(From Maj Howard Bell)
Wed, 16 Jun 2004 21:57:45 -0500
From: "Howard Bell"
Subject: Asleep at the wheel
A little bit of history Regardless of how you vote and
what you believe, we should all read this and really
let it sink in. As it says, this is NOT a political
speech. It is something that we should all know and
(and probably do) but don't let the overall impact
register. But, put together like this, it is very
U.S. Navy Capt. Ouimette is the XO at NAS, Pensacola.
Here is a copy of the speech he gave last month. It is
an accurate account of why we are in so much trouble
today and why this action is so necessary.
AMERICA NEEDS TO 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 was an
outright attack on American soil; it was an attack
that held the world's most powerful country hostage and
paralyzed a Presidency. The attack on this sovereign U.
S. embassy set the stage for events to follow for the
next 23 years.
America was still reeling from the aftermath of the
Vietnam 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
America's military had been decimated and
downsized/right sized since the end of the Vietnam 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 kidnapped and killed throughout the Middle East.
America could do little to protect her citizens living
and working abroad. The attacks against US soil
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
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 and 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
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 interests are
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
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 getting 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
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
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
In the news lately we have seen lots of finger
pointing from every high officials 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 needs to "Get out of Bed" and act decisively
now. America has been 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
keep hitting the snooze button again and again and
roll over and go back to sleep.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto
said "...it seems all we have done is awakened a
sleeping giant." This is the message we need to
disseminate to terrorists around the world.
Support Our Troops and support President Bush for
having the courage, political or militarily, to
address what so many who preceded him didn't have the
backbone to do both Democrat and Republican. This is
not a political thing to be hashed over in an election
year this is an AMERICAN thing. This is about our
Freedom and the Freedom of our children in years to
GLOBE and ANCHOR
Marines Sites & Forums
By R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
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