Thoughts and prayers to comfort the grieving and hurting members of the U.S. Navy family, residents of Pensacola, and the nation are needed today. A terrorist opened fire at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida on Friday, 6 December, killing four and wounding many. The killer was dispatched.
Apparently, the deceased was a Saudi national receiving pilot training. And a terrorist. As part of international alliances, agreement, and cooperation between militaries, the United States placed trust in the government of Saudi Arabia that their personnel were their “best”. That trust was betrayed today. At the cradle of Naval aviation, and in a part of the country I know well from years spent during my Navy career. The responding Sheriff’s deputies, Naval security forces, and military personnel acted admirably, and were wounded in the process of saving many lives today. May they receive the care and healing that our best can provide.
There will be another time to process this barbarity. And my hope for America and all those who oppose acts of savage barbarism, is that we can find that Love covers over a multitude of sins. Hatred has no defining color or nationality, religion or language, but it festers many places under the guise of “tolerance”. For today and perhaps tomorrow, let us cease being divisive about religion, politics, social status, whether rich or poor, and let us honor the victims, grieve with the families and be united in purpose.
Yesterday, December seventh, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. We will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Every generation has those who believe morally (spiritually) or intellectually in “world peace”. That coexistence of disparate ideologies are obtainable goals for mankind. Others believe that economic interdependence among nations is the key. Redistribution of wealth -generally that of political and social opponents – to those who have much less – by a paternalistic governing authority is a popular theme. And still others believe that superior military firepower will thwart aggression. In the last decades of the Twentieth Century and through the first two of the new Millennium, people have thought that accommodation, neutral stances and open-mindedness on everything from language to social services, gender and religion would bring about “coexistence”.
It doesn’t matter what the topic is, but what is disturbing to someone raised in the last years of the American post-WWII “Baby Boomer” generation, that discernment, wisdom, dialogue, and critical thinking have been tossed away. Feelings and hypersensitivity to the possibility that people may encounter ideas and attitudes that run counter to what they have been taught, have resulted in redefining “free speech”. And in an age where the leader of our country is hypersensitive to criticism, narcissistic and uses social media to incessantly comment on his political adversaries, we have other elected representatives refusing to obey legal statute, convention or address public safety concerns. These highly insulated folks pander to an audience who are not citizens of the nation. Judges do not rule on the merits of a statute based on the founding documents of the nation, but on interpretation and personal feelings. In Government, universities, public education (K – 12), and almost all information and entertainment mediums, the end goals of the broadcaster are fixed and unwaverable – with supporting data, “expert opinion”, and “statistics” found and scrubbed to present support for the “conclusion” reached. Dissent is met with ridicule and occasional violence.
The latest examples of how improbable it is to coexist, except on the bumpers of socially conscious Western Europeans and North Americans vehicles, is the perpetual state of violence: against Jews, Kurds, Ukrainians, Syrians, people in the Horn of Africa, Central Asia, and the Central and South America. With warlords, drug cartels, extremists, zealots, and criminal gangsters, there has been only violence, sex trafficking, child slavery, murder and anarchy, but no peaceful coexistence. International groups bring relief to hurting or starving refugees, risk being kidnapped, murdered, raped, or at best, had their aid looted and mission closed. There are nation-states like Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Russia, who support groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Taliban, or the now-splintered Al Qaeda and ISIS.
Sixty years after the world went to war over geopolitical ideology, and rallied to oppose and end genocide in the process,, an ideology that has in its core tenets, an open hostility and warfare with Jews, Christians and – infidels, executes a malevolent plan against the United States, resulting in the deaths of nearly three thousand people. Whether the barbarism of a faction or yet another example of how people cannot coexist with differing ideologies, this was only the last of several attacks prior to September 11th which killed numerous military members and civilians of many nations, carried out under the banner of “fundamentalists”. And even as recently as today, more funerals, more anguish and more antagonism between rivals indicate that peaceful coexistence is as difficult to obtain unless one side is being buried and the other, performing the eulogy.
I think, in the wake of Sept. 11, it’s important for the American public to understand that to the extent that there are individuals within the United States who would undertake terrorist attacks, that we are doing something to address that. Robert Mueller