Commentary: Angry American – two years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001

I still get angry. Whenever I come across an image of the World Trade Center – whether it be on television or a picture in a newspaper or magazine – I get angry.

Even two years removed from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, I’m angry that the Twin Towers are missing from the New York City skyline. I’m angry about all of the lives lost in a senseless act of destruction.

That date, of course, is forever etched in our minds as the day when 19 Islamic terrorists hijacked commercial jetliners, using them as weapons to bring down the Twin Towers and strike at the heart of the U.S. military, the Pentagon.

Another aircraft – perhaps targeting the White House – crashed in southwestern Pennsylvania during a struggle between passengers and terrorists, killing all on board.

My strongest feelings, not surprisingly, are reserved for the reprobates who carried out these horrific attacks.

To my mind there can hardly be anything more infuriating than the mindset of fanatical Islamic terrorists who believe they have a monopoly on the truth and that killing is an acceptable tool for bringing about political and social change.

The actions of the terrorists and their ilk, of course, belie what they really are: murderous thugs. Contrast their pious talk of martyrdom and fighting infidel unbelievers and their cloaking of themselves in military terminology with what they actually do: kill innocent men, women and, yes, children.

I also find myself angry at the political climate in this country. Gone is the unified nation that came about immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks.

At the risk of sounding partisan, the Democrats seem to have put capturing the presidency in 2004 above the security of the United States. The Democratic presidential candidates have directed their most vitriolic attacks not at Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein, but at President Bush.

I am not – by any stretch of the imagination – suggesting the Bush administration is above criticism, but it’s hard to take seriously the Democratic party’s grandstanding on this issue, with their painting of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as dismal failures, and all but calling the president of the United States a liar, as if going to war was just another political calculation by President Bush.

Wars, occupation and nation-building are arduous tasks, even for the world’s lone superpower, and the goals America seeks to accomplish will not be achieved quickly.

America faces a fluid, decentralized and determined enemy in the Islamic terrorists that want to destroy us. There can be no talking to or negotiating with these people.

Al-Qaida and other such organizations – which want to destroy us for who we are, a free people who believe in self-determination – must be utterly destroyed, and the nations that support terrorism must be dealt with, and that will take, in part, a ruthlessly aggressive military campaign.

It appears, however, the Democrats don’t believe this, with their constant negatives directed at how military operations are being handled and complaing that America is not as well liked as it once was, not to mention their wanting to turn over operations in Iraq to the feckless bureaucracy that is the United Nations. The United Nations, of course, is the same organization that authorized the use of force against Iraq, but then would not act upon its own resolution, prompting America and its willing allies to invade.

I find myself exasperated at the fact that our politicians can’t get on the same page when it comes to the defense of the nation, with the Democrats – more concerned about America’s worldwide popularity – seemingly unwilling to do the hard work that is necessary to defeat the Islamic terrorists targeting America.

This is unacceptable, especially in light of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Like I said, I’m always reminded of those attacks when I come across images of the World Trade Center, where on that terrible day two years ago people were forced to make the incomprehensible decision about how they would die: in burning jet fuel or by leaping out the window from the upper floors of those mammoth skyscrapers.

That should make all of us angry.