It’s been 15 summers since much of the western world realized that it was under attack from an enemy others had long known. Since then, frequency of such attacks (though usually less “grandiose”) across the western world have drastically increased, actually becoming commonplace.
The impact their perpetrators and supporters have long-term on western civilization dwarves that of the 9/11 Attacks.
Rather than having made progress on that front at the least (since we sure haven’t in anything else), the reverse is true. Today’s western leadership cannot even name this enemy, even though the administration in place at the time identified it immediately (or “almost” identified it).
At the time, the USA and the western world was destined to be fortunate indeed, to have had the steady hands of George W Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld at the helm of the free world, and those of Rudy Giuliani guiding the city under attack.
The next generations of leaders, though quick to second guess, criticize and claim what they and their constituents are or ought to be “entitled” to… are shadows of these men, who denied the enemy the immediate panic he desired, steadied the ship, identified friend and foe, and lunged out our attackers.
It is beyond unfortunate however, that though an immediate panic and collapse proved far from our enemy’s capability (at least under our leadership at the time), the long-term effect has been to digest and accept this “panic” as part of our long term policy. What was not achieved in an immediate collapse, has been achieved by our enemy (surely beyond their wildest dreams) in gradual but continuous decay of the western world’s values and policies, to the point it is easy pickings for the weakest but most vicious enemy.
We could not scream “we are afraid!”, at the same instant, but we could later then mask our fear in statements of “understanding” and “tolerance”. We change our policies not for our own good, which we pretend we don’t possibly care about, but for the good of those who wish to replace our civilization with theirs (to put it nicely). Because we are so enlightened and so progressive.
As G W Bush stepped down, and was replaced by a man who, whatever his qualities may or may not have been as an individual, had no business being POTUS, I could see the writing on the wall… and knew the sorry decay that lay in front of us. Knowing this, fresh off my service in the IDF, I was shocked to see the volume of hatred the media and much of America openly displayed towards this patriotic man who had at the very least inarguably, courageously, honorably and honestly led his nation through a most difficult time. His highest goal, that no other US civilian on US soil, be slaughtered at the hands of terrorists, surprisingly well achieved.
Overwhelmed at the dichotomy between his values and intentions, and the hatred hurled at him and his administration by his fellow-citizen detractors, while knowing the essence of what the people had chosen to follow instead, I wrote this farewell to the President.
As times have gotten decidedly worse in what has always been a dangerous world, we miss him and his captains even more.