- William J. Bennett
In a lecture to the United States Naval Academy
November 24, 1997
Yesterday, we honored veterans and remembered them for their service and sacrifice. In light of recent events, I need to mention something. Exactly one week ago, we had another terrorist attack on our soil. The very next day, the media was telling us two things: “Don’t assume you know the motive, (Hasan happens to be muslim)” and “This happened at Ft. Hood because our Soldiers are under a lot of stress after many years of war”.
In other words, you cannot think for yourself, so allow us to connect the dots. You must connect the dots in this manner: “The attack had nothing to do with our Global War on Terror (GWOT), fought entirely against radical muslims, and the American Soldier cannot handle the stress of that very war.” As more facts come out, we know the first part of that assumption is just not true – it had EVERYTHING to do with the GWOT!
As a Soldier, I can also tell you that the second part of this is an incorrect conclusion. True Soldiers will accomplish any mission you put in front of them, as long as the intent is clear. As defined by the Global War On Terror (GWOT), Soldiers know there is a radical enemy whose intent is to destroy our country and our way of life. We know it is our job to stop them, and we want the freedom of maneuver to accomplish that. We have been facing this war daily for over eight years now, and we want to win this war for the American people. We want to SUCCEED!
In order to succeed: We need the American people to recognize that we are at war and not back down from that fact. We need the American people to recognize the enemy and that they are on our soil. We need the American people to contemplate what could happen next in an American city, if this could happen on an Army Post. We need the American people to demand leadership which will stop denying that the enemy is on our own soil. We need the American people to demand leadership which will stop being politically correct. Political correctness is killing us as a nation.
One week ago as a nation, we received another resounding wake-up call – one reminiscent of Pearl Harbor and 9-11. It was a reminder that there is a domestic enemy living among us. Because of this fact, the American Soldier must remain vigilant, and not accept complacency. Asking the American people not to connect the dots and avoid conclusions is the same as asking the American Soldier to stop being vigilant and start being complacent.
I believe the attitude of being vigilant falls in line with God’s Word. In 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) God’s Word says to first:
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
We still rely on Him, and cast all our cares at His feet. After all, God is the Ultimate Defender and Protector. He has already claimed the victory through the resurrection of Jesus Christ and He will win the Final Battle against the devil. But listen to what it says in verses 8-9:
"Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are."
As Soldiers we take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. On 31 October, I was sharing this fact at a Men’s Breakfast at our church. I was attempting to stress the importance of not allowing the devil to reside within you; not letting him be a domestic enemy. As I was doing so, off script, I said, “Knowing that I took that oath, what would you think if I told you I worked all day as a Soldier, then went home at night and called up Osama, asking, ‘What is Al Qaeda’s plan? What do you need me to do for you?’” I was saying that to make a point, about allowing sin in our life, after surrendering our life to Jesus Christ - essentially taking an oath to follow Him. But also to make the point that compromising with the other side calls into question your allegiance to the Constitution and the Nation. If so would that oath to the Constitution be taken with any integrity or honor?
And then, 3 days later, on the evening of Tuesday, 3 Nov, I was telling some friends that I just kept getting thoughts that an attack was imminent. I thought it would be more personal, against my family, and I was concerned about my church. I saw it as more of a spiritual attack from the devil. For me, as a Soldier, when you attack Soldiers, it is personal. You are attacking my family.
Personally, it’s a little eerie to me that an illustration that I used to show an extreme instance of dishonesty is now evident in the events of 5 Nov at Ft. Hood, TX. And, it gives me all the more reason to state the truth: what happened at Ft. Hood was an attack against the United States and our Constitution. It was an act of war by a domestic enemy, and unfortunately by someone who proved to be a traitor to that which he swore to bear true faith and allegiance. It was another battle within what has been labeled as the GWOT. We cannot afford to dismiss that, or fail to recognize it truthfully. Failure to recognize it is denial, and denial will only serve to invite more “new violence” from our enemies. I pulled the following from the book, On Combat, by LTC Dave Grossman:
Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation:
"..denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn’t so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling. Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level."
And so the Warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes.
You see, the more we deny, the more “new violence” we will experience. The more “new violence” experienced, the more “unsettling” will be the next “tragedy”. If we do not break the cycle, that “tragedy” will suffer the same denial of not being labeled as terrorism or an act of war. It becomes a vicious spiral, increasing exponentially, continuing to lead our country to a politically correct abyss in the heart of darkness. If you look back in history, this same spiral of events led to 9/11.
Then I speak of God
And I speak of faith
And the truth that will not bend
Of how compromise destroys this land
That they died to defend
Of how manhood starts
On bended knees
With a humble heart
With but One to please
Then to stand and fight
And act as men
And by this we will remember them
- Excerpted from The Stone
words by R.P. Edwards
Warriors, will we confront denial? Will we be prepared for the day when evil comes? Will We Remember?