People recognize incompatibilities throughout their lives. When something is totally opposed to your well being, you make changes. Some situations pass the point of adjusting to them. Things happen that are unacceptable, going “over the line.” If nothing can ever go over the line for a person, the appeasing party loses his dignity. Without dignity, what are we? Each of us should be able to recall an instance where we were pushed to a brink, from which there could be no compromise. Someone or something “had to go.”
I mistakenly thought that America would experience the September 11 attack in this fashion. For me, knowing that Muslims in the U.S. “had to go” was almost a reflex. I stood in the street outside my place of employment, able to see the smoke from the fallen towers rising into the skies above New York, and I had the following conversation with myself:
“Eight years ago, in the winter of 1993, some Islamic maniacs tried to bring down the World Trade Center towers with trucks laden with bombs parked in the underground parking garages. They were trying to kill a minimum of 50,000 people. They failed and we all went back to sleep. They didn’t! They’ve been plotting this whole time on how to bring down those buildings, and they’ve done it. THEY GOT US! THOSE SONS OF BITCHES GOT US!
“Who knows how many people are dead, what kind of destruction this day has brought us?
“But, THEY’VE GOT TO GO. That means that things can never be the same in the U.S. Our country has to undergo a fundamental change. Our freedom is what brought us this disaster. We can never be free while there are plotters amongst us who would kill us by the thousands for whatever reason. How can we test for loyalty? Seems impossible! No, they’ve all got to go. For our survival, there is no other way. Our leaders will understand this, and begin to make the changes necessary to insure our security and survival. It’s going to be an ugly process. I don’t know how they are going to do it, but it must be done.”
Much to my dismay, Bush’s early statement in his September 20, 2001 speech to Congress, that “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.” rang hollow. The brain trust in Washington decided not to deal head on with the crisis that had come upon us, but tried to find a way around the messy confrontation with Islam that was necessary. And we’ve been stumbling around as a nation ever since. Not only have we not even rebuilt “Ground Zero,” ten years after the attack, but many of our people and our leaders, including the mayor of New York City, think it would be appropriate to build a giant mosque a few blocks away! We just don’t get it!
Most of us are going about our business, making a living, tending to our pleasures and hobbies, dealing with our everyday lives. We regained our normalcy for the most part. Oh yeah, the airport is a gigantic hassle, we’ve had near misses with further terrorist acts, places around the world have been hit, but for the most part, complacency has set back in. We are either going to be rocked out of our slumber again, or we are going to allow the demographics to change enough to render us impotent like our once proud ally, Great Britain. Either way, it doesn’t bode well for future generations. I’d like to think that we are going to leave a society that is better for our children and grandchildren, but that is not the case. Our willingness to appease rather than confront will doom our progeny. No, we are not the home of the brave any longer.
My personal connection with you, Lawrence, and your writings at VFR has been that you understood what I understood on that terrible day. You put into words a program that could work. You came up with a set of proposals that answered my questions to myself that asked, “How can we tell them they’ve got to go”? I would suggest that all VFR readers read your speech delivered in February of 2009, “A Real Islam policy for a Real America.” Then pass it on to friends and ask them to pass it on.
And please ask yourself how we can get our domestic and foreign policy to reflect the truth and necessity of Lawrence’s speech. We don’t have to quit. We don’t have to give in. Can we change the mindset in our society? That, I believe is our burden.
Irv P. writes apropos Muslims in America:
“But, THEY’VE GOT TO GO. That means that things can never be the same in the U.S. Our country has to undergo a fundamental change. Our freedom is what brought us this disaster.”
And our genuine freedom, indeed our democratic freedom, can be used to end this disaster. After all, what is wrong with repatriating an evident foreign enemy within, providing it is done by a government elected on exactly that issue? How can that this be as bad as importing a historical enemy WITHOUT asking the native electorate if they were amenable to such a destructive act? in other words, let us utilise our current democracy to ensure a future democracy for our children.