My life is divided into two parts: Before September 11, 2001 and after September 11, 2001.
Even the most exciting things I’ve done in my life (marriage, children, etc.) haven’t affected me as strongly as September 11, 2001 did. That day stands as a bright line that breaks my world view into two entirely disparate segments. During the first part of my life, I was confident that “it can’t happen here.” I felt protected by America’s borders. I was safe within our country. During the second part, the time after September 11, I’ve known that it can and will happen here. My children are at risk. In 21st Century America, borders are only as strong as the people’s will — and our people are only slowly becoming as willing as they should be.
Even worse, on this, the 13th anniversary of the original attack against Americans, on American soil, we are in as great a danger as we were then, if not in greater danger than ever before. Our southern border, long a sieve has, under the current administration, been turned into a well-greased conduit through which a motley collection people, none of whom have been invited into this country, flows: garden-variety illegal aliens, many of them stricken with diseases that long-ago vanished from or became rare in America; petty criminals from all points in Latin America; gang members intent upon taking over American crime syndicates; and, of course, Muslim terrorists.
The insecurity we feel from the last named people taking advantage of our illegally-opened borders — those Muslim terrorists — is heightened by current events in the Middle East. Obama’s intemperate retreat from Iraq, which created a giant vacuum that sucked in radical Islam; his feckless policies in Syria (“red lines”) and Libya (“videos”); and his inchoate response to the “Arab Spring,” a response that somehow always ended up supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, have created ISIS (or ISIL), a Muslim army with caliphate aspirations. This resurgent Islamist jihad is so toxic that even Obama’s own Defense Secretary concedes that it’s like nothing America has faced before.
Nor is ISIS (or ISIL) at all modest about its aspirations. Not content with brutally slaughtering Iraqi troops and Christians by the thousands, raping women in equal numbers, and taking possession of tje vast stores of American weapons and dollars we left behind when we retreated from Iraq, ISIS has explicitly declared war on America itself. To make its intentions clear, it’s publicly beheaded two Americans, and then made sure to broadcast these deeply symbolic American decapitations to the world at large.
And our administration’s response? It started with Obama calling ISIS the “JV team,” a statement that is accurate if, by “JV team,” Obama meant the most efficient Muslim killing machine seen in centuries. Having sneered at ISIS, Obama ignored it. Then, when forced to acknowledge ISIS, he freely admitted that he had no idea what to do. And tonight, after assuring us that the Quran is wrong and that Islam has nothing to do with violence — so, QED, ISIS cannot be Islamic — Obama announced that he’s planning on dropping some bombs.
I’m all for dropping bombs on ISIS, especially to the extent it’s established itself as a “state,” but I see no benefit from Obama’s further plan to leave the heavy lifting to the Muslim states in the region. Muslim states don’t lift well. They have their own agendas, none of which include fealty to America or western values. Their regular militaries (I’m sorry to say), while perfectly capable of extraordinary violence and cruelty when they have the upper hand, are equally renowned for their inefficiency and corruption at all times, and their cowardice when the tide turns against them.
Finally, Obama’s lead-from-behind strategy will only serve to encourage and empower bad actors such as Iran or Putin’s Russia. As I so often find myself saying when it comes to Obama’s policies, no good can come from this.
All of brings us back to the biggest salvo to date in the Muslim war against America — the 9/11 attack. For thirteen years, we’ve gone around mouthing “Never Forget,” as if it’s an incantation that, through repetition, will bestow some magic protection on us. ISIS’s rise puts the lie to that superstitious belief. Saying “Never Forget” isn’t the same as never forgetting, and it’s definitely not the same as recognizing a great evil and defending ourselves against it.
Those of us old enough to remember the events themselves continue to remember the date but, with every passing year, the emotional resonance lessens, until September 11 becomes a sad story rather than both a national tragedy and a wake-up call. Even worse, too many of the younger generation don’t even have a textbook acquaintance with 9/11. To them, it never happened at all.
If we still remembered strongly as we should, we would not, as a nation, have succumbed to the frenzy that saw us put Barack Obama in the White House in 2008. And if we still remembered that fatal and fateful day at a visceral level, we wouldn’t have reelected a man who’s idea of a strategy is to engage in the kind of dissing that normally lives in high school locker rooms.
I refuse to forget. Below the fold, you will find the names of all of the men, women, and children who died on September 11, 2001 at the hands of Islamic terrorists — terrorists who are still revered wherever radical Islam has a hold.
I’ve written lengthier memorials about three of the honored dead. (I prefer “honored dead,” a nicely Victorian phrase, to the word “victim,” which negates Americans’ fighting spirit):