Friday, October 5, 2001 - I have been asked my opinion of the USA's response to the attacks against it on September 11. The person who asked was terrified the US would start a war that would escalate into a global bloodbath involving us all.
Let me first say that no one hates strife and conflict more than I do. After all, I am a born-again, peace-loving, God-fearing Christian. I will back down when confronted, even at risk of looking like a coward, turn the other cheek, and basically do anything to avoid a fight. This has always been my nature and it got plenty of exercise when I was of school age due to my physique being that of a 98-pound weakling. I was a walking victim inviting abuse.
However, one day after a particularly debasing display of this live and let live at any cost attitude when I was once again physically assaulted in the main hallway of my high school and made to grovel in front of a crowd of my peers, I got tired of being picked on and pushed around. I got tired of trying to reason with unreasonable people and realized that nothing I could say or do was ever going to end the escalating episodes of bullies humiliating me in public except to become a threat to them. This is all these people understood. I realized even back then that they never picked on anyone who was a threat to them.
So I began a course in self-taught self-defense and strengthening what little muscle mass I did have. I also enlisted the aid of a couple lifelong friends who played on the varsity football team and who made it expressly clear to my tormentors that any future attacks they made on me would be considered attacks on them and would be dealt with accordingly.
The bullies never picked on me again.
This isn't to say they saw the error of their evil ways and changed. They simply found easier prey.
I have always found it interesting that even after leaving high school and the protective umbrella of my friends, I was still never picked on again. Perhaps my self-defense training shows in my carriage and demeanor. Perhaps without saying a word or doing a thing, the bullies see something in me that tells them that if they push me too far they will be paying for it the rest of their lives and so they leave me alone.
This is the nature of bullies. They pick fights only with people they feel certain won't fight back. This is also the nature of terrorists. You never see terrorists pick on anyone who is likely to fight back and hurt them. Terrorists are therefore little more than bullies and can only be dealt with accordingly. Bullies can't be reasoned with because the motivation behind their actions has no basis on reason. They just like hurting people, which I guess makes them feel superior. Diplomacy does not work with terrorists. The only thing that will stop a bully is to convince him that any action he inflicts on you will be met with an equal or greater reaction on him. Violence is all they understand and unfortunately, all that will deter them.
I have no doubts the terrorists would have done things differently had they felt there was any danger they would be found out and have to pay for their attacks against the USA. You notice none of the cowards have spoken up and claimed responsibility, which is a characteristic of past bin Laden attacks. I have no doubt they felt safe and secure in their hideout and the last thing they expected was to awake the great United States from its stupor and have it (along with its friends) vigorously come after them with every weapon at its disposal.
Terrorists are nothing but cowards who like to intimidate defenseless women and children and sucker punch anyone who might be a real threat to them. The problem with sucker punching a stronger opponent is that if you don't put them out of the fight with that first punch you will in all likelihood get the snot kicked out you.
With all this in mind, my thoughts are that the level of global terrorism before September 11 was felt to be at a level that while being annoying was still acceptable compared to the effort it would take to root it out. The world basically has been turning the other cheek all these years.
But September 11 changed that. The terrorists went too far. Suddenly they elevated themselves from being an irritant to being a real threat to civilization as we know it. And since everyone who understands bullies knows the only course of action one can take to defend oneself against them is to become a real threat to them, then that is what must be done. It is simply all they understand. I wish the world were full of peace-loving people like myself, but sadly it isn't. And if you don't defend yourself at some point, you will end up with terrorists making your life miserable. This is unacceptable to me, even if it requires fighting back, even if that requires my life.
Therefore...since the bullies have left the civilized world with no recourse, I think President Bush has reacted in the only way he could and has handled the situation perfectly. I am extremely impressed with him. He didn't overreact and has succeeded in turning virtually the entire world against the terrorists, leaving them with almost nothing but the holes they are hiding in and with almost nowhere to run. All they can do now is cower and hide like the cowards they are because if they show themselves for even a second they will surely get the snot kicked out of them. hmmmph!
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Copyright © 2001 by Gordon L Wolford.
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