On this day, the 13th anniversary of the horrendous terrorist attacks that occurred on 9/11, we take a quick look back at the circumstances that led to this horrific event and how it affects our future.
While the roots of religious terrorism dates back centuries, we will confine ourselves to recent events. In 1991, the United States had watched in shock as the infamous “evil empire” (the old Soviet Union) had collapsed upon itself in cluster of socialist bureaucratic incompetence after a long and vicious rule that killed millions, the US had also destroyed the world’s 4th largest army in one hundred hours of ground fighting.
Some people were talking about a world-wide Pax Americana, unfortunately, an event occurred which would have long-lasting implications that few at the time could foresee.
Operation Gothic Serpent, in an attempt to stop the humanitarian crisis going on in Somalia, a ‘country’ with a long history of violence and chaos, the United Nations started operations to bring in food and medical care to ease the suffering of the Somali population especially in the capital of Mogadishu. The US took the lead in providing military units to defend these ‘angels of mercy’ from the ravages of the warlords who ruled their own fiefdoms within the former country. As bureaucratic ineptitude within the UN and a complete lack of desire on the part of member nations to say nothing of the UN to either enlist or confront and destroy or disperse the armed militias of these warlords who were stealing the majority of aid supplies coming in, led to resentment of the people against UN forces.
As the situation in Somalia spiraled down, the UN decided to beef up the member nations military contributions, which led to the US deploying Task Force Ranger to apprehend the worst of the warlords, Mohamed Farrah Aidid. During an operation to apprehend two of Aidid’s top advisers, Mohamed Hassan Awale and Omar Salad Elmi, the already volatile situation erupted into a full-scale battle between US led UN forces and the forces of Aidid throughout the streets of Mogadishu, made famous by the movie “Blackhawk Down”.
That was not the event, though, the event, was an non-event, had this happened in the height of Pax Romana, or Pax Britannica, one knew the next event would be a large powerful army marching in to Mogadishu and ending the violence and suffering, and in no small part a reminder to the world what happened when you upset the world power.
Instead the US promptly packed up and went home. Now while I am of the mind, that no vital interests were served in sending troops into Somalia in the first place, if one assumes that feeding starving people is NOT a vital concern, the full-scale abandonment of the people of Somali to the excesses of tribal militia (which led to the rise of Al Shabaab (an Al Qaeda affiliate) led not only to the misery of Somali, but led many nasty people (including Osama bin Laden) to view the US as a paper tiger, able to easily crush its enemies but unwilling to risk casualties to do it.
The attack on 9/11 can be traced directly back to this event or non-event. Make no mistake this was not the only thing that led to the tragedy, but rather the watershed event that pushed us dramatically in that direction. Had we done a multitude of things, some very simple, some very complex, things could have been different, and dozens of books and articles are written about them.
What should concern you is…
what have we done to prevent it from happening again? Did our domestic spying program catch Major Hassan? Did gun control stop the Tsarnaev brothers from their attack on Boston.
We sit here, with a border that is all but wide open, a deep reluctance by the current administration to interrogate and prosecute illegal combatants. One can only accept that this will lead to another 9/11 attack sooner rather than later. The most aggressive Islamic extremist group is now ISIS, but make no mistake Al Qaeda has not gone away, in fact, they have recently announced a new affiliate in India.
Again we find ourselves with one foot in a war, and an overwhelming desire to damage an enemy without getting dirty. This is not how war works, we must maintain the theory that should we go to war,
that we Go To War,
and we make the enemies’ children’s children not want to take revenge but
rather shudder in fear at the ferocity of American power,
and then to have a warm feeling wash over them when they realize that the peace and prosperity they enjoy are the direct result of an American intervention.
We should be America, Best of Friends, Worst of Enemies, rather than America, Worst of Friends, Best of Enemies.
In regards to securing the home front, we should secure the border, and either legalize the estimated 10 million illegals or deport them. We should put significantly more emphasis on winning the message war, tie economic benefits (foreign aid) to freedom and human rights, and most of important not be afraid of insisting that certain cultures come into the modern world and give up some of the savage aspects that has held them back and caused so much misery.