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A new war

By Jackson Murphy
web posted September 13, 2001

"Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, 'What should be the reward of such sacrifices?' Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!" wrote Samuel Adams.

This week's deliberate and malicious attack upon America is a declaration of war against freedom, democracy, and civilization. It cannot and will not be allowed to stand. This is a new war that will require every resource and person to resist this evil threat once and for all. A threat that is both cowardly and illusive.

It is still hard to believe the video from the events. The 2nd plane colliding with tower 2 of the WTC, the people jumping out windows, and the collapsing building were frightening. There is no doubt that all bets are off now and the gloves must come off.

Comparisons to Pearl Harbor in 1941 are warranted although not totally worthy. This is much worse. At Pearl Harbor only 60 civilians perished-only is a relative term but the attack concentrated on the navy and military that are to expect some danger. Not that those military deaths should ever be trivialized. At the WTC it was all civilians-both horrific events.

More interestingly the fear for most of the past half century has been placed on weapons of mass destruction. But this week the terror came from commercial jetliners hijacked and used as crude flying bombs.

"The deliberate and deadly attacks which were carried out yesterday against our country were more than acts of terror," said President Bush. "They were acts of war."

It is going to be a war on three unique fronts. First there is the immediate war on finding out who did this, where they are, and what are we going to do about it. Already news organizations and leaders are beginning to point the finger at the Osama bin Laden and links to states, perhaps Iraq and certainly Afghanistan.

Second there is going to be a longer-term action to beef up security and make sure that this never, ever, happens again. This may require tighter security on the ground and most certainly air marshals in the planes above. It will require the allocation of money to hire and support an increased human intelligence component of national security. Our lives will never be the same-travel will now carry permanent reminders of what happened yesterday.

The state of American national security has been compromised. All doors to terrorism must be closed-not only from these sorts of attacks but also continuing with missile defense and upgrades to the military. It is going to take billions and billions of dollars and that means any argument over surpluses and budgets will have to take a back seat. In the end the tragedy will prompt a new focus on civil defense, which would be a welcome complement to national security systems.

And finally the actual war against terrorism and those who commit it, sponsor it, and harbor it. This is the greatest challenge to democracy and freedom since the cold war and has been swept under the carpet for too long. That innocence was ended yesterday and New York, America, and the World will never be the same again.

This new war is a grave challenge for the president who has only been in power for eight months. But so far he has handled this tragic event with appropriate reaction and has reassured the nation.

"The freedom-loving nations of the world stand by our side. This will be a monumental struggle of good versus evil. But good will prevail," said Bush.

The country is united. A Washington Post-ABC News poll reports that 94 percent of Americans support military action while 8 in 10 favor military strikes even if they lead to war.

The financial markets have reacted as they usually do during the opening days of a conflict. When the Canadian and American markets open they will respond in kind to the news.

Rather than backing away and isolating itself, America seems to be more willing than ever to be the beacon of freedom in the world. Bush is going to take the war to the terrorists and good will win. ESR

Jackson Murphy is a young independent commentator from Vancouver, Canada writing on domestic and international political issues. He is a frequent contributor to Enter Stage Right and writes weekly at You can reach him at

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