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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Reflections on 9/11 and the Aftermath

“Remembrance and reflection how allied. What thin partitions divides sense from thought”. — Alexander Pope

Memory: The faculty of the mind by which it retains the knowledge of previous thoughts, impressions, or events.

The question that comes to mind while I watch the numerous programs remembering the events of September 11, 2001 is; have we, as a nation, returned to the mentality before 9/11, only to await the disaster next time?

In many ways I believe we have. Yes our airport security is greater and more intrusive. Yes, supposedly, we have better intelligence and the agencies and departments responsible for insuring the security of the nation claim to be more efficient and transparent to each other. Yes, we have killed many of the top Al-Qaeda leaders including Osama bin Laden, Yes, we have more draconian laws such as the Patriot Act that allows government more control over our freedoms and rights. But, are we really more secure as a nation than we were on September 10, 2001.

Terrorism is now what it always was: political theater, a bid to capture attention through the creation of dramatic events. No indigenous (non-colonial) government has ever fallen to terrorism. Only two regimes in modern history have even fallen to the more effective guerrilla warfare, Somoza in Nicaragua and Batista in Cuba.

Terrorists talk of regime change, but what they usually end up doing is causing people to demand order, and the people are usually willing to yield freedom to obtain it. Governments, even democratic governments, end up with strong, often draconian, powers that they use to stamp out terrorism and sometimes basic liberties as collateral damage. The precedent for the Patriot Act was long set by the British experience with the Irish Republican Army and the European experience with nihilistic terror violence of the 1970s and ’80s.

Terrorists seek to lacerate public sensibilities and to gain access to the media, especially the electronic media, which is why terrorists attempt to generate compelling visuals.

The laceration of public sensibilities in modern democratic society causes civilized people to ask: why? Civilized society does not want to comprehend that there are people who would show no more concern for slaughtering thousands of people than they would show for slaughtering thousands of chickens.

Consequently, there are not only “root causes” of terrorism peeled off as a leftist catechism — poverty, despair, hopelessness — but there are also the people who are the “real causes” of terrorism, us. Seldom has so much blame been placed on the victims of mass murder or their government as there was after 9/11

After all, the terrorists must have a reason for doing what they did, the leftist mindset advances. “It’s our foreign policy,” was the hackneyed refrain from Berkeley progressives. “It’s our support of Israel,” said some of the academics and journalist who never heard a leftist cliché they were not likely to repeat. And, of course, there are conspiracy theories of an inside job.

“A poll released this week of more than 16,000 people in 17 nations revealed that "majorities in only nine countries believe al-Qaida was behind the attacks on New York and Washington that killed about 3,000 people in 2001." A mere 46 percent of individuals overall said they believed al-Qaida executed the attacks—despite all the back-patting, fist-pumping video productions from AQ's media arm, al-Sahab, claiming credit.”

Of course, the perpetrators of 9/11 were anything but poor and down-trodden Arabs. And if Osama bin Laden ever had a coherent reason, forget justification, for his actions, it was lost in his tirades that seemed, by comparison, to make a philosopher out of German nihilist Andreas Baader, the man who said, “It is better to burn a department store than to own one.”

After the initial impact of 9/11 wore off, the multicultural elite turned their attention to the “real” victims of 9/11, ordinary Muslims. On the 2005 anniversary of 9/11, the Cincinnati Enquirer, a Gannett paper, profiled the difficulty the local Muslim community was confronting in the face of alleged Islamophobia. This concern stood in sharp contrast to unasked questions about how the families of the victims of 9/11 were doing on that anniversary. Was the inconvenience and humiliation of an extra TSA screening at the airport equivalent to losing a loved one?

At the national memorial service on September 14, 2001, the Bush administration showcased Muzammil Siddiqi to represent Islam in the ecumenical service. The administration was quick to show that this was not a war between America and Islam. But just who is Muzammil Siddiqi? A formidable and recognized Islamic scholar, Siddiqi has called for the transformation of America into an Islamic, sharia-observant community. And while he personally does not accept punishing homosexuals by death, he condones that punishment when applied in Muslim countries that embrace sharia. In 2000, he spoke of the importance of jihad to Islam. In September of 2001, he was the public face of moderate Islam.

The term “War on Terror” is a misnomer. Terror is a tactic, not am end itself. It would be like saying during WWII we were at war with blitzkrieg or the Japanese aircraft carriers. No, we were at war with the imperialism of the Japanese Empire and aggression of Hitler’s National Socialism.

During WWII Frank Capra made a series training films for the U.S. Army called “Why We Fight.” No such films have been produced by our government or anyone else to show the evils of Islamo-Fascism. Click here for the video.

Islam in its truest form is a barbaric religion that forces people to live under Sharia Law whether they want to or not. The Islamo-Fascists want to enforce, through jihad, on the rest of the world. They do not believe in the rights of man and want all peoples subjected to the will of their Allah. If you do not submit to Islam you will be taxed of killed. Women are considered as property under this religion. Islam does not mean peace, it means submission.

Many in the main stream press and academia compare the Arizona Minutemen and Montana gun-toting Libertarians to the acts perpetrated by the radical Islamists. It was not the Montana Militia that blew up our embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. It was not the Minutemen who attacked the USS Cole or stood up at Fort Hood, Texas and shouted “Allah au Akbar” and began shooting soldiers and their family members. It was not the Christian right who attempted to blow up and airliner on its approach to the Detroit Airport. It was not pro-life Christians who blew up the subways in London and Madrid. These attacks were all carried out by radical Islamics prepared to die for Allah in their jihad against our way of life.

The Bush administration used the term “Islamo-fascism” once, and found it had stirred up a hornet’s nest of outrage. And the Obama administration has created a bunch of misfit euphemisms to discuss the terrorist threat. “Man-caused disasters” and “countering violent extremism” have replaced the only slightly less nonsensical “war on terrorism,” as if it were possible to wage war on a mode of conflict. Every euphemism confirms what everyone knows: we are engaged in a battle with radical Islam. Every euphemism confirms that we are pandering to those who would destroy us.

This administration has militated against the harsh methods used against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, but had no trouble basking in the spotlight when information derived from those methods led directly to the elimination of Osama bin Laden. Suddenly, all the rhetoric about terrorism being a criminal justice issue and not a military issue was forgotten when members of Navy SEAL tem Six put two bullets into bin Laden, as was closing Gitmo. There were political points to be scored from the elimination of bin Laden, and in America almost everything ultimately boils down to politics. When the election campaign fires up, there will be time enough to mobilize the Democratic base with recommitments to guarding civil liberties for those who would murder thousands in the blink of an eye.

Two needless wars are still ongoing ten years later. The war in Iraq that shifted the balance of power in the Persian Gulf toward Iran, and the unending war in Afghanistan that continues without resolution. Neither of these makes the United States more secure, as our treasure and blood are spilled.

Today I watched a very touching ceremony at the dedication of the United Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The memorial is dedicated to the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93 who were the first to fight back against the Islamo-Fascists on September 11th.

There were family members of the passengers and crew of UA 93 along with past presidents Bush and Clinton along with Vice President Biden. The day was overcast, but for some reason the sun shone all day on the 17-ton boulder that acts as a gravestone for the crew and passengers.

Both Bush and Clinton gave respectful and thoughtful comments with Clinton comparing the heroism of the passengers and crew of UA 93 to that of the Greeks at Thermopylae where 2,500 years ago 300 Spartans, who knew they would die, beat back the hordes of the Persian Army under Xerxes I. He said that he prayed that we would remember the heroism of these 40 citizens 2,500 years from now.

Bush’s comments were directed to all of the victims of 9/11 with special mention of the heroism of the Flight 93 citizen solders. He was respectful and reflective of not only the passengers and crew of UA 93, but the heroism of the firefighters and police at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

At the end of the ceremony the Wall of Names was unveiled. This eight-foot high marble wall contains the names of all 40 of the passengers and crew who perished on that fateful day ten years ago.

It was interesting that there were prayers, led by a Catholic Priest, and hymns by the Navy band and a lone piper. It appears that the National Park Service had no problem with this as did Mayor Bloomberg in New York City. There was no political correctness at Shanksville this day.

Ten years after 9/11, we are a society less together than we were with the ephemeral burst of patriotism that ensued in the wake of disaster. But even then, news organizations saw the wearing of a flag pin as a violation of journalistic objectivity and asked news personnel to continue to obey the pre-9/11 standard. No such standard was promulgated for participation in various types of politically related events that news organizations typically sponsor. Mayor Bloomberg, most likely for fear of a Muslim cleric present at a religious service for the tenth anniversary, has ruled out all religious participation. We are consumed with what our enemies think of us. We have put in power a party whose base is more concerned with the rights of terrorists than the lives of their victims. We continually hear the refrain that terrorism is a criminal justice problem, ignoring that the criminal justice system is incapable of dealing with a military threat.

Michelle Malkin has written a great column for Human Events where she states:

"Know your enemy, name your enemy" is a 9/11 message that has gone unheeded. Our immigration and homeland security policies refuse to profile jihadi adherents at foreign consular offices and at our borders. Our military leaders refuse to expunge them from uniformed ranks until it's too late (see: Fort Hood massacre). The j-word is discouraged in Obama intelligence circles, and the term "Islamic extremism" was removed from the U.S. national security strategy document last year.

Similarly, too many teachers refuse to show and tell who the perpetrators of 9/11 were and who their heirs are today. My own daughter was one year old when the Twin Towers collapsed, the Pentagon went up in flames and Shanksville, Pa., became hallowed ground for the brave passengers of United Flight 93. In second grade, her teachers read touchy-feely stories about peace and diversity to honor the 9/11 dead. They whitewashed Osama bin Laden, militant Islam and centuries-old jihad out of the curriculum. Apparently, the youngsters weren't ready to learn even the most basic information about the evil masterminds of Islamic terrorism.”

Malkin continues:

“A decade after the 9/11 attacks, Blame America-ism still permeates classrooms and the culture. A special 9/11 curriculum distributed in New Jersey schools advises teachers to "avoid graphic details or dramatizing the destruction" wrought by the 9/11 hijackers, and instead focus elementary school students' attention on broadly defined "intolerance" and "hurtful words."

No surprise: Jihadist utterances such as "Kill the Jews," "Allahu Akbar" and "Behead all those who insult Islam" are not among the "hurtful words" studied.

Middle-schoolers are directed to "analyze diversity and prejudice in U.S. history." And high-school students are taught "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs" - pop-psychology claptrap used to excuse jihadists' behavior based on their purported low self-esteem and oppressed status caused by "European colonialism."

It is no wonder that a new poll released this week showed that Americans today "are generally more willing to believe that U.S. policies in the Middle East might have motivated the 9/11 terror attacks on New York and the Pentagon," according to Reuters.”

We have returned to the mentality before 9/11, only to await the disaster next time. As Ms. Malkin states: “The post-9/11 problem isn't whether we'll forget. The problem is: Will we ever learn?”

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