Five Years On

posted at 9:11 am on September 11, 2006 by Bryan

I remember where I was, as I’m sure you do. I remember the feeling of knowing our country was under attack the instant the second plane hit. The feeling grew and hardened when we heard by phone from someone in Washington, before any media reported it, that there was a huge plume of black smoke coming from the direction of the Pentagon. Then there was the news that there was a fourth plane, unaccounted for. I lived between New York and Washington, and therefore very much in the general zone of attack. We didn’t know what else might be in store for us. I hadn’t been this worried about my own personal safety since I’d been in the Air Force and stationed in Japan in 1994, when the North Koreans were rattling their nuclear sabre at the world and it seemed like war might be around the corner. This time I had a family to think about too. But more than fearful or sad on 9-11, I was livid.

I remember a conversation with my wife that day on the phone, after the Pentagon strike. “There’s going to be a war,” she said fearfully. “There had better be,” I replied.

Then the towers came down and dread, sorrow and anger filled our souls. We all feared that the loss of life would reach into the tens of thousands.

I remember saying to a friend a day or two later that we would see the use of nuclear weapons before the coming war was done. I don’t recall saying who would use them, or where.

There was unity in the weeks after 9-11. Nearly everyone recognized the threat for what it was and wanted it dealt with. You couldn’t escape it. Liberals I knew talked of opening up the ANWR for drilling oil, anything to get us to become less connected to the region that had spawned our assailants. The invasion of Afghanistan to topple the Taliban and al Qaeda enjoyed widespread support.

But there were cracks even then. Before I began blogging, I would troll the internet looking for chat boards and other places to read the reactions of average Americans others around the world. I guess I just wanted to see what others were thinking. The press was already talking about the “brutal Afghan winter” and the “graveyard of empires” to the point that the legacy media outlets had already become little more than useless to me. But the defeatist media was obviously even then playing to an audience. On the European boards, President Bush’s “you are either with us or you are with the terrorists” line struck a strange nerve. Over and over, Europeans said (behind the veil of anonymous handles) “then I guess I am with the terrorists, because I hate George Bush and I hate America and cannot side with them.” From all I could tell these weren’t jihadis or even Muslims, just average European lefties venting among friends. I trolled some board or other out of San Francisco, I think it might have been an Indymedia site (I didn’t even know what Indymedia was back then, or what it would become, it was just seemed to be a place people were gathering to talk about events). I spent more than a few late nights there trying to come to grips with the burgeoning anti-America movement (it wasn’t anti-war yet, properly, since the invasion of Iraq was still in the future and the Afghan campaign had barely begun). I tried explaining to a few there that, for all their talk of Bush as Hitler and Republicans as Nazis–talk that also pre-dated the Iraq war–that al Qaeda’s anti-Semitism, its persecution of non-Muslims and gays and in its violence and will to power, it bore much more resemblance to Nazis than any American president ever had or probably could. But I soon realized I was wasting my time there, and left.

Five years on, the most striking change I see having taken place is the stridence and apparent insanity of war critics. We were attacked by a brutal enemy on 9-11, a fact they either dismiss or refuse to acknowledge and understand. The actual changes to civil liberties have been marginal and don’t compare to what Lincoln or FDR did to civil liberties in the course of war. But in this war a coalition of Stalinists, mainstream lefties, some on the right, jihadis, moderate Muslims, cranks and kooks has blown its irrational fears of our own leadership out of all proportion and made 9-11 denial acceptable. They have made it more acceptable to hate Bush and Cheney than bin Laden and Zawahiri. On Fox News, Alan Colmes can say that he is agnostic about what happened on 9-11 and be back the next day to criticize Bush, as though what he had said the night before didn’t qualify him for the looney bin.

Five years on, a psychosis has gripped millions who can’t and won’t fathom the true nature of the war we are in. For many of them, having been born and raised in an essentially post-Christian West, they can’t imagine that anyone might be motivated to kill and die because of something a warlord wrote down centuries ago. They cannot imagine any religion other than the one they believe they have outgrown being violent or causing violence. They cannot imagine anyone fighting for a cause that offers no material gains and therefore cannot be negotiated away. In our essentially materialist West, millions lack the imagination to believe that bin Laden’s pining for the return of Andalusia to Muslim rule is in his mind a legitimate reason to wage war on America now. They can imagine their own countrymen being so motivated, though, and I think that’s key to understanding their state of mind. They can imagine the Rotary Club member down the street plotting mayhem because he goes to church and votes Republican, but they can’t imagine that the Muslim in Karachi is a real, live enemy who is actually plotting an attack.

This lack of imagination has bred the anti-war madness we have now. Rather than accept the reality of an enemy that cannot and therefore will not negotiate away what he believes to be the will of God, and rather than accept that this enemy will understand nothing outside total victory or total defeat, and rather than understand that this enemy’s goals include enslaving the entire world in a global caliphate, and rather than accept that this reality necessitates the use of all tools including military might to defend ourselves, millions have embraced an alternate reality. The reality of the enemy outside the West and its motivations being too terrifying and too far beyond their own control, millions now imagine that the enemy in this war is within. The enemy, to them, isn’t the turbaned man behind the plot to hijack multiple airplanes and crash them into multiple buildings in America. The real enemy, to these millions, is the man in the Oval Office, and the man or men behind him.

Imagining the enemy as a Westerner who has a Western worldview and essentially Western motivations gives these millions the comfort of thinking that they can understand and defeat the enemy easily. They can expose him in the press or on their blog. They can spread the word through a bumper sticker or a sign in their yard. They can vote against him and encourage others to help vote him out. They can impeach him. They can shout and rail at anyone who supports him. They can destroy his political party and ruin his name. They can, in their own minds, win the war on their own terms without exposing themselves to danger. Because they have imagined their own enemy from before that day to be the enemy of civilization. And because it’s not really a war at all, just a made-up threat some evil neocons conjured up to scare everyone into giving them power. And that being the case, the deniers imagine that they can save civilizaton at the ballot box. They don’t have to find out what makes the enemy tick, they don’t have to fight him, and they don’t have to change their fundamental and now obviously flawed assumptions about humanity and the world.

If only it were that easy.

Five years on, the illness of replacing an implacable, indeed alien enemy with one from our own civilizational family has spread and metastasized through the majority of one of our two political parties, and may yet claim a majority of the country itself. History has a way of fading out as the day’s current noise rises in volume, and to them 9-11 is either history or a historic lie. The loudest voice, though not always or even often right, is often the one that gets the last word. And the 9-11 deniers and their allies across the left are nothing if not loud.

Five years on, it’s hard to take a positive look at the war because we are failing to comprehend it. The mass denial of reality is taking half our arsenal of unity and morale away from us. Those of us who see the threat for what it is still say that we will prevail because we are right and because we are America, but that’s just letting the others off the hook. If we’re going to prevail anyway, why should they snap out of their fog? And why should we demand that they do? The truth is, we need the denial to end and we need our countrymen to understand and help, but since we’re powerless to cure it with reason we shrug or laugh at it. But it’s eating away at our ability to defend ourselves.

Five years on, the mistakes are starting to pile up. For a rising dictator, President Bush did precious little to mobilize the masses who once gave him more than 90% approval ratings. He got the Patriot Act and Homeland Security but didn’t increase the overall size of the military to deal with a war that by his own statements would be global in scale. He didn’t ask the American people to sacrifice. He didn’t demand that his earliest critics put up or shut up, when he commanded the political heights. He didn’t take the Democrats seriously when they openly planned to use Congress to sabotage him and the war at the same time and still doesn’t defend himself when they smear him and the troops and undermine the war. And for all the great and grand things he said and did in those days and the days since, he didn’t secure our border and he didn’t even name the enemy.

Five years on, the Democrats have become a party of repulsive clowns who pretend the entire decade of the 1990s never happened. Or their psychosis includes a great deal of convenient amnesia. They remember a photograph with Rumsfeld shaking the bloody hand of Saddam but conveniently forget everything they said in the public record about Saddam Hussein in the 1990s, and about al Qaeda during that same period. They remember and grossly inflate the American relationship with Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war but conveniently forget who bombed a Sudanese pharma factory on suspicion that it was manufacturing WMDs for al Qaeda in partnership with Iraq. They conveniently cut and paste intelligence reports to demonstrate “no link” between Saddam and terror but conveniently forget that the two Abu’s of terrorism–Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas–both resided in Iraq prior to 2003, and that there had been high-level meetings between the Baathists and the jihadists during the 1990s and right up to 2003. They accuse the current president of lying our way into war in Iraq but conveniently forget that a president from their own party tried to convince America that Saddam was a major threat worthy of very serious military action in 2000. They are the party of “never mind.” Or perhaps they said all that back before Bush because they knew all along that as long as one of their own was in the White House, nothing would actually come of all their hot rhetoric. They knew they could count on inaction. They knew Clinton’s public boldness on Iraq was fed more by his own scandals than any real threat, which freed them to talk and act tough in ways that they would never do if they thought it might lead to more than talk. They knew their own words were empty.

Whatever their motivations, roughly half the country and counting refuses to understand the war and its causes. The rest of the West is in worse shape. Europe is all but gone, with sharia in de facto force in many European cities. Britian’s last anti-terror lion is spent and is almost sure to be replaced by someone with anti-American leanings, no matter which party wins the next elections. A majority of Germans would rather see the terror masters in Iran obtain nuclear weapons than see the world use military force to stop it. A majority of Canadians believes we attacked ourselves on 9-11. Mexicans chant “Osama, Osama!” at a soccer match against the American team, Venezuelans join citizen militias to prepare for the American invasion that their dear leader promises is coming, and Latin America is swinging swiftly into the Chinese and Iranian spheres of influence.

Five years on, the West is tired of a war that the jihadis promise is only beginning.

Five years on we seem to be seeing the enemy’s fight to break out of the box that the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq had put him in. Iraq’s slide toward civil war because of Iranian instigation and the Taliban’s resurgence in Pakistan and Afghanistan along with what looks like the end of the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon could be a set of temporary setbacks. They’ll become permanent if we let them, and I worry that war fatigue will keep us from pushing back hard enough to defeat our enemies. Jacksonian American may be fighting hard overseas but it’s flagging on the homefront. The spectre of 9-11 isn’t enough to keep us unified and focused.

So five years on here we are, battle weary and divided across the West and with too many millions of us not even believing that there is a threat that thinks and acts independently of anything we understand as a reasonable motive. Iran is rising as a threat and we’re not rising with enough resolve to counter it. We’re too hung up on moral equivalency, legalism and cultural guilt to defend ourselves against an obviously evil enemy. Too many nurse their own pet nightmares and refuse to look the real nightmares in the face and deal with them. For too many, “We will never surrender” has been replaced with “We will never remember.”

But we should remember. We should remember our dead, look after those they left behind, and do all in our power to make sure no one ever dares strike us again. We have done a good job at the first two for these five years, but the third is a work yet incomplete.


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Powerful words, to be sure. They strike a nerve deep in the soul nonetheless. Great post!

rightside on September 11, 2006 at 9:22 AM

Bryan,
That’s your best post. the part that struck me the most was:

We’re too hung up on moral equivalency, legalism and cultural guilt to defend ourselves against an obviously evil enemy.

That nailed it. And if we lose, that will be the number one reason why.

pullingmyhairout on September 11, 2006 at 9:39 AM

GReat Post. Linked.

Bob Owens on September 11, 2006 at 9:45 AM

Very well said Bryan. The insanity with the truthers began for me in 2003. A very good friend of mine started talking about a documentarian who had found all these inconsistencies. He blamed Dick Cheney. He said the planes were actually drones; that the real planes had been sunk in the atlantic with the passengers aboard. I asked him how he could believe that. He babbled about controlled demolition..I said no, how can you believe an American like cheney who has been in government service for over 30 years would do something like that. I absolutely loathe Bill Clinton, and I wouldn’t dream of hanging something like that on him. How can you think that US service personnel would participate? Because Dick Cheney issn’t just sitting there with a nintendo controller flying drones. This friend of mine was a former Marine. I couldn’t believe it. We had worked together for over 3 years at a software company; we had the same last name, might have even been related. But I stopped speaking with him over this. He accused me of living in a fantasy world. I told him he needed to think in a common sense way. There’s a lot of ways we could have gotten cheap oil out of Saddam without a terrorist plot. But it’s gotten so much worse than that. That garbage is actually hitting the mainstream. This is like a bad dream. I hope we can wake up soon and start dealign with it. Once again, great post Bryan.

austinnelly on September 11, 2006 at 9:47 AM

Great essay, Bryan. Thank you.

Five years on, the West is tired of a war that the jihadis promise is only beginning.

Don’t be so sure of that one. I know exactly what you mean, but there are those of us who get it and have for a long time. There are others whose eyes are reopening, such as in Britain where their way of life has a blade at it’s throat as we speak. But alas, there are those who, as you say, prefer the enimity of those they know will not harm them: Americans.

But as political correctness begins to go out of fashion in DC, we have hope. And we have finally named the enemy. The first step to solving a problem is to recognize it. Keep the faith.

Pablo on September 11, 2006 at 10:12 AM

Bryan, thank you for this post. It hadn’t occured to me that part of the left’s focus on President Bush was that they found it easier to face a straw man enemy rather than the enemy who killed nearly 3000 of his fellow citizens in one horrible day. That makes a lot of sense, and I hope that if there are any Bush bashers reading this post, that they will think about that.
May God Bless the United States and curse our enemies.

Doug on September 11, 2006 at 10:16 AM

Norwegian imam uses Loose Change as evidence, get this, that Osama never existed.


Imam casts doubt over existence of bin Laden

Asked for his honest opinion on the terrorist organization al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden, the imam said “I think this is something that’s been made up.” He also questioned whether the September 11 attacks were actually orchestrated by Muslims, and lent credence to so-called “conspiracy theories” that suggest otherwise.

Among them is one, portrayed in an American movie, that the American authorities themselves were behind the attacks. Imam Zulqarnain Sakandar Madni said he thinks “there’s some good evidence that Bush & Co were behind this. See the film that’s called ‘Loose Change.’ An American film! “

JammieWearingFool on September 11, 2006 at 10:25 AM

What more needs to be said? It’s obvious to all by now that when President Bush said you are either with us or you are with the terrorists, the left is definitely not with us.

roninacreage on September 11, 2006 at 10:32 AM

Excellent synthesis, Bryan.

In light of political minds on the left that are not completely delusional, I am disgusted by – nay, afraid of – their urge to shift our nation’s efforts from offense to defense.

To illustrate: This morning, on Fox and Friends, Tim Roemer dismissed, if not condemned, the miniseries, The Path to 9/11, thereby encouraging Americans to retreat to a purely emotional focus on 9/11 as a day full of events occurring in a vacuum rather than beseeching Americans to contemplate and, concomitantly, to learn from what led to that fateful day. Roemer’s was but one example of the brazen, political attempts to play to the delusional among us by unmooring 9/11 from its history to absolve a few of responsibility.

Aunt B on September 11, 2006 at 10:32 AM

Great post Bryan.

Cary on September 11, 2006 at 10:47 AM

Tim Roemer dismissed, if not condemned, the miniseries, The Path to 9/11, thereby encouraging Americans to retreat to a purely emotional focus on 9/11 as a day full of events occurring in a vacuum rather than beseeching Americans to contemplate and, concomitantly, to learn from what led to that fateful day.

Aunt B, I totally agree with your post. But, I certainly would have preferred an accurate documentary based on the 9/11 report compared to what we got – a fluff docudrama, filled with inaccuracies (although the spirit of the report was left intact). As it stands now, the nutroots are pointing out the inaccuracies and that makes people who don’t know any better truly think that the film is a right-wing conspiracy out to destroy clintons “shining legacy.” (which it is not). I just wish they had been more accurate in the movie. it is unfortunate.

pullingmyhairout on September 11, 2006 at 10:58 AM

The movie is even more unfortunate because it further divides a country that so desperately needs to find unity fighting terrorism.

pullingmyhairout on September 11, 2006 at 10:59 AM

Should link this to RCP.

Nice essay.

moc23 on September 11, 2006 at 11:00 AM

You made me wonder where all this misplaced hatred would go if the Dems took office in November? Who would the Left hate then? Would everything become ‘peachy’ overnight? Or would we become sitting ducks?
People with so much venom, so much energy built up into hate and lies will not and can not contain this overnight. What would they do with this abundance of evil in their veins (I’m still only talking about the American left here)? It scares me more than a little.
I agree w/ B that Islamafascists are ‘just beginning’ their 1400 year old fight, so to speak. In this century it’s easier to commute and communicate around the world in hours or moments instead of months or years.
LIVID is what I too felt that day, 9/11/2006. LIVID is what I felt this morning, again, and hoping this day just might bring some fight and inner strength back into America. This post gives me pause, as I realize how dilusional and possibly blind the Dems, Left, Libs in part, or inclusive, just may be.
May God Bless the United States.

p.s. Bryan, “kill and die because of something a warlord wrote down centuries ago”

They ‘recited’ the word of war they call Koran for over 100 years before anyone wrote a thing. Which warlord did you mean here.

Thank you Bryan, for a very good post.

shooter on September 11, 2006 at 11:14 AM

Well, written sir.

So what do we do about it?

We are dealing a Democratic Party that has committed itself to sabotaging the war On October 27, 2003 when they wrote that famous memo. Zell Miller was dead on when he said this about the behavior of his own party:

If what has happened here is not treason, it is its first cousin. The ones responsible – be they staff or elected or both – should be dealt with quickly and severely sending a lesson to all that this kind of action will not be tolerated, ignored or excused.

I don’t intend to stand by and lose my life, my freedom, or my religion to a bunch of thugs with a 7th Century mindset because the left (the Democratic Party) chooses to sabotage a war of national survival because they can’t stand having “Bushitler” as President.

I will not tolerate a political party (even if it is a subset) giving aid and comfort to the enemy by undermining the government and sabotaging the war effort just to get back into political power.

They ARE traitors in the exact legal, constitutional, sense fo the word. And, somehow, they need to be permanently marginalized (not just politically defeated) and/or driven out of politics and government.

The quicker our side does something about it, the better.

georgej on September 11, 2006 at 12:00 PM

UNebraska says forget the victims;

STAFF EDITORIAL: Sept. 11 anniversary marks a decline of national freedom

So as this anniversary waxes and wanes in the hearts and minds of every U.S. citizen, what needs to be remembered isn’t the film footage, the excuses for war or the lives lost. [ed. naturally]

What needs to be asked is: How did we get to a time and place governed by zealots? How did we become a citizenry so easily willing to give up the rights yet so stubborn in our own personal sacrifices? How did we become a country so callous to the needs of others yet so eager to run up a war deficit?

Be the first to offer your feedback here.

Terp Mole on September 11, 2006 at 12:07 PM

pullingmyhairout on September 11, 2006 at 10:59 AM wrote:

The movie is even more unfortunate because it further divides a country that so desperately needs to find unity fighting terrorism.

The left CHOOSES to divide the country. They CHOOSE to sabotage the war. And they are doing it ONLY to regain political power. Do this is the worst form of treason that I can imagine.

What is needed is MORE documentaries and movies about the attack. America needs to be reminded — they need to see, again the towers burning and how the hate-driven enemy operates. They need to see how implacable the enemy is.

We, as a nation, need to become ANGRY.

If this documentary does that, then blessings be on ABC for running it, irrespective of any innaccuracies or “dramatic license” involved.

And for the “911 Truthers,” give them all lobotomies. They’re too f-ing stupid to know what they’re missing anyway.

georgej on September 11, 2006 at 12:14 PM

George, you hit it right on the head. It’s the LEFT who does everything they can do to to make this country split. PMHO, you are unhappy because you don’t feel that the Path to 9/11 paints the Bubba administration for what it was; now you know how we feel with the lies of Farenheit 911. However, those on the left choose to believe that story is true and many so called scholars on the left have come up with these ridiculous theories that somehow Darth Vader Dick put this all together. I’m sorry that this movie upsets you and your lefty pals, but can you explain to me what in the world Sandy Burger was trying to hide from the 911 commission? Why did he feel the need to steal? He should have been indicted because I spent about a year at the Archives working on my thesis and if you didn’t put things back in the exact order or things were missing, you got a call. You were also checked coming in and going out of the reading room. However, no one checked my pants but then again I know it’s wrong to steal. I really don’t know how you all can defend this guy but yet those on the left continue to say that it’s somehow W’s fault, we’re less safe now then we were 5 years ago, and we squandered the good will of the world. Well, here’s a newsflash-the world doesn’t like us anyway and regardless if we had done nothing at all they still would have hated us a year later anyway. Just my opinion but traveling in Europe before and after-especially France there is no difference. I haven’t been back to Tangiers sicne 1998 but I can tell you they weren’t in love with us then either.

Catie96706 on September 11, 2006 at 12:39 PM

Be the first to offer your feedback here.

Okay, here is what I posted:

“America DOES need to be reminded of who the enemy is that attacked us on 9/11/01. America needs to be reminded that they intend to kill us all.

And America needs to be reminded who, in America, chooses to ally themselves with the Islamofascist terrorists. I’m talking about people like YOU who want America to forget so you can get back to business as usual: trying to bring down the Bush administration.

America also needs to know that for partisan political reasons, some people choose to sabotage the war by demonizing OUR government over puffed-up outrages in response to common-sense, necessary, tactics to defeat those who have attacked us — and would do so again if we let them. Yes, I am naming YOU and people like you as America’s Fifth Column.

America is not governed by zealots, as you claim. Some zealots live in Teheran and in the mountains of Afghanist and western Pakistan; zealots who demand we become Muslims — or die.

But you are correct. There are zealots in America. These zealots are those of you on the left who would do anything including seeing the Islamofascists prevail than “Bushitler”.

Shame on you.”

The “editor” must approve any comments. 5 bucks says they spike my message.

georgej on September 11, 2006 at 12:40 PM

You made me wonder where all this misplaced hatred would go if the Dems took office in November? Who would the Left hate then? Would everything become ‘peachy’ overnight? Or would we become sitting ducks?
People with so much venom, so much energy built up into hate and lies will not and can not contain this overnight. What would they do with this abundance of evil in their veins (I’m still only talking about the American left here)? It scares me more than a little.

I predicted this years ago, during GWB’s first term. If the democrat party wins, anything bad that EVER happens again, will be because of Bushitler’s incompetence. Anything good will be because of the democrat party. Just watch what they’ll say after the next big terror attack. Heck, look what they’re saying after “small” terror attacks!

They’ll say, “Bush made such a mess of things, it will take us years to undo this mess…”

As the famous Cajun chef Justin Wilson used to say, “I gare-on-tee it!”

rightside on September 11, 2006 at 12:50 PM

Amen brother.

RobertCSampson on September 11, 2006 at 12:57 PM

Ralph Peters’ column at the NYPOST talks about the changes in the last 5 years.

He makes several important points about things that have changed since 9/11/01:

Al Qaeda is badly crippled. While the terror organization and its affiliates remain a deadly threat, al Qaeda is no longer the powerful, unchallenged outfit it was in the years of Clinton-era cowardice. Instead of holding court, Osama bin Laden’s a fugitive. Almost all of his deputies are dead or imprisoned. The rest are hunted men.

and

Our enemies fear our military again. Despite tragic mistakes in Iraq, we’ve already accomplished one crucial mission neglected for a generation: We’ve resurrected the reputation of the American soldier.

After our maddening retreats from Beirut and Mogadishu, and the Clinton administration’s unwillingness to retaliate meaningfully after terrorist attacks, Islamist extremists concluded – and bragged – that Americans were cowards who wouldn’t fight and hid behind technology. Well, Iraq proved that our troops don’t run, but fight more fiercely than any other soldiers on earth. Now it’s the terrorists who rely on stand-off weapons – roadside bombs. They’re terrified of taking on our forces in combat. The importance of regaining our street cred can’t be stressed enough.

and

Iraq has become al Qaeda’s Vietnam. No end of lies have been broadcast about our liberation of Iraq and Afghanistan “creating more terrorists.” The terrorists were already there, recruited during the decades we looked away. Our arrival on their turf just brought them out of the woodwork.

As for Iraq, Osama & Co. realized full well how high we’d raised the stakes. They had to fight to prevent the emergence of a Middle Eastern democracy. As a result, they’ve thrown in their reserves – who’ve been slaughtered by our soldiers and Marines.

The media obsesses on the price of this fight for us, but the terrorists have been forced to pay a terrible cost in trained fighters – while alienating fellow Muslims with their tactics.

And he points out the obvious while skewering the media as they deserve:

The truth is that we’re winning. Hands down. We just can’t afford to revert to yesteryear’s weakness and indecision.

WHAT should we worry about? Plenty. First, the unscrupulous nature of those in the media who always discover a dark cloud in the brightest silver lining. They’re terror’s cheerleaders.

Read the rest; it is an article of unusual clarity.

georgej on September 11, 2006 at 1:14 PM

Please consider, pullingmyhairout, that the 9/11 Commission and its report have been cast in doubt due, in part, to the composition of the aforesaid commission. To wit: Jamie Gorelick, rather than having been a member of the 9/11 Commission, should have been called to testify.

That said, like you, I’d prefer a credible documentary, beginning, at the very least, in 1979. Nevertheless, it, too, could easily be considered flawed, fraudulent, manipulated, Photoshopped, and so on. That said, when faced with the realities of television – ratings and whatnot – it is no surprise that ABC went with a docudrama.

As for division, I have to agree with georgej. Division is a tactic/strategy of choice – a choice made years ago. Ergo, The Path to 9/11 miniseries will not increase division anymore than a full-fledged documentary might increase unity.

Aunt B on September 11, 2006 at 1:17 PM

BTW, I lost my bet. The Daily Nebraskan posted my response.

georgej on September 11, 2006 at 1:20 PM

I posted this over on Roger Simon’s site; for what it’s worth:

Living just some miles west of NYC, I was able to see the smoke coming from the Trade Center from my back yard. Our town lost over 20 people that day (3 from our church). At every stop on our sort of sleepy and but very scenic trainline into Hoboken – at least one person was murdered that day. Memorials have been placed at each station.

Over the last few years, when we venture near the southern NY City skyline, there is a painful void you’re presented with – those missing towers. That sight triggers feeling of nausea, anger, and sadness; and I have found over the years that everyone I mention this too in our area feels the same when they head over.

Back in December while flying back from Florida, I wound up next to a 9/11 survivor. She worked on one of the upper floors of one of the towers (her coworker was part of a 9/11 documentary) – and she had decided to go out for a cigarette before the plane hit. During our conversation, it became evident that she was more in the camp of Jesse Jackson politically … but as we proceeded in conversation it seemed actually more of a defense mechanizm; something she was holding onto for dear life … like a desperate grasp for September 10. Because as we talked, it became clear that she loathed the hijackers and Bin Laden, at one point saying that they “must be destroyed”. Further on, after telling her about my relatives who are involved in the WoT, she became teary and hoped that the military would succeed in all their efforts – even in Iraq, which she was against.

I think some of the desperate grasp to hold onto “who’s right” has to do with the unnverving thought of having to actually face what these terrorists hold in store for us. My neighbor on that plane certainly understood it, being witness to it. Perhaps the thought of banding together with the “other side” who ventures to DO SOMETHING about it is still too much to swallow; a sort of double-devestation that your guys don’t have a clue. But I don’t know how else you cure this desperate desire for 9/10 except for more wake-up calls. I think that’s become pretty evident. Many need to come to the realization kicking and screaming I’m afraid, and isn’t it unfortunate that this goes all the way up the food chain to Senators, etc. What does this say about our collective character? Yikes.

notthisgirl on September 11, 2006 at 1:25 PM

Just an excellent excellent essay that describes history repeating itself, ine more time.

Bryan, your statement:
The real enemy, to these millions, is the man in the Oval Office, and the man or men behind him.

gave me a new perspective.

The enemy is the person or persons who keep telling us there is an enemy. If we vote out, shout down, sabotage or kill the the person or persons who keep telling us there is an enemy, we will no longer have an enemy.

Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

They could remove the images of 911 from the television, and print media. They could not shut up the bad news President. Unless they kill him. Which seems to be the prevailing fantasy of the Left.

My personal fantasy is killing Bin Laden with a tunnel buster bomb.

Somewhere in the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was a story of a Roman town under seige. The barbarian leader demanded tribute. The Romans ran a cart through the town and filled it with gold and valuables which they presented to the barbarian leader. So much better than war. The barbarians took the gold, and then slew the townspeople.

Not in that story, but I am sure the barbarian then made offerings and prayers to his multiculturally equivalent gods. I shall have to look up the exact story. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is an excellent book to read. So much historical wisdom.

World class post, Bryan

entagor on September 11, 2006 at 1:52 PM

PMHO, you are unhappy because you don’t feel that the Path to 9/11 paints the Bubba administration for what it was; now you know how we feel with the lies of Farenheit 911. However, those on the left choose to believe that story is true and many so called scholars on the left have come up with these ridiculous theories that somehow Darth Vader Dick put this all together. I’m sorry that this movie upsets you and your lefty pals, but can you explain to me what in the world Sandy Burger was trying to hide from the 911 commission?

SINCE WHEN AM I A LEFTY???????? I am upset that this film DOESN’T bury the Clinton administration MORE. It is a FILM – not a DOCUMENTARY. My point was that we would have been much better served if it WAS a DOCUMENTARY BASED ON THE COMPLETE TRUTH, NOT SOME PRODUCERS VERSION OF THE TRUTH. Sheesh, people.

What is needed is MORE documentaries and movies about the attack. America needs to be reminded —

THIS IS NOT A DOCUMENTARY. THAT WAS MY WHOLE POINT. AND YES I KNOW I’M SCREAMING. MY HEAD HURTS.

pullingmyhairout on September 11, 2006 at 2:07 PM

And Catie, what exactly was it in my post that led you to believe that I’m a lefty? i’m offended. truly.

pullingmyhairout on September 11, 2006 at 2:19 PM

But more than fearful or sad on 9-11, I was livid.

Five years on, the most striking change I see having taken place is the stridence and apparent insanity of war critics. We were attacked on by a brutal enemy on 9-11, a fact they either dismiss or refuse to acknowledge and understand.

Bryan You have just said what I have been thinking for a couple of days now. I am livid STILL. And I agree they are teetering on the brink of insanity!
Today while I was out working I saw some flags and some people wearing pins (like me) but nothing overt like 5 years ago. I am really afraid we WILL forget. And if we do, we are doomed.

labwrs on September 11, 2006 at 3:46 PM

As much as I hate to admit it… I also viewed the last 5 years through an unrealistic prism, somewhat controlled by the media and our politicians…

I am not religious by any stretch of the imagination, although I know many “True believers” of many faiths.

After doing some research I’ve had to come to the conclusion that we ARE in a War with Islam, and the sooner we realize it the better.

If you actualy bother to read the Koran, it calls for the Moslem religion to take over the earth… that unbelievers are less than dogs (which were recently outlawed in Saudi Arabia) … that women are Half a man (legally and morally)… that its not only OK, but your religious duty to lie to infidels in support of Jihad… that truces and negotiations are just times to gather your strength… that infiltrating your enemies nation is a right and proper thing to do….

On and on… Bin Laden DID read the Koran correctly… it is NOT a religion of peace.

Freedom of religion is one of the Basic freedoms here in America… but when a religion declares war on your way of life, how do you respond?

This is a fundamental question which America needs to take off its blinders, and answer…

Romeo13 on September 11, 2006 at 4:07 PM

Bryan, thank you. That was perfect.

side note: If the Democrats take back Congress and the White House, I am moving far away from anything that might be considered a primary target. I’ll go live with the small town folk, you know, the ones that Dems have never met nor listened to, but claim to champion.

theholyhermit on September 11, 2006 at 4:37 PM

Hmmm.. thinking on it….

This should NOT be called the War on Terror…

The enemy has already declared war on us… and we need to recognize who we are actually fighting…

We are fighting the Islamic Jihadists… and thats what it should be labeled…

The War against Islamic Jihad….

Romeo13 on September 11, 2006 at 4:49 PM

Outstanding essay Bryan – I don’t know if I can compliment it any higher than to say that was positively Steyn-esqe, both in the idea behind it and its execution in words. I’m cutting and pasting this to my own personal archive.

thirteen28 on September 11, 2006 at 6:11 PM

Romeo13, as I have seen more than a few references to, and from peace loving people of the Islamic faith, can we please agree to call it The War Against The Islamo-Fascists?

Bryan, great article.

For those looking for more information on the actions taken by America against terrorists, click here.

And for any who wish to see the results of democrat demands that America close down Abu Ghraib due to the reports of torture, click here.

DannoJyd on September 11, 2006 at 6:15 PM

Sorry DannoJyd … have you ever read the Koran?

If you actualy follow the Koran as written, Islam is NOT a peacefull religion.

Its main Prophet was a thief, child molester, and Raider, who massacred entire villages. This is DIRERCTLY from the holy books….

It would be like Jesus appostles being part of a Mongol horde… you’d get about the same results in religous writings.

And I might add, Islamo Fascist is a contradiction in terms. Facism states that everything belongs to the state… and everyone should bow to the state…

Islam says that everyone must bow to the will of a religion, as interpreted by the Mullahs… the State is second to the faith…

Facists did NOT declare war on America… Jihadists did… and its this exact misstatement that is leading to the West not understanding this conflict for what it is.

Romeo13 on September 11, 2006 at 6:35 PM

Romeo13, I have not read the Koran, but neither have I read The Bible from cover to cover. I did read articles from more than a few who disagree with you, but I am not informed enough to do that. I will say that I find it distasteful to attack someone for their religious beliefs though.

DannoJyd on September 11, 2006 at 6:59 PM

DannoJyd… you might want to take the time then… I have read both… recently…

You do understand that it is their RELIGION which is the basis and rational for them declaring war on us? That is the fuel that gets them the fanatics who will kill themselves in their religions name? That they call us the Great Satan, and chant death to America on an almost daily basis?

I didn’t make the situation… and am personally agnostic at best. But if you use your religion to threaten me, or mine, then why is it an ATTACK to accuratly describe the situation?

That the West finds this thought “distastefull” is my EXACT POINT!!! Its why we fail to recognize exactly what is going on….

Romeo13 on September 11, 2006 at 7:29 PM

The never-ending hatred of President Bush, evidenced by the growing insanity of conspiracy theories (around 9/11) and every kind of cheap political sabotage, is proof that five years of stoking fires of resentment works. Democrat sore losers and the angry leftwing press have succeeded–they’ve gotten their revenge for Florida, by inciting irrational hatred for Bush, far and wide. So, I hope they’re happy now. I don’t think history will be kind to them. The truth is on Bush’s side, and historians do find the truth, eventually.

RBMN on September 12, 2006 at 5:03 PM