9/11 Plus Eleven Years

Originally posted 9/11/2011

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.

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.

15 thoughts on “9/11 Plus Eleven Years”

  1. Bill Brandt: the Looming Tower is good book, but it is far from comprehensive. Unfortunately, the author did not cross examine his sources closely or deconstruct their testimony. The book needs to be read against that, not accepted as a complete history.

  2. We are in New York City now. Last night they displayed the Towers of Light. It was overwhelming. Like a the phantom of a limb amputated long ago, it continues to ache.

    I still maintain that we were far too nice to the perps that day. What we should have done:

    Ripley: “I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

    We should have nuked Mecca and Medina on 9/12/2001.

    It was the condign penalty for harming the Homeland.

    There would not be another attack on the US for 100 years. Islam would have shriveled up and died.

  3. “We should have nuked Mecca and Medina on 9/12/2001.” That would have been more rational than attacking Iraq. Whether it would have been wise is another matter.

  4. The indispensable book about the 9/11 attack is Touching History by a woman airline pilot who has collected an amazing account that includes evidence there were other attacks planned that day. A former brother-in-law has told me that other pilots has strange experiences, like having Arab men vanish from first class when the airlines were all grounded and the planes returned to the gate.

    There have also been found holes drilled between first class toilets and the cockpit suggesting other conspirators who may have been ground personnel.

    My own review is here. There is some controversy in the comments of all the reviews, partly because the New York Times published a misleading op-ed during the 2008 presidential campaign criticizing the book and the Bush administration.

    It’s too bad that the ABC special, “The Path to 9/11” has never been released on DVD or rerun. It was too critical of the Clinton Administration and is probably lost to history.

  5. MK – what really stood out for me in that book – was the aborted flight from Newark – the pilot – taxing out – sees the burning towers – asks the tower what is going on – and they don’t know (yet).

    Just having a bad feeling he decides to taxi back – tell the passengers they had a mechanical issue and the passengers all vanished into the crowd at the terminal.

    The only luggage let behind was full of al Qaeda stuff.

    But this book was 9/11 – all from ATC’s perspective

    Robert – the Looming Tower – may have some factual inaccuracies (don’t they all) but I have never seen another book as comprehensive on Islamic radicalism as that – and it even went to the source –

  6. From that page: “Where were you on 9/11? Relive the events of that fateful day and the years leading up to it with this ABC miniseries that takes you to the streets of New York, drops you in the center of a riot in Pakistan, and into the meeting rooms of the CIA, the FBI, and the White House. A dramatization of the events detailed in 2004’s national bestseller The 9/11 Commission Report.”

    Ah the internet, so much deceit.

    Try this:


    BBC 2 copy. Seems to be legit. I have the sample. It is a torrent though, you will have o come play with us stainless steel rats.

  7. The Path to 9/11 is a bit over the top and not well acted but interesting. I have the full version with the Clinton stuff.

    “It was too critical of the Clinton Administration and is probably lost to history.” Very little on the internet is lost if you know how to look for it..

  8. Michael if you want that and don’t like torrents I can give you a link to my personal server for the files. Click once on my home page for the mail addy.

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