Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fear in America



There will be many words written on this day -- 9/11/07. Most, if not all, will be better than mine. My wife questioned whether it was wise on our part, to be hanging around the world’s busiest airport on this day. The fear is in our minds. We’re here anyway.

On trying occasions, I usually turn to Winston Churchill for words of wisdom. He rarely lets me down.

“You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

America has enemies. And it has indeed “stood up” for something in it’s short life. More than once. One of those times was for Mr. Churchill and his countrymen. We did so with much hesitation and much reluctance. At least until another fateful day in history.

“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

I think it worth remembering (while we’re remembering) that America and England were once bitter enemies. We slaughtered each other by the thousands -- before we became powerful allies and slaughtered our common enemies by the millions.

We “won” the First World War. It turned out to be a hollow victory. A short time later the world was at war again. This time -- due to the vision of a very few -- we won the peace. We rebuilt the nations of our enemies -- Japan and Germany -- and they are now among our strongest allies.

I have no doubt that we will win the current war (if you can call it that) we find ourselves in. The question I have is, “Will we win the peace ?” We have bungled the war in Iraq. I’m not sure we are doing any better in the “War on Terror.” Even though our military quickly “won” in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is winning the peace that is proving difficult. Without that victory, we will be back at war, time and time again.

“The price of greatness is responsibility.”

America seems all too eager to accept the title of greatness. I have serious doubts about our willingness to accept the responsibility.

”The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.”

Don Brown
September 11, 2007

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