It’s as though, ten years after the start of the war, we had killed Hitler, but left Nazism intact.
Who has won the war against terrorism? Not the West.
[Anniversary morning update]
to me, those airplanes are still falling, those buildings are still falling, those people are still falling. They will always be falling, forever falling in my mind. And we are falling along with them, still falling, ten years later.
At the time, I was stupid enough to hope that losing three thousand Americans to a sneak attack by the Muzis would be the catalyst that would reignite the American Spirit. I thought it was our Pearl Harbor. I thought that we as a nation would finally sweep aside the bullshit, the weasel words, the lies, and the ideas behind the lies, and deal with reality as it exists. I thought were finally going to shrug away the spiritual rot of the past fifty years and cure ourselves of our cultural and political madness.
Yes, I had those hopes, too. But I’m not as pessimistic as Bruce is.
Mark Steyn is also his usual anti-pollyannaish self:
What of the 23rd Psalm? It was recited by Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer and the telephone operator Lisa Jefferson in the final moments of his life before he cried, “Let’s roll!” and rushed the hijackers.
No, sorry. Aside from firemen, Mayor Bloomberg’s official commemoration hasn’t got any room for clergy, either, what with all the Executive Deputy Assistant Directors of Healing and Outreach who’ll be there. One reason why there’s so little room at Ground Zero is because it’s still a building site. As I write in my new book, 9/11 was something America’s enemies did to us; the ten-year hole is something we did to ourselves — and in its way, the interminable bureaucratic sloth is surely as eloquent as anything Nanny Bloomberg will say in his remarks.
In Shanksville, Pa., the zoning and permitting processes are presumably less arthritic than in Lower Manhattan, but the Flight 93 memorial has still not been completed. There were objections to the proposed “Crescent of Embrace” on the grounds that it looked like an Islamic crescent pointing towards Mecca. The defense of its designers was that, au contraire, it’s just the usual touchy-feely huggy-weepy pansy-wimpy multiculti effete healing diversity mush. It doesn’t really matter which of these interpretations is correct, since neither of them has anything to do with what the passengers of Flight 93 actually did a decade ago. 9/11 was both Pearl Harbor and the Doolittle Raid rolled into one, and the fourth flight was the only good news of the day, when citizen volunteers formed themselves into an ad hoc militia and denied Osama bin Laden what might have been his most spectacular victory. A few brave individuals figured out what was going on and pushed back within half an hour. But we can’t memorialize their sacrifice within a decade. And when the architect gets the memorial brief, he naturally assumes that there’s been a typing error and that “Let’s roll!” should really be “Let’s roll over!”
Meanwhile, Al Qaeda has found a new haven in Pakistan (or as the president would say, Pahkeestahn). It’s hard to be optimistic.
[Update a few minutes later]
I’d like to agree with Jake Tapper that this is the most idiotic thing that anyone has said about the occasion, but it’s rivaled by Paul Krugman’s vileness, who (as Professor Jacobson notes) does us the favor of giving voice to what the loony left is thinking. And lest we think his derangement a recent occurrence, recall what he wrote back in the day: “In the years ahead Enron, not Sept. 11, will…be seen as the greater turning point in U.S. society.”
Yes, he really wrote that.
Meanwhile, Iowahawk sums up the day pretty well, I think: “The one enduring lesson of 9/11 and its aftermath: PC kills.”
But it’s a lesson that our so-called leaders haven’t learned.
[Update a while later]
What to say to the totalitarian left on 9/11.
[Update a few minutes later]
Thoughts on 9/11 and the foreseeable future:
Many illusions were challenged on September 11. One illusion concerns the fantasies of academic multiculturalists, so-called. I say “so-called” because what goes under the name of multiculturalism in our colleges and universities today is really a polysyllabic form of mono-culturalism fueled by ideological hatred. Genuine multiculturalism involves a great deal of work, beginning with the arduous task of learning other languages, something most of those who call themselves multiculturalists are conspicuously loath to do.
Think of the fatuous attack on “dead white European males” that stands at the center of the academic multiculturalist enterprise. As a specimen of that maligned species, one could hardly do better than Pericles. Not only is he a dead white European male, but he is one who embodied in his life and aspirations an ideal of humanity completely at odds with academic multiculturalism. He was patriarchal, militarist, elitist, and Eurocentric, indeed, Hellenocentric, which is even worse.
The good news is that Pericles survived September 11. The spurious brand of multiculturalism that encourages us to repudiate “dead white European males” and insists that all cultures are of equal worth may finally be entering a terminal stage. Figures like Edward Said and Susan Sontag, Harold Pinter and Noam Chomsky continue to bay about the iniquity of America, the depredations of capitalism, and so on, but their voices have been falling on increasingly deaf ears. The liberal media began by wringing its hands and wondering whether the coalition would hold, whether we were fair to “moderate” members of the Taliban, whether the Afghans were too wily for Americans, whether the United States was acting in too “unilateral” a fashion. On Christmas Eve, in a masterpiece of understatement, The Wall Street Journal ran a story under the headline “In War’s Early Phase, News Media Showed a Tendency to Misfire.” “This war is in trouble,” quoth Daniel Schorr on NPR. At the end of October, R. W. Apple warned readers of The New York Times that “signs of progress are sparse.” Et cetera. Every piece of possible bad news was—and is—touted as evidence that we may have entered a “quagmire,” that we are “overextended,” “arrogant,” “unresponsive” to the needs and desires of indigenes. It is too soon to say which way the rhetorical chips will ultimately fall. But, as of this writing anyway, a constant string of victories has the liberal pundits frustrated and baffled. They had been waiting for a repeat of Vietnam, and the Bush administration disobliged by giving them a conflict in which America was in the right and was winning.
I mocked them mercilessly at the time, including the odious Sunera Thobani.
[Update a few minutes later]
Related thoughts from Bruce Bawer:
The divisions that ensued after 9/11 weren’t any one person’s, or party’s, fault. If we’d had a president who had dared to speak the truth about our enemies and about the ideology (which is to say theology) that motivates them, and had done so eloquently and stirringly and repeatedly, à la Churchill — instead of pretending that all religions are by definition good and that the hijackers had “betrayed” their faith (as if it were the job of any American president to judge who was or was not a “good” Muslim) — it might have made a huge difference. Such an assertive, informed response might have helped to overcome the ideological depredations of Michael Moore, Gore Vidal, Oliver Stone, and others, which did such appalling damage. But perhaps not. Perhaps the poison of multiculturalism — the fear of acknowledging that our enemies were, in fact, our enemies — was simply too potent. In the years after 9/11, politicians, journalists, professors, and schoolteachers alike cowed millions of Americans into being scared of even saying, flat out, why those people had piloted those planes into those buildings. In doing so, they crippled our ability to respond in a strong, unified, and self-assured way to a threat that did not end that day but that is ongoing.
But too many remain in denial.
[Late morning update]
I forgot the appropriate description of Krugman. Make that former Enron advisor Paul Krugman.