New York Times columnist Charles Blow wrote a short piece on the ninth anniversary of 9/11 that should be must-reading for all Americans on both sides of the aisle.
In fact, I'm sure liberal Times devotees will be just as shocked by "A Lesson From 9/11" as conservatives that take the three minutes necessary to get through it.
After sharing his experience as a New Yorker who was in Manhattan that awful day, Blow marvelously tied it all together with what Americans have fought and died for since our forefathers were colonists:
My attitude that day was the same as most Americans: the terrorists must not be allowed to win. America would not be cowed. We would rise, our greatness would shine, and our ideas of freedom would remain a beacon to the world.
That is why the debate these past few weeks over Islam in America - from the proposed Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan to talk of the burning of Korans - has been so hard to watch. Too much of the debate seems to be centered around the sensitivities of terrorists a world away who have hijacked the passions of a faith, who would see us destroyed and who want to attract more damaged souls to their cause.
I understand, in theory, the idea of not stirring the hornet's nest while our troops are still in harm's way. But I chafe at the idea that great American debates, in all their ugliness and splendor, should be tempered for terrorists and their attempts to recruit.
Blow then shared results of a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finding the number of people feeling America is currently safer from terrorism than before 9/11 is at a new low.
But we simply cannot allow this new wave of fear to make us into something that we're not. We are a country of freedoms, a country where religious freedom and freedom of speech hold equal standing, a country in which the construction of a building and the destruction of a book are rights extended to all, even if opposed by most.
Free expressions are not always pleasant, but they must ever be protected, with no regard to the proclivities of the enemy.
This is America, and the moment we forget that, they start to win.
Our media today, and much of the cowering Left, operate under the premise that we have to alter our behavior to win the approval of our enemies or else expect violent repercussions.
Although Blow didn't use the word, it's akin to wartime appeasement. As most Europeans found out during World War II, it doesn't work.
The more modern term that pertains to appeasing radical Islam is dhimmitude, a process by which Western nations enact changes to their culture and their very way of life so as not to create unrest in their growing Muslim populations. This is already happening in Holland, France, Germany, and Great Britain to name a few.
With this in mind, what we as a nation have to decide is whether we're going to follow Europe's lead and start remaking ourselves out of fear that our enemies will somehow retaliate or enjoy new recruits if we don't.
As Blow surprisingly noted, if we do this, we lose.
After England's Neville Chamberlain made a fool out of himself at Munich, stronger leaders named Churchill and Roosevelt opted to not make the same mistake he did.
72 years later, the United States is once again faced with the option of either following today's Neville Chamberlains or taking a stronger, less-cowardly, more American approach with our enemies.
Of course, some of the recent furor concerning a little-known Pastor in Gainesville, Florida, was stoked by comments made by David Petraeus. Although most Americans have great respect for the General, it is possible he over-reacted to Terry Jones's Koran burning threat, and may have unnecessarily inflamed the situation with his warning.
That, too, is up for debate, or at least should be unless we fear that also will stoke our enemies' ire.
But if a diehard liberal like Blow can see that we shouldn't be afraid of debates on sensitive subjects, maybe the rest of the cowering media can pull out their pacifiers, take off their diapers, and stop acting like freedom of speech is only a good thing if nobody is offended by it.
As Europe learned in 1939, if you give your enemies an inch, they'll take a mile.
If we give up this right to make radical Islamists happy, what'll be next?