Tomorrow marks the fifth year anniversary of the 9/11 events that have consumed our lives. And consumed is the right word. Terrorism and the countless side aspects have changed the face of this country and of the world. Yet, in so many ways, we remain unprepared for some terrorist activities on the same scale as the Twin Towers' attack.
I have long argued that we can never totally prepare for every possibility that might harm this nation. We have spent billions of dollars in the past five years to monitor our borders and to secure our airliners and our ports. But our borders remain porous to this very day. The entire world knows that.
If someone is so dedicated and so obsessed, they can wait years, decades or even longer before we let our guard down. Then the cycle will be repeated once again. But as time goes by and as nuclear weaponry becomes more available, the weapon of choice won't be airliners and the targets of choice will be larger in scale. Officials who know more than we know acknowledge that it's a matter of when, not if, another terrorist strike will hit this country.
The United States' method of removing terrorism is to instill democratic governments in those countries that harbor terrorists. But all too often, we see democracy as the United States model. That is not always the case and we should recognize that we can't export our culture and form of government on others. Others need to recognize they too cannot impose their culture or their form of government on us.
What still bothers me on this war on terrorism is that the United States military has never been fully "unleashed" on these murderers. Maybe it's because we're a compassionate people and we have no interests in killing innocent victims. I'll accept that.
But still, what we now have is the most formidable military on the face of this earth. North Korea can rattle their sabers all they want. Iran can come to the United Nations and pound their fists. But in the end, if it takes military strength and determination to eliminate an enemy, no one can compare with our abilities.
Unfortunately the world is changing and someday - perhaps someday soon - we may not be able to boast of an unmatched military power. With nuclear weapons, even small nations can bully their way of life on the rest of the world. Our grandchildren could someday find themselves at the mercy of some other way of life that defies our imagination. History serves us lessons in these matters.
If Iran or Iraq or North Korea is indeed financing and housing those who will bring us harm, then those countries are clearly our enemies. If they will not voluntarily cease their activities that threaten our country, then allow the military to do their job. And give them unparalleled powers to use whatever, whenever and wherever they see fit.
If you truly believe that someday we'll have to literally fight for our lives to preserve this nation, then let that day arrive when we have the power and the strength and the advantage over the terrorists.
If the terrorists want to use this anniversary to boast of their dedication then we too should use this anniversary to declare our resolve. Threatening unbridled power is useless unless we are willing and capable of putting that weaponry where our mouths are.