Article Overview:  When the Beast of Terror steps in front a Diplomat's car, does the driver step on the gas and run him over?  Hit the brakes for fear of hitting him?   Or swerve to avoid the Beast and then deny ever being there?   Find out how one Sentinel of Vigilance feels about the Beast.


Saturday--April 26, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 591

Attack By A Sentinel Of Vigilance
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZER0, NEW YORK, NY--I was attacked yesterday by a Sentinel of Vigilance.   And, I lost.

Site of incident: Japan Society

       The incident occurred in front of the Japan Society just a few blocks from the United Nations where I was attending an all-day seminar regarding the security of Asia.
       Diplomats, foreign businesspeople, educators and scholars filled the meeting room to hear Gong Ro-myung, former South Korean Ambassador to Japan; Teruske Terada, former Japanese Ambassador to Korea, Donald P. Gregg, former Ambassador to South Korea, General Kim Dong-shin, former Minister of National Defense for South Korea, Nicholas D. Kristof, Op-Ed Columnist for the New York Times, and Special Envoy for Northeast Asia Security Consultations, Christopher J. LaFleur, among a host of other speakers, prognosticate whether war or peace would result from North Korea's threats to manufacture nuclear weapons.
       It was a timely seminar, for the War in Iraq was ending, and the threat of war in the Far East was brewing.   One Beast of Terror had either been killed, wounded or was on the run, and another was rattling his sabers, challenging the world with his "weapons of mass destruction."

Moderator Wm. Clark, Jr., President of the Japan Society

     International security these days is not unlike a tennis match, with eyes shifting from the east to the west, west to east, east to west.
      I went to the seminar with a single goal in mind--to present my Pledge of Vigilance and TerrorHunting systems to various diplomats, in hopes of being hired by them to install systems in their governments or private sectors that might start the Seeds of Vigilance on a growth pattern.  (link here to view copy of press release).
     It's not easy to keep up with diplomats, for they speak in circuitous tones, dancing around issues rather than hitting them on the head.

 The Morning Session opened with Gong ( left) and Terada (right)

    The early morning session featuring former ambassadors from Japan and Korea focused not so much on the dangers of North Korea, but rather on a major flap between the two nations regarding how Japanese textbooks dealt with the militant history of the Japanese Empire's brutality of other nations.
     It seemed like a red herring, a diversion from the bulls-eye of North Korea, but in a diplomatic sense, the veracity of history itself as taught to the children seemed far more important than the impending threat of a nuclear or biological holocaust issued by Kim Jong Il.   It seemed, if one was from Mars, that unless the textbook issue was resolved, the weapons of mass destruction didn't matter.   One might argue the threat of poisoning a child's mind with untruths was far more critical than upsetting the balance of power in the Far East.
      Frankly, I was uneasy at first.  I had come loaded for bear, ready to hear massive arguments and recommendations for removing Kim Jong Il in a peaceful manner, or, support for a swift Elimination Policy ala Iraq, but found what was written on the pages of Japan's history books the axis of discussion.

Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times led the second round of discussions

         In the second round of discussions led by Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times, the op-ed writer threw out a hand grenade.   He took the position of a hawk and challenged the panel to answer the question:  "If a pre-emptive strike was made against the nuclear production facilities, and that alone was the only military target, and the U.S. promised in advance the strike would be limited only to that target, would Kim Jong Il risk war over such an attack?"
      The diplomats fumbled with the answer.    No one directly answered it, and I could tell they would have rather continued flogging the history textbook issue, which, by the way, had been resolved by the appointing of an oversight committee representing both Korean and Japanese members to give input over what ultimately would be written.   Current Japanese history textbooks allegedly glorify the war, and to the victims of Japanese aggression, represent a lingering "imperialistic attitude."
      Lunch came.  
      Milling with the other 100 attendees, I spoke with a number of the diplomats, exchanging cards and offering them my TerrorHunter News information.    I had this faint dream of one of the diplomats taking my Vigilance Training information to the leader of his nation and hiring me to install the Principles of Vigilance into the government, creating Sentinels of Vigilance at all levels of diplomacy so the message of Vigilance would seep down through thick governmental skins and rain softly and sweetly upon the heads of the citizens.
      In verbal discussions, the idea of Vigilance by the Masses was acceptable, but when one really thinks it through, the idea of a citizenry armed with Principles of Vigilance is not unlike arming a band of revolutionaries with weapons of mass destruction.   Diplomats thrive on the ignorance of the people.  The more confused and uneducated the people are, the more power the Diplomats have.    It creates a "you need me to do what is right for you because you don't know how to protect your rights better than I know how to" philosophy.    Vigilance, on the other hand, teaches people to think for themselves and how to govern themselves.  It is the antithesis of Diplomacy because it involves Right Actions for the Children's Children's Children, something most Diplomats can't comprehend since they are negotiating the best deal for right now, often at the expense of the future.

After lunch panel of economists

      After lunch, an army of economists hit the stage, spinning the web of profits and losses so everyone could see how China was sucking up the resources, and has become Japan's number one trade partner, as well as the key force in stabilizing the Far East.
       I was getting sleepy so I took a walk outside for a few minutes to get some exterior shots of the Japan Society for today's article.    As I was exiting, a Japanese man rushed in.  His driver hurried to open the door for him. 
      I noted the diplomatic plates on the car and took a picture of them to give readers a flair for the level of diplomacy at the meeting.  As I lowered the camera the driver charged at me and said.
       "Why are you taking pictures of my car's license?"
       "I'm a reporter.  I'm going to use the picture as part of a story."
       "Show me your credentials?"
       He was in my face.   My hackles rose.
      "I don't have to show you anything," I said.
      "Then I'll call the police."  At which time, he flipped open his cellphone and began dailing.
      "Wait, I'll show you," I said, not wanting a confrontation with the police, yet angry at the intrusion.

Vigilant Azzi's car with its diplomatic plates

     I found a business card and showed it to him.  "Ahhh," he said reading the title about Vigilance, "you're one of us!"
       I introduced myself and he told me his name was Azzi.  He didn't apologize, but reminded me in his firm way that since Nine Eleven he has been extra Vigilant.   "It's a security issue," Azzi said.  "I cannot put my ambassador at risk."
       Azzi, a Lebanese who came to America in the early 70's, is the driver for the Japanese Ambassador.  He has been driving diplomats at the U.N. for nearly three decades and will retire next year, he said.
      We began to talk.  I asked him why he had come to America, and he shared with me an incredible story.   "People get mad at me sometimes because I support America and our President," he said.  "Just because I was born in Lebanon, people think I should be against the War in Iraq and the Administration's policies.  I'm not.   I believe in my country.   Even my mother told me, 'But Azzi, you're Lebanese, how can you support the U.S.?'   I had to remind her that I was born in Lebanon, but when I came to the U.S. I chose to become a citizen.   I chose my country.  I am not Lebanese-American, I am American American."
      He extolled the virtues of America, and when I asked how a Lebanese-American could possibly get the job of driving the Japanese Ambassador, he told me it wasn't easy.
      "When I applied, they said they wanted only Japanese drivers.  But during the interview they asked me why I thought I was qualified.  I told them I was better than any Japanese driver, better than any other driver in the world.   I love my job.   I live, eat and breathe it.  I think it is the most important job in the world to move the Ambassador safely and quickly from one place to another.    Without me, he can't do his job as well, because I get him where he needs to go no matter what--even when Terrorists attack."
       Azzi was a bundle of belief.    He could have run for President of the World.   He's the kind of guy you want watching your back, and I realized how lucky both America was to have a guy like Azzi as a citizen, and how fortunate the Japanese were to have him jockeying their Ambassador about.
       I asked him if he had kids and he pulled out a picture of a beautiful young girl.   I shared with him about my grandchildren, and then said, "Azzi, I'm going to get you some flyers on what I do.  Maybe you can give them to key people you think would appreciate what I'm doing.  I gave him a handful of envelopes and went back to the seminar.

Special Envoy for the Northeast Asia Security Consultations, LaFleur, closed the seminar

Ahn Choong Yong, afternoon panel member

      As I was leaving, I passed by his car, still waiting in front of the Japan Society.  
      "Have a good day, Azzi," I called.
      Suddenly, he leapt from the car a second time and rushed toward me.  "Wait, Cliff."  He approached me breathlessly and stood in front of me at attention.  "I read what you wrote," he said of the press releases I had given him.  "How can I be more Vigilant in my job?"
       My jaw slackened a little.    Nothing all day had sparked my attention as much as Azzi's interest in Vigilance.
      "As far as I'm concerned, Azzi, you are already a Sentinel of Vigilance.   You've got Fear, Intimidation and Complacency on the run.  If I can offer one piece of advice, it would be to become a Teacher of Vigilance, pass it on to everyone.   Don't keep it, give it away."
      "Yes," Azzi replied, "I can do that."

      "I know you can, Azzi." I affirmed.
      Walking toward the bus stop to go back downtown to the East Village where I live, I thought about Azzi.
       When he challenged me about taking the pictures, he was a Sentinel of Vigilance for his boss, the Ambassador.   Later, when we talked about his child and life, I realized he had all the intuitions of a Sentinel of Vigilance--he was a rock wall in the face of Terrorism, a man whose Convictions had been formed from granite not sand, and who took the Right Actions not just for himself, but for his child and his child's future children.
         I had never been asked the question:  "How can I be more Vigilant at my job?"   Azzi  also wanted the best for others, he wanted that One Percent Plus that I speak of in the Principles of Vigilance.   


The Beast of Terror is on the run

        I thought about Diplomats I had met earlier.    They were spinners of webs.   Azzi was a laser beam.  He went to the heart of the real issue--self rather than non-self government.
        Azzi drove his own car--the car of life.  He didn't need a driver.  
        And,  I was sure, if the Beast of Terror got in front of his vehicle, Azzi wouldn't hit the breaks.  I had a feeling he would push the pedal to the metal.
       I was glad I had been attacked by a Sentinel of Vigilance.  And, I knew the Beast of Terror was on the run--at least from Azzi's sights.

April 25--Howling For The Beast Of Terror In Central Park

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