We were not white or black, legal or illegal, Jewish, Islam or Christian. We were not the haves or the have-nots, the 1% or the ninety-nine, we weren’t prideful elitists or gun-totin’ rednecks. We were, just, Americans.
We honor the thousands who died and the many Americans who have served and are currently serving in our nation’s military—many enlisting as a response to the 9/11 attacks. Come together this 9/11 to honor, remember and reunite. Explore the 911 Interactive Timeline.
September 11, 2001 is the unique moment when every American realized something had gone unthinkably awry. The only question was, how awry. We telephoned loved ones to ease ourselves by simply knowing they were reachable. We tried to comfort friends and those of us who could, gathered with them. We understood these were the last moments of thousands of innocent Americans’ lives. None of us were sure how far its tenacles might reach into the once safe haven of our own.
In those dawning moments and by shear human nature Americans adhered into the united nation of one that we by nature are. We were not white or black, legal or illegal, Jewish, Islam or Christian. We were not the haves or the have-nots, the 1% or the ninety-nine, we weren’t prideful elitists or gun-totin’ rednecks. We were, just, Americans.
We watched countrymen cover every inch of New York City streets with postings of the missing, pleading for some sign of survival. We hung in disbelief on news accounts of planes crashing into skyscrapers, skyscrapers bursting into burning debris and people jumping from them before they collapsed into piles of rubble with thousands still inside. Ash and residue of lives-lived filled crevaces of life we didn’t even know had crevaces. Phone messages of the dying’s fighting words or last goodbyes echoed into the forever resounding canyons of American posterity. Innocents died and heros were born.
In the following days leagues of firefighters, policemen, public utility crews, and private industries from across our nation trekked Midwest interstates to bustling East Coast highways, to aid and assist. Private contractors and crews with personal leave took off work to go on their own, none having concern for their next union contract, who’d pay for the travel, if they’d get overtime – or if they’d be paid at all. Strangers on our streets began waving in nodding gestures and businesses extended the long lost art of caring courtesies, each of us intuitively knowing the patriotism of American brotherhood that was being extended. Words weren’t necessary, because we were, all, Americans.
We taped our country’s flag against work windows from every office building, draped it from rooftops and flew it from flag poles that seemed to sprout from our soils overnight. It flapped from car doors and clung to car trunks, we pinned them to our lapels, sewed them on our uniforms and stuck them to official game gear. First and foremost and above anything and everything else, we were, all, Americans.
Our country’s ethnicities hewned mankind’s perfection from our melting pot of American Exceptionalism and it felt good. Our love of God and country gave us faith, our faith gave us strength, our strength gave us courage, and our courage melded into a patriotism that is America. 911 epitomized our people’s unbeatable determination to overcome the bully that tries to take a nip out of our soul but gives rise to our American spirit instead.
This is who Americans are. If this isn’t your America, you don’t belong here.
Don’t turn your country over to a president who is anything less.
Eleven years have passed since the cowardly attacks on the World Trade Center occurred. Today, both Mitt Romney and President Obama are steering clear of politics and remembering the fallen.
Neither of the candidates has any political events scheduled for Tuesday, both have pulled all negative advertising for the day and both have issues statements on the tragedy.
“On this most somber day, those who would attack us should know that we are united, one nation under God, in our determination to stop them and to stand tall for peace and freedom at home and across the world,” Romney said in a statement released before his scheduled speech before the National Guard who were deployed in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks.
Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan has also foregone any political events saying in a statement that he believes this is a time to pay tribute to those who work to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.
The Obama’s will hold a moment of silence at the White House before heading to a Pentagon ceremony. Vice President Joe Biden attends a ceremony in Shanksville, PA where the infamous “let’s roll” line started the events that prevented Flight 93 from making it to its intended target. That flight instead crashed in Pennsylvania killing all aboard.
White House Spokesman Jay Carney said that the President will be remembering those lost in the attacks and in combat since then. “He certainly hopes and knows that Americans across the country will take a moment to reflect upon the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and all that our country has been through together since then.”
Although the Romney campaign has no events scheduled, the Obama campaign has former President Clinton attending a political rally at Florida International University on Obama’s behalf.
There are currently 65,000 students from Saudi Arabia in the US. That may or may not be well and good. Even if the vast majority of them are, in fact, students, then some number of terrorists, recent history teaches us, have entered this country. For perspective, there are now four times as many Saudi Arabian “students” in the US as there were in September 2001.
So, with that number of students and perspective in mind, let’s examine three factors that had a effect upon the 9/11 terrorist attack:
“9/11 Terrorists” – Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia. All the terrorists were affiliated with al-Qaeda. Osama bin Laden recruitedtwelve of the fifteen Saudi Arabian 9/11 terrorists on highway 15, which runs from Mecca to the Saudi Arabian border with Yemen.
“Students” – The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) notified the Huffman Aviation flight school of Venice, Florida, that Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi had been approvedfor student visas. They were the terrorists who flew planes into the World Trade Center. The approvals came exactly six months after 9/11 happened. But that occurred eleven years ago. What’s going on now?Saudi Arabia paid $6.5 billion for the 65,000 students to come to the US. Saudi Arabian King Abdullah assumed the throne in 2005, and initiated its international scholarship program. He convinced President George W. Bush, to reopen the student visa service after 9/11, saying that the education program was crucial for the two countries’ long-term relationship. But even though Bush approved the student visa program, admitting over 30,000 students, President Barack Hussein “kill list” Obama has exploited it. Since Obama took office, the number of Saudi Arabian students has risen by 46.1 percent.The 65,000 students are more than there are Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Do you really think all of them, or even some of them, are being watched?
The reason always given is that is that if the students are exposed to us, it will make them like us. But that never seems to work with hard-core, committed terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or Sayyid Qutb, both of whom studied in the US.
“Madrassas” – A madrassa is an Islamic religious school that teaches Wahhabism, a very austere and rigid form of extreme Islam which comes from Saudi Arabia. They are financedprimarily by Saudi Arabia and are located primarily in Pakistan. There was a growth of madrassas during the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan (1979-1989) that focused not on Islam, but on making war on infidels. Now the US the target of the madrassas teachings of making war on infidels. Saudi Arabia officials strenuously deny these allegations.Now we learn that Saudi Arabia financed madrassas are being built in previously moderate regions of Pakistan, where recruitment has become intense. One recruiting tool is “martyrdom.” The recruit’s family is promised that if their son(s) are “martyred” both the sons and the family will attain “salvation” and the family will obtain God’s favor. The family usually receives about $6,500 per son. The sons, usually aged eight to twelve, are sent to extremist madrassas in southern or western Punjab, Pakistan. There they are taught sectarian extremism and hatred for non-Muslims.
And let’s not forget the first NY Trade Center bombing in 1993, led by Omar Abdel Rahman, the Blind Sheikh. He was squired around NY in the early 1990s by Siraj Wahhaj. Guess who is leading a DNC activity and speaking at the DNC. That’s correct: Siraj Wahhaj. Wahhaj has said that the US will fall unless it “accepts the Islamic agenda.”
Will the US and its politicians never learn? Or will an event similar to 9/11 have to occur before they wake up from their eleven year induced sleep?
Sure, that probably sounds insane. How in the world could Norway know anything about fighting terrorism, right?
Maybe not. With the recent shooting in Colorado, there has been some mention of the terrorist in Norway that rocked that nation about a year ago. Unlike the U.S., Norway did not pass sweeping legislation, and radically increase security. Their solution was increased transparency and democracy.
While I am not in the least bit interested in, or impressed with the “love in”, warm and fuzzy attitude of Norway’s leaders, I am intrigued with the concept of the full-frontal assault on terrorism without raising a weapon. They recognized something that we didn’t, at least not immediately, after 9/11. Maybe Norway wouldn’t have taken the route they did if it wasn’t for our losses, but I digress.
Beverly & Pack (CC)
Instead of acting on fear, Norway chose to stick to its principles, and refuse to give in to that base emotion. And that is, from a psychological point of view, arguably the best response to a terrorist attack. Acts of terror are perpetrated to instill fear. If the target doesn’t respond in a fearful manner, the terrorist does not truly succeed, regardless of what physical damage was caused.
Al Qaeda’s real victory over the U.S. wasn’t on the day of the attacks. It was when our Congress passed the Patriot Act, and when we stopped living our lives the way we had before 9/11. We lost part of our identity as a nation because of that, and we may never be able to retrieve that. But, that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from Norway now.
There have been many complaints and investigations over the past several months about the incompetency and overreaching of the TSA, for example. Is the screening that we subject ourselves to really necessary? I know there are plenty out there that would argue that it is. But there are those on the other side that say the screenings really do not do much to protect us.
While I’m not saying that the U.S. could ever approach terrorism exactly the way Norway has, I do think that we need to examine the psychology behind their choices. We need to re-examine our priorities when it comes to national security, and terrorism. With an administration that hasn’t been very good at plugging intelligence leaks, ironically enough we are presented with a unique opportunity. We can look at least a few of our choices when it comes to “making America safe from terrorism”, and weigh their real value. Are they really worth surrendering certain freedoms? Or would dispensing with those measures be the better choice?
The big question for us is the same one Norway faced. Is just feeling safer worth surrendering even an ounce of freedom as we have for past decade? Are we really any safer, and is our “increased security” hurting us more than it is helping us? This is not about threat assessment. That is another issue. This is about weighing our current (false?) sense of security versus giving terrorists the satisfaction that they have made us change our way of life because of them. Is walking through airport security barefoot worth it anymore? Are the intrusive groping sessions making us safer, or just disgusted and humiliated? Are we daily giving terrorists their jollies by jumping through insane hoops? And, perhaps even more important than all of that, are we surrendering too many personal liberties, and too much privacy to allow the government to investigate “potential terror threats”? Norway has shown it is possible to move on after suffering a terrorist attack without surrendering freedoms. If they can do it, why can’t we?
Have you heard of this? SWAT-ting is falsely placing a call to the 9-1-1Operator and reporting a serious crime in progress using another’s name or address.
By using new technology the perpetrator is able to make it look like the call is placed from inside the ‘victim’s’ home. The 9-1-1 Operator dispatches an Emergency Response Team, sometimes SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics). Police arrive anticipating something horrendous while the victim innocently answers the door.
It seems this originated as a prank played by youth with technological know how who were able to spoof the telephone number, tricking Emergency Services into seeing the victim’s phone number and address. Using this harassment tool to target political speech is more recent. Within the past month two outspoken, controversial conservative bloggers have been targeted. Erick Erickson of the RedState.com website was hit. The emergency dispatcher was told that, “I just shot my wife. . .” “I’m going to shot someone else, soon.” Accordingly, police were sent to his home. In an interview with CNN Erickson shares the experience. The 9-1-1 call is chilling in its serious tone.
This week blogger Aaron Walker, author of Archangel, had a similar incident. Both of these men and their families were put in significant danger when police arrived at their homes looking for a murderer.
Calling 9-1-1, pretending to be someone who you do not like is no joke. Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia wrote to the Attorney General urging him to investigate this matter. These hoaxes may be life threatening. Americans value Freedom of Speech, whether one agrees with the speech or not. This type of harassment, hoping to silence these speakers, should not be tolerated.
September 11, 2001: The day that changed America forever.
First Officer Steve Scheibner packed his suitcase and waited for the phone call finalizing his assignment to fly American Airlines Flight 11, from Boston to Los Angeles. The call never came. In My Seat recounts the events leading up to Flight 11 and the subsequent death of Tom McGuinness in the seat that should have been filled by Steve Scheibner.
Imagine a street in a city in Pakistan. There is a marketplace nearby, and there are women and children going about their daily business, buying food and other goods. The only arguments are between customers and vendors, but they are not mean-spirited – just the typical bargaining on prices. Suddenly, a bomb goes off, and as the smoke clears, the marketplace is leveled. Body parts litter the ground, and screams replace the sound of the blast. The lucky ones that were only wounded slightly are seen wandering, covered in blood, looking for friends and family members in the rubble.
Unfortunately, that is part of life in Pakistan. We have seen it countless times on news clips. Sometimes one radical organization or another claims responsibility, sometimes not. On rare occasions, it is not the result of a bomb, but of an errant missile from a drone operated by the U.S. military. But that is assuming that the marketplace is truthfully only dealing in produce and household goods – it is silly to assume that weapons never make it to largely civilian marketplaces, making them a military target. Regardless, it is unlikely that the U.S. government would tell the truth anyway, because it doesn’t make the situation any better to do so. If anything, it would probably be worse if terrorists knew that the U.S. was aware of how they move weapons, so it’s better to call it a mistake, and offer a boilerplate apology.
The war on terror started in Afghanistan, and has shifted at least in part to Pakistan for obvious reasons – al-Qaeda has migrated there. It is no surprise that as the trial of five 9/11 conspirators begins at Guantanamo Bay, there is a video released of an American captive of Al Qaeda begging Obama for the release of terrorists in custody – presumably including the ones on trial.
I would like to say that I am certain that the President is preparing a letter of condolence for the wife of Warren Weinstein, instead of actually considering bargaining for his release. But given the fact that the trial of the 9/11 conspirators was literally hijacked by the defendants, turning what should have been a short arraignment hearing into a day-long affair, I’m not so sure. In the effort to be seen by the world as the better party in these proceedings, the U.S. is catering to the defendants. The unfortunate result will be depicting the U.S. yet again as the weaker party, at least to those in the Islamic world.
While it would be counterproductive to stoop to the point of engaging in intentional bombings of civilians abroad, and summarily executing 9/11 terrorists, it is equally harmful to bend over backwards to accommodate those defendants. The female defense attorney that attended the hearing wearing the hijab should be censured, and if she still insists on appeasing her client in that regard, she should be removed and replaced either with a male, or a female that will not do the same. It may seem petty, but it is important. To those defendants, her actions show that she acknowledges her “place” in their world. They are not entitled to that, by any stretch of the imagination.
Back to Weinstein, if he is still alive, it is insane to assume that he will ever be recovered alive. Given his health problems, it is quite possible that he is already dead. If he isn’t, there is no reason to think that al-Qaeda would release him regardless of what the U.S. would do. On the contrary, it is in al-Qaeda’s best interest to kill him on video, and release that footage after detainees had been released, to further prove their supremacy over the “weak” Americans. No matter how sad it may be, one American life is not worth giving in to al-Qaeda, period. Such bargaining would only serve to strengthen the resolve of terrorists, and most likely lead to more American deaths from future attacks.
Contrary to what the U.S. has hoped, killing leadership of al-Qaeda has not lessened the threat from the organization significantly enough to render it irrelevant. Pakistan is not a reliable U.S. ally in combating al-Qaeda, and it is foolish to think that it will become one. Without the aid of that nation, putting an end to the terrorist organization once and for all is virtually impossible. The mere fact that there is still a U.S. military presence in the region is fuel for Islamic terrorist organizations in general, so attempts to eradicate radicals is necessarily leading to the creation of more radicals. It has been argued ad nauseum whether or not “enhanced interrogation techniques” are torture, and more importantly whether or not that has lead to more potential members of organizations like al-Qaeda, hell bent on waging war on America.
Now, with the circus of a trial at Guantanamo Bay, it can be argued that the U.S. really has lost sight of what this is really about. Bargaining for peace with the Taliban includes releasing high level prisoners, and all the U.S. wants in return is a pledge that these detainees will not fight again. That is simply “peace at any cost”, and should be an indication that it is time for the U.S. to disentangle itself from the region. The focus should be on trying and punishing the 9/11 conspirators we have in hand. There is no real option for lasting peace in that region, especially not with any level of Western intervention. That intervention is arguably what lead to 9/11 in the first place. We cannot bargain our way to anything other than making ourselves look weak to those that have a deep-seated desire to destroy us. Catering to the enemy is a deadly game that we need to stop playing. If the next trial session at Guantanamo Bay goes as this first one, we have lost. We need to remember what this is about. Anyone that wants to sympathize with these defendants should be forced to watch the most graphic footage available of what happened on 9/11. They should be forced to watch people jumping from the towers to their deaths, over and over again. That is what these men did. That is what they must be held accountable for. We owe them nothing, but we are kind enough to give them their day in court. Get on with the trial, remove the defendants if they will not respect the court, reach a verdict, and put an end to this. Just by having a trial at all, we have taken the higher ground. That is more than enough.
I find myself intrigued with Ron Paul on a regular basis. The man can get up and say some of the most patriotic and sensible things in one sentence and then in the next sentence sound like he just came out of an insane asylum. Paul has great ideas when it comes to fiscal responsibility, spending, freedom, and the Federal Reserve. On the other side of the coin, though, his ideas on foreign policy leave me wondering where he left his brain, or if he has one that is properly balanced. When he speaks of fiscal issues he sounds like Ronald Reagan. When he speaks of foreign policy he sounds like Hugo Chavez and even to the left of Barack Obama.
When I hear him speak of auditing or eliminating the FED I stand up and cheer. The Federal Reserve is a non-governmental entity that is destroying our economy by printing money that has essentially no value, thereby lowering the value of the dollar and guaranteeing severe inflation in the very near future. The FED also has virtually no oversight from anyone in Congress. Paul is also correct in his assessment of federal government spending. We cannot keep spending money borrowed from China for building IHOP restaurants, studying ants in New Zealand, teaching African men how to wash their genitals after sex, and certainly can’t keep borrowing to prop up European countries.
I also agree with much of his stand on Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and the other third world hell holes Obama is involving us in. Fighting a war against Islamic terrorists is one thing but this “nation building” farce is only a boon for the military industrial complex and is not helping any aspect of our national security interests. We are wasting money and lives in a venture that will fail because it isn’t about winning a war; it is about being politically correct and propping up a puppet government. As we are leaving Iraq we see the sectarian slaughter returning.
Sunni and Shiite Muslims have been butchering each other for centuries and we are not going to stop it. Until these stone-age animals decide to live like human beings nothing we do is going to change anything. All we do is put our soldiers in the line of fire with a no-win policy that puts their lives in danger with rules of engagement that are insane.
While closing military bases all across the United States we build and expand bases throughout the world. While we are “helping Afghan police and military close their borders to invaders” we leave our own borders wide open to drug cartels and the very Islamic terrorists we are fighting in far off lands.
Ron Paul makes quite a stir when he talks about “legalizing drugs”. I don’t remember everything he has said about drugs but I do know he has some valid points here also. The “war on drugs” has been going on for 50 years and has cost taxpayers billions in wasted money. Not only have we not solved the problem of illegal drugs; this “war” has made it worse. Most of Paul’s position has more to do with leaving this issue to the states, not legalizing drugs wholesale as the story is reported. Ron Paul is a strong states’ rights advocate, as am I. It only took the politicians 14 years to see the problems caused by Prohibition and repeal the 18th Amendment. The war on drugs has been going on for 50 years with the same results we saw during Prohibition. I don’t condone legalizing all drugs but I see a colossal failure that could be handled better at the state level.
Paul has the same ideas on abortion; let the states decide how they want to handle this issue. I agree with him on this matter. If it isn’t in the Constitution the federal government has no business sticking their nose into it. Every time a person or group doesn’t get their way at the state level they run to the federal government to override the states, the place where these issues should be decided. I see abortion as murder, and see murder as a state issue not a federal one.
I hear all of the things Paul writes and says about these issues and I jump up and cheer him on. Then he begins to talk about foreign policy and I scream out in pain. Paul is just as bad as Barack Obama when it comes to blaming America for every ill in the world. I have a cousin who worked in the building demolition business years ago and I had several opportunities to see the activities involved in blowing a building up, or rather imploding them. When I hear Ron Paul talk about 9/11 being an inside job I want to choke his scrawny little neck.
The idea that the World Trade Center was taken down by internally placed explosives is ludicrous to anyone who has even a scant knowledge of building implosions. The amount of work necessary to drill into pillars, place the explosives, wire them together, and tie everything to a detonator cannot be accomplished in a building with thousands of people walking in and out all day every day. A building that size isn’t brought down on itself with a satchel charge tossed into an elevator. The idea that the Bush Administration was involved in setting up the hijackings is equally ludicrous and statements by Ron Paul and his supporters on this issue shows they are well outside the realm of sane or intelligent thought.
While Ron Paul has some very good ideas about what is needed to restore The Republic of the United States of America, he has more than enough crazy ideas to make him a danger to every person in this country. I would love to see Ron Paul be the next Treasury Secretary or Chairman of the Federal Reserve but to put this man in the White House would endanger our nation almost as much as re-electing Barack Obama.
We need a very strong leader with strong conservative values. We need someone who will articulate the conservative message and have the courage of his/her convictions. Now is not the time for waffling or being concerned about “diversity” or “inclusiveness”. The only answer to our nation’s problems is a conservative approach that relies on the Constitution that our founding fathers fought the Revolutionary War to make possible. Anything less will result in the demise of a once great nation and the rise of another Third World banana republic with a dictator such as Adolph Hitler or Hugo Chavez. Ron Paul is not the man for the job.
I submit this in the name of the most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by Almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.