Confronting the evil in plain sight

Hours after the planes flew into the Twin Towers because I paid attention to the world, I knew that radical Islam was behind the attack. Now, slightly more than 20 years after the towers fell, I can tell you that we are once again at terrible risk.

The events of the morning of September 11, 2001, are indelibly etched in my memories. My father died that morning from cancer about 50 minutes before the first plane hit the World Trade Center. He was surrounded by his family. We were not watching television but were attending to each other in our moment of grief. I very distinctly remember thinking, “What else will happen today so that I will be able to remember all of these details?”

The first indication that something “else” was happening was a call from a relative telling us to turn on the television. After watching for a few moments, my aunt asked, “Who could do such a thing?” I immediately replied, “Osama bin Laden.”

At the time I was on active duty in the Navy and I went on leave from my squadron on the morning of September 10, the day before it was to embark on the USS JOHN F KENNEDY (CV-67) for training exercises. I knew it was time for me to get back to work.

I could answer my aunt’s question because we had received numerous intelligence briefs on the rising threat of radical Islamic terrorism. Yep, I said it, because that is who they were then and are now today.

Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda was already known to be responsible for the bombings at the Khobar Towers, the U.S. embassies in Africa, and the USS COLE (DDG-67). Many of my fellow Americans, fellow service members, and fellow Sailors had perished in these attacks so, at noon on September 11, I was ready to get back to “work” and do the work that was sure to come.

My accurate predictions weren’t because I am smarter than anyone else or have mystical powers of clairvoyance, but because I had been then, and have tried to remain, informed about the threat of evil in the world. Therefore, when confronted with the reality in 2001, I readily identified the evil that was in plain sight.

Please believe me when I tell you I would rather be positive and write uplifting messages of Freedom and the aspirational hope for better things which Freedom always inspires. But today we are still surrounded by a relentless evil that threatens everything good that America has meant to the world and the Freedoms we Americans hold dear.

The well-armed Taliban have re-taken control of Afghanistan and will, no doubt, provide safe harbor to every malcontent and radical Islamic fanatic who hates what America is and represents to truly oppressed people in the world.

America’s ignominious exit from Afghanistan has no doubt emboldened our strategic enemies in the world: China, Russia, North Korea, Iran. We now face a new axis of evil: China, Russia, and radical Islam. These axes are at war with us whether or not we accept and believe it.

Our southern borders have been open for over seven months now, across which we-don’t-know-who has entered the United States. We can’t defend against the enemy we don’t see.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have succumbed over the past 18 months to COVID-19. The response has been guided by a multitude of government “health” bureaucracies that have been ineffective; persist in limiting our doctors, physicians, and healthcare professionals from effectively preventing and treating the disease; and prevent us from acting in what we believe is our best interest. There is too little encouragement for innovation. Instead, top-down mandates mean there are irrationally limited measures that would enable us to “return to normal.”

The government continues to promise it will print all the money needed to enact each leftist dream. Meanwhile, inflation is sky-high and is penalizing every American family.

The past year’s turmoil and protests against law enforcement, with calls to “defund the police,” has reaped a truly tragic toll in many American cities and has hurt minorities and the poor most disproportionately.

So, please pardon me for being the annoying nuisance; for being that barking dog that just refuses to be quiet. Dogs bark when they sense something they don’t understand, see someone unfamiliar, sense a potential threat, or believe there is danger. And believe me, the danger is out there.

We need to identify and understand the danger, and effectively deal with the evil in plain sight. We have failed to do so many times in the past, and we failed to deal with the rising threat that committed the atrocities on 9/11. I sense danger. Nothing good is coming, only those bad things which I pray we still have the ability to prevent.

Jeff M. Lewis is a Christian, a husband and father, a Veteran, and a self-employed small business owner who resides with his family in South Texas.

Image: The Taliban with an American weapon. YouTube screen grab.

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