Can Change the World Again
With a Praying People.
AMERICA FIGHTS BACK!
Who is our enemy? Why did they do this? What can we do about it?
IT is not a time to kick America while it is down. The tragedies experienced related to September 11, 2001 are beyond comprehension; and they continue to grow. Americans have all received a severe blow that will forever change their lifestyles, freedoms, and conceptions of untouchableness. The world sympathizes with her in her weakness and pain as it vividly watched the unimaginable horror against her titanic monuments. Similar sentiments drew squabbling politicians and a factious nation together in a unity almost unknown since its heroic beginnings. An awakening has dawned upon us all to our essential values and face of evil that threatens the same. Trifle speculations and unreal fantasies and philosophies have become out of place when we are all forced into emergency mode and no longer have the time or interest to let down our guard and pretend that death cannot come or that evil is not real. A humbled unity has emerged that has brought us all to realistic assumptions that can no longer be laughed at or silenced. We are not now in "A brave new world" but a realistic new world. People are vulnerable and can be very evil; and these awakening events will permanently stand as impenetrable facts for the new world view.
Devastated Americans and a watching world were forced out of their closets of arbitrary differences, into the night of horror and mourning--then into a dawn of justice--to throw in their lot for the supporting of the victims and the punishment of their enemies. When Americans and the World soon realized that deeper issues were the causes and therefore the world at large was in danger, it was easy to agree that these evils were against all human freedom and therefore the whole world was once again in great risk. When the facts were so plane, and the emergency mode relentlessly continued, it was easy to sanction a universal war against such evils, and unite former enemies against this grand foe.
Now that we are all agreed about removing this enemy from the earth, a serious question presents itself: how shall we do it? Let us therefore examine:
I. Who is our enemy?
II. Why did they do this?
III. How shall we conquer them? or What can we do about it?
I. WHO IS OUR ENEMY?
In order to destroy our agreed enemy, or prevent its ill-planned terrorism, we must understand who it is. For if we do not know precisely the cause then only further evils will result from aimless accusations and unjust wrath. We have been informed by the experts that our enemy is not one man or even twenty-two men over their ignorant bands. But almost tremblingly they have informed us that there is not only many terrorist organizations out there, but that many of these have sophisticated men who have trained up devout students to patiently integrate into all levels of society and unimpassionately await for the strategic moment of vulnerability. We are not dealing with a few raving fanatics inflamed by personal tragedies, but with thousands of educated individuals moved by selfishly compelling philosophies. No doubt they will allow many raving fanatics to perform expendable missions that do not threaten their deeper operations; and yesterday's ignorant fanatics will seize the opportunity to uncalculatingly add their violence to the outwardly perceived movement. Whether obvious or not, whether crude or sophisticated this enemy has ways of devastating us abroad and at home--and we cannot tell just who they may be among us!
This unsettling feeling that causes us to constantly look over our shoulders has caused the experts to carefully define our enemy so that more victims would not be multiplied by bigotry and prejudice. For we have come to realize that some supposedly patriotic Americans have equally become terrorists, and now all kinds of peoples are on the endangered list. The government's crackdown on this has lead to a very narrow yet rightful intolerance of bigotry and vigilantism. Severe penalties await those who still operate themselves in yesterday's world-view and who, in taking these things lightly, partake of the same spirit of these crimes. The Government is seeking the highest level of punishment for related crimes and even pranksters are awakening to this new realistic world-view. New enemies are being defined under the new perception of the threat to our intrinsic values. And as matters formerly thought trivial become connected to this international threat, each in turn are seen to be in themselves vile and base.
This growing definition of our enemies causes us to remember our own national history and similar evils. Who can count the evils committed in destroying the fundamental freedoms of those who were to give Americans what they wanted? You know them. But can we admit them? Thus we know the problem is not racial but universal in all races. We should also know by now that it is not ancient but still modern. It is closer to home than we would like to believe. The government further revealed this in its first attack against this enemy; which was a financial attack and worldwide freeze of all terrorist monies and those supporting them (and it is amazing that it took such a great loss to finally get this to happen!). Americans were positively prohibited from supporting any such people or organizations in any form. Such a far-reaching prohibition causes us to rightfully wonder how far any of our actions personally support terrorism. And without fully explaining our next point,
II. Why did they do this?
When dealing with the subjective reasons for why people kill innocent others, it is very difficult to usually get every specific reason. Few people are under circumstances in which they could get every detail, and fewer still who would then be skilled enough to examine the facts fairly. Thus most people are satisfied to know the main reasons why people do such things so that they can determine them as worthy of punishment, and to what degree of punishment. When dealing with punishing the culprits of these recent events--and equally important, in dealing with preventing them from happening again--it becomes necessary to look at all the actual and possible causes. And as this case is of the most serious nature in the history of the world, there is all the more reason to get all the facts we can. We cannot hope to do this in this small article; but we hope to inspire all readers to consider the importance of participating in doing this. More realistically and importantly we hope to look at the foundational issues for these causes.
The more careful students we are of world history and modern political relationships the more we will realize that there are many different kinds of causes for these kind of tragic events. Looking at things basically we can see America itself was somewhat of an instrumental and material cause in supporting the present enemies by providing organization and artillery (while it had the common enemy against Russia), and thus a basis for the people to feel confident enough to launch such an attack. To what degree Americans could be responsible in this I will not claim to know. There are perhaps numerous decisions the American government has made in which these enemies have been supported by, abused by, or at least offended by. To estimate the full bearing of this one consideration alone would be impossible. Nevertheless it would do well for Americans to confess where they have wronged, even if they fear it might possibly foster more anti-American hatred. If American's have acted unjustly, then covering up these facts will only breed further vendettas with those who know the truth. Even further, if the American government has made mistakes, then it should admit them all in order to prevent the same risk of fostering further unrelenting hostility.
There have been many accusations of arbitrary American diplomacy both near and abroad; and in light of the graveness of the situation it would help to make public any clearing up of such occurrences--as we are assuming must have taken place in order to have brought about the coalitions that now exist. Who can doubt that arbitrary factions within countries and between civilized countries, which even sometimes cause fatalities, occationally cause other countries to not only abhor such regimes but to feel threatened by them. Whether it has actually taken place--which history is filled with such happenings--is not the point; for many think that it is the case, and are responding upon such understandings.
We would be naive to think that this war is merely a war of the ancient world and its conservatism against the modern changing world of personal development. No doubt for many this is the case; and we need to consider how to carefully approach people who feel threatened by such modern western values. But it seems evident that the sophisticated enemy is only using this antagonism as an excuse to rile up enemies against America. For we hardly suppose that these men who traffic drugs for support, and oppress their own people, are fundamentally concerned about traditional or ethical values. But as they use this as an incentive for others to join their ranks, it is an occasional cause that needs to be addressed.
It would be good for us to consider the threat many people have about the unrestrained and lawfully protected immorality and selfishness in America. Again, whether true or not, or to whatever extent true, many millions of peoples, even within America, feel threatened by the shameless influence of Hollywood. These people understand that humans are educated by such gripping influences. They understand that if they allow this to be their entertainment that people will grow up either doing the same things or will not be alarmed by those who do them. And as they consider at the statistics of Americans who do support such media, they find evidence that 'what goes in comes out' in one way or another. They find it hypocritical for Americans to war against terrorists while they allow their actors to get Americans excited about fictional terror and horror. As for myself, I found it sickening to hear Martin Sheen relate the fact that since September 11th Americans have rented more horror movies than before that time! And I can hardly understand how the numerous movies that senselessly glorify evil and murder would be allowed to flourish in a land so concerned about the conservation of fundamental rights! It reeks of the hypocrisy of the original universal-freedom-proclamations while the slave was under the foot of oppression. We were expecting a turning away from these things in reverence for the dead and the protection of our country--but instead we have in increasing numbers defected to the enemy's side.
Again, we must understand that many peoples, even our own until the last 40 years, have also abhorred the other American-kind-of-Hollywood -influences that breed sensuality--a principle that exalts pleasure over reason and ultimate values--dishonesty, greed, theft, unfaithfulness, sacrilege, etc.--which are all evils that support the spirit of terrorism. We are not suggesting that peoples opposed to this kind of western influence suppose it will bring the specific terrorism that we have witnessed. But these people feel threatened by these evils so glorified through the media--and as sometimes this is the only picture they get of America--they are rightly terrified that allowing American influence in their communities will be the incorporation of such evils into the fabric thereof. Apparently Americans no longer give the impression to distant countries that "In God we trust", or that we are a Christian nation--aside from the present numbers turning to the churches. The picture we have most vividly painted for undeveloped and civilized countries is Hollywood and international policeman. And if we are going to prevent further anti-American hostility we better at least think about what kind of image we are giving them and what we are about.
On the one hand the teaching of the entertainment industry and secular university is absolute moral relativism, and no ultimate value but self-interest or pleasure--along with a categorical prohibition of any form of proselytization against these supposed freedoms. On the other hand the goal of the industry is to proselytize the world to feast at its shrines which are set up for the worship of pleasure and self-interest as the Absolute value. But not all people can swallow these contradictions, nor do they see these as the right ultimate value. In fact they rightly fear that such a philosophy breeds any and every form of vice possible. For if 'man is the measure of all things,' and self-interest is all that really matters, then he who is strongest can make everyone serve his own interests, whatever shape it may take. And in a day when money means power, and when we justify various forms of selfishness--it does not matter whether you are a rich actor who gets away with murder, or this wealthy extremist--justice will be perverted (all it takes to make it happen is the power to do it). Something must be done to stop these things whenever they happen and not just when it touches self-interest or spells game-over. In order to do this we must ask: What is the primary philosophical justification behind such antirational behavior? Or rather what philosophy most clearly licenses terrorism? What is the exemplar cause after which it is fashioned? Nothing but a cowardly lawless license to carry out one's own selfish desires; or any idea that allows self-interest to be the ultimate motive for life. All evil is built upon this. It is only when you remove this motive that people are prevented from carrying out evil plans.
Another similar exemplar cause of terrorism is, on the one hand, any philosophy or practice that allows for judgments or assumptions to be made before they ought to be made, or, on the other, any such that allow judgments to not be believed even though sufficient evidence is given beyond reasonable doubt--such is prejudice both positively and negatively. Who can doubt that if either of these forms of prejudice is allowed than anything can believed or disbelieved according to desire of the unbeliever. In the negative form we see the Taliban denying the guilt of Osama Bin Lauden in the several acts of terrorism propagated against the American people even though he has confessed statements to the contrary and had training camps for that purpose! Our government rightly qualified themselves in stating that they were not interested in merely the specific architect or the men behind the planning, but in all people promoting such actions--and Osamah stands out as the greatest example. To suppose that he is not responsible for encouraging these actions (and thus an accomplice) is not only a willful unbelieving form of prejudice, but a denial of the criminal nature of evil influence. And the American government will not tolerate any kind of influence that encourages terrorism. We only hope that they are not arbitrary in deciding what does encourage it. Again, any philosophy or person that encourages others to not believe and conclude on matters of fact beyond reasonable doubt encourages others to allow the guilty to go unpunished and innocent communities to be further harmed. This selfish choice of unbelief can not be tolerated from its first beginning stages to its farthest murderous stages.
On the other or positive side of prejudice, we find numerous examples of a premature willingness to believe things before they ought to be. For example, even though an evil person may be guilty of the influence he spreads, it does not justify unfounded accusations made against him for specific crimes that he might have committed. At this time the American government has mostly showed itself to be careful to properly distinguish between these two. The other day the President stated that they did not know for sure whether Osama was behind the latest Anthrax attacks, but then blurted out "but I wouldn't put it past him." Even though such statements would cause prejudiced people to then make this assumption, it couldn't fairly be called prejudice unless he would have changed it to "I wouldn't doubt it; and in my opinion he did."
Every assumption, that people who look different are in fact tied and guilty to terrorist activity, or every racist judgment that leads to vigilante action, is not only prejudice but terrorism of a worse kind than what we have seen on September 11th. For such actions are totally unpredictable and foster unending reciprocal bloody factions. Of course we all know this; it is only selfish people who harbor terrorism within their minds and lives who would deny it.
The foolish expression "My country--or party--right or wrong" are examples of prejudice that encourage the very followings after arbitrary rulers who shape such lawless rule. Shall we say that only the worse forms of running with a party at all costs are intolerable? What shall be the rule to define when it becomes unacceptable? And if such a line is professed how shall the same have anything against the worst forms of partyism. In this case both forms of prejudice are committed. Positively this diehard devotee unquestionably believes everything his party does is flawless, and negatively, he disbelieves everything its critics present in proof. Devout and loyal they are indeed! But in blind deception they encourage everyone to follow only what they want to believe.
The list of philosophical and unethical causes of terrorism, and everything that amounts to the same, are many, yet similar. Therefore we would encourage each reader to be honest and thorough in obeying the President's prohibition and categorically abstain from everyone and everything that supports terrorism.
The first thing which would be in order in our personal attempts to remove the threats of terrorist evils would be to systematically seek out and identify all possible causes (as we have only started to do above). We can see that to some extent this has begun in our land as well as across the world. Unfortunately, due to inability or selfishness (or both), the investigation has not always gone to the root. We are told by flight attendants that the airline agencies have hardly changed security regulations beyond a mere patchwork appearance, even when the government has granted them large amounts of funds to do so. Whether this be the real case or not, in a similar way we would not desire our governments or any citizen to disobey the President's orders and only outwardly give a patchwork show of a rejection of terrorism while a selfish, prejudiced, or lawless practice is allowed in less sensational and apparently less destructive matters.
We must encourage the removing of any unnecessary obstacles that foster terrorism as above defined. But unfortunately it is very hard and often impossible to know all the reasons for American diplomacy as many things are rightfully classified. We must therefore remember not to become prejudiced in assuming mischief where we are ignorant.
We ought to encourage everyone we know to fight for the real cause, which is for every person in this world to have the freedom to live an unselfish life, in which they can have the freedom to honestly choose what the best course of action is for their life, and so serve the public well-being to the best of their ability. Make no mistake, we are not fighting a contradictory battle for the freedom to do whatever we have the power to do! This philosophy is the very enemy we are really fighting. It was this foe that lead to our great loss. If we merely fight against the same philosophy that we are living for, then it will never leave us. And if this idea is permitted then it can never be carried out completely. There will always be strife while we are not committed to forsaking the selfish ideology and while we hypocritically try to regulate its levels arbitrarily. For no one can have complete freedom to completely live out their selfish pleasures. Only one person could against all other interests. This is what we have seen age after age in the history of our world. This has been the cause of all wars. And we will never have true rest and peace until we individually root out this selfish principle. How can anyone feel secure while it is not only prevailing, but is legally protected and encouraged? The whole thing is absurd, as it gives us such blatant contradictions to believe: "Do what you want; but don't harm anyone else in it!" (and I might add as many imply, "unless you have the power to get away with it!"). Again, we must fight the real enemy and not pretend to give a pretense of justice while the real motive is a selfish right to power. Let us never again fight for freedom from a tyrant while we are really after the liberty to oppress our own victims. We were once deceived as a nation in this. We missed the fundamental issues. What were they back then? Have we learned our lessons? Or will we again be taken by the sensational events of the east coast, and impulsively fight for our own liberty to oppress whomever we so desire by the opportunity we have earned to carry out our selfish choices?
It is not our place to critic the strategy of the financial, diplomatic, and military plan of attack. We have elected the men to do this job and they are doing what they were expected to do. We would only call on every American to do what is in their power to do. We face perhaps years of crisis. And never before have we understood the need for prevention as now. We are preparing for possible attacks from every direction. But if we do not know the real enemy, nor what motivates them, how can we protect ourselves from it? and how can we overcome them? I tell you what you can do, you can oppose every form of selfishness until each one of our communities is a safe community in which each member is given to honestly doing to others what they would have all do to them. Unrealistic? It has happened before. Could you believe that only one hundred years ago whole areas of New York city were even thus secure! We will leave you to investigate the history of our country for your own investigation. But if each reader will do his own part to obey the highest orders, and be the most loyal to the only worthy or virtuous Cause, then they will not fail to see a far greater and nobler influence exerted than the selfish regimes have experienced.
Everybody wants to do something. But most think they can only give a little blood! Do not be ignorant of the real enemy. They are much closer than you think. Do not think that you cannot fight them now. Let us begin by looking carefully into the nature of evil within our own lives and see just what we are doing to harbor it. Are we desiring entertainment that exalts violence, lying, theft, selfish adventure or pleasure? Are we supporting those who selfishly profit from such things, and cause so many to copy their influence? Are we guilty of lying and prejudice that gives precedent to the enemy and future enemy to come? Are we harboring terrorism within our boarders? Are we harboring terrorism within our own communities? Are we harboring terrorism within our own families? And are we even the very accomplices who harbor terrorism within our own hearts and minds? If so, you will eventually come to justice.
The other week we heard criticisms made against people being willing to die for a cause, and how wrong-headed any kind of ideology must be that encourages members to die for it. This was strange as in the very same context it was agreed that our people should fight to prevent terrorism from happening. It is also agreed that our public servicemen rightly died for what they believed. Each man was at least outwardly committed to the well-being of society and laid down their lives daily for the public good. They fought for our lives as our fathers had fought for the same. Was it fanaticism that lead those men up those stairs? Was it selfishness? Was it archaic for the rescue workers to risk their lives digging? Neither is it madness to die for the right cause. These people saw how it was better to give up themselves for the opportunity to save others. But they are not the only people who have the opportunity to serve the public good in such a way. Everyone of us can espouse the same philosophy: 'it is better to give than to get.' And each one of us can become honorable heroes who lay down our self-interest for benefit of the public good. This is the hardest death to die. But it is the only real way we can fight to win this battle. And there is no other battle.
Make no mistake, you are not a loyal American if you refuse to lay down your selfishness for the public good. There are only two possibilities for you to choose:
"We will make no distinctions between terrorists and those who harbor them."