Do They Have Our Attention Yet?

How quickly we grow complacent.

If you’d told someone on September 12, 2001, that within a few short years we would value privacy over national security, Islam over the homeland, and diplomacy over strength, they would have laughed in your face. And if you’d told them that in 2008, we would elect a man with a Muslim name and a Muslim background to the White House, they would have had you committed.

But after watching the towers falls thousands of times in picture and video, the shock has worn off. Maybe it was never really there to begin with. How many times did you hear someone say that the disaster on 9/11 was like watching a movie? How many people, frankly, saw this as just another drama in their lives – a chance to be a part of something more fascinating and interesting than their humdrum day-to-day existence? It’s sick to even consider such a thing, but can you really deny it?

How can you, when the lessons faded so quickly? How could we have any tolerance for this violent religion if we really digested the magnitude of human suffering that unfolded that sunny September day?

Now, fourteen years later, we are confronted with the consequences of our apathy. And hopefully, there are no Americans foolish enough to believe that just because it happened in Paris instead of New York, we are off the hook. Security in NYC and Washington and a few other major cities may (or may not, frankly) be tighter than in Paris, but what about the security in Minneapolis? Or Miami? Or any of a thousand other cities where Americans gather to work and celebrate and love?

How we respond to this tragedy will be very telling. It is sad, actually, that ISIS had to stage such a spectacular stunt to wake us out of our long nap. What were we doing before? Why were we so willing to fake outrage at all of those gruesome videos – including the sickening slaughter of our fellow Americans – and then be so willing to go back to whatever we were doing before? We aren’t responsible for Islamic terrorism, but we are responsible for our failure to hunt it down and destroy it.

Oh, that’s just what they want, you idiot conservative! They’re an apocalyptic cult! They want to bring about the end of the world! They WANT America to attack them!

As if that’s any reason we shouldn’t. The name of the game isn’t to find out what ISIS wants and then cleverly deny them. These terrorists are not wayward children who need a time out. It is not reasonable nor desirable to “teach them a lesson.” Jesus, if Hitler had said he wanted to draw the world into war, would we have been justified in leaving him free to conquer as many lands as he wished?

The president’s highest responsibility is to protect this country from threats foreign and domestic. In this, Obama has been recklessly negligent. But unless we’re willing to replace him with a president who will carry out those duties, we are just as negligent. We’ve seen Christians killed in Iraq and Syria. We’ve seen innocent lives destroyed in Boston. We’ve seen citizens slaughtered in Paris. How many more horrors does it take?

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