I’ve lately seen some complaints out there in the ol’ blogatorium about the upcoming media frenzy commemorating the events of 9/11, and I have to say I can’t agree with those who are so cynically annoyed about it. Not that the cynicism isn’t well-founded, mind you – I don’t kid myself that the media’s motivation for doing this is anything more than what it always is: ratings and, therefore, money. But I still can’t bring myself to consider it anything but a good thing.
What with the incessant foolish sniping about the upcoming Iraq war specifically and the WOT generally, it certainly appears that there are plenty of folks out there who could use a good bit more than a little reminding. Reading through some of the comments sections on other blogs or the editorials from the mainstream newspapers, one would sometimes almost think that 9/11 never even happened, or if it did, it was just an aberration, a relatively insignificant one-time-only thing that occurred in some kind of historical vacuum. That’s a dangerous attitude, and the danger in it is not just vague and nebulous; it’s very direct, and very real.
Of course, in a practical sense, 9/11 WAS an aberration, a one-shot deal. But none of us should imagine for a moment that that simple fact is due to anything other than the enormous outrage and horror all of us felt at the events of that day. It galvanized the entire nation, (with some sad exceptions, of course) and coupled with the fact that we have an administration in place now that, while certainly far from perfect, seems to have laid aside the leftist hair shirt that was designed to prevent America from taking any actions in the defense of its own interests (or to make us feel guilty about even admitting that we HAD any legitimate national interests in the first place), it led to the destruction of a great evil in Afghanistan.
If Al Qaeda could hit us again in as spectacular a fashion as they did a year ago, can anybody not grinding the anti-American axe down to a nub think for a moment that they wouldn’t? The plain fact that they can’t does credit to all of us comprising the left’s version of the Great Unwashed: those of us who believe absolutely that this is and always was the greatest nation on earth. We had been effectively removed from the public debate, made irrelevant by the unceasing derision directed at us by Those Who Know Better in the media, the universities, and the Democrap Party. The betrayal of our national ideals by double-dealing, self-seeking empty suits like Bill Clinton (and plenty of others too) left us with the all-too-widespread notion of patriotism as a quaint form of bumpkin naivet?� at best, or a sinister symptom of greed and disregard for human dignity in other countries than our own at worst. It left us weakened, near-defenseless, unable to even conceive of using our military might except at the behest and under the direction of the UN. There was much anger expressed at the Clinton penchant for lobbing cruise missiles at aspirin factories, and on the right that anger was correctly directed – we were angry because it was a feeble and ineffective response to direct, audacious attacks on the US, and because it was a transparent attempt to deflect attention from other matters by a completely amoral miscreant whose contempt for the military was only held in abeyance when he needed to use it as a political shield for himself. On the left, the anger was directed more at the very idea of using military force at all.
But after 9/11, we were mad as hell and we weren’t going to take it anymore, and that anger has had enormous consequences in the wider world. What the left regards as a mere rube uprising has made the world a little bit safer for those same leftists to spout their nonsense, which is the never-ending irony of the whole thing. There’s still much to be done about terrorism, and as long as we keep trying to do it we’ll hear complaints from those who need protection the most. Europe has lived for so long under the protective umbrella of American military might that they’ve completely forgotten the importance of remaining strong and defiant in the face of deadly enemies. The Pollyanna-ish reliance on negotation, bribery, or “sanctions” to deal with fraudulent, deceitful despots who claim to be our allies while quietly training, equipping, and financing the gobal network of Islamist fanatics has been shown to be laughably inadequate. The prayerful wish that the UN would somehow run things in a just, wise, and effective manner has been shown to be the pipe dream it always was. The fact that the UN just nominated noted humanitarian Muammar Qaddafi for the head of its Human Rights Commission after expelling the US from it last May just puts the icing on the cake; it’s the big red nose that tops off the clown makeup the left has been studiously applying to itself for years now.
But we still need to stay in close touch with the depth of our feeling on 9/11. The horror, the grief, the profound rage has been tempered by a year of war, media hype, and distraction. This tempering, this cooling might be inevitable, but it’s not undoable. And we must forcefully undo it every time it starts to take hold. To become forgetful is to invite disaster. To relax our vigilance and soften our resolve would be an unforgivable posthumous slap in the face to those poor souls who leaped in unfathomable desperation from the top floors of the WTC, to those brave firefighters who went in knowing full well that they were going to die that day, to the indomitable men and women on Flight 93 who plunged their aircraft into the ground rather than allow the terrorist scum the opportunity to take hundreds more innocent lives. It would invite the creeping rot of anti-Americanism, moral equivalency, and weak futility back in to gnaw away at our national soul once more. We can’t afford it. I’d suggest that we all adopt a slogan the Israelis have been using since Masada: never again. The upcoming media orgy, while it might be tacky or morbid, might be ultimately helpful, and I for one welcome it. And I’ll go right on welcoming every single painful reminder until the last terrorist gives up in utter despair brought on by the sure knowledge that his cause is hopeless in the face of our outrage and the terrible swift sword sure to be unleashed on him in full measure as a consequence of that outrage.
Cold fury is not necessarily a bad thing.