As we commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the second “Date which will live in Infamy”, September 11th, 2001, we must look in retrospection and introspection as to what we have learned about ourselves as Americans and what we have done to remedy the cause and prevent the potential 3rd Date of Infamy.
As President Roosevelt made his address to Congress on December 8th, he spoke of the attack of the Empire of Japan on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, which killed over 2400 and wounded over 1200 Americans.
He went on to rally Americans to respond with realistic tone of determination and warning that “our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger”. America was suddenly and totally immersed in World War Two, a bloody struggle of free men around the world against the tyrants of Imperialism, Fascism, and National Socialism, all three led by racist dictators bent on world conquest, and forming the “Axis Powers” of Japan, Italy, and Germany.
However, this most recent “Day of Infamy” has not been met with the decisiveness of strong leadership, nor the resolve of a determined, united, and discerning people, as the previous had.
In early 1941 Gallup took a poll of Americans. Even with the Empire of Japan raping the Asian Pacific, Hitler and Mussolini occupying most of Europe and perpetrating the imprisonment and mass murder of Jews, and anyone else who stood in the way, 80% of Americans were still against entering the war prior to Pearl Harbor. After that Sunday morning, you would be hard pressed to find anyone willing to voice any opposition to anything short of full and complete immersion. Even after America had been at war for some years, young men were afraid the war would end before they were old enough to get in it.
The difference between 9/11/2001 and 12/7/1941 is more than a mere 60 years of time passage. The difference between that generation and this, is spiritual.
While obviously not every person was devoutly religious in 1941 in America, there was a generally understood belief that God had set a guideline for living and that humans were accountable for themselves and their charges accordingly. There was a strong sense of right and wrong, and providing for one’s self and family. (These things still exist, but are more sub-cultural generally speaking.)
These people had been living through the Great Depression for the last 12 years. (In fact, it was the war economy which pulled America out of that Depression.) They had been conditioned to hard times and living within their sometimes meager means. Their faith had been tested and their character forged in the fires of total financial ruin, drought, high unemployment, and less than 25 years previous, World War 1. They were benevolent in spite of their lack. They were thankful for what they had and those who survive yet today are still the some of the most benevolent and gracious among us. They retained that spirit of self reliance, determination, and resolve. We would do well to learn from them.
In the days following 911, America briefly caught a vision of her former self.
Her people fled in droves to the solace of churches everywhere in search of comfort, reassurance, and an explanation. We assembled in groups as Americans, not multicultural hyphenated people groups. We cried together, came to assist those in need, shared our plenty with those who lost much, and bowed our heads together to mourn our dead and memorialize heroes and the innocents.
We came together with resolve and righteous anger. We were bound, even so very briefly by national patriotism, a sense of duty, shared sacrifice and loss, and that somewhat primitive urgency to avenge our countrymen. The recruitment offices were again flooded with volunteers for military service. There are yet to this day a few brave young men willing to step up.
People from large and small cities and towns across America took equipment, treasure and time to assist in recovery and cleanup operations at the Pentagon, Manhattan, and Pennsylvania. Those who could not leave home gave blood, donated supplies, sent money, and prayed.
For the most part we received some comfort and reassurance in numbers and memorials, and helping our fellow countrymen, but few found a satisfactory explanation for the tragedy of 911. An explanation that divides good from evil, light from darkness, life from death.
The spiritual dearth resulting from two generations of revisionist history, secular humanism, and relativism has left America adrift in a stormy sea of pluralism and confusion, while being pursued by pirates, with no lighthouse to provide a bearing and no wind of common purpose in her sails. Foreign philosophies and ideologies have ripped the rudder off and unchained the anchor. God has been replaced by a godless government and a politically correct media is playing the part of a “false prophet”. The ship has no captain and the crew is devouring the remaining provender. The passengers have been sleeping below decks and rats are infesting the ship with disease.
We have yet to officially recognize the enemy that perpetrated the last “Day of Infamy” fifteen years ago.
‘Twas not the case in 1941. Congress and the President immediately declared war on the Axis Powers of Japan, Italy, and Germany. There were no calls for “understanding what we did to upset the Japanese”; no pandering President naming the ideology of National Socialism “a peaceful [ideology] which has been hijacked by extremists”. There was no allowance for Nazi’s in America to participate in memorial ceremonies to honor our dead. The media did not feature psycho-babble explaining the “Rape of Nanking” China by Imperial Japan as Chinese oppression, or that Pearl Harbor was a result of intrusive American foreign policy.
These perpetrators of Nazism, Fascism, and Imperial Conquest were named and identified as enemies of the United States of America. Roosevelt continued in his speech,“No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion the American people will in their righteous might win through to absolute victory.”
In the closing paragraphs, he stated, “I speak the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will see to it that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again. Hostilities exist…”
On the other hand, Presidents since 911 have never recognized that while we are not at war with a specific country with uniformed troops, the enemy is much more specifically identifiable than by terms like “Terrorists”, “Killers”, “Evildoers” and “Radical Extremists” or even “Al Qaida”. Yes the enemy may be all those adjectives but these terms do not identify a reason for the action of war or the source of it. There are all kinds of killers, evildoers, radicals, and a myriad of self named groups who perpetrate a political agenda. These terms do nothing to identify the enemy which has spelled out its intent under no uncertain terms. War.
Jihad, which is defined by the “Classic Manual of Islamic Holy Law” as: A “war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada [soldier], signifying warfare to establish the religion…” until all the world is brought under the rule of Sharia, and Allah’s religion reigns supreme, is what we are embroiled in.
We are at war. 9/11 was not a criminal act. It was an act of war perpetrated upon a sovereign nation by a socio-politico ideological system that at its very core is racist, compulsory, supremacist, and imperialistic. This ideology crosses geographical and national lines.
The enemy is the radical ideology of Islam. And make no mistake, radical Islam is Fundamentalist Islam, which is the truest form of Islam. But our government and other institutions cannot bring themselves to identify the true source of this fight. An enemy unrecognized will overtake and subdue an opponent that is unwilling to confront him. We can pretend that Islam is a “peaceful religion” and whistle through the graveyard at the cost of everything that is good and just about America. Or we can name the enemy and attack it. We are in a death match.
Although the battle may be physical in the military sense, the war is Spiritual. If America refuses to recognize this most important fact, she loses. If America loses, the entire world loses. In the words of Lincoln, America is still “the last best hope for Earth”. Today, the only hope for her survival is her people turn to the only source of hope; Faith in the God of our Fathers. (Incidentally, He has no parlay with, nor is He related to the cultic deity, Allah of the Quran.)
[This article first published by DTN in 2011 has been revised for dates but otherwise remains original]