|It's 500 Days From
Ground Zero. Terrorism still rules. What can we do?
What should we do? Is Terror Hunting the right approach?
Are France and Germany right in turning their backs on the U.S.
goal of setting an example of why Terrorism should have no quarter in
the world? Find out in this compelling article.
25, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 500
500 Days From Ground Zero
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, Jan. 25--It was
exactly 500 days ago from Ground Zero today. Five hundred long
days and nights of Terror Hunting, of trying to understand, cope and
hunt down the Beast of Terror who still today stalks us as never
before, threatening far more than the collapse of the Twin Towers or
moved both rapidly and like a slug leaving a long trail of shiny slime
in its path. Our nation has elected over the past 720,000
minutes from Ground Zero Plus One to launch a War on Terrorism, to
ferret out individuals and nations who seek to suffocate the world
with policies of indiscriminate destruction, who harbor such anger,
hate and resentment against America or their other targets of
opportunity that they would offer their lives in suicide missions.
Their leaders sit in plush comfort directing their Beasts of Terror,
cracking their whips of hate and animosity and feeding the Beast of
Terror within their flocks with raw poisoned meat so that all they see
are enemies before them, innocent people turned into bulls eyes to be
shot, bombed, or bio-chemically reduced to nothingness.
It has been 43,200,000 seconds since
I looked up in the sky at the gleaming belly of the first jetliner
screaming a few hundred feet overhead toward the first Twin Tower, the
suicide Terror Team piloting the plane toward the heart of American
security and wealth, driving it into the icons of freedom and
prosperity in an act of futile defiance to all democracy.
I watched men
and women leap from the burning towers
I remember the
sadness of watching human beings leaping from the burning towers,
their arms and legs flailing as they chose to die rather than be
burned to death or suffocated by the Flames of Hell unleashed upon the
civilized world by the uncivilized whose singular goal was to remind
us all that Terror haunts the halls of the human condition. No matter
how evolved we think we are, its ugliness can appear at any moment,
any second unless we defend ourselves from its vile and corrupt
I recall taking what I thought was my
last breath 500 days ago when the first Twin Tower collapsed.
As the earth heaved and a great guttural roar ripped through the
streets of Lower Manhattan, I was sure the Terrorists had mined the
subterranean tunnels that make up the city's subways and sewers, and
laced their explosives with bio-chemicals. I recall
grabbing the women standing next to me who were frozen in fear and
shoving them against a wall to protect them from flying debris and the
great roiling cloud that shoved its way like angry fist at us, bearing
the bones and blood of thousands of victims as it drenched us in a
pall of death, choking and gagging us so we couldn't breathe.
I remember holding my breath as long
as I possibly could, not wanting to inhale the fallout I was sure
contained either radioactive waste or some deadly toxin, and then,
exasperated, gulping tenuously the chalk and waiting for my body to
start into seizures, hoping I would die quickly and not writhe in pain
I recall the sobbing of the women
next to me, "We're all going to die! We're all going to die!"
and saying as calmly as I could, "If we're going to die, then think of
something beautiful. Make your last thought something
I still don't know where those words came
from. But they ring loudly today as they did 11,520,000
breathes ago, when I sucked in the ash of destruction, when I gagged
and coughed and stood blinded huddling with the women against the wall
as the deafening silence of death shrouded us.
Then I recall moving toward the epicenter
of destruction, walking alone through empty streets with doors flung
open and debris scattered about, as though I were the only human left
on earth, alone, a single entity left unscathed while the rest of
humanity evaporated. I remember the long moments of nothingness,
the void in which I staggered through the blinding haze of ashen
fallout, groping to see, to find life in the wake of death.
Zero grave is being readied for new life
Today, the ash is
gone. The stench of burning bodies has been swept to sea.
The grave of Ground Zero has been dug and filled with foundations and
concrete as the new is being readied to replace the old.
Shiny new designs that spear up as Swords of Vigilance announcing to
the world that destruction is only temporary fill the atrium near
Ground Zero as architects vie to get their designs approved and to
rebuild the brothers and sisters of the Twin Towers, to erect the Next
Generation of Vigilance on the bloody soil of their brethren.
I keep a handful of the soil that
contains the spirits of the those who died that day, September 11,
2001. My wife and I collected it when we walked down into the
graveyard with the families of those who had been lost on the Second
Tuesday in September. We paid our tributes to the fallen
victims, the loved ones who sacrificed their lives in that horrible
act of violence that has changed the face of human evolution on his
planet, and divided nations into those who will go to any lengths to
hunt down and destroy Terrorism and those who would stand back and
allow it to fester and foment.
I hold that soil in trust, in a
Vigilance Trust. It is the earthly reminder to me that the
Spirits of Vigilance rose from the blood-soaked soil that day and
formed a Ring of Vigilance hovering over Ground Zero. They
were from all nations, not just Americans, a cosmopolitan cornucopia
of human hope and ambition, finding ways to improve the lot of
humanity through commerce and interface, bridging gaps of ignorance
and wisdoms between nations by exchanging values and ideas so that the
strong could pull the weak up, and the world could move more
efficiently toward its ultimate goal of prosperity.
On the first
anniversary of Nine Eleven, my wife and I paid tribute and joined
the Ring of Vigilance at Ground Zero
Oddly, the Twin
Towers were symbols of what the world could be. Nearly
one-third of the victims were from all four corners of the earth,
working to expand their nations' economies through trade and commerce,
linking the underdeveloped with the developed so that a bridge of
peaceful coexistence could blossom. But the Terrorists
attempted to cut the stalks of prosperity with the wings of their
destruction, and their Dragons of Terror belched fires and flames in
retaliation to the progress of humanity.
I sometimes cry over the sadness of
those men whose twisted thinking led them to believe that by killing
innocent men and women, grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles, aunts,
cousins, brothers and sisters that they might make a point that Terror
ruled over Vigilance. How sad. How sickening a
thought that a human mind can be so pliable as to believe the
destruction of the innocent in some way appeases any God, justifies
any spiritual quest.
But the Beast of Terror perverts one's
mind, twists and mangles ones thoughts so that whatever one seeks to
believe about the darkest side of humanity becomes the deity of their
lives, drives them to manufacture weapons of mass destruction, or
hurls them into starving their people while they relish in the posh
surroundings of luxury, ignoring the duty one human has to another to
help lift the other to the next plane of human expansion.
For 500 long days and nights I have
sought to arm the Sentinels of Vigilance in my own mind with Tools of
Vigilance--Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the Children's
Children's Children to combat the Beast of Terror's desire to drip the
acid of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency on any hope the world might
find ways to corral and harness the "evil" of Terrorism.
Daily, I find the battle frustrating.
Today, 720,000 minutes later, 11 million
breaths passed, France and Germany are turning their backs on
America's quest to remove Saddam Hussein's stated goal of building
weapons of mass destruction, and his flagrant refusal to supply
information about his weapon development. Instead of
offering such evidence, he has forced U.N. weapon inspectors into the
role of detectives, ferreting out what they can find in the sands and
tunnels of secret stockpiles, offering no open and willing effort to
disclose what he has, and hoping that the world will turn against
America's "search and destroy" mission.
Like the rat waiting
for the mousetrap to snap shut by itself, Hussein waits for time to
win his argument that the world doesn't really care about stopping
him, and his strategy is right. Great former allies now
turn their backs on America and refuse to shove the calendar forward,
selfishly seeking their own power and refuting that of America to rid
the Mid East of its greatest danger.
The Terrorism of Complacency is as alive
today as it was 500 days ago. Instead of rallying to wipe
out the great Terrorist of the Mid East, nations once supportive of
protecting their lands from such madmen now refuse to participate.
As long as the Terrorists don't blow up their people or attack their
children, then they feel safe in their smugness.
Five hundred days later, at the opposite
end of the world, another Terrorist grabs his belly and laughs at the
world. Kim Jong Il, the chief of state of North Korea,
defies the world by reactivating his nuclear production equipment and,
within a few months using fuel rods, can have up to five nuclear bombs
completed and ready to use as Terroristic bargaining chips in a world
where he who has the most ugly weapons wins.
Terror Hunting has not become popular since
Nine Eleven. Politically, the world leaders don't like the idea
of ferreting our Terrorism and attacking it. They prefer
negotiating with it.
When a rabid dog is snarling and frothing
at the mouth, it seems a little odd to try and negotiate it into a
state of calmness, and, if one thinks he is successful at it, the
rabid nature waits until the negotiator thinks he has achieved his
goal and then sinks his fangs in the vulnerable buttock exposed when
the negotiator turns his back.
The United Nations wants to negotiate with
Saddam Hussein. Terror Hunting upsets the idea of hundreds
of politicians sitting around a table all trying to talk their way
into Vigilance. It preempts the idea of the whole being
responsible for riding the Beast of Terror of its bite, and gives far
too much power to the Terror Hunter.
I find it confusing that 500 days later,
the world is resisting making an example of a Terror Nation such as
Iraq. Or, for that matter, North Korea.
Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder are against war with Terror
I don't feel very
secure when the President of the United States announces the
installation of early warning devices in major cities to alert the
population of smallpox or biochemicals loose in the air, or the fact
that health and emergency workers are getting smallpox vaccinations.
It reminds me of a Nine Eleven about to
happen again, only this time we all see the clock ticking before our
America has become the world's only Terror
For the first time in history, one nation
has stood up and said "We will not wait until our children or your
children are murdered. We will rid the land of those who
plan, plot or harbor those who wish to destroy the innocent."
Terror Hunting isn't a popular sport.
It brings with it great criticism
regarding intent. It makes other nations who are Complacent
retaliate with accusations that America is acting "out of order," that
it has no right to unilaterally defend itself or other nations from
the growing despotism that breeds people who climb into planes and
smash themselves into buildings, or brew biochemicals or nuclear bombs
to hurl about at will in acts of tyranny.
America, one of the few nations
who wins wars and doesn't colonize its victories over foreign lands,
is suspect of being tyrannical against tyranny. It's
ironic that other nations don't embrace America's Terror Hunting, for
if they did, the signal globally would be that Terrorism would be
stomped into the ground at the first sign of its presence. It
would deter all those who tried to bully others.
But France and Germany say
"NO!" Tens of thousands of anti-war marchers in Washington
last week screamed NO!" Even American public opinion is starting
to waver, and the slow attrition of support for the war on Iraq is
bringing the U.S. closer and closer to a state of Complacency.
But there is one staunch ally who supports American Vigilance in the
face of Terrorism. It is the Prime Minister of Britain,
Tony Blair. Blair separates himself from most politicians.
One, he is the youngest Prime Minister in recent English history, but
more importantly, he is an active father of four children, one of whom
was born during his role as leader of Great Britain. His
children are young, and his life is divided between politics and his
obligations as a Father of Vigilance. He is meeting with
Bush in Washington on January 31 about Iraq. But despite his
critics in Britain, he holds fast high ground regarding the protection
of the future by standing up to Terrorism. He sees through
the eyes of his children, not the myopic view to the ballot box.
Tony Blair and
Bush, Fathers of Vigilance
Terrorism must be stopped by example. If it isn't, it will
appear in a local neighborhood, like a rabid dog. It will
bite the children not the politicians, it will chew on the pregnant
mothers, the grandmothers, the innocent because it is based on Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency.
Terrorism never seeks victory,
Terrorism doesn't win anything
except the constant reminder that no one is willing to stand up to it.
Bullies only wish to Intimidate
and strike Fear in their victims. That's satisfying
But such bullies will run with
they are chased. They will hide when they are hunted.
And, when they are caught, they will cry and beg for mercy, for it is
the nature of a bully to be inhuman, insincere, untrustworthy and
If you let a crying bully go
out of compassion, the bully will laugh at you and run to the end of
the street and start bullying again. North Korea is
one example. Iraq another. Left alone without
supervision or control, bullies revert to what they do best--bullying
at everyone's expense.
But when a fierce Terror Hunter
comes on the scene and grabs the bully by the scruff of the neck and
whacks his bottom and tosses him in a cell, now the bully listens.
A bully only respects those who treat him accordingly--with no trust
and no compassion.
Five hundred days later I find
the Bullies of Terrorism thriving as never before. They
puff out their chest and dare the world to take them on.
They laugh. They boast. They prepare for more Bullyism.
- a Bully of Terrorism
We will only constrain the bully when we become Terror
Hunters--true to our job--unafraid to act, nonplussed
by those who would shun us.
as individuals, must also rally.
to look at Germany and France as examples of our own Complacency.
haven't signed the Pledge of Vigilance, if we haven't
dedicated ourselves to protecting our own children from
Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, how can we ask the
a Germany? Are we a France?
haven't become a Terror Hunter, if we haven't taken the
Pledge of Vigilance, perhaps we are.
24-- Bush Bashing Over The Evil Axis
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