The Angry American

Rod Dreher has an absolutely excellent piece in NRO on why we should not allow ourselves to become complacent after September 11. A notable quotation:

In a 1997 column titled "Why the U.S. Won’t Go to War," Michael Kelly observed that in the waning days of the Gulf War, he was so shocked by the images of slaughtered Iraqi Republican Guardsmen retreating to Baghdad that he, like many Americans, instantly was convinced that the war had to end. Five years on, with Saddam still in power and working on weapons of mass destruction, Kelly realized that he had been wrong, that it was the far better thing to kill even more Iraqi soldiers, and remove the dictator. A 1995 stint covering the war in Bosnia, observing how an outgunned and outmanned group of Bosnians in Bihac saved their lives by savagely holding off Serbian invaders, taught him a valuable lesson about courage, and the lack of it in contemporary American culture.

"We are a nation in which there are fewer and fewer people, and they are older and older people, who accept what every 12-year-old in Bihac knows: that there are things worth dying for, and killing for," Kelly wrote.

Five years have passed since then, and Saddam is still there, stockpiling and likely weaponizing anthrax, cholera, and botulinum toxin, a concentrated pound of which can kill a billion people. Can you sleep knowing what that madman is brewing for you in his desert cauldrons? Can you live with the thought that Arab Muslim terrorists will carry out another September 11-like attack on America? You couldn’t if you’d gone through it.

He’s right. If we are not willing to defend and protect this nation from all threats, even if the rest of the world is unwilling to face them, then we risk losing everything that makes this the greatest nation on the Earth. Dreher puts it eloquently:

And let them rage, rage so that all of us will defend our country to the uttermost, rage until this nation gains the inevitable triumph that we owe it to the living and the dead to win, so help us God. Damn it, people, let’s roll!

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