Speaking of... Life, Hope & Truth

Anniversary of 9/11 and the Arab Spring: What Have We Learned?

On my way to work this morning, I was listening to the radio when the local announcer asked for a moment of silence. This took place at 7:45 a.m. CDT here in Dallas, which was 8:45 a.m. in New York City. This was the moment 11 years ago when a commercial airliner appeared to come from nowhere and slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

Today is the anniversary of that horrific event. None of us will ever forget that incredible moment in 2001, watching live on TV as the second jet crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center in the middle of Manhattan. The mayhem that followed was all caught on TV, along with the collapse of both towers within two hours of the first crash. Nearly 3,000 people died in this terrorist attack. Four jets were hijacked on this day 11 years ago, and all four crashed—one into a field in western Pennsylvania, one into the Pentagon, and two into the towers at the World Trade Center.

Three years later, in 2004, Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network claimed responsibility for the attack. And finally, in the summer of 2011, just before the 10th anniversary of the attack, Osama bin Laden was found in Pakistan and killed. This brought closure for some, but the wound of 9/11 still exists for many. The pain of losing a loved one in such a tragic manner really never goes away.

America is currently fighting two wars that came from the 9/11 attack—one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

After 11 years of fighting the war on terrorism, can we say that we are a better country? Is the world safer because of our efforts?

Most surveys show that Americans do feel safer today as a result of more than a decade of increased security and a more vigilant approach at airports and train stations. Most of us cannot remember a time when you could go to the airport and catch a plane without the X-ray machines, removal of shoes, belts and removal of liquids.

But has the increase in security made us safer and better? Consider the escalation of violence in our country—shootings in a movie theater, on an army base and even in schools. And consider recent events in the world: The governments in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen and Algeria have been overthrown in what became known as the Arab Spring; and today Syria is involved in a brutal civil war.

We can all agree that in America our defense against terrorism has improved and has no doubt prevented other such actions, but does that make us safer and better? Innocent people being shot while watching a movie doesn’t inspire confidence that life is safer today than it was in 2001.

In Jeremiah 6:14 the prophet Jeremiah speaks of a time when people will be “saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace.” Eleven years after 9/11, we really can’t say the world is a safer place; in fact, one could say that conditions for a world war are more favorable today than any time in recent history. The so-called Arab Spring has set in motion a series of events that will no doubt revolutionize the Arab world and will mean more trouble on the horizon for Israel. War always looms just over the next hill in this part of the world.

The only real solution for bringing peace to this troubled world is a one-world government, not controlled by man, but controlled by God. But that will have to wait until man pushes events to the brink and Jesus Christ intervenes at the last possible moment.

As Christians, we are admonished to pray daily for that government to come.

We must watch as world events unfold, but our only real hope for lasting peace lies in the return of Jesus Christ.

For Life, Hope &Truth, I am Jim Franks.