Jewish World Review May 24, 2002 / 13 Sivan, 5762

Stanley Crouch

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This Is War, & Rudy's
Still Giving Good Counsel | NEW YORK Chilling shadows from a dark future are falling upon us. The FBI assures us we can expect suicide bombers to go into action. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld assures us that terrorists eventually will get nuclear weapons and make use of them. Yesterday, the Brooklyn Bridge was closed by terrorist threats. We are in a mess.

We are, in fact, in a war. However new it might be to us, it is a war.

Our former mayor, Rudy Giuliani, discussed the fact of that war with the press the other day. He was answering questions after a screening of HBO's "In Memoriam: September 11, 2001, New York City," which will air Sunday and will then be broadcast around the world through various CNN outlets, which should let those in other nations know just what we went through on that day.

This heartbreaking film makes clear something we must always remember about the Sept. 11 terrorists: They were not concerned about our differences in religion, skin color, sex, age, class, politics, jobs, national origin, dietary conventions or anything else. Their only intention was to kill as many of us as they could.

That is still the terrorists' intention. They have not gone away. They will be back. You can count on that. How successful they are will depend upon what we do, what they try and how good our luck is.

Giuliani said that as mayor, he had been obsessed with terrorism since the attempt in 1993 to bring down the World Trade Center. His assumption was that there would be another attack, and he held many meetings in which potential terrorist actions were discussed. But while he could imagine planes being hijacked, he could not imagine that they would be used as missiles.

The ex-mayor dismissed the hoopla over whether President Bush knew enough to act and whether the FBI fumbled the ball. That is all easy to say from here, he noted, since "hindsight is always 20/20."

Giuliani admitted that he is not happy that security seems to be going lax again and that people would prefer to pretend it is all over rather than continue to make demands on themselves and those whose job it is to protect them. His sense of things is that the terrorist sleepers who are surely in this country awaiting instructions will move when their masters think we least expect it.

He gives wise counsel on the issue of security, which is his strength. And I would add that in a time of such danger, we should seriously reexamine our immigration policies, find out where every Muslim who came into this country over the last 15 years is now and what he or she is doing, build as large an intelligence force in the American Muslim community as we can and make sure that everyone understands these measures are in the interest of everyone - except mass murderers.

Unpleasant events and mistakes are inevitable, but this is war. And war is always some version of hell.

JWR contributor and cultural icon Stanley Crouch is a columnist for The New York Daily News. He is the author of, among others, The All-American Skin Game, Or, the Decoy of Race: The Long and the Short of It, 1990-1994,       Always in Pursuit: Fresh American Perspectives, and Don't the Moon Look Lonesome: A Novel in Blues and Swing. Send your comments by clicking here.


05/22/02: Our culture is becoming cartoonish
05/14/02: A chance to sew up new allies
04/30/02: Time to get serious on immigration
04/18/02: When it comes to race, we're all mixed
03/27/02: Civil rights groups are neglecting a profound crisis in their midst
03/12/02: Race-baiters can forget this Tex. case
02/26/02: The unmasking of a phony black hero
02/06/02: I will not call shots based on skin color
02/04/02: Saying No to Tyson: Integrity Beats Out Greed
01/28/02: If Mike Tyson's a monster, he had lots of help
01/18/02: The 'Roots' of huckster Haley's Great Fraud
01/09/02: U.S. can't let its guard down now
12/31/01: If the price is right --- just do it!
12/21/01: 'American Patriots': Book hat's a Gift for All Seasons
12/04/01: Tightening our immigration policies is cruel?
11/29/01: Modern-day abolitionists need help
11/27/01: bin Laden has exposed hard truths
11/20/01: Facing the hard truth about Africa & slavery
11/13/01: Let military run security for air travel
10/23/01: The media, where threats to flesh and blood have little meaning
10/17/01: Red, White Blue, black and white
10/11/01: We stand armed with compassion
10/05/01: Drawing the line on racial profiling
09/14/01: Let's rise above worst instincts
09/07/01: HBO's now big shaper of culture
08/21/01: Is Sharpton a changed man?
08/03/01: A writer misuses the great Louis Armstrong
07/20/01: When murder is justified
07/06/01: America's democracy has a music to it
06/29/01: The soul and pluck of women are to this nation's development
06/22/01: This history is music to my ears
06/08/01: A School Succeeds, A Union Fails
06/05/01: Sharpton's rise and fall
05/25/01: Third World Unity? Sorry, It's Just a Dream
04/13/01: Two murderers, two twisted fantasies
04/06/01: The problem with art is artists
03/16/01: Bush still has some pretty serious image problems he better address ASAP
03/09/01: Of gangsters, gangstas --- and spin

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