Friday, July 23, 2004

First Analysis - 9/11 Commission Recommendations

The 9/11 Commission Report is out and at a minimum, the Executive Summary is a must read for every citizen of these United States. Despite controversy over partisanship with one of the members, I believe we have to take this as the best effort of our government to discern what happened on and leading up to 9/11, and most importantly, beginning on page 16, what to do about it.

I’m sure the recommendations will be fodder for a gazillion commentaries, debates, bickering on the hill and partisan wrangling. I myself plan to read them carefully and offer my own views to my legions of (OK, maybe five or so) faithful readers. My initial outlook is that the commission has made some very good recommendations.

I’ll start with by far the most important of the commission’s recommendations… which also happen to be the hardest to implement and which the failure on our part to implement will be most responsible for the future destruction of our country as we know it today. On page 18, we see the following recommendations:

Define the message and stand as an example of moral leadership in the world. To Muslim parents, terrorists like Bin Ladin have nothing to offer their children but visions of violence and death. America and its friends have the advantage—our vision can offer a better future.

Communicate and defend American ideals in the Islamic world, through much stronger public diplomacy to reach more people, including students and leaders outside of government. Our efforts here should be as strong as they were in combating closed societies during the Cold War.

In a nutshell, we should offer the world moral and idealistic leadership. We should export our American ideals to the Islamic world as we did to the communist world during the cold war. Excellent words… outstanding thoughts… wonderful intentions, but what morals and what ideals are we trying to export? Are they the same morals that we exported a mere 30 to 40 years ago to the communist Soviet Union?

Are we exporting our ideals and morality from a country…

Where the government and half of the population can’t decide if homosexuality is immoral or not?
Where the highest government judiciary not only allows, but demands that all manner of sexual perversion be explicitly available to our children in government run libraries?
Where our government run school system teaches sex education by offering flavored condoms to thirteen year olds to taste… even over the objections of parents?
Where the leader of the free world redefines sexual relations (and the word ‘is’) for an entire generation?
Where the very idea of God is systematically being purged from every aspect of the government?
Where gangsters and pimps and whores are celebrated as role models in the youth culture?
Where the entertainment industry glorifies extreme violence and all manner of sexual immorality?

These are exactly the values and ideals that any God-fearing people loathe, and which the radical ones want to destroy with the edge of a sword (or a nuclear bomb… whichever’s more convenient).

How can we “stand as an example of moral leadership in the world” when the very morality of our leader is attacked by our own citizens as religious fanaticism? How, when the immorality of our former leader is glossed over as unimportant? How, when the moral state of our country is in a slow spiral headed for the all-time lows of the latter half of the Roman empire and the ancient Biblical city of Sodom? Are we really so na├»ve as to believe that Muslim countries don’t read the headlines of our papers and make those very same comparisons? Even the Muslims are aware of Sodom and Gomorrah.

We have some serious back-pedaling to do if we’re to offer the world moral and idealistic leadership. I fear just since the 1950s we’ve lost so much moral ground as to have reached the point of no return. I hope for my children’s and their children’s sakes that I’m wrong.

Please don’t take me wrong in my observations. I’m far from Michael Moore and the blame America first crowd. What I’m saying is that to implement the 9/11 Commission’s suggestions on moral and idealistic leadership (which I think are excellent), we’ve got some hard work ahead of us. We’re going to need a serious moral awakening in this country before preaching morality to the Middle East, or we’ll be no better than the Pharisees seeking to pull the mote out their eye while not beholding the beam in our own.

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