Why ‘United 93’ Is A Must To See

Jerry Coffee
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Wednesday - May 17, 2006
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United 93 is “R” rated.

In my book, that R stands for “Required.”

Yes, there is violence, but certainly no more than is found in TV prime time (which used to be “family time”). And yes, the “F” word is used a few times, but only as one would hear it in the real world under times of extraordinary pressure, and certainly not solicitously as one is likely to hear it during a 20 minute ride on TheBus. In fact, United 93 should be required viewing for every American above “PG-13.”

Why? (By the way, if you haven’t seen it yet, I can’t spoil it for you. You already know the ending.)

United 93 fills the gaping void left by our mainstream media in its inexplicable reluctance to energize the American people with reminders of the implacably evil nature of our Islamofascist enemy. You know - the one that is totally committed to your death and mine, to the conversion of the free world to Islam by co-option or force- and the sooner the better.

Think about it. Why do we so seldom see replays or photos of the World Trade Center towers crumbling down upon the thousands of innocents? Or the carnage of the Pentagon immediately after the terrorist-guided airliner rammed into its outer ring? Or how come, according to the media gurus, our sensibilities are so fragile that we can’t be shown the actual beheadings of innocent American hostages by their jihadist captors? The answers are fodder for a future column, but the point is, United 93 breaks this pattern. It shows us our enemy up close and personal. We see the Islamist terrorists not as impetuous or fanatically unpredictable, but typical of the enemy we are facing - carefully calculating, and totally and selflessly dedicated to the fulfillment of their mission: our death.

At one time or another most of us imagine ourselves in a hijack situation and wonder, “What would I do?” In this respect, the film is revealing. There were the last hugs and prayers between loved ones on the plane. There was the touching commonality of final cell phone conversations with loved ones: “Give the girls big hugs and tell them Daddy loves them,” “Tell Mom and Dad I love them and thanks for everything,” and “Just know that I’ll love you forever.” In the final moments before it got really hectic, love was the common denominator.

Ironically, the careful, calculating nature of the terrorist leader delayed their actual takeover of the aircraft which, along with a half-hour ground delay before takeoff, allowed the passengers to receive news of the earlier attacks in those guarded cell phone conversations with those loved ones on the ground. This news spurred the realization that their hijackers were on a suicide mission, and they had nothing to lose by taking action, by going on the offensive. Leadership emerged and a plan was made. And then came the heroism, fueled by adrenalin and inspired by the simple exhortation, “Let’s roll!”

Three of the four hijackers were overpowered, but by the time they reached the terrorist pilot he literally had a death grip on the steering yoke onto which he had affixed a picture of his target, the U.S. Capitol. He steered the plane erratically into a steep dive, which bounced his attackers around the flight deck violently, making it impossible to pry him away from the controls. And the plane and the people plummeted into history to the chaotic scream of “Allah Akbar!”

The most important lesson offered up by United 93 is clear - and I doubt the makers of the film even had this in mind: The plane and the passengers are the perfect metaphor for America at war. For more than 20 years we had been oblivious to the fact that we were literally at war with Islamofascism. (“Oh, this is just another hijacking and we’ll land somewhere and they’ll hold us as hostages until they get their demands.”) The morning of 9/11 changed all that. (“My God! These guys are on a suicide attack mission. This is something unprecedented; they want us to die.) Most Americans have finally connected the dots, i.e., the only viable defense against those who love death is a committed offense. (“Let’s roll!”)

If we yield to those in our midst who refuse to accept the reality of our enemy and our struggle, and who refuse to acknowledge the need for a preemptive offense based upon a total war footing, we will all plummet into history to the screams of “Allah Akbar!”

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