(Originally written on September 14, 2001)
I just got home from a re-broadcast of the noontime special prayer and remembrance meeting. It was at the Kleinwood Chapel, for that matter, it was at any number of meeting houses and this was the closest. I am glad that I went, giving me a chance to hear my church leaders express righteous indignation without going into the revenge mode. I listened to the choir sing songs similar to those sung at a funeral, along with many patriotic favorites. When it came time for us to all join with the choir to sing; my voice left me, I could only look up at the ceiling to let the tears have a clear track down my cheeks.
I have thought about what has happened and what we are up against. My daughter, Bonnie, asked me what kind of war would most likely be fought against such an evil group of people. I am afraid that the answers will not settle well with her, or for that matter most Americans. This kind of war will be fought by paying close attention to the little things in our own neighborhoods, around our cities and places which we consider safe havens.
The kind of warriors that we are dealing with are much the same as your common everyday burglar or robber; with the exception that his motivation is terrorism instead of money. These warriors have been taught the art of blending in from birth and they have all the time in the world to stage a few minutes of trechery. They are among us and have no war paint around their faces, no camouflage uniforms and have no need of helicopters to drop themselves in and out of targeted areas. No, instead they have blue jeans that they bought at the mall, their non-threatening SUV looks much the same as any one of your neighbors and you may have had dinner at the same restaurant last week.
The only way to catch them is to be aware of each and every natural thing that is about you. On your way to work you will need to know what belongs in each and every block that you pass each day. You must learn to question simple changes that a year ago would have no meaning; but now, now times are different. When you see a vehicle pull off the side of the road; are they having car trouble or are they parking a van full of explosives next to a freeway support column. When you are shopping at the mall small packages are easily forgotten; but are they forgotten or placed in such a way as to inflict mayhem and destruction to innocent shoppers. It is time for each of us to accept our new role as American Citizens. There will be no time to call for the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines. You are already a target, its time you learn the art of War. This is the kind of warfare that takes for granted that each citizen is a soldier. The other side knows this, don’t you think its time we did.
Let’s play the “What if I were the Bad Guy Game”. What kind of nasty little surprises could I cook up to make them totally miserable? I would make them pay for having a transportation system that is smooth and cost efficient. ( I suppose that lets Houston off the hook, eh mayor?) I would not need to blow up all the freeways, just one bridge where it would cause lots of damage and shut things down, cause panic and fear for weeks. Then I would lay low and go to the mall with my friends. I could call in a bomb threat now and then to keep things lively and then when the boy who cried wolf was being ignored, kind of like Hurricane warnings, I would toss a grenade into Minute Maid Park during a baseball game. That would be a hoot, kill a few fans, destroy America’s favorite sport and have a hot dog on the way out. You thought drive by shootings were something that only gangs did to one another; think again. Lets play, “park the car bomb” at one of the high school football games. It will be so easy to drive up and mingle with the crowd, watch the game and get lost in the shadows when all hell breaks loose. This is fun, lets try our hand at poisoning the water supply, or maybe we could rent a crop dusting plane and wipe out all of Tomball. I’ve only been a terrorist a short time and I can already see how I will impress the folks back home. I get more daring with each success and if I die; and surely we all must die someday, I am a hero for having gone down fighting.
Before you sign up to be a citizen in this great country I recommend that you do some reading. Find out what price is attached to the freedoms that we take for granted, find out what the cost will be in blood and tears. Read your history books and find out what our founding fathers paid to obtain our separation from Great Britain and King George. The history is there for any and all to read; or would you rather watch another episode of “Who wants to be a millionaire”? By the way, you don’t get paid in this new Army. You won’t hear anyone play a bugle to get you up each morning either. You will still get to watch Katie on the morning show from New York, only now you will have to imagine the World Trade Center Buildings in the background since they have been destroyed. Are we having a fun war yet?