Friday, September 9, 2011

As 9/11 Approaches - 2

I listen to Michael Bane's podcast pretty regularly - maybe not the day it's posted but once a week.  Haven't missed a week since I came across it, nearly a year ago.  Michael devoted his 45 minute talk this week to his personal recollections of the aftermath of 9/11.  It's very powerful; a gut wrenching reminder of that day, and a must-listen in my book.  I've heard the observation that we never really got over 9/11, we just put it aside, and that may be the case.  As Michael points out, in our Western minds, we think of war as an extension of politics - we fight for land or warm water ports or other resources.  Instead, we're in conflict with a group that simply wants us dead and most of our society has not come to grips with that.  It's either us or them, no compromise.  What compromise are you going to offer?  Instead of killing us, why don't you just cut our legs off?  Instead of killing us, why don't you just make us really sick? 

In our politically correct society, we refuse to even name our enemy: in Hollywood, the terrorist is always a middle-aged white American.  Perhaps a returning veteran.  It's never a Muslim extremist or Islamofascist (pick your term).  We're not in a Global War on Terror (I think Tam coined the phrase "War on a Noun"); we're in a war with militant Islam, and if we can't even name what we're fighting, we have no business asking young volunteers to go into harm's way. 

This link is to the week's archive, show 229.  Until next Tuesday night, 9/13, this link will take you directly to a standalone player.  Or you can get it through iTunes or any place you download podcasts, I suspect.  I strongly recommend it. 

And as long as I'm on the topic, one of the most haunting things I've ever read was written by Dave Barry.  Dave Barry, the humor writer, the guy who wrote "Boogers Are My Beat", and a bunch of other silly, silly books, wrote the haunting piece "On Hallowed Ground".  Go read.  It's worth it.  Here's a tease.
You've been on planes. Think how it feels, especially on a morning cross-country flight. You got up early; you're tired; you've been buckled in your seat for a couple of hours, with hours more to go. You're reading, or maybe dozing. You're essentially cargo: There's nowhere you can go, nothing you can do, no role you could possibly play in flying this huge, complex machine. You retreat into your passenger cocoon, passive, trusting your fate to the hands of others, confident that they'll get you down safe, because they always do.

Now imagine what that awful morning was like for the people on Flight 93. Imagine being ripped from your safe little cocoon, discovering that the plane was now controlled by killers, that your life was in their bloody hands. Imagine knowing that there was nobody to help you, except you, and the people, mostly strangers, around you.


  1. I got that line from one of my fellow wookie-suiters in the L&P section of TheFiringLine or TheHighRoad many years ago. Can't remember who, but I've used it ever since...

  2. Tam - thanks. Something like that is hard to get a good credit for. Now, who came up with the term wookie-suiter? I've seen the picture you had on your blog of the wookie-suiter holding up a Gadsden flag, but who started using the term? Was that you?