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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    SW United States

    'We cannot let down our guard'

    'We cannot let down our guard'
    In the 5 years since 9/11, terrorism has become a constant. Yet free people will reject and ultimately defeat this bloody vision.
    By Rudy Giuliani

    The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, continue to flood me with many memories. Some are sad, some are tragic, others are uplifting. But recently I have been reflecting on how the attacks are ongoing. The attacks of five years ago cannot be consigned to history.

    The attacks did not begin on Sept. 11, 2001. They actually began sometime in the late 1960s, when Islamic radicals started hijacking planes and directing terror at civilians. The first attack that drew significant international attention was the slaughter of the Israeli wrestling team at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Numerous attacks followed, leading up to Sept. 11 and the deadliest ever attack on American soil.

    The attacks have continued unceasingly since 9/11 and include those on Bali, Indonesia; Madrid; Beslan, Russia; London and the recent interrupted plot in the United Kingdom, which might have been even deadlier than the attacks five years ago.

    So the killing of innocent civilians by Islamic fanatics has been going on for some time. What was quite different about the attacks of five years ago is that Sept. 11, 2001, marks the day that our nation went on offense against the terrorists.

    We broke the pattern of inconsistent response to previous attacks. We began a concerted effort to defeat Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.

    'Safer, but not safe enough'

    Five years later, the measures taken to improve safety in our country have made a difference. We are safer, but not safe enough. It might be tempting to lower our guard and allow our memories to fade into history. That's probably a natural tendency. But it would be a dangerous mistake for our country.

    The people who consider democracy their enemy have not stopped fighting. They have not stopped killing. We cannot let down our guard.

    This month brings us another sad anniversary, the second year since the siege at Beslan by terrorists. Imagine the kind of people who saw their intended targets schoolchildren enter for the first day of school laden with flowers for their teachers. Days later, those children would be so hungry they would eat those wilted flowers as the terrorists mocked them. Soon, many of the children and their parents would be dead.

    Shortly after the siege ended, I happened to travel to the region. I was in Moscow on the day of the memorial gathering. Having recently endured a deadly takeover of a Moscow theater and the downing of commercial airliners, Russia's reaction was swift and overpowering. The war against radical Chechen Islamists continues, but Russia has won significant victories and seems to have turned the tide.

    It is just over a year since the brutal bombing attacks in London that killed more than 50 innocent people on their way to work. I was visiting in London on that date, just a half block from Liverpool Street Station when the bombings occurred. These attacks made it clear to us that any place is vulnerable. Despite having perhaps the best intelligence services in the world, British authorities were not able to prevent the attack. They did, however, display superb skill in responding to the emergency. Their immediate action saved lives, reduced suffering and mitigated the shock the terrorists were attempting to achieve.

    They had learned from years of terrorism how to handle an attack. The perpetrators were identified and their accomplices and plotters of further attacks were captured before additional planned attacks could be launched.

    The British intelligence services learned a lesson from the bombings on July 7, 2005. They updated their methods and learned to identify new sources of danger. Then, homegrown British citizens planned and executed deadly plans without detection, possibly because the intelligence was focused on foreigners. By 2006, the security services had adapted. They were able to thwart a massive plot involving mostly homegrown terrorists.

    The United States has successfully prevented domestic attacks over the past five years, but the terrorists have not relented. Think of the innumerable attacks from Israel to Iraq and the reported attacks planned by sleeper cells in Buffalo; Portland, Ore.; and Canada that were disrupted by alert authorities.

    Some argue that the attacks continue because of the war in Iraq. But the attacks began decades before the Iraq war. Some argue that our enemies seek negotiation and understanding. But our enemies have made clear to us that what they seek is the annihilation of our most precious freedoms.

    One of the main reasons for the founding of the United States was to establish freedom, particularly freedom of religion. Our enemies oppose freedom, particularly freedom of religion. This was made shockingly clear by the recent gunpoint "conversion" of two kidnapped journalists in Gaza. The terrorists don't want to understand and co-exist alongside Western democracies. There are those over the past 30 years, and even to this day, who want to negotiate with the fanatic Islamic terrorists. But the fanatics don't want to negotiate. They want to establish a world in which everyone practices a perverted version of their religion. They want to return to a time before the modern age, to a world in which women have no rights and religious dissent is met with death.

    These attacks are about a radical form of Islam that views our very existence as a grave threat. This is not a debate over values or policies. This is not a border dispute. This is a war over the preservation and expansion of the modern world.

    We must realize the depth of the danger we face and the determination of our enemy. We have increased attention on air security. We have extended the USA Patriot Act, which has given us a greater opportunity to detect terrorist plots before they occur. We now receive much more help from other countries, such as Pakistan, including banks sharing information about money flow inside terrorist organizations. That information was vital to revealing this summer's airline terror plot in Britain.

    Secure our future

    As we continue to focus on what we've learned, we must also focus on goals for securing our future. We must improve our intelligence. We must commit to restoring a human intelligence base. We must increase our port security and expand the cooperation of other countries. We must ensure at least a minimum level of emergency preparation in every community in America.

    If we remain steadfast in our commitment to these goals, we will succeed. We will make the world safe for the practice of all religions, including Islam. After all, the majority of Muslims are peaceful and law-abiding they too have been victimized by the radical minority.

    On the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, I hope the world will visit the hallowed ground of the World Trade Center and see a soaring memorial to those who were killed there, as well as those in Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa. A fitting tribute will pay honor not only to the victims of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but also to the spirit of freedom.

    There is a reason thousands of rescue personnel rushed into enormous danger to save men and women who were strangers to them. The reason was respect for the value of human life. It can also be described as love the kind of love expressed in a biblical phrase, "Man has no greater love than to lay down his life for his friend." This respect for human life and love for others, including strangers, form the core of Western civilization. It is the driving force that helped us create freedom.

    What I learned from Sept. 11, 2001, is that free people have much greater strength than they realize. Ultimately, free people prevail over oppression.

    Rudy Giuliani was the mayor of New York on Sept. 11, 2001.


  2. #2
    TheWorker Guest

    Re: 'We cannot let down our guard'

    in my opinion, by voting for Bush in 2004, we have let our guard down....

    not to mention $300 billion + 125000 troops + time from the admin's schedule + American credibility and hope all spent in Iraq was a big let down....

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