Have We Forgotten
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We must stand strong. We must never forget.
The US has gone from fighting terror to funding it.
The world had just changed.
Living in California, nearly 3,000 miles away, these events seemed surreal and far away, yet at the same time shockingly real and close-to-home. It felt like moving through a thick fog, as I tried to figure out how I should react to what I had just seen. Would there be more attacks? Was it safe to go to work?
All through that day, we went through the motions, with the radio or the TV on, paying more attention to the news than to our work, waiting for some glimmer of hope, fearing that we would hear of yet another attack.
In the days and weeks that followed, we came together as a nation, from sea to shining sea. We wept. We prayed.
We solemnly pledged that we would never forget.
Fourteen years later, the United States Congress is debating whether it should approve or disapprove of the deal that President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, and other world leaders "negotiated" with Iran. The alleged goal of this deal is to prevent the Islamo-fascist regime in Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The deal includes a sketchy inspections regime with sketchy enforcement mechanisms. It also includes various side-deals, which were made after the fact, some of which are still secret - the only reason Congress and the American public know anything about the side-deals is because, at a meeting in Vienna, an IAEA official told two U.S. Congressmen that the side deals would not be disclosed to the United States government, including Congress. The details that we were able to get about one of these side-deals make it abundantly clear why the UN wants to keep the side-deals a secret: this one side-deal bars the IAEA from doing the actual inspection work, or even entering Iran's Parchin military base, where it is reported that Iran was conducting explosives testing related to the development of nuclear warheads.
Just the presence of secret side-deals should be sufficient reason for Congress to unanimously reject the deal - the one side-deal we know about gives Iran a huge opening to continue nuclear weapons development at one of their most secretive military bases, where international inspectors are not allowed to go. We don't even know what the other side-deal will do.
Nancy Pelosi has been a vocal advocate for this deal; I guess this is another instance where "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."
This deal has been rotten from the start. Even as the negotiations were ongoing, Iran's leadership was calling for "death to America" and "death to Israel." If everything goes exactly as planned with the Iran deal, and they don't hide anything or continue their nuclear development in secret, the deal might delay their acquisition of nuclear weapons by 10-15 years...and according to Ayatollah Khamenei, "[Israel] will not be around in 25 years' time...during this period, the spirit of fighting, heroism and jihad will keep you worried every moment."
While the debates in Congress largely have centered on nuclear proliferation, the consequences of this deal will be dire, and will reach far beyond the nuclear issue.
Even if this deal prevents the Iranian regime from developing or acquiring nuclear weapons, the ending of sanctions will pump billions of dollars into the Iranian economy - and since the Obama administration already voted for the deal at the United Nations (which, arguably, violated the Constitution, since the Senate hadn't approved the treaty), the United States cannot put the genie back into the bottle alone. European nations are already chomping at the bit to do business with Iran, which makes the US debate largely irrelevant: on the world stage, the deal has already been done...but while the Iranian regime gets sanction relief, the rest of the world gets very little. We get very little assurance that Iran won't end up working with bad actors like Russia or China to obtain nuclear weapons. And we get absolutely no assurances that Iran will cease their support for radical Islamic terrorist groups.
This begs an important question: can the West handle the further increased terror threat that this treaty represents? It's estimated that this deal will net the Iran regime anywhere from $50 billion to $150 billion annually. That's A LOT of money just dropping into the lap of the world's #1 state sponsor of terrorism, and if we end U.S. sanctions, it would make our nation co-funders of those same terror groups.
At least we could definitively declare an end to the War on Terror.
Earlier this year, ISIS threatened to flood Europe with migrants as a "psychological weapon." Today, we are seeing that play out before our very eyes...and to make matters worse, there can be little doubt that among those migrants are Muslim terrorists seeking to use the chaos so they can slip into Europe and cause even more harm.
The Obama administration has consistently refused to allow Christian refugees fleeing for their lives from ISIS to come to the United States, but just announced that we will be bringing 10,000 Syrian Muslim refugees into the U.S. This is very worrisome, considering that just a couple of years ago, the Obama administration announced that they would be aiding the anti-Assad rebels in Syria - assuring us that they definitely wouldn't be aiding the radical Muslim elements of the rebellion - and shortly thereafter, ISIS became a major (and growing) threat in the region.
While the Obama administration has painted a rosy picture of how our fight against ISIS has been going, they are now under investigation by Congress, following revelations by whistleblowers that high-ranking officials have been manipulating intelligence data to fit the administration's narrative. This would explain how ISIS continues to grow in power, despite the president's repeated insistence that we are winning the fight.
Have we forgotten what it was like that day in 2001? The horror? The uncertainty? The pain?
Have we forgotten the unity? The resolve to stand up against our nation's enemies?
Fourteen years after that day that changed our country forever, we have transformed from a nation resolved to fight our enemies into a nation debating whether to provide material support to the people who were dancing in the streets while we mourned.
We must stand strong.
We must never forget.
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)