Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Day That Will Live in Infamy

Nine years ago today, the biggest attack in the ongoing war against the west was carried out by a relatively small group of well-financed terrorists.  They can't all be called suicide terrorists because many did not know they were on a suicide mission.  9-11 was not the declaration of war, nor was Usama Bin Laden's 1998 fatwa.  The war goes back to at least as far as the 1983 bombing of the US Marines in Lebanon. It has been argued it is the continuation of the crusades, by the attacking groups themselves.

One could write books on this (and they have been written).  Many good posts have come up among my regular blog list.  Borepatch has two excellent posts.  Tam has an excellent QoTD
Y'know, at least the Muslims seem to want to build something in NYC. Would there even be a controversy about their little building if it was being built in the shadow of a giant, gleaming, quarter-mile-high middle finger, instead of two blocks away from the National Embarrassing Vacant Lot and Monument to Red Tape & Inefficiency?
And, as frequently happens, the comedian, Frank at IMAO, has what I think of as a real "insight of the day". 
I don’t think in this post 9/11 world most people have learned the appropriate lesson from this. The whole Koran burning insanity illustrates this. That a handful of people in Florida can hold the world hostage by threatening to burn a few books is beyond silly, yet the main reaction has been not to tackle how ridiculous that is but to figure out how to appease the irrational violent people. You can’t appease irrational people. They’ll get violent over one guy burning Korans. They’ll get violent over cartoons. They’ll get violent because of false rumors of Korans being flushed down toilets. And yet [our] focus is on how to keep these crazy people happy and calm.
Indeed.  The "church" in Gainesville is said to have 53 members.  In my church, more people than that watch the teaching from the cafeteria/courtyard, and this Reverend Jones is worthy of comment from the President, the Secretary of State and the Pakistani Ambassador?  The whole idea of burning books is an anachronism.  You can download and delete Qur'ans all day long and "destroy" far more copies.  Who cares?  Only a group of people who are living in the 10th Century - the radical Islamofascists.

There is a handful of days that you will always remember where you were and what you were doing.  In my age group, off hand, those include the day John F. Kennedy was killed, the first moon landing, the day the space shuttle Challenger exploded, and 9-11.  On that Tuesday morning, I was out of the office at a company whom we contract to do some testing on our radios.  As the technician and I were setting up the test, the company's secretary/receptionist came in and said the radio had a bulletin that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center.  My first reaction, perhaps strangely, was that radio navigation systems can't be that wrong, it must have been a terrible accident.  Act of war did not enter my mind.  As the morning went on, a TV set was put in place and large antenna hooked up outside (there are no local TV channels).  We watched and quickly realized this was no accident. That's when the thoughts of Pearl Harbor and other acts of war started.

On a day of indescribable evil, perhaps the most remarkable event was that every aircraft in the NAS (National Air Space) was safely landed.  Have you ever considered that there might not be enough parking places on the ground for every plane that's in the air during the day?  Ever waited in a plane after landing for another plane to clear a gate before you can pull up to it and get off? 

In the days that followed, I learned that friends were affected by the events of 9-11, but not killed.  A co-worker was on business near Seattle, and had to rent a car to drive home.  A very close friend was waiting at JFK airport to fly home, and saw the attacks in real time, including the people jumping from the tops of the buildings to their deaths.  He also had to rent a car and drive home.  A cousin lives within viewing distance and watched it. And now I have friends who have sons in the armed forces in Afghanistan, and others who have been in Iraq.  We need to remember we are at war, even if our enemy is nebulous and hard to identify, not a convenient nation-state.  You can pretend we're not at war if you'd like, but if someone swears to destroy you, it's prudent to believe them. 

Finally, I have a tendency to grab graphics for postings, or try to get web links for relevant references.  In doing this here, I was overwhelmed and frankly disgusted by the 9-11 conspiracy sites.  They seem to outnumber the real references many times over.  I find this very unsettling.  If you read here, you are aware that I'm no fan of big government in general and the leadership of the past hundred years, with limited exceptions.  I'm still not willing to go down the road of the government deliberately killing of tens of thousands of its own citizens to keep an infinite war going. But that's another topic for another day...

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