Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I had just set the first Senior Supervisory Watch on PCU Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) at Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, CT. We were about to start the portion of the Pre-Core Test program that required Ship's Force watchstanders, so as Eng it was the culmination of a very busy time for me, getting all the required qualifications completed. As we were checking valve lineups prior to putting the first water into the reactor vessel, some of the shipyard workers came in and said that some planes had hit the World Trade Center. About an hour later, the CO came down and announced that the Pentagon had been hit, and the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed. The testing program was suspended while the shipyard pulled off people to review emergency plans, and I was left on the boat wondering what was going on. From the building, we could see boats heading out to sea down the Thames in response to the DEFCON 1 declaration for the Submarine Force on the Eastern seaboard. (Later, it turned out that there were several high-ranking officers in Groton, if not Norfolk, who didn't realize that DEFCON 1 required all available boats to head out to sea without further orders. After the first couple got out, they stopped the others that were getting underway from leaving.)

Eventually, we secured the watch. I went home about 1900 that night, and for the first time saw images like this that remain seared in the nation's consciousness:

A probably apocryphal story from 9/11 says that as a person was taking pictures of people falling from the building, someone came up to them and told them to stop out of respect for the people dying; the photographer responded that we had to document it so we could remember if our resolve ever started to flag. While that may not have actually happened, the lesson is true, and the time has long since passed when many of us have forgotten the unity we felt after than tragic September morning. This war will be a long war, and I fear we're still only in the opening rounds. Much as the conflict between a Germany seeking to establish hegemony over Europe with the other European states lasted almost 80 years (of which over 65 of them were "peaceful"), the current War will last a long time. One problem is that it's hard sometimes to tell with whom we're actually at war. Despite the misguided beliefs of some commentators, we're not at war with Islam, although our enemies are almost entirely of the Islamic faith. There are many, many people living in South Asia and Africa -- the vast majority of them, in fact -- who don't want to kill Westerners. However, the ones who do are hiding among the peaceful people, which makes the job of killing those who need to be killed more difficult. We have won a recent war, relatively quickly, against a similar enemy driven by a religious fanaticism that put a low value on human life; unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) the tactics we used against the Japanese Empire aren't available to us now, precisely because of the stateless nature of our enemies.

I fear that, as the war continues (and more and more people refuse to recognize even the existence of the war; as I've said before, it only takes one side to wage a war), the divide among the American people will become greater. Already there are people of good intentions who believe we should treat all Muslims as the enemy, even those who are good American citizens. To people who say that Muslims cannot be good Americans, I offer this visual evidence that they can:

As well-meaning Americans of differing opinions strive to reach a national consensus on how we should deal with security threats in the 21st Century, I encourage all my readers to reflect upon the sacrifice of those who have given all since the horrific attacks of September 11th, and rededicate themselves to the American Ideal.

Where were you when the world changed nine short years ago today?

87 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alert in the Pacific.

9/11/2010 9:45 AM

 
Anonymous Just a man said...

I was sitting at my home-office computer. First realization that something big was up when I couldn't connect to the business sites with any speed, and not with the major news sites at all.

Turned on the TV. The second building had just been hit. Watched and listened. The most poignant moment was when the first building started to fall, and Peter Jennings just droned on until his producer clearly told him to STFU via his earpiece.

Went to get some cash at the bank and casually mentioned to the teller at one point that "We're at war." All the tellers and managers stopped, pivoted and looked at my like I'd just hatched an egg, asking me to confirm that. I simply said "We're at war. The announcement will happen whenever it happens...but make no mistake. We're at war."

Later that evening, I had the more profound thought: "We're being baited into a war." Reason: there's no way that someone with the power to actually defeat us would do what they did. Just wasn't sufficient to kill us...just really piss us off.

9/11/2010 10:03 AM

 
Blogger Mike Golch said...

I was just getting up to get ready to go to my realestate office.

9/11/2010 10:07 AM

 
Blogger DDM said...

I was on the SSN 23 like Joel. I left the boat at lunch and went to one of the EB offices and watched some of the coverage for a few minutes. I remember one of our guys had a sister who sometimes worked in the WTC. He was obviously very worried. Another guy spontaneously started crying simply because he found the whole situation so upsetting. I used to have a whole slide show of graphic pictures from that day. They were lost in a computer crash. I agree we're at war, but how do we know that we've won?

9/11/2010 10:33 AM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

There won't be a signing ceremony on the Missouri; instead, it'll be a realization that the governments of traditionally Muslim countries have entered the 21st century and are willing to grant freedom to their people, when their children are being taught not to hate Westerners, and when people aren't blowing themselves up. When Pakistan and Iran and Saudi Arabia politically start to resemble West Germany or Japan of the 1950s, we'll know we've won. As I said, that'll be a long time off.

9/11/2010 10:46 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We were in dry dock at KBAY. I was in the Officer's study waiting on the SDO to get done his tour so I could get a tagout approved and WAF's opened for the work we were doing. I remember sitting there with a couple other guys watching the news when they broke in with the news that a plane had hit the world trade center. As the reporters were talking the SDO came in and saw the TV and asked what happened. He no sooner said that when the second plane hit. I remember the SDO saying I think I better call the Captain. You guys should get back with your divisions. When I went back to the bunkroom Chief asked if I had gotten the tagouts approved and WAF's opened. I was still a little shocked by what I had saw on TV and told hime No Chief. He said Why not? I said cause a couple of planes hit the World trade center. It got real quiet in the bunkroom.

9/11/2010 10:52 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was on SSN-713 in Puget Sound Naval Base, along side Pier C. We were getting ready to start a 20 month ERO. The shipyard had just removed the screw and cut off half of the rudder about 2 days earlier in preparation for our docking date. We watched the towers fall and crash into the Pentagon. We got the word for all ships that could get underway to get underway. We worked with the shipyard and figured we could be underway with full provisions in about 7 days. That was when CNO said to continue to the ERO that would last over 36 months due to the necessity of getting Carriers back out quicker than one sub.

9/11/2010 10:55 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at work setting up a test in a lab. Went to get a cup of coffee and people were standing at a TV watching what was going on. About two minutes later I watched the 2nd plane hit the south tower on the live broadcast. Very disturbing, I will never forget what I watched that day. As a veteran, it bothers me to see the deliberate targeting of civilians. It is cowardly. I also watched as people in the middle east celebrated and handed out candy and cakes to children in the street. We never see that footage anymore. In my opinion, if Islam is truly peaceful, the followers of that religion have the onus to root out those who desire to commit these acts in the name of their religion. It is the general inaction on their part (nearly 1 billion of them) that creates the distrust we still see today.

9/11/2010 11:04 AM

 
Blogger Bookslinger said...

One of the most moving stories I read today was of warrior/servant Rick Resorla. Michelle Malkin
had a link to a web page about him that is at:
http://www.mudvillegazette.com/archives/000307.html

He was a Vietnam war hero who died making sure all the employees (over 2600) where he worked in the South Tower were evacuated.

If the stories about him in VN on that page are even half true, he had brass ones as big as bowling balls.

9/11/2010 11:42 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Asleep - woken up by my CO (Hawaii time zone) - and told to get my rear to the boat and get ready to get underway at sunrise. Did not know why at the time - heard it on the radio on the way in - passed right by the sleeping gate guard (it was Hawaii after all) - parked at the boat and went right into maneuvering in my shorts and directed the startup. Still remember every moment of that day.

9/11/2010 11:49 AM

 
Anonymous Steeljaw Scribe said...

I was there

9/11/2010 11:50 AM

 
Blogger Old Salt said...

When news of tower one hit, I was getting ready to head down to Parche for duty, and saw the video on the news. I thought it was a trailer for a new movie. I just got down to the Chief's quarters when the second one hit, and realized that we were indeed in a war. That's the big problem with this one... No clear enemy to take apart. I must disagree with Joel on the war with Islam comment, every religion has wing-nut radicals that get way to much attention. (think burning books in Florida) Unfortunately, they make the moderates of their group look bad by association. We are no more at war with all Islam as we were with all Japanese in WWII. We rounded them up and put them in camps, because we painted the group with one brush.

9/11/2010 11:51 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was working in New Orleans on 9-11 when I got word that something bad was happening. Throughout the building we gathered in conference rooms and watched as the first tower burned, and the 2nd airliner struck, as both towers fell.

In my rage that day I would have willing turned half the globe to radioactive glass and never looked back. If my anger is no longer as hot and unreasoning, it is still unrelenting and now fueled by both the acts on 9/11 and the betrayal by our "political class" in both government and the media.

No one in that office that day or any any media outlet doubted that we were at war, that we had just witnessed an act to surpass the attack on Pearl Harbor. It seems the only people that were in doubt were the liberal left, the major media, and shockingly, the political class that wears the shround of conformity and "geo political necessity" to hide their lack of true leadership and ethical principles. Oh and their outright cowardice.

For cowards and liars they are and remain.

For myself, I cannot forget and I will never forgive.

9/11/2010 12:01 PM

 
Blogger FT2(ss) said...

I was in the barracks in Bangor, WA. Just waking up after a nice 3 days weekend leave since my birthday was on the 10th and I sure as hell didnt want to be on duty for my birthday. As usual I flipped on my computer to read some early morning news and check emails when I get an IM from a friend to turn on the TV. I picked up the phone to call home and tell them to turn on the TV and I will call again when I get a chance.

I grabbed what I had available for my seabag and got to the boat as fast as I could. I dont remember much after that except I had never seen the mess decks on the Parche that quiet. The next 48 hours were pretty much a blur as we had no idea what our orders were to be.

I do remember finally getting permission to take the duty van and drive to some of the guys homes and pick up seabags from their wives.

After seeing a destroyer patrolling the Hood canal I think thats when the "oh shit" moment really kicked in.

9/11/2010 12:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Underwater off the coast of Japan, about a week away from finishing up our deployment. Just finished up a field-day and came up for message traffic. CO read a brief description of what had happened over the 1MC and no one on the crew really understood the magnitude of what had taken place in NY until we pulled back in and saw the pictures and news coverage a week later.

9/11/2010 2:23 PM

 
Blogger Bubblehead said...

@old salt - I re-read over my comments, and I'm pretty sure that I was very specific that I believe that we are NOT at was with Islam, but rather with some extremists who claim to be Muslims. If you understood my statements to be anything other than that, then I'm afraid you've misconstrued what I was trying to say.

9/11/2010 2:30 PM

 
Blogger Old Salt said...

Joel, You are correct. I just got new contacts, and the words are a bit out of focus. I re-read what you posted, and apologize for incorrectly calling you out.

9/11/2010 3:47 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Underway on nuclear power in the North Arabian Sea. Making best speed. Ten day transit turned in to a ten week underway. I still get goose bumps.

9/11/2010 3:55 PM

 
Blogger MT1(SS)WidgetHead said...

I was a senior in high school that Thursday morning. It was stated over the PA in the middle of the morning's 1st class period for all of us to quietly and quickly assemble to the gym/lunchroom for an announcement. There was a big screen TV on stage showing images of both buildings being hit and taking on fire. The entire room was silent. Our VP who was also retired Navy, said school would be dismissed for the day by noon. He was not a happy guy to say the least. We didn't go back Friday either. The following Tuesday, about 20 of us were taken down to MEPS to take the ASVAB. Along with two Navy recruiters, our VP went with us to make sure we behaved accordingly. San Antonio has one of the biggest MEPS centers in the country representing all five services...that place was a mad house that Tuesday, because they kept almost of us for the physical after the ASVAB was completed.

It was a long day, but there wasn't a lot of extra noise from any of us. We were basically waiting in line wondering what's going to happen next.

9/11/2010 3:55 PM

 
Anonymous ex-ET nuke said...

Just turned oh the TV to catch a little news before heading into work (West Coast time), and saw the footage of Tower 1 burning, followed by the live shot of the 2nd tower being hit. I told my girlfriend (now wife) it might be a long day for me, and headed to work to see what we were going to be doing at the site (I'm a member of the Emergency Response Team).

Spent the rest of the day watching shots on various big-screens throughout the site as we checked all emergency preparedness procedures and plans. I came very close to quitting that day and re-enlisting, only to be stopped by the realization that I was over the then current enlistment age.

9/11/2010 4:16 PM

 
Anonymous EngSSN754 said...

At home. Doing work at home. Preparing for the work day. I was listening to a news and information radio station a little bit before 0700 (Mountain time zone) when the tone of a routine story abruptly changed. No “we interrupt this story…”. The radio host quickly terminated the story and said something like “we have received reports of a plane hitting the World Trade Center in New York City”. Knowing that the broadcast networks would be covering it, I flipped on the TV and was confronted with pictures of the burning building. I thought “this was no small plane that hit the building” and “the people in the top floors are going to have a problem”. As I recall, there was tremendous confusion regarding what happened – plane off course? Accident? There was no talk of terrorist attack by the TV broadcasters – it must have been a horrific accident. Every TV camera in NYC was trained on the World Trade Centers when the second plane struck. I stood staring at the TV thinking that this was surreal; this couldn’t possibly be happening. It obviously wasn’t an accident but it took a moment for the concept of an “intentional act” to register in my brain. It occurred to me that I was experiencing the feeling of being “violated” (my intent is NOT to diminish or minimize the feelings associated with the more common use of the phrase).

I once heard the September 11 attacks described as a tactical victory, but a strategic defeat for al Qaeda that we have converted into a strategic victory to the benefit of al Qaeda. I submit that we are not at war. We cannot be at war with another entity or force that is not physically capable of defeating us. In modern times, Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union, and others were/are capable of defeating us or putting a SIGNIFICANT hurt on us. al Quada, terrorist, etc.? Not so much – unless we allow them to do so. This is a police action of a global nature and scale. Analogies at a local level are gang warfare or the war on drugs. It is not likely that civilized society will wipe out either problem. However, society can keep both in check and minimize the adverse consequences by employing appropriate tactics and being vigilant of the problem (i.e., not forgetting or ignoring the problem). There won’t be a victory, per se. Just containment. However, it is very possible to “lose” the conflict (or other things that we hold dear) through demagoguery and complacency. I am afraid that, after nine years, we are forgetting that we are operating under a new set of rules – ones that we are still learning. I think that we are losing the ability to properly apply common sense to reality. I am also afraid that we are forgetting the horror of seeing, live on TV, persons jumping or falling out of tall buildings, along with that feeling of “being violated”.

9/11/2010 4:23 PM

 
Blogger Rob said...

Saw the first tower on CNBC after it had been hit. Was warming up my car and listening to the radio when the second plane hit. Got to the bus stop and told all my co-workers we are under attack. Most of them just looked at me like I was crazy. By the time we got to work at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, the news was very grim. We got an announcement from management that we were at war. Everyone was told to stay home the next day, unless they were working on a carrier project.

9/11/2010 4:37 PM

 
Blogger SJV said...

I was at work at a factory, where we normally did not have a TV on even in the breakroom, although there was one there used for announcements and company information. At the news of the attacks, the TV was switched over to the news and we watched a few minutes of reports on what was happening. Unbelievably, the Plant Manager (a submarine vet) insisted that the TV be turned off and everyone go back to work. Not sure what was in his mind, but his head sure was up his butt that day. Learned the details after returning home in the evening.

9/11/2010 6:10 PM

 
Blogger Sandy Salt said...

I was on the National Airborne Operation Center and my SOPS team lead and I were watching the burning tower when the second plane hit. We called the watch and told them to sound the horn for launch. We launched and spent 13 hours flying around and around. I got to hear some really cool stuff, like President Bush jokingly telling Rummy to watch his language and the President make the tough decision to take out two planes headed to DC if they didn't respond to the fighters. It truly was an amazing day and the many weeks that followed. That day gave me the deepest respect for President Bush that I hold to this day. He kept a very cool head and made the right decisions. We were caught flat footed then, but I will never forget or let this country become complacent again. I for one am willing to hunt down every last radical that was responsible and see them hang.

9/11/2010 6:50 PM

 
Blogger RM1(SS) (ret) said...

At sea, off the south coast of the Arabian peninsula. On 11 Sep we were westbound, heading for home; on 12 Sep we were eastbound....

We got the news when we copied the broadcast at 2330 local. That was 1430 or 1530 Eastern time, so we got the whole story in one message - WTC, Pentagon and the plane that went down in PA.

(Blogged about it a few years back, but don't have the patience to look it up and copy the URL using the BlackBerry.)

9/11/2010 7:46 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just started refit assist. Had just left the house when the radio mentioned a plane had hit a tower...assumed it was a small plane and just an accident. While passing through the front gate, the radio mentioned the second plane...obviously no accident now. Our COB somehow got into the exchange and grabbed a ton of soaps, toothbrushes, shampoo, razors, towels etc and got them down to the boat. They did a bastardized startup and got underway quickly with a mix of both crews...basically whoever was on the boat. Those that didn't get underway were kept in the OCAB and eventually allowed to go over to the central BEQ office to watch the events unfold on TV. I think we were eventually released around 4 or 5 that afternoon. Directed to remain at home the next day...distinctly remember hearing the fighter cover overhead in Seattle.

9/11/2010 8:01 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had just come back from Navy ROTC PT a hour prior. Was sitting in my bathrobe looking for ESPN to see how the GIANTS did the night before. Catch the WTC on fire on CNN (before the second plane). Watch the second plane hit. Said some choice words. Everyone starts coming to me asking what is going on (lovely being the building RA too). Then, my senior design project leader calls to tell me I am late for a meeting.

I think I said something to the fact of "crawl your ass out of the lab...we are now in World War III."

I sit here today wondering just how much damage all the admin I push on my boat would hurt if I dumped it on the bad guys. At least that is how I tell my kids I fight these bad guys.

Damn. And I thought we were going to crack some skulls nine years ago. Maybe, if we man up and get real.

9/11/2010 8:04 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite the misguided beliefs of some commentators, we're not at war with Islam, although our enemies are almost entirely of the Islamic faith.

Quite possibly the most naive statement I have ever read. If you're not willing to admit who or what your real enemy is, you are doomed to defeat.

9/11/2010 9:00 PM

 
Anonymous Ross Kline said...

I was in the drydock in KBay as well...I remember the CO passing the word on the 1MC. Work came to a halt until the tower fell. We then busted our tails trying to get the boat back together....until we were told that we'd be finishing the drydock period.

I almost got to re-use an o-ring...

9/11/2010 9:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Working at a defense contractor's installation. Continuous TV in the break room. Word passed quickly. By the time the second tower fell, every worker had seen the collapse of one or the other on a their breaks.

Suddenly, those of us who had been directly involved in Y2K planning and preparations, knew what it had really been about.

Time to get serious about reciprocity in my opinion. They want to immigrate to the US, multiply like rabbits and vote for autonomous zones with Sharia law as 'peaceful' citizens.

I say, not unless they are coming from a land that allows building our churches and practicing our religion (such as Indonesia does), and on a one-for-one basis, or sign declarations of support for the U.S. Constitution (AS MOST of US HAVE DONE)! Same with foreign exchange students, one-for-one reciprocity. If liberal professors don't like that, they can pack up and go try to teach their drivel in Pakistan.

Otherwise, our progeny are only a few generations away from a giant leap backward in personal freedoms
and productive society.

Some have predicted the U.K. will be overrun first; no, France will fall to the peaceful Muslims first.

Reilly from NY

9/11/2010 9:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was the Atlantic Fleet SSBN Targeting and Scheduling Officer at SUBLANT...

Had just finished our participation in a Global Guardian exercise and had just arrived home after being in the operations center for the last 24 hours. Walked in the door, turned on the TV, saw the first tower on fire. Seconds later, saw the second tower hit and simultaneously heard reports of a fire at the Pentagon. Turned right around and went back to work.

Suffice to say, the next 48 hours were very, very busy.

I've fought fires, endured flooding casualties that didn't so much as phase me. Chased Soviet submarines and got tossed around by many an angry sea... no problem. But that day...

That day I was frightened; to my very core.

When I was the Strategic Weapons Officer on PENNSYLVANIA (GOLD), lots of folks from all over the US would tour our ship. I loved showing off the ol' girl. Without exception, after I explained how the launcher systems worked, someone would ask, "would you 'pull the trigger' if asked to do so?" I always said "yes", without hesitation. They needed to hear that.

But on that day... when I was not on a boat armed to the teeth with the weapons of Armegeddon but nevertheless in control of their movements and assignments in the Atlantic, I was in a state of near disbelief and, in retrospect, maybe shock, that we were so close...

The images of President Bush and Admiral Chiles during those VTC's following the attacks are forever burned into my mind.

My Grandfather once described his sense of dread with the announcement of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He knew what was ahead for the US from his experience serving in World War I. The event put him in bed for days.

I certainly cannot know my Grandfather's experience of fear so many years ago. But, now, I think that my own experience on September 11, 2001 gives me some idea of just how he felt.

WCC

9/11/2010 10:08 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Early morning, half awake and groggy after the below-decks mid-watch, I was just beginning to download the morning traffic when my Sea Dad came thru the radio room door. He asked why I wasn't monitoring the proper circuits. I thought he had finally gone completely insane. His family had called him from the East Coast and relayed the news before anyone. We were in dry dock at PHSY and couldn't go anywhere. Spent several days in lock-down sleeping on the floor in radio and standing lots of pier watches with commercial airliners flying overhead.

9/12/2010 12:19 AM

 
Blogger bigsoxfan said...

Freeing up some seized engine room closure dampers on the target ship “Zachary Fisher”(T-AKR 302), pier side in Baltimore after an interminable summer of dry dock work down the bay at the old Bethelham Steel Yard and a spell in Portsmouth and Norfolk. Merchant Marine crew, and at the dock, the TV was on in the crew’s mess during morning coffee. The news of the first impact passed with a simple shrug. Not the second. Particularly as our hard assed 3AE’s brother worked a building away from the towers. As the day wore on, we finished the job, despite the constant distraction. Fire dampers took on a suddenly heightened sense of importance.
Really glad to load up that fall and transit to Bahrain with equipment for the buildup. Really wished we had loaded up an Armor Battalion, but that day did arrive eventually. Tough time, as we all wanted to reach out and strike back in some way.
Come to Jesus moment was after transiting Hormuz in November of “01, we had a fairly close overflight by a Saudi 757 Patrol aircraft. Never felt so small as I did watching that bird turn into our beam as our USMC self protection force came out of the deck house chambering rounds into their M-16’s as they went. My touchstone to the moment and to the brave and innocent who endured the unendurable

9/12/2010 1:28 AM

 
Anonymous Bernie said...

I was SRO on WYOMING in drydock, we had just finished taking everything apart for refit.

One of the ELTs walked in without asking permission and said he was watching CNN on the mess decks and that two planes flew into the WTC. I thought it was some kind of bad joke. I told him to get the hell out of maneuvering and quit screwing around.

30 seconds later the COs on the 1MC "officer LPO call in 30 min, bring a list of the minimum things needed to be put together to get underway".

Thats when I knew I had gotten way too comfortable with the boomer life and I didn't have a seabag on board. I only had two packs of cigarettes and it might be a long time till I got to a store.

We ended up staying in drydock for the refit, but I never stood another duty day without at least a minimum seabag and a few cartons of smokes.

9/12/2010 5:15 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Myself an Ex A ganger from a 594 class boat along with a fellow sts from the same boat currently NYC fireman where there that F-n day.A day that seemed to be to put it mildley was and still is to me a F-n Nightnare...But we take solice knowing that the boats placed some missiles right up their asses and I cazn only hope that some of those animals felt some pain as they where blown to bits... We thank all those that got saome pay back .... 2 NYC Fireman FORMER SUBMariners....

9/12/2010 6:31 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember coming downstairs in the morning, cramming some textbooks into my school bag as NBC announced that they had reports that a plane had struck the WTC, and they were trying to confirm it. My mom drove me to school, and as I walked into the classroom I saw the the second plane hit. When I saw that, I said "were being attacked." My classmates told me I was being over dramatic, until Tim Russert announced the attack on the Pentagon.
The rest of the day was blur, but two things stand out. The first was seeing two of the Muslim students being escorted out of the school quite quickly during the middle of class. The second was a member of my church who had lived through WWII saying that this was what Pearl Harbor felt like.

9/12/2010 9:23 AM

 
Anonymous YNC(SS), USN, Retired said...

I was on my way to work at the WSP District Office in Tacoma. I was listening to KOMO (AM 1000) and the man said they had just received a report of an airplane crash into the World Trade Center. A bit later he started talking about it again. It sounded to me like he was talking about the same crash. At work I was pretty much in a news blackout until that evening when I was listening to the radio, and learned a lot more about what had happened that day.

Regarding what Bubblehead said: "This war will be a long war, and I fear we're still only in the opening rounds."

The Crusades lasted about two hundred years. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

9/12/2010 9:30 AM

 
Anonymous NHSparky said...

Working for SoCalEdison, driving into work at just before 6 am, when I heard on KFI radio of the first plane crashing in. I was actually reminded of back in WWII when a B-29 crashed into the Empire State Building, and I was thinking it was a small plane or some similar circumstance.

Then they announced the second plane. I drove into get some parts, drove to my worksite for the day, listening to the radio and the description the entire time. The first tower collapsed just as I was getting to Lynwood. The freeways were packed, as Los Angeles freeways will be--but they were all heading HOME, not into work.

Also, Lynwood was in the landing pattern for both main runways at LAX. Within an hour, you heard and saw NOTHING. We finished up our work at noon and decided to head home from there. The freeways were deserted all the way to Orange County. Only when I got home about 6-7 hours after it all started did I see what was really happening.

9/12/2010 9:31 AM

 
Anonymous Jon Walsh said...

I was ENG on MAINE in KB. We had completed sea trials on 10 September, ready to start patrol on 12 September. Only officers, chiefs, and duty section were on board when the first plane hit. We were meeting with USCG and USMC reps in crew's mess for a planned force protection / port egress exercise for the underway. Our NODEA ETMC Marsino came down and announced that a plane had T-boned the WTC. Shortly after, he said a plane had hit the other tower. Our CO, CDR Zumbar (now at SSP), neatly concluded our meeting, and the message traffic started to roll in. Since we were in port such a short time, we were still copying the broadcast in-hull. We were the only unit at KB to receive the elevated DEFCON alerts, so we fed the news to the squadrons and other boats. With just the duty section on board, we accelerated the pre-underways. One ship returning from patrol that day was turned around at the anchorage, and we were kept on a 2-hour standby. The base was on lock-down, and it took hours of waiting in line on Saint Marys Road for the rest of the crew to get back on board.
Our most junior ensign was sent out to collect wardroom baggage for those of us who never went home.
We didn't go underway that day, and our proposed USCG escort for the exercise was replaced by an Aegis cruiser out of Mayport for the surface transit. I was the Maneuvering Watch OOD on a day I'll never forget. We missed the next several months of live news reports. We left thinking that perhaps 50,000 people had been killed in New York. It was several weeks before we got magazines and newspapers in the mail with the pictures from that day. All we had until then was our memory of the CNN coverage in the O-study as we got the ship ready for sea.
I made sure to tell my guys to write down their thoughts that day to save for their grandchildren. During that patrol, every man knew why he had joined the submarine force. I couldn't have been prouder than to serve with them.

PS Joel, were you on SSN 23 during Combined Trials? I was the INSURV Reactor Inspector.

9/12/2010 11:57 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was Pushing boots at RTC Great Lakes wishing I was at sea. Announcing the next morning to my recruits what had happened, and identifying those personnel from New York City...made it all worthwhile. We sent a couple home immediately to be with their families, and the rest of the recruits were so fired-up to become sailors....I wish the rest of you could have seen it...it really makes you swell with pride that you are a USN service member. -ETC(SS) (Ret) Michael Key

9/12/2010 3:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I a class room teaching many of the intel oficers currently on duty.

As for "we're not at war with Islam"

Is Islam a war with us?

9/12/2010 5:56 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

Jon Walsh,

God bless you and your patriotic shimates!

9/12/2010 6:35 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we had unleashed SSBN WMD's back in 2001 on the entire Middle East, would we still be talking about it today? Or would we be talking about Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and enjoying the opening weekend of the NFL?

After waiting all day for the EAM to get the party started, the COB announced that the ship would conduct field day the next day. Those of us in the WR just looked at each other and wondered why we were even there.

Other than oil, that part of the world really has nothing going for it.

And yes, we are at war with Islam and we should never forget that.

9/12/2010 6:36 PM

 
Blogger Do You Think I G.A.F. said...

To the Anon at 9/11 @ 9:24 PM - “Time to get serious about reciprocity in my opinion. They want to immigrate to the US, multiply like rabbits and vote for autonomous zones with Sharia law as 'peaceful' citizens.”

I am glad to see someone else sees what is happening. If they can’t blow us up or kill us, they will f#$@ their way to domination of the world. My kids and grandkids may be entering the first phases of the Islamic take over along with Obama’s help.

As for 9/11, I was on recruiting duty in Salt Lake City UT. The radio came on at 0755 to a news report of a plane hitting the WTC. When I turned on the TV, I saw the hole and how nice the weather was, I knew it was no accident and told my wife so. A few minutes later, the second plane hit. It was just a confirmation. Also told the wife they are not stopping at two. Sure enough, the Pentagon got hit.

Went to work at the recruiting station. What made me proud of that day was our office took over 100 calls from retired military and veterans asking to come back in. The MEPS shut down. They had sworn in over 40 new recruits for various services but could not get them to boot camp. So they were on hold.

The only thing I didn’t like was the zone supervisor telling us to make appointments using the day’s tragedy as a way to make appointments. I told him to kiss my ass!

STSCS(SS/SW) USN RET

9/12/2010 6:54 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9/12/2010 7:01 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

Reilly @ 9/11/2010 9:24 PM -

"I say, not unless they are coming from a land that allows building our churches and practicing our religion (such as Indonesia does),"

Care to reconsider that?

"Perpetrators are rarely punished or even questioned by police."

9/12/2010 7:24 PM

 
Blogger Jay said...

Joel, as usual, thanks for the poignant post.

I remember I was in a conference room preparing for a meeting, and one of my team came in and said a plane had hit the WTC. In those days, we had TV in our common areas, and we went to watch and I think that was about when the 2nd plane hit.

I just remember being transfixed as the fires raged and the collapse occurred, then I remembered my sister worked in the World Financial Center across from the WTC, and I started calling family to find out where she was. Turns out her commute required a stop in NJ before catching the PATH train to the WTC stop, and when she got off the train there, they could all see the towers in flames and she turned around on the platform and headed home. Problem was with every cell circuit being jammed (and towers going down with the WTC), we couldn't contact her until she arrived back in Philly (yes, people do commute from north of Philly to NYC), some hours after the first attack.

It was obvious no one was getting much work done, and with the buildings here in Atlanta getting bomb threats and evacuated, I just went home.

As for the war, we're not at war with a religion (Islam), but we most assuredly are at war with Islamists who believe that Islam (and Allah) requires their expansion of Islam into a global caliphate.

They'll do it by any means necessary, violent, or other.

Can we afford an 8th century interpretation of Islamic religious doctrine with 21st century weapons? I don't think so.

Either the moderate Muslims take over their religion, or the West needs to seriously consider the consequences, and whether our way of life is compatible with their vision of Islam (I suggest it is not).

9/12/2010 7:28 PM

 
Blogger Jay said...

By "their" I meant the Islamists who preach the global caliphate, not the Muslims who are actually capable of moderation and peaceful living.

9/12/2010 7:31 PM

 
Blogger Vigilis said...

Right on, Jay!

9/12/2010 7:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the war, we're not at war with a religion (Islam), but we most assuredly are at war with Islamists who believe that Islam (and Allah) requires their expansion of Islam into a global caliphate.

They'll do it by any means necessary, violent, or other.


They believe that Islam (and Allah) requires their expansion of Islam into a global caliphate . . . by any means necessary because that is EXACTLY what the Quran demands.

9/12/2010 9:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the Bible... There are 2 main religions in the world that try proselytize, and spread their word to try and recruit more followers... Islam and Christianity. Throughout the ages, the Christians have battled the Muslims. The Crusades were a rather bloody set of battles, many times resulting in the wholesale slaughter of man, woman, and child... in an attempt to rid the world of infidels on both sides. Unfortunately, when extremists of any group have the charisma to lead their followers "To glory for GOD,..." The results are usually bad.

9/12/2010 10:29 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @10:29 PM

"There are 2 main religions in the world that try proselytize, and spread their word to try and recruit more followers... "

Which of the two main groups requires "submission" that requires as little as 2 minutes of preparation yet forbids adherents from ever changing their minds?

How is it followers of the more recent prophet demand exclusionary values stuck in old testament verse such as submit or perish rather than love for fellow man?

Please, your comparison is either very naive or intentionally over-simplified.

9/13/2010 12:01 AM

 
Anonymous Tim said...

ETC Key,

I was in boot camp on 9-11. Division 448/47 "ship" #1. I know exactly what you are talking about. That was one crazy day to be in boot camp.
-Tim

9/13/2010 2:04 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Tim,,oris your Handle Timothy...Crazt Bay in Boot Camp? You Have to be shitting me!!! The give you time outs and days off there now...What happened to make it crazy in that Cream Puff Factory? Bet all you little girls got to call Mommy to tell her not to fear there was still desert''' A crazy Day on Boor Camp....Yous sound soo whitebread,,, no wonder the whole world comes here and shits on us,,, Have another Jelly Doughnut..............

9/13/2010 6:58 AM

 
Blogger Alexei said...

I was in my stateroom onboard USS KAMEHAMEHA during cleanup ship. I'd come off the midwatch as OOD driving into the Straits of Juan de Fuca. We were going to pick up family members at Sequim, then moor in Bangor for a few days before heading to PSNS for decom. Wiped as I was from the midwatch, it took a second for the CO's 1MC to register when he announced what had happened. I was the commo, so I darted up to radio, where my guys were busy rigging up satellite TV reception from CNN. They recorded the broadcast on a VCR then transported the tapes to crews mess so everyone could see. We must've been turned around in the straits 5 times before they finally decided to send us back to sea. We came back in on Thursday and I had duty that first night. It was my first time wearing a sidearm on duty, and come time to hit the rack I wasn't sure what to do with the gun, so I stuffed it under my pillow for the night. Probably not the right answer. :P

A few days later we went around to PSNS. The Hood Canal bridge was delayed in opening for a while because of a suspicious package, and I couldn't help but think, as we just bobbed there, that we would make a great target for mortars or rockets. None came our way, of course, but soon after getting to PSNS, the CO asked me to pull all of our URO PMS records and bring them to his office. The Powers the Be were contemplating turning decom into an SRA and sending us out again. I guess it would've been to expense (we had LOTS of big ticket items coming due), though, because it stayed a decom. The thought got my mind whirling, though, because I had orders to Power School to be an instructor, but there was no way I was going to let Kam go out to kick ass without me onboard. I got to thinking how to get those orders cancelled, but then it became moot. It still burned a bit rolling ashore when it was time to kick butt and take names. But that's how it worked out.

9/13/2010 7:54 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just getting up in Silverdale to head in to work for refeit assist on USS MICHIGAN (SSB 727) {Yes, it was an SSBN back then}. Wife called from work and told me to turn on the TV, turned it on just in time to see the second plane hit. Realized we were under deliberate attack and headed in to work. Entire wardroom sent down to the boat in drydock to assist in closing tanks to get her ready to go to sea after the DEFCON 3 message came in. I'm from Long Island and have many friends that work in NYC, spent all day worried about them. My neighbor lost an uncle in the collapse of the second tower. Spent the next two months wishing I was on an SSN that was going to get a chance to do something. I will never forget....and am still on active duty about to be an XO. 9/11 helped me make the decision to stay in.

9/13/2010 8:37 AM

 
Anonymous Former 3363 said...

To ANON 9/13/2010 6:58 AM...

Grow up. Everyone experienced something during 9/11 and the days that followed. It is disrespectful of you to diminish someone else's memories because of your immaturity.

As for me, I was going through instructor school at NPTU Charleston. Like others I thought it was a small plane that had a terrible accident. That is, until site security came over the 1MC in the building and told everyone parked within 50 ft of the building had to move their cars. XO (CO was on leave) came on the 1MC about 10 minutes later and explained what had happened.
By the time we were released (about an hour later) the gates to the weapons station began to look like a scene from Vietnam. Barracades, HUMMVEE's, guard towers and razor wire were being setup just 2 blocks away from a wing place and gas station. The situation was sureal to say the least.

WRT the war we are currently fighting, I wonder if we shouldn't take a step back and evaluate our attitude about our advesary as well as ourselves. If we take a look in the mirror, we may find that we are becoming religous zealots who practice bigotry as well (while not nearly as biased).

Our country has had it's share of cultural prejudice, but it is the fact that our country (at it's most fundamental level) promotes tolerance that makes us different.
As a society we should take a stand for every religion's right to practice their faith. We (the religous majority of the US) may believe that Christianity is the way to heaven, but we shouldn't persecute someone else for their beliefs. (But I do agree that the religous zealots on both sides of the coin should be removed from society).

And can someone please explain to me why we can't "find" Bin Laden?

9/13/2010 8:46 AM

 
Anonymous Nukem Danno said...

anon @ 9/13/2010 6:58 AM: Still drunk from last night, or are you just stupid?

9/13/2010 8:55 AM

 
Anonymous Army of One said...

As to finding Bin Laden: he's apparently in a cave in between Bumburet, Pakistan and the Afghanistan border.

Zoom in and look at this Google satellite view of that area, and then you tell me why he's hard to specifically geo-locate.

Source: Read this whole story before making up your mind as to the credibility of the above, or deciding what this Army of One is all about.

Call him any name you want, but 'chickenshit' is not one that fits.

9/13/2010 9:17 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we take a look in the mirror, we may find that we are becoming religous zealots who practice bigotry as well (while not nearly as biased).

I'd love to see an argument strewn together that backs up that claim. Are you going to equate supporting Proposition 8 based upon religious grounds to routinely blowing up and/or beheading people with whom you disagree? Going to equate a scant handful abortion provider attacks (since abortion was "legalized") with homicide bombings? Waiting for a good laugh . . .

9/13/2010 9:54 AM

 
Anonymous PortTackStart said...

Throughout the ages, the Christians have battled the Muslims. The Crusades were a rather bloody set of battles, many times resulting in the wholesale slaughter of man, woman, and child... in an attempt to rid the world of infidels on both sides.

Ok, so the crusades ended about 650 years ago, do you have any more modern examples of wholesale slaughter by christians against other religious groups? Or are you equating islamists to the level of society in christian Europe in the 15th century?

Before you start spouting off about the "modern" problem of inquisition (16th century-ish), don't forget that inquisition only had power over those baptised in the church.

People who make the argument that Christianity was violent over half a millennium ago and that this is somehow a valid justification for islamic violence make me...aggravated. And yes, by equating the crusades with modern islamic terrorism you are calling it a 'tit for tat' scenario, thus claiming justification.

As for 9/11/01, I was in the middle of my 9th month in DEP. Turned on the TV when I woke up that morning, and laid in bed watching the news until dinner.

9/13/2010 1:57 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about those Lutherans against the Jews during WW2? Even though the Nazi party officially had the whole cult thing going, the Lutheran population of Germany didn't refrain from support...

9/13/2010 2:01 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the story of people not realizing what the DEFCON conditions actually mean with regard to submarine operations - it tells me that we continue to make the same mistakes.

I was out at sea on Patrol when Desert Shield turned into Desert Storm. It was interesting experiencing what would happen to us as a strategic asset during wartime - they basically forgot about us while they focused on the immediate problem at hand.

Two things of interest - someone forgot to send us the monthly missile drill at the start of the month...a couple of days went by before someone remembered us (or responded when someone high up enough flipped out when told that our strategic assets had not been exercised that month!!).

The other thing was that they changed our DEFCON condition. All well and good as it forced us to break out the instruction and actually read the damn thing as to what the heck we were supposed to do...then we spotted the joker in the deck. If they changed the DEFCON condition one lower state...we switched to independent ops.

Uh oooohh.... I remember the NAV distinctly wondering outloud if they realized what a clusterfuck that would have created if the entire strategic force out at sea suddenly went on independent ops..

It did force us to think about what to do in case it happened and the NAV plotted some good hidey holes to head for in the North Atlantic in case we got cut loose.

9/13/2010 7:05 PM

 
Blogger kwicslvr said...

I was an instructor at MARF at the time. I had just gotten home that morning from working nights and turned the TV on for a bit to watch some news. That's when I saw what was happening and saw the 2nd plane hit. My first thought went out to my brother that was a pilot for United. After about 30 minutes I was able to get a hold of him. I then started to try and get in touch with my wife who was working jus outside of DC at the time. After about an hour she was able to get a hold of me and said they were closing shop for the day and going home.

That night I went back to work and during our preshift staff meeting our lead CPO asked if anyone had loved ones in the area. I mentioned my wife in DC and I was released from work so I could get to her and bring her back to Saratoga. So I went home, changed into a set of whites and made the 6 hour drive in about 3.5 hours. It was erie driving down the Garden State parkway and looking out towards NYC that night.

9/13/2010 8:57 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 quotes regarding religion that explain my position about the subject, courtesy of the late great writer Robert A. Heinlein.

History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.

The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universe, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.

These 2 quotes can pretty much apply to any and all religions.

9/13/2010 11:08 PM

 
Anonymous XEM2 said...

My friend and I were on vacation in DC, visiting my sister who worked in the Pentagon. She'd given us a tour that Sunday. It was her day off and we were planning on seeing a couple of the Smithsonian museums. We had overslept, and she woke us up knocking on the hotel room door. I let her in and shuffled into the shower.

When I got out of the shower, my sister and my friend were sitting on the edge of the bed, fixed to the TV. I made some lame joke about what could possibly be so exciting on TV at that time, and my sister told me a plane had hit the WTC. We figured it was a horrible accident. I got to see the second one hit.

We heard that the Pentagon had been hit, but there weren't many pictures except for some shots of the column of smoke. By pure coincidence, there was a fire (I think in a hotel) in the general vicinity of the White House. The entire area around the White House had been shut down, so the local news could only speculate about where the smoke was coming from. Had the White House been hit? Maybe a plane had been shot down?

Anyway, my sister went to work that day and mostly watched helplessly as her shipmates' bodies were dragged out. I've always hated the use of the word "shipmate' when you're not on a ship, but in this case it seemed appropriate. My friend and I drove to the ocean while I spent all day trying to get ahold of my parents to let them know all of us were okay.

As much as that day scared and angered me, I still don't think we're at war -- at least not in any traditional sense, not even a guerilla war. If we call this a war, it's more like the Cold War, where combat and military operations have a much smaller role than ideas. We'll never win this conflict by blowing up militants. That's like trying to get rid of your dog's fleas with a hammer: the fleas just keep multiplying and eventually the dog bites you. Killing militants does limit their ability to strike us, but it doesn't solve the fundamental problems that lead these people to become militants in the first place.

9/14/2010 12:37 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No war going on! Well, your naïve and unlearned perceptions reveal that you lack prudence and life experience in general. You are most likely a product of government education that has produced a barely thinking and functionally illiterate citizen who thinks that simple dialogue and reasoning is all that is required to bring the misguided enemy around. Your reference to solving the fundamental problem of the militant’s source is most interesting. This is a brief note on history and human nature. Any nation unwilling and/or unable to defend itself against any enemy will be destroyed by that enemy. The world has the haves and the have nots and the have nots will take what they can when they can. Another example would be moochers/parasites and producers/doers. The moochers/parasites want what the producers/doers have and the moochers/parasites would rather steal/acquire the producers/doer’s material rather than achieve it through honest and honorable hard work. Throw in the fact that Islam is the world’s most violent and hate filled religion and now you have dedicated religious fanatics, lunatics, and zealots that do not mind sacrificing anyone including themselves for conquest.

IMHO,

Kirk

9/14/2010 6:54 AM

 
Anonymous Former 3363 said...

Kirk,

Again, someone chimes in with hate and anger, and tries to discount someone else's opinion. If I poked fun at you for your arrogance and naiveté about how America is perceived around the world, would that make me a better person?

IMHO, the fundamental problem with the U.S. that seems to drive fanatical hatred towards us, is the arrogance that you demonstrate in your post.

Out of one side of our mouth we pay lip service to fair treatment and equality for everyone, yet hatred and anger spews out of the other side of our mouth.
When I was growing up, "The Golden Rule" was one of the most important things taught to me. Turning the other cheek and showing compassion have taken time to learn, but are important lessons that I'm glad I have at my disposal.

Until American culture realizes that "The Land of the Free, and The Home of the Brave" is not the center of the universe, we are destined to have conflict at our doorstep. Not everyone desires democracy. Respect other people, respect their beliefs, respect their culture. Once we can do that, peace will come.

As an aside, yes I was angry that day. Yes I felt hatred towards those that brought pain on our great nation. Yes, I was happy when I saw the footage of Tomahawks turning towns into parking lots. But, in the end, that didn't take away the pain of knowing that our nation would never be the same.

9/14/2010 7:23 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Former 3363,
It would be nice if the utopia that you seek was amongst us and everyone respected everyone else. However, that utopia has never existed on earth with man as the operator. The “Golden Rule” is relevant and applicable when the players have mutual respect for each other but it is not applicable to an enemy determined, committed, and dedicated to total destruction. War can be waged in many ways and ended in many different ways. The two most certain methodologies are waging “total and unrestricted war” and “unconditional surrender.” In conflict, there is only one winner and one loser. Even the winner loses a lot in life and material but the final end is either win or lose. There is nothing arrogant about being a survivor/winner. In fact, only the winner has the luxury to have the latitude to experience various freedoms and liberties. American exceptionalism is mislabeled as arrogance by liberal and progressive thinking. Look at this on a micro level. A person is in their home with their family and a criminal seeking to steal from and harm them and their family breaks into the house. The criminal is intent on evil and the person in the house has to make a decision. What are the odds that the criminal will negotiate with the homeowner? If the homeowner has the ability to influence the criminal by deterrence of guaranteed lead poisoning then what happens to the scenario? Criminals do not usually attack the strong but seek out the perceived weak and helpless targets. The opportunity to provide lead poisoning to the criminal either changes their mind or allows them to stop using oxygen. Mutual respect with opposition is predicated on various things but respect is only earned and never inherent.
IMHO,
Kirk

9/14/2010 8:28 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Respect other people, respect their beliefs, respect their culture. Once we can do that, peace will come.

You are definitely a product of publik skool and a damn fool. I reserve the right and the common sense to not respect a people, a culture, or a religion who does not respect my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You espouse the exact philosophy of Obozo's state dept. - "dialogue" with islamic fanatics to help them like us. Welcome to the 21st century Mr. Chamberlain.

9/14/2010 8:29 AM

 
Anonymous Just a man said...

My fundamental and greatest concern about the clearly on-going war with the militant arm of Islam remains the same as it has from the very beginning: we may be on the wrong side of this thing.

No, not morally or whatever right/wrong label regarding being-in-the-right that you want to apply. I mean we may be playing the role of Goliath and they may be David -- that kind of 'on the wrong side.'

Osama Bin Laden stated publicly in 2004 that his group's goal is to force America into bankruptcy. Look around. See any of that going on?

Excerpt from the above:

He said the mujahedeen fighters did the same thing to the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s, "using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers."

"We, alongside the mujahedeen, bled Russia for 10 years until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat," bin Laden said.

He also said al Qaeda has found it "easy for us to provoke and bait this administration."

"All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations," bin Laden said.


We seem to be waking up to what we've stepped into -- see the JCS Chairman's recent comments -- but with no small risk of that realization coming too late.

Solutions do not include capitulation, nor pretense that we're not at war with the militant arm of Islam that has received its major funding from the likes of elements inside Saudi Arabia.

Personally, I don't believe that we're wildly off the mark when it comes to dealing with the problem, except perhaps in realizing -- truly accepting -- just how long the war will be, and how much we will need to harbor our resources in the process. But MAJOR initiatives from an idea and engaging-belief standpoint are needed that I'm just not seeing. I'm also concerned that way too many people don't 'get' Iraq (reality check: the author of "America's Secret War" truly gets it).

I won't prescribe my own set of solutions here in a public forum, but I would make substantial note that David was able to kill Goliath with a single stone to the forehead. My overarching suggestion is that we need government leaders with the kind of out-of-the-box thinking and leadership skills that are needed to avoid this scenario.

9/14/2010 8:42 AM

 
Anonymous Just a man said...

My fundamental and greatest concern about the clearly on-going war with the militant arm of Islam remains the same as it has from the very beginning: we may be on the wrong side of this thing.

No, not morally or whatever right/wrong label regarding being-in-the-right that you want to apply. I mean we may be playing the role of Goliath and they may be David -- that kind of 'on the wrong side.'

Osama Bin Laden stated publicly in 2004 that his group's goal is to force America into bankruptcy. Look around. See any of that going on?

Excerpt from the above:

He said the mujahedeen fighters did the same thing to the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s, "using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers."

"We, alongside the mujahedeen, bled Russia for 10 years until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat," bin Laden said.

He also said al Qaeda has found it "easy for us to provoke and bait this administration."

"All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations," bin Laden said.


We seem to be waking up to what we've stepped into -- see the JCS Chairman's recent comments -- but with no small risk of that realization coming too late.

Solutions do not include capitulation, nor pretense that we're not at war with the militant arm of Islam that has received its major funding from the likes of elements inside Saudi Arabia.

Personally, I don't believe that we're wildly off the mark when it comes to dealing with the problem, except perhaps in realizing -- truly accepting -- just how long the war will be, and how much we will need to harbor our resources in the process. But MAJOR initiatives from an idea and engaging-belief standpoint are needed that I'm just not seeing. I'm also concerned that way too many people don't 'get' Iraq (reality check: the author of "America's Secret War" truly gets it).

I won't prescribe my own set of solutions here in a public forum, but I would make substantial note that David was able to kill Goliath with a single stone to the forehead. My overarching suggestion is that we need government leaders with the kind of out-of-the-box thinking and leadership skills that are needed to avoid this scenario.

9/14/2010 8:42 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the asshat who denies that a war is in progress. You obviously grew up as a pampered little spoiled selfish bastard isolated from the reality of life. Now you seem to be content in your passive, complacent and apathetic state of denial. Perhaps you should visit Walter Reed, NNMC, Arlington or any number of cemeteries and attempt to play ignorant like your no-give-a-shit attitude comes across.The Amish might be looking for a few good slackers and pacifists like yourself to join their merry band of do- gooders and leeches who enjoy freedom at someone else’ s expense and sacrifice. You must be a very good example of a typical liberal coward who enjoys the freedoms bought and paid for by better people than yourself.

9/14/2010 10:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We, alongside the mujahedeen, bled Russia for 10 years until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat," bin Laden said.

OBL has a rather elevated view of his accomplishments. Afghanistan had zilch to do w/ the USSR going bankrupt. Communism and attempting to keep pace in the Cold war bankrupted the USSR.

9/14/2010 10:09 AM

 
Anonymous Just a man said...

Afghanistan had zilch to do w/ the USSR going bankrupt.

Not true when you consider how Afghanistan broke their national spirit. It was also mighty expensive.

Closer to home and today's realities, stop and think about how much overhead continues to drag on the economy when it comes to the all-security, all-the-time mentality we've had to adopt.

To be sure, there were many factors at work which are putting the U.S. economy at risk, not least of which was the very long-term effort on the government's part to over-feed the "American dream" meme regarding home prices. Since home prices are the underpinning of the banking system, the "system risk" is not small, even now.

If a 200-knot wind blows at a building, and someone throws a rock that coincides with the building falling down, the rock thrower will still attempt -- and too often succeed -- to claim bragging rights. And there are people in the world who would support him and his claim no matter what.

9/14/2010 10:37 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at work and one of my employees called from Az to tell us about the first plane. The president of the company and myself went to the conf room to watch the rest unfold. All I remember thinking is, My Brother just took command of the 22 the month before and had just gone out to sea.... I said many prayers for many people that day. I continue to this day with those prayers. Thank you all for you service.

9/14/2010 10:56 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN KIRK! I AGREE 100%

9/14/2010 2:02 PM

 
Anonymous XEM2 said...

When I said that I don't believe we're in a war, I didn't mean to imply that people aren't fighting and dying on a daily basis. I just don't think that you can call this conflict a war. To me, the word war implies a primarily military conflict between two clearly defined adversaries (e.g. nation vs. nation, rebels vs. government, faction vs. faction), with each side having a fairly clear goal for victory(taking territory, replacing a regime). This is a much more vague conflict involving multiple sides, with some of those sides not having a clear idea of what "victory" would be. If this is a war, how do we know when we've won?

I know that what's happening in Afghanistan is just as deadly and violent as any war we've fought, and tactically it IS warfare. But the overall global conflict between Westernization and traditionalists is too vague to be called a war. There aren't enough bombs in the US arsenal to wipe out terrorism. So while we can't totally "win" we can make our nation - and our allies - more secure, but the military aspect needs to be just one part of our strategy.

9/14/2010 5:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in Guam enjoying a few days of leave from the Frank Cable. I had just finished watching Castaway on DVD and was totally unaware of the news. I was walking to my favorite bar when someone shouted out their window to ask if I was American. I said I was and he said that terrorists had attacked the WTC.

I walked the rest of the way to the bar, had a beer while I watched the events unfolding on TV, then went home to wait for the phone call.

Got recalled to the Frank Cable that night and spent several hours waiting in line to get to Polaris Point. They were doing 100% search of all vehicles: all the doors opened, trunks opened, hoods opened, and searching the undercarriage with mirrors.

All of us had to stay on the ship for a few days where we watched a lot of news and did a little bit of work. In the end, I got sent back on leave.

I was in Singapore to support some work on a visiting aircraft carrier later that year around December. I didn't hear about it until after I returned to Guam, but Singaporean authorities rolled up a terrorist cell that was planning attacks on the liberty buses that were taking the sailors into town. Pretty sobering.

9/14/2010 7:04 PM

 
Blogger Oz said...

I was a a plebe in a Wester Civ class. We happened to have been watching a film that session, and coincidentally when it was over the prof came back and told us all that a plane had hit the WTC. She tuned the TV in to the news and we saw the second hit.

There was a weird sort of mild hysteria that day. Companies boosted the watchbill to put mids by the doors with their drill bayonets (for some reason). Rumors abounded about how the target list included the the Academy, among some long list of others. For a while "someone" heard that the White House or the Capitol had been hit.

9/15/2010 8:02 AM

 
Blogger BobReno said...

I was headed into work for duty in RC division, PCU 23. The television in the gym was tuned to the news and about 5 or 7 people were gathered around watching it. To be honest, at the time I didn't understand the significance at all. I guess the action made such little sense to me that I wasn't able to comprehend it. In a lot of ways, I still can't.

I had just been selected for the new sta21 officer program. My chief sat down and talked with me that day or the next to make sure I kept my priorities straight and continued off to school.

For the past 9 years, the confusion, uncertainty, and frustration have been near constants. I feel like a 2-year old that knows how to ask why, but can't comprehend the answers.

9/17/2010 1:39 AM

 
Anonymous 3383 said...

A little late-

I was on I-680 southbound, enroute to Santa Clara to do some predictive maintenance. The radio said one of the towers had been hit by an aircraft.

I told my coworker that it wasn't that serious, because the towers had been designed to take a 707 and the Empire State building had been hit by a B-25 back in the day without severe damage.

By the time we arrived, AMAT was just deciding to send everyone home because they thought they could be an attractive target. I thought they overreacted, but then I had just underreacted to the initial news, so I remained silent and headed back to home and the TV.

9/19/2010 7:20 PM

 
Anonymous xSSN760/719 RO said...

I was at 400' off the East coast, standing RO on the 760. We were playing wargames and the CO didn't tell us until about 1700 what had happened. I later learned that one of the ET Radio guys had been looking for sports scores when we went to PD that morning and heard about the first plane. The skipper swore him to secrecy. I also remember we thought that it was part of the games, as these wargames had started out with the "orange" team "sinking" the Disney Magic cruise ship. It took the CO several times saying "This is NOT a drill" for us to get that this was real....

9/22/2010 8:03 AM

 
Anonymous Excubitor said...

On alert patrol off the E coast. In the middle of a strat exercise we started getting "real" messages which didn't shine much light on the situation, but certainly confused things for a while. I read the first useful message (from CSL, I believe) on the 1MC after it came across. I had no idea how to pronounce "Al Qaeda". Figured out pretty quickly that the MTs were not going to be part of the solution to the problem. We eventually tuned into "Imus in the morning" off the wire. He was giving a pretty good rundown of the situation. Didn't see any video or pictures until over a month later.

10/06/2010 4:02 PM

 
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