Sunday, September 9, 2012

Patriot Day - September 11 2012

September 11.   My calendar calls it Patriot Day(US), celebrated only in the USA.
September 11 may commemorate all American Patriots, but it’s best known as a wake-up call.  On September 11 2001 we woke up to discover the oceans that separate us from the other continents aren’t barriers to the conflicts in Europe, Africa or Asia.  Much to our rude surprise we also discovered that we are not universally like or feared to any great deal.
Following four suicide attacks by filled commercial airliners we momentary roused ourselves from our somnambulant trip thorough history.  We established new and often ineffective government organizations (TSA), gave up freedoms (unsigned search orders for our utility uses and GPS tracking of our vehicles) and subjected ourselves to base indignities (back to TSA groping us) just to get on an airplane.   
All in the illusion of security.
Despite the few voices lost in the desert calling for self-reliance and preparation, we are again sleep-walking through history.  We handicap our troops with rules of engagement that our enemies discard.  We confuse disruption with peaceful disagreement.  Our politicians pander to every voting block regardless of their stripe in a manner that would make a crack whore blush.
I don’t have an answer.  I don’t even have all the questions.   I see too many connections to expect a cookbook answer. 
I suggest society needs to re-engage with the political process.  Write your politicians and newspapers.  Tell them what you expect of them.  How else will they know what society wants?  Do you really think answering a poll carefully seeded with loaded questions tells them what we expect out of them.  No, it just reinforces the views of the special interest group that paid for the poll.
Each of us needs to send the world a message.  That message must be of self-reliance, of readiness and that we are prepared. 
But you need to step up too.  Demand your police practice terrorist responses at your schools, churches and local hospitals.  Get to know your neighbors and make sure they know they can count on you during a disaster.  Join the NRA and if you carry, practice with your weapon and develop your skill sets.  If you don’t carry, well why not?
Yes, this is going to take some of your time, maybe a weekend a month at the range.  Maybe you’ll have to give up a week’s vacation this year to get professional training.  But if you want to see a difference, then you have to be able to make a difference.  It all starts with you and me.
We will never defeat terrorism by promising them a chance at the American Dream.  We aren’t going to out produce them and crush their economy with luxury items.  They aren’t lining up to get the newest i-phone because Apple said so.  We can’t bribe them with our friendship or promises of foreign aid.
They are committed to dying for their cause.  They carefully and purposely cast themselves in the role of the underdog hero making the supreme sacrifice for people who love them against a bloated evil.  It’s a powerful image and motivator.
All we can do is demonstrate to them their deaths will be trivial, meaningless and unimportant.  That they will be fly specks on the pages of history.  September 11 might be a good day to start.

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