America’s Fatal Weakness
on Terror Report
Written by JB Williams
Terrorists abroad have spent decades preparing for war against the
west, studying American culture, identifying all of the cracks in the mortar,
all of the weak links in our chain of command and the soft spots in our
defenses that make the worlds last remaining super-power a vulnerable target
for any terrorists willing to die for the cause.
In retrospect, America’s
weaknesses were more obvious to others than most Americans thought. Even now,
many Americans fail to grasp just how vulnerable we are to this type of enemy,
what makes us so vulnerable or what must change in order to prevent a future
much worse than the events of 9/11.
Two specific events provide a close up look into these weaknesses, if
not a glimpse into what must change as well. The USS Cole attack and the 9/11
attacks provide lessons we can not afford to ignore, yet we seem to be.
The USS Cole Attack
12, 2000, before we entered Afghanistan
or Iraq, before
George W. Bush became President of the United States and before most Americans
had any idea that we were already at war with numerous international terror
networks, the US Navy Destroyer Cole was attacked by a small boat laden with crude
explosives during a brief refueling stop in the port of Aden, Yemen.
A small group of terrorists in a small fishing boat armed with
explosives was able to attack one of the most advanced military vessels known
to man, killing 17 US
sailors, seriously injuring 39 others and causing millions in damage to the
Cole. The Cole never got off a single shot…
On deck at the time were at least 50 sailors armed with the best
military hardware and technology available in the free world, all of them
watching as the small boat approached, all of them with that boat in the
crosshairs of their weapon. Moments later, 17 sailors were dead, 39 more
seriously injured and the Cole and her crew were sitting ducks in the port
of Yemen. What went wrong? How was
such an unsophisticated attack able to achieve such success against such a
It’s easier than we think. It requires only two factors. First,
our enemy must be willing to die for the cause. This factor is common among
warriors. The second factor is truly uncommon in the world, almost unique to America
alone and it is the one factor that makes America
very vulnerable to such enemies. It’s called “rules of
In the case of the USS Cole attack, at least 50 US sailors stood still
on that deck, locked and loaded, sights set, as what could have been civilian
fishermen approached. Under American rules of engagement, they were ordered to
not fire until first fired upon and like most American soldiers, they followed
their orders to the letter. By the time it was clear that it was not fishermen
in that little boat, everyone on that boat and 17 US
sailors were dead.
Six years later, we see this story played out again and again in Iraq
Terrorists (aka insurgents) dressed in civilian cloths, often intentionally
disguised as medical or law enforcement personnel, sometimes even in the form
of seemingly innocent children, attacking coalition forces and innocent
civilians alike. No rules of engagement, no observance of the Geneva Convention
or any other set of humane guidelines intended to avoid civilian collateral
damage. In fact, our enemy targets unarmed civilians almost exclusively. They
are after all, terrorists. Not authorized members of a formal military serving
a nation under a flag and a recognized chain of command. Just terrorists…
Lesson: In the eyes of our
decency and honor, our rules of engagement even at war, is our weakness. When
at war with terrorists, we can not afford to assume that anyone who appears to
be a threat is anything less than a fatal threat. We must be willing to act before being fired upon again and again. We must pre-empt (prevent) the next attack and the next until
they no longer seek to attack. Those who appear to be a threat must be treated
as a threat until they are proven otherwise. This of course does not apply to
every individual. We must use terror
profiling of both high risk suspect groups and suspicious behaviors. We must act first and apologize later. Like the crew of the
Cole, we will get no second guess… The men who did this were dead in an
instant. So were the men who held their fire in ill-advised hope.
Less than a year after the Cole attack, little more than seven months
into the new Bush administration, nineteen Muslim hijackers flew two commercial
airliners into the twin World
another into the Pentagon and a third was downed in a Pennsylvania
field, allegedly aimed at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Fourteen of those nineteen hijackers were in the US
legally. None of them were illegal aliens who snuck across our border…
All entered America
by the book.
Mohammad Atta was the US
field commander for Islamic terror organization Al Qaeda and led the 9/11
attacks. A year earlier, he and some of his friends were identified by US agencies
as an Al Qaeda cell operating in New York.
Because the evidence was not sufficient for a US
criminal prosecution, that cell was left alone to pursue its agenda, the events
A year later, the Atta cell along with others freely operating in America,
killed some 3000 innocent American civilians and shook our economic center to
its core. Like it or not, America
was finally forced to engage the enemy.
The enemy wore no uniform, fought under no flag, played by no
particular set of rules and made no distinction between innocent civilians and
military targets. Killing Americans is their goal. Killing peaceful freedom
loving people all over western civilization is their M.O. Hiding behind women
and children, disguising themselves as average westernized citizens and making
every appearance to be harmless until the moment of their lethal attack is
their style. Deceit and mass destruction is their profession and they are good
at both. There is no honor among terrorists…none!
We (our government) knew that this enemy existed and was plotting and
planning such an attack on U.S.
soil. We knew they were in our country and that they still are today. We knew
they had no rules of engagement. We knew they worked to deceive and that they
were proud to die in order to kill innocent people. We knew who some of them
were and even where they were operating. We assumed their innocence a year
before 9/11, and as each boarded those planes on the morning of the 11th,
we assumed their innocence all the way up to the moment those planes hit their
targets. We assumed incorrectly…and 3000 innocent American civilians died
in a matter of moments. Nineteen wrongly presumed innocent, took the lives of
3000 truly innocent. We erred on the side of liberal assumptions and 3000
Lesson: Our enemy desires
massive bloodshed of innocent unarmed civilians all over the western world.
They are honored to die and trained to deceive in that effort. They are limited
only by their perverted imagination and agenda of death and destruction. They
come in all shapes and sizes, all ages, all disguises, speak many languages,
hold regular jobs and live in many of our neighborhoods, waiting for the right
moment of opportunity to strike again with increasing devastation. And our
desire as Americans to be “fair” and “humane” even at war
is the very weakness they seek to exploit. Our desire to treat them just as one
of us, with humane civil rights, social acceptance, a presumption of innocence,
provides the chance they seek to deceive.
American soldiers have died mostly by I.E.D., (improvised explosive device).
Coalition forces delivering food and medical aid to Iraqi citizens, or candy and
shoes to Iraqi children in the streets, or working to restore roads and
infrastructure to Iraqi families in need, make easy targets for this enemy operating
without any rules of engagement.
At home, American citizens busy at work or play, preferring to believe
that the enemy is no longer able to attack on American soil, seeking to treat
the Mohammad Attas of the world as innocent until proven guilty under American
criminal justice codes, make even easier targets. Western lawyers can not win
the war against international terrorism. Western diplomats can not negotiate
peace with people commanded by Allah to kill. Americans willing to wait until
Iran has nuclear weapons before asking what they intend to do with them, or
willing to assume that North Korea will act honorably with their nuclear
technology until they don’t, are an enemies dream.
What must change to survive such an enemy?
The fastest way to win any fight is to take the enemy out of the fight.
The best way to do this is to take the fight out of the enemy, immediately,
unconditionally and forever. We do not have to crush the enemy. But we do have
to crush their will to fight, now or ever again. We have failed to do this and instead,
it is unfortunately the American people who seem to be loosing their will to
fight. He with the will to win will win. He
won’t accept any other outcome. This is a fundamental rule of battle, yet
the one rule of engagement we have failed to heed in our desire to be
compassionate, even towards our enemies.
We must first recognize that we are indeed at war, and not by our
choosing. That our enemy is not playing by the same set of rules we are and
that they never will. That America
never targets innocent civilians and that our enemy does, almost exclusively.
That our soldiers announce their intentions in advance, providing opportunities
for enemies to avoid death before striking, but that our enemy never tips its
hand until the moment of attack.
We must acknowledge that our enemy is not a member nation of the Geneva
Conventions and therefore, is afforded no such protections. That they are not
citizens entitled to American civil rights, social aid and acceptance, or even
traditional prosecution rules under our criminal justice code.
We must agree that suspicious people acting in a suspicious manner, who
meet the well-known M.O. of Middle Eastern terrorists, can not be afforded the
same presumption of innocence as your grandmother boarding a plane for her
annual Christmas visit. This has nothing to do with racial profiling - it has
everything to do with terror profiling and it is essential to national security
today. Ask any expert…
We must accept that we will get it wrong sometimes. Not because we act
too hastily or with malice towards the innocent, but because our enemy never
fails to disguise himself as an innocent civilian, placing all civilians in
question and at risk.
Had sailors on the USS Cole fired upon that boat after it failed to
heed warnings, 17 US sailors would be alive today and the same is true for
hundreds of other US and coalition forces in Iraq. The men on that boat could
have been fishermen, but they weren’t… and the presumption of
innocence cost 17 American lives.
We must accept the fact that we are at war with an enemy like no other
we have faced before and that new conditions of war require new rules of
engagement. The enemy relies upon our overwhelming, even ill-advised desire to
treat all people as equal and decent. All people are not equal or decent - some
are indecent and deadly.
We must accept the fact that there can be only one winner in this war
and that if that winner isn’t us, all of western civilization is in grave
danger. We must also accept the fact that we can not win this war with one eye
blind and both hands tied behind our back.
We must retain our desire to be humane and decent, even at war. But we
must not allow that goal to hamstring our efforts to defend the innocent. No
easy task and one that can not be done without occasional failures or setbacks.
But it must be done, no matter…
Nobody does it better than the American soldier! God Bless each and
Isn’t it funny what we are told we must tolerate today, what we
must preserve and protect? We are told that profiling terrorists is a violation
of every Americans civil rights. Yet few Americans have the M.O. of Middle
Eastern terrorists and if we don’t pursue the known profile of Middle
Eastern terrorists, every American is treated as a terrorist and presumed
equally dangerous. That really is a violation of basic civil liberties.
We are told that even the most deadly terrorist has rights and that to
protect the rights of average Americans - we must protect the rights of Middle
Eastern terrorists. Are you kidding me? Such a notion is a death wish!
The Baker – Hamilton Commission on Iraq
just issued their worthless report. The news media is eager to treat this report
like “news” of some indictment of Bush Iraq policies. Yet it is no
such thing, read it. This special Iraq
commission has come up with the ingenious idea that we must train Iraqi
soldiers to defend their own nation and accomplish this as fast as possible,
and that until Iraqi troops can defend their nation, American soldiers can not
This is news? This is innovative thinking from our nations best and brightest?
Bush should all but ignore this work product because following the
recommendations of a council run by liberal State Department hacks will get
more American soldiers killed and leave America
and western civilization vulnerable.
and the western world have but two choices in this war, whether in Iraq,
or America. We
must crush the will of Islamic Terrorism world-wide, or allow ourselves to
become consumed by it. There is no other option… That’s the lesson
too many still hope to ignore.