The Moose reflects on an anniversary.
It is striking how much has changed and how much has remained the same since that day five years ago. There has been much sacrifice by the bravest among us - from the first responders on 9/11 to the members of the armed forces who fight the enemies of civilization.
Most Americans, however, have gone about their daily business with little asked of them and little given. Our political class has reverted to a polarized state that puts partisanship before country. For only a brief moment after the attack, our nation was unified in a determination to win this fight against radical Islam. Now we are divided and increasingly demoralized.
The Moose wrote five years ago,
"For the past several months, there has been an ongoing discussion over whether America is divided into the "Red" states carried by Bush and the "Blue" states won by Gore. The Moose observes that America is now the Red, White and Blue States.
"This is truly a time for American Greatness. The only question is whether our political class is up to it. Americans are ready to be rallied. All across the land, citizens are looking for ways to assist. Those opportunities should be made available. War Bonds should be put on sale to fund the effort (a good way to spend those rebates). Military Enlistment Centers should be established on all college campuses. College presidents should encourage ROTC participation.
"Meanwhile, our leaders should prepare the American people for a long, protracted, nasty war against international terrorism. It is insufficient to merely eliminate the perpetrators of this crime. The hard, perhaps unpopular truth is that the West is at war with radical Islam. Nations of the world will have to choose sides."
And what of us today? Our politics are more polarized than ever. Our politics consist of Americans pointing fingers at other Americans while the enemy feeds upon our division. Some believe that our President is a greater threat to our security than the Islamic-fascists. They even oppose minimally intrusive surveillance techniques to prevent further attacks.
The bottom line is that many of our leaders, from both parties, have failed to inspire a new politics of national greatness.
But the long war against radical Islam continues. And the nations of the world must once again chose whether they will confront a threat from a nation whose leadership is animated by a vision of another Holocaust. Yet, it is difficult to be optimistic when most of Europe capitulated when it was confronted with a mere cartoon jihad much less a confrontation over nukes.
No one would have thought five years ago that the American homeland would be spared another attack. That has been the great success. But we do not yet have a plan for victory in this long war. We are not winning in Iraq and it is unclear whether this Administration has any clue about how to turn the morass around. There has never been a serious attempt to end our reliance on oil that funds and fuels Wahhabist extremism. Our public diplomacy efforts are a sordid joke. And the leadership class increasingly is losing credibility.
We desperately need leaders who will have the vision to win this war, the ability to unite the country and the courage to ask more of Americans. Without the leadership of FDR and Churchill, the triumph over fascism would have been problematic. Without the leadership of Truman and Reagan, communism might have had a longer life.
Who are the contemporary leaders who will call the nation to greatness once again? --