The War Of The Roaches

Copyright 2001 Steven L. Van Dyke, all rights reserved


The events of Tuesday, September 11th, 2001 have been compared to the attack on Pearl Harbor on Sunday, December 7th, 1941. In many ways they are the same, and yet they differ in so many others. In 1941 a clearly defined enemy made a clearly defined attack on a military target. Yes, there were civilian casualties, as there almost always are in war, but the intent was clearly to strike at our military might. The new attacks were from shadowy forces hiding in the civilian population, striking at civilians with a clear intent to maximize the loss of civilian life.

09-11-2001 is a date that will long be remembered, and in part it will be remembered as the opening salvo in a new World War. But this will not be a war between nations where the lines can be drawn on a map and the enemy is known, but more like a homeowner battling an infestation of cockroaches, pestilent vermin that infest our very homes. We can, and we will, crush those that we expose, but up to now we haven't thought them a serious enough threat to root out entirely.

Now that they have declared open war upon the civilized world, we will do what must be done. The world of today isn't like houses set well apart from one another, it's more like an apartment building where a problem in one unit has effects on all of the others. To root out these roaches we must clean up not only our own home but the homes of all of our neighbors. Some of these neighbors have tolerated the nests in their homes because the roaches have left them alone. This has now ended.

The attack in 1941 awoke the sleeping giant of the United States. The attack of 2001 has awoken something even greater: the civilized world as a whole. The war we have been forced into will not be clean, even by the bloody handed standards of war as we have known it. It will be a long and difficult task where much of the danger we face will come from our own actions. We must consider our acts with care so we do not destroy our own homes and way of life in our battle. There will be damage done in this fight and innocent lives will be lost on both sides; a terrible price we have not been willing to pay heretofore.

Skulking about in their shadows the roaches have convinced themselves that they are invulnerable, that we, the civilized world, can never defeat them. The actions of the passengers of Flight 93 show how wrong they have been. They showed that we will do what we must do, whatever the costs.

The war has begun. Let the roaches beware.


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