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Thoughts on 9/11

One thing comes through to me as I hear the stories from those doing their part for the remembrance. Far from destroying America, the lowly jihadi’s have created a powerful religious symbol. The World Trade Center has become a site of enormous power. Tiny pieces of metal from the site have been forged into religious icons. They are a part of a warship, a part of wind chimes for a church. They are items treated with great awe and reverence, perhaps as much as were bits of the ‘one true cross’ to generations of the distant past.

To the Jihadi’s and to those who think they will one day bring Shari’a to America, I say, “You have not only failed. You have created icons of greater power than your Mecca.”

I will go further. Two thousand years from now you and your icons will be remembered only in dusty historical archives. The World Trade Center site will still be there and will have gained a patina of age and legend, a tale of demons who came from out of the East and carried death, destruction and great evil with them as they battered a brave and honorable people.

But the more evil they did, the more the forces of good grew, until one day the hand of all peoples were raised against them and they were cast back into the lowest depths of hell and provinces of the damned from whence they had come.

Jihadi’s, you are done. Your dreams are dead. Your followers are dead or will soon be dead. Your beliefs will be forgotten. You have made us stronger and you and all about you are dust in the winds of time.

I do not have to curse you. You have cursed yourselves.

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25 comments to Thoughts on 9/11

  • Thanks Dale. It is fitting that an American Samizdatista should take the lead today.

    I would phrase it a lot less poetically than you do, but I agree with your central point. I anticipate a huge exit out of Islam in the decades and centuries to come. Its problem, as a doctrine, is that it is too worldly, too exact, too nasty. It says too much about what must be done, here and now, to subjugate all those dastardly infidels. Who needs to be attached to such stupid belligerence?

    Whereas Christianity is at least as implausible as Islam in what it claims about the fundamental nature of reality, it is my understanding that Christianity is even now doing far better than Islam when it comes to converting people. What it says is at least as strange, but the words attributed to its founder are just nicer. The central figure of the Gospels was not a war leader. Islam’s prophet was. While Christianity can very easily and honestly appeal to the kindness in people, it is hard for Islam to make similar claims with any plausibility. The more people actually read what it says, the less they will like it. I don’t think this is just wishful thinking.

    If Islam’s prophet were back amongst us now, he might have disapproved of what his followers (and they clearly were his followers) did ten years ago, but if so, his disapproval would merely have been tactical.

  • m2p

    Well done also to Janet Daley in the Telegraph (Link) for remembering just how grim this was for those of us affected personally.

    My lingering sense of anger and hatred isn’t from seeing a mate murdered live on TV (although certainly hope I don’t have to do that again), or even directed at the terrorists themselves. It’s the idiotic, vicious spitefulness of vast numbers of people who within minutes were finding reasons to justify it, in particular those two or three Question Time episodes where American guests sat in bewilderment politely fending off scenes of shameful hatred.

    We like to view ourselves as decent, tolerant folk, but we’re really not.

  • Slartibartfarst

    (Sorry, I posted this comment at first under the “wrong” post, so have repeated it here. Been trying to watch the rugby and write at the same time. Too much distraction.)

    My thoughts on 911, in remembrance, and on the points in this post/comments:
    I remember lying in bed listening to the news on my radio alarm at about 0630hrs that morning and thinking:

    “Why on earth are they broadcasting this silly fake stuff about a ‘live’ disaster in New York? I would have thought radio producers would have learned from the panic caused when The War of the Worlds was broadcast as though it were ‘live’.”

    And then it slowly dawned in my still sleepy head that this wasn’t a fake broadcast – that it really was happening as I lay there in my bed.
    I remember saying to one of my coworkers that day, “Things will never be quite the same after this.”
    And it turned out to be true, and a bit of an understatement.

    Here are a couple of clips of how the world responded after that event:
    * Remember Me:(Link) Beautiful musical clip with images from around the world showing solidarity with America’s losses of 9/11, to the music of Mark Shultz singing “Remember Me”.
    * Rejoicing:(Link) Fox News footage of Palestinians dancing and celebrating at the news of the fall of the twin towers on 911.

    Now I gather that there is a proposal to build a massive Islamic mosque (uh, sorry, that should read “Civic Center with prayer room”) at Ground Zero. Yeah, right.

    “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.” Turkish Prime Minister ErdoÄŸan, quoting from an Islamic poem.

    In the film The Thin Red Line:

    Private Edward P. Train: [narrating] “What is this great evil? How did it steal into the world? From what seed, what root did it spring? Who’s doing this? Who’s killing us? Robbing us of light and life. Mocking us with the sight of what we might have known.”

    The point about quoting this film is to suggest that there may be some truth here. We are doing the killing. It is us, and it is usually justified by belief in one religio-political ideology or another. It doesn’t really matter which one. We will apparently kill other people for not accepting our ideologies – except in the case of Islam and the Jews, the latter who must be exterminated regardless and are not allowed to convert and submit to Islam.

    Experience and history would seem to indicate that for over 2,000 years this killing and violence of ours is unlikely to make anything go away, except maybe those with weaker religio-political ideologies, but certainly not Islam in any event.

    So, here we are, irrationally predicting that somehow, magically and merely by our wishing it in some bold speech, history will show little left of Islam excepting its “icons will be remembered only in dusty historical archives”. Good luck with that.
    Islam is already 1,400 years old and its membership is at an estimated 1.6 billion approx, making it now greater than the estimated 1.2 billion approx Christians/Roman Catholics (a religious sect formerly in the majority). This doesn’t quite seem like a historical decline to me, but maybe I misunderstand the statistics.

    Never mind, if that fails, we can always be comforted by the irrational thought that “Islam can be destroyed non-violently”. Hey, we will just make fun of it and it will go away! Of course! Now why hadn’t we thought of that before?! Good luck with that too.

    Time to get our heads back in the sand, methinks.

  • Dale Amon

    You missed so much of the article that I will leave it to others to point it out. I’m far too busy.

  • I want to thank Samizdata.net for helping me turn my anger & angst from that noxious event into something positive. My writing career is where it is today thanks to Perry allowing me a space to write for this site in the immediate wake of 9/11. Ten years & counting of blogging and writing non-fiction have followed. One could even say my lyric writing has something to do with it as well.

    Thanks again to Samizdata and all its readers.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    I do not have to curse you. You have cursed yourselves.

    Nicely put, but I think the question is whether their self-administered curse or the West’s fatuous forgiveness will work faster. The issue is still in doubt.

  • hereandnow

    I would applaud this wholeheartedly but you forget that amongst us are traitors and fifth-columnists, many of who are (in the style of Ridley, Galloway, etc) in the ‘pay’ of islam. Among the media too are many who look to apologise and explain on behalf the excesses of the jihadis, people who would soon discover if islam rose to prominence that they are far from excused.

    The battle is not with a religion of lunatics but the idiots in our midst.

  • lucklucky

    No one can predict what happens in 100 years, even less 2000 years.

  • Stephen Willmer

    I’d have more faith in the laudable sentiments expressed in the original post were it not for that post’s use of an impeccably sensitive spelling of ‘sharia’. Ten years ago I saw a vox pop of New Yorkers, asking how many could even spell bin Laden’s name. Only one answered correctly, ‘Who cares?’, he said. Still, here’s to optimism.

  • zoomraker

    Peter Hitchens has a different perspective on 9/11

    “Yasser Arafat’s cruise missiles did their job on 9/11. Just ask Israel”


  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Thankfully, Christianity is doing well in Asia, not Mohammedanism. China’s millions of believers are a better antidote than war against anyone.
    Also, you can confound jihidiots with the facts. The Koran says that Allah decides the outcome of all battles. Therefore, Allah must want Israel to exist, and to have Jerusalem as the capital, since Israel has won all the wars it has been in! So do they obey Allah’s will, and support Israel?
    You can also ask them which of these statements from the Koran are true or false, since they contradict each other-
    Allah is the only eternal entity, and created all things.
    The Koran is eternal and unchangeable.
    Allah’s will cannot be chained.
    Allah can abrogate and change commanda at his own Will.

  • Slartibartfarst

    @zoomraker: Many thanks for providing the link (above) to that post in Peter Hitchens’ blog (in mailonsunday). A very interesting read.
    Assuming that he has all his facts right, he seems to make a solidy rational and rather scary point.
    It certainly does give a different perspective for me to try to understand something of the morass.

    It would have been nice if he could have gone on to consider “The Jewish problem” in the event that the state of Israel had not been created by the partition in 1948. By my reading of the Koran, Allah would still be insisting that Muslims have a duty to ensure that all Jews are expunged from the face of the earth for their sins, regardless of whether they were obligingly parcelled up as a more collective target in a piece of land.

    So for them the war wouldn’t necessarly have gone away would it – even though 911 might not have happened? I mean, it would probably have just taken on another implaccable form – one that we can only suppose at present. For example, it might have continued along the lines of Hitler’s and the Grand Mufti’s plans for them, or some new and worse invention of man’s.

    In any event, it’ll probably be Sod’s Law, with Death holding the lantern at the end of the tunnel. With the apparent and worrying rise in overt and covert anti-semitism in the liberal-collectivist media and amongst populations in the West, there would seem to be quite a gathering of people who potentially might be keen to at least stand and watch, if not assist, in the genocide of the Jews expedited in either way. Maybe they might even consider turning Israel into some kind of a Jewish concentration camp, since there are so many Jews there aleady. That would at least alleviate the transport infrastructure load.

  • Although the jihadists didn’t manage any attacks on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, thanks to the vigilance the security agencies, we can expect they’ll try again in the run up to Christmas. Jihadists hate Christmas and want to make it a time of suffering for the infidels.

  • Andrew Duffin

    Islam has been causing trouble for the West for a very long time.

    I would not write them off so glibly, just because one of their many attacks has not achieved very much in the short term.

    They take the very long view, and the demographics are moving in their direction, not ours.

    The case is far from decided.

  • Paul Marks

    The death wish of the West bothers me.

    For example, almost all of BBC Radio Four’s “Sunday” show on 9/11 was a defence of Islam.

    No, not even a defence – just a bland smug assumption that Islam was good, and that anyone (including anyone in New York) who had a word to say against Islam, must be an ignorant bigot.

    The BBC can not be dismissed – it is the main source of news (and entertainment) for most British people.

    And who did the “Sunday” show have on as a expert?

    Someone from the New York Times of course.

    The NYT can not be dismissed either – it is typical of American newspapers, magazines (such as Time magazine) and the networks.

    The P.C. ideology of both the media and the education system, was not rejected after 9/11.

    The deathwish continues.

  • Laird

    Paul Krugman (!) has an interesting take on this. I’m not sure I completely understand what he’s saying, but I suspect that I agree with him. Which is completely unexpected, but since it’s not about economics that lessens the shock somewhat.

  • Bod

    Not understaning what Krugman’s saying is a natural defensive mechanism when confronted by raving asshattery.

    If *I* understand him correctly, his point is that 9/11 was a convenient event that permitted the Evil Right to consolidate their Fascist death-grip on the necks of the fragile American Proletariat.

    When I saw that article yesterday, I was sure there were more paragraphs.

    But anyway – as a limey kid in the 60’s in London, I grew up seeing the general tone of Rememberance Day in the UK change, and it wasn’t simply that the veterans who served in WWI (and in more recent years, WW2) were becoming less numerous, the flavor changed too, from what seemed like a brisk and even strident respect for the forces, to a more subdued reverence; with the tone evolving from a more ‘military’ stance to a more reflective one. I don’t think it’s at all dissonant to see 9/11 becoming a more reverential, less politicised anniversary at all.

    Krugman drags out an ‘effing terracotta army of strawmen, and then ensures that the inevitable critics don’t have the opportunity to call him out for his bullshit as he immolates them (with Avgas, perhaps)

    Tell me Paul, just how many of ‘our’ professional pundits took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to corruption? Being a noble truth-speaker, call ’em out, like you called out the politicos.

    Similarly, identify the nature of the hijacking of the atrocity. Who did what? And when? Live up to the noble legacy of Woodward and Bernstein!

    “The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.”

    Does it, Paul? Does it really. Please show us the heart of the nation that thinks this. Is it in Topeka? Is it in Denver? How about Hoboken? Or maybe my home town in Fairfield County, CT, which regularly elects reliable left-democrats every election, who unveiled their 9/11 memorial a few days ago to commemorate the townspeople who died 10 years ago.

    You’re a contemptible little shit, Krugman. Go project in Cairo or Jeddah.

    For Krugman, the personal IS the political. He can’t conceive of a solemn occasion unless there’s a bunch of hammer-wielding SEIU workers intimidating the public.

  • Laird

    No, I don’t agree with that particular sentence you quoted, Bod, and Krugman most certainly is “a contemptible little shit”. But even a blind pig (or a contemptible shit) occasionally finds a truffle, as they say, and it’s beyond dispute that 9/11 was the impetus for passage of the odious “USA Patriot Act”, the creation of the Homeland Security Department and the TSA, our military adventures in Iraq and elsewhere, the evisceration of the Posse Comitatus Act (which Homeland Security officially views as merely an historical oddity but now essentially a nullity), increased militarization of our police, etc., etc. All Republican actions which have been enthusiastically embraced by the Democrats. In other words, 9/11 provided a convenient justification for big-government types on both sides of the aisle (and they are legion) to expand the reach and power of the federal government and further erode our individual liberties.

    Anyway, that’s what *I* think Krugman was saying (at least in part), and to that extent (and only to that extent) I think he’s correct.

  • Bod

    Laird, I don’t disagree that 9/11 offered an opportunity for the intrusive state to do what it does best – extend its reach; what I should have articulated was that I don’t think that’s what Krugman meant at all.

    The PATRIOT Act was (once we all discovered what it meant in detail) what pushed me over from somewhat-libertarian-conservative to fairly solid constitutionalist-minarchist – and I’m right with you on the issues you cite.

    This is just a timely primal scream from Krugman because today, I heard some people at the office who I’d written off as quintessential lefties, talking about how ‘normal’ and ‘human’ Bush II seemed in a TV interview. Sure, there were subsequent qualifications about how dumb he is, (after all, you can’t expect miracles), but the outright demonization of Bush seems to be falling apart, even in New York. When your enemies can no longer be painted as untermenschen, merely flawed people, and your whole gig was based on promulgating the idea that ‘neocons’ are responsible for everything bad that happens in the world, right down to your milk going sour, it’s no surprise he’s writing this kind of dreck.

    The narrative unravels.

    The practical differences between the two parties are exposed for all to see, and your posturing is revealed in all its partisan hypocracy.

    Krugman doesn’t mind that the PATRIOT Act and all the other attendant legislation you noted exists. He’s just pissed off that his team didn’t get to enact it.

    Do you really believe that you’d be reading that screed if President Gore, VP whoever-it-would-have-been and Sec State (Reno?) had been running the show in 2001, on the Day that Changed Everything? Nope. Krugman’s just convinced that they would have ensured that the legislation was ‘smarter’, ‘tougher’, and ‘cooler’.

  • Bod


    Just to make it clear, I was employing the rhetorical ‘you’, in the previous post; and not the accusative. :/

  • Daniel

    What western governments are lacking is a strategy to deal with this. Yes, AQ and Co have cursed themselves, however a brighter strategy is needed to deal with asymetrical warfare.
    Who would like to start describing what it takes..

  • Paul Marks

    I did not support the Patriot Act.

    I did not support the Iraq war either. I did not support going to war – I certainly supported the troops who were there.

    I did support the Afghan war – and bitterly regret that I did so (not the killing of OBL – the “nation building” ….. general war).

    So why would I rather go on a fishing trip with George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld or YES Dick Chaney, than I would with Paul Krugman?

    Because they were wrong – but are not what he is, Krugman is no good.

    We all know the Krugman is no good – nothing to do with his intellect. I am talking about him as a human being.

    That is all.

  • Richard Aubrey

    ref “true cross”
    Went to a Civil War muster (Battle of Bethel Church) in Jackson, MI last month. In the park was a large display of some odd-looking metal. Originally thinking it was some kind of modern art that got loose from storage, I went over to see who had the guts to put his name to it.
    Turns out to be about a ton of metal from the WTC. The plaque was reverent and did not intend to forget.

  • Richard Aubrey

    ref “true cross”
    Went to a Civil War muster (Battle of Bethel Church) in Jackson, MI last month. In the park was a large display of some odd-looking metal. Originally thinking it was some kind of modern art that got loose from storage, I went over to see who had the guts to put his name to it.
    Turns out to be about a ton of metal from the WTC. The plaque was reverent and did not intend to forget.