Viewpoint: American blowback

Viewpoint: American blowback

By Joe Baker

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor and

Frank Schier

Editor and Publisher

Americans were jolted out of their complacency Tuesday by a horrific, fiery sneak attack on U.S. centers of power—New York City and Washington, D.C., and the fliers of American skies across the nation.

The belief that this country is impervious to an attack on the mainland of Fortress America was forever shattered. We learned that all our technology could not protect us from an implacable and determined foe.

Holes in our security systems abruptly became glaring. These acts scream of the failure of the overblown American intelligence establishment, FBI, CIA and NSA. The flaws in airline security that had been reported in past years and largely ignored were shrewdly exploited by the perpetrators of this disaster.

We must not let our reaction to these tragedies incinerate our civil liberties over the heat of terrorism. We must be on our guard for what can really burn down our ever-simmering freedoms. They can burst into flames if cooler heads fail to prevail. Our government’s control must be controlled.

Our government is largely responsible for bringing this retaliation down on us. Our failed policies and actions towards Arab nations and Israel have fostered violent hatred. The napalmish mixture of Israel, the Palestinians and extremist Islamic groups is overheated. We should not abandon the Arabs or Israel.

Yet Israel, as should the U.S., must realize that creating more innocent victims does not bring our innocent victims back to life. In this firestorm, we must be absolutely certain who did this. Justice cannot be hasty.

Now for the American blowback. Our levels of sadness and anger are still muted in the immediacy of shock. Many remarks have been made that these terrorist acts are acts of war. Will our reaction play into greedy hands waiting for more blood? These sick and blood-thirsty hands do not play by the rules of conventional warfare.

What other tragedies will escalate out of these tragedies? How will our relationships with Israel, the Palestinians, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and China be affected?

So fasten your seat belts; this could be the first round in what the Arab bloc calls a Jihad—a holy war. We now know that we are no longer immune. But how will we act? How will we really know who did this? Can we trust our intelligence agencies to determine who did?

Our prayers go out for all.

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