Wednesday, August 16, 2006

So, what IF 9-11 Never Happened?

I love Andrew Sullivan's cover story in this week's New York magazine.

His account of a world still in the throes of a ghastly war is remarkable because it doesn't take a giant leap of the imagination to envision a world at the mercy of terrorists.

Of course, the usual suspects like Michelle Malkin are poo-pooing this issue of the magazine for touting the ideas of "left wing thinking thinkers." Among other things, Malkin says that it's not time to just move on and dismiss the events of 9-11, that the wounds are still too deep and too real to ignore.


If Mrs. Malkin were to put her political agenda aside for a moment she would agree that whether 9-11 happened or not our country was still careening toward a near Apocalyptic encounter with the forces of jihad.


Because not everybody loves America.

Because in 1979 52 Americans were taken hostage in Beirut and were not released until 444 days later.

Because in 1985 Hezbollah terrorists hijacked a TWA airliner out of Athens and killed a member of the Navy in a 17 day standoff with international authorities.

Because in 1988 Libyan terrorists killed 258 people on board Pan Am flight 103 headed from London to New York.

Because in 1993 Osama bin Laden killed five people in the first attack on the World Trade Center.

Becuase in 1998 Al Qaeda killed 149 people in bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and wounded over 1,600 others.

Because in 2000 Al Qaeda killed 17 servicemen and women aboard the USS Cole in Yemen.

To speculate on an America that would still be the victim of terrorism, crippled by in-fighting among parties and dumbstruck by the magnamity of a global terror campaign is not unpatriotic or dismissive of the tragedies of five years past. It's just realistic.

With the anniversary of 9-11 upon us, with fear and violence still the currency with which nations deal with each other, we should remember that the events of that day don't exist in a vacuum. We were already at war and we brushed off each attack on us with tears and hope. We've tried everything from diplomatic sanctions to war and we are no safer today than we were five years ago.

So here's my two cents: let's not turn 9-11 into a box office escapade just yet. Let's focus time and resources on the establishment of an administration that is going to handle the crisis before us swiftly, honestly and with determination. I don't want a President who is on an air-kiss level with a terrorist nation. I don't want an off-the-cuff leader who thinks God speaks solely to him. I want a leader, and an administration, that will ask what IF 9-11 never happened and how can we make sure it never happens again?


Red Tulips said...


Very well written. Great post, and I totally agree.

Jean Lafitte said...

One of the favorite counter-factuals of the "it's really all our fault" crowd is, if the West hadn't imposed Israel on the Middle East in the 1940s, everything would be fine. The mere existence of Israel, never mind its policies, is what's driving these people over the edge.

Bullshit. Anyone who's been paying any attention at all will recognize the deep, deep pathologies that affect so much of Arab Islamic culture. They are deeply humiliated by their own failure, by the fact that they once were the most advanced and dynamic civilization in the world but have been pathetic for centuries. Western colonialism and imperialism get a lot of blame, but if they hadn't been a basket case already, colonialism wouldn't have been possible.

As the saying goes, the people produced by today's Arab Islamic culture may be able to blow up airliners, but it's impossible to even imagine when they'll be able to build one. And they know it.

So you're right, if Israel had never existed, and no matter what our foreign policy had been, we'd have been facing this sooner or later.

Berdo said...


Liked your post - and agree that Sullivan's article is one very much worth reading. But I still wonder - how can you so plainly make the case for this war and against the useless UN sanctions and diplomacy and then attack the only administration that ever took on the task of confronting the Islamic terror behind everything? I agree there have been awful problems with the way this war was handled - but Bush, Rice, Cheney and all those who everyone seems to despise in this city are the ONLY ones who made good with the action articulated in their rhetoric and have fought against it. But everytime he pushes forth the Patriot Act, Bush is called a Nazi. Everytime he raises a terror alert - he is accused of being reckless, silly, sensationalistic, etc.

It is simply NOT enough to list out all the terror acts that went unresponded to. OR to mention the laughable UN sanctions that only enriched Hussein anyway. Or that America would be worse off for having not confronted the issue. One must realize that to fight this war, is to make us vulnerable to mistakes, to require security measures like the Patriot Act, and to hope that the American people will be behind at least the fundamentals of the mission. I repeat - the left has been nearly unaninmous in their condemnation of America and their repeated defense of terrorism. Please note the current Israel/Lebanon conflict and the phenomena Sullivan points out in his blog where few, if any, left-wing sites even touched the issues, and those that did found themselves squarely in the Hezbollah camp.

GCL - if you stand behind your post - then stand behind the war. It's simply inconsistent to say everything you've said and then in subsequent posts go after the Bush administration for every single thing they've done - when the largest thing they've done is to take your very own line of thinking to its logical extension.

GayConservativeLiberal said...


Stay tuned for today's post...

GRT said...

Good Ol' Boy, Santayana (gay, wrote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

One studies past mistakes in order to understand what led to them.

It is not "blaming" to remember what policies the U.S. did follow instead of the policies it contemplated, but did not follow.

Interesting post.