The photo above was taken Sept. 9, 2001, by Placerville residents Roy and Barbara Weichold. They sent it to us with a Christmas card that same year. Just a couple of weeks ago part of a wing was found in New York wedged between two buildings, one of which is being converted to a Muslim community center and mosque.
The Weicholds had just returned from a trip to Germany when they took this Hudson River view of the Twin Towers and Manhattan skyline.
We reprint this photo as a reminder of what we have lost from 9-11-01 to April 15, 2013, at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. President Obama has said the “Tide of war is receding,” but tell that to the families of the three people killed in the Boston bombing, and the policeman killed by the bombers. Tell that to the 15 who had one or both legs amputated, among the more than 200 wounded.
Looking at this photo we are reminded that Muslim extremists long ago declared war on America. On Feb. 26, 1993, a truck loaded with 1,336 pounds of urea nitrate-hydrogen gas was detonated in the garage below the North Tower. The Muslim terrorist conspirators hoped to knock the North Tower off its foundation and tip it into the South Tower. Six people died and a thousand were injured. This was financed by Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, who later was the mastermind behind 9-11-01.
Eight years later they succeeded by flying two airplanes into the Twin Towers, into the Pentagon and into a field in Pennsylvania. The death toll was nearly 3,000. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, killed 2,402 Americans and wounded 1,282. The Japanese attacked the Pacific Fleet. The terrorists attacked civilian symbols of American economic success, born of our free enterprise system. In Boston, they just attacked people, our way of life.
For 12 years we have been protected by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Patriot Act that President George W. Bush and Congress set in motion, by drone attacks on al-Qaeda and Taliban hideouts in Pakistan’s outlaw regions, by enhanced airport security, by monitoring key international communications, by the Department of Homeland Security. And by luck, such as the December 2001 shoe bomb and the Christmas 2009 underwear bomb that didn’t go off. And by alert passengers who charged in to subdue these two. And Osama bin Laden is dead, which led President Obama to declare that al-Qaeda’s leadership has been “decimated.” Well, maybe not. Can the president spell, let alone explain Benghazi, where our ambassador and two others were killed on Sept. 11, 2013?
For 12 years authorities, and particularly the New York City Police Department, have been able to apprehend jihadis before their plots succeeded. That didn’t happen for Boston. The Boston bombing ended our years of innocence.
This is a time for caution. As Congress moves toward immigration reform it should keep in mind this statistic pointed out by Wall Street Journal columnist Gerald F. Seib: “Between 1990 and 2008, the latest year for which figures are available, the number of self-identified Christians has increased 15 percent. At the same time, though, the population of Muslims, though a tiny fraction of the overall population, increased 155 percent, and the number of Buddhists has nearly tripled.”
Any immigration bill should be very restrictive about allowing immigrants from volatile and reactionary Muslim areas. Even liberal Democratic strategist Bob Beckel has called for a moratorium on admitting students from Muslim countries until this government can get a handle on all the ones accepted to U.S. universities who arrived here but never showed up for class, or at the university.
America is a welcoming country for immigrants. We just need to be more discriminating about choosing new friends. The two Chechen bombers and the additional three arrested, the FBI said Wednesday, tell us our decade of innocence is gone like the Twin Towers.