It is now nine years since we suffered the huge tragedy of the 9/11 attacks in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania. A hand full of very dedicated killers took the lives of thousands, grounded the entire U.S. commercial Air Industry and paralyzed our Nation.
The shock did not last long, as the American people rallied to support the country and its leaders. Partisanship was put aside (Sen. Warner [R-Va] and Sen. Levin [D-Mi] visited the Pentagon crash site together to show their support), discomfort with emotion and faith were nowhere to be seen (leaders wept along with everyone else, and public high school message boards called for God to Bless America), even xenophobia was nearly invisible (non-Muslim neighbors of America Muslims stood with those they knew did not share the extremists’ aberrant views).
We sought justice and moved to prove that it was a foolish thing to provoke America. We hunted down most of the perpetrators, and the hunt is still on. Our young men and women have given their lives to ensure that these enemies do not have safe havens of the sort they had prior to 9/11.
As the time between 9/11 and the present lengthens, people forget. It is a natural human reaction and typically American (other people do not forget anywhere near as quickly). We forget that we were attacked, that Afghanistan and Iraq were reactions to 9/11 and the war that Al Qaeda declared on us and which Saddam Hussein cheered – they were not unprovoked assaults on innocent regimes.
I know this next example will get me a lot of negative feed back, but it still needs to be said. It is similar to the Crusades. They are constantly pointed to as an example of the ill will the West has provoked in Islam. Why is it that few ever note that the Holy Lands were mainly Christian (done without force of arms) until Muslim armies conquered them after Islam began its spread out of the Arabian Peninsula? I am not defending the Crusaders’ actions (they killed more fellow Christians and Jews than they did Muslims); it was reprehensible and distinctly un-Christian. But a little balance is needed here. The reason the Crusades were possible was because Islam forcibly took the Holy Lands in the centuries prior to them.
Now we hear people make the argument that if we had only not attacked Afghanistan and Iraq we would have no problems with the Islamic world (oh yes, and if we would only “make” Israel cooperate with its neighbors). That is blatant nonsense. We HAD a problem with radical Islamic extremists, and they do not really care to “work it out” with us. These people are not open to negotiations; they only seek complete victory, which they define as making us capitulate or go away.
Please let us not forget that 9/11 was an attack against the American People. May those who died rest in peace.