Five Years On
The opportunity was to turn the other cheek. To promote peace where there is war, understanding where there is intolerance, moderation where there is extremism. The invasion of Afghanistan and the removal of the Taliban from power was perfectly just, and necessary to eliminate, or at least destablise, the threat.
But what, truly, have we done to forge links with the Islamic world? The majority of Islamic nations have condemned the attacks in the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom and other nations. But are the people of such nations any more interested, any more understanding of the West? Or are we still perceived as the Great Satan?
I fear the latter is true. Today is not a time for weaponry and warfare; today is a time to remember. But tomorrow, the threat will be as real, as ill-controlled, as it was yesterday...as it was five years ago.
The pen is mightier than the sword. A war of words, not of bullets, will destroy the warped souls who wish to wreak catastrophe on us. They will fail, because the values and principles of Western life, of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, are values that are wanted by every man, woman and child the world over.
But how many innocents will die before we win the War on Terror? How many soliders, how many Arabs, how many civilians of the West? We must face this situation with a new understanding. If we fight with fire, they shall respond with it. The more we kill innocent Muslims, the more are converted to radicalism.
The threat will always exist, will always try to gain support. But imperialism, bigotry and propaganda can only fuel more hatred. We must not undermine the principles we hold so dear. We must not concede to terrorism. We must not fail.
We owe it to the world.