Remember when the Berlin wall came down, and some of us had hoped for world peace? One by one, former Soviet Block countries became democracies and we all hoped for the best. The concept of democracy is difficult for anyone who has not lived in a free society. Therefore, this is the reason for a “learning curve” in the upstart democracies of Eastern Europe and some of the former Soviet republics.

In the United States, we hoped for an end to nuclear

proliferation and a chance to make new friends from old adversaries. Some of us also hoped for a Middle East peace settlement, took an eye off terrorism, and “let our guard down.” New words were created like “new world order, global economy, and politically correct.”

We assumed that all of our “allies” were our friends, and you could count on them – like they counted on you. We thought an “open society” was a good concept. We were going to concentrate on domestic flaws in education and health care.

Then, one September morning, we woke to see a different world. When the Twin Towers went down, we saw what some factions feel our lives are worth. We saw it, “up close and personal.” We saw Palestinians cheering in the streets, the French government’s concept of loyalty, and realized the British have been our best friends “through thick and thin.”

For America, nothing will ever be the same again. Shooting a person who pretends to have a bomb is “acceptable.” We willingly gave up our rights for tightened security measures. Most Americans could care less about terrorist rights. If you took a poll today, most Americans would prefer they be executed on the spot. Americans actively boycott most products that state, “Made in France.”

The rest of the world is puzzled by this sudden “about

face” in the care for human rights. The terrorists and our former allies should get a copy of an American history book. We haven’t forgotten 911, and we are not “sheep.” Part of our culture is warm and loving, while another part of our culture is decisive, bold, militaristic, and wants immediate retribution.

We know that fundamentalism is an idea, and it cannot

be “killed off.” However, the terrorists didn’t bank on the wrath of the American government and its people. They should also realize that you cannot kill the concepts of freedom and democracy.

The scales have been tipped, and like it or not, blood has been drawn. Some of us need to be reminded that 911 was not a situation that the American government, or its people, chose, but we cannot afford to forget.

? Copyright 2005 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications