The universal national question today is: "Do you feel any safer today than you did two years ago following the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in this country?" Well that to me is one of those yes and no questions. And it may be to you as well.
I have long argued as have many others that anyone truly dedicated and bent on destruction can wreak havoc given the time and resources and an obsession with the task. It has never been possible and probably never will be to guarantee safety for anyone, anywhere. That should not diminish our efforts to combat those warped minds. But it also is no assurance nor guarantee.
Let's all agree that a great deal of reaction has occurred since this infamous day two years ago. Some of those moves were ill-founded and based in hysteria. Others were just plain common sense. But at the end of the day we know that progress has been made on the terrorist front and eventually, the threat will be a distant memory. And yet at the same time, no one can assure that today's headlines or tomorrow's won't bring yet another tragedy.
What would have happened had this nation decided not to react to the Sept. 11 Twin Towers attacks? What if we had not established a Homeland Security Department, spent billions to change our focus on safety here at home, had not imposed restrictions on flying, etc.? Well honestly, we'll never know. But you can imagine that the carnage would not have stopped with that one tragic day and those series of terrorism.
Are our efforts in Iraq designed to stop terrorism? You're damned straight they are. Those massive displays of military might are designed to free one nation but to also send a clear signal to others that we mean what we say and we say what we mean. Our efforts must continue until everyone understands it very clearly.
The national politicians who now second-guess our efforts are a collective bunch of opportunists who betray this great nation. They have the advantage of hindsight that they hope to use for political gain. And yet those voices were certainly silent two years ago today. But then again, just look on the calendar and counts the days to the next election. Therein lies your answer.
No one is guaranteed absolute safety. Not now, not ever. But you safeguard against violence by taking prudent preventive actions. That is what we are enduring right now. It's costly in many terms and on many levels. But the alternative is unacceptable.