I am not sure just how to say it, but the twelve years since 9/11 have not been what I expected and I am a little disappointed. I had expected that the tragic events on that day would bring Americans closer together. That is the only good that can come of something that takes so many lives. Instead, it seems that Americans are farther apart than ever.
I do not expect everyone in a large country like ours to agree on everything. That is not possible in a free country, nor is it desirable. If I wanted a country where every citizen marches in lockstep, I would move to North Korea. What I mean is that ever since the Vietnam War, and perhaps even before, there has been a certain percentage of Americans who simply hate their own country and all it stands for. They often say that they are for peace and social justice, but their actions indicate that they are for a defeated America and for tyranny. They seem to have sided with every one of our enemies throughout the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries, with the exception of the Nazis in World War 2. The various tyrants that these people have supported, the Stalins, Maos, Castros, etc, have always talked a lot about helping the oppressed and it is possible that the Progressives have been naive enough to believe their propaganda more than their deeds. They could fool themselves into believing they supported fellow progressives. I might have thought that these progressive liberal-minded people would at least be able to oppose religious fanatics who scorn the liberal ideals that the progressives say they are for and who want to take the entire world back to the seventh century. I imagined that while Osama bin Ladin never had the sort of military capability of a Hitler, anyone could see that he was just as evil. I thought the progressives would believe that America was in the right, for once, or at least would be too ashamed to show their faces.
We did have unity for a short time, but then the America haters among us crawled out from under the rocks they had hidden under. True to their nature, they blamed America for the terrorist attacks on 9/11. We had it coming. It was wrong to invade Afghanistan to capture bin Ladin. He was a victim. We shouldn’t pursue the terrorists but show contrition for our sins. Thus we get Obama’s World Apology Tours.
I also thought that 9/11 would wake Americans up to the fact that we live in a dangerous world. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, too many Americans started to believe that there was a new world order of peace and prosperity. We didn’t need to worry about any enemies or rivals. Everyone was friends now. We could safely ignore the rest of the world altogether. We could cut back on our military strength and readiness. It was this kind of thinking that enabled President Clinton to not take the terrorist threat of Osama bin Ladin and al Qaeda very seriously. Osama bin Ladin declared war on us, and we ignored him.
9/11 did wake us up, for a few years. Now, I am afraid that too many Americans have fallen asleep again. We elected a fool who believed that all the problems of the world were the fault of his predecessor and all he needed to do was to reset everything and make speeches. He believed, and probably still believes that the melodious sound of his voice and his soaring oratory can end ages old disputes and reconcile enemies. We can see the results in America’s declining influence all over the world.
There is one other thing that did not match my expectations, though I wouldn’t call it a disappointment. There have been no other successful major terrorist attacks against the United States. It would be nice to believe that it was due to the diligence of law enforcement and Homeland Security, but it is more likely the truth that it is a lot harder to plan and execute a really large terrorist attack than anyone anticipated. I think that al Qaeda used up most of its resources in the attack on 9/11 and was never able to recover once we started hunting them in earnest. It is also likely that Osama bin Ladin was not really the terrorist mastermind we took him to be or as he imagined himself to be.
It could be that we were actually lucky on 9/11. Perhaps a more capable or determined enemy with the full backing of a foreign government could have done a lot more damage. We might not be so lucky next time, and there will be a next time. I wish I knew how to wake up my fellow Americans who are forgetting how dangerous the world really is. We cannot turn our backs on the world. The world won’t let us. We may not long have as much margin for error or foolishness as we now enjoy. I hope it doesn’t take more loss of life.
- Obama’s Syria Speech Shows What We Haven’t Learned From 9/11 (redstate.com)
- What the 9/11 Commission Report Says About Syria (lawfareblog.com)
- September 11: Re-telling Dark Moment! (femiolas.wordpress.com)
- Eleven Years Since 9/11 (davidscommonplacebook.wordpress.com)
- Remembering 9-11 (davidscommonplacebook.wordpress.com)