Dan Ouimette Pensacola Civitan

Got this in my e-mail today. Found it interesting, so I am posting it:
WE AMERICANS CERTAINLY DO NOT WANT WAR…the article below shows just how much we don’t want war. TODAY WE ARE IN DEEP TROUBLE!
U.S. Navy Capt Ouimette is the XO of NAS, Pensacola. Here is a copy of the speech he gave earlier this month. A wonderful and accurate account of why we are in trouble today.

America WAKE UP!

That’s what we think we heard on the 11th of September 2001 and maybe it was, but I think it should have been “Get Out of Bed!” In fact, I think the alarm clock has been buzzing since 1979 and we have continued to hit the snooze button and roll over for a few more minutes of peaceful sleep since
then.

It was a cool fall day in November 1979 in a country going through a religious and political upheaval when a group of Iranian students attacked and seized the American Embassy in Tehran. This seizure as an outright attack on American soil; it was an attack that held the world’s most powerful country stage and paralyzed a Presidency. The attack on this sovereign US embassy set the stage for the events to follow for the next 23 years.

America was still reeling from the aftermath of the Viet Nam experience and had a serious threat from the Soviet Union when then, President Carter, had to do something. He chose to conduct a clandestine raid in the desert. The ill-fated mission ended in ruin, but stood as a symbol of America’s inability to deal with terrorism. America’s military had been decimated and downsized / right sized since the end of the Viet Nam war. A poorly trained, poorly equipped and poorly organized military was called on to execute a complex mission that was doomed from the start.

Shortly after the Tehran experience, Americans began to be kidnaped and killed throughout the Middle East. America could do little to protect her citizens living and working abroad. The attacks against US soil continued.

In April of 1983 a large vehicle packed with high explosives was driven into the US Embassy compound in Beirut. When it explodes, it kills 63 people. The alarm went off again and America hit the Snooze Button once more. Then just six short months later a large truck heavily laden down with over 2500 pounds of TNT smashed through the main gate of the US Marine Corps headquarters in Beirut. 241 US servicemen are killed. America mourns her dead and hit the Snooze Button once more. Two months later in December 1983, another truck loaded with explosives is driven into the US Embassy in Kuwait, and America continues her slumber. The following year, in September 1984, another van was driven into the gates of the US Embassy in Beirut and America slept.

Soon the terrorism spreads to Europe. In April 1985 a bomb explodes in a restaurant frequented by US soldiers in Madrid. Then in August a Volkswagen loaded with explosives is driven into the main gate of the US Air Force Base at Rhein-Main, 22 are killed and the Snooze Alarm is buzzing louder and louder as US soil is continually attacked. Fifty-nine days later a cruise ship, the Achille Lauro is hijacked and we watched as an American in a wheelchair is singled out of the passenger list and executed. The terrorists then shift their tactics to bombing civilian airliners when they bomb TWA Flight 840 in April of 1986 that killed 4 and the most tragic bombing, Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, killing 259.

America wants to treat these terrorist acts as crimes; in fact we are still trying to bring these people to trial. These are acts of war? The Wake Up alarm is louder and louder.

The terrorists decide to bring the fight to America. In January 1993, two CIA agents are shot and killed as they enter CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. The following month, February 1993, a group of terrorists are arrested after a rented van packed with explosives is driven into the underground parking garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. Six people are killed and over 1000 are injured. Still this is a crime and not an act of war? The Snooze alarm is depressed again.

Then in November 1995 a car bomb explodes at a US military complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia killing seven service men and women. A few months later in June of 1996, another truck bomb explodes only 35 yards from the US military compound in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. It destroys the Khobar Towers, a US Air Force barracks, killing 19 and injuring over 500.

The terrorists are getting braver and smarter as they see that America does not respond decisively. They move to coordinate their attacks in a simultaneous attack on two US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. These attacks were planned with precision, they kill 224. America responds with cruise missile attacks and goes back to sleep.

The USS Cole was docked in the port of Aden, Yemen for refueling on 12 October 2000, when a small craft pulled along side the ship and exploded killing 17 US Navy Sailors. Attacking a US War Ship is an act of war, but we sent the FBI to investigate the crime and went back to sleep.

And of course you know the events of 11 September 2001. Most Americans think this was the first attack against US soil or in America. How wrong they are. America has been under a constant attack since 1979 and we chose to hit the snooze alarm and roll over and go back to sleep.

In the news lately we have seen lots of finger pointing from every high official in government over what they knew and what they didn’t know. But if you’ve read the papers and paid a little attention I think you can see exactly what they knew. You don’t have to be in the FBI or CIA or on the National Security Council to see the pattern that has been developing since 1979. The President is right on when he says we are engaged in a war. I think we have been in a war for the past 23 years and it will continue until we as a people decide enough is enough.

America has to “Get out of Bed” and act decisively now. America has changed forever. We have to be ready to pay the price and make the sacrifice to ensure our way of life continues. We cannot afford to hit the Snooze Button again and roll over and go back to sleep. We have to make the terrorists know that in the words of Admiral Yamamoto after the attack on Pearl Harbor “that all they have done is to awaken a sleeping giant.”

Thank you very much.

Dan Ouimette Pensacola Civitan
19 Feb 2003

5 Responses to “Dan Ouimette Pensacola Civitan”

  1. Jordan Butterfield Says:

    The dramatic tone and simplistic metaphor of the alarm clock are not enough to convince me that the message here is acceptable. Whilst all of the historical details offered by Captain Ouimette may be true, it is vital to acknowledge that this is just ONE VIEW of things. The writer of the e-mail has conveniently omitted details of American attacks on foreign countires – attacks which usually equal (or surpass) those committed against America in terms of both violence and suddenness. (For a contemporary instance, you only need to consider the torture of POWs carried out ‘under orders’ by American soldiers this month). In fact, the ‘Vietnam experience’ is twisted to portray America as victims – has it been forgotten that the Vietnam conflict was initiated by the US?
    It is grossly partisan views such as that presented in this speech that bastardise the true meaning of patriotism; it is foolishly jingoistic, not patriotic, to support action of global significance (such as Bush’s response to 9/11) based on one-sided and biased considerations. Genuine patriotism consists of a healthy concern for the condition of your country, which entails a questioning even of the motives of the national leader. Blindly following the leader is in fact anti-patriotic, as it leaves the nation susceptible to tyrannical leadership. (I wouldn’t go so far as to call Bush a tyrant, although some might. My point is simply that America is not blameless in these issues, and Bush is not a saint.)
    To get a more comprehensive view and understanding of things, I recommend listening with open ears to some of the anti-Bush voices as well as those who support him. See, for example, Michael Moore’s film ‘Bowling for Columbine’ or his books ‘Stupid White Men’ and ‘Dude, Where’s My Country?’ (He also has a new movie out, ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’, but I haven’t seen it yet. It did win the top prize at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, though.) See also http://www.antiwar.com for some healthy critical views of the current US government. Whatever you do, don’t let blinkered sources such as FOX News or mock-epic speeches dominate your understanding of current affairs. Broader consideration will make it clear that argument against Bush and against war can be just as compelling as its pro-Bush counterparts. Discerning scepticism is required in all considerations of political and cultural matters, as this is the only way to approach an issue in an informed, level-headed way – most importantly, it is the only way to form your own opinion.
    Mindless rants are counter-productive and can only engender further violence and hatred based on misunderstanding. (See George Orwell’s ‘1984’ for a fictional representation of this.) It is absurd to stereotype Middle Eastern nations as sabre-wielding, woman-raping, neighbour-torturing beasts – they are HUMAN BEINGS whose culture differs from ours, but who are no less ethical than us nevertheless; the rare fanatics (of which there are similar types in America and indeed everywhere) do not stand for the entire populus of the Arabian peninsula and other parts of Asia.
    Those who speak out in Captain Ouimette’s way seem to fail to grasp a broad view of things. Does the Captain honestly think those attacks listed were random acts of hate against the US, committed without cause or instigation? Again, such a view is absurdly narrow and can only be rectified when complemented by consideration of the other side(s) of things. In most cases, attacks on America are symptoms of the oppressive policies enforced by the superpower nation.
    Please just take the time to consider matters personally before rushing to accept the propaganda sent your way from every direction. Such personal consideration is the only way to be a true patriot and a good citizen.
    Lastly, please feel free to send me your responses to this comment by e-mail: jpbtheyank@hotmail.com

  2. K80K Says:

    One line in this blog entry was mine. The first line where I state that I found this e-mail "interesting". Yet somehow this article, these things I talk about in my blogs and in forumz I visit, are supposed to represent me as a whole human being. Did you ever ask me if I thought there was another view on things? Did you ever ask me if I look at news sources other than FoxNews? Just as you are accusing me of having "one view" of the country you are in fact taking "one view" on how I feel about things. I may be patriotic, but I am not blind to the mistakes this country has made and continues to make both nationally and internationally. However, I am in fact human, taking in everyone’s point of view would be impossible to do because there aren’t enough hours in the day, but I try my best and that is all I can say.

  3. Mike Hobbs Says:

    I suggest we all bombard this uninformed Michael Moore lover a simple dose of how Americans truly feel. For him to suggest we brought all this upon ourselves is absurd. It’s like suggesting the Jews brought Hitler and his tyranny upon themselves. These terrorists want to destroy America and will not rest until they do, if this is not a real threat I don’t know what is. It is not because of our policies, it is because they hate and do not want to see democracy and freedom spread throughout the world. To sit back and simply say leave them alone and they’ll leave us alone is foolish. He apparently didn’t read the speech and see the atrocities that were already committed against us and will continue to be committed against us unless we take action. If we are truly to simply pull back and leave the rest of the world alone, should we not also kick the UN out of the US; remove all funding, loans and aid to foreign nations and bring all our troops home and let these tyrannical cultures fight it out amongst themselves. And why stop there, to prevent it from happening here why not shut our borders to immigration and eliminate work visas. If I’m not mistaken that was our initial response when WWII broke out and we all know what happened there! If your ignore a wildfire it will not go away or simply burn out but it will consume you and destroy you, so should you take action against it or simply ignore it and see how long you can live before it destroys you. Like the speech said WAKE UP!

  4. Harold L McLeod Says:

    Just listen to one of the terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who was quoted in http://www.msnbc as saying, "We will cary on our jihad against the Westerh infidel and the Arab apostate until Islamic rule is back on earth."
    Now I take this as meaning that they will not stop killing all of us until we accept Islamic rule. If this is the case and we want to stop the killing – all we have to do is to surrender to their declaration of war.
    To me, THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!
    Pray tell me why I am wrong and why a few, I assume, think that this would be the thing to do?

  5. Lt Col K. D. Van Der Linden Says:

    I came upon this site while researching to see if Capt Ouimette’s speech really happened before I forwarded to others. And I feel I must make a comment, not on behalf of any particular party or ideology, but from a volunteer military officer’s perspective.

    Over the last year we in the armed forces have heard much debate over the Global War On Terrorism, and specifically our involvement in Iraq. Many who don’t agree with the president–my Commander In Chief–feel they somehow have the right to speak for me and my colleagues when they protest sending "our troops" to this war.

    Let me say this as clearly as I can: I CHOSE to come into the armed services. I am not some poor, ignorant person taken advantage of by a recruiter (I had a master’s degree before entering active duty), and neither are my peers or subordinates.

    In point of fact, I have worked in joint environments both in the US and overseas (during 9-11), and the people with whom I worked were some of the brightest and educated I’ve ever met anywhere, in any field, bar none.

    I can safely say the majority of us in the armed forces 1) understand the risks we take when we volunteer, and 2) take those obligations "freely and without reservation." Most importantly, we believe in both our system and in our president’s decisions, which may or may not put us in harm’s way.

    So PLEASE–do not speak for me. I speak for myself when I choose to stay in armed service to my country, for reasons I alone think are important. And also please remember this important point: we in the military are paid (relatively low pay via tax dollars–yours AND ours) to do what most of the (able) "civilian" population consider "dirty work," and that is to possibly die for the greater good of our country.

    I am proud to serve, and I hope in some way to contribute to the freedoms which allow (among many other things) this free exchange of opinions. Thank you for also respecting my and my fellow service members’ choices.

    Best regards,

    KDV

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