News From The Woods - December 9, 2001


By Bob Ketchum

Originally Published December 9, 2001


By looking at the date of the last "News From The Woods" you can plainly see that I have not been keeping up with my monthly chore. The clue lies in the subject of the last article. The horrifies events of September 11 - and it seems like it was just yesterday - left me drained for at least a month. From the moment that I turned on the TV just in time to see the second plane crash into the second twin tower, I knew it was no accident and that our country was under attack. I instantly shoved a blank tape into the VCR and began recording. I kept replacing tapes every six hours until I ran out of tapes. There are about 6 tapes in all, so that comprises about 36 hours of broadcast. Thereafter I placed a blank in the machine and whenever some breaking event occurred I hit the RECORD button. I think I have about a dozen tapes now.

However, I just can't bring myself to go back and watch any of them. The events and images are still burnt into my memory banks. As of today (December 9) the news reports that the war is coming to a close. We have run all the Taliban out of the country and are commencing a "mop up" operation. To my knowledge less than a half dozen Americans have lost their lives in the campaign.. most to "friendly fire". How ironic! But we still haven't found Bin Laden. Not that I believe it will all be over if/when we get him. Furthermore, if I was Ben Laden I wouldn't want to be captured so my guess is if/when they find him he will just take his own life to cheat us from ever attaining closure. The attack on the World Trade Center in my humble opinion has just opened the gate and ushered in a new era of terrorism for citizens of the US. For many of us, no longer will we feel safe when we fly (this may not be new for many people anyway). No longer will we feel comfortable in large gatherings like the World Series, Football Supergames, Disneyland, or Times Square on New Year's Eve. For a long time…. maybe forever… we will always be looking over our shoulders.

All this has been brought to pass by the plans and deeds of a handful of "men" (and I use that term loosely) who have some sort of twisted and perveted agenda. But to really examine all this closely, other than make us mad and paranoid, that is all they have really accomplished. Interestingly, the one thing they DID do was bring America and Americans together in a way that only a great tragedy could do. Remember Pearl Harbor? Many of us don't because we were too young to experience it, but nevertheless we DO know the history of what happened there and we know from record that in a warped and twisted way those events also brought America together and made it so strong that even while our main navel force was decimated we came back and defeated those who committed such a horrible and dastardly act against our people. Call Americans what you like, but when you piss us off we throw out all the petty squabbling and political posturing and get to work as an undefeatable and undeniable force to be reckoned with.

I also thought how strange it was that only six months ago I was worried about my computer getting a virus, now I worry about getting one in my mail. Statistically speaking, Anthrax is not really a very good agent of biological warfare. You have to inhale it or practically roll around in it or at least get downwind of it to keep it from doing its job. I worry more about the possibility of terrorists getting their hands on nuclear technology than anything else. This was a great fear of those responsible for the Manhattan Project, but the war with Japan prompted the immediate development of nuclear weapons anyhow. So don't blame us for creating the ways and means of nuclear power, blame the powers responsible for making war on this earth. Like any other weapon, it can be used for good or evil, depending on who is wielding it. I prefer to use a shotgun for quail hunting, but the guy next door may want to use his for robbing the neighborhood liquor store! Nuclear power is a fantastic and feasible means of generating electric power to heat and light great cities, but many see it as only a means of destruction.

I guess it always gets down to Good vs. Evil, doesn't it?

I suppose in today's world of the political spin, misinformation, and hidden agenda's knowing who is good and who is evil has become somewhat blurred. In America it was the assassination of JFK and Martin Luther King, the Vietnam War, and Watergate that made me question my own government. When you begin to question your own form of government, then you start to wonder about things. When other countries point accusing fingers at us and the word "maybe" enters into your thought processes, that is a bad thing. But I do know this: When ANYONE plots to fly airliners full of innocents into skyscrapers, there is NO DOUBT in my mind that this act is EVIL, pure and simple. ANYONE who does not agree with that is either on evil's side or condones evil in my book.

Although we, as Americans, will never really get over September 11th, we will get on with our lives. It is inevitable. If I were a terrorist I would probably want to give constant reminders from here on out, so things will have to change for us here in the United States. They won't do it often enough to cause an all out war on our behalf. They can't win that kind of war. They know that. So they will constantly nitpick at us in the hopes of demoralizing us. That won't happen either in my opinion. There is just something in the "genes" of America that will not let us get that far down in their gutter. But we WILL have to be more diligent from now on and yes, perhaps a bit paranoid. I guess it comes with the territory for the greatest and most powerful country in the world. The "wannabe's" are so jealous of us that they seek to destroy us. Only they can't. All they can do is nip at out heels like a pack of wild dogs working in unison.

The really ironic thing is that if they would just expend as much effort into making themselves better that they spend towards terrorism and furthering the cause of evil they could stand as tall and proud as we do. It took us a long time to get here and we made many mistakes in the process (take the Native Americans plight and slavery for instance) but no great nation can grow to these heights without screwing up occasionally. At least we learn from it and attempt to keep from repeating the same mistakes, just like any child who is experiencing life for the first time.

We are the greatest country in the world and I am so very proud to call myself an American, despite any of the negative connotations that conjures up in the world mind set. As Americans at home, it is our duty to be ever vigilant, just a tad paranoid, and do everything within our power as individuals to see that good DOES reign

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