Good morning, Gentle Readers. A number of you have written to ask why I haven’t posted anything about the twentieth anniversary of the greatest atrocity ever visited upon this nation. The short answer is that the date has left me both heartsick and furious: too heartsick to say anything encouraging, and too furious to say anything meaningful about “where we go from here.” As for the long answer…well, suffice it to say that neither of us has the time or patience for that. So I’ll spare you.
Other commentators have said a great deal about the day today commemorates. Gerard Vanderleun produced a deep remembrance of what he saw that day. Mike Hendrix has rounded up the thoughts of several others and added his own. There’s enough there and elsewhere for your perusal. I have no need to add a great quantity of melancholy or angry verbiage to theirs, especially given how I feel about it all.
However, there’s a word ringing in my head that simply won’t go away. It’s an old “favorite,” one about which I’ve ranted in the past: should. To be more specific, I’m hearing it embedded in a past-tense phrase: what we should have done. As we’re getting quite a lot of that from other commentators, including the ones cited above, I’ll strive to keep my thoughts brief.
First, a snippet from a truly excellent thriller:
“Miss Rains?” It was the General.
“What did you know for certain after the attacks on 9/11?” he asked.
I hesitated for a moment because I thought I was being tested.
“I knew for certain on 9/11 that we were at war,” I said. “What did you know for certain on 9/11, sir?”
“That we had gotten off easy,” he said and hung up.
[Martin McPhillips, Corpse in Armor]
Both Mara Rains, the first-person protagonist of the passage above, and her shadowy interlocutor “the General” are correct. Moreover, their conclusions were easily available to anyone who dared to view the atrocity open-eyed. We were at war. The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were just early salvoes, the worst our enemy could do to us at that moment. They were not the end of the conflict, but the beginning of its active phase.
That war began with Muhammad himself. It’s a war between the Christian-Enlightenment West and Islam. It’s now fourteen centuries long and is still going on…and we’re losing.
We’re losing because we’re unwilling to allow that we’re at war. Instead, our “leaders” prattle about “justice” and exhort us not to think badly of Muslims.
But war is not justice. War is not the imposition of a judicial procedure upon an accused wrongdoer. War does not send forth detectives to investigate nor policemen to arrest nor judges and juries to try. War is prosecuted with armies. Its aim is to break the will of the enemy: at first, by closing with and destroying its active forces; thereafter, by doing whatever is necessary to eliminate the will of the enemy nation to resist our will.
We were at war after 9/11…but we did not go to war. Our “leaders” refused to allow that we were at war. They prattled instead about “justice” and “democracy.” In particular, they told us that Islam is “a religion of peace.”
Islam is not a religion of peace. Islam is an ideology of world conquest. It aims at the subjugation of all of Mankind. Stripped of its theological trimmings, it is indistinguishable from Nazism…but wait: didn’t Adolf Hitler want to be seen as a god?
Islam has always been the open enemy of the West, the United States in particular. It will be our enemy for as long as it persists.
We cannot impose “justice” on Islam. We cannot “democratize” or “modernize” it. We certainly can’t improve its attitude toward us through immigration or trade. We can only fight it with wholesale slaughter and destruction, just as we did with Nazism and Japanese imperialism.
Only two commentators took that view, unabashedly and unapologetically, after September 11, 2001. One was Ann Coulter:
We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war.
The other was this clown. If you don’t recall what he said on that occasion, here’s the meat of it:
I saw and spoke to many people that day. Gripped with shock from the events, many had nothing to offer but tears. Those who could articulate their feelings were nearly unanimous about them:
“Kill them all.”
It was a sentiment I shared with a degree of passion and a wholeness of heart that I’d once reserved for the people and things I loved.
He meant every word of it. He still means it all today. But do have a nice day.
A concise observation, Fran. Meanwhile, western nations continue their sleepwalk towards the gates of hell, seemingly unabated.
Unfortunately, the years since 9/11 have only intensified the Right’s belief in its deeply-cherished mantra:
That’s not who we are.
We can’t sink to their level.
But we have families and jobs.
We obey the law.
This is not the hill to die on.
Cowardice – or at least inaction – has been cast as the highest of all virtues.
I know what my response was…it was much like the response of Delenn after Dukhat was killed by a human attack:
“They struck without provocation, there was no reason… animals! Brutal! They deserve no mercy. Strike them down! Follow them back to their bases and kill them! All of them! All of them! NO MERCY! NO MERCY!“ (Babylon 5 4×09 “Atonement”)
I think what resulted from 9/11 should have been every bit as devastating to Islam as the Earth-Minbari War was to the humans. And I don’t think there’d have been a last-minute save where we’d have surrendered just before the final victory.
Instead, we surrendered before even really fighting a war.