Tag Archive | "terrorism"

Lessons from the Boston Massacre

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Popular wisdom states that “every dark cloud has a silver lining.”  It also warns that “those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”

 

Now that the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing have been tracked down by the capable efforts of the FBI, local police forces, and a vigilant citizenry, the residents of Boston and its surrounding area can breathe a sigh of relief.  Once again, in a city to which some refer as the “cradle of liberty,” American national security has been restored as it has “met the enemy and they are ours.”

 

Yet, as we bask in the warm sunshine of justice served and a return to business as usual, we must come to terms with the fact that our current enemy is unlike those whom we have met and defeated in the past.  Radial Islam, unlike Nazi Germany or Japan, knows no borders or nationalities.  It is populated by zealots who will continue to foment terror and perpetrate jihad until they subjugate the entire world or are exterminated from it.

 

In the years following 9/11, Americans have been lulled into a false sense of security by our “war on terror.”  Yet, what has this “war” really accomplished?  Iraq continues to struggle with its fledgling democracy.  The Taliban are regaining strength and will likely reascend to power when American forces leave Afghanistan.  And, most significantly, in the last four years jihadists have carried their fight to American soil – included among these the underwear bomber, the Times Square bomber, the Fort Hood shooter, and most recently, the Boston Marathon bombers.  Our enemies have and continue to use the freedom and openness of American society against us – embedding themselves within our culture and borders with the aim of plotting and carrying out acts of terror against American people and property.

 

This should be a wake-up call to our present Administration and all of those elected to public office at the local, state, and federal levels.  Pledging to uphold the Constitution and ensure the safety and security of our citizens, elected officials must reaffirm these commitments now.

 

Our federal government must identify our friends and enemies and treat them as such.  We should not be financing and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, the force behind the Arab Spring in Egypt and other areas of the Middle East.  On the home front, we should secure our borders from those who would harm us using legal and illegal means to enter our country, among them students entering with visas, guest workers, and all other foreign visitors.

 

Ronald Reagan stated, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream.  It must be fought for, protected and handed to them to do the same or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.”  To maintain our way of life, we must heed our former President’s sage advice and act now to defeat radical Islam and the other forces of evil, both internally and externally, who would rob us of our freedom and destroy the promise of America.

 

 

11 Past 911

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Eleven years after, I still remember that fateful morning as if it were yesterday.  Much like today, it was a sunny Tuesday morning in the Metropolitan New York area.  But, that particular morning, the sunshine belied what would become – along with December 7, 1941 – an infamous date on the American calendar.

 

Informed that a plane had struck one of the World Trade Center towers, I tuned into the morning news just as a large jetliner made its kamikaze run into the other tower.  Awestruck, I heard the news just moments later of the attack on the Pentagon by yet another hijacked airliner and shortly thereafter of a plane crash in Pennsylvania, the cause of which was as yet unknown but would later be revealed as an act of heroism on the part of its passengers – preventing yet another prong of this carefully planned and orchestrated terrorist campaign against America.

 

I witnessed a President who appeared frightened and dazed and a Mayor whose career in public service reached, perhaps, its pinnacle in those tense hours and days following the attacks.  I observed the heroism of teams of police, firefighting, and emergency medical personnel, as well as the many first responders, ironworkers, and others who poured into the world’s greatest City in the days and weeks that would follow.

 

What I remember best about that day, however, was not the unmitigated evil of the foreign terrorists, but the love and unselfishness displayed by Americans of all walks of life, of every race, creed, and socioeconomic level.  It was a day when barriers were broken and lifetime bonds were forged, when each of us was given pause to shift our individual focus from ourselves to our neighbors, and when the resilience and generosity of the uniquely American spirit was on display for the world to witness.

 

As we commemorate the tragic events of September 11, 2001 and remember its victims from the World Trade Center towers, to the Pentagon, to the fields of Pennsylvania, let us also never forget our response, our unity of purpose, and our cooperation across political, social, and cultural divisions.  With God’s grace, we can muster the same levels of unity and cooperation in surmounting our future challenges, so that America – as it has for more than 200 years – will remain a beacon of hope to those from every land who seek freedom and opportunity.

 

Related Posts:

 

In the Name of God

 

Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience

 

Remembering 9/11

 

 

 

 

 

Going Postal: Mass Killings in the Workplace

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More years ago than I care to admit, a firm with which I was affiliated got a great deal on some office space in Cherry Hill.  It was only after I moved in that I came to realize why an otherwise quaint office building in a vibrant business district was largely empty:  it had been the scene of a mass shooting and murder by a deranged ex-employee.


Apparently, six years before I occupied the space, one Edwin James Grace parked his car behind the building and calmly entered through the rear door of the two-story structure.  Ascending the stairs in the building’s center hall, he turned left and walked into the reception area of an employment agency with which he had been associated.  Raising his firearm, he shot the receptionist in the head and proceeded to open fire at will.  When the shooting ceased, twelve people (including the gunman) were dead or critically injured.


The police, summoned by tenants who had escaped via first and second floor windows, surrounded the building bombarding it with teargas.  It was only when law enforcement and emergency medical personnel entered and began transporting victims to the hospital that they realized that the perpetrator was among the dead, the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Ultimately, nine people would lose their lives as a result of the events of that day.


That tragedy, occurring as it did more than thirty years ago, is just one of a litany of documented workplace shooting rampages that have occurred in the United States.  During the last 100 years, hundreds of deaths and injuries can be attributed to these senseless acts.  These occurrences have become so commonplace and have so often involved United States Postal Service (USPS) workers that the expression “Going Postal” has been coined to describe such behaviors.


Today, yet another mass shooting occurred, not in a postal facility but in a Connecticut warehouse where a driver, asked to resign his position with a beer distributor for an undisclosed violation of company policy, opened fire reportedly killing nine (including himself) and injuring a number of others.  The identities of the perpetrator and his victims have yet to be revealed.


Although in this instance the perpetrator’s motives seem reasonably clear, many cases, like the one in Cherry Hill I described above, are never fully resolved, as the murderers often commit suicide or are killed by police at the crime scenes.  What seems obvious, however, is that this type of violence, whether at a workplace, educational institution, military installation, or other venue, appears to be on the rise.


Violent and lawless acts are becoming commonplace, even in those areas and neighborhoods considered among the safest.  The threats of terrorism, gang violence, and crimes against individuals and society have invaded the American consciousness, robbing many of the sense of security that they once held.  And, the events of today in Manchester, Connecticut will only go to reinforce the growing sense of public alarm. 

Waiting for the Big One

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The Big One

Twice recently, we have heard of by Al Qaeda’s planned attacks upon our commuter aircraft.  These threats have meet with nothing but perfunctory rhetoric from our Department of Homeland Security.  The enemy seems to know more about our security operations than those allegedly in charge of them.  The media, whose sense of responsibility I have seriously questioned for at least a decade, reports that our security force possesses a list of suspected terrorists numbering as high as 500,000.  Five will get you ten that if the government spoon-fed this figure to the media, it is must be twice as high as that, if not more.

 

Meanwhile, thousands of illegal aliens have already crossed the Mexican-American border, and guess what?  They aren’t headed to Acapulco for a little R&R.  They are infiltrating the United States and placing additional burdens upon our already groaning economy.  Just this week we learned that easily accessible technology — cell phones — now enable the unlawful “visitors” to pinpoint sources of potable water across our border, thereby accelerating the mass exodus out of their country and into ours.

 

I don’t know about you, but these numbers sound like an armies to me. Why have we not profiled potential terrorists?  Why have we not deterred the marauding aliens more productively?  Who’s minding our store?  Apparently, no one!  If this is a barometer of the efficacy of our national security, we are in deep doggie-do!

 

There is absolutely no excuse for allowing terrorists to board any manner of conveyance, at home or abroad, for the sole purpose of murdering innocent people.  In possession of advanced technology and so many names, we can profile passengers with ease!  And if we instituted more stringent controls at the border, we could put the kibosh on illegals claiming jobs and benefiting financially from our social programs without having to pay into them.

 

The truth of the matter is we have a homeland security in name only.  The present administration is so involved in pushing its healthcare reform through to approval that it can’t see the forest for the trees.  It can’t prioritize the needs and rights of our citizenry.

 

What are the CIA, the FBI, and Homeland Security doing to secure our transportation system against terrorist attacks?  Must another tragedy like 9/11 befall us before they take action?   Some time ago, we lost thirteen good people at Ford Hood at the hands of an Islamic zealot whose twisted mindset was not only known but also documented in his formal military records.  Two gatecrashers appeared recently at a White House fete, slipping like butter past security and potentially jeopardizing the safety of our President and First Lady.  Mere days after Christmas, two of our airplanes were in serious threat of attack by suicide bombers.  All of this could have been avoided had the suspects in question been profiled.

 

Had the terrorists succeeded, the dirty bastards would be dancing in the streets in Yemen and toasting Osama Bin Ladin in the rat-holes of Afghanistan.

 

If these incidents don’t constitute a wake up call, I guess we will just have to wait for the Big One before government moves its lazy, red tape-lovin’ behind. 

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