So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself. Sun Tzu – Art of War
The above is a quotation from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, an Chinese Military Treatise dealing with military tactics and the application there of. Written in the 6th century, it is often heralded as the definitive source of proper and concise guide of military application.
So what does the above mean to us? To me, it holds an amazing insight into the problems we now face with regards to our national security. To me, it explains both our failures and our inability to prevent attacks against our citizens.
With each day, it becomes clearer to me, that we neither understand ourselves, nor do we understand our enemy, therefore, it’s only a matter of time before our enemy deals us a deadly strike. Since Sept 11th, we’ve had approximately 30 attempts upon the lives of American citizens by an enemy that we do not understand and, as of recently, refuse to name. Likewise, the latest round of attacks have been halted only by the overwhelming ineptness of those that waged said attacks, thus showing me that we, as a nation, do not understand ourselves well enough to prevent them.
We begin with the Underwear Bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to ignite a bomb sewn into the lining of his underwear on Northwest Flight 253 in route from Amsterdam to Detroit. It was only by sheer luck and the brave actions passengers, that his homemade bomb failed to ignite, thus saving the lives of ~300 passengers. Despite being on a federal watch list, warnings from his father that he was dangerous and possibly wishing to do America harm, the man was allowed on the flight, yet Janet Napolitano claimed “the system work”. More recently, Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized citizen from Pakistan failed to ignite a car bomb in NY Times Square, which threatened the lives of an untold number of our citizens. Despite numerous red flags, travels to and from Pakistan, being on a watch list, returning from Pakistan with large amounts of money, this man was able to not only set and ignite the bomb, but was also allowed to board a plane after the fact and almost escape, yet media outlets declared the plot foiled. Again, it was only by sheer luck and the amateurish attempt at bomb making that prevented disaster. Lastly, let us not forget Nidal Hasan, a radical Muslim within our military who shot up Ft. Hood, killing 12 of our brave soldiers and wounding 31 others. Ignoring the warning signs of his contact with overseas terror units, statements pledging allegiance to Islam, and known radical views, this man was allowed to continue to serve.
Our current administration is failing to acknowledge, name, and confront our enemy. They have dictated that we will no longer be active in a “war on terror, but instead involved in an “overseas contingency operations”. No longer are there “terrorist acts” but only “man-made disasters”. When AG Eric Holder and Secretary of DHS Janet Napolitano are questioned by congress, they refuse to use the word terror or terrorists in relation to any of these acts. After an attack occurs, the administration is slow to acknowledge any relation to terrorists, but instead, are more concerned with “possible backlash against Muslims” rather than the act itself. While they refuse to associate these acts to our enemies, they are quick to release statements that our returning soldiers pose a risk of right wing extremism.
This policy of non-admittance is a dangerous one for our country. How can we possibly counter and defend ourselves against an enemy that we refuse to acknowledge? How many attempts must be made within our borders before we finally admit that there is a clear and present danger to our citizenship?
Our enemy has been resolute in their actions against us. We can go make for decades and show the attacks, the loss of lives, but we refuse to admit, much less go on the offensive, to confront our enemy. We’ve been lucky up to this point. Thankfully, the latest attacks, save the Ft. Hood massacre, has been attempted by people poorly or inadequately trained, but that will not last. These attempts will serve only to embolden those wishing to do us harm by showing that we are ill-prepared to defend ourselves against them. It’s only a matter of time before a trained enemy comes to our borders and finds us unaware. We cannot sit on our laurels while another 9/11 is planned and enacted. Our governments inaction and complete lack of ability or competence only serves to make us appear weak.
Priority shifts are needed. What good while universal health care do for our country should a massive attack take place? What good will “environmental reform” be when our citizens are murdered? You have shown that we are unable, even unwilling, to protect our borders. You have shown that we lack the foresight to prevent the crudest of attacks even when provided with multitudes of signs and warnings. Your cowardice to name, and stand up, to our enemy will cost us lives.
He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious. Sun Tzu – Art of War
By the quote above, it appears that the radical Islamists are following the policies of Sun Tzu. My question to our government, a government who is solely charged with the protection of our country by our constitution,is when will you learn and apply the same? My fear is not until that government is replaced by one with the fortitude to call out and confront those who wish us harm.