9/11 and the Attrition Mill

A few years after 9/11, I visited an old industrial facility which had been restored to operating condition. One of the machines there was an attrition mill. It consists of two steel discs, rotating at high speed in opposite direction and crushing the substance to be milled between them.

I immediately saw this machine as a political metaphor. Western civilization is caught in a gigantic attrition mill, with one disc being the Islamofascist enemy and the other being certain tendencies within our own societies. The combination of these factors is much more dangerous than either by itself would be.

For example,already  in 2015 the student government at the University of Minnesota has rejected a resolution calling for annual commemorations of the 9/11 atrocity.  Why?  It was argued that such a resolution would make Muslim students feel “unsafe.” The “Students for Justice for Palestine” said that being reminded of 9/11 on its anniversary would lead to increased “Islamaphobia.”

It seems pretty clear that this sort of ridiculously deferential “sensitivity” does not make immigrants, or children and grandchildren of immigrants, more likely to assimilate.  Contrarily, it reinforces group identifies and intergroup hostilities.  And in doing so, it creates a social environment in which it is much more likely that actual terrorists–representing the upper disk of the Attrition Mill–will go unreported or even be actively supported in their ethnic/religious communities. And that, in turn, greatly increases the risks inherent in large-scale migration.

Hillary Clinton reacted to the Benghazi murders by blaming a video, going so far as to tell a grieving father that  he would have his revenge–not on the killers, oh, no, but rather we are going to have that filmmaker arrestedHere, we see the threat and actuality of Islamist violence being used as an excuse for interfering with the free-speech rights of Americans…and you can bet that if that precedent is successfully established, it will be applied with plenty of other justifications, too.

And, of course, Islamist murder threats–such as the fatwa against Salman Rushdie–have helped accustom people to keeping their mouths shut, for the sake of safety.

Related post in The American Mind:  The Woke-Islamist Axis Against Free Speech.

25 thoughts on “9/11 and the Attrition Mill”

  1. I feel like this post is from an alternative universe where it’s still 2005 or so. The “Global War on Terror” was a gigantic scam and bait-and-switch. It was the greatest windfall the “intelligence community” has ever seen and they used it to build the most powerful surveillance system in the history of the world. And what have they done with it? They spied on a president, before and after his election, and all of his associates. They’ve made up terror plots, starting with targeting Muslims like the Lackawanna 6, and shifting seamlessly to “domestic terrorists” like the absurd Whitmer “kidnapping” plot. And they every several years take out a new, previously unknown Al Qaeda “leader” but have no problem hoovering up hundreds of Americans for standing near the Capitol. Iraq and Afghanistan, both where we had to be to “fight over there so we don’t have to fight over here”, are long since over, and no one talks about them at all, and where’s the repercussions for any of that? Best of all, anyone who dares bring any of this up is dismissed and threatened–is it just me or are there waaay more “former intelligence agents” in Congress and the media now than there ever were before?
    It’s 2022, not 2001, everyone needs to wake up and recognize what time it is.

  2. It was argued that such a resolution would make Muslim students feel “unsafe.” The “Students for Justice for Palestine” said that being reminded of 9/11 on its anniversary would lead to increased “Islamaphobia.”

    One of the raisons d’etre for “Students for Justice for Palestine” and similar groups is to make Jewish students feel unsafe.

  3. “From Left to right: Al Qaeda leaders Saif al Adel, Abu Muhammad al Masri, and Abu Abu al Khayr al Masri in Tehran, Iran, circa 2015. Photograph from Anonymous – @Sw0rdOfAnon.”
    I believe literally nothing the government has to say anymore. This proves nothing to me.

  4. it took 4 years to bring awlaki to ground, why because they didn’t really want to find him, he comes from one of the leading tribal confederations in the country, of course we know bin laden was living across the street from pakistan’s west point, by that time he was mostly irrelevant,

  5. Brian, the point of the post is that there are external threats and there are internal threats, and they feed off each other. One thing we learned shortly after 9/11 was that there are quite a few people here who really don’t like America and think we deserve to have bad things happen to us…and are quite willing to shut down everyone’s freedom of speech to placate anyone, anywhere in the world, who might be offended. At the time, most such people were limited to academia and the extreme Left. Now they have graduated and gained positions of influence and actual power.

    The external threats are now more complex. Radical Islam certainly remains a threat, ask Salman Rushdie. But China is now much more powerful and aggressive. Russia, under Putin’s rulership, really does seem to have fantasies of Empire.

    And China’s great financial power, especially the size of its market, has definitely led to much self-censorship of movies and other video, just as fear of offending Islamists has led to other forms of self-censorship.

  6. and I bring up the three amigos, because they were not supposed to be there, because Iran hates Al Queda, and other fairy tales, in 2000, the bureau was laser focused on a small apartment in Little Havana, while the hijackers were slipping into the country,

  7. “there are quite a few people here who really don’t like America and think we deserve to have bad things happen to us…and are quite willing to shut down everyone’s freedom of speech to placate anyone, anywhere in the world, who might be offended.”
    I’m sorry, I just don’t think this captures our problems today, at all. Our speech isn’t being suppressed to avoid offending people, it’s being suppressed to crush opposition to the Deep State / Democrat Party.
    No one’s “offended” by saying the 2020 election was stolen, but you can’t say it.
    No one’s “offended” by “anti-vax” speech, but you can’t say it.

  8. “Russia, under Putin’s rulership, really does seem to have fantasies of Empire.”
    Well, the smart people who were saying that Russia was about to overrun all of Europe even though they couldn’t take more than a few percent of Ukraine are now saying that it’s all over for them because they’ve lost a few percent of that few percent, so I think that for today we’re not supposed to be scared of them, but it’s hard to keep track.

  9. “Western civilization is caught in a gigantic attrition mill, with one disc being the Islamofascist enemy and the other being certain tendencies within our own societies.”

    The attrition mill is a very poor analogy. A better analogy would be the human body. The body is always under attack, every day. There are all kinds of bacteria, viruses, parasites poking & proding, trying to find a way in. But the body fights back with robust defenses — and most of the time, the body wins.

    So it was with Western civilization, which centuries ago was quite capable of turning back the Islamic hordes at the gates of Vienna. But now, what is left of “Western civilization” is incapable of protecting itself.

    There has been no fundamental change in the kinds of external threats of Western civilization. The change has been internal. We have allowed the development of a permanent Political Class which is disconnected from the nation it supposedly serves. The body has lost its defense mechanisms.

  10. Seems to me one consequence of 9/11 has been the de facto takeover of the US government by the intelligence establishment, much like how Russia ended up with KGB agent Putin as ruler.

    These agencies certainly appear to act without any oversight from anyone and pursue their own agenda with impunity.

    Brian, I recall a 2020 house race in Virginia that was decided when a flash drive with 20k votes was discovered, giving the win to the democrat, who was a former CIA agent.

    Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

  11. So, do you actually believe the 9/11 attacks were a real thing? Done by Bin Laden to attack America.

    Or was it a false flag designed to allow America to do whatever it wanted?

  12. like Ryazan bombings, for a whole host of reasons, including our policy in the balkans and the caucasus, they did not call attention to the hijackers,

  13. IMO 9/11 was done by OBL and associates with the full knowledge of the Saudis and was a counter-offensive from their perspective. One in a series of fated confrontations with the Dar al-Harb, meant to provoke exactly the sort of foolish overreach that Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld thought was the height of strategic and political mastery. (I don’t think BCR knew any details, but acted very quickly to get a lot of Saudis out of the country in the immediate aftermath.) So, not a false flag, but coverup of foreknowledge likely.

    Also IMO most Western leaders, including the three stooges named above, want to keep up the pretense that Islam and Western Civ are not in fundamental conflict, perhaps in another case of ‘wishing-makes-it-true.”

    The results of the ill-named PATRIOT Act coming home to roost–much less dramatic than false flag terrorism but very effective over the long term in cementing the hold of the Organs on the flow of communications.

  14. On the one hand, I want to reject the possibility that anyone except the AQ terrorists knew anything about 9/11. However, we have pretty solid reason to believe that powerful Saudis, and Pakistanis, were intricately connected to AQ and probably knew. Which means there are some disturbing inferences one could draw about who else probably knew at least something.
    And the past few years have shown that there are people at the very top of the system who are legitimately insane psychopaths. For examples, that Strzok guy–remember his testimony to Congress? That dude is not normal. There’s something profoundly wrong with him.
    Speaking of which, did you know there was an executive order put out today called “Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Bioeconomy”
    (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2022/09/12/executive-order-on-advancing-biotechnology-and-biomanufacturing-innovation-for-a-sustainable-safe-and-secure-american-bioeconomy/)
    And did you know it includes this: “We need to develop genetic engineering technologies and techniques to be able to write circuitry for cells and predictably program biology in the same way in which we write software and program computers”
    Like I said, these people are lunatics, and there’s a good chance they’re going to get us killed, and it’s not at all outside of the realm of possibility that it won’t even be an accident.

  15. “it’s not at all outside the realm of possibility that it won’t even be an accident.”

    On this we agree, Brian.

  16. Breaking news today is that Durham revealed that the FBI took Steele’s primary “source”, a brazen fabulist, and made him an official confidential human source, thereby insulating him from investigation. Nothing internal or external is anywhere near as much a threat to America as the FBI is. It needs to be leveled completely, with nothing left, and all its sordid actions for the past century laid out in public, no matter the repercussions.

  17. The unaddressed question is who approved the WTC designs. None of the buildings had a asfe “failure mode”. They were all a “house of cards”. It all might have been “incompetence” but I think, since it was New York City, that someone got paid.

    Building 7: Every building that I have encountered had masonry or concrete “shear walls”. Building Seven had ground floor damage. Once a steel box flame element failed, the building was then a pile of rubble,

    WTC1 & 2: The strength of the towers was dependent on the floor trusses keeping the structure “linear”. An old Fireman opined, “never trust a truss” Rib-stop nylon had a stronger thread once and awhile, allowing the user time to get a repair or replacement before the rip propagates..Once several floor trusses failed, next stop was the lobby. There were no “drop Stop” floors. Failure was total and virtually immediate. There is no need for a conspiracy of “exploding toilets” or an Israeli conspiracy.

    Someone got paid or the engineering inspector was someone’s dim brother-in-law. I am guessing that the collapses were due to NYC grift.

    The crazed Mooselims were off the wall, but some safe failure mode must be built into every structure. Bribery/grift is the enemy of civilization.

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