By Felicia (Fee) Benamon (09/20/2006)
How many times will the American people witness their government taking the easy way out to dealing with terror? President Bush pushes and advocates that we must be on the offense in dealing with our enemies. But our Senate, and other government agencies are not operating that way. They are too mired in politics, in the proper rules of engagement.
The Path to 911, ABC's docudrama which aired Sept. 10th and 11th recently, exposed serious flaws in our government to quickly act upon important leads that would take down our enemy. Now, we are busy playing catch up...or are we? Because it seems as if everything is the same.
Both administrations, Clinton and George W. Bush, were at fault for not acting quickly to take down terror suspects that loudly proclaimed to be a danger to America. America had even the help of the Minister of Defense of the Northern Alliance, Ahmed Shah Massoud (as The Path to 911 program revealed) who worked with the U.S., giving specific intelligence that would have taken out Osama Bin Laden. But we failed to take him out.
Ahmed Shah Massoud died in a suicide attack by Arabs who posed as journalists, claiming to be from Morocco. He died September 9, 2001, two days before America was attacked on 911. Before he died, Massoud warned the U.S. that Osama Bin Laden was planning something huge inside America.
I consider him to be a friend of America who had the guts to risk his safety to save the lives of others. We don't honor his memory and those who have died fighting terror in whatever form if we do not act as bravely and take risks as they did.
It was recently reported that an unmanned but armed Predator drone used by the Army for reconnaissance missions, shot photos of senior level Taliban fighters, apparently gathered for a funeral. The order was not given to fire, and many people like me, are wondering why we made such a disastrous decision. The decision was a no-go due to the military rules of engagement, which do not allow any strikes on a cemetery or religious sites. The Taliban was clearly in the open, and the chance to attack was a perfect one.
We are fighting a new kind of enemy. We must adapt and allow the full strength of our military forces to defeat them. Taliban activity has increased this summer, and our response should be to take action to eliminate a threat before we suffer from it later on.
Terrorists do not care where they attack. Weddings, funerals, mosques...it does not matter. Just as long as the "infidel" is crushed.
Just three days after the U.S. observed the 5th anniversary of September 11, 2001, the argument over how we interrogate terrorists in U.S. custody broke. A few Republican Senators on the Senate Armed Services Committee expressed their opposition to President Bush over current interrogation methods.
Another vocal opponent, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) raised the question what would happen if one of our own were caught in Iran, were tried, but not be given any information which proved any crimes were committed.
"We would go nuts! We would say that secret trial violates the Geneva Convention standards for trying people," the Senator mentioned.
Another potential attack on our own soil and people by terrorists should be incentive enough to do what is necessary to fully commit to thwarting any terrorist operations by using interrogation methods to extract vital information from those in our custody. Who do we care about the most, the American people or terrorists?
After suffering the most devastating attack on our country, the partisan politics has yet to stand down when it comes to the defense issue. Americans want to know that efforts are being made to protect the people, not that our government is still in confusion about how to conduct this current war.
The reason we should look back on the past in regards to how the U.S. has dealt with terrorism is not to exclusively point fingers, but to make sure that we don't continue to make the same mistakes over and over. We seem to not have learned. There are those who are DETERMINED to bring us down, we must be as equally determined to stop them, no matter what. And redefining the rules under the Geneva Conventions isn't the answer.
I hope we take up the fortitude and bravery that our brave soldiers exhibited during WWII and apply that in the War on Terror that we are fighting now? We cannot afford to be politically correct, worrying about prisoners' rights, and how we should engage the enemy when our enemy wants to wipe us out no matter what.
It will be our demise if we continue to look at the war as a big game, and with an attitude that, "We will triumph no matter what because we are the USA, the protector of freedom." Well that will not be the case unless the U.S. gets its act together and engage our enemy with fierceness. We were once known for that "fierceness." We have lost it.
We are certainly gambling with our lives when we do not take the opportune moment to strike our enemies when we can. The bickering, the politicking, the poor decision making will not win us this war. We need the insight, the boldness, and the guts of our fathers/grandfathers before us, to win.
The full might of the Eagle has yet to be unleashed.
Pray for our leaders that they may have the wisdom and direction to help us in this War on Terror.