Article Overview:    It is 990 days today from Ground Zero, September 11, 2001.   Where were you then?  Where are you today?  Where will you be tomorrow?    Have you fallen into the state of Complacency, feeling that the War On Terrorism has exhausted its fuel?   That it's all about politics now?   That it's time for us to retreat and leave our role as Sentinels of Vigilance to others?    Who will win and lose if we do become turtles?    Find out in this provocative examination of where you are today...and tomorrow...on Terrorism.


Saturday, May 29, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 990
Where Are You On The 990th Day of the War On Terrorism?

Cliff McKenzie

 GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--May 29, 2004 --Today is the 990th Day of Vigilance.
     It is 900 days plus one since the Terrorists attacked America.   I count September 11, 2001, as Ground Zero day.   I count from "0" for that horrific day, since it hallmarks the War On Terrorism, a war that is not limited to Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, or any country ruled by public tyranny and oppression.

What is your focus on Ground Zero's 990th Day?

        Ground Zero Day includes an awareness of all shapes and forms of Terrorism, Emotional, Physical, Corporate, Social, Religious, Economic--and any all myriads and permutations one can extend to all forms of human behavior.
     It would be folly to limit our vision to what is happening throughout the world today to groups of thugs who slit people's throats on videos, or blow their heads off as they are kneeling, or threaten to release "dirty bombs" in the center of Manhattan.
     Terrorism is far deeper than the bottom of the well we smell today, for the putrification of civility from one person to another in the 21st Century points to the basic problem that humanity hasn't advanced beyond the Cain and Able Era, when brother smashed brother's head to achieve power.
     This same urge to rule over others exists today as it did millenniums ago.   A father or mother, for example, who tells his or her children they are not "worthy" or they wish "they had never been born," are not unlike the Terrorists who slit throats or blow people's heads off, only the pain and agony isn't visible.   The damage to the soul, the ripping and shredding of the child's inner security, the bombing of the child's sense of self is scattered into a thousand pieces, similar to what a Terrorist's bomb hurls when a suicide bomber steps on a crowded bus and pulls the cord, sending the victims and their bodies into a shrapnel oblivion.
      So what have we learned in these 900 days?
      Let's find out.
      We've learned that Terrorism preys on our Fears, our Intimidations and our Complacencies.    Following the Fears and Intimidations, we slip into the state of Complacency, where today our nation is polarized about the War On Terrorism.   We are asked to vote in favor of or against the funding of the war, and all the ugliness and horror that war brings.

A few of our young warriors are becoming the beasts they capture

      We see our young warriors torturing the beasts they captured, becoming the beast.   We see the world standing outside the Circle of Commitment, waiting for us to falter and fail so they can rush in and pick up the pieces.
      We see our finances being drained, better put to work to help our children's schools or our crippled health system bolster itself.   We wonder if isolationism is a better way than being the Global Sentinel of Vigilance, who, despite all good intentions, only engages the wrath of the world.
      We watch politicians hurl bombs at our leadership, trying to wound and maim their credibility in an attempt to gain power of the ruling party, so that they might rise to leadership on the bleached bodies of victims they claim were caused by negligence and incompetence.
     But do we see the Complacency?    This powerful tool of Terrorism hangs over our heads, waiting to fall and chop off America's neck, to discredit our nation as the major force throughout the world willing to stand up to Terrorism in all its nefarious forms.
      This is the inventory we need to examine.   For who is the victim if we, the nation who has always stood against Terrorism, gives up that role?   Will our children be the ultimate victims?   Will Terrorism grow stronger as we, the police of global conflict, weaken and retreat?
      Have we remained a "safe" nation over countless decades because we were strong and thunderous, and willing to fight great wars against tyranny and oppression for others, never denying our role regardless of the uproar or internal strife it created?
      We must think about giving up our role as the World's Sentinels of Vigilance in relation to our children's safety, and their children's safety.   What happens to us when we become a nation who ducks the duty to help others in far-off lands?   What Terrorism is there among the citizens of a nation, especially the children, who watch their country shun, shy and deny the role of being Parents of Vigilance, refusing to participate in the elimination of the world's bullies?
      Are we teaching our children the duty to keep the world safe belongs to everyone but them?    Are we putting into their marrow the cells of Complacency so that when they walk down the street and see a stranger beating up on a child they will turn their head and say:  "that's not my business.  Better let someone else get involved?"   

Don't we have a duty to the Children's Children's Children?

        It is easy to judge harshly the actions of America based on the selfish needs of today.  But what about the selfless needs of tomorrow, and the next day, and the next generation, and that one?    Do we have a duty to the children's children's children's to teach them that Courage is more important than Fear, that Conviction overrides Intimidation, and Right Actions for future generations supercedes Complacency and the horror of abdicating our legacy as Global Sentinels of Vigilance?
       It is time to ask these questions before we are all sucked deep into the vortex of Complacency.    The torture of Iraqi prisoners may be the only thing we see about he War on Terrorism because the Beast of Terror is making us blind ourselves to the few faults we perform in the struggle to right democracy out of the dogpile of tyranny and oppression.
      Let us be blind to our true responsibility.
      Let us see ourselves as Sentinels of Vigilance, not Beasts of Complacency.  We can affirm that role by taking the Pledge of Vigilance.   We can take that Pledge today, on the 990th day of the War on Terrorism.
      Or, we can duck and weave, and leave it up to someone else, and, in the background, if we listen carefully, we can hear the Beast chortle.

May 20--Why I Couldn't Watch the 9/11 Inquisition

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