"I fear we have awakened the sleeping giant, and filled him with
a terrible resolve." - Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, 8 Dec 1941
First we'd like to say thank you to all our friends around the world
who offered support, be it moral or material.
It has not been widely reported by our news media, but several foreign
search and rescue teams are currently assisting in the recovery efforts.
In fact the USA has received so many offers of assistance that we've had
to turn some down. We do appreciate the offers, though.
We also appreciate offers of military support the USA has received in
recent days. Sadly, your military support will probably be needed before
this is over.
What can you do to help?
To make donations to assist victims of the 11 September attacks, contact
one of the following organizations:
The Red Cross
Uniformed Firefighters Association Local
If you have any information, no matter how seemingly trivial,
that may assist law enforcement officials, please contact your local FBI
office or call the FBI at 1-866-483-5137, or fill in the form
on the FBI web site.
What does it all mean?
It means we are at war. We did not choose war, but it has been forced
upon us. Osama Bin Laden, the prime suspect in Tuesday's attacks, has repeatedly
declared war on the United States and its citizens everywhere. It is now
clear that he is deadly serious. We can either hide our heads in the sand,
or we can fight back. Our adversary will see restraint as a sign of weakness,
and an invitation to further attacks. We must fight back.
We must harbor no illusions about what war means. You will find no euphemisms
like "collateral damage" or "surgical strikes" here. We will tell you the naked,
ugly truth. Military force is not a scalpel; it is a very large axe. War is brutal
and ugly. People will be killed, and some of them will be innocent bystanders.
War is inherently evil.
That said, sometimes war is a necessary evil, in order to stop a greater
This is one of those times.
This is not going to be easy.
We will not win this war by firing a few cruise missiles at some patch
of desert, and then leaving. This will require heavy and sustained effort,
perhaps for years.
We face a cunning adversary who will use all his intelligence and skill
to conceal himself. When we think we have defeated him, he is likely to
reappear to attack us from an unexpected direction.
We face a ruthless adversary with little regard for human life. While
we do everything possible to minimize civilian deaths, he will seek to
maximize them. At some point our adversary will probably even stoop to
using innocent bystanders as human shields.
We must recognize the difficulty of the task ahead.
We must not be deterred.
Who is the enemy?
We will start by explaining who the enemy is not:
We have seen news reports of harassment and even violence against
Muslim and Arab Americans. The Wells Brothers condemn this in the strongest
possible terms. Those who hate people for their religion or ethnic background
are akin to the terrorists. To those who have committed these crimes, we
say this: Look in the mirror. If you have eyes you will see the face of
the enemy staring back at you. You have become what you claim to oppose.
Repent now, or be counted among our enemies.
So who is the enemy?
Arabs are not the enemy. Like civilized people everywhere,
the vast majority Arabs were appalled by the terrorists' actions.
Palestinians are not the enemy. We saw images of Palestinians
dancing in the street after the attacks, and we were deeply angered. Since
then we've learned that only a few dozen people were actually involved
in those celebrations. The US consulate in the Palestinian areas has received
thousands of telephone calls from ordinary Palestinians expressing outrage
at the actions of a few of their countrymen. The people dancing in the
street did not speak for the majority of Palestinians. As is often the
case, the television camera distorted reality.
Muslims are not the enemy. Islam is one of the world's great
religions. It shares common roots with Judaism and Christianity. Islam
teaches peace and justice. The vast majority of the world's billion Muslims
consider the venom spewed by Osama Bin Laden and his ilk to be a perversion
Afghans are not the enemy. Afghanistan is a country of 26
million held hostage by about 50,000 men with guns. The Taliban militia
which controls most of Afghanistan is actually an outside invader - they
are for the most part not even Afghans. The enemy may have forces on Afghan
soil, but we believe most Afghans oppose them at least as strongly as we
do; they simply lack the means to oppose them actively. Anti-Taliban groups
in Afghanistan have already offered to assist the United States against
Muslim Americans and Americans of middle eastern background are most emphatically
not the enemy. They are Americans. They are us.
An obvious, "easy" answer is Osama Bin Laden. While he certainly should
be hunted down like the vicious animal he has shown himself to be, we must
recognize that he is only the tip of a much larger iceberg. If we only
imprison or kill him, he will be simply replaced by another fanatic. Even
rounding up all of his followers will not solve the problem, though it's
a good place to start.
In an ideal world the deposed leaders would be rounded up, tried for
their crimes before an international court, and (if convicted) executed.
We live in an imperfect world, so we may have to settle for killing them
by military action or covert means.
All terrorists are the enemy. It does not matter where they are, what cause
they claim to support, or what god they claim to worship. They are all
barbarians, and we must fight them wherever we find them. They must be
hunted down and caged, or killed.
All those who harbor terrorists are the enemy. Governments that harbor
terrorists must be driven from power, by any means necessary including
military action. We should start with the Taliban militia that rules most
of Afghanistan. We should not stop with them.
We do not exclude U.S. citizens who support terrorists from any of the
above. For example, some of our friends in the U.K. observed that the I.R.A.
raises a great deal of money in New York City. Our law enforcement agencies
must thoroughly investigate these fund raising groups. If even one cent
of the money they raised has been used for terrorist activities, the group's
leaders must be arrested, tried, and if convicted they must be punished
to the maximum extent the law allows. The same applies to those who materially
support Unionist terrorist groups, or any terrorist groups anywhere else
in the world. We cannot expect other countries to punish supporters of
terrorism within their borders if we are unwilling to do so ourselves.
All those who arm and finance terrorists are the enemy. We must ferret
them out and bring them to justice. They must be punished to the full extent
of the law, up to and including execution. All their wealth must be confiscated,
and preferably used to compensate the victims of their crimes. If some
of these people manage to put themselves beyond the reach of the law, we
should kill them by military action or covert means.
All this is a very tall order, and success is by no means assured. This
must not deter us. We are guaranteed to fail if we do not try.
to view the peacetime Wells Brothers home page.