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Had We Not Gone To War September 21, 2006

Posted by fajita in 9/11, General.

Obviously this conversation is moot. There is no going back. First of all, I don’t really know where I stand. When we went into Afghanistan, I was for it. When we went into Iraq, I was for it. But what a difference all these years make. It’s not that I am convinced that it was wrong (afghanistan or iraq), though I have my very serious concerns. My thinking goes in a different direction.

OK, let’s see if I can put into words what I intend to say. Could it be that the United States missed an opportunity to teach the world about the strength of our restraint rather than the strength of our might? Please, don’t hear me say “We should have done nothing.” If you go there, you’re not following me. I am not saying that we should be weak, rather I am saying that there is more than one way to be strong.

I think that 9/11 was so huge and so obviosuly painful that no one could ignore it. It was a different thing than all of the other attacks we’ve ever faced before – put togehter I would argue (and win). Since it was so huge, I believe that not taking a military response could have been framed in many ways other than weak.

I know that people are going to say that not responding militarily would invite more attacks, and maybe that is so. But we don’t know that. In fact, it’s a pretty huge assumption. Not responding could have given us leverage with the international communtiy. It could be that the world has been waiting for American power to be expressed through American restraint. Maybe the world is watching America to see how to use its power.

OK, here is what think would have happened:

1. Americans would have demanded an attack

2. When Bush didn’t attack, Republicans would have been beside themselves

3. America would not have been attacked because international securty would be where it is right now.

4. Democrats would have become more hawkish on war and talk of impeachment would rattle through the capital – but it wouldn’t happen.

5. Bush would not get re-elected.

6. Saddam Hussein would be all talk.

7. Iran and North Korea would be crazy still, but not as crazy as they are now.

8. Hugo Chavez would not be shooting his mouth off so much, and if he was, then no one would listen to him because international anti-american rhetoric would not be in vogue or even tasteful except for the super duper freaks.

9. And finally, Cubs win the World Series.

OK, tear me up.


Let’s Try It Again September 18, 2006

Posted by fajita in 9/11, politics.

Had America not responded, what would have happened?

What if… September 17, 2006

Posted by fajita in 9/11, Christianity, politics.

On September 11th, 2001, America was attacked by terrorists. Planes hit the World Trade Center, the Pentegon and another plane crashed. Thousands or Americans were killed. 

The enemy was instantly identified as Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. So, the president ordered and attack on Afghanistan. In an effort to destroy terrorism, the president ordered a controversial attack on Iraq. Five years later, Americans still fight on those places – two of the most dangerous places on earth.

What do you suppose would have happened if instead of attacking these countries and occupying them, the Unites States turned the other cheek? What if Americans, who were receiving the sympathies of almost the entire world, made a clear statement that we are not about violence, death and murder, but are instead about reconciliation, forgiveness, and love? What if Americans had demanded that our president forgive the aggressors?  

What if we poured our energies into security and defense, but refused to be seduced into an aggressive posture? What if we refused to respond with force?

These are not rhetorical questions. I really want to know what you honestly believe our reality would be now 5 years later had we not attacked back.

I don’t presuppose any answers and I am not looking for anything specific besides what you really believe.

Would not attacking back have been a disaster? Would it have been an opportunity for the world to be impressed by our love? What do you think?

Bush Speech September 11, 2006

Posted by fajita in 9/11, General.

The word “barbarity” was used.

Recalls heroic acts, lost lives, and sacrifices.

Bush taps his right hand a lot.

Very serious tone.

Bush framed the enemy as someone who hates freedom, women are not free and men are beaten for missing prayer metings.

Compared to Cold War threat.

“The war is not over.”

“The Middle East will be overrun with  extremists.”

Stuttered on “intelligence.”

Gitmo is to hold people accountable for their actions.

Answers presence in Iraq. “They were a threat.” “The world is safer becuase Saddam Hussein is no longer in power.”

Bush said, “foment.”

Iraq’s unity government. Hmmm.

The safety of America depends upon what happens in the streets of Baghdad.

Osama calls this “the third world war.”

Left hand holding down the right hand.

War death toll nearly 3000 American soldiers. Almost as mnay killed on 9/11.

“Tore down the wall between agencies.” Clinton poke?

“Passager planes?”

“They fear our freedom.”

There goes those hands again.

Bush frames it as a clash between tyranny and freedom.

We changed our policies because what were were doing wasn’t working (paraphrased).

Invoked WWII without saying WWII.

“Evil” count = 5

Leave the desert of despotism for the fertile grounds of freedom.

Best resource is not oil, but creativity. (That was actually a pretty good line).

Personal interest story about fallen firefighter. Sons went to military and firefighting. Proud mother. Hard to criticize.

The attacks were meant to bring us to our knees, and they did – in prayer.

Faith in a loving God.

18 minutes and out.

Tim Russert and Brian Williams talk. russert predicts that Democrats will criticize the speech. Geez, I need to be in news reporting. I tihnk i could have come out for that one.   

9/11 September 11, 2006

Posted by fajita in 9/11, General.

Who could forget five years ago? I was a youth minister and had arrived at my office that morning and was still checking e-mail and surfing the web for something oh so important and meaningful.

Reports of a plane crashing into one of the towers of the World Trade Center shocked me. I saw a still photo on the web of the smoking building. My initial assumption was that the pilot had made some terrible error and the plane crashed into the tower on accident.

However, when I got the report that a second plane had flown into the other tower and news people were now certain that this was an attack, I got scared.

I lived two miles from the Mall of America at that point. Then the Pentegon and another plane crash. People talked of targets and American symbols. Certainly I lived two miles from one of those symbols.

The Mall of America closed down along with other places like the Sears Tower.

I remember planes being grounded, but still hearing the occasional plane. The sound was eerie and frightening. I found out later that Fedex was stilling flying packages.  

I went home after hearing about he second tower to be with my wife and infant and toddler children. I wept. We prayed. I was glued to the TV.

We held church services. We prayed. We sang God bless America.

Then, if you will remember – Anthrax.

We were under attack from unusual on deadly fronts. By stealth. It was a frightening time. In fact, I feel the angst as I write and remember these events.

Oh God, bring peace to the place. Please make things as they ought to be. Come and end wars, hatred, violence, and division. Come to rescue the weak and hurting. Give us people sense enough to love courageously. Forgive our foolishness.