It’s now eight years to the day since barbarians flew planes loaded with people into two soaring symbols of western freedom with around 5,000 souls inside. The resulting cataclysm still hangs over this century like a gaping wound. In the words of Christopher Hitchens,
“from Afghanistan the holy order was given to annex two famous achievements of modernism -- the high-rise building and the jet aircraft -- and use them for immolation and human sacrifice... Faith-based fanatics could not design anything as useful or as beautiful as a skyscraper or a passenger aircraft. But, continuing their long history of plagiarism, they could borrow and steal these things and use them as a negation.”
Eight years after the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor – the only comparable event in modern history – Japan had already been reduced to rubble and begun its rebuilding into the peaceful modern powerhouse into which it was transformed.
Yet eight years on after the brutal slaughter of thousands of innocent people the buildings the barbarians destroyed are still un-replaced, the chief planners and perpetrators of the outrage remain on the loose, and the pursuit of those leading barbarians is greeted with cries that the west itself is the aggressor.
How much has the world changed since 1941.
To be fair, the pursuit itself is so flawed as to be almost completely off-mission. Sure, there are problems in just finding the bastards who planned this – unlike the bastards who bombed Pearl Harbor, it’s not possible to find them on a map. But it’s not like there isn’t a rough idea.
War was declared on the west eight years ago. That it’s still going isn’t for lack of firepower on the west’s behalf, it’s an almost complete lack of moral fibre. A refusal to believe that it’s a war that we’re in, and a politically-correct misdirection of effort into a war on on a tactic instead of against the actual barbarians responsible for the outrage – a hand-wringing, faith-based unwillingness to identify the enemy.
It should not bave been a “war on terror” in which the west was engaged these last eight years. In the same way that the Second World War was a war against Nazism and Shintoism, this was should have been a war on Islamic Totalitarianism – a war waged explicitly against this hydra, and with the full moral authority that this was a war of self-defence – a war of civilisation against the barbarians who attacked it.
It should have been a war in which it was recognised that there is “No Substitute for Victory.” It has never been that war, which is why it still dribbles on eight years after the outrage that finally brought the enemy to the world’s attention.
The errors made by George W in waging his “war against a tactic” (and in the wrong place) are now being repeated by his successor, President Zero. America’s Commander-in-Chief said recently,
“I’m always worried about using the word ‘victory’,” said Obama, “because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.”
But, you know, when Emperor Hirohito was made to come down and surrender to MacArthur that was the beginning of the end for the medieval warrior spirit of Shinto, and also the beginning of the beginning for the peaceful success of the modern-day Japanese who -- liberated from their medieval past -- gave the whole world a lesson in how ragingly successful the peaceful pursuit of prosperity can be.
It took another six years after World War II was concluded to subdue and modify Japan, and put it on a path to peace and prosperity : Six years and the destruction of Shintoism as an ethical code. It took seven years to reconstruct Germany and to destroy the bacillus of Nazism – two jobs selfishly important to every anyone who valued a peaceful world after decades of strife and war. Just as selfishly important now would be a haven of secular peace in the ravaged Middle East or Near East.
Mind you, these jobs were done by people and was done by people who knew what they were doing.
Now, eight years after the horrors of September 11, 2001, we discover that today’s leaders know nothing. We discover they were coasting on the knowledge of previous generations, without being able even to apply the lessons learned.
What should have been a day to commemorate the fallen is instead, therefore, a day to berate those who have betrayed them.
In their honour then I offer my thoughts above, such as they are, and this small memento of triumph: architect Minoru Yamasaki in front of his greatest achievement: New York’s World Trade Center. In every sense they were the symbol of the very best of modern civilisation. And that’s why they had to die.
UPDATE: Now the clocks have rolled around in the US, there’s more good commentary appearing online from my sort of people:
- Four Important Articles for this God-Awful Date
“End States Who Sponsor Terrorism” by Leonard Peikoff “Just War Theory” vs. American Self-Defense by Yaron Brook and Alex Epstein The “Forward Strategy” for Failure by Yaron Brook and Elan Journo “No Substitute for Victory”: The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism by John David Lewis.
- “America fights a self-crippled war on terror” – Elan Journo
- Mark Steyn:
No dynamic culture can stand still, so we shouldn't be surprised that fewer and fewer people, from the president down, find it harder and harder to remember quite what "the day that changed the world" was all about. Nevertheless, there is unfinished business — starting with that hole in the ground in lower Manhattan.
- Ralph Peters:
Eight years ago today, our homeland was attacked by fanatical Muslims inspired by Saudi Arabian bigotry. Three thousand American citizens and residents died.
We resolved that we, the People, would never forget. Then we forgot.
We've learned nothing.
Instead of cracking down on Islamist extremism, we've excused it.
Instead of killing terrorists, we free them.
Instead of relentlessly hunting Islamist madmen, we seek to appease them.
Instead of acknowledging that radical Islam is the problem, we elected a president who blames America, whose idea of freedom is the right for women to suffer in silence behind a veil -- and who counts among his mentors and friends those who damn our country or believe that our own government staged the tragedy of September 11, 2001.
UPDATE 2: An email purporting to contain a short piece by one Emanuel Tanay is doing the rounds. In fact, the piece is by Paul E. Marek, a second-generation Canadian, whose grandparents fled Czechoslovakia just prior to the Nazi takeover. He wrote the following article in February of 2006 to explain why the peaceful majority is irrelevant.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
Why The Peaceful Majority Is Irrelevant
By Paul E. Marek
I used to know a man whose family were German aristocracy prior to World War Two. They owned a number of large industries and estates. I asked him how many German people were true Nazis, and the answer he gave has stuck with me and guided my attitude toward fanaticism ever since.
“Very few people were true Nazis” he said, “but, many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.”
We are told again and again by “experts” and “talking heads” that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unquantified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. The fact is, that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars world wide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard quantifiable fact is, that the “peaceful majority” is the “silent majority” and it is cowed and extraneous.
Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. The Average Japanese individual prior to World War 2 was not a war mongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of Killing that included the systematic killing of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. And, who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were “peace loving.”
History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by the fanatics. Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awake one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun. Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Bosnians, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others, have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.