Today is a day of remembrance, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the attack on the World Towers and the Pentagon, and the counter-attack of the brave citizens on United Flight 93, sacrificing themselves to kill the attackers on the flight and foil their plan to destroy their target, likely the US Capitol building.
It is fitting to keep in mind those innocents who died that day, and the brave people that died or were injured while doing their utmost to rescue them despite overwhelming odds. I tire though on the focus seen today on all the stories of how other people were affected, in the ‘where were you?’ and ‘how did that make you feel?’ questions, seeming to make the focus on the entire nation as a collection of victims, particularly people who had no real connection to the attack.
I would rather focus on those who have endeavored since then to eliminate the world-wide threat of Islamic Supremacism – those uniformed troops, and all the others who support them and augment them, who have taken and continue to take the fight back to the enemy, wherever they may be, because as George Orwell said, “We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”
Understanding the enemy is fine, and our civilized response must be foremost, but compassion for your enemy only goes so far. A fanatic has already forfeited his chance for our overweening forgiveness of his errors, since he has neither need nor value for such thoughts and actions. There is a point at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue, and there are times when the old ways are appropriate.
“It is better to avenge a friend than to mourn him long.” –Beowulf
I am not a major fan of country music, though I do appreciate much of it and its lyric intensity. Darryl Worley put the sentiment of today well in his song Have You Forgotten?, with the key lines:
They took all the footage off my TVThe current president cannot speak of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in terms other than their “ending”, with no praise for the valor of the troops, though he has thanked them, which is the very least – and I do mean the very least – he can do as their Commander-in-chief. But as the troops are pulled out of these theatres, we must surely realize that this war is not over, as much as we would want it to be, as much as we want to ignore the warning signs as we did in the 1990s.
Said it's too disturbing for you and me.
It'll just breed anger - that's what the experts say;
If it was up to me, I'd show it every day.
Some say this country's just out looking for a fight.
Well, after 9/11, man, I'd have to say that's right.
Iran is a major threat with its nuclear weapons program to bolster the power of its military and its proxies like Hezbollah against its proclaimed goal of wiping Israel off the map. It is a threat that is looming ever larger in the greater Middle East, a region that, like the Balkans, has always produced more history than it can consume locally. Al Qaeda is still a major factor in Yemen and the Arab Peninsula (AQAP), the cultural heartland of Islam despite the sacred Two Cities in Saudi Arabia, which is itself ripe for a revolution of a medieval jihad against a medieval autocracy. The bloody civil war in Algeria, containing now a proclaimed al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), has joined forces with similar movements like Boko Haram in Nigeria and al Shabaab in Somalia, and has spread into fighting in Mali. We have badly bungled our reaction to the revolution in Egypt, which now has the Muslim Brotherhood in power (and at this very moment a mob has stormed the American Embassy in Cairo, torn down the US flag and replaced it with a black al Qaeda flag, in scenes similar to the storming of our embassy in Teheran in 1979, and for that matter, the British embassy in Teheran last year). It took us six months of tepid support for what Obama called a one-month operation to depose Qaddafi in Libya, who finally was killed by a mob into whose hands he fell almost by accident, and Libya is still not settled securely. Syria is in the midst of an Iranian- and Russian-supported civil war, on the border of a Turkey which was historically secular since Atatürk of World War I but which is now led by an Islamist party. The list goes on, but all these elements of unrest and upheaval in this part of the world are united in one common understanding – a hatred of the United States and our culture.
This is not over, and I shall not see its end in my lifetime, nor I expect will my children in theirs. The Islamic Supremacists have settled in for the long haul, and are content to wage this crusade against the West for generations. The only form of our vaunted toleration they will accept is the jizyah, an Islamic Danegeld, and acceptance of shariah in our midst.
We pause to lick our spiritual wounds today, as well we might, but we should then focus on our future campaign that was brought upon us this day eleven years ago (and even earlier), and which started in earnest with those people on Flight 93 who seized the very first opportunity to fight back. We mourn our losses on that day and since, but we take our call from them and other heroes who have taken the fight back to the enemy.
“It takes but one to make a war, not two, and those who do not take up swords can still die upon them.” --J R R Tolkien