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Our Own Hundred Years’ War

Sept 11 07: Let’s end the war within and unite against global
by Jack Tymann

Six years post 9/11/01, America is embroiled in an ugly, destructive, no-win war - - being waged right within our own borders.

Our politicians avert constructive dialogue about our nation’s most serious threat ever, instead engaging in insults, insinuations, and inquisitions. In 2007 alone, we’ve seen dozens of Congressional investigations and more than 600 oversight hearings, all focused in the "rearview mirror". We’ve heard virtually zero thoughtful discussion on global jihad, the Caliphate, Wahabbis, Salifists, Khomeinites, madrasses, and ways to make America safer.

The American people – misinformed, confused, disgusted, cynical, and weary – are falling deeper and deeper into despair re the menace that will someday be handed to our grandchildren.

Immediately following 9/11, America experienced national outrage, unity and resolve. But when we failed to achieve a "fast-food" defeat of savages who hid in mosques, schools, and caves, American solidarity gave way to finger-pointing. Our focus shifted internally – to a blame-game on failures to capture bin-Laden or find WMD, Abu-Ghraib, Gitmo, Valerie Plame, and the Patriot Act. Our squabbles emboldened jihadists and troublesome neighbors, who were able to incite sectarian violence in Iraq, complicating reconciliation amongst competing political factions.

There’s plenty of blame to spread around, but blaming does absolutely nothing except take our eyes off the real target. Let’s leave the finger-pointing to historians. Six years after 9/11, it's time for Americans to reunite, accept anew that the threat of the jihadists is real, and resolve that we will never yield to the Islamic extremists who wish to destroy us and take away our freedoms.

Had we remained united and focused on the real enemy during these past six years, perhaps Iraq would be much closer to security, stability and self-sufficiency, and American troops would be home or on their way home by now.

But as months became years without another jihadist attack at home, our battles with each other dominated, preventing constructive discussion re jihad, and at least partially complicating the unprecedented challenge of representative government in the Middle East. Our "war within" has most certainly exacerbated Iraq’s internal troubles and empowered al-Qaeda, other Islamic extremists, Baathists, Iran, Syria, and various groups vying to fill the power vacuum created by the toppling of Saddam’s evil regime.

The highly visible lack of unity within the US has had a devastating effect on the willingness of many Iraqi citizens to openly back their fledgling government.  The constant fear of our withdrawal, before stability is established, has Iraqis wary of being caught on the wrong side of the fence, should we pull our troops out prematurely.  The Iraqi government needs the support of a large majority of the people, but they won't get this support so long as we continue sending mixed messages of "resolve" and "surrender". Every Iraqi understandably fears being on the losing side in the midst of sectarian and jihadist warfare. 

Americans are not and have not been focused on the complexity and importance of long term Iraqi self-sufficiency.

All too quickly after 9/11, our attentions shifted from Zawahiri and Zarkawi to Wall Street, Katrina, Terri Schiavo, Scooter Libby, Alberto Gonzales, Karl Rove, now Senator Craig, and politically motivated Congressional investigations into each.

In parallel, our media, unable or unwilling to effectively condemn militant jihad and inform Americans about the enormity of the threat we face, focused on tabloid journalism about Britney Spears, Anna Nicole Smith, Martha Stewart, Angelina Jolie, Lindsay Lohan, and Paris Hilton.

Today, with 9/11 a distant memory, an event which some declare a one-time occurrence, we return from summer vacations, take our youngsters to schools and soccer fields, yawn at ridiculous presidential debates, and look forward to the NFL, the World Series, the year-end holidays, and next year’s return of American Idol.

Six years post 9/11, our politicians are focused solely on their own re-elections. Most duck the uncomfortable subject of Islamic extremism. They do nothing about Social Security, taxes, immigration, violence and drugs in our cities, Darfur, or pork-barrel spending. Democrats and Republicans alike, when they’re not busy criticizing or second-guessing President Bush, attack each other.

In the meantime, six years after 9/11, dangerous jihadists hide globally in caves, and plot treachery within our own borders and inside cells in European cities. They preach hatred and intolerance daily to tens of millions of young Moslems in mosques and madrasses around the world, and via the Internet. They lust for and search for WMD, as they plan more American bloodshed.

Some say we need "another 9/11" to rekindle America’s resolve. How could this be - with all that has followed 9/11? Is it possible that we need more videos of civilians leaping from burning buildings, or frantically evacuating some city that has been attacked with biological weapons or a dirty bomb?

Since 9/11, the jihadists have not rested. They have continued to spread fear, intolerance, death and destruction worldwide, every day, in over 100 nations. They repeatedly capture headlines with "successes" like Bali, Paris, London, Madrid and Chechnya. They blatantly access and exploit the global media to criticize democracy and call for "death to Christians and Jews and all infidels".

Thankfully, some of their horrible schemes have been foiled, including the one last August to bring down 10 US airplanes with gel-based explosives, placed in sports drinks and even baby bottles. The "shoe bomber", JFK, Fort Dix, and recently planned Frankfurt, British, Danish and French attacks have all been thwarted. These would have individually or collectively been worse than 9/11. But once avoided, and without videos, they failed to capture media or public concern.

HELLO! This scourge is real!

And it’s worse than we once believed. The jihadists since 9/11 have proven to be citizens not just from Middle East nations, but from Spain, Russia, France, England, Pakistan, Morocco, Indonesia, Germany, Turkey, Holland and, yes, the USA. Have we so quickly forgotten who these barbarous enemies are, and the breadth and reach and deadly seriousness of their mission? Does anyone doubt their passion for and willingness to use WMD?

How is it possible, six short years after 9/11, to utter the words that America needs another 9/11?

The sixth anniversary of 9/11 is not a time for denial, despair or defeatism. Today is not a time for minimizing or retreating in the struggle against Islamic extremism. Nor is it a time to say it’s not worth fighting, or not winnable.

It’s a time to reflect on the Salafist savages who use Islam to justify slaughtering women and children. A time to understand that an unstable Middle East increases the threat of jihadists acquiring WMDs. A time for courage and steadfastness. A time for a united America to look to the safety of future generations, rather than simply the outcome of next year’s elections.

It’s a time for soladarity. If the upcoming election process further deepens our national divide, our long-term security will be in further jeopardy, regardless of who wins and who loses the 2008 elections.

Today, and throughout the 2008 election cycle, it’s a time for each of us to support those we believe can end the "war within" . . those who can inspire and lead a new national focus on the real enemy. The decisions our leaders take in the next few years will have profound consequences far beyond our lifetimes. If Americans unite and stand firm, no ideology can possibly defeat us. If instead we continue to fight ourselves, and yield to Islamic extremism in the process, we risk the destruction of all we have become, and we risk our grandchildren’s future.

In this election season, let’s demand civil dialogue. And let’s work for candidates - Democrat, Republican, or Independent, male or female, black or white - who demonstrate that they can rise to the greatness this moment demands. Candidates who reject the focus on yesterday’s failures, and instead look to tomorrow’s successes. Candidates who renounce the politics of personal destruction. Candidates who tell us the "brutal truth" about global jihad, the need for energy independence, and the other challenges of our time. Candidates who we believe can unite Americans behind common goals, and can guide us to a better, safer, and more tolerant world.


About the writer:

J.T. (Jack) Tymann


After a 37-year career at Westinghouse/CBS, Mr. Tymann retired as the corporation's President, International. Since then, he has been the President of Homeland Security Partners.

At Westinghouse, Mr. Tymann led business development in 75 nations, and launched (W) partnerships throughout the world, including five in Arab countries. He served as President of (W) Iran before and during the Iranian Revolution.

From 1993 to 2001, Mr. Tymann served on (and chaired for three years) the Middle-East-US Presidents’ Council (appointed by Presidents Clinton and Mubarak). In this role, he met regularly with Arab and Israeli leaders, and spoke at various World Economic Forums, in Davos and throughout the Middle East.

Mr. Tymann currently serves on the BoD of AMIDEAST, a non-profit entity that for 55 years has been promoting improved education and mutual understanding between Americans and the peoples of the Middle East/North Africa.

Mr. Tymann, is a regular contributor to, a guest commentator for the Naples Daily News, a regular guest on Naples Talk Radio " Weekend Edition", and a frequent speaker in the Naples, Florida area. In 2006, Mr.Tymann founded VOICES AGAINST JIHAD, a citizens’ group in Naples and Washington DC. He can be contacted at


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