Deep in the Well of Savage Salvation

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Empire Taxes

Empire Taxes
I am your Emperor and you will pay me the Taxes you owe

Empire Taxes

Empire Taxes
I am your Emperor. You must support the Realm!

"Chronicle Groupie"
Hyperion September 23, 2001

Author's Note: I just realized this was the last column I wrote on my computer before it was stolen. For more on that ordeal you can read #156 A Day in the Life.

#64 America's War: An Analysis (part 2)

Now we look at the second part of analyzing America’s new war. We will look at what terrorists hoped to accomplish, and what America’s response should be.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” ~Thomas Jefferson

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” ~ John F. Kennedy


The men who committed their acts of terrorism on September 11, 2001 had quite ambitious goals. First, they wanted to kill Americans. Osama bin Laden issued a fatwah, or religious edict, in 1991 saying that America was a “second Israel” and declared a jihad, or holy war, against the United States. And even though this is a war to bin Laden and his followers, they make no distinction between military and civilians. When asked about this in the 1998 interview, bin Laden scoffed. He said after the fire bombings of Dresden and Tokyo, and the atomic bombs of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, America had no room to talk.

Second, if he couldn’t kill us all, he wanted to hurt us all. By striking the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the symbols of American commerce and American military might, the terrorists were making a political statement. But the effect was all too real. The Pentagon and the World Trade Center will take years to rebuild, and the already weak American economy was thrown into tumult. This was clearly also a goal of bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Bin Laden hopes America will strike back in anger, and strike at the entire Arab world and by that unite the Arabs against this country. He thinks he can win a war with the West. More on that later.

As we discussed in Part 1, these terrorists hate that America supports Israel and has military bases in Saudi Arabia, and they want us to totally withdraw from the region. To make this happen, their main goal is to change our way of life, until Americans are unwilling to deal with Al-Qaeda, and retreat to their own borders. How is this done? It’s like this: For every person who doesn’t fly any more, the terrorists win. For every extra security point that restricts our movement, the terrorists win. For every business trip, vacation, or family reunion that is canceled, the terrorists win. For every child who can no longer laugh, the terrorists win. For every American arrested or spit on or beaten solely because of his name, her skin, or, their dress, the terrorists win. Do you see why it’s so essential to keep on with our lives?


One thing we could do is do nothing. Just forget the whole thing, and hope it all goes away. This is certainly what the peace movement you are seeing is all about. However, doing nothing would be an open invitation to every two-bit thug to wreak havoc upon the United States. It’s just like a school yard bully. If you don’t stand up to him you will keep getting picked on. One of the reasons we are where we are today is because bin Laden has already struck us repeatedly—and under Bill Clinton very little was done. In the last eight years, Al-Qaeda has been responsible for: the first World Trade Center bombing, the debacle in Somalia, our military base bombed in Saudi Arabia, two of our foreign embassies, in Kenya and Tanzania, bombed, and the U.S. Navy ship U.S.S. Cole bombed—and this doesn’t count all the plots that have been foiled. (If you’ve been reading my column for awhile then you will know that there is also substantial evidence that Al-Qaeda had a hand in Oklahoma City) I’ve written about this before, but it is worth repeating: the Eastern Mind only understands strength. Why did America win the Cold War? It wasn’t some liberal social program; it was because Reagan built up America’s defenses, threatened to build a missile shield, and the Russians knew he would not stop. They got tired of trying to keep up and fight an unwinnable war, so they quit and tried to be like us. It’s the same now. We have to answer with strong force—even more than might seem necessary—or we are courting disaster. America must be as hard as the mountains. There are many problems with this; let’s look at three.

America must keep its word—else we’re no better off than if we do nothing. We must keep our word, but what does “fighting terrorism everywhere,” mean? Are we to invade Northern Ireland? Or maybe just cut off their American money supply. Even more disturbing: Pakistan is offering us direct help, and trying to be our ally. Iran wants to help too (they hate the Taliban as different types of Muslims. It’s a long story). We want to use our bases in Saudi Arabia as a staging ground for our troops and planes. The problem is that Pakistan has terrorist groups operating within their borders, Iran has long had state-sponsored terrorism, and we think there might be groups in Saudi Arabia too. If we use these people as allies, are we then to turn and go after them?

Next, Afghanistan is where Al-Qaeda leader bin Laden is right now. The Taliban government is sheltering him. These people are street gangs with rifles. They may have been welcome by the Afghani people as a better alternative to anarchy, but the people got much more than they bargained for. The people of Afghanistan now live in horrible repression, where knowing anything about the outside world is illegal, as is most else. You may ask why the people don’t rise up and overthrow the government. Well, it’s easy for you to say. We come from a nation based on overthrowing the government. Plus, we are rich. It was easy for America to come together after the attacks because they were so horrible to us. Unfortunately, death isn’t horrible to the Afghan people; it’s a way of life. So is starving. Walk a mile in their shoes before you judge them.

So, we’re not going to gain much by bombing a bunch of starving people who don’t know what’s going on. But we may have to, if the Taliban government doesn’t give in, or else we will break our word. If we do bomb, there’s not much to hit. We can take out a few airstrips, water reservoirs, and the few military installations they have, but this is not likely to cause a government, which has been under United Nations sanctions for years, to capitulate. Which means we may have to invade.

“You fell for the second oldest trick in the book, the first being ‘Never get involved in a land war in Asia’.” ~Vinzetti

We don’t want to invade Afghanistan. Ask the Russians; they tried for eight years without success. The terrain is hilly and ill suited for our armies. Plus, once we got Afghanistan, then what? We’d be responsible for the people’s welfare, which would mean guarding the country with hostile nations on all sides.

There is a bigger problem here. Osama bin Laden thinks he can beat America in a war. This may seem strange, but not to him. Again, in the 1998 interview: “Americans don’t have the will to fight. The Marines pulled out of Beirut (in 1983) after one bombing. Americans are not willing to die like we are.” (My translation) I hate the guy, but he has a point. We have developed the ultimate in warfare technology, to minimize our soldiers’ risk. Those assets won’t work in this war. The last time the U.S. encountered heavy casualties was Vietnam—the first war on television. That was the first time the realities of war were brought home to Americans, and they didn’t like what they saw. Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda is willing to die for their beliefs; actually dying is part of the belief. The leaders brainwash their followers into believing that when they die there will be scores of virgins waiting for them in Heaven. (Again, I assure you, there is nothing Islamic about that) The terrorists are also willing to die—many of them—because they don’t have much else to live for. Of course, bin Laden is a multimillionaire; but then again, you don’t see him sacrificing his life, do you?

So, we’re back to what I wrote. America must be as hard as the mountains, but now it has a different meaning. Not only must we viciously punish our enemies—even if it means innocent people will die—but we must be willing to enter a war where we know there will be significant losses on our side. I’m not sure America is willing to do that. In WWII, we could see the enemy, Japan and Germany, and it was easy to rally support. Now we don’t see the enemy, and it’s hard to rally around a concept. There is much fervor now, but memories fade. In WWII, we could see the Japanese and German armies, and knew pretty much where and when they were coming. Now we can’t do that, and that makes this terrorist threat the most dangerous we’ve ever faced. Does America have the will to be as hard as the mountains, and do what has to be done? Only time will tell.

September 22, 2001


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