Article Overview:   Yesterday was Saddam Hussein's 66th birthday.  Or, his first "death day."   But can Terrorism die?  Can evil be killed?   Or, does it reform and resurrect itself?  What can we do to insure Vigilance rules over Terrorism?


Tuesday--April 29, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 594
Celebrating Saddam Hussein's Birth-Death Day
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZER0, NEW YORK, NY--Yesterday was Saddam Hussein's birthday.  It may also have been his "Death Day.”  If it was, it represented not the end of Terrorism, but simply the elimination of one of the Great Beasts of Terror, and, unfortunately, the signal that another Great Beast of Terror was being born somewhere else.  Saddam's ghost lives, dead or alive.

The "Ghost of Terrorism"

        Saddam was born sixty-six years ago, in Tikrit, Iraq, on April 28, 1937.  Today, the world waits to confirm he is alive or dead.  Some claim he was killed during the first U.S. attack on Baghdad.  Others proffer he escaped but was wounded and now may be dead as a result.   Others boast he is a "Ghost of Terrorism," alive in the minds of neo-Husseins, waiting to haunt the world as so many past Terrorists have done through their Legacies of Horror such as Hitler’s modern skinheads, or the rise in Imperialism among the youth in Japan.
       The swamp of Terrorism is full of footprints of past tyrants.  One giant boot print Saddam followed in his quest to rule his world was cemented by Adolph Hitler, born on April 20, 1889.  Hitler was 48 years old when Saddam let out his first cry of life and marshalling Germany to take over the world.  He was teaching Saddam how to use Fear, Intimidation and Complacency to make a nation kneel, and to frighten the rest of the world into a state of Complacency.   For no one back then, as with Iraq, wished to challenge the Beast of Terror until it was too late.
       Even with history’s backbone clearly filleted, France, Germany and Russia hedged on using the club to pound the Beast into submission.   America, Britain and Australia stood the fight alone.
       Both Saddam and Adolph Hitler likely died ignoble deaths.   If dead, Saddam is probably buried under tens of thousands of pounds of rubble, the result of massive U.S. surgical bombs zeroed in on his suspected locations.  Hitler, it is assumed, is buried in some unmarked grave, deep in some secret bunker, his bones mulch, nutrients for the spawning of new breeds and strains of Terrorism.  A week ago his fanatical followers cheered his birthday, a signal that death has little do with ending anything, and often means the birth of the next generation.

Saddam's Birthday present last year

 Yesterday, a few hundred of his followers celebrated Saddam’s birthday in his hometown even while U.S. forces continued their lavations to purge his memory and tyrannical twenty-three-year rule.  Democracy of some variation is now being shoved down the Iraqi’s throats, an attempt to change hundreds of years of non-secular, religious and imperialistic rule. 
      All is not well in Iraq.  The footprints of Terrorism are not easily covered over by U.S. tank tread

Facing Mecca to pray

         Another is now threatening freedom from one form of despotism.   Religious leaders are seeking to control the country, to bring it under Islamic rule as Iran is.  U.S. officials fear that instead of serving the will of the people, the nation may ultimately fall under the rule of religious ideology since the majority, more than 60 percent, of Iraqis are religious based Islamics.   A religious state, America claims, is just another form of tyranny.
       Birthdays, however, are supposed to be celebrations, times of renewal, events worthy of looking at lessons learned in the past so that directions in the future can be navigated.
       So it is the case with Saddam’s birthday.   Dead or alive, Saddam Hussein forces us to ask on the anniversary of his birth a key global question:  "Can Terrorism Die?"
       It didn't when Adolph Hitler died.
       Or, when Genghis Khan was buried in a secret grave and herds of horses galloped over it to insure no one knew where the famed leader's bones were.
       Death seems have little impact on Terrorism’s growth through history.  For example, when we in America execute serial killers, or mad persons who issue violence upon the innocent, crime doesn't stop dead in its tracks.   Terrorism of one person against another doesn't seem to screech to a halt because we carve out the Terrorist’s hearts and eat them in front of thousands.
       Feeding Christians to the lions didn’t do much either to quash Christianity.
        So what does death do then to harness Terrorism, if at all?

Iraqi "Most Wanted" deck of playing cards

       Will the arrest, prosecution and trial of the "criminals" listed on the 55 cards American troops have been issued to identify the "Most Wanted" war criminals of Iraq serve to abate Terrorism?
        If history is any indices, bloody justice will probably have no impact in stopping the next Terrorist’s birth or growth.   We will be punishing the result of Terrorism, not its source.  We will be smashing the rotten fruit from the tree, not digging up the mutant seeds about to grow into twisted Trees of Terrorism.   Our attempt to punish the Terrorists is more Vengeance than Vigilance. Vigilance is what one does to stop something before it happens, while Vengeance is what one does to seek retribution for acts already taken.
        Saddam’s birthday suggests that Terrorism is endemic to human beings.   It reminds us that even the lessons of Nazi Germany don’t apply to modern man, for if they did, the world would have long ago stomped on Saddam’s head, and would have pulled the rug from under Kim Jong Il, and then hunted down all the despots of the world to remove them from power over the powerless.
       But the world ignores Terrorism until it flares and enflames.   It condones man’s inhumanity to man, tolerates it as a father or mother an errant child, hoping that the incorrigible youth might redeem himself or herself, but knowing down deep that is virtually impossible.
        Terrorism appears to sit on a throne next to civilization's "gods and doers of good," roosting in shadows of our saints, cleaved to the good of humankind like an extra thumb; unable to be removed because each time it is amputated another replaces it.
         This constant regeneration makes a good case for the Immortality of Terrorism.
         It is a reminder to a TerrorHunter that the point of the Sword of Vigilance is a key weapon necessary to stunt Terrorism’s growth so it remains in swaddling clothing, unable to evolve into adolescence and then adulthood.
         As difficult as it is to control Terrorism, it is equally difficult to stop the growth of Vigilance.
        In Biblical history, Herod tried to keep Jesus from toppling his Terror-managed domain by killing all the first-born baby boys of Bethlehem.  As the despotic ruler of the land, Herod feared a prophecy that stated a Messiah was to deliver Israel from foreign rule in the seventy-seventh generation from Creation.   Thus, he ordered the deaths of all newborn boys, age 2 or under.  According to legend, Mary, the mother of Jesus, was told about his plan and fled to Egypt.   As Herod was unable to stop the growth of Good, so might all efforts of Good to deconstruct Evil be just as vainglorious.
          To some, the futility to erase Terrorism's presence may seem fatalistic, self-defeating, especially in the wake of the Iraq War where so much blood was spilled in hopes of burying Terrorism in a grave from which it could not rise.

Existence is bound by opposing forces

         History and science, however, remind us that for life to exist there must be both positive and negative forces at play at all times.  Mechanically, the world is held together by gravity.   Gravity is nothing more than the interplay of pushes and pulls, the chasing of the proton (positive +) and the electron (negative -) around the molecule.
           Existence--all matter, all life, all things--are chemically bound by opposing forces.  It is the glue of Terrorism vs. Vigilance, the force of Good vs. Bad, Right opposing Wrong, Profit challenging Loss, Life struggling with Death, Dawn swallowed by Night, Man living with Woman, Rich contrasting Poor and Saints being enshrined to shadow the deeds of Sinners that comprise the universe as we know it, the place where conflict creates the sparks of evolution, and all species struggle for dominance from extinction.
         It can be said with little argument then that existence is about the constant battle between Terrorism (-1%) and Vigilance (+1%), illustrated in its most simply by one's thoughts that constantly wrestle with the “best choice”--"Should I do this or do that?  Which is the right choice.  Am I worthy or unworthy?  Am I as good as or as bad as?   What is right versus wrong?"

Terrorism is the dark side

          The Seeds of Terrorism are planted in the human mind when one comes up with more negative than positive choices about himself or herself, about life, about the purpose of human beings on earth, and the role we all play in the evolution of ourselves and the children.
         When these negatives accrue, the Triad of Terrorism takes control.  The Triad is composed of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.  It is the presence of these negative forces of human emotions, the dark side that drives the human being out of the sunshine into the caves, that turns light into darkness.   The Triad becomes the viscera of the closet we looked into as children in our bedrooms, wary that out of the shadows might erupt some beast, some creature of the night.
          To rid ourselves of such Terrorism back then, we needed to flip on the lights, or rush into our mother's or dad's arms for comfort, or, simply pull the covers over our heads and pray that the Beast of Night wouldn't eat us before we fell asleep, shivering, alone with our own demons.
          As we grew up, we shed our childish fears, or thought we did, stuffing them deep in our minds.  We pretended the Terror was childish, that it was immature.    But, we found that the demons still existed, disguised in different forms.   

Our bogeymen became our self worth

    Our bogeymen became our self worth—sparked by such questions as:  “Were we good enough, smart enough, worthy enough for all the things we tried to do?   Or, were we less than our dreams and ambitions, failures and nihilists at heart, willing to surrender to the ruts of life?

Take the Pledge of Vigilance to deal with Terrorism

        Saddam’s birthday challenges us to face the question: “What do we do to live with Terrorism each and every day?   How do we deal with its permanence in our lives?”
          The answers aren’t simple.  Do we shrug it off as acts of violence by individuals and states, by despots and madmen from which we, as individuals are either exempt or powerless to stop?   Or, do we rally our individual forces to stand up against Terrorism in a firm battle that we can pass on to our children, and their Children's Children's Children so we can curb Terrorism’s growth, restrain its permutations through time?
          No one may have the one exact answer, but one thing is sure—action versus inaction is necessary.   To not act in some way against Terrorism is an act of Complacency.   No one can “coast” on the issue of Terrorism, for to “coast” one must move “downhill,” slide into the quagmire of Complacency, be swallowed in the mush of nothingness.  
          Inaction is, by nature, an action.  It is a negative action, allowing gravity to pull down any hope of climbing out of the primordial ooze of Terrorism.    Complacency is Terrorism’s crown jewel, for Terrorism as a Beast feeds heartily on the hope people will throw up their hands and admit they are powerless against it, thus opening the doors to their homes, their hearts, their souls to Triad of Terrorism.
            The Vow of Vigilance, the Pledge of Vigilance is the most positive step forward in stopping the growth of the Seeds of Terrorism within one’s soul.   The Pledge and Vow serves as the front-line defense against our vulnerability to Terrorism's greatest wrath—Complacency.
of Vigilance.

Iraqi girls celebrate Saddam's birthday in his hometown

       The Pledge is the proton (+1%) over the electron (-1%) that seeks to suck us down into the Terrorism’s Beast Pit.   Only when we hold up the Shield of Vigilance by seeking One Percent more Courage than Fear, One Percent more Conviction than Intimidation, and One Percent more Right Actions than Complacency, can we stop the gravitas pull of Terrorism on our thoughts, and actions.
          Saddam’s birthday of Terrorism is an opportunity for us to reflect on our birthday of Vigilance.  
         As Terrorism is born each day in a thousand different forms, can we be born each day as Sentinels of Vigilance, standing ready to fight our Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies with Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the future generations?  If we know each day Terrorism is born, then each day we do not plant new seeds of Vigilance, we are letting Vigilance die and Terrorism grow.   Like the gardener who doesn’t weed the lawn, soon the crabgrass chokes out all good grass, and a once lush garden is nothing but thorns and thistles.
           It is easier for us to believe Saddam Hussein is dead than to accept that he may be alive, that he may be spawning yet more brood to walk in his footsteps.   Denying Terrorism is much easier than accepting the Beast of Terror lives within us, sleeping for the moment and waiting for the right moment to explode.   But, if Saddam Hussein’s birthday is a message, it is a message that we cannot accept his death.  
        If he was Terrorism incarnate, he will not die.   He will rise again, as all Terrorists rise, in different shapes and sizes.   And, as difficult as it may be, we must be willing to believe that within us is some part of Saddam, some element of the collective self of all humans that must be controlled.    To think we are exempt of the Beast of Saddam means we have no responsibility to manage Terrorism.   To accept the Neutron of Terrorism is as much a part of us as the Proton of Vigilance, means we understand our duty to keep our guard to protect not only ourselves from the Beast of Terror’s fangs, but also our children, and their Children’s Children’s Children.

Click On Pledge for Printer Version, Read & Sign

                 It is easy for us to shed the blood of war, to wash our hands of violence, and go about our lives on the grounds that TerrorHunting is everyone else's job but ours.
          But whose job is TerrorHunting?  If Terrorism begins a home, then it becomes the job of each parent, each relative, each uncle, aunt, cousin, nephew, niece, brother, sister, grandparent to be a TerrorHunter.
         A child who lives with unattended Fear, Intimidation and Complacency never learns how to counter these TerrorThoughts.  He or she ends up stuffing them deep in his or her caves, and one day they erupt in various ways.   TerrorThoughts are a child’s worst enemy for they depreciate the child into thinking he or she is less than, not as smart as, not as loved as, not as worthy as, or, from another vista, better than, or above others.
           A Parent of Vigilance is aware that the Beast of Terror thrives on children’s vulnerability.   A Parent of Vigilance also knows the Beast of Terror counts on a parent’s Complacency to not sharpen the Sword of Vigilance each day by assuming his or her child is “happy,” and “everything is all right.”
          The Beast hopes the parent will forget to tuck in the child at night, forget to tell it stories of Courage, Conviction and Right Actions, forget to remind the child that he or she is loved, and that it’s okay to be afraid, okay to feel sad, but not okay to keep feeling that way, because there is this “Beast” that wants the child to feel bad inside, and the child’s job is to fight that Beast, as all the fairy tales tell about.  And then hug the child and remind the child the light switch always empties the closet of monsters.

We cannot sigh relief the Beast of Terror is dead

         On Saddam’s birthday, we need to think like Protons of Vigilance, and not Neutrons of Terrorism. 
         More importantly, we need to be reminded that on Saddam’s birthday, another Terrorist is being born.  And, on the next day, another, and another. 
        We need to remind ourselves that we need to give birth to Vigilance each day.   We need to sharpen the Sword of Vigilance and polish the Shield of Vigilance with the same passion the Beast of Terror sharpens the Claws of Complacency, or his Fangs of Fear, or his stretches his Shadow of Intimidation to fall on as many as possible.
        Vigilance is born each day, just as Terrorism.
        We can control its birth by taking the Vow of Vigilance, and the Pledge of Vigilance.
        When we do, we excite the Proton of Vigilance to take command over the Neutron of Terrorism.  We stop Terrorism’s growth with the Pledge.  We stunt it.
        By taking the Pledge, we pass on the Legacy of Vigilance to our society and our children.  We help insure they grow up as Sentinels of Vigilance, and not as Victims of Terrorism.
        Take the Pledge of Vigilance today. 
          Celebrate the birth of Vigilance.


April 28--Beast of SARS Virus Terrorizes World

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