On days like September 11th, it’s easy to just call our enemies terrorists. But that would do a disservice to the victims of their actions. The hard truth is, you can’t defeat terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic, one that is underpinned by an ideology. You cannot win a war against terrorism. You win a war against the group that uses terrorism as a means to a political end. And you cannot win that fight unless you defeat the ideology that inspires them.
Today, the ideology behind 9/11 still inspires groups like al Qaeda and ISIS. Their ideology is the perversion of religious beliefs, but it is not that religion. It is the manipulation of young men and women, but it is not of their ethnicity or nationality. It feeds off hatred and despair instead of embracing love and hope. It wants a world where American values are questioned, where we distrust our neighbors, where our society cannot celebrate our differences and our shared values at the same time. It is an ideology that holds in contempt the freedoms we embrace so fiercely: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
We cannot give in to their ideology, not one inch. Americans stands for something, embodied in our own ideals of freedom and liberty. Despite all our faults and our failings, we have never stopped trying to create this more perfect Union. We have never stopped trying to help the world where we can. We have never stopped fighting for our beliefs in the face of evil.
We are one nation. We are one people. Not because of who we worship or what we look like, but because of what we believe. No one can take that away. E pluribus unum.
Keywords: 9/11, america, freedom, ideals, ideology, liberty, september 11th, terrorism, united states, usa
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