Posts Tagged ‘9-11’

1st May
2013
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

When my kids were small, they’d cover their eyes and think that because they couldn’t see the world, the world couldn’t see them.  It was cute.  It’s not so cute when the President of the United States does it though.

President Obama told Americans repeatedly that al Qaeda was “on the run.”  Even the day after four Americans were murdered by terrorists in Benghazi, Obama told supporters in Las Vegas, “a day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead.”  On September 18 and numerous other occasions, Obama said al Qaeda had been “decimated.”  He continued the War-on-Terror-is-so-over-I-won’t-even-use-the-word-terror theme throughout his campaign.

Unfortunately, as many of us knew at the time, and as the Boston Marathon bombings made clear, that’s not true.  No matter how gifted a speaker Barack Obama believes himself to be, he cannot will something to be true simply by saying it out loud.

It appears that the Obama Administration’s strict denial of reality is also partly to blame for the FBI and intelligence failures surrounding the Boston bombings.  Following a September 2011 story in Wired Magazine, “FBI Teaches Agents: ‘Mainstream’ Muslims are ‘Violent, Radical,’” 57 Muslim advocacy groups wrote a letter to Obama Administration officials complaining about “the federal government’s use of biased, false and highly offensive training materials about Muslims.”  Instead of asking why these groups weren’t directing their energy towards the jihadists around the world who use the Quran to incite violence and murder thousands of innocent people, Obama’s people promptly “pulled more than 700 documents and 300 presentations,” scrubbing from its counterterrorism training mentions of Islam, Muslim, Hamas, and jihad—which is now referred to as “violent extremism.”  Sebastian Gorka, a counterterrorism specialist with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies tells the Washington Times, “the fact is, religion has been expunged from counterterrorism training.  The FBI can’t talk about Islam and can’t talk about jihad.”

Well, if the Commander-in-Chief is claiming the War on Terror is over and you remove Muslim extremism as a red flag then it’s no wonder the FBI missed the fact that jihadist Tamerlan Tsarnaev posed a threat to America.  Obama wants Islam and terrorism not to be connected, so he ties the hands of our intelligence community and forces them to operate as if they aren’t.  Does this make you feel safer?

The same disregard for reality can be found in his approach to domestic issues.  As predicted by its opponents, the health care law has been disastrous.  Even the author of the Affordable Care Act, Sen. Max Baucus, sees “a huge train wreck coming down” with the law’s implementation.  In a press conference yesterday however, an extraordinarily out-of-touch Obama said, “and there will be stories that can be written that say, oh, look, this thing is not working the way it’s supposed to, and this happened and that happened.  And that’s pretty much true of every government program that’s ever been set up…But if we stay with it and we understand what our long-term objective is…if we keep that in mind, then we’re going to be able to drive down costs; we’re going to be able to improve efficiencies in the system; we’re going to be able to see people benefit from better health care.  And that will save the country money as a whole over the long term.”  No acknowledgement of the concerns expressed by small business people, no answers to questions raised by Senator Baucus and others.  “Everything is fine because I say that it is fine.  My presidency has been a roaring success because I want it to be.”

America is not safer, our economy is worse and the man charged with protecting us and leading our recovery says things like, “it’s not optimal,” and “glitches and bumps.”

My kids figured out that we could see them by the time they reached their 3rd birthday.  It’s time for Barack Obama to uncover his eyes and see the world for what it is.  Before he hurts our country even more.

11th September
2010
written by Sean Noble

Words are unnecessary.

11th September
2009
written by Sean Noble

mmc-su-9-11-011

I received an email today from my brother-in-law that he had written to mark the 8th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks of 9/11 2001.  It is excellent.

Like most of you, I remember clearly where I was and what I was doing when news of the attacks was received on September 11, 2001.  Shortly after the first tower fell, I was driving my daughter to work, and I recall making the comment, ‘The world will never be the same.’   Through the ensuing years that prophetic statement is being realized…..in both positive and negative ways.

A particularly positive outcome was the surge in patriotism and expressions of faith that followed.   In many ways those positive effects continue to this day.  During the aftermath, it was common to hear people speak of faith and divine intervention.

These comments were often made in business settings, where in the past it would have been very unusual to hear such pronouncements.  The comments weren’t in reference to a particular religion or belief system,  but rather references to belief in a supreme being, with expressions of gratitude for his love, protection, comfort and care. 

Another positive of singular note was the selfless sacrifice of those on flight 93, who gave their lives that others might live.  The ultimate sacrifice and evidence of true friendship.  ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’  John 15:13

My employer in 2001, Marsh & McLennan, had 1,908 colleagues based in the twin towers of the World Trade Center.  Miraculously, only 295 perished on 9/11,  an additional 54 victims were vendors, consultants and insurance company reps who were meeting with Marsh colleagues at the time of the attack.  Among the victims were a few dear friends, along with numerous acquaintances and respected colleagues.  I was a frequent visitor to Manhattan during the years before and after the attacks, and I remember the many phone calls from friends and family members confirming that I wasn’t in New York that particular week.  For several days after the attacks there was a constant stream of phone calls and emails as we networked together, confirming who was and who was not in the WTC that morning.  There were stories of loss, and amazing stories of faith and protection.  One good friend was in the lobby waiting for an elevator, fortunately the first elevator was full and while he waited for another, the plane hit the building.  He remained in the area briefly and narrowly escaped when the building came down.   Multitudes of similar stories can be told.   In remembrance, I periodically wear a lapel pin with an image of the flag, the Marsh logo and the inscription, ‘Semper Unitas’ (Always Together), 9/11/2001.

While the image of Marsh has been tarnished in the post Spitzer era, the days following 9/11 were its finest hour.  The firm responded immediately, humanely and generously.   In the 2001 annual report, MMC recorded pre-tax charges of $126 million for costs related directly to 9/11, which were not covered by MMC’s insurance program.  The insurance funded charges were many multiples of the uninsured charges incurred.  A monument to those who were lost stands in the plaza adjacent to the Marsh world headquarters in mid-town Manhattan.  It was my privilege to attend the dedication on September 11, 2003.   Eight years have now past, yet feelings remain tender during this season of the year.

My purpose in writing is not to harrow up memories of tragedy or loss.  I write in remembrance and respect for those who are gone, and more importantly, as a reminder of the transient nature of our lives and relationships, and the importance of living fully in the moment and appreciating and cherishing our families, friends and colleagues.   

Semper Unitas

27th April
2009
written by Sean Noble

In this image taken with a cell phone by Jason McLane, the primary presidential

This was stupid.  Flying a 747 at a low altitude above and around Manhattan is bound to freak people out.  How this was ever approved is beyond me.  I suppose it’s another example of how the White House just doesn’t get it.  The war on terror is real… very real to those who lived through 9-11 in New York.  You’d think for a leftist like Obama, he’d be more sensitive.

See the video here.