How did we get here?
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.
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.
That “other clown” Francis references, with his characteristic sly, self-deprecating humor, is of course himself. I uncharacteristically transcribed the link therein, just as encouragement to go read that long-ago post of his as well.
Earlier in the above-excerpted piece Francis mentions GVDL’s latest 9/11 memoir, a deeply personal account of the day’s events as viewed from across the East River, in Brooklyn Heights. It’s quite good, as you might expect; for a long time now the consensus has been that, among all of us OG types for whom the Black Tuesday atrocities were the primary impetus that drove us into the arms of the blogosphere, nobody has done better work with the annual 9/11 memorial posts than Gerard has.
Now the one Fran mentions is good, certainly, but I found it a bit too dry and uninflected to suit my taste. It’s a prime example of real, honest-to-God journalism, of a breed that is all but extinct. Just the same, though, it lacks the passion, the emotional force, that I believe the topic absolutely demands. Meaning no insult or derogation whatsoever by saying so, in my opinion this is the one you most need to read. Of all the commendable 9/11 articles, from that day to this, by Gerard or anybody else, this has to be the most compelling, most riveting, most stirring of them all.
This is monstrous.
Deaths in the thousands in New York.
My body is trembling with sorrow and rage. I saw the first tower fall. Everyone in it would have been killed. This, all this, must be stopped. Those who have done this must be wiped out to the last.
War with whom?
Any and all terrorist organizations, foreign or domestic, must now be brought to a swift and complete halt no matter where they are located.
I watched this happen. The enormity of it cannot be communicated. Vile and bestial.
We need to destroy any and all capacity of anyone living anywhere to do anything like this ever again. There were thousands in those buildings. Thousands.
There is no justice swift enough or sure enough.
All that we have must be brought forward and used without restraint. This is an act of war beyond Pearl Harbor.
Military jets overhead again.
More ash on the street. I am cooled down. Way down.
This is pure evil.
What do I feel? I don’ t know what I feel — except that I want vengeance. I want everything this country possesses put onto the people who did this, and the people who supported this act, and the people who believe this is the way in which political ends are achieved.
I want there to be war until these people are eradicated whoever they are, and where ever they are. I want it made clear that anything even approaching this evil act will be met with utter destruction — people, families, villages, cities, nations. This is an act of war and war must be the response.
We will be having a long series of mass funerals for many weeks. I only hope that this country finds the stomach and the resolve to carry retribution forward until it is complete.
That is what I feel, now, today. And I‘m not alone. I’m not alone at all.
There’s much, much more, all of it brilliantly well-written and insightful.
And all of it sickening, in light of our abject, unforgivable, and total failure to rise to the challenge and do all that was required of us so as to avenge our dead, smite our enemies, and, in so doing, redeem ourselves.
Against all odds, though, it’s not too late for us. There remains a way forward, even now and despite everything, which will be the subject of Part 2.