The Real Words of General Richard Hawley
Goodness, Evil and Relativity:
There are some really good people in this
world. They volunteer to help those who need it, and ask nothing in return.
There are also some really bad people in this world. They exploit those who
need help, or who have less wit or "charisma", and motivate them to join in
committing unspeakable acts of cruelty against people they don't even know.
Then there are the rest of us. Average people who try each day to do no
harm, to provide for their families, to do an occasional act of kindness.
The evil that was perpetrated against our land on 9/11 was the product of
Mullahs who see our prosperity and power as a threat to their control over
the uneducated Muslim masses on whose shoulders they ride through life. And
so they preach hate. They are evil.
Violence begets violence:
It's true. Violence does beget violence. But
sometimes there is no alternative but to confront those who would perpetrate
evil acts against us. This is one of those times. We are blessed to have
courageous men and women willing to put their lives on the line to track
down and annihilate those who have been so imbued with evil as to be beyond
redemption. But violence is not a strategy. It is a necessary and fully
justified reaction to an unimaginable threat. But it is not a strategy. If
we are to win this war, we must defeat the Mullahs. And to defeat the
Mullahs, we must find ways to separate them from their uneducated flocks. We
cannot kill all those who have been taught to hate us, nor should we wish
to. Far better to change their minds than to change their state of being.
The intelligence community let us down:
Well, maybe just a little. Lots
of senior and not so senior intelligence people became just as enamored of
high tech gadgets as their political masters. The protests over our
evisceration of the human intelligence component of the agency were not very
loud or forceful. Keeping spies on the ground is a high risk and often dirty
business, and it wasn't just liberal politicians who didn't have much
stomach for it.
Poverty is the breeding ground for terrorists:
No, it isn't; but
religious extremism is. The Mullahs fear our wealth and power because it
shows that a secular society with democratic institutions and a free market
economy can do a better job of taking care of its peoples' needs, both
spiritual and physical, than the oppressive Islamic regimes that they aspire
to lead. The Mullahs are the problem, not poverty, but poverty does make it
easier for the Mullahs to spread their evil - as do governments that
tolerate and even reinforce their hateful message.
We are at war here! We are not talking about traffic stops. If
we were at war with Iceland, I would expect those charged with our defense
to pay very close attention to any Icelander who ventured near our shores.
In this war I expect them to pay very close attention to Muslims with ties
to the places that spew hatred against us. Random checks when there are no
such obvious targets available are a good way to keep the evil ones
guessing, but let's not make small children and grandmothers take their
shoes off while we watch far more likely candidates walk aboard unchecked.
A. Never forget that what happened on September the 11th of 2001 was an act
B. Never sit silently by while someone tries to justify what happened on
that day as an understandable reaction to U.S. policies in the Middle East
C. Fly our nation's flag proudly - it represents this world's greatest hope
to move beyond the pain and suffering that inflict so many across the globe.
Richard E. Hawley
General, USAF, Retired
Former Commander, Air Combat Command