In Memoriam

On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked in a heinous, loathsome, and despicable manner.

In some ways, this attack was not just against the United States, but also against all of Western Civilization.  In fact, the attack was really aimed against all non-Islamic peoples, since the perpetrators of 9/11 were radical, extremist members of Islam who are committed to imposing their will upon the rest of civilization.  The attack was not only successful for Al-Qaeda, but emboldened and inspired their many fellow travelers.

Now to avoid the tiresome and predictable response of some on the left:  I don’t hate all Muslims, and I know no one of any political stripe who does.  Nor do I fear them, as the word “islamophobic” would suggest.  But I do think that there are strains of militant Islam who are violent and dangerous and opposed both to the United States and Western Civilization.  Secondly, I applaud those—on both sides of the political aisle and in many countries—who have risen to defend the U.S. and the West against its enemies.  And I decry those—again, on both sides—who have failed to defend themselves, for they are cowards, fools, or both.

While we can argue about the appropriate responses to the events of 9/11 and the strategies that the U.S. and the West should use against terrorists and terrorism, we must never lose sight of the fact that it is the terrorists who are on the offense.  We are simply trying to defend ourselves against unprovoked attack.  And, regardless of your political viewpoints, one must fairly compliment both Presidents Bush and Obama for policies that have, in fact, kept us safe from further attack.  We must also praise those who have implemented those policies, the men and women of the NSA, CIA, FBI, DHS, and many others, including their overseas counterparts.

I would also pause here to criticize those in the press—both print and electronic—who have abjured their citizenship and failed to defend their country.  The fourth estate, too, has responsibilities and it has utterly failed to live up to them.  (I intend to make this the subject of a future column.)

In a perverse way, 9/11 exemplified much of what is best about the United States:  The many heroes in the World Trade Center, on United Airlines Flight 93, at the Pentagon, and elsewhere.  The unbelievable, if transient, unity felt by Americans—and even many foreigners.  The exceptional response of our firefighters, police, military, and others.  And so on.  On this anniversary, we all honor all of them—for their bravery, their sacrifices, and their steadfastness.

As has been pointed out by others, the events of 9/11 were not merely a tragedy, they were an atrocity—an atrocity committed by radical, extreme Islamists.  All free peoples, of all faiths, nationalities, and ideologies were attacked with devastating results.  And all free peoples must oppose those who would enslave us.  I call upon the people of the world—most expressly including those of the Islamic faith who believe in the true Islam and who oppose the radicals among their number—to join the struggle against those who would enslave all of us, and who wish to extend their tyranny over all.

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