Ten years after 9/11, have we learned anything yet?

Following are two emails I’ve been saving since September 22, 2001. Since Wally has passed away, I don’t see any reason not to share some of his unique insights with the rest of the world. At the time of the attacks of 9/11, Wally had already retired from the US Air Force as a Lt. Colonel, having risen from the lowest Airman rank. He was my father’s best friend, and like him he was former NSA. These emails really bothered me when I first read them, but they’ve haunted me periodically over the last ten years. Now they seem in many ways prophetic. I haven’t edited them at all, not even for spelling.

Let me offer you some things to think about. These have bothered me since the destruction of the World Trade Center and though I’d prefer to ignore them they keep coming back. I like things clear cut, simple and direct, and this situation isn’t. I think, in the final analysis, it is these paradoxes that define the problem, if not the solution to it.

First let’s establish some generally accepted facts:

Osama bin Laden is a fanatic, prepared to die for his so-called jihad, but he isn’t stupid. The attacks we know he has planned, or that someone close to him planned, worked and worked well. They showed estensive knowledge and understanding of our operations and remarkable care and simplicity in their planning and implementation.

Afghanistan is a primitive nation full of ignorant people cut off from the rest of the world. These same primitive people fought the armed might of Russia to a standstill while their villages were bombed to rubble and any social amenities or order they had was destroyed.

Afghanistan is governed, if you want to call it that, by the Taliban Militia, a collection of bloody fanatics who are determined to hold on to power by any means necessary, and who keep the whole agonized country virtually closed to the rest of the world to ensure the continuation of that domination.

It is generally accepted too that neither the Taliban Militia or the Afghani people had anything driectly to do with the WTC bombing. Their only sin seems to be their refusal to surrender ben Laden and perhaps their paranoid hatred of anything western that goes back centuries.

Another chilling fact is that it is becoming more obvious each day that we are preparing to go to war with Afghanistan using a military designed to fight another military machine, to destroy a civilized, industralized country’s productive capability and power grids, to sever communications and transportation lines, break up its government infrastructure and induce chaos as these systems fail. None of which exists to any degree in Afghanistan.

Now, lets ask and perhaps answer some questions:

Are we deliberately closing our eyes to the fact that the Afghanis are not our enemy? If so, why? They are gnorant, stupid, vicious fanatics, yes, but they’ve always been that. Why are they now, suddenly, our enemines? They just can’t bite that high up, not unless we go to them anyway. They’ve became the focus of our anger and frustration, the focus of our paranoid tunnel vision, only because bin Laden has saught and received sanctuary there.

You ever wonder why bin Laden picked this benighted country to hide in and why he remains there even today? Possibly because he fought there and feels welcome there, but perhaps for other reasons as well. You ever for one moment wonder if we are being sucker baited? The Afghanis will fight anyone, anytime who invades their country. They won’t even need the Taliban’s orders to do that. It is instinctive and has been since Alexander visited years ago. They have a collection of barren rocks that nobody wants, except as a possible land road to India, and they will fight to the death for each sun baked stone. That’s all they know. Afghanis remind me of hydophobic Apaches. They weren’t a very effective fighting force either until the US Cavalry made them one. The Afghanis were well taught by first the British, then the Russians.

The Pakistanis are our friends. Yeah? For how long? Sure they hate the Afghanis, and the Iranians hate the Iraqis, the Syrians hate the Egyptians too, but they all hate the infidel. The Saudis are totally dependent on us for survival, but they hate us too. Can it be that most Moslems actually distrust and generally dislike all westerners? Is it because our religions are diametrically opposed. The Quran teaches that the “people of the book” are to be tolerated. Then why? Perhaps because too long has the western world, which we represent, denied them their rightful place in history. We are the usurpers, the dirty, defiling, infidel pigs who pervert and profane everything we touch. We defile women and welter in pornography, poison our bodies and minds with alchohol and we seduce their youth to our ways. We brought the Jews back and support them against the children of Allah. Worst of all we deny the one true God, Allah, praise be his name. We are a dispicable, terrible people, children of evil who all just men must hate. What’s so hard to understand about this? If you can’t understand it then we should just accept it.

Christianity and Islam are the two great competing civilizations and religions of the earth. We won and they lost, but only for the time being because Allah put a joker in the deck and gave them the oil. Gradually the tide has begun to change. Neither side is at all happy with the situation. Osama bin Laden just wants the tide to flow faster, that’s all. Will destruction of Afghistan reverse the flow? I doubt it. In fact, the damage we incur “teaching the Afghanis a lesson” will undoubtedly accellerate the flow considerably.

But isn’t all Europe with us in this crusade against terrorism? When has Europe ever really been with us? Take a look at the last cursades in this area, against the same basic people. First, they failed. Second, they were disorganized messes, basically profit motivated, if managed by fanatical Christians. In fact the situation was virtually reversed with brutal Christain armies raping and pillaging across relatiely peaceful Moslem kingdoms. We don’t have the long term motivation the Crusaders had, guaranteed salvation and all the loot they could carry, but we may well achieve the same long term result. I believe our luke warm allies will comdemn us in the UN before for autrocities against the Afghani people within a year. I believe that long before any meaningful victory, if such a thing is possible, is achieved the enthusiasm of our staunchest allies will have faded away like the monring dew. How about the enthusiasm and bloodlust of the American people? President Bush says we are in it for the long haul. Well, it is going to be a long and brutal haul with our western allies dropping away and other Moslem nations weighing in on the side of the Afghanis. Are we ready to fight the whole Moslem world? If we do have to, are we ready to fight to win? They obviously don’t think so and neither do I. Do we, all by ourselves, have the testular fortitude to engage in a scorched earth, genocidal war with the Afghanis and their eventual allies? I doubt it. Our anger is fierce now, but how high will it burn a year or two from now as the body bags start to fill. Oh, yes, the flags fly now outside every house, but where will they be then, over the long haul. You see, I remember Vietnam. Most don’t, or don’t seem to, but I do.

Does anybody really expect Russia and China not to provide the opposition, no matter who, with weaponry? Wouldn’t we, under the same circumstances? We did. We poured weapons and aid into Afghaistan when the USSR invaded. I’m sure they’d just love to return the favor. How long do you think that the Afghanis can resist us with an inflow of Russian and Chinese weapons? They fought the Russians for ten years, and then they had something to lose. How long today with virtually nothing to loose?

Has it ever occurred to anyone why, with $5,000,000 on bin Laden’s head, there has been no takers, not even any attempts or offers? Ossama bin Laden is the santified bait. He is a willing sacrifice. He isn’t a patriot to these people, he’s a saint. Christ was bought for thirty pieces of silver, but we can’t buy bin Laden for five million. Think about it, people.

Do the people of the United States really think that the whole Moslem terrorist world is going to sit on its hands watching calmly while we hammer the Aghanis? What is going to happen back here, on the home front? Bush and the government have obviously considered it, but nobody in the suburbs has. What will happen to our freedoms? Travel will be restricted, and I don’t just mean air travel either, and perhaps firearms ownership. There will be military and police checkpoints on our streets, a national ID card and an economy as flat as stale beer. We may not exactly resemble wartime Britian under the blitz, but then again we might. Every day you and I will have to prove we are Americans and on ligitimate business. How about gas rationing? All the good things associated with fought a war fought here, on our own turf, will be ours. Oh, I know that the terrorists won’t equate to lions in the street, more like swarms of biting flies, but lions might be
easier to cope with.

This is my conclusion:

Afghanistan is a huge mouse trap found, if not built, by Osama bin Laden. He means to lure us into it using himself as bait. It is almost perfect for combat against a modern, industrialized nation. It has no real government, and no military, production, communication or supply systems to destroy. The whole population is capable of using most basic military hardware such as shoulder launched anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, and mines. Every Afghan male seems to come equiped with an AK-47. It will be a war of ambushes and traps, a war of unspeakable and sadistic brutality fought in a harsh, mountain desert environment. Words like autrocity and collateral damage will eventually lose their meanings and should be expurged before we even go in. If we are not prepared to conduct a genocidal war we’d better not invite ourselves to one.

I don’t know how the military intends to conduct the war in Afghistan, but if it is the same military that gave us Bosnia and Kosevo then we will probably suffer a pathetic rout Even the declaration of victory and followed by immediate retreat won’t save us this time. They’ll just follow us home, along with the numerous friends. This isn’t even the military that fought its heart out in Vietnam. This is the new, politically correct military and it will soon find it has little stomach for facing Afghani tribesmen and slaughtering Afghani women and children, but it could learn in time. Question is do we want it to.

I think the destruction of the WTC towers was a mistake for the terrorists. I think attacking Afghanistan will be a mistake for us, but I also think it could be a massive mistake for the rest of the world too. In the unlikely event we went into Afghanistan and stayed the course the monster that came out the other side might be something somewhat other than the terrorists and so-called neutral observers hoped for. I don’t think this country will be destroyed, but I think it could irreversably changed. God help us all.

Yes, I’d like to do something about the atrocity at the World Trade Center, but first I’d like to see this country accept partial responsiblity for the slaughter. If you go about on your hands and knees wearing a sign that says “Kick Me” you probably going to be treated with something less than respect, even if you are a 600 pound gorilla. Here we are, a country that can’t even secure its own borders, preparing to take on a bunch of hard core fanatics who just broke the only other military machine on the planet. Figure Afghnistan to be supported by the whole Moslem world, plus, under the table, China and perhaps Russia and us to have qualified support from perhaps England and Canada. You think you’ve seen terroism now? Think again. This is only the beginning. When the slaughter starts in Afghanistan it will start here. Kiss your freedoms goodbye. The United Sates will become an armed camp, under siege.

I’ve been expecting some other nightmare to be visited upon us anyway, a not so subtle nudge from Uncle Osama to keep us motivated, so that we don’t stop and think our way through this. If it is a trap then we need some more motivation.

Do I think we can pretend it is business as usual, that nothing happened in Manhattan? No, but I do think that men wiser than me had better sit down and think this one out before we make an emotional commitment to suicide. Would I use nukes? You damned right. We will be forced to eventually with our economy in ruins, or people disheartened and disorganized, our sons butchered in Afghanistan to no purpose and facing virtually the whole Moslem world with our so-called allies disclaiming all responsibility for our brutal acts. There’s probably nothing much to nuke in Afghanistan, but a few towering mushrooms straight off might give the rest of the world something to think about. Not everybody lives in caves and mud huts. Why not open the game by putting everything in the middle of the table? We’ll eventually be comdemned in the UN by the whole world anyway. Oh, they are great sympathizers now when we are doing the dying by the thousands, but when we start the killing they will only remember that we are the frightening Giant of the West.

Americans refuse to believe or understand the amount of envy they generate in even the nations of modern Europe just by being Americans. We want to be loved too much and can’t understand why we aren’t. This cannot and will not ever happen. Even in England, in 1943, we were often barely tolerated and sometimes outright disliked. Just another invading force, if by invitation. Not their sort, you know, but these were our closest friends and allies. In our perpetual persuit of international love we demand entirely too little respect. We are the most powerful nation on the Earth and we are spit on in public. In the absence of either love or respect we must settle for, even hope for, tolerant comtempt, or we can teach the world to fear us as a foundation for the respect it had better learn. If the Moslems knew that nuclear weapons were even a possibility they wouldn’t be jerking our chain now. Why do you think it was an airliner instead of a suitcase nuke? We have more and bigger ones, that’s why. Even bin Laden knows not to go there, or does he? Is that the next step, if we don’t lurch into attack mode on command?

So, now we are pointed directly at Afghistan, bombers in the air, fuses lit on our missiles. The Taliban Milita will not accomodate our demands. I doubt if they could if they wanted to. The confrontation is now, the result is inevitable. You see anything wrong with this scenario? Who benefits? Not the Afghanis and not us. They do the dying because that is the only thing they do well, that and killing. We are sucked into a timeless killing field where we can pour out our blood and energy in them barren mountains and deserts until we are empty. Someone, perhaps Osama bin Laden, perhaps not, has put us exactly where he wants us. All our blustering about “Now you’ve really made us mad,” is rediculous. That’s is exactly what this whole affair was intended to do. This wasn’t just an isolated exercise in escalating international terrorism. It was part of an overall plan, but do we have to follow their scenario? It seems, like a blind bull, that we do.

I’m getting old, an unavoidable circumstance. I’m getting tired too, tired of apology and weakness, and now tired of stupidity. These little people can’t destroy us, but they can give us an opportunity to destroy ourselves and goad us into accepting this gift of self destruction. I think that “Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad,” was a mistranslation. Better it reads, “Whom the gods would destroy they first permit to become stupid, or ignorant and apathetic.” End. Walt

This second email apparently follows some harsh criticism from other recipients:

Alright, so maybe I’m totally wrong, unfeeling, unpatriotic even. Then again maybe I’m not. At least my hypothesis makes sense and nothing else offered so far does. There is just too much emphasis plased on bin Laden, entirely too much, and most of it by bin Laden. Illogical for a man who is deadly logical. He wants us to come for him and he has a damned good reasons.

Permit me to be more specific, if possible:

I believe we’ve been suckered in. I believe we have walked into a trap. I believe we are utterly butt-fucked. I believe we are utterly outclassed and won’t admit it.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope that GW is just running with the bloodthirsty, idiot pack, actually leading it, until such a time as he can get enough data together in order to draw sound conclusions and formulate a good plan to do what has to be done. I hope and pray that at that time all the hysteria will stop and the American people will stand behind him for that “long haul.”. I hope the CIA is out there with the Moussad (?) pulling out all the stops, cutting throats, roasting balls, etc., in order to find out who, besides bin Laden, was behind this. I hope that then there is a overwhelming, deliberate and public effort to eliminate every person of any importance in all the governments of all the middle-eastern countries who knew and validated this atrocity on the USA. I’d suggest targeting each individual with a smart bomb and video the result, to hell with any collateral damage. I don’t care if he hides in an orphanage or hospital. I want payback big time, but I don’t want us tied up in a war of attrition with the vicious village idot of the Moslem world, namely Afghanistan. Hell, they aren’t even involved. Can you imagine any thinking terrorist trusting an Afghani to function in a plot this complex? We could be butchering them (and them butchering us) for another decade or two and they would enjoy the whole thing. Killing infidels gives purpose to their otherwise useless lives and dying in the process is probably the only way they’ll ever get out of Afghanistan. And go straight to heaven, yet? Can you believe it? They do. If it didn’t destroy us utterly it might make us stronger, but would you want to bet the future of our country on that? Look how much stronger Vietnam left us.

But I don’t think I am wrong. I expect the cruise missiles to start to fly any time, followed by the bombers. And what good will it do? None, absolutely none. And when the Army generals see that they’ll want to send in the elite ground troops, totally ignoring what happened to SPETSNAV forces there. Now if we retargeted and got rid of some of our old nuclear tipped ICBMs that would be another thing entirely, but we won’t. We don’t have the balls even if we still had the missiles. But if we did you’d hear assholes slam shut all over the middle east and, north, south and west. No, we are the masters of hesitation, of doing a job half way then quiting after declaring that it is finished, of premature ejectulation. We are going to be a full partner in a total disaster, we and the Afghanis, from which it may take years to extricate ouselves. Oh shit, oh dear. Vietnam didn’t teach us much, did it?

But we are dragging our feet somewhat and I think right now, in some major American city (Los Angeles comes to mind, probably wishful thinking) there is another well planned scenario playing out involving a weapon of mass destruction, possibly not another airliner, though they do work so well, but perhaps at a nuclear power generator or major hydro electrical dam. Something big and spashy (not a play on words). All the other strikes were flashy, attention getters and point makers. If they took two years to set up the WTC and the Pentagon, they had two years for Step Two, and don’t think there isn’t a Step Two and possibly Three unless the FBI has muddled their plans. They could have killed more people, but they wanted to make a point and they succeeded. This one will will have to be even bigger and better, made in Hollywood, and it will kick us the rest of the way up the chute like a prime steer and onto the killing floor of Afghanistan.

I really doubt they want to force us into anything nuclear. Like I said, we have more and bigger ones, but I still wouldn’t rule out a suitcase nuke of some sort. This one has to be big and dirty with heavy casualties to really get our attention and freeze what little reasoning power we have left. It has to send us charging over the edge screaming for blood. They can’t wait until we get past our rage and hysteria, and start to think. Bush is taking too long. He is talking hot and acting cool. A bad combination for the ragheads. He has to be pushed and it has to be now. Osama is playing his part and the Afghanis are playing theirs, only we hesitate in our frantic search for justification before we act. I think we might be just about to get that justification. The world’s TV eyes are on us. The play, as written by Osama bin Laden or his ghost writer, must go on. The curtain is going up. Allah wills it.

Hey, I got this great idea. We need to find somebody to produce about 500,000 little enameled crosses, Crusader crosses, and bumper stickers. “Join the Crusade for Justice” and “God Wills It” and “I’m a Crusader for Christ.” I think they would sell like hotcakes. Nothing too flashy. Just about 1″ by 1/2″, red enameled over gold fill plate, a clip in back. Maybe put some on rings or pegs for those with pierced noses, tongues, nipples, etc. I tell you there are thousands to be made there. Hit the market early before we get copied. You can’t copyright a crucifix you know. The guy who designed the sew on Crusader crosses, (Wasn’t his name Peter the Hermit?), you think he ever made a penny out of it? No, he let it get away from him or the Church go it all. Well, it was just a thought. Can’t you patriots take a joke? End. Walt

Well, I’m thankful that Wally’s prediction of another successful major attack hasn’t proven true. Yet.

Tags: 911 wally war afghanistan memories


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