Retired Air Force General Hawley's Remarks!
General Hawley, is a newly retired USAF 4 star general. He commanded the Air
Combat Command [our front-line fighters and bombers] at Langley AFB, VA. He
is now retired and no longer required to be politically correct.
"Since the attack [9-11], I have seen, heard, and read thoughts of such
surpassing stupidity that they must be addressed. You've heard them too.
Here they are:
(1) "We're not good, they're not evil, everything is relative."
Listen carefully: We're good, they're evil, nothing is relative. Say it with
me now and free yourselves. You see, folks, saying "We're good" doesn't
mean, "We're perfect." Okay? The only perfect being is the bearded guy on
the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The plain fact is that our country has,
with all our mistakes and blunders, always been and always will be the
greatest beacon of freedom, charity, opportunity, and affection in history.
If you need proof, open all the borders on Earth and see what happens.
(2) "Violence only leads to more violence."
This one is so stupid you usually have to be the president of an Ivy League
university to say it. Here's the truth, which you know in your heads and
hearts already: Ineffective, unfocused violence leads to more violence.
Limp, panicky, half measures lead to more violence. However, complete, fully
thought through, professional, well executed violence never leads to more
violence because, you see, afterwards, the other guys are all dead. That's
right, dead. Not "on trial," not "reeducated," not "nurtured back into the
bosom of love." Dead.
(3) "The CIA and the rest of our intelligence community have failed us."
For 25 years we have chained our spies like dogs to a stake in the ground,
and now that the house has been robbed, we yell at them for not protecting
us. Starting in the late seventies, under Carter appointee Stansfield
Turner, the giant brains who get these giant ideas decided that the best way
to gather international intelligence was to use spy satellites. "After all,
[they reasoned), you can see a license plate from 200 miles away." This is
very helpful if you've been attacked by a license plate. Unfortunately, we
were attacked by humans.
Finding humans is not possible with satellites. You have to use other
humans. When we bought all our satellites, we fired all our humans, and
here's the really stupid part. It takes years, decades to infiltrate new
humans into the worst places of the world.
You can't just have a guy who looks like Gary Busey in a Spring Break '93
sweatshirt plop himself down in a coffee shop in Kabul and say "Hi ya, boys.
Gee, I sure would like to meet that bin Laden fella. "Well, you can, but all
you'd be doing is giving the bad guys a story they'll be telling for years."
(4) "These people are poor and helpless, and that's why they're angry at
Uh-huh, and Jeffrey Dahmer's frozen head collection was just a desperate cry
for help. The terrorists and their backers are richer than Elton John and,
ironically, a good deal less annoying. The poor helpless people, you see,
are the villagers they tortured and murdered to stay in power. Mohammed
Atta, one of the evil scumbags who steered those planes into the killing
grounds is the son of a Cairo surgeon. But you knew this, too. In the
sixties and seventies, all the pinheads marching against the war were
upper-middle-class college kids who grabbed any cause they could think of to
get out of their final papers and spend more time drinking. It's the same
(5) "Any profiling is racial profiling."
Who's killing us here, the Norwegians? Just days after the attack, the New
York Times had an article saying dozens of extended members of the
gazillionaire bin Laden family living in America were afraid of reprisals
and left in a huff, never to return to studying at Harvard and using too
much Drakkar. I'm crushed. Please come back. Let's all stop singing "We Are
the World" for a minute and think practically. I don't want to be sitting on
the floor in the back of a plane four seconds away from hitting Mt.Rushmore
and turn, grinning, to the guy next to me to say, "Well, at least we didn't
*SO HERE'S what I resolve for the New Year:
Never to forget our murdered brothers and sisters. Never to let the
relativists get away with their immoral thinking. After all, no matter what
your daughter's political science professor says, we didn't start this. Have
you seen that bumper sticker that says, "No More Hiroshima's?" I wish I had
one that says, "No More Pearl Harbors."
Update from General Hawley
General Hawley said of the words now mistakenly attributed to him:
There is a piece zooming around the internet that attributes some pretty forceful statements to me, Dick Hawley - one time fighter pilot, General, thoughtful consultant, neophyte strategist, master of the artful compromise. The words did not flow from my pen, but if the e-mails mean anything, those words are now indelibly linked to my name. So do me a favor - if you receive this, please send it on to the same people to whom you forwarded the one that I did not write. It's not that I don't share many, if not most, of the sentiments attributed to me, but the piece is just not my style.
Here's what I would have said if I'd been asked to comment on those five important issues.
1) Goodness, Evil and Relativity: There are some really good people in this world. They volunteer to help those who need it, and ask nothing in return. There are also some really bad people in this world. They exploit those who need help, or who have less wit or "charisma", and motivate them to join in committing unspeakable acts of cruelty against people they don't even know. Then there are the rest of us. Average people who try each day to do no harm, to provide for their families, to do an occasional act of kindness. The evil that was perpetrated against our land on 9/11 was the product of Mullahs who see our prosperity and power as a threat to their control over the uneducated Muslim masses on whose shoulders they ride through life. And so they preach hate. They are evil.
2) Violence begets violence: It's true. Violence does beget violence. But sometimes there is no alternative but to confront those who would perpetrate evil acts against us. This is one of those times. We are blessed to have courageous men and women willing to put their lives on the line to track down and annihilate those who have been so imbued with evil as to be beyond redemption. But violence is not a strategy. It is a necessary and fully justified reaction to an unimaginable threat. But it is not a strategy. If we are to win this war, we must defeat the Mullahs. And to defeat the Mullahs, we must find ways to separate them from their uneducated flocks. We cannot kill all those who have been taught to hate us, nor should we wish to. Far better to change their minds than to change their state of being.
3) The intelligence community let us down: Well, maybe just a little. Lots of senior and not so senior intelligence people became just as enamored of high tech gadgets as their political masters. The protests over our evisceration of the human intelligence component of the agency were not very loud or forceful. Keeping spies on the ground is a high risk and often dirty business, and it wasn't just liberal politicians who didn't have much stomach for it.
4) Poverty is the breeding ground for terrorists: No, it isn't; but religious extremism is. The Mullahs fear our wealth and power because it shows that a secular society with democratic institutions and a free market economy can do a better job of taking care of its peoples' needs, both spiritual and physical, than the oppressive Islamic regimes that they aspire to lead. The Mullahs are the problem, not poverty, but poverty does make it easier for the Mullahs to spread their evil - as do governments that tolerate and even reinforce their hateful message.
5) Profiling: We are at war here! We are not talking about traffic stops. If we were at war with Iceland, I would expect those charged with our defense to pay very close attention to any Icelander who ventured near our shores. In this war I expect them to pay very close attention to Muslims with ties to the places that spew hatred against us. Random checks when there are no such obvious targets available are a good way to keep the evil ones guessing, but let's not make small children and grandmothers take their shoes off while we watch far more likely candidates walk aboard unchecked.
a. Never forget that what happened on September the 11th of 2001 was an act of war.
b. Never sit silently by while someone tries to justify what happened on that day as an understandable reaction to U.S. policies in the Middle East or elsewhere.
c. Fly our nation's flag proudly - it represents this world's greatest hope to move beyond the pain and suffering that inflict so many across the globe.
Richard E. Hawley
General, USAF, Retired
Former Commander, Air Combat Command