Simply evil: Christopher Hitchens suggests that sometimes the simple and obvious explanation for an event is more accurate than an explanation which relies on an elaborate structure of “nuance”
A time bomb from the Middle Ages. Roger Simon explains how 9/11 altered his worldview and many of his relationships
An attack, not a disaster or a tragedy. George Savage explains why the persistent use of terms like “tragedy” by the media acts to obfuscate the true nature of the 9/11 attacks. Much more on this from Mark Steyn
Claire Berlinski was in Paris on 9/11. Shortly thereafter she wrote this piece for City Journal
Marc Sasseville and Heather Penney were F-16 pilots with an Air National Guard squadron. Their order was to bring down Flight 93 before the terrorists in control of it could create another disaster on the scale of the World Trade Center…but their aircraft were configured for training, with no live ammunition and no missiles. A video interview with Major Penney here
Joseph Fouché writes about how the Taliban’s destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in March 2001, and the murder of Ahmed Shah Masood on September 9 of that year, prefigured the 9/11 attacks. (If the post is difficult to read because of the dark background, try this version)
On September 11, 2005, Rare Kate didn’t go to church. Follow the link to find out why. In my original post linking this, I said “What if American and British religious leaders had responded the depradations of Naziism in the spirit of this liturgy? Actually, some of them did. The impact on preparedness was certainly malign, and the people who took such positions certainly bear a share of moral resposibility for the deaths and devastation that took place. Ditto for those who are behaving in a similar way today.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, an important leader of the anti-Nazi resistance in Germany (executed in 1945), wrote the following:
Today there are once more saints and villains. Instead of the uniform grayness of the rainy day, we have the black storm cloud and the brilliant lightning flash. Outlines stand out with exaggerated sharpness. Shakespeare’s characters walk among us. The villain and the saint emerge from primeval depths and by their appearannce they tear open the infernal or the divine abyss from which they come and enable us to see for a moment into mysteries of which we had never dreamed.
I was reminded of the above passage by something Cara Ellison said in a 2009 post about 9/11:
I guess I thought they were all gone, those types of monsters, stranded on reels of black and white film.
The refusal on the part of many individuals to face the seriousness of the radical Islamist threat to out civilization stems in significant part, I feel certain, from a desire to avoid the uncomfortable and even dangerous kind of clarity that Bonhoeffer was talking about.
In previous posts I’ve introduced the metaphor of the attrition mill–a machine in which two steel disks, rotating at high speed in opposite directions, crush between them the grain or other substance to be milled. Our society is caught in a gigantic attrition mill, with one disk being the Islamic terrorist enemy and the other being the “progressive” Left within our own societies–some of whom are wishful thinkers who deny uncomfortable realities, an alarming number of whom forthrightly despise their own societies and the majority of fellow citizens. Without the existence of the second disk, the terrorist threat would be serious, inconvenient, and dangerous, but would not be an existential threat to Western civilization. But it is the interaction of the two disks, despite the differences in their stated philosophies of life, that increases the societal threat by orders of magnitude.
Many more links at my 9/11/2010 post.
9 thoughts on “9/11 Plus Ten Years”
A discussion in comments at another post reminded me of Poul Anderson’s story A Chapter of Revelation and my 2009 post the perfect enemy:
Suppose you wanted to create a perfect enemy. An enemy so vile that its evil would be recognized by almost everyone. An enemy that would inspire people to come together in order to ensure its defeat.
To be more specific: suppose you were a screenwriter with the assignment of creating a suitable villain-organization for a major motion picture. The marketing plan for this movie suggests that it will be marketed primarily to a certain demographic and that, hence, your villain-organization should be particularly appalling to members of that demographic. The demographic in question consists of people who are affluent, highly educated (college with at least some postgraduate education), not particularly religious, and who consider themselves politically liberal or “progressive.” The plot of the movie demands that the audience must see the necessity for Americans–of many beliefs, occupations, and social backgrounds–to come together in order to defeat the enemy.
Oh, and one other thing. The year in which you are given this assignment is 1999.
Left within our own societies–some of whom are wishful thinkers who deny uncomfortable realities, an alarming number of whom forthrightly despise their own societies and the majority of fellow citizens.
You’ve described right-wing War On Terror cultists very well.
Leftists, an alarming number of whom forthrightly despise their own societies and the majority of fellow citizens.
For example, filmmaker MIchael Moore, well-known for his outrageous statements about the country in which he lives–things he is credibly reported to have said include: “(Americans) are possibly the dumbest people on the planet . . . in thrall to conniving, thieving smug [pieces of the human anatomy],” (in an interview with the British newspaper The Mirror) and “That’s why we’re smiling all the time. You can see us coming down the street. You know, `Hey! Hi! How’s it going?’ We’ve got that big [expletive] grin on our face all the time because our brains aren’t loaded down” (to a crowd in Munich) and “You’re stuck with being connected to this country of mine, which is known for bringing sadness and misery to places around the globe.” (to a crowd in Cambridge, England.) And about the terrorists who are killing Americans and Iraqis on a daily basis in Iraq, Moore had this to say: “The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not `insurgents’ or `terrorists’ or `The Enemy.’ They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win.”
Moore shared Jimmy Carter’s box at the Democratic National Convention, and formed DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe attended a special screening of Moore’s avile movie Farenheit 9/11.
“The demographic in question consists of people who are affluent, highly educated (college with at least some postgraduate education), not particularly religious, and who consider themselves politically liberal or “progressive.”
The perfect enemy of this sort is the ‘bitter clinger.’
I just watched the Major Heather Penne interview. Excellent. Thank you for the link.
The Heather Penny interview is very moving.
For anyone who missed this Lexington Green post, or today’s summary and re-linking of it, I recommend it highly;
The only part of the American national security establishment that successfully defended America on 9/11 was the portion of the reserve militia on board Flight 93, acting without orders, without hierarchy, without uniforms or weapons, by spontaneous organization and action.
Defeating military aggressors may bring an end to an existing war, but defeating the idea that propelled the aggression is necessary to prevent future wars. In light of that principle, I posted this on my blog for 9/11:
“Islamic supremacists believe that Mohammed promised global conquest to to his followers. If this stems from a faulty interpretation of the Koran, then Islamic scholars must step up to the plate and publicly explain why this is so. A key concern is Mohammed’s long list of military dictates – scolars must explain logically (and not with Jaques Derrida deconstructionist sleight-of-hand) that those commands were intended to address existing wars, and contained no calls for future generations to fight future wars agianst the infidels.”
If Islam really can coexist with pluralistic civilization, then it’s high time Muslim cooperate in helping to kill the supremacist meme. Muslim scholars have more clout with their fellow believers than Ann Coulter, Robert Spencer, or Emperor Misha do.
….Mohammed promised global conquest to to his followers. If this stems from a faulty interpretation of the Koran, then Islamic scholars must step up to the plate and publicly explain why this is so.
Right, it is not a faulty interpretation, and that is why jihad is and likely will be a repetitive event.
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