[The following was excerpted from Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s book, Seize Freedom: American Truths and Renewal in a Chaotic Age – used with permission.]
In 2006 I attended my oldest son’s eighth-grade graduation. Graduating with him was a girl named Jennifer, the daughter of my childhood friend Miles, who was absent. That night, I talked with his wife, Karen, who told me how painful it was for their family to have Miles so abruptly deployed to Iraq.
I did not try to comfort Karen by saying that her husband was in Iraq defending global stability or United Nations resolutions. I thanked Karen for her family’s sacrifice, because Miles was in Iraq honoring his solemn pledge to God and to us to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies.”
Unlike Miles, many had somehow dismissed or denigrated the danger we face.
On September 11, 2001, our nation was invaded, three thousand of our fellow Americans were murdered, and we were thrust into an unsought struggle–the War for Freedom–against the butcher bin Laden’s death cult and Middle Eastern fascism. It was a hard truth told anew: As the world’s beacon of freedom and bastion of hope for the enslaved and oppressed, America remains the target for every tyrant and terrorist bent upon conquest. Frankly, the enemy lusts to kill us for our “sin” of being free.
As the attacked, we do not primarily wage a War on Terrorism. We wage a War for Freedom. Our immediate enemy is “infidel fascism”; our long-term enemy is Iranian imperialism. Against the terrorists–for the liberty of generations unborn–we must reinstitute President Ronald Reagan’s successful strategy against the Soviets: “We win; they lose.”
Right now, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and throughout the world, humanity is battling infidel fascism. In Islam, kufar means “infidels.” Because al-Qaeda and bin Laden butcher innocents, including Muslims, they are the kufar who pervert Islam’s peaceful path and sinfully seek to enslave others of God’s children. Intensifying the threat, the enemy is also fascist. This hideous ideological concoction has cunningly adapted to a globalized world: it is well organized, media savvy, and technologically adept–and willing to kill its own children to kill ours. We confront this faceless foe along a million-mile front. This is global gangsterism–a moral cancer to be scourged from our world.
Among traditional nation-states, Iran is our most clear, present, and pressing danger. Through a marriage of convenience with Sunni-led infidel fascism, Shiia-ruled Iranian imperialism is complicit in spreading terrorism–often with the aid and comfort of Syria, with which the Iranians have signed a “mutual defense” treaty, one akin to the meeting of the bloody-minded that was 1939’s Russo-German Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
Governed by a radical Islamic politburo of mullahs, Iran exports its revolution through terrorism and intimidation, including the arming and shielding of our enemies in Iraq, and the regime’s defiant development and proliferation of nuclear weapons. Iran and Syria are key financiers and kindred spirits to the terror organizations that control the Palestinian Authority and seek to destabilize Lebanon. Fanatically committed, these Iranian imperialists and their ideological soul mates and economic patrons are underestimated or ignored at the world’s peril.
We must unite as the latest generation of Americans duty-bound to defend freedom in an hour of maximum danger. Courageous and committed, we must affirm our full measure of devotion to our troops, their families, and an American and allied victory.
The foundation of our victory strategy is the principle that our free people have historically and heroically championed to defeat our enemies: To ensure liberty for ourselves, we must aid the extension of liberty to those attacked and/or enslaved by our mutual enemies. Therefore, to retreat in the face of the al-Qaeda death cult’s fanaticism and Mideast fascism would betray our revolutionary commitment to and inherited legacy of liberty. To retreat in the face of the enemy now would morally disarm us and turn the region’s people from us and toward the enemy. And to retreat in the face of the enemy now would dishonor the American and Coalition citizen-soldiers striving to defend our nations and emancipate millions of Muslims from subjugation so our world can reap new blessings of freedom. While these new blessings of freedom seem closer at hand since President Obama declared the end of active combat operations in Iraq, we must not slacken our grip on the terrorist enemy, which remains obsessed with our destruction.
Thus, our course remains tough, but our cause is just. Our enemy is the sire of tyranny; we are the children of liberty. We cannot coexist, as the enemy propagandizes and murderously proves. With prudence, purpose, and an understanding of history, we must prove that our devotion to liberty transcends our enemy’s obsession with death. United as a nation and with other free peoples, we must never retreat. For once again ambushed but unbowed, we heirs of liberty must defeat these latest enemies and, for the sake of generations yet unnamed, walk and widen the path of human freedom.
…Given the nature of our enemy and our globalized, interconnected world, we face unprecedented constraints on our nation’s ability to broadcast to the American people our victories in the War for Freedom. Touting victories has been a key factor in wars–used to galvanize the home front and demoralize the enemy. But now the United States and her allies cannot list all of the terrorist attacks prevented without jeopardizing precious (and often scarce) intelligence sources or instructing terrorists as to how our home land defense operates. The American public is reduced to accepting the proposition that “no news is good news.”
Because Americans rarely hear of our wins, there arises a conundrum: the more successful the efforts to stop terrorist attacks on American soil, the more likely it is that Americans will believe the war has been won or the threat significantly diminished. And because our enemy rarely hears of its defeats, terrorists can continue deluding themselves that they are winning.
Exacerbating and entwined with the “no news is good news” conundrum is the “man bites dog” dictum of journalism, which fosters a barrage of reports about America’s missteps in our War for Freedom. Such reporting has crafted an inaccurate public perception of America’s overall success in the war effort. This public perception is demonstrably erroneous, but Americans who have heard no news or are bombarded by negative news are not easily cured of this conceit.
The general public’s perception of the threat is also assaulted by a far more insidious vision of the War for Freedom–namely, that it is an overblown threat far less important than “climate change.” Incredibly, the Left’s eco-warriors are trying to supplant the real global war with a phony battle against global warming.
Two vignettes should suffice to prove this. First, for his efforts to stop productive people from waging biocide against Goddess Gaia, artiste Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize. Second, on the cover of its April 2008 edition, Time magazine Photoshopped the famous World War II picture of the Marines on Iwo Jima. This time, they weren’t hoisting a flag; they were hoisting a tree. Such an affront to our veterans and our history evinces the Left’s insistence on ignoring the fact that on September 11, 2001, three thousand American souls were exterminated by al-Qaeda’s fanatics, not by Al Gore’s fantasies. Grudgingly, we must grant Sartre his due: the Left’s world is, indeed, absurd. In its obsession with biocide, the Left would drive the West to suicide.
In his book Unholy Alliance, former radical leftist David Horowitz explains why:
New Leftists viewed America as an imperialist state, the guardian of a global system that plundered the poor. Their politics was distinguished by its warm embrace of the Stalinist regimes in Cuba and North Vietnam, and by its “critical support” (its own term of choice) for the Soviet bloc that . . . it regarded as a check on the imperial ambitions of the United States.
The Left’s inveterate ideological need to “blame America first” has persisted throughout our War for Freedom against terrorism, including our attempts to secure our homeland.
For all of these reasons, we confront dangerous fallacies that diminish Americans’ homeland security efforts. These fallacies include the assertion that Americans have no real need for homeland security, because there have been no new attacks since September 11, 2001; that homeland security can be achieved by focusing on instruments of potential terror rather than individual terrorists; that technology alone can secure our borders against our enemies; and that terrorism can be considered a wholly criminal matter.
These fallacies must be disabused by this sage advice: Know your enemy.
Knowing our enemy will allow us often to anticipate and prevent its plans, targets, and tactics. But to fully stop the enemy’s attacks requires hard intelligence in real time through vital tools such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which must not be weakened, lest we lose one fateful step to the enemy’s assassins. It also necessitates national preparedness, including expanded emergency planning and training first responders, and the enhancement of cyber-security measures to foil new attacks. We must implement a risk-based analysis to determine most accurately which sites the terrorists will target, what tools they may use in their targeting of these sites, and what new technologies must be devised to counter the enemy’s threat.
Finally, we must advance the partnership between the public sector and the private sector in developing and using homeland security pilot programs. We must properly weigh the interests of security and liberty, realizing that the enemy targets both, and reject the temptation to equate more spending and bureaucracy with promoting homeland security–more is not always better.
On September 11, 2001, we suffered our most grievous wound on our soil. Our fellow citizens were murdered by butchers willing to kill themselves and their children to kill us. Those horrible acts remind us why we must stop future attacks in their earliest stage. This grim acceptance of our sacred duty was embodied and expressed by our valiant, wartime commander in chief:
There has now come a time when you and I must see the cold, inexorable necessity of saying to these inhuman, unrestrained seekers of world conquest and permanent world domination by the sword: “You seek to throw our children and our children’s children into your form of terrorism and slavery. You have now attacked our own safety. You shall go no further.”
The American people have faced other grave crises in their history–with American courage, and with American resolution. They will do no less today.
They know the actualities of the attacks upon us. They know the necessities of a bold defense against these attacks. They know that the times call for clear heads and fearless hearts.
And with that inner strength that comes to a free people conscious of their duty, and conscious of the righteousness of what they do, they will–with Divine help and guidance–stand their ground against his latest assault upon their democracy, their sovereignty, and their freedom.
The wartime leader who made those remarks was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, addressing the nation in a fireside chat on September 11, 1941.
The American people faced down the crisis of which FDR spoke. We will do no less today.
…Throughout the epic sweep of human history’s organized nation-states, the United States was, is, and must remain the greatest force for moral good in the world.
Of course, when my friend Miles returned to Karen and their kids after his tour of duty in Iraq, he didn’t have to tell them that.
They already knew.