I was interviewing Col. David Hackworth Friday, Sept. 7. The primary purpose of our talk was to discuss military readiness. However, he made two statements that were burned into my mind. Both comments landed like sparks on oily rags.
He said, "In my view the biggest threat is not the Middle East, is not Taiwan, but it is terrorism. And it's internationally imported terrorism brought to the USA."
Four days later the world was rocked when "international imported terrorism" was brought to the USA in multiple tragedies of epic proportion.
The other thing Hack said that struck a chord was "you can go to war with junk and you can win -- as long as you've got fire in your belly."
I thought of that line as the calamity of last week was unfolding. When it was revealed that the hijackers were only fire-team size and armed with blades I was confused, angry and personally insulted. Before we learned of the courage and spirit of Jeremy Glick and others who did resist, I was (among other feelings) offended.
For a half-dozen knife-wielding terrorists to "presume" they could overcome a planeload of passengers with threats and blades suggests they expected compliance. Obviously they had reason to believe passengers would assume "resistance is futile," as if they were facing the Borg. But the hijackers were not Borg. God bless the memory and determination of the Jeremy Glicks who had survived and resisted the indoctrination of politically correct, academia-fomented emasculation.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks and in the memory of those who unknowingly lived Dr. Robert Humphrey's "Warrior Creed" I am proposing and developing Operation Restore Warrior Spirit.
We are not starting a club, organization or association. This effort is intended to just be a spark on the tinder -- a stimulant of a muscle that has been allowed to and encouraged to atrophy. We want to reawaken the warrior spirit, which has been dulled by political correctness.
I am arranging to have senior level martial artists across the nation teach this program. We will establish a Web presence and offer some basic talking-point outline material and then frankly whatever does or doesn't happen will be in the hands of men and women more skilled and dedicated than I. I'll help lead you to water, but you are going to have to remember or learn how to drink.
The late Dr. Robert Humphrey once coined a "Warrior's Creed":
Our efforts should be to honor and restore that very warrior spirit (with or without the need for Pattonspeak) in honor of our ancestors, and for the sake of our children.
United Airlines Flight 93 made its final fatal descent in desperate horrific moments of terror and violence. However, the fear and panic on board were mitigated by genuine heroism.
I'm supposed to be a tough guy but tears burned my eyes and that spinal chill of pride coursed down my back as I read about the cell phone call Jeremy Glick made to his wife at home in New Jersey. He reportedly told her that he and several other people on board had come up with a plan to resist the terrorists who had hijacked the plane.
According to Jeremy's brother in law, Douglas B. Hurwitt, "They were going to stop whoever it was from doing whatever it was they'd planned. ... He knew that stopping them was going to end all of their lives."
Knowing he was about to die, the 31-year-old Glick told his wife he hoped she would have a good life and would take care of their 3-month-old baby girl.
Deena Burnett says her husband Thomas E. Burnett Jr. also spoke of a plan to tackle the hijackers in a last-minute cell-phone call to her.
It was not fate or happenstance that Flight 93 was the only one of four hijacked planes that did not "successfully" slam into a major target on the ground. It was courage born of necessity and sustained by honor.
"Wherever I go, everyone is a little bit safer because I am there."
Thousands of unknown potential victims at some unknown major target were more than a little bit safer because of Glick, Burnett and whoever aided them.
"Wherever I am, anyone in need has a friend."
As civilized men and women we all should feel a duty and responsibility to protect not only ourselves and loved ones, but "anyone in need."
"Whenever I return home, everyone is happy I am there."
We still enjoy the luxury of a return home. Jeremy, Thomas and others lost that simple joy so that others they never knew and who never knew of them can live and love without perhaps ever knowing they owe their lives to the courage of strangers.
There was a struggle on United Flight 93 and some men heroically kept the plane from apparently heading to Washington.
There has been, and no doubt will be, a lot of talk and writing which is starting to mimic a Charles Bronson film. The anger and indignation remains visceral, righteous, and probably sincere. However we need to collectively restore the warrior spirit beyond words. Jack Hoban once observed, "I must live, and not just talk like a warrior."
Hoban once expressed astonishment that, "What I say and do seems to affect many others on this warrior path. I owe it to them and myself to be as 'right' as I can be. I must move closer to the truth. I must learn more."
We all must move closer to the truth. We all must learn more.
Operation Restore Warrior Spirit is intended to be a public/national service. Frankly if the instructors want to use it as a recruiting tool to attract students to their schools I don't care ... and would frankly encourage it.
This program is intended as a spark on the tinder. It is not a trained killer program. It is designed as a beginning. Where the individual participants choose to take it from here is completely up to them. Dale Seago is helping me design a two-day program we hope will be implemented nationally and see copied, modified, and improved.
In addition to the "reawakening" it will include some basic simple tools:
Operation Restore Warrior Spirit is intended to disabuse you of the cancer of political correctness. America is the land of the free and home of the brave. At least it used to be and can be again.
the movie "Rob Roy" there is a wonderful scene in which the hero is asked
by his sons, "What is honor?" Rob responds, "Honor is something no one
can give you ... and no one can take away. It is a man's gift to himself."