Today, September 11th, is the “day that will live in infamy” for this current generation.
As long as I live, I will never forget going to the II Marine Expeditionary Force current operations center just in time to see the plane strike the second tower. I remember when the call came that the Pentagon had been hit. Most of us on Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune had just completed morning PT and had showered when it all happened. The full spectrum of emotions ran through us all that day – unbelief, bewilderment, confusion, sadness, conviction, and anger. I remember calling my wife Angela and asking if she and the girls were ok, since they still lived just 90 minutes away back up at Ft. Bragg in Fayetteville, NC. She was frantic and crying. I can still remember that night staring up at the sky from my little place in Swansboro, NC and seeing or hearing nothing – no planes, it was eerie.
And here we are 13 years later and still living under the threat of an Islamic terrorist attack. We go through security protocols all because of Islamic terrorist attacks. We just witnessed two Americans beheaded by members of an Islamic terrorist army.
Thirteen years later and it is as though we learned no lessons from 9/11. Our own recalcitrance to define this enemy was demonstrated last night by our president, Barack Hussein Obama, who firmly declared that ISIS is not “Islamic” – then what the hell are they, Amish? Political correctness has placed us in a position where almost half of our country fears another major terrorist attack.
My fellow Americans, we don’t have to live under this specter of Islamo-fascism and jihadism. We cannot go another year – certainly not another 13 – living in fear all the while refusing to admit that they exist. I am tired of being told that we cannot offend folks. I am tired of hearing that it’s not all Muslims. If that’s so, those moderates need to “man up” and kick some extremist arse. Because for 13 years, we’ve fiddled around and played games of winning hearts and minds and nation building and all we got in exchange were two beheaded Americans.
The original “day that will live in infamy” led us to one goal: the destruction of the enemy who attacked us. It was Japanese Admiral Yamamoto who stated that he feared they had awakened a sleeping giant. But the giant that is America is still asleep.
When President Ronald Reagan was asked how he defined victory in the Cold War he replied simply, “we win they lose.” And it was Alexander the Great who said, “I would not fear an army of lions if led by sheep, but I would fear an army of sheep if led by a lion.” America is looking for a lion who will crush the wolves and embolden, unleash and direct the indomitable American spirit that will not cower.
Remember those Americans who lost their lives thirteen years ago today but we must finally commit to never allowing this enemy to cause us to live in fear or alter our lives – we win, they lose – and never again!
Steadfast and Loyal,
Lt. Col. Allen B. West, USA (ret)
U.S. Congressman (2011-2013)