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Jesus and Mordy
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Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco
by Burt Prelutsky
by Mark Steyn
New Meaning of War
by J. F. Kelly, Jr. [writer]
picture “United 93” is causing many Americans to
recall where they happened to be on Sep. 11, 2001 when Islamic
four commercial airliners and succeeded in flying two of them into the World
Trade Center’s twin towers and a third into the Pentagon. These attacks
on innocent American civilians caused more deaths than the equally infamous
sneak attack on Pearl Harbor sixty years before.
the Pearl Harbor attack, which killed mostly military personnel,
a grim and determined President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked
for and received from Congress a declaration of war against
Japan and her allies. After the 9/11 attack, an equally grim
and determined President George W. Bush asked for and received
from Congress the authority to attack the terrorists responsible
and those who sheltered or supported them wherever they might
be. There was no formal declaration of war because our enemies
were not nations but rather terrorist organizations, receiving
broad support from various sources in the Arab and Muslim world,
intent on killing westerners, especially Americans and Jews,
in the name of Allah.
J.F. Kelly, Jr.
Kelly, Jr. is a retired Navy Captain and bank executive
who writes on current events and military subjects.
He is a resident of Coronado, California. [go to Kelly index]
today, then, is an undeclared war against terrorists and Americans
are greatly divided about how to fight it. We have,
in fact, struggled to understand how to fight undeclared wars
since the last “real” war ended in 1946. The inconclusive
outcomes of these undeclared wars—Korea, Vietnam, Iraq—,
in spite of large sacrifices in American lives and treasure,
illustrate the peril of entering into such wars without a clear
intention of utterly defeating our enemy and winning unconditionally.
In the process of
fighting undeclared wars, the very meaning of war has grown
fuzzy. We trivialize the term by applying it
loosely and metaphorically to such things as the “war” on
drugs and the “war” on poverty, efforts also lacking
a real determination to commit the resources necessary to decisively
win, thus producing the same inconclusive outcomes. Is it possible
that Americans no longer know how to win a war?
My wife and I happened
to be in Skagway, Alaska on Sep. 11, 2001. As we watched the
awful images on TV, we grappled with
what the attacks foretold and how the country would respond.
Days later, sitting in a Vancouver hotel room, waiting for flights
to resume so that we could return home, we read the news accounts
and listened to the angry speeches on TV. A common reaction,
along with anger, was that the terrorists must “be brought
to justice”. Whose justice, I wondered? Do they deserve
our justice? In a real war, terrorists who participated in deadly
attacks on innocent non-combatants would not “be brought
to justice”, at least not the genteel brand of justice
reserved for American civilians. Most of them would be hunted
down and slain, hopefully before they struck again. Those who
insisted upon surrendering would be swiftly tried by military
Alas, this is not
a “real” war, lip service to
the contrary. Post-WW II Americans and Europeans, conditioned
by decades of political correctness, multiculturalism and guilt
over their relative prosperity, have grown soft and magnanimous.
When attacked, we look first to find fault within ourselves.
If people hate us, it must be because we were insensitive to
their values and we have only to reach out to them to eventually
win their hearts and minds. To execute terrorists would be barbaric.
We are better than that. They deserve the same justice that we
enjoy, no matter what. That’s the moral high road. It’s
what makes us different from them
also what makes us more vulnerable. American-style justice
presumes innocence, whatever the initial
circumstances, until proven guilty which, in the case of 9/11
terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, took approximately four years and
millions of dollars, much of which he spent mocking American
values and justice. American justice favors the defendant by
providing him the benefit of the doubt, free counsel if needed
and almost unlimited opportunities for appeal. It operates under
the generous principle that it is better to let many guilty parties
go free than to wrongfully convict one.
on destroying us, will happily exploit this system and use
it, as Moussaoui did, to promote the terrorists’ cause
and heap contempt on America. After the court heard the now-standard
testimony regarding difficult childhood, abusive upbringing,
lack of self-esteem, etc., the jury predictably sentenced him,
not to death, but to life in prison where, as the saying goes,
he will supposedly rot in prison forever.
Not likely. Instead, he will receive free room, board, air
conditioning, medical care and freedom from taxes and responsibilities
for the rest of his life, at considerable expense to the taxpayers.
Keeping him alive, moreover, may well result in hostages being
taken by other terrorists and held for his ransom. He will perhaps,
become a celebrated legend in the perverted world of terrorists.
This, then, is how American justice treats terrorists because,
of course, we are better than them.
Defiant to the end,
Moussaoui shouted at his sentencing that he won and America
lost. He has a point. In the words of Andrew
C. McCarthy, who led the federal prosecution against the dozen
terrorists involved in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, “This
is no way to fight a war”. ONE
2006 J. F. Kelly, Jr.