Article Overview:   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?    Find out.


Monday--November 3, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 782
Throwing The Rocks of Terror At America's Children
Cliff McKenzie
   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.

A Chinook 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 last.   

This stirring 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.

American 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.

Falluja, Iraq 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 and Oppression.
       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 ravenous.

       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 Vigilance.   
       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 attack.
      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 selfishness.

American desire to continue fighting for the future of Iraqi children may wane due to American deaths in Iraq

      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 wolves.
        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 tragic events.
        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.

Removing 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 Terrorize.
        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.

If America's 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 grows up."
            Those words 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.   

Children being taught how to shoot M-16s by the Beast of Terror

           The father's 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."
            Then I 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?
            What about the parents of children in America who say nothing as their children ask them:  "Why are Americans dying in Iraq?"

How many parents watch their children throw rocks?

          How many sit in silence and watch their children throw rocks?
          How many endorse rock-throwing?
          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 Oppression?"
           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.

Oct 31--Taking The Boo! Out Of Terrorism

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