Can Our Government Protect Us?
June 2, 2002
A large percentage of Americans think our federal government can (and should) provide the citizenry with everything we need. They think the government should be a combination of Big Brother and Superman. They think the government can protect us from terrorism. I do not.
It is impossible for the US government to protect us from all terrorist attacks. President Bush has told us that. Vice President Cheney has stated that there will be more terrorist attacks; it is only a question of whether it will be tomorrow, next month, or sometime further into the future. FBI Director Mueller has made it clear that the FBI, no matter how much reorganization takes place, cannot prevent terrorists from attacking us. We haven’t heard from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on this subject, because he knows better than anyone that the military cannot defend us from terrorism.
What is the answer? If we can’t defend ourselves, if we know that whatever steps we take, some terrorists will slip through our defenses, should we give up? No way. We must continue to use whatever resources we have to detect and prevent terrorist attacks, even knowing that our best efforts will sometimes fail. However, we also need to understand that our best defense is a strong offense.
I served in the Marine Corps during the Viet Nam era. I spent my entire tour stateside training Marines for service in Viet Nam, so I never experienced combat. But I talked with hundreds of returning Marines who told me horror stories about guerrilla warfare. Try to imagine the terror you would feel if you had to go on a patrol through a jungle infested with booby traps and land mines, with invisible snipers high in the surrounding trees. At any moment the ground could give way beneath you, and you could find yourself impaled on a poisoned bamboo stake. The lower part of your body could be blown off with a misplaced step. You might see your closest friend’s head disappear in a cloud of blood and bone fragments as he walked beside you.
That’s what we face with the terrorists. The press doesn’t call it guerrilla warfare, but that doesn’t change the fact that Islamic extremists today engage in the dirtiest kind of guerrilla warfare, terror directed at civilians. Just as the Viet Cong blended in with the civilian population, today’s terrorists try to look as much as possible like the populations they have vowed to destroy. The Viet Cong terrorized our troops, who were trained for conventional warfare, by coming at them from all sides unexpectedly. Similarly, today we have only hints of where terrorists may strike next.
The mistake we made in Viet Nam was that we never really took the battle to the enemy. We had dozens of opportunities to utterly crush the North Vietnamese by aggressively bombing Hanoi. Instead, we fought a polite, defensive war.
I talked with Marines who did sentry duty guarding camps where hundreds of their comrades were sleeping. When they came under fire from guerrillas, they had to radio for permission to return fire. Meanwhile, dozens of our men were killed. Fighter pilots told me stories of sighting supply convoys of Viet Cong carrying ammunition destined to kill our troops. They were forced to wait for permission to attack from some desk jockey while the enemy convoys disappeared into the cover of thick jungle canopy.
We’re making the same mistakes today. Domestically we are so terrified of being accused of "racial profiling" that young Arab men are waved through airport security points while children and grandmothers are searched. One of the reasons the FBI has been ineffective in dealing with terrorist threats is that their hands have been tied with ridiculous mandates that prevent them from using common sense. For instance, the FBI has long known that mosques in the United States have been used to organize terror attacks and hide terrorists and weapons. Yet it is next to impossible to get a search warrant or wiretap authorized when it comes to terrorists hiding behind religious fronts.
Even some liberals are finally realizing that racial profiling is necessary. NY TIMES columnist Nicholas Kristof, in an article called "Liberals Need Reality Check on FBI" writes, "So it’s time for civil libertarians to examine themselves with the same rigor with which we are prone to examine others. The bottom line is that Moussaoui was thrown into jail - thank God - not because there was evidence he had committed a crime, but because he was a young Arab man who behaved suspiciously and fit our stereotypes about terrorists... As risks change, we who care about civil liberties need to realign balances between security and freedom. It is a wrenching and odious task, but we liberals need to learn from 9/11 just as much as the FBI does."
Internationally, we are still huffing and puffing about the axis of evil, but we aren’t doing anything. Saddam Hussein is frantically building up his military and rushing his scientists to complete their work on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile, we politely try to organize a "coalition" of Arab nations so that we won’t upset anyone when we finally go after Iraq. Excuse me. The very nations with which we are trying to build this coalition are financing terrorists worldwide at this very moment. Saudi Arabia, our "closest Arab ally", recently held a telethon to raise money for suicide bombers. Citizens of every Arab nation danced in the streets and cheered as the World Trade Towers came down. They will not support us. More importantly, we don’t need their support. We need to attack Iraq yesterday.
If your house were infested with rats and cockroaches, would you wait for them to come out of their holes and try to pick them off one at a time in a defensive manner? No. You would call for the exterminator, who would go on the offensive. He would find them wherever they hid, and destroy them in their breeding grounds. We need to let the exterminators do their jobs. They’re called the Air Force, the Navy, the Army, and the Marines. They’re the best-trained, best-motivated and best-equipped exterminators on the planet.
Historically our nation has protected itself by never allowing the battle to come to our shores. We have taken the battle to the enemy and smashed his ability to attack us. Our politicians seem to have lost the will to do anything but fight a weak defensive battle, with the exception of the action in Afghanistan. Americans are fast forgetting 9/11 and desperately trying to convince themselves that terrorism is over, that a few metal detectors and federalization of airport security have won the battle.
But very soon this nation will experience what Israel has lived with for years. Muslim teenagers now living in the United States are being trained to hide explosives on their bodies and sneak into our churches, restaurants and shopping malls. When their blood mingles with that of our children in the aftermath of US suicide bombings, Americans will finally rise up. They will demand that our leaders destroy terrorism where it breeds, or they will replace them with leaders who have the guts to do what needs to be done.
The United States is trying to deal with uncivilized Muslim fanatics in a civilized manner. We’re like a boxer trained in the tradition of formal boxing mixing it up with a street-wise punk from the Bronx. The boxer gamely follows the Marquis of Queensberry rules while the savage street fighter sucker-punches him and kicks him in the groin. We’re not going to defeat these animals by being polite. We have to find them wherever they are and crush them with superior force. If we don’t do that very soon, we may find that they have the superior force.
FROM ONE OF OUR EDITORS: Tom- Very true. I was in Viet Nam and Thailand for two tours. I know full well the horror, consequences and terror of war, especially guerrilla and terrorist war. That is probably why I have a hard attitude against evil. I believe all of the current terrorist activity is Islam based or influenced. Even the Basque separatists of Spain and France and the IRA terrorism in Ireland and England is financed and supported by Muslims. Remember it is not just the Arabs. There are only 300 million Arabs. There are hundreds of millions of Muslims in Pakistan, Indonesia, Nepal, Columbia, the Philippines and dozens of other nations. Their religion teaches them that all infidels - US - must be destroyed. We must take the war to the Islamic extremists and destroy their networks, without giving them a chance to regroup. That is what we did with Germany and Japan. This is not un-Biblical or cruel. In fact, it is based upon the Bible, where God says the governments are required to protect their people. If we don’t destroy them they will destroy us - it’s that simple. We must remember that this is a spiritual battle. - Pastor John (Dr. John L. Markley)
ONE YEAR IN CAPTIVITY. May 27 marked the one-year anniversary of Martin and Gracia Burnham’s kidnapping by members of Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim militant group that reportedly has ties to Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda terror network. Ironically, it was also their nineteenth wedding anniversary.
The Burnhams have been missionaries in the Philippines for seventeen years. Their grandparents, who have served as missionaries to the Philippines for thirty-two years, are caring for their three children.
On May 27, 2001, the couple was taking a rare day off from their duties to celebrate their eighteenth wedding anniversary. Along with sixteen others, they were taken captive by the Muslim group and held for ransom. The sixteen others have all been killed or released. Recently the Philippine government told the US that it would be "illegal" for US troops to effect a rescue of the couple, who are both ill.
Martin’s father, Paul, said recently, "We feel like the Lord is really in control, and we just want to praise him for keeping Martin and Gracia together, and for keeping them alive." We would like to ask Conservative Truth readers worldwide to pray for the Burnhams’ health and safety, and for their immediate release.
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