At what point will America's Complacency to fight Terrorism wane?
At what point will the deaths of Americans in Iraq cross the line and
turn the current support for the war in Iraq into a protest against
our involvement? If we retreat from the war, will
the Beast of Terror be victorious? Will our retreat signal
the demise of Vigilance and the triumph of Terrorism?
3, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 782
Throwing The Rocks of Terror At America's Children
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Nov. 3, 2003--
Yesterday, as 30,000 people from all over the world ran in the New
York City Marathon, another race was underfoot in Iraq.
helicopter was shot down in Iraq killing 16 Americans
It was the "Death Race," and 16 Americans lost when the
helicopter taking them to the airport for a well-deserved leave in the
United States came under missile attack by Terrorist guerrillas.
It was the largest single loss of American lives since
the Iraq War started on March 20 of this year. It may not be the
of the hornet's nest might turn Iraq into a quagmire of discontent
And, it may be the stirring of the hornet's nest that
will turn Iraq into a quagmire of civil discontent as the protests
against Vietnam became three decades ago.
I hope not. But history does repeat itself.
There is one distinct difference between the war in
Iraq and Vietnam. In Vietnam, we weren't sure what we fighting
for. The enemy stood in the center of the ideological
battleground of "democracy" vs. "communism."
It made the death of a "buddy" hard to justify when he
stared at you with blank eyes as the last ounces of his blood gushed
from a severed jugular, sliced by a mine that exploded and killed
those around you but left you unscathed.
In Iraq, the battleground is slightly different.
There is a clear and present danger of the enemy--Terrorism, and the
clear and present benefit of Vigilance--the destruction of Terrorism.
soldiers evacuating one of the victims near Falluja
It is a thin line,
but one that is visible enough for most Americans--over 60 percent--to
vote for supporting the continued presence of American troops in Iraq.
At least, that was the poll taken before the missile struck down the
Chinook helicopter ferrying American troops to enjoy a week of leave
in the U.S.
The site of the attack, Falluja, Iraq, is located about
30 miles southwest of Baghdad. The city boasts a
population of 232,600. According to news reports, few people
showed any signs of remorse regarding the downing or deaths of the
Americans. The area is pro-Saddam and anti-American.
might be more than a gravesite for the dead
It might be more than a gravesite for dead
Americans. It may turn out that Falluja is the straw that breaks
the camel's back--the beginning of long and painful attack on the role
of America to restore Freedom and Liberty to lands that prefer Tyranny
It might be one of the great battle monuments
over the War on Terrorism, the war that Americans might chose to turn
their backs upon if the river of blood becomes too thick, too red, too
The 375 Americans killed in Iraq from both
accidental and combat deaths is a small percentage compared with more
than 52,000 in Vietnam.
But, today, each death is magnified,
telescoped to not only Americans, but to the world. It is
as though the Blood of Terrorism is raging a race with the Blood of
My experience with guerilla warfare in
Vietnam was depressing, to say the least. I am pessimistic
about our end result in Iraq, not because I am against the ideal of
Vigilance fighting Terrorism, but rather because I realize that the
more Americans who die at the hands of Terrorists in foreign lands,
the more neutralization occurs between Americans who want revenge on
Saddam Hussein for any part he might have played in the Nine Eleven
If I were a betting man, I would say we will exit
Iraq due to public outcry when the deaths of Americans reach the 3,000
mark. That would put the deaths "abroad" equal to the
deaths "at home."
With the current count at 375 Americans killed in
Iraq, we're more than 10 percent en route to removing our forces.
This is sad commentary for Vigilance.
The idea that America would pull out its
troops and leave Iraq to seek its own destiny suggests another
Vietnam. The people with the weapons rule, and the ones
with the power today are the guerrillas, the radical forces who
achieve power not through the principles of democracy, but through
tyranny and oppression of others.
Vigilance takes pounds and pounds of
Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the Children's Children's
Children. When it faces the forces of
Terrorism--Fear, Intimidation and Complacency--it can be crippled by
desire to continue fighting
for the future of Iraqi children may wane due to American deaths
Fighting for the future of
Iraqi children may wane in the light of American deaths in Iraq, for
the American public may be more concerned with their own sons and
daughters, their own grandchildren and future children than the
children and progeny of another nation's offspring.
Dying for others, especially those in
far-distant lands, has limits. The recent death of the 16
Americans may be the debarkation point for those limits.
Part of the problem cleaving America
today is the political rifts as election time approaches.
Democrats in particular, vying for top billing in the Presidential
elections in 2004, rip and tear at each American death like hungry
Many of them once supportive of
America's role as the Global Sentinel of Vigilance, are now yanking
back their support, shaking fingers at the Administration and wailing
over the bodies of the dead Americans to make political hey-day out of
The division within America's
political house fuels the danger that we may retreat from the
blood-stained field of Terrorism vs. Vigilance, and that the reason
for such a retreat may be a ballot box rather than a principle of
Freedom over Tyranny.
Even if we ultimately remove our
troops from Iraq because forces of bloodshed seem futile to the
long-range benefits garnered from counting American bodies, the lesson
we have learned will not be in vain.
America as the Sentinel of Global Vigilance opens the Beast of
Terror's door to rulership
Terrorism will not evaporate with any
American withdrawal. In fact, it might percolate.
Removing America as the Sentinel of Global Vigilance opens the door
the Beast of Terror's rulership over any country it wishes to
Who will have the courage to
challenge Terrorism if America folds its hand and slips into the Sea
of Complacency that most other nations now tread water within?
Terrorism will have a joyous
day when and if our presence in Iraq is expunged by public and
political opinion. The Beast of Terror will roar.
He'll beat his chest just as the bully does when the police retreat
and leave him charge of Hell.
presence in Iraq is expunged, it will be difficult for us to look
the world in the eye
It will be hard for us
all to look the world in the eye henceforth and threaten any tyrant
such as Kim Jong Il, or Iran, or any nation that seeks to dominate its
people or its neighbors with Terrorism.
When I was reading the
New York Times article on the downing of the Chinook, I was transfixed
by a statement by an Iraqi father regarding the behavior his son.
The father, Ali Hassan, a farmer who lives 200 yards from the Chinook
crash site, was telling the New York Times reporter how his young son
regularly throws rocks at American soldiers. The father was
commenting on how the resistance to America's presence gets stronger
and stronger each day. Reflecting on his son's rock
throwing, Mr. Hassan said: "Imagine what he will do when he
hit me in the gut. I saw the little boy throwing rocks at
the Sentinels of Vigilance. I saw him being coached by the Beast
of Terror. Worse, I saw his father sitting on the
sidelines, watching his son, tacitly urging him to continue through
his own Complacency to train his son that throwing rocks at those
seeking to protect him from the Beast of Terror was wrong.
taught how to shoot M-16s by the Beast of Terror
Complacency was even more chilling because his comment--"Imagine what
he will do when he grows up"--suggests the father had multiplied his
sons adolescent Terrorism into mature Terrorism. Perhaps
he saw his son with a missile launcher shooting down Americans, or
with a bomb strapped to his chest blowing up "infidels."
wondered about Americans who shout and beat the drums that America is
wrong for being in Iraq. I thought about all the politicians who
are throwing rocks at the Administration in an attempt to garner
votes. What difference, I thought, are they from the
boy who throws rocks at American troops and gets back slaps from the
Beast of Terror?
the parents of children in America who say nothing as their children
ask them: "Why are Americans dying in Iraq?"
parents watch their children throw rocks?
How many sit in silence
and watch their children throw rocks?
How many endorse
As a Sentinel of
Vigilance, I wonder how many of us need to ask ourselves: "If we
allow the Beast of Terror to roam the world, how long will it take for
the Beast to teach our children how to throw rocks of Tyranny and
It's just a
question. A big, scary question.
All I know and all
I need to know is that we must one day draw a line in the sand and
guard it and not let the Winds of Complacency cover it up.
That line for me is the
Pledge of Vigilance. If we all take it and live by it, we
might teach our children how to hold up the Shield and Sword of
Vigilance to defend themselves from the Rocks of Tyranny and
Oppression the Beast of Terror teaches others to throw.