There are rumors that Bin Laden and his minions are sitting around laughing at the spectacle of the mighty United States bungling the relief efforts for the Gulf Coast. It is certainly ironic, and would be laughable if not for the tragedy it caused, that for disasters anywhere in the world, cargo planes laden with relief supplies are in the air in a matter of hours and ships change course instantaneously to bring aid and comfort, yet it takes us more than a week to reach our own victims.
The terrorists will never see, nor ever comprehend, the real story. They have no interest in individual heroic efforts in the face of total chaos. They pay no attention to the thousands of families who are opening their homes, and their hearts, to the dazed, the poor, the dispossessed.
They chortle at destruction, whether caused by nature or their own design. But they cannot fathom the people who dig themselves out and get on with their lives: the flood victims who find a dry haven and go out to find a job; the subway riders who return to work the following day on a different train; the financial workers who move into new quarters and return to their duties; the families who grow in strength because of the horror they have endured.
The terrorists believe that America is powerful because of its military, its technology, and its wealth. They will never understand that the West’s power is in its people. They see a politically divided nation but are blind to its unity and cohesiveness as a community. They fail to appreciate that in the face of catastrophe, all Britons are Londoners, and all Americans call New Orleans home.
The anarchists’ subjugation of individual importance to their overriding cause, and their misinterpretation of religious fervor, has forever blurred their vision, concealing the rugged, optimistic, and unfailingly generous individualism that created and maintains the America we know.
And because they don’t understand us, they’ll keep on heaping terror on us, never realizing that they cannot, ever, win.