I started this week with a cup of coffee at 6 AM Monday Morning watching CNN’s election coverage. There was a portion of an interview with Hillary Clinton I felt was very honest. The reporter asked, “Are words like destroy and defeat honest words when it comes to the war we face with ISIS?” Hillary’s response, “We need to look at this situation in terms of generations, this war is not going to be solved overnight.”
Both quotes above are paraphrased, but the context is accurate.
I agree with Hillary Clinton’s statement. I have stated numerous times that I believe we are in an inter-generational baton race. So much of how the next generation will perform will be determined by how well the generation currently in leadership hands off the baton.
Today’s High School Freshman, tomorrow’s leader, was likely born in 2002, after 9/11. They’re not like adults, who on that day of infamy stopped work, school or whatever they were doing to go to a T.V. set to watch the tragedy unfold on live T.V. Nor do they have first-hand knowledge of both the successes and failures of the next 15-year “Global War on Terror.” They need to be educated on that history.
Side-note: Terrorism is a strategy, not an enemy. It is impossible to defeat an enemy you cannot identify. For those old enough for the analogy, it would be like stating in 1942 we were at war with Blitzkrieg.
There are two segments of 9/11 history that need to be taught, not only to high schoolers, but to all American’s. Long-term history, and short-term history.
For long term history, I refer to my friend and mentor William J. Federer, who provides a daily tidbit of history at his website, American Minute. Go here to see what he wrote about September 11th, dating all the way back to 1565 – http://www.americanminute.com/index.php?date=09-11. The clash strict adherents to the Islamic faith have with Western Culture doesn’t simply go back generations, as Clinton suggests, it goes back centuries.
For short term history, I look back to Clinton’s statements immediately following the assassination of Ambassador Chris Stevens, along with Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty at the Benghazi Consulate in Libya in 2012, the last major Islamic attack on the historic day of 9/11. When you study the narrative provided by our Executive Branch, which Clinton served as Secretary of State, and compare to the actual history, you will begin to see where my agreement with Hillary Clinton ends.
As I reflected on the history of 9/11 this past Sunday, I thought more about 2012 than 2001, as I re-watched the movie “13 Hours, The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.” I encourage every high school student, indeed every American to invest the time in that movie, and to do their own study of events that day, and in the weeks to follow.
As we reflect on the centuries long history of 9/11, and as we think about our ballot box choices at all levels, this November, the study of history plays a critical role. It is my prayer that all individuals who will take the time to go to the polls, will do their due diligence in the study of history.
“Those who control the present, control the past. Those who control the past, control the future.” George Orwell