Remembering 9/11 – The Struggle Continues

I dare say that none of us will ever forget where we were that Tuesday morning on September 11, 2001, when the world’s turmoil landed squarely on America’s doorstep. We were stunned, bewildered, fearful, and angered.

Thirteen years have now passed since that day. We have waged war in Afghanistan and Iraq. We have reached into Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen to attempt to strike at terrorist targets. We have watched the Arab Spring disintegrate into violence and turmoil throughout the Arab world from Syria to Egypt to Tunisia and all points in between.   Now, after all this time, we are confronted with a new dark challenge.

President Obama last night broadly outlined the need to engage militarily against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In response, Congress now has both a Constitutional and moral duty to speak but not quibble. Neither a blank check nor handcuffs should be handed to the President and our military. Instead, Congress’ role should be to insure that the principles outlined originally by former Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger, and later utilized by General Colin Powell in the First Gulf War, be followed. They were:

  1. Commit U.S. forces to combat only when the vital national interests of the United States or its allies are involved;
  2. If U.S. forces are to be committed, do so wholeheartedly and with the clear intention of winning;
  3. If U.S. forces are to be committed, there must be clearly defined political and military objectives, and our forces must be given the capacity to accomplish those objectives;
  4. The relationship between the objectives and the size and composition of the forces committed should be continually reassessed and adjusted if necessary;
  5. U.S. forces placed in harm’s way must have the sustained support of the American public and Congress; and
  6. The commitment of U.S. troops should be considered only as a last resort.

When and how this struggle against terrorism will end is unknown but the actions of ISIS in Syria and Iraq clearly remind us that this is a fight we cannot ignore. Theirs is a world view that does not tolerate coexistence with anyone or any culture that does not bow to their extreme beliefs. In short, regrettably sometimes war is the only answer.

So today, we must once again mourn our dead, steel our resolve to press on, and remember that what binds us together is greater than what tries to tear us apart.

12 comments

  1. Mrs. Adam Kornstein says:

    7. Before any US service personnel are committed, I’d like to see everyone who would vote for it take a pledge to also fully fund the Veterans Administration & Hospitals.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      A good post.

      I’m ashamed to admit that double entendre entered my mine when I read “Now,…..we confronted with a new dark challenge.” A pitiful state of affairs.

      Self-deprecation is in order to emphasize I don’t want to insult or criticize in suggesting the “Rep” be dropped from the PP byline.

  2. Harry says:

    I say let’s let the Sunni (Saudi Arabia) and the Shia (Iran) fight it out to a standoff. We can’t solve anything.

  3. MattMD says:

    It is a sad irony that if we had stayed out of Iraq, we very likely would not have be having to deal with these ISIS/ISIL jackwads right now.

    Call it the soft bigotry of low expectations but sometimes a country isn’t at all prepared for a democracy to be forced upon them. This is especially true when we are talking about a state which was designed by a former imperialist power. When you add the nature of extremist Islam, which is seven centuries behind the modern world, we then have modern-day Iraq.

    Sometimes you need a secular strongman or a monarchy, this is something many of those idiot Neo-Cons have never seemed to grasp. Yes, Saddam was a bad person but he was mostly a rational actor. (The alleged assassination attempt on GHWB was pretty stupid).

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Needing a secular strongman has been problematic too when the US is doing the propping up. For instance, it served us very poorly with respect to Iran.

  4. WeymanCWannamakerJr says:

    9/11 was horrific. Iraq didn’t have a damn thing to do with it. Using a backhoe to replace our divots isn’t doing the fairway any good.

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