WHEN IT ALL CAME TUMBLING DOWN
On September 11th, 2001, the United States of America met evil first hand. Somehow, the unthinkable happened. It was evil in its finest hour. Sure, many of us know about evil, or so we think. Countless people pay lip service to that concept everyday. However, evil is not a concept, it is a living, breathing, intelligent entity. Concepts do no take the lives of thousands of innocent people. Evil does. Cowardice does. Insanity does. Fanaticism does. Ignorance does. We have seen all of the above in one horrific scene played over and over again. Whatever innocence we had left was lost that day, as was our freedom. Millions of us sat stunned when we saw the jet liners crash into the World Trade Center. There was a sense of being disconnected as the towers collapsed to the ground. In an instant, we watched thousands die. There was a surreal feeling when we saw the Pentagon on fire. Then the plane in Pennsylvania crashed. We could only guess at its target. We sat in stunned silence, not believing the carnage we saw happen with our own eyes. Worst of all, we wondered what was next. How could this happen on our own soil? That question has been asked by millions of people. There is truly only one way, one cause: Satan.
Do we now believe in Satan? Can we continue to deny his existence? If you still have doubts, just look at the scenes in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington. Just watch the tears pouring down the faces of rescue workers. These are tough people; fireman who witness tragedy every day and policeman who have to deal with the evil that people do every day of their lives. These tough people cried at the sight of the devastation, the hideous loss of life. They wondered how could man be so cruel, how man could be responsible for such carnage. Now we have to do the same thing. We cannot hide any longer; we cannot keep our heads in the sand any longer. We have just been spit on by evil, not evil as a concept but evil as a tangible force, a multi-headed, vicious entity. It is an entity that could well swallow us all in time. We have been hit on our own soil. We have lost our virginity. How our leaders act in the coming weeks may well determine whether we can live in a world that is just a little less evil. I have all the faith in the world that they will do what is necessary, as painful as that will be. We must give them our support. We must send our prayers for them. Their task is huge: wipe out terrorism taking as few lives as possible.
Millions of us are experiencing a bloodlust. We want to lash out. We feel that we need to lash out so as not to feel impotent in the face of something terrible that we cannot control. These are natural reactions. Millions of us cry out for vengeance. That too is a natural reaction. We have witnessed an act of evil like none seen in this country since 1941. We got rocked on September 11th. We found ourselves staggering. We had our legs taken out from under us. We were punched in the gut. However, we were far from beaten. Make no mistake, we will stand again, stronger than ever. It is easy for us to scream for revenge. I am not exempt from that. Seeing the city I grew up in knocked to its knees was horrible. Something must be done. However, we do not have to make a decision that will result in death for so many people. That decision has to be made by President Bush and his advisors. It is a decision no one would ever want to make. I can assure you that I would not want to make it. I can assure you that the terrorists would not want me to make it. President Bush must act and he is pledging that we will win. I believe he is right. However, bloodlust is not the answer. Evil must be fought and it must be destroyed. Evil cannot become good; it must be destroyed. It will not go away on its own. To accomplish that takes time and it takes planning. We do not want just blood because that would put us on the same level as the terrorists. What we must do must be done in a way that will spare as many innocent lives as possible. That is a Herculean task but one which we are up to.
However, we have a role to play as well. Our role is not to go after every person with a Middle Eastern name. That too is evil. That too is a work of Satan. If there is one thing I have learned in this life and I have said it before, when evil fights evil, evil wins. Anger is understandable. In fact, it is natural. But to attack those who have lived in this country makes us no better than the bastards that attacked us. Rage should be directed at the terrorists and their supporters, not innocent Americans, regardless of their natural origin. Many Arabs live in this country. They came here for a better life. They love America just as much as we do. They deplore terrorism just as must as we do. They deserve to live free of terrorism just as much as we do. We must not become terrorists. We must remember the words of Nietzsche when he said: “Whoever fights monsters must see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.” We must not play into Satan’s hands. However, there are those who use this tragedy as an opportunity to bash America. You see them on TV in mobs, denouncing America. We see them burn our flag. We hear them scream about injustice. Well, you know what, if you hate it here so much, go back to your own country. Don’t let the proverbial door hit you on the way out. Go back and see what freedoms you have there. Fortunately, those radicals are a minority, albeit an evil one. We should not hate all for the actions of the few.
Furthermore, the Muslim religion should not be attacked either. True Muslims would never attack innocent people. Contrary to the chest beating of the extremists, Islam does not preach hatred. It does not preach the taking of innocent lives. Those who are responsible for this horror are not true Muslims, however much they would like think they are. Rather, they are a group of cowards who hide behind religion lest they be exposed for what they are: agents of evil, agents of Satan. Their chest beating is not a way of helping their cause; rather it is an attempt to rally their people to see nothing but hatred in Americans so they do not see the horrors of their own country, horror that is because of their leaders. These are leaders who brutalize their own people for reasons that would seem funny were they not so tragic. They sometimes brutalize their own people on a whim. They strip their women of their dignity, their humanity. In short, they are savages. We are not the enemy. They are a disgrace to humanity, not just Islam. It is amazing that they can even claim to be holy. What a joke. They are not praying to God.
People of all races, colors and religions perished in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington. These “religious” fanatics care not who they kill, they just want to kill. These attacks were not just on Americans; they were an attack on all civilized people. What they did was attack a way of life. It was an attack on freedom. They attacked us because of our policies, because of our diversity. America believes in freedom for all and that is why we were attacked. The terrorists claim to be religious people but they attack a country that allows religious freedom, even the religion of Islam, the same religion they profess to be and hide behind. If that sounds diabolical, it is. Satan is alive and well and operating in full force. We keep hearing the phrase “holy war.” There is nothing holy about it. There is nothing holy about pure evil.
Sadly, many, many people from that region of the world hate Americans and what we stand for. They have been poisoned by leaders who manipulate the masses in order to take their focus away from their own plight, a plight that has been created by those same leaders. It is America’s fault that they suffer. It is freedom’s fault that they suffer. It is because of religious freedom that they suffer. They suffer from every one except their own demonic leaders. Make no mistake: those leaders who have brought this world to the brink of mass destruction are demonic in every sense of the word. They ought to have horns sticking out of their heads. Maybe they do.
The sad truth is that for those who have been brainwashed or programmed to hate America, there is little hope. That was evidenced by those who took to the streets and celebrated the massive loss of lives that their leaders perpetrated. Evil. I doubt that they will change. I doubt that they can. More evil. Consequently, there will be more terrorists, more spilling of innocent blood. Still more evil. As long as that condition exists, the national security of America will be threatened. As long as that condition exists, the national security of the entire world will be threatened. This is why the entire world must band together and fight the evil all around us. It may be too late but the survival of the world hinges on this. Terrorism in any form anywhere must be condemned and combated. America can not do it alone. There has been a war declared by terrorists on us; we must do the same to them. We must do what it takes to stamp out all evil, even if that forces us to make difficult choices. Those who wage war against us do not play by any rules. Nor can we. The good people of the world must band together and fight for the end of evil. We have seen the evil side of people and it has shaken us. However, there is another side.
Watching TV, we have seen the worst that man can do. We have also seen that best that man can do. We see the devastation but we also see rescue workers risking and losing their lives to help anyone they can. Shortly after the planes hit, hundreds of police and fire fighters raced to the scene. Knowing full well that those buildings could collapse, they raced into them anyway. More than 350 rescue workers were killed when those buildings crumbled into a massive cloud of smoke and concrete. Over 3,000 people were lost. Even after that, rescue workers continued to risk their lives. There were many rescue workers that worked non-stop for days. There were pictures of rescue workers sleeping, slumped against a building. After short naps, they went back to their task; they were trying to save lives. Many refused to leave the scene even after their relief came. Word went out that a massive amount of blood was needed. Around the country, there were lines of donators, some waiting as long as 5 to 7 hours. Volunteers were needed and by the evening, there were so many that they had to be turned away. Then word went out that water, food and supplies were needed. The response was so great that people were asked to stop giving. The parking lot of Shea Stadium was turned into a giant outdoor warehouse. This is man at his best. Over the next few weeks, we will hear more wonderful stories. We will see more of the best that man can offer. Sadly, we will also see more of the worst that man has to offer. Hopefully the good will outweigh the evil.
We must look for the good because it will be sorely needed. Evil can and will be stamped out as long as everyone is willing to do their part. We must have faith. We must also do a ton of praying. The Reverend Billy Graham stated that we must regain our faith. He was so right. President Bush bravely dedicated a day to prayer. As the Reverend Graham stated: “We needed that.” We sure did. Our faith will be sorely tested in the days and weeks to come. Many will lose their faith. Yet we must cling to it if we are going to survive what lies ahead. We must go back to prayer. Many are questioning why God allowed this to happen. I cannot answer that but I must say that what happened was not the will of God. We must look lower if we want to see who is to blame. We have heard our President say that countries must choose to side with America or they are siding with the terrorists. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. I feel we need to use that same idea. We must side with God or we are siding with Satan. Again, there are no ifs, ands or buts about it. We are siding with good or we are siding with evil. On September 11th, we lost our middle ground.
Many thousands of lives were lost. It is impossible to figure how many lives were destroyed on September 11th. Many of the survivor’s families wish that they could have been with their loved ones on that fateful day. Our lives have been forever altered; their lives were destroyed. There are no words that can comfort those who lost loved ones so tragically and unnecessarily. Those poor people must turn to God for help. It is so easy to blame Him for everything but that is misguided. I do not know why things like this happen. I do not know what the answer is. There are many clichés that can be used. However, reality is not a cliché and what these people suffer is not a cliché. What I can say is that those who lost their lives died physically but their spirits live on because the spirit cannot be destroyed by anyone but God Himself. Their flesh and blood was destroyed but their soul, their very essence lives on. Again, only God can take that away. As a nation, our spirit cannot be destroyed because we are good. Those who died are in a sense martyrs although they did not know it. Their deaths have brought many communities together and has spurred a distracted, lethargic country to fight against evil. Their deaths may have saved millions of lives.
I said earlier that Satan is alive and well. He is. Finally people are beginning to notice. I hope it is not too late. We must find our faith and not blame God. We must also pray, all of us. We know who the enemy is, as long as we keep our heads out of the sand. Do not think for a second that this tragedy is the result of man alone. We are not that smart. We are not that vicious or so I hope. If I am wrong, God help us. Part of our problem is that of perception. Many of those who believe in Satan think of him as a cloven hoofed creature bent on possessing everyone. He may be but if he does, he also knows how to look and act like a human. Possession does not happen often; evil takes place every day. Right now, he is more vicious than ever. Right now, he is happier than ever. Right now we know there is more to come. I implore all of you: please realize that Satan walks among us. He is here to breed hatred in man. He has been quite successful using that strategy and he is getting better at it all the time. Do not look for mythical creatures. Look at the evil in the world and the evil within ourselves. That has to be fought before anything else. Satan plays divide and conquer. He causes a rift between races, religions, families and friends. He constantly pushes us towards hate. He pushes us towards hopelessness and helplessness. That is his best game. The majority of his work is a covert operation, attacking from the shadows. Hit and run. The ultimate cowardly act by a coward of a creature.
There may be a lot more to come. Satan knows his time is short so he will step up his efforts to hurt mankind. There is the threat of biological, chemical and yes, even nuclear warfare. For so many years, we as Americans felt invincible. We are the last superpower. We are immune from attack by tiny, evil nations. Or are we? The terror of the September 11th attacks has proven once and for all that we are not immune. We can be hit and we can be hit hard. Weapons of mass destruction are the great equalizer. Whether we are a superpower or not, we can be hit. Consider these attacks as a wakeup call of the highest order. One nuclear warhead can end our reign as a superpower. There are weapons of mass destruction out there and there are sick, evil people who are willing to use them. Many of those nation’s leaders feel they have little to lose. That makes them extremely dangerous. It is no longer just Russia and the United States who have nuclear weapons. The cold war aside, our ability to destroy each other was self-limiting, self-restraining. That is no longer the case. The two most dangerous groups in the world are those who have everything to lose and those who have nothing to lose. There are a lot of both out there.
We have not retaliated as yet but that will come. It must come, as terrible as that sounds. Evil must be fought and it must be fought now if there is any chance for this world to survive. A message has to be sent out that we, as a civilized society will not stand for this. Those responsible must be stopped before they spread more terrorism. Those who would do this are a cancer. They will spread their evil to every corner of the world. Any military response can be considered surgery or chemotherapy. It is horrible but necessary. I for one do not know what will happen. Sadly, I do not see any way out, any chance for peace. There will be more destruction, more lives lost senselessly. There is just too much evil in this world and the only real chance we have is to beg God’s mercy, regardless of the religious discipline we as a free society choose. It is our only chance.
In addition to the lives lost by this tragedy, there are other ills created. Our economy has taken a hit. As many as 100,000 airline workers will be out of jobs. Countless others will share the same fate. However, with God’s help, this nation will rise again, stronger than ever. We must pray and we must do whatever we can to help those who lost loved ones and those who are out of work. Every good act performed is a slap to Satan’s face. We must realize this and use it to our advantage. We need to be tolerant, patient and generous. Let us slap the son-of-a-bitch as hard and as often as we can. That may be all we can do. The government must do its job as well and it will. What of the terrorists? God will be their judge. In that regard, they are lucky indeed. They would not want me to be their judge. They would burn and eternity would not be long enough. For those who lost their lives, may they rest in peace. I am sure they are in Heaven. To those who did this, may they rot in hell.
© 2001 T. Cooney