of his signed Cease-Fire with American-led forces, but openly and generously funded and supplied over a dozen terrorist organizations. Today, he sits in a cell waiting for his trial, facing the knowledge that his country is free and has elected its own self-Sovereign government. Libya once promised a rain of destruction on America, but has instead been compelled to agree to destroy its WMD programs. Syria has been forced to remove occupying troops from Lebanon, specifically because the people of Lebanon called upon President Bush and America to assist them. Four major terrorist groups which exported hate and violence from the Middle East just four years ago, today no longer exist, their entire membership captured or killed. No other country on the planet does what America does, to fundamentally alter the foundations of power and authority when it acts with decision.
Terrorists select targets for different reasons than military men do. Where a military man seeks to achieve a victory in the war, and compels his tactics to suit the strategy, the terrorist looks only for opportunity, believing that enough pin-pricks will kill the nation he attacks, and that every thrill of violence will demoralize his enemy. He trusts his cause to be better simply because he has been told so, and he does not dare weigh the argument morally or in the context of his own claims. The evidence of past incidents shows the fallcy of such delusion. A weak government may well counsel compliance, even with monsters, rather than take up the hard and heavy sword, but though giants may look like ordinary men while they slumber, when roused they are another sort altogether. The terrorist groups, as much as they hate Americans, now know that there is an unavoidable price for attacking our cities and people. The Islamo-fascists have paid heavily for 9/11, and we are not nearly done. Attacking an American city will only renew focus on why we are at war and stoke the fire of our determination to win the conflict completely. The terrorists are slowly learning the truth of the different peoples they may attack:
Kill a Frenchman, and his government will apologize to you.
Kill an Italian, and he will curse and fight you, but his government will be silent.
Kill a Brit, and the government will kill some of yours.
Kill Americans, and the government may be slow to act, but in the end your group will be obliterated, totally destroyed.
That is the unavoidable lesson, which can be delayed if our leaders are lulled to sleep and if their personal nature be directed to cowardice and expediency, but inevitably we shall return to a leader unafraid to meet the challenge. If we are delayed by a Carter, there will yet be a Reagan. If there is a Clinton who refuses the call, it shall be answered by a Bush. Sooner or later, we will win, and in so doing utterly remove all that these Terrorists count dear. Islam shall hold its proper place in the Middle East, free from the bloody hands of men who can only speak threats and imprecations. And if a nation cannot conduct its affairs without respect for our people, we shall remove that power to be replaced by one which comes from its people. For the way of the terrorist is not the way of the Arab or the Muslim, and the way of the American is never to accept cowardice or submission to murder.