I am a Historian, Martial Artist and Criminal Justice/ Military expert having focused my lifetime studying Warrior Ethos and culture.
The day Pearl Harbor was attacked is said to be a day which shall live in infamy. Then for us came 9-11. We, as Americans have always grown to e secure in the fact that we were never to be invaded again. We built up our defenses; especially during the Cold War, so that we could take a proactive approach to our defense. Never did we consider we would be attacked from within with such devastating effect. I mean after all the first attempt at the trade towers was thwarted, there would be no second attempt. Right? Wrong!!!
Walking back to my dorm, I heard a car come zooming up behind me then the familiar sound of a voice I knew. "Hey!" I turn to see my classmate and former squad leader sticking his head out the window of his car and ask me did I hear what happened? No, I responded; waiting to see what news he could have to tell me me like this. "We've just been attacked!" What? Attacked? I was absolutely confused. Dumbfounded. I thought how could this be....
I grew up in a military family where I was surrounded by those in the Special-Ops community and took part in many discussions about middle-east affairs. I came to the conclusion that we would be fighting another campaign in the desert. I remembered Operations Desert Shield/Storm; and all the "Mission Accomplished" memorabilia that followed. But in the back of my mind I knew that somehow it wasn't over. I just didn't know how long it would be before we went back.
Never did i suspect that we would be attacked on such a scale again. "go turn on the news and see!" My squad leader exclaimed I take off running and climb up the stairs to my dorm to only discover the horror. I arrived just in time to actually see the second plane crash into the second tower.
"Holy Crap!" this can't be real, I thought. I've heard of terrorist hijacking planes before, it wasn't new. They would hold the plane hostage and ask for a ransom, but this was sadistic. All those innocents slaughtered, burned alive, trapped of all beliefs, colors, corners of the globe. If they wanted to shock and awe us they did. But is also caused a wide spread phobia to anything/ anyone Islamic/Arabic. Although in I'm sure that wasn't their desired affect. You have to wonder; did they even care. So off to war we went under Bush Jr. We marched all the way to Saddam and turned him over to the Iraqi people to be hanged. We would come to spend over a decade there and Afghanistan too. It wouldn't be until the end of Obama's first term that we would kill and capture Osama. I have come to think that was a re-election ploy. I say this because it wasn't long that he began a reduction of forces and the trading of Guantanamo Bay held prisoners for a soldier (Bergdahl) who was both AWOL and an outright deserter. These prisoners were no just no-names. They were top five Taliban leaders. No doubt the trade would take place.Conspiracy? I don't know; but I don't think I would call it a coincidence. After-all he wrote in his own book if he could; he would side with "them".
My generation having been babies when the Marines were murdered at the embassy had not yet been exposed to the full atrociousness of terrorism; until that day. Although Pearl Harbor was said to be a day that will live in infamy; for our own generation the events of that day should also be an image of infamy. It changed everything; but politics being at the fore-front would not have the same effect as WWII. Sure we were all out patriotic with flags in the front yards and we support our troops bumper stickers; the longevity of the Vietnam war was strained the idea of a drawn-out campaign. Which is a good thing but what wasn't taken into account was the ineffectiveness of Iraqi nationals, the instability of the region. The former being the whole cause for the break down of Iraq and the rise of ISIS. Our objective understandably was not to take over but to right the many injustices of Saddam; then to combat Taliban out of Afghanistan.
Nevertheless a vacuum was created because the Iraqi people were not strong enough to resist opposition forces whether from lack of motivation, fear or ulterior motives. Regardless we still got the same effect as in Vietnam. We no longer have Patton, Puller, MacArthur, Halsey and the many other hard charging higher ups that understood eliminating any opposing force so that they couldn't come back to make you pay for your mistakes. Granted the war that we are facing is not by any means a conventional war. There are blurred lines and everything is guerrilla style. They simply don't have the resources to face us head on. In this case a war cannot be won by using solely conventional tactics. Special tactics and strategy must be put in place. I'm not just talking about more drone strikes and drone surveillance of intel gathering. I'm talking about more than just training other forces including local police. However unlike modern media I will just leave it at that.
This day would change how we view terrorism; but not the policies or politics on how we choose to fight. With Obama's administration also came a more lackadaisical way of getting information from detainees, as well as trading high echelon leaders for a coward. Sources now say that Bergdahl has been in contact again with Taliban resistance. Coincidence? Nope. He is a chip off the old block, after all. Certainly a stark contrast to how we conducted ourselves during WWII. Arguably Hitler was quite the terrorist of that time.
Groups like ISIS, Al Qaeda and the like hide behind a religion which speaks of warring against infidels and hype that platform to a point that youth, unknowingly buy into the propaganda. Just like gangs here in America. They prey on the youth to further a cause; but this is not relatively recent phenomena. The movement is older than a millennial. Nonetheless September 11th marks a day in the evolution of terrorism; its the start of the shock and awe campaign of which the hijackings and crashing has evolved to the worldwide attacks and ransoming of hostages or killing them and presenting the video footage to the world. Nothing new; just modernized with the times.
© 2015 paguilar
aethelthryth from American Southwest on February 23, 2015:
On September 11th, 2001, I was visiting my grandmother in an Alzheimer's nursing home. It occurred to me that the nursing home probably had many people who remembered Pearl Harbor better than the events of 2001. Fourteen years later, despite all the "Never forget" banners at the time, it seems to me America has Alzheimer's about September 11th. Thanks for a Hub reminding us.