Monday, October 19, 2009

"I Will Never Forget... 9/11"

(Originally posted on my FB Site January 26, 2009)

** I have been asked by a few people to share this first Journal Entry again, originally posted 1/26/09. It is about my encounter with a former terrorist who escaped to the USA about 5 years prior to 9/11.

9/11... Have you forgotten? Do you remember where you were the moment the events began unfolding? Like me, were you personally affected, having lost a loved one? If not, do you still remember the impact you felt as a fellow American, how it felt personal anyway?

As I promised myself, I have not forgotten. Even as I write this, the computer screen is blurred with the tears of memories welling up from my heart and gut. Perhaps on 9/11/2009, I will share MY story of that horrible day. For now, I think about the truth of what I said as I watched with utter shock, horror, and surreality, as the Twin Towers fell and thousands died within seconds, right before my eyes: "Our world, our Nation is forever changed. We will never be the same, never... we will never be what we were when I went to bed last night...."

Now, 7 1/2 years later, we continue to experience the manifestation of that truth. As all the discussions about Guantanamo come to the fore, and President Obama vows to close it within a year, it reminds me of another significant and almost surreal encounter I had the Summer of 2003, while visiting my friend, Dawn, down in Los Angeles. (Dawn is a friend I met on the set of the movie, The Bachelor, starring Rene Zellweger and Chris O'Donnell - a great story to share another time.)

Dawn has this vibrant energy about her and a spirit of adventure that is infectious. She was the PERFECT person to show me around town and get the most out of my short trip to the land of the Stars! (I am no longer impressed.) On one such afternoon, we went to this really cool place (I can't even remember the name.) where Stars are known to frequent from time to time and we wanted to up my odds of running into Mel Gibson!

While there, we stepped up to the bar for margaritas, (I don't drink much or frequent bars, but I do like margaritas and wine on occasion), and Dawn, being very attractive, caught the eye of the gentleman standing next to her. He spoke with a distinct accent so we asked him where he was from. (I love diversity, different cultures, languages, etc. so this was really cool for me.) When he told us he was from the Middle East and had been in the USA for only a few years (about 5), we were intrigued by his story, and he was happy to share - at first. When my curiosity steered the conversation away from him "connecting" with Dawn, it led to a moment of enlightenment and truth I can never forget, coming straight from the horse's mouth.

We never got his name, but he explained that he came to the US to escape further participation as a terrorist. (Be reminded, he came here before 9/11.) He described how they call their mission a Holy War, how they are forced into it (that or death for resisting) and indoctrinated at a young age, and how he never bought into it - wanted no part of it. He would not expound any further on his actual escape to the US and at the time I felt it best to respect that. Besides, I had more pressing questions

Was meeting him providence? At that time, like so many, I was trying to understand WHY we were attacked and WHY do they (Al Queada and all terrorists) feel the way they do? I couldn't understand why they WANTED war, and why with us? Thinking logically, I was always questioning, what provoked them? He did his best to answer me and explain. It still wasn't sinking in. (He explained to me that he drank to help forget the things he saw, did/experienced, and knew, and that he didn't really want to spend a lot of time on it. I told him how I respected that but I sincerely wanted to understand - that I would appreciate his effort to help me understand.) He explained, in a nutshell, it is their religious belief that God wanted them to destroy us. I said, "But they are wrong." He said, "They believe you are wrong." I tried to press, "But..." He cut me off and said this, and this is the point:

"You don't get it. You Americans are so naive. They don't care what you believe, or think. They don't care that you want to make nice with them. They laugh at the stupidity of that reasoning because in their heart, there is no compromise. They think nothing of dying for their God and think nothing of blowing your head off for looking at them in a way that displeases them (simulating a gun with his hand at my temple). There is no reasoning with them. They will never stop until they finish the mission to destroy you. You have no idea what I know... you have no idea how they operate... What you think, what you believe, they don't care. You will never be able to change their minds or make them stop. You guys just don't have a clue..."

Needless to say, this was difficult to grasp. I am a "resolver," and believe America represents peace. To then be told that there is no hope for resolve, at least as we know it, was surreal. As I thanked him for sharing and sharing honestly, (and wishing I could apologize for ruining his attempts to swoon Dawn) he nodded and returned to his Patron, the 6th shot he had during the course of our brief encounter.

My heart and mind were reeling, trying in earnest to fully process this information. According to him, we have no choice when it comes to terrorists. In their mind, it is us or them and they don't intend to lose. That was it - period. No peace making, no resolve, no hope of that ever. Trying to reason with them avails nothing. In fact, he said it would result in a mocking laughter before mercilessly blowing my head off or cutting it off (remember the internet murders?). I imagine Obama thinks he is going to fix it all, and they would be happy to let him believe that. But the minute Obama turns his back, they will break out in a mocking laughter, knowing they have him (and thus America) right where they want him/us. NOT good.

Back to the present... and Gitmo... as of 3 days ago, we now have 62 released terrorists from Gitmo who have returned to the "cause" - number 62 is back to the top leadership of Al Queada. I think about how President Obama wants to try to "reason" with rogue dictators. My beliefs about all of this were solidly validated by what I was told by the escaped former terrorist I met at that bar in Los Angeles. Bottom line: It is us or them - period. Us or them... So I choose us at all costs.

The fact that we express the desire to treat all people with a spirit of humanity is seen by the terrorists as a tactical advantage to them. They laugh and say this is our achilles heel - our vulnerable spot. They use our very decency against us without batting a lash! They laugh that we "care." But they DON'T care and will NEVER care. We are not humans to them, we are the devil's spawn that must be obliterated off of the planet. They do this with their self righteous indignation out of their zeal for their God. We all need to grasp the gravity of the sobering reality that it is "us or them" - period - us or them, end of story.

Regardless of where you stand and why, please be clear on one truth as I say it again: It is us or them - period. No hope of compromise, no hope of making "nice," no hope of making peace with them. They set the uncompromising terms - we must adjust accordingly to protect ourselves. That's all there is. Fight, defend, and protect, or get whipped - right off of the face of the earth just as they want it. It is us or them.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Some facts and thoughts....


1 - Habeas Corpus (the right to have your day in court) was designed for Americans. A legal provision for temporary suspension is in the Constitution, which states: {Article 1, section 9 of the Constitution, restricting powers of Congress, forbids the suspension of habeas corpus except, "when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion, the public safety may require it."} Former President Lincoln did it for said reason to ensure winning the Civil War. Former President Bush did it to protect us from unrepentant terrorists.

2 - Terrorists are a) criminals; they are unrepentent and given the chance, will return to their "mission" field of terror. b) not Americans with access to our rights.


1 - There are always 2 sides to every coin and thus, different perspectives on things. Let me make clear; I do not support torture, but I do support pressure techniques that have been effective in abstracting vital and critical information, and thus, keeping us safe on our soil these past 7 years. Additional major attacks have been foiled including one at the Jersey Bridge. We don't have a choice, it is us or them. This is the law of the ball game they have established. We defend, prevent, and like a mother bear protecting her cubs, we do all we can to protect "us."

2 - I don't think we should let them (the ones we know for sure are guilty and/or unrepentent) go free because they return to the "mission" field.

3 - For the rest, we must do all we can to determine guilt, and the levels of guilt. There does need to be an appropriate process for that. Not our court systems, they are not Americans with American rights. However, they are human beings first, and we must go from there.

4 - If they are guilty, keep them away from our free society. Right or wrong, I don't want them on our soil. So, if not Gitmo, where?

No comments:

Post a Comment