The Politics of Flight 93
This much we know about Flight 93 that was hijacked on 9/11: The terrorists flying the plane were turning it back toward Washington, to use it as a flying bomb against the Capitol of the United States where Congress was in session. At that time, the flight crew had probably already been murdered by having their throats cut.
By using their cell phones, the passengers found out that other hijacked planes had already been flown into both of the World Trade Towers. They may have known about the third plane that hit the Pentagon. The passengers reasonably concluded that their plane was intended for a similar fate, and that they and many others would die in the planned crash if they did nothing.
Led by a group of four large and strong men, they rushed the cockpit to try to take back control of the plane. They used the only "weapons" they had their strength, their commitment, a beverage cart, and pots of boiling water. From the evidence on the cockpit voice recorder, they did get into the cockpit. The plane either crashed during this struggle, or the terrorists crashed it deliberately as they were losing control.
One of the last communications from anyone on the plane was Todd Beamer's exhortation to the others, "Let's roll."
The simplest way of dealing with people who say the United States should not act at all, or not act now against terrorist threats looming in the future, may be this: All such people should be asked this question
What would you have done, on Flight 93?
To Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan: What would you have done? Would you have sought the agreement of all nationalities aboard Flight 93, before you did anything? That would include, of course, negotiating with the ambassador of the terrorists. If you could not get such agreement, would you have just sat there in your seat, waiting to die?
To the editors, reporters and columnists of the New York Times: Would you have concluded that the evidence wasn't clear? That Todd Beamer hadn't "made his case"? That no one had proved the "alleged" terrorists were going to kill everyone on the plane? Would you have pulled out your laptops to write up the story, sitting in your seats, waiting to die?
To Li'l Tommy Daschle, Majority Leader of the Senate: Would you have said, it's too early to make a decision on this now. Politics should not be involved. Let's just wait until after the election to decide on rushing the cockpit? Besides, "I want to be the man in charge, not Todd Beamer"? Would you have sat in your seat, waiting to die? And while you are pondering that question, keep in mind that Todd Beamer and the other passengers may just have saved your life and those of all your colleagues. Have you ever heard the quote, "Mercy drops down from Heaven like the rain. It falls on the just and the unjust alike."?
To the so-called leaders of the European Union: Would you have said, this is an American plane, not a European one. Unless the European airlines are involved (and we have no reason to think they are), this is not my problem? Would you have grumbled quietly about the quality of the food, the vintage of the wine, and the arrogance of the American passengers, blaming America's foreign policy for putting you in this situation, and sat in your seats waiting to die?
To the so-called leaders of France: No need to even pose the question. You're cheese-eating surrender monkeys. Next.
To the Muslims in America: Would you have exchanged high-fives with your "brothers" on the plane? Wished them well? Accepted their apologies for the unfortunate need for your demise? Said with them, "Allah akbar," and asked to go to the cockpit so you could have a good view of the "glorious strike against the infidels"?
To Dan Rather and CBS News: Would you have said, "This story isn't all about me"? Would you have said that it's important to understand the grievances of the hijackers? Would you have asked your cameraman to set up, so you could get an interview with one of the hijackers, and tried to borrow Todd Beamer's cell phone for the important business of patching the clip through to the news desk? Would you have imagined the glory of saying on live television as the plane was going into its final attack mode, "This is Dan Rather, reporting from close to Ground Zero"? Would you resent the passengers for cheating you out of this once-in-a-lifetime scoop?
To Geraldo Rivera: You know that Dan Rather is a washed-up wuss. You would have gotten the interview, and jumped out the door of the plane with the tape in your pocket, in hopes they would find your body, play the tape, and award you the first ever posthumous Emmy, right?
To the Framers of the Constitution and the victors in the American Revolution: No need to ask you the question. You already answered it in writing. Your answer is found in the final paragraph of the Declaration of Independence which you signed under the threat of being hung by the neck until dead as traitors to King George III. You pledged your "lives, fortunes and sacred honor" to the cause. That's answer enough.
To the readers of these columns: I have no doubt of what you would have done, either. You would have acted just as Todd Beamer and the others did. You would have tried to reach your families, to tell them what was happening, and say, "I love you." Then you would have joined Todd and the others in the effort to save all your fellows, and all those on the ground who were the targets of the terrorists on your plane. You would have known your task was nearly impossible, but you would have done it anyway.
This is really a simple question. That is the secret of "the politics of Flight 93."
What would you have done, on Flight 93? Ask it of yourselves. Then ask it about all those who claim to be leaders leaders in public office, opinion leaders, whatever. The respective answers to that simple question could do a lot to define the future of the United States, and the worthiness of those who would claim to be her leaders in the perilous times ahead.
What would you have done, on Flight 93?
(C) 2002 Congressman Billybob. All rights reserved.
Armor publishes his comments weekly on the Congressman Billybob web
site, which can be found at http://www.home.earthlink.net/~congressmanbillybob/.
| Today's Features | Constitution | Tax & Economy | Gun Issues | Privacy Issues | Echelon Pages | The Courts |
| Drugs | Polls | Sovereignty | Fun | Archives | Houston | About Us | Feedback | Links | Link to Us |