By David Horowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | September 18, 2001
THE FACT that we are at war is not news. We have been at war for more than
half a century with the radicals who hate America and hate American
capitalism. The World Trade Center was the symbol of "Wall Street" the
Great Satan of the radicals' religion. It was the symbol of
"globalization." That is why it was the prime target for these terrorist
This is a war that Communism started, and that post-Communist radicals are
continuing. The radicals who hate America and America's freedom will never
give up. They have to be defeated.
The September 11 tragedy was not the first time the World Trade Center was
hit. In 1993, the forces of terror, including those associated with Osama
Bin Laden and Yassir Arafat detonated a bomb at the base of the towers that
killed 6 people and injured 1,000. The architect of that bombing was a
terrorist named Ramzi Yusef. He was a member of the Palestinian Hamas
movement and was captured with plans for a coordinated series of hijackings
and suicide crashes of U.S. commercial airliners. But no in one in
government took the plans seriously enough to prepare a defense.
President Clinton refused to recognize that we were at war; he did not
alert the nation; he did not call us to arms; and he did not mobilize U.S.
security forces to prepare the nation (or even the World Trade Center) for
a defense against these attacks.
Instead of crushing Arafat and Hamas and their comrade Osama Bin Laden, the
Clinton Administration forced the Israelis into the Oslo "peace process,"
which legitimized the terrorists, provided them with billions of US dollars
in aid, and gave them an army with tens of thousands of weapons.
Far from preparing America for the war it was already in, the Clinton
Administration pretended we were at peace. It even acted as though America
itself was the threat. Government security controls were removed on sales
and transfers of high-tech instruments of war. Missile and satellite
technologies and super computers were passed to China by the Clinton
Administration and, through China, to North Korea, Iran, Libya and Iraq.
Through these transfers, the Clinton Administration took away our military
edge and disarmed our high-tech defenses.
Why were US intelligence agencies unable to provide warnings despite the
immense traffic of terrorist communications required to plan the September
11 terrorist attack? Because the Clinton Administration had given away the
technology to encrypt such messages and make them invisible. These
technologies included computer networks that cannot be monitored and
spread-spectrum radios that change frequency and are impossible to
penetrate. Our technological defenses were systematically disarmed by our
The Clinton Administration also took steps to disarm our human intelligence
defenses. In 1995, new "sensitivity" guidelines were issued for our
intelligence agencies that gravely restricted their ability to gather
information in the countries where the terrorists were based. Because an
American leftist had been widowed by a "human rights violator" in Latin
America who was employed by the CIA, the CIA was forbidden to use "human
rights violators" as intelligence assets. This was like forbidding local
law enforcement from using common criminals as informants. But common
criminals do not bring down 100-story skyscrapers.
After the CIA was hamstrung, two of our African embassies were bombed by
the terrorist network. Our response was an impotent missile launched into
the Sudan by Clinton (on the day Monica Lewinsky appeared before the grand
jury). Clinton's response destroyed a medicine factory in the Sudan and
antagonized hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world. Other
missiles were launched into Afghanistan where Osama Bin Laden had his
camps. But to no effect. More terrorist acts followed. Our warship the USS
Cole was blown up in Yemen. A barracks containing our troops was bombed in
Saudi Arabia. Nothing was done.
The Clinton Administration refused to recognize the threat, refused to
mobilize the nation, refused to arm our security forces to the levels
needed to defend us, refused to recognize that we were in a war and refused
to declare a policy to win it. The terrorists got the message: America is
weak. The refusals put us in danger as a nation, and made the tragedy of
September 11th possible.
But now we have a new President, and a new Administration. "When I take
action, I'm not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and
hit a camel in the butt," this President told a group of Senators. "It's
going to be decisive."
With this new leadership, our war has begun. And we will win it.
What this history tells us is that terrorists are not the only enemy we
This is not about the critics of American policy. Policies are the work of
human beings. They can always be criticized. This is about purpose. It is
about faith in the basic good of this country. It is about those who have
declared war on America.
On the very day that the World Trade Center towers were destroyed, the New
York Times ran a flattering profile of Bill Ayers, one of the leaders of
"Weatherman," a Sixties radical group and the first terrorist cult in
America. Ayers is now a Distinguished Professor of Education at the
University of Illinois. That is the way our educational system views
unrepentant terrorists. The Weathermen bombed the U.S. Capitol Building in
the 1970s. "I don't regret setting bombs," Bill Ayers told the admiring New
York Times reporter, "I believe we didn't do enough."
This is the face of the hate-America left.
This left is educating our children in our schools. It is out demonstrating
on America's campuses, with "teach-ins" against the war. It is
proselytizing students with a message that is always the same: America is
guilty; America is to blame.
The foes of free markets and free minds have not surrendered. They are even
bolder now that they cannot be linked to the crimes of Communism which they
encouraged and supported. They are behind our own lines. They have burrowed
into our schools, our churches, our media, our government itself. And their
message is always the same: America is guilty; America is to blame.
The months ahead will be difficult ones, but they will also bring
opportunities. We can be grateful that many Americans have now begun to
appreciate what they have in this country, and also that what they have can
be lost. Already there is a new unity, a new patriotism in the land.
Already Americans are beginning to realize how lucky they are to have a
President who believes in America, and who is committed to winning
But we must not forget how slim the margin was by which this President was
elected to lead us in our nation's crisis. We must not forget how deeply
the forces that hate America have penetrated our institutions and weakened
our national resolve.
Our task is to continue our efforts to strengthen the foundations of this
great democracy of ours, to win the hearts and minds of those who are in
America, but not yet of it, not yet for it.
This is the battle we are in together. It is a battle we lost in Vietnam.
That loss led directly to America's weakness and the terrorist attack of
September 11th. It is a battle we must not lose again.
David Horowitz is editor-in-chief of FrontPageMagazine.com and president of
the Center for the Study of Popular Culture
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