September 11th, 2009

9/11: eight years after

This year is an especially poignant year to remember 9/11.

Each year I write something about 9/11—or reprint something—on the anniversary of this terrible event. Here’s an excerpt from one of my previous posts, updated to reflect the passage of time:

Another thing that makes 9/11 feel more distant in time than eight years ago is the dissipation of the unity that seemed to unite us in the first few months afterward. I say “seemed” because there were always many dissenting voices, even from the start—voices that blamed the US for the attack, or said that the Jews had stayed home that day. Voices that suggested America deserved what it got. Voices that were against attacking Afghanistan, saying we would kill millions of people in that country.

Yes, 9/11 seems a long time ago. But in other ways 9/11 seems fresh and recent—and especially so on the anniversary, when documentaries revisit the pain and open old wounds…Viewing how events unfolded that day and knowing what we know now, the urge is to say: “Look out! Don’t go to work! Run away, fast! Don’t go up those stairs!” Or to think, “If only.” If only the people on the first planes had known what was in store, for example, they could have united to stop the hijackers the way those on Flight 93 did. If only the FBI and CIA had been allowed to speak to each other. If only. If only.

We look back to offer respect and remembrance, and to learn from the past. What do we learn from 9/11? We learn that Islamicist fundamentalist terrorists meant—and still mean—business, that we must continue the fight against them on all fronts. We learn that ordinary Americans are capable of extraordinary courage—but of course, we already knew that.

As I wrote above, the unity that seemed apparent for a short while after 9/11 was illusory. Now the divisions between the political camps in America are greater, and the anger more intense. In some ways this is just a progression of forces that were building even before 9/11; to find examples, just take a look at the proceedings around the impeachment of President Clinton, and the contested election of 2000.

But in other ways 9/11 did lead to even greater and more bitter disagreement than before, although this was masked at the start by the common task of grieving. It’s not unusual for a trauma—and make no doubt about it, 9/11 was a national trauma—to end up causing divisions. This isn’t just politics, it’s human nature.

When we have sustained a terrible blow from an outrageous and grievous attack, some people will get angry, some scared, some frightened, and some sad—or a combination of these feelings in differing proportions. This is true whether the event be a non-politically motivated crime against a single person or a large-scale terrorist attack such as 9/11. Some will place the blame where I believe it rightly belongs—on the attackers—and see the event as a call to action against them. Some will view it as a call for introspection, a need for soul-searching in order to understand where we went wrong. Some will blame the victims.

And some will want to forget, and pretend it never happened. They are likely to become angry at those who insist they remember. I believe that at least some of the rage directed at George Bush was due to this phenomenon. Not right away, not when the gaping wound was fresh. But for a long time afterward he insisted on reminding us, and on labeling the perpetrators as evil rather than misunderstood. He went after them with a single-minded and non-morally-relativistic focus. He didn’t want to forget, and he didn’t want us to, either, although he did want us to continue to go about our daily lives in the most normal fashion possible.

Now, eight years later, the country is riven by discord. And now we have a president who issued a proclamation to commemorate this day that manages, despite its 726 words, to mention terrorism only twice, and the perpetrators remain nameless, faceless, formless, countryless, and above all religionless.

Now 9/11 has been officially designated “National Day of Service and Remembrance.” Congress passed a bill to that effect back in April, in response in large part to the efforts of a group whose webpage is here. Some of its founders are family members of victims of 9/11, who wanted to do something positive in memory of their loved ones.

I have no beef with that; it’s a wonderful thing to do. But I do have a beef with the order of the words: how about “remembrance” coming first?

Some 9/11 families share my concern. It’s difficult to know how many feel this way, but Debra Burlingame, sister of the pilot of the plane that hit the Pentagon, says:

“When I first heard about [the new designation of the day], I was concerned,” said Debra Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot of the American Airlines jet that crashed into the Pentagon. “I fear, I greatly fear, at some point we’ll transition to turning it into Earth Day where we go and plant trees and the remembrance part will become smaller and smaller and smaller.”

The day is well on its way to being co-opted by causes that are essentially Leftist and progressive. This is no surprise; after all, our current president is dedicated to these causes.

9/11 should be a day of unity rather than division. But I’m not going to utter some pretty—and empty—words that pretend we have a unity that doesn’t really exist right now. The stakes are high, and the differences deep. That’s the way it is, on 9/11/2009.

[ADDENDUM: It occurs to me that, in his proclamation for this day, Obama would have done well to have quoted one of his heroes, Abraham Lincoln, who said on another occasion of remembrance:

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.]

[ADDENDUM: Ralph Peters says we have largely forgotten—and worse than that, have betrayed—the dead of 9/11. I tend to agree with him. (Hat tip: Tim P.)]

56 Responses to “9/11: eight years after”

  1. huxley Says:

    See http://www.serve.gov/index.asp for the official government website kicking off National Community Organizers Day or whatever:

    President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act which, for the first time, officially recognizes September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

    I have to say that my memory of 9-11 has been greatly blunted by the day-by-day horror of Obama’s campaign and administration. I don’t mean that as an exaggeration.

  2. Artfldgr Says:

    yeah… but abraham lincoln is the only president on money that looks to the right… 🙂

  3. Paul Gordon Says:

    As some of you may be aware, The Won is seeking to desecrate 9/11 as a “Day of National Service” instead, with the excuse that “We need to move on”.

    I recall, years ago when we were toppling the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, the Taliban leader Mullah Omar whining to some journalist that we should “Get over it!”.

    To which my response must be not only “No!”, but “Hell No!!!”.

    Like many, I was at work on that day, learning of it when co-workers told me to check out CNN on the internet, and watched it play out, watching with horror when the buildings collapsed with so many still inside.

    The next day, Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts, normally a fairly angry liberal, wrote a column ( reproduced at WTC Trbute – We’ll Go Forward From this Moment ) in which he observed…

    Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family nonetheless. We’re frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae — a singer’s revealing dress, a ball team’s misfortune, a cartoon mouse.

    We’re wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement.

    We are fundamentally decent, though — peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.

    Some people — you, perhaps — think that any or all of this makes us weak. You’re mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.

    And concluded with…

    So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that’s the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange:

    You don’t know my people.
    You don’t know what we’re capable of.
    You don’t know what you just started
    .

    But you’re about to learn.

    THIS is how I’ll remember 9/11, for a VERY long time to come.

  4. stumbley Says:

    the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act

    Oh great. So we remember 9/11 by naming the “remembrance” after a serial womanizer, boozer and murderer.
    Seems about right.

    /sarc

  5. Rose Says:

    http://www.floppingaces.net/remember.swf

  6. Artfldgr Says:

    THE DAILY BLADE: Never Mind Marxism. Will An Obama Administration Be Totalitarian?: Part II

    http://thestilettoblog.com/2009/09/11/the-daily-blade-never-mind-marxism-will-an-obama-administration-be-totalitarian-part-i.aspx

  7. MikeLL Says:

    My father was in the Pentagon when the plane struck. If you look at a picture of the Pentagon with the hole in the side you can see that the entire outer ring, the E ring, was demolished and collapsed. My dad was in the D ring on the top floor. In some pictures you can actually see his office window. The plane went through the building just about right underneath him, but a few of the top stories of the D ring did not collapse. He survived.

    Couple of strange things about that. The first is that the pilot of that plane made a mistake. The plane actually hit the ground before it hit the building. Had he flown it in a little higher, my dad would probably have been killed.

    The second is that the Pentagon had undergone a project to strengthen the outer ring just prior to 9/11. The only side that had been completed was the side my dad was on, the side the plane hit. Again, had that not happened, it is quite possible my dad would be gone.

    I remember trying to call my dad, but of course, couldn’t get through to him. I was able to reach my mom and she was in a panic. I remember telling her, “Relax, the Pentagon is a huge building. The likelyhood that the plane hit anywhere near dad is remote.” I don’t think I convinced her. And I was wrong.

    My condolences to all the people who lost family and friends on that day. I came close to losing one of mine.

    My biggest fear is that this new administration does not think there is a threat. And that the whole GWOT was nothing but lies cooked up by the previous admin to create fear for political purposes. That kind of thinking could easily cause it to happen again. Those are the same kind of people who thought there was never a threat from the Soviet Union. And that the CIA was responsible for all the conflict in the world and never the KGB. I think that is a dangerous belief that tends to leave us exposed.

  8. Artfldgr Says:

    Obama’s Executive Order basing 80,000 active troops at home for the first time in the history of the peacetime military establishment;

    The military has established regional deployment locations all across the United States to “assist civilian authorities in the event of a significant outbreak of the H1N1 virus this fall;

    The National Guard is even practicing mock takeovers of public schools in the event of an “H1N1 riot”;

    this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

    “Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has … ask[ed] for the unprecedented authority to base 400,000 soldiers in communities all across the United States”

  9. stumbley Says:

    artfldgr:

    Where did you see that? That is truly scary.

  10. Tim P Says:

    I think Ralph Peters nails it.

  11. huxley Says:

    You don’t know my people.
    You don’t know what we’re capable of.
    You don’t know what you just started.

    Paul Gordon: That’s true, but only half. Sadly, half the country has forgotten and moved on.

    We will get the chance to remember again, and I fear that it will be when, not if.

    When that happens, those who backed Obama, the Democratic leadership and their politics of appeasement, may be roused from their dogmatic slumbers.

  12. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Obama’s view on 9/11 is probably something like, “We had it coming, and I’ve spent months abroad apologizing for us. So don’t you think it’s time we put it behind us?”

  13. nyomythus Says:

    Parts of us did let it happen … wasn’t it George Tenet’s first reaction, director of the CIA at the time, to seeing the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/11/01 say, “…gee, I hope it wasn’t those guys in the flight schools in the Midwest……

  14. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    We will get the chance to remember again, and I fear that it will be when, not if.

    I saw a comment on Ace of Spade that sums up what I wanted to see…I want Muslim women 1000 years from now warning there unruley rug-rats into fear and silence by telling them that the Americans are coming for you if you don’t behave.

  15. Oblio Says:

    V. Anthem

    Again September has arrived.
    The village green is as it ever was,
    The white church shining to the hills.
    The country bridge stands over rocky streams,
    And cattle in the dairy call for milking.

    Every day the evening loses length.
    The perfect face of moonrise
    Turns the world blue and shadowy,
    Or new moon leaves us darkling.
    Another year is washed away,
    Its frail dreams and quick confusions,
    Its predictions vain, its lucky chances.
    And summer almost a memory:
    The harvest is at hand.

    In our quiet hours, who remembers
    The dust and labor, the noonday sun,
    The searchers and the servants,
    Who struggled and sacrificed
    In thousand ways and thousand places
    Unknown to us, but not alone?

    For there it is, the promise and the power,
    The gift so undeserved:
    That most of us live lives of quiet courage,
    Of hope and trust,
    Of facing day by day and step by step
    The dangers and the doubts,
    Pouring out love for friends and family,
    And for people we will never know.

    O let us be thankful—
    We lay down our heads in pain,
    And rise up
    With vigor, as on eagle’s wings,
    In the glory of our youth,
    Until September comes again.

  16. benning Says:

    Many of us have forgotten. But others have not. That’s one of the reasons I signed up for Project 2,996. A way to give tribute to the victims of 9/11, and keep the memory of that loss alive.

    Great post, neo!

  17. Artfldgr Says:

    stumbley,
    the article i linked to has links to some of it since those are quotes from it.

    H.R. 645, the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act. This bill calls for the establishment of six “centers” to be constructed on military installations across the U.S. Previous centers contracted to Halliburton subsidiary KBR were for the purpose of addressing an “emergency influx of immigrants”, or to support “the rapid development of new programs.”
    -~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
    for the first time since Reconstruction, U.S troops were deployed within U.S borders. The Third Infantry Division’s 1st Combat Team, trained during multiple tours in Iraq, will “help with civil unrest and crowd control.” According to Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of the U.S. Northern Command, at least two more brigades will be deployed by 2010.

    an article about the brigade is here
    http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/army_homeland_090708w/

    The Posse Comitatus Act
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act

    wiki repeats much of the detail if you follow it.

    The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

    Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.

    Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

    you can go here if you want to take a look at some details. its two battalions and four regiments. one of the regiments was at little big horn.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3rd_Infantry_Division_(United_States)

    on a happier note…

    “The census director has now sent a letter to the national headquarters of ACORN notifying them that the Census Bureau is severing all ties with ACORN for all the work having to do with the 2010 Census, either in preparation for or the execution of the 2010 Census. … A copy of this letter has been sent to Congress and relevant committees.”

  18. Tom Grey Says:

    Thanks for another fine post, Neo. There is no unity, and there’s not likely to be soon.

    In fact, most who call for unity aren’t really willing to even consider changing their positions. Tho I have to also say, I’m not so willing to change mine, either.

    But I’m not calling for unity. I think it’s healthy to disagree.

    Please also keep thinking about the Unreal Perfection that critics of America use to belittle us. Did you see the Frankfort School of Critical Theory? — criticize. (Video, Bill Whittle, PJTV).

    One division is those of us who like to compare realistic alternatives, at a comparable level of detail, and those who compare their own dream against reality.

    Will an Islamic country using a nuke wake people up? Or be used to blame Israel further? Could you talk to any of your liberal friends about this possibility?

  19. davidt Says:

    I didn’t see any ‘coming together’ between the Democrat and Republican politicians in the immediate aftermath of 911. At least not ‘coming together’ for the good of the country.

    I saw a bunch of politicians scared shitless that they themselves were in personal danger of being killed.

    Then, once they figured the coast was clear, it was back to business as usual.

  20. Julia Says:

    One thing that has struck me about 9/11 is how NYC rebuilt itself so quickly after the attacks. In fact, it even had itself a heckuva boom. That says a lot about the unique resilience of New Yorkers and Americans. Success is the best revenge. The Islamic jihadists wanted to break us and it will never happen. So perhaps it may seem callous that so many have moved on, but it is a great strength. The jihadist cavemen, wanted to cow us, and we came back better than ever. Perhaps that is the best memorial we can give to those who perished on 9/11.

  21. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    A day of “Service,” when it should be a day of, “service the targets.”

    I find it remarkable that, throughout the Muslim world, there are videos and posters that celebrate the act of Muslim fanatics crashing these planes into the Twin Towers—isn’t the phrase “Muslim fanatics” mostly redundant?—and the Towers falling, but that we are very seldom allowed to see these images–and then only briefly–even on anniversaries of 9/11 and hardly at all during the rest of the year, because our “betters” have decided that these images would rile us up too much i.e. we might be reminded of why we are fighting Muslims overseas, and why we should keep a very close eye on Islam and Muslims, particularly those in the U.S. who are trying to “peacefully,” incrementally inflict Islam on us.

  22. Occam's Beard Says:

    A day of “Service,” when it should be a day of, “service the targets.”

    Hear, hear!

  23. huxley Says:

    Oblio’s post reminds me of a wonderful song commemorating the British dead of WWI.

    In England there was a centuries-long tradition of Morris Dancing, which was an all-male dancing form.

    However, the casualties of the First Wold War approached 70% in many English towns. The tradition of Morris Dancing would have died out had the women not stepped in and stepped up for decades to take the place of the young men whom they had lost.

    Would that we were as true to those we lost only eight years ago.

    Dancing At Whitsun

    * (Trad / Austin John Marshall)

    It’s fifty long springtimes since she was a bride
    But still you may see her at each Whitsuntide
    In a dress of white linen and ribbons of green
    As green as her memories of loving

    The feet that were nimble tread carefully now
    As gentle a measure as age do allow
    Through groves of white blossom by fields of young corn
    Where once she was pledged to her true love

    The fields they stand empty, the hedges grow free
    No young men to tend them or pastures go see
    They have gone where the forests of oak trees before
    Have gone to be wasted in battle

    Down from the green farmlands and from their loved ones
    Marched husbands and brothers and fathers and sons
    There’s a fine roll of honour where the maypole once stood
    And the ladies go dancing at Whitsun

    There’s a straight row of houses in these latter days
    Are covering the downs where the sheep used to graze
    There’s a field of red poppies, a wreath from the Queen
    But the ladies remember at Whitsun
    And the ladies go dancing at Whitsun

    As sung by Tim Hart & Maddy Prior

    http://www.last.fm/music/Maddy%2BPrior%2B%2526%2BTim%2BHart/_/Dancing+at+Whitsun

    Click at the right-arrow button in the player on the left to hear the song.

  24. jon baker Says:

    Artfldgr,
    One of a number of reasons I got out of the Military was my increasing fear that the Military would be used on the wrong side of the Constitution. Some here say that US troops would not oppress their own people. There would be those who would resist those orders, but there would be many that would follow them as well.
    For years police now have been doing “Terry Stop and Frisk”- ok by the Supreme court but certainly Unconstitutional. There are those who go into the military for love of country- but there are many who are attracted by power as well.

  25. Vieux Charles Says:

    government of the people, by the people, for the people ~ Abraham Lincoln

    Try a little experiment next time a Liberal invokes Lincoln. Ask them if the government IS the people. They will shake their heads and stagger backwards as if in bewildered confusion. To them government is that other thing – a scape goat, the parent of their prodigal lives. They know Lincoln not. They know Lincoln not at all.

  26. Vieux Charles Says:

    Let us never forget the innocents that lost their lives eight years ago. And, let us never forgive ourselves, lest it happen again.

  27. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    9/11 was a trauma like pearl Harbor. The difference was that after Pearl Harbor we had a tangible enemy and we could see the dimensions of the job. There were those who wanted to deny the reality that we needed to go to war and win it in no uncertain terms. But they were a small minority. The nation turned its attention to winning the war, and we did not hesitate to unleash all the destructive power we could bring to bear. In five hard years the war was won. The nation picked up the pieces and went about the job of building a better world. We did not forget the sacrifices and our dead, but did as Lincoln had asked at Gettysburg, “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

    After 9/11, thanks to the Vietnam era jourrnalists and academics, the ranks of the deniers were much larger. Also, the task ahead was not so clear. We knew we had to do something, but the enemy were shadowy and secreted among civilian populations all over the Muslim world. And we could not call it a religious war – that would not be PC. So we called it a war on a tactic. What could be more unclear and amorphous? What could be less clear as to what the task was or how we would accomplish it?

    We have been like family that suffers the death of a child. We have been deep in grief, anger, denial, guilt, and much more. We want desperately to be rid of our pain, but we don’t know how. Our efforts to resolve the task (Soundly defeat all Islamic radicals who would attack us and use terrorism as a tactic.) have met with only partial success against a background of bickering, accusations, and lack of full resolve. Many democrat political leaders have been as Ralph Peters says, “Instead of taking a firm stand against Islamist fanaticism, we’ve made a cult of negotiations — as our enemies pursue nuclear weapons; sponsor terrorism; torture, imprison, rape and murder their own citizens — and laugh at us.”

    Until we, as a nation(at least the majority), feel the kind of clear headed resolve and desire that Ralph Peters and our fighting forces feel that the dead of 9/11 have not died in vain, we will continue to flail about like a helpless, dysfunctional giant.

  28. Richard Aubrey Says:

    A commenter on another blog reffed the statement that “the Constitution is not a suicide pact” when he said that “9-11 is not a suicide pact for liberals”.
    Point being that to truly understand 9-11 would be intellectual sucide for liberals. So they have to revise history in order to support their view that the US is the font of all evil and we had it coming.
    For about six weeks, they were confused. Now, they’re back to where they came from.
    Scary that a third of the US population thinks it would be a good thing for the US to lose the WOT.

  29. br549 Says:

    I haven’t read any of the above, just the title block at the beginning of the thread. All I have to say about September 11 is those were acts of war. We should respond accordingly until the job is done.

  30. Oblio Says:

    When I look at Mr. Obama’s proclamation and listen to the tenor of liberal comments about 911, I perceive a deadly emphasis on grief for the victims. That I certainly feel. What’s missing is the celebration and pride we should feel for our heroes, first the police and firefighters who ran toward danger, the passengers of UA93, the heroes since that time in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Shadow War. Our heroes, not our suffering, define who we are.

    Therefore, we should weep a little less on 911 and spend more time remembering the heroes of the Long War, and dedicating ourselves to be more like them, for they are the best of us.

  31. Warpublican Says:

    After the way Republicans cynically used 9/11 as a hammer to silence those who disagreed with their policies, 9/11 has lost any true meaning. Republicans OWNED 9/11 – from the White House to the Congress – from every military committee and sub-committee – so did the Republican leadership fail us on that day – and yet they were never called to task by either the American public or the Democratic “opposition.” While the nation gathered around President Bush after 9/11 – the republicans have all but abandoned Obama – and it wasn’t but weeks into his young presidency that national security EXPERT Dick Cheney – the man who severely fumbled the ball on the days leading up to 9/11 – but who casually proclaims that HE kept America safe – even as we lost 400 plus troops in a needles war, ensures us that Obama has left the nation vulnerable to a new attack – and that ANY attack would surely be Obama’s fault. Would Republicans gather around Obama after another attack? Or would the RNC have an ad out the following day decrying Obama weakness and inability to protect us? I say to the Republicans – you can keep 9/11 as your own precious day – you do it anyway – after all you OWN IT – your incompetence brought it – Clinton aside (yes I know – the terrorists planned it under Clinton but took a 9 month vacation before implementing it…) – and you’ve never claimed a SHRED of responsibility for it – even as you point gingers at Obama.
    9/11? Ain’t that the day after 9/10 and before 9/12?

  32. MikeLL Says:

    Warpublican is exactly the type of person I was referring to in the last paragraph of my comment @ 5:27 pm above.

  33. Oblio Says:

    We own 9/11, Warpublican? Thanks, we’ll keep it.

  34. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Yes, MikeLL, he certainly is. He’s also so beside himself with rage that you can see the spittle flying as he types — still, eight years after the attacks, almost a year after his side won the Presidency and both houses of Congress so that they now have the opportunity to “own” whatever they want. This is one angry, angry, angry man — so angry that the fear is showing all over him.

  35. Paul Gordon Says:

    “Warpublican?”

    Unlike most of the trolls who scuttle out here, his imagination rises to the 14 year old level.

    Congratulations,… I think.

  36. rickl Says:

    Warpublican Says:
    September 12th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    After the way Republicans cynically used 9/11 as a hammer to silence those who disagreed with their policies

    “Silence”? When exactly has the Left been silenced during the last eight years? Near as I can tell, they wouldn’t shut up.

  37. an unrepentant kulak Says:

    Thank you, neo, for this observance! I always look here to see what you’ve published, and once again, I find I feel as you do.

    After years of half-starts, I’ve finally posted my own recollections of 9/11. I was Upstate, among the campus Left. Thank you for your fine example that helped move me to start a blog in the first place.

    May we remember, always, and may we find our way forward out of the sad state we seem to be in.

  38. Grundlegende Realitäten « Aron Sperber’s Weblog Says:

    […] wird heute so ziemlich alles zugetraut.  Auch wenn die Bush-Administration oder die Neocons wohl keine politische Verfolgung zu befürchten haben – führt diese Dämonisierung zu großen […]

  39. Perfected democrat Says:

    Warpublican’s disjointed diatribe, typical of people who only read what they want to focus on, and interpret and read into, only what they want to focus on, begins with “… 9/11 has lost any true meaning.” What would that “true meaning” be, perhaps left-wing political crap?

    Indirectly related, David Horowitz:

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=36267

  40. Perfected democrat Says:

    “… yet they were never called to task by either the American public or the Democratic “opposition.”

    Try reading the report (for what it’s worth), you might have only been in grade school at the time:

    http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf

  41. Occam's Beard Says:

    We really need to get a better class of troll. Someone who can make a valid point, and has an IQ nudging into triple digits.

    But alas, not today.

  42. neo-neocon Says:

    Warpublican: I can’t speak for others, but I can say that I, for one, have never pointed gingers (no, not even one single ginger) at Obama. And I never will.

  43. grackle Says:

    First: Warpublican is an idiot who exemplifies perfectly the Progressive/Obama viewpoint, a viewpoint that can only lead to greater bloodshed in the end.

    From Wolla Dalbo: … throughout the Muslim world, there are videos and posters that celebrate the act of Muslim fanatics crashing these planes into the Twin Towers—isn’t the phrase “Muslim fanatics” mostly redundant?—and the Towers falling, but that we are very seldom allowed to see these images–and then only briefly–even on anniversaries of 9/11 and hardly at all during the rest of the year, because our “betters” have decided that these images would rile us up too much i.e. we might be reminded of why we are fighting Muslims overseas, and why we should keep a very close eye on Islam and Muslims, particularly those in the U.S. who are trying to “peacefully,” incrementally inflict Islam on us.

    The commentor, with whom I’ve jousted, may be surprised to find me in complete agreement. Let me put it plain and simple: We are in a religious war.

    The religious aspect is so far almost entirely from the enemy. Our side is still trying to think of it in secular terms. Throughout the Islamic world there is public rejoicing anytime the Western Judeo-Christian world receives a setback. Their terrorists are received in their countries as religious heroes, as recently happened in Libya.

    The problem is in the religion itself, which when allowed to exist without secular protections from it invariably imposes a religion-based totalitarianism on those societies unwise enough to be obliging to it.

    From jon baker: Some here say that US troops would not oppress their own people. There would be those who would resist those orders, but there would be many that would follow them as well.

    I think the commentor defames the U.S. Armed Forces and this veteran resents it.

    I have not seen anyone directly characterize the U.S. military as an oppressor although there are many vague implications to that effect. Even in this instance the commentor chooses an indirect, implicative syntax.

    Let’s try not to confuse our protectors with those who want to murder us, especially in comments on a post about 9/11, or we may end up as muddled and wrongheaded as those misguided American Progressives who apologize for the Islamists.

  44. huxley Says:

    Would Republicans gather around Obama after another attack? Or would the RNC have an ad out the following day decrying Obama weakness and inability to protect us?

    Warpublicans: Republicans, conservatives and neoconservatives will certainly gather around America.

    The problem Obama would face is that he has intentionally and constantly worked to undermine our ability to protect ourselves.

    9-11 was the largest act of terrorism in history. It’s hard to defend against what you’ve not seen before. I give both Clinton and Bush slack in that regard.

    But we’ve seen 9-11 now. We know much more about our enemies.

    Meanwhile the Obama adminstration can’t even call such an attack terrorism, but instead a “man-caused disaster.” After 9-11 more attacks were on the way and stopped because of our interrogations techniques that the Obama administration has worked hard to prevent being used again.

    So, yeah, I suspect our ability to rally around a president who has weakened our defenses and perhaps even opened the door to the next attack will be ambivalent.

  45. grackle Says:

    In John Updike’s book of poetry, “Endpoint,” I find these stanzas in his poem, “March Birthday 2002, and After.”

    The winds of war, warm winds in desert dust,
    have been unleashed, the fifth war of my life,
    not counting the Cold one, and skirmishes.
    Protestors dust off Vietnam’s gaudy gear
    and mount their irreproachable high nags
    called Peace, Diplomacy and Love.
    I think that love fuels war like gasoline,
    and crying peace curdles the ears of doves.

    Yet something is awry, no doubt of it.
    Out on the Bay, a strange steel spider crawls
    among our islands, glaring bright at night.
    Time was when this white house, with it’s broad view,
    wore blackout shades and watched the iron sea
    for submarines, A child then now is old.

    “… Love fuels war like gasoline … “ is one of the truer images about war that I’ve read in modern poetry. Mostly, contemporary poets prefer to mount the “nags” of “Peace, Diplomacy and Love.”

  46. neo-neocon Says:

    grackle: John Updike’s brave stand on the Vietnam War.

  47. Oblio Says:

    I recommend an unrepentant kulak’s essay, which is quite moving. I wish he had hissed the college president. Never mind maneuvers, go straight at’em. These leftists scatter like pigeons. Courage is a very rare thing among them. They appease the cruel and torment the kind.

  48. Foxfier Says:

    MikeLL –
    my bunkmate’s dad, a Protestant Chaplain, was in the Army section for some kind of meeting, too.
    All the sort of things you said to try to comfort were told her, too, and each time we’d get more information we’d find out the comforts had been wrong… thank God, he was fine, just twisted his ankle helping one of the office ladies out of the building. (seriously)

    There were two family members missing from the girls across the barrack’s hall, and one of the guys in my graduation group from Bootcamp lost his mom’s entire family, save only his mother. They had a family restaurant in one of the Towers, and she happened to be late that day.
    They offered him a free “out” of the military, unlimited time off, a free flight to the funerals– he refused all of it to get through boot camp and down to business. (I think he was an Aviation Ordnance rate, too.)

  49. grackle Says:

    grackle: John Updike’s brave stand on the Vietnam War.

    Yes, Neo, I read the post back in January. Updike was certainly courageous and unswayed by conventional wisdom. I think he could not be ignored by the publishers, as other writers have perhaps been ignored(we’ll never know how many), or effectively punished by the literati because he established his reputation early and his novels sold well.

    Norman Mailer tried a little bit of the same thing, being honest, in regards to the more rabid of the gender warriors and was soundly humiliated, having to resort to begging his way back into the good graces of the New York intellectuals. But I never saw Mailer as the towering talent that Updike undeniably was.

    Mailer’s the “Naked and the Dead” is one of the most idiotic novels I’ve ever trudged through but its themes massaged some of the major stupidities of the Left so Mailer hit the jackpot with his first quarter. The novel was praised so highly that they could not ignore him afterwards. I think the best that can be said of Mailer is that he was a mildly interesting essayist, writing essays which tended to be too tortured to firmly establish any salient point but which always featured a needlessly complex, contradiction-filled fawning toward the cherished memes of the Left.

    In the years to come Mailer’s literary highpoint will no doubt be considered “The Executioner’s Song,” a derivative work, the technique and subject of which was copied from the earlier and better Truman Capote book, “In Cold Blood.” I predict the critics of the future will ignore him except as an oddity. But enough about Mailer.

    In Wiki I find this:

    The critic John Keenan, who praised the “beautiful and poignant” Endpoint, writes:

    “I find it odd that Updike’s reputation as a poet is slight at best.”

    Not so odd: Unlike novels, books of poetry do not bring publishing firms much revenue. So poetry critics could ignore or pan Updike with impunity since such treatment costs their publishers nothing. Although literary criticism in general is certainly subjective I think criticism of poetry can be more subjective than criticism of novels. It’s easier for the reader of novels to detect when criticism is biased or unfounded. Critics of novels have to be more careful.

  50. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I like Kulak’s essay. The cultural malaise he describes certainly exists.
    What is particularly infuriating about those he describes is the absolute certainty they have, not merely that they’re right, but that they could not in any sense be wrong, and they are, morally, infinitely superior to those who disagree.

  51. Oblio Says:

    Richard Aubrey, we must not be infuriated by the Left’s moral poses. We must expect it, so it should never come as a surprise. Then we should call it out and attack it. That is their weakness.

  52. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I didn’t say I was surprised, Oblio. Infuriated.
    I’m having trouble thinking of a way to attack it. Since it’s self-referencing and beyond debate, attacking it is sort of like trying to find a corner on a circle.
    I have come to the conclusion, late, that about half of the lefties don’t actually believe the crap they’re telling us. I have some relations who actually think the world is warming. But they were never reality-based to begin with.
    Others think global warming is a crisis which may cause the populace to give the government money and power. Move the proles into big blocks in the city (see an old essay by Tom Wolfe), get Joe Lunchbucket under control of his betters (to whom he declines to listen). Get a monopoly on some subsidized scheme (corn ethanol, wind turbines).
    So I explain to lefties that the reason I’m telling them how things really work is not to enlighten them. It’s to let them know I know better already. They may argue, but I make it clear I know they know better.
    I think finding out that, not only are they not believed, they are considered deeply dishonest, might take some wind out of their sails.
    “I got a B average in high school, got a modest gradepoint in a generic BA from Enormous State University, then I was a grunt and now I peddle insurance. If I know this stuff, what about all the smart people? Which is practically everbody.”
    Working, for a few years, in a faith-based peace&wonderfulness group, I actually saw this give pause.
    “How many people,” I believe they were asking themselves, “know this, too?”
    This technique also makes any moral posturing meaningless. How can you take an air of moral superiority when the other guy has said he thinks you’re lying like a rug?
    I do not attempt to convince them of the facts, since they already know the facts. Waste of time.
    What I want to do is convince them they’re wasting their time, both on me and on an unknown number of others who are not in a position to say, “We know better already.”
    The Tea Parties and health care reform is not an effort to educate the congresscritters. We know they know. It’s an effort to tell them they’ll be punished. Different emphasis.

  53. maureen Says:

    The Gettysburg Address has 10 iterations of “we”, three each if “us” and “they”, and two of “our.” Not a single use of “I”.

    If Lincoln is, indeed, one of his heroes, our President could learn a lot from him. If.

  54. an unrepentant kulak Says:

    Thank you kindly, Richard.

    Years later, I feel as if I’ve seen and heard it all, experienced the farthest depths of that kind of vitriol and hate, and am (sad to say) no longer surprised by anything I hear from the Left. I’m also much more inclined to engage when presented with that sort of worldview. Feel like I have to do something to try to wake us up to the preciousness of what many seem ready and eager to throw away. Hoping some good will come of it.

  55. Oblio Says:

    Richard, I find that being calm and implacable is much more effective on such occasions. Let them feel fury. Is anger caused by fear? (I must be reading too much Sun Tzu.)

  56. 9/11 Quotes | Fearless Dream Says:

    […] Commenting on this year’s designation of September 11th as a “National Day of Service and Remembrance”, Debra responded (hat tip: neo-neocon): […]

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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