Jewish World Review Sept. 12, 2001 / 23 Elul, 5761

Greg Crosby

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Plan of action -- War was declared on The United States of America on Tuesday morning when four commercial airliners were hijacked by suicide terrorists. Two of the planes slammed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan killing upwards of 10,000 people. A third plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington killing at least 100 others. The fourth crashed just outside of Pittsburgh, no word on how many might be dead in that one. Speculation was that the fourth airliner was diverted from its intended target, Camp David, the Presidential retreat in Maryland, when it crashed.

All of the hijacked planes emanated from the east coast and were California bound. Why? Because that way each plane was certain to be carrying a full tank of gas -- and the more gas, the bigger the explosion.

Very little in the way of facts are being released as I write this, but in the days and weeks ahead certainly we will know all the gory details. One thing that appears fairly certain is that Islamic fundamentalists led by our old friend Osama bin Laden are most likely responsible.

President Bush has vowed to hunt down and punish those responsible. I hope so. Poor President Bush is not exactly the most eloquent or commanding speaker who has ever occupied the White House. He doesn't have the direct eye to eye contact that his father had. He doesn't have the strength, charm and charisma of President Reagan. Nor does he possess the New Age "I-feel-your-pain" speaking style of President Clinton. But I don't care how he sounds as long as he can get the job done. And the job right now is to: 1) stand firm and resolute and 2) fight back swiftly and dramatically against this enemy of The United States. A monstrous act of aggression such as this must not go unanswered. Can President Bush get the job done? Well, this remains to be seen.

Palestinians in Lebanon took to the streets to dance and rejoice in the fact that thousands of Americans were killed today. They fired assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades into the air with joy upon hearing the news. Thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank celebrated by chanting "God is great" and handing out candy to passers-by. Meanwhile, Yassir Arafat did his impression of Claude Raines from the movie "Casablanca" when he shook his head, chucked his tongue and said, " We are completely shocked." I kid you not, those were his actual words.

What should we do? What should we not do? Two very good questions. It just so happens I have some answers to them.

What Should We Do?

1. Right Away: Once we are sure who committed these hateful attacks, we need to take them out. Period. If indeed it is bin Laden, then we should bomb the living hell out of Afghanistan, the country which has been harboring this bum. We need to wipe out not only bin Laden, but his followers, his friends, his arsenal, his cow, his home, his sandals, his comic book collection -- everything. It's time to send a message, folks. And the message better be loud. What was done to America today is unacceptable.

2. Long term: Over the past ten years or so, along with many other aspects of our national defense, funding for international intelligence gathering has been drastically cut. Perhaps the atrocities perpetrated on our nation today might have been averted or lessened had our intelligence systems been stronger and had greater resources at their disposal. We need to strengthen our national security in every way we can, in order to properly protect the citizens of this country against future terrorist attacks. This should be a nation's first responsibility to its people.

What Should We Not Do?

1. Stand in a circle in the surf holding hands.

2. Release hundreds of white doves into the sky.

3. Try to "understand" why people do these things.

This was an attack against America unprecedented in American history. A complete disregard for human life -- no, that's not strong enough. A complete disregard for humanity. Evil in its purist sense. Far worse in its carnage and horror than even Pearl Harbor. We must fight these people back. We have to hurt them. This is an emergency situation that demands emergency actions be taken. Interesting, isn't it, that September 11th, if you use the numbers, is 911

JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. You may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2001 Greg Crosby