Article Overview:   After 600 days of TerrorHunting and 51.8 million seconds since the Terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, what has been learned?  Has the War on Terror moved toward victory, or are we all intoxicated by what we think is victory.  Find out whether the Beast of Terror is alive or dead after 600 days.


Monday--May 5, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 600
 600 Days From Ground Zero
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZER0, NEW YORK, NY--It has been 600 days plus one from the Terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and attempted attack on the White House that was thwarted by passengers on Flight 93.

The Sentinels of Vigilance were born on Ground Zero

     Time, broken into its components since the attack, represents 14,400 hours, 864,000 minutes and 51.8 million seconds.   In comparison, it took less than ten seconds for the World Trade Center Towers to crash, burying nearly 3,000 victims, one-third of whom were from different countries.
      I count the days from Ground Zero with a Zero.  I make September 11, 2001, Ground Zero Day--that point where the past stopped and the future began.   For me, it was the Birth of the Sentinels of Vigilance, for as I sat in the rubble and ashes of destruction, I saw them rise up, hands held, eyes scanning the horizon for signs of the Beast of Terror.
     Their mission:  To stand Vigilant against future attacks from the Beast of Terror, and to serve as teachers, role models for Parents of Vigilance so they might learn to protect their children, and their Children's Children's Children from the Beast of Terror's wrath.

The Era of Vigilance was born when the War on Terrorism began

     That day, six hundred sunrises ago plus one, was a momentous day in my life, and a major turning point in world history.   It launched the War on Terrorism, but it also gave birth to war's counterpart--the Era of Vigilance.
      Today, in the wake of battles in Afghanistan and the recent crushing of Saddam Hussein's reign of Terror in Iraq, one might be inclined to think history will punctuate September 11 as an historic date equal to those of World War II's liberation of Japan and Europe.   I believe it will be remembered far more gloriously than that.
      If September 11 is a lesson rather than an example of man's inhumanity upon man, it will rise into history as the Dawn of Vigilance, one of the bookends of a world not intent on killing Terrorism as much as disarming it.
      Terrorism--the sum of the Fear, Intimidation and Complacency that wracks a society under threat from the unknown, unseen forces threatening its security, especially that of the innocent and children--cannot be killed.  
      It is part of the nature of human beings, for Terrorism is a malignant growth of Fear, the cancerous malformation of Intimidation, and the narcosis of Complacency.   Fear, Intimidation and Complacency are standard issues of human beings' emotional chemistry.   Under normal conditions, Fear helps produce Courage, Intimidation boosts the manufacturing of Conviction, and selflessly directed Right Actions selflessly sprout out of Complacency.
      To believe we can remove Terrorism from the world is as logical as saying we can remove night from swallowing day, or eliminate all bad from the good, or make any object or living thing perfect--void of any flaw

The venom of Terrorism can be reduced

       Terrorism is one of human beings great character defects, of that there is no question, but it is not one that can be exorcised from human nature, or surgically extracted, or genetically altered.   However, Terrorism can be managed.  It can be stunted.  Its growth can be crushed.   That which fertilizes it--Fear, Intimidation and Complacency--can be treated with Courage, Conviction and Right Actions so that the venom of Terrorism that leads to war and human mutilation can be reduced, and even eventually stopped.
      But its threat will never leave us.
      Even though we might find ways to imprison it, it will still be doing push ups.  It will still lie awake at night waiting for human Fear, or human Intimidation, or the worst of all possibilities, human Complacency, to swing open its door and allow it free reign to haunt, stalk and brutalize the unsuspecting, the unaware, the unprepared.
      Hopefully, over the past 600 days and more than 51 million seconds of time, we Americans and others throughout the world watching the War on Terrorism rip the entrails out of societies, would agree that Terrorism grew because the world turned its head to the Beast of Terror.
       Nations, in selfish desires to feed themselves the bounty of other nations goods and services, or to receive rewards for feeding them such bounty, turned their heads to the tyranny and despotism of Terroristic states.   Hiding under the veil of sovereignty, these nations turned a blind eye to the mask of Terrorism.
       The United States joined countless other nations such as Germany, France, Russia and China by supplying future Terrorist nations with tools and weapons in exchange for support, only to have the Beast of Terror turn.  
       No one is pure.

We were like these rabbits turning a blind eye to Terrorism

       But that doesn't mean that mistakes create a sinner.   If mistakes have value, they are often brutal and sometimes bloody lessons for the future. They form a cry for the need to change behavior so that such mistakes will not be repeated, so that less blood and fewer mangled bodies will result.
        Stopping Terrorism in its tracks isn't really about stopping war, it's about stopping the events that lead to war.
       The suicide bomber and tyrant all become Terrorists as a result of how they were shaped.  Their chemistry as human beings is the cause of their Terrorism, for along the path of life they have chosen the brutality of others as their mission, and have a twisted sense that power results in the dominance of one person over another, either for selfish reasons such as Saddam Hussein's thirst for ego glorification, or the child abuser's hunger to see the innocent tremble with loss of purity and power.
       Our thoughts shape Terrorism.   When we allow our Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies to grow unchecked, they form grotesque creatures in our minds, twisting our sense of humanity into inhumanity, whether it be to become king and rule over all, or to become deified as a "holy warrior" who finds Paradise awaits those who kill others in the name of God or some cause.
       Emotional Terrorism precedes Physical Terrorism, for without the clay of a human being shaped in such a manner as to cause death and destruction, or Fear, Intimidation and Complacency to be fuels for their own sense of power, there would be no Terror. 


      That's why on September 11, 2001, 600 days ago, I vowed to become a TerrorHunter.  I vowed to do everything humanely possible to alert every human being within reach of my words and examples that the Beast of Terror stalks within us all, and to combat the Beast, we must become Sentinels of Vigilance, Parents and Citizens of Vigilance.
       With more than 1.5 million words, I have done my best daily to remind myself and all who are in earshot of my messages that they must look in the mirror each day and vow to battle the Beast of Terror for Terrorism to be put in check.
       To think, imagine or pretend that governments or police or society as a whole will protect the individual or child from Terrorism is pure folly.
       Only the Sentinel of Vigilance can do that, for only another human being can help another human being belay his or her Fear, Intimidation and Complacency by example.   When we all begin to act in one concert, making decisions not based solely on our selfish needs, but on the selfless needs of the Children's Children's Children, we are now on the right path toward winning the War on Terrorism.
       The battle against Terrorism is the battle of Courage over Fear, of Conviction over Intimidation, and Right Actions for future generations or selfish Complacency.

I vowed to become a TerrorHunter as well as a Parent and Grandparent of Vigilance

       In more than a million words, I've shaped tools to fight Terrorism's roots.   My contribution to the War on Terrorism is a weeding tool, a way to yank out TerrorThoughts before they take hold.
       But they work only for those willing to take the Vow of Vigilance, willing to take the Pledge of Vigilance, and then to combat TerrorThoughts and turn them into Vigilant Thoughts, and the Right Actions necessary to remove Terrorism from the headlines.
       I hear the Sentinels of Vigilance reminding me each and every day of my duty.    And while it sometimes seems futile and useless that anyone will listen to me, I keep trudging, believing not so much in myself as in the innocence of the children, and their right to be protected from Terrorism's wrath.
      I think of the Terrorist not as the suicide bomber or the Osama bin Laden or the Saddam Hussein, or the Adolph Hitler or Stalin.
      I think of the Terrorist as the parent who ignores a child's need for love, or a relative who abuses a child, or a teacher who tells a child "You're not as smart as the other kids," as one once told me.    I think of a Terrorist as the mother or father is "too busy" to go over the child's homework, or the man or woman passed over for a promotion who looks in the mirror and says, "I'm a loser...a nobody.  I'm a failure."
      I think of the teenagers who see others laughing and enjoying life, and consider themselves too poor or too fat or too ugly to be a "popular person" and takes out a knife and carves "Loser" on their soul.
       Terrorists are people who sit in armchairs complaining about the world and life, berating ethnic groups in front of children or grandchildren, setting examples of bigotry and prejudice that can morph into monsters.
       This is my "Terrorism Killing Field."  It is the loss of human character from within, a mind full of time bombs planted by parents and guardians who instead of promoting Courage over Fear, let Fear rule the child - Who, instead of teaching Conviction over Intimidation, lets his or her child or ward cower in the face of life - Who instead of standing up for what is right, tells the child--"Don't Rock The Boat.  Duck, it's safer.  Don't get involved.  Survive!"
        The past 600 days has been a constant battle for me, but one that I am glad I have fought.  And one that never ends.
       While on the horizon Kim Jong Il looms with his weapons of mass destruction, a scene just as frightening is playing itself out in a home somewhere in America.  A mother or father is angry because of something and swings around fiercely to the child tugging at his or leg and spews:  "Don't bother me, don't you see I'm busy!"

Terrorism ignores or abuses a child

        That's Terrorism.
        The cold, icy knife driven in the heart of a child seeking love and attention is far more horrible than 3,000 adult bodies buried under millions of tons of rubble at the World Trade Center.  The reason it is more horrible is because it happens ever day, times a hundred, times a thousand, in both small and large measures.
         I fight this Terrorism, for it is this abuse that shapes the Saddam Husseins, and the Kim Jong Ils and whomever is about to take their place.
         But it can be stopped.
         When we, as a society and individuals believe Terrorism starts within, and can be stopped within, then we have become members of the Era of Vigilance.
         Join us.  Take the Pledge of Vigilance today.   There's a fresh 600 days just ahead.


May 2--"All Glory is Fleeting"

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