"Not the victory but the action. Not the goal but the game.
In the deed the glory."

Monday, August 21, 2006

WTC and Terrorism

SGT Hanseling and I went to see World Trade Center tonight. It was a really good flick and I'm glad I went. I was a little bit nervous when I first heard about it because it is directed by Oliver Stone, but he did a nice job of telling the story of 2 Port Authority workers trapped under the rubble and stayed away from any type of political angle. The movie was very well made and definitley brought back memories of that day. Jon and I were talking about if afterwards and it is really amazing how much that one day changed the lives of millions of people. Surely I (and countless others) would not be over here writing this blog entry as we speak without 9/11. I also stumbled upon This Website tonight while waiting for the final round of the PGA to start. They are looking for 2996 bloggers to do a post on 9/11 commerating each victim that lost their life. I signed up to do one, they still need like 900 some more people so if you have a blog go get signed up and help.

The movie left me with one question that maybe some of you can help me answer. I know this has been asked before but I don't know that it has ever been answered. What do you think the terrorists were hoping to accomplish, other than the loss of American lives? What are their goals and how did this help them move toward completing these goals? Is it less American "interference" in world affairs? If so how does this help? Isn't the logical answer that we would look to strike back? Or, have the terrorists taken our past responses to terrorists attacks and assumed that we would simply wring our hands and go about our normal days? That wouldn't be an entirely incorrect assumption, as we have in recent times chosen to ignore blatant attacks on Americans. Here is a brief summary of some of the more deadly attacks that we ignored:
  • 1983 - US Embassy in Beirut bombing. 63 dead (17 Americans). Response - covert team sent into to Beirut to gather intelligence. Yikes. That would deter me from future attacks. The embassy was also bombed again in 1984 resulting in 24 dead (2 Americans).
  • 1983 - Beirut barracks bombing. We lost 241! US soldiers and our response was..... not a damn thing. The Secreatary of Defense at the time said we didn't want to retailiate because we risked upsetting some of the other Arab nations. The soldiers were there on a peacekeeping mission. Not only did we not respond, we pulled out of Lebanon soon after.
  • 1988 - Pan Am Flight 103 destroyed. 270 people killed (189 Americans). 1 dude was convicted. Libya eventually paid out over 2 billion to the families. No military response.
  • 1993 - Attack on WTC. 6 killed and over a 1000 injured. We fired a few cruise missles at a camel and some tents in the desert and called it a day.
  • 1996 - Khobar towers bombing. 19 American servicemembers killed, hundreds injured. Suspects were rounded up, 4 convicted and later beheaded (ouch). Others escaped.
  • 2000 - USS Cole bombing. 17 sailors killed, 40 or so wounded. Blew up a car with 2 suspects in it. Arrested 13 who later escaped and are still at large.

So, I'm sure you are asking yourself what's the point, or how about another Deal or No Deal post by now. I guess what I'm getting at is that maybe we have set ourselves up to be terror targets by our relatively weak response to being attacked. Rather than holding Nations accountable, we look to round up a few patsies, have a trial, and call it a day. Take Israel for example. 3 soldiers are kidnapped (not even killed) and they get right down to business. Give us back our guys or someone is going to get hurt. Now I'm not advocating that in all cases we should respond as such, or that the civlian casualties in the recent conflict are not unfortunate, but I think that type of response resonates in the mind of groups like Hezbollah. If I was a terrorist and read the American papers, I would assume that we have no backbone and would just as soon stay at home and cower in fear. Maybe this is why they feel like something can be accomplished by flying planes full of innocent people into building full of innocent people, or trying to blow up 10 planes full of innocent people at the same time.


Anonymous said...

Right on in your musing their Steve. Why not bomb us. We won't fight back or do anything about it. To get at your reason for what the terrorists were hoping to accomplish I think it all has to do with Israel. Why do they hate us? Because we are the biggest military and financial supporters Israel has. It all stems from that. They will continue to hate us until we stop supporting Israel. Also I think they hate our freedom, our strength, and that we are associated with Christianity (albeit very distantly now).

Brian said...

Good post Steve. I apologize if I ramble on. Though I haven't seen this film yet, I do entertain close proximty to Ground Zero itself and many many people who have shared their stories with me about either being in the city that day or of family members stories of the same. It's been 5 years now and we just this week began actual construction at WTC. Completion expected 2009. (The Empire State Building took just over a year during depression) However, the liberal east coast idiotic media felt it more important to report on the ground breaking on the new Yankee's Stadium with an ETA of 2009 as well. What?
It is my feeling that they continue this madness do to the fact that they simply hate democracy and our way of life & everything we stand for. Hell, we care so much about rebuilding our country that we need a new ballpark for Derek Jeter to catch a ball in before we repair what we lost, not to mention the retalliation for the unrepairable inocent lives lost as you mention.
I keep hearing nonsense about Americans not understanding the muslim religion, that its a "peaceful" religion. Than why if it is so peaceful are these terrorists using the muslim religion as their crutch. What's more, you know why as an American I don't understand the muslim religion?...I don't give a shit about the muslim religion. This country is base on Christianity and it is in God We Trust! Sorry, if I hurt anyone's feelers.
I agree completely with your deterent ideology on this death & destruction. Isreal doesn't screw around and neither should we. Though Isreal has caused many unfortunate civilian casualties, it reiterates the fact that if your country does nothing about terrorism than you lose as well. As a terrorist, if you purposely cause death & destruction to any part of this great nation, then you should quickly, permanantly and at any cost, be removed from society where ever in this world that may be.

Just some thoughts...


Anonymous said...

It goes back to the playground at elementary school. Why did the bullies pick on the smart quiet kids? Because they knew they weren't going to do anything, and I think because they were jealous of what they didn't have. I think people hate America because we are a super power, and they aren't...because we have freedoms that they don't want to share for fear that they'll lose what little fear they put in people...because they aren't educated about us (how stereotypes form)...and, frankly, I think people often hate the nice person just because most people don't. And I truly believe that most people around the world do like us or at least respect what we stand for, even if they are afraid of us. It's like a principal. If you're bad, you don't like him/her, if you're good you respect him/her but keep your distance, and if you're really good you may be pals.
Just a thought from the other b...Brandee