When the King of Terror raises his scepter, will the U.S. crumble to its knees in Fear and Intimidation?   Will the price of Vigilance be far greater than the Complacency of Terrorism?   That's one of the massive questions that haunts America as we stand on the Eve of the King of Terror's wrath.   What will we do when and if Saddam Hussein launches last-ditch retaliatory attacks to seek final revenge against us if we attack?   Are we ready to pay the price of Vigilance to quash one of the many-headed Hydras of Terrorism?


Tuesday--January 28, 2003óGround Zero Plus 503
The Day I Bowed Before The King Of Terror & His Princes
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, Jan. 28--Con Coughlin calls him the "King of Terrorism."  The British journalist released his book:  Saddam Hussein:  King of Terror, in November, 2002.   Itís currently being read as a dark omen of things to come should the U.S. make good its threat to launch war against Iraq.
       Coughlin tells the story of Saddam Hussein growing up in the streets of Baghdad, raised by his maternal uncle, Khayrallah Tulfa.  Tulfa was jailed by the British in WWII for being a Nazi spy.   The book describes how Saddam purged the streets of opposition, and like a Mafioso, rose to power on the bones and blood of his adversaries, directed by his uncle each step of the way.

"King of Terrorism" = Saddam Hussein

    Coughlinís point is chilling: to illustrate Hussein's bloodthirsty nature, and his Hitlarian resolve to take everyone and everything out with him if attacked, especially the innocent and vulnerable far from Baghdad.
        Husseinís retaliatory strategy frightens many.

        It frightens me.  It frightens me that his view is not only held by himself, but also reinforced by his two sons.  They are just as bellicose in fanning the flames of retaliation within the U.S. and its allies.   Both have Voiced their eagerness to open the Gates of Hell if attacked and unleash the Beast of Terror on everyoneís doorstep possible.
        Hussein and his sons represent a living legacy to the Triad of Terrorism.   They are Fear, Intimidation and Complacency thinking through one mind and yet walking in three different bodies, hold up in three different bunkers, requiring three different direct strikes to erase them from existence.   In their dying breath, each has the option to push the Terror Button and open the Gates of Hell.

Uday, the Saddam's older son, with his father          

           Uday is the oldest and has a reputation as an irresponsible playboy.  Originally groomed for leadership, he fell out of his grace after an assassination attempt on his life.  His younger brother by two years, Qusay, 35, has taken his position as Iraqi's future leader.  Qusay was elevated to deputy in charge of the Iraqi armed forces last year and is said to already have control running day-to-day affairs in Iraq.  Uday manages the press and information and runs interference on the U.N. weapons inspectors.
       Both have underscored their fatherís threats with the tip of their own acerbic tongues.
       Coughlin reports a speech given last year by Qusay in an underground bunker before his father and top Iraqi officials.  In it, he made this vow to his father:  "With a simple sign from you(his father), we can make America's people sleepless and frightened to go out in the streets.  I only ask you, sir, to give me a small sign to turn their night into day and their day into a living hell."

Saddam Hussein and younger son, Qusay

Last week, Uday reinforced his brotherís vow to Iraqi journalists:  "If [the Americans] come, what they wept for on September 11 and what they view as a major event, it will appear as a picnic for them."
       Both sons and father are more than willing to perform Terroristic anatomy on any effort to unseat them from power.   Their main surgical tools are the scalpels, forceps and hemostats of Fear, Terrorism and Complacency.   Their current plan is carve up the internal organs of American resolve by letting the world know that whatever America does to Iraq, the consequences will be tenfold as great.   Itís working. Terrorism operates on its victims by opening up the dark cavities of human survival.  Using Fear to cut through our thick hides, and Intimidation to force open the wound, it seeks to clamp off the flow of blood and oxygen to our vital organs, spinning us into a state of Complacency so we donít act.
         When Saddamís Beast of Terror roars at our cave, and the fetid stench of its breath drives us backward into the security of civilization, we want nothing to do with the rabid beast that is so culturally and physically different from us.    
         The impact of what he Saddam and his sons are planning didnít strike me until this morning when I happened across Coughlinís comments.   They forced me to envision Saddam Hussein's death squads nesting here in New York City with vials of biochemical's smuggled in, and perhaps blankets soaked in smallpox locked in hermetically sealed containers waiting for a signal from the father or either of the sons.  These Terrorist cells were driving cabs, or selling vegetables, or perhaps students at NYU, poised and ready to unleash havoc, pain and suffering on the innocent and vulnerable they consider enemies.
          I thought of the French Resistance waiting for the signal that the Normandy Invasion was underway so they could launch their Terrorism against the Nazis in an attempt to demoralize and fragment German soldierís resolve to fight.  Pulverizing America would be a glorious day of retribution, I thought, for all those eager to strike a blow into the heart of what they call the ďEvil Nation.Ē
          Then I thought of the safety of my grandchildren and children threatened by such acts of retaliatory war. 
         I began to understand why Germany and France have turned their backs on the United Statesí eagerness to attack Iraq, and why the majority of Europeans, with the exception of Britain's Tony Blair, want nothing to do with rushing to judgment.   Europe is still recoiling from the death and destruction of their nations as a result of World War I & II, plus the economic and social devastation of the Cold War. Its graveyards burst at the seams with the skeletons of millions of innocent civilians--mothers, fathers, children, uncles, aunts, cousins--caught in the crossfire.  

American death and destruction in the Civil War

          America's eagerness to launch war is in part the result of its fading memory of warís haunting destructiveness.  It has been nearly a hundred and fifty years ago since America carted the bodies of its 670,000 dead through the streets.   The Civil War was the last time mothers and fathers held their dying children in their arms, victims of a war that many claim today is still not over, still not resolved.  If one isnít sure about that fact, just ask Trent Lott.
        The reality and ugliness of deathís destruction in our streets and neighborhoods hit me like a bug flying in front Evel Knievel's windshield.  I saw wailing mothers and fathers carrying limp bodies of their children, fighting off the flies and maggots trying to feast on what was once the center of the universe, now ground into horrible death masks by enemies bent on getting ten eyes for one, and a whole mouthful of teeth for every one we chip.
       I have first-hand recall of warís twisted nature.   Thinking about the dangers of retaliation, I recalled the face of the first grief-stricken mother I stumbled across in Vietnam.  She was screaming at me as I knelt to take a picture of her carrying her young son's head under her arm.  She was collecting pieces of his body that had been blown apart by our artillery as we raged our way into her village in search for the Viet Cong.   She was trying to make her dead son whole.  She had what was left of his body propped up against a tree and  scurried about the pocked soil in search of his dismembered pieces so she could bury him as a whole being.  One reunited with his body parts, he could go to Heaven as a one soul and not be lost in purgatory where the dismembered were eternally damned until they could find all their physical selves.
       I remember looking through my camera lens and seeing the pity in the woman's eyes pleading with me not to "steal her sonís soul" by taking the picture, and the iciness of my own vacuous soul as I clicked the shutter, unable to stop myself from my mission of recording the horrors of war so that I might never forget them.
        I thought of someone trying to take a picture of my grandsons, or granddaughter, as their mother knelt over their wounded or maimed bodies due to some Terrorist bomb or viral attack, and how violent I would become now that I was older and wiser toward them for imposing their cruel historic intentions upon the privacy of senseless death and senseless sadness.
        It wasn't a good feeling.
        So when the words of Uday and Qusay rang in my mind this morning, I felt the pores of my flesh pucker.  Just beneath my skin crawled an insatiable desire to turn my back on the saber rattling, and to fall into the shroud of Complacency where I could shut my eyes to all the principles of Vigilance and turn off the beacons I try to shine on the need for Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the Children's Children's Children in the face of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.  I just wanted to bury my head in the sand.

Keep the light of Vigilance on

        I found myself kneeling at the throne of the King of Terror and his two sons, the Princes of Terror.  My Light of Vigilance dimmed.  The Beast of Terror's shadow grew.   I could see why people refuse war, try and deny that the Terror will ever reach them, and by blinding themselves to the future they can live in peace in the future.
       Then I regained my balance.  

Coasting in Complacency

       I thought of the word "coasting,"  often used to imply a state of Complacency.  "I'm just coasting along on the issue," is an implication that I'm doing nothing but watching and waiting, observing, that I'm simply blinding myself to the facts in hopes they will go away or be taken on by others so I won't have to face them.
       That's when I remembered Newton and the Laws of Gravity.  I realized that the only way to coast is downhill, and that no object can be at rest for long, for it is either moving one direction or the next.  Gravity forces all movement.   The world spins at 1,000 miles an hour.   Nothing is constant but change.   Nothing can be ignored because all things exist and co-exist by their nature of being opposites and equals--including Terrorism and Vigilance.  Without Fear we cannot muster Courage, and without Intimidation we have little motivation to seek Conviction, and without Complacency we don't get upset with the ruts we dig and take the Right Action to crawl out of them.
        I realized it all came down to timing, to the point where we faced the fangs of the Beast of Terror at our doorstep and either fought him or fruitlessly tried to lock our door and shutter ourselves inside.
       Questions popped up.  Do we turn our backs on Saddam Hussein today and face his sons later?   Do we attack him now and send a signal to the world that Terrorism will face the Sword of Vigilance, or, do we kneel at the King of Terror's throne as France and Germany has so elected?
        Do we put our children at risk?   Do we stand by and watch the wheelbarrows ferry their bodies to the graveyard and scream and wail as photographers capture the scene?
        I came out of the horrible herniated thinking with only a thin thread of belief.
        That belief was that sometime, somewhere, some how, someone must make a stand for the future of the world's growing threats of Terrorism.

          In Pakistan nuclear weapons are under the control of a democratic government.  But, should that government topple, and a radical government take control bent on dominating the world with its Terrorism, who would stop them?  What signal would be sent to those who might rise up to seize the power of mass destruction that such an act would be met with devastating retaliation?
        I thought of North Korea and its rogue leader defying the world with his powers of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, and wondered who would stop him or his Terroristic predecessor from taking the lead from Saddam Hussein and swaggering around the world selling his weapons to the highest bidder and infecting the world with more poisons that could and would be used to make the "haves" bow to the "have-nots," as is the modus operandi of all bullies.
        At some point the line between the future security of the children and the present rampage of Terrorist weapon building has to be drawn.  Unfortunately, that line will be marked with blood.  
        I began to take my head out of the sand.
        I began to think of what principles I want my children and grandchildren to learn from my experience, and the single most important one is that bullies and Terrorists have no right to threaten the innocent, to force human beings to kneel before their Thrones of Terror as I found myself so easily subject to this morning.
       Would I pass by an adult beating a child on the street with his fists and run away because I was fearful he would come after my children and grandchildren if I got "involved" in trying to stop him?
        I couldn't imagine myself letting that happen.
        Yet, on a global basis, essentially I found myself running from the threat of a bully. I found myself scuttling like a rat to escape the rat catcher.
        So I dug in.

I choose to be a Wisdom Keeper

          I bit the bullet.
        I decided that Saddam Hussein's threats, and those of his sons--while perhaps true and possibly eventful--were not more powerful than the need for Vigilance.
        I decided that as a Wisdom Keeper, to not pass on to my children or grandchildren my belief in the protection of their future by stopping Terrorism in its tracks was an act of a coward.    Surely, it would be easy for me to turn my head and rally against the United States actions against Iraq.
        But then I would leave my children and grandchildren to fend for themselves.  I would tell my children and grandchildren that Complacency was more of a value than Right Actions, even if those Right Actions might be rife with death and destruction.
        Terrorism plays to the mind.   It engages our Beast of Terror to force us into severe states of selfish self-protection at the expense of future security.   It makes us bury our heads in the Sands of Complacency and to abdicate our Rights of Vigilance to others so that we might escape our duty to the future generations and bask in the pleasure of our present state.
        But Newton and Laws of Gravity ruled my thinking.
        I knew that coasting my thoughts into Complacency meant I was only going downhill, running from the bully of Terrorism, surrendering to his grip, letting the Beast of Terror pin me to the ground and snarl in victory over any effort to be Vigilant.

        That would be a violation of human evolution.
        To evolve, we must face Terrorism in all its ugly forms, even when it means we must risk the danger of spilling our own blood so the blood of the future may run free of the Toxins of Terrorism.
        I chose to get off my knees.
        I chose to stand up to Terrorism, and to agree that no matter what the consequences, inaction was far more Terrifying than action.
       I looked the Beast of Terror in the face, and took his picture.



Jan. 27--The Super Bowl Of Terrorism

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