It?s been an amazing thing to watch a wave of patriotism envelop our nation. The only thing harder to find than someone who isn?t proud to call our nation home is an American flag at a retail store.
The last time we saw anything like this was during the Gulf War, where the national sentiment was a big factor in the success of the military operation overseas. I hope this outpouring of support can be sustained, and our fighting men and women will feel how much we care about them.
I just have one concern about what is eventually going to happen. Military historians always say that Vietnam taught two major lessons: the concept of limited war doesn?t work, and you absolutely need to have a defined exit strategy. With the call up of 35,000 reserves and probably more on the way, this most likely won?t be a casual operation. But what is the end goal of this combat? The eradication of terrorism worldwide?
Terrorism isn?t a state. Terrorism isn?t a place or a person or even an organization. It is a disease on our planet. To attempt to stop all acts of horror worldwide just might not be a feasible goal.
And what about the terrorist organizations that are no threat to the United States, like the Real IRA and radical Protestant organizations in Northern Ireland? Will they be targets?
Any campaign against worldwide terrorism might need to include them as well. Is the aim only the abolition of terrorist threats capable of tragedies like the one on Sept. 11? That might be a much more realistic goal for us to pursue.
Finally, the market has decided that stocks are too cheap, and there was a large bounce yesterday. Professional shoppers could only dream of the bargains the NYSE and the NASDAQ have right now. Don?t forget that one way you can do something for your country right now, besides donating to worthy causes, is to buy that computer or car you?ve been drooling over.
Showing confidence in our economy is one of the best ways to prove to those who wish to destroy America that she will not be torn down by tragedy, and that our system is impenetrable. No matter the circumstance, we are a nation driven by a capitalist economy. Believing in that economy at the time when consumer confidence is needed the most is the patriotic thing to do.
Lastly and most importantly, for any USF students who are active-duty military or reservists awaiting that phone call, thank you. You are what makes this nation the greatest on Earth, and without your strength of character and courage, we would be defenseless against those who would look to destroy us.
I can only imagine the emotions running through you now, not knowing whether you will be selected to serve either abroad or here at home. But know that you have an entire nation who fully supports you and wants to see our values defended against those who hate in the name of God.
You are the best our country has to offer, and this nation stands behind you. If you go, you will return to a school and a nation that will owe you a debt of gratitude we might never repay, but will never forget. God bless you. You have the love of us all.
Collin Sherwin is a junior majoring in political firstname.lastname@example.org