Photo by Carmen Taylor/Associated Press
"Mohammed is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another."
– Quran 48:29 (Surat Al-Fath, a.k.a. The Victory)
I was the operations manager for a trucking company in south Memphis on this particular day in history ten years ago. Upon returning to my office from a drop yard on Elvis Presley Blvd., an ominous sounding voice on the radio abruptly interrupted a commercial and said "We now go to Howard Stern live."
Stern was broadcast on an hour delay in most of his syndicated markets, so I knew something substantial must have occurred for the recorded airing of the shock jock's program to be suddenly preempted. The catastrophic terrorist attacks that would change the world forever were revealed to me from that moment on.
The numbers are astonishing. Subsequent to the 17,727 acts of terrorism executed globally in the name of Islam since 9/11, the Associated Press reported last week that 35,117 convictions have ensued from the arrest of 119,044 terror suspects worldwide since that fateful day in which 2,977 innocent lives in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania were snuffed out by the concerted and misguided acts of aggression that, to this day, remain somewhat difficult to fully process.
The Global War on Terror – a label President Obama discontinued some two years ago in favor of the more inauspicious Overseas Contingency Operation – got its unceremonious start when 19 men hijacked three passenger jets to implement the will of Allah. Operation Enduring Freedom, the official campaign that commenced in Afghanistan, was launched a little over three weeks later on October 7. Since then, nearly 6,000 of our military's finest have been killed and over 40,000 more have been injured, often severely, while endeavoring to rid our planet of these fanatical vermin – all of which has come at a fiscal cost in the trillions of dollars.
But the hits just keep on coming. The Taliban, just today, claimed responsibility for a truck bombing in the Wardak province of eastern Afghanistan that killed two civilians and wounded nearly 80 American soldiers. Such exploits have become so common, and we have become so desensitized, that you could be learning about this most recent attack for the first time from this very post.
Although former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee referred to the events of 9/11 as "my generation's version of Pearl Harbor" on his Fox News program yesterday, one could surmise that the fervent adversary facing the world today, and the resulting 10-year confrontation that has no end in sight, is exceedingly worse than an enemy that was defeated less than four years after their initial attack on American soil.
Our Founders did not ascribe the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights to enable those with less honorable intentions the capacity to determine how "We the People" respond to calamity. Yet hypersensitive nonsense from television pundits (Huckabee excluded), politicians and the press at large often dictate how we react to a hostile foe, to the point that charges of hate speech could be levied for merely speaking with candor about the commonality of events once unthinkable.
Consequently those who embrace ideologies that are acknowledged nation destroyers – communism and socialism, just to name a couple – are equally influenced, and thus, driven by erroneous interpretations about our establishing documents, which, in no small twist, now encourages those who might otherwise be faithful allies to instead view our nation as a target for conquest and our Founders as subjects for derision.
To be sure, adherents and sympathizers alike who view Islam as a vehicle to put Americans in their place, as it were, only causes the vitriol about tolerance – for the sake of their traditionally peculiar sensitivities – becomes more intolerable by the day. In addition, the so-called "peace loving" Muslims, who supposedly comprise the majority, seem quite content to allow the rest of the world to clean up the tragic mess left by their more militant counterparts.
Be not fooled. They're laughing at us.
William Gladstone (d. 1898), the only four-time Prime Minister of Great Britain and a prominent classical liberal, is somewhat famously noted for referring to the Quran as an "accursed book," once even going so far as to hoist it amid a session of Parliament and proclaim "So long as there is this book, there will be no peace in the world."
Dutch politician Geert Wilders, a self-proclaimed right-wing liberal, made a number of similar statements in 2007 that were not received nearly as well. Accused of criminally insulting religious and ethnic groups and inciting hatred and discrimination, Wilders was finally acquitted of all charges just three months ago.
As mentioned before, all painstaking efforts will go for naught if civilized nations insist upon circumnavigating both the initial source and the resulting philosophy of what produces the abundance of likeminded extremists who have been a relentless thorn in the side of peaceable societies for well over a millennia. Verily we will chase our tails ad infinitum until the international community and its leaders become bold enough to confess, finally and collectively, that stomaching those who refuse peace and assimilation is a formula for continued upheaval and ultimate conquest.
The Pentagon has been repaired, a memorial has been built to the victims of the plane that crashed in southern Pennsylvania, and Ground Zero is beginning to rediscover its identity. But it's been no easy task. Ten years later, it still feels like yesterday.
Here is noted English commentator (and atheist) Pat Condell to further the perspective.