Eleven Years

Has it really been eleven years?

It was a beautiful day.  I remember that.  I got up to check email, and the AOL homepage had something about a plane flying into a building.  I thought it was a goofy thing, like that idiot who had earlier flown into – was it the Empire State Building? – in a small plane.

It was a beautiful morning, and I had a kid to take to school.  His older brother could walk on his own the five blocks to elementary, but Marshall – in Kindergarten – went in an hour later, and at any rate was too little to walk alone. (And too sleepy.  I used to get him up, bathe him, shovel breakfast into his mouth and walk him to school and if I were very lucky, he’d wake up when we got there.)

So I walked him to school, waited till the teacher took him in and walked back home, under a cloudless sky, across our little mountain village, looking forward to our writers’ group meeting that Saturday, feeling financially stable for the first time in my adult life (I’d just sold my first book) and thinking “This is when we reached adulthood.  From now on, it’s the easy part.  Things will only get better.”

When I got home, I went to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee before going up to write.  And the phone rang.  It was Rebecca Lickiss and she was screaming for me to turn on the news.

Over the rest of the day I alternated between watching the very grainy TV station and swigging Jim Beam from the bottle.  At some point I must have fried doughnuts, because I ate a pile of them.  My friend Charles was sent home from his job because it was in a tallish building.  The kids came home from school, and all through this – like a muffling fear – I couldn’t reach Dan who was, literally, working (as a contractor) at an undisclosed location somewhere near DC.  I knew of no reason he should be near the pentagon, (the company his company worked for was R. J. Reynolds, for crying out loud) but companies have weird contacts and contracts.

Turns out he was in a “Secure” — as in silent on purpose — meeting room, and didn’t know the news.  He called as soon as he heard.

I think he drove home two? Three days? Later.  Our friend Alan Lickiss drove to meet him in Hays, Kansas, and I went along as the designated swearer.  (Alan’s religion forbids swearing.)  The only way I slept until Dan got home was blotting everything with alcohol, then I got up with coffee to send the kids to school.  I sent them to school because Marshall thought Dan was dead.  He saw him leave on a plane.  He saw the plane crash.  Kindergartners have problems with the idea of more than one plane.

Has it really been eleven years?

On the one hand, part of me wants to laugh at the terrorists.  They thought they could break us.  They thought they could scare us.  They underestimated both the size of our territory and the mettle of my people.

And part of me thinks of the psychological twisting that has taken place since then: people who blame their own country for the actions of barbarians; people who kowtow to the barbarians and claim to be multiculturalists because that sounds so much better than vile cowards; people who think that a country the size of ours, as wealthy as we are should do nothing to deter attackers because we’d be protected by our halo of purity and goodness.

But then I think of the other side of it, too.  Our friends who pitched in to help me meet Dan on his way home.  Our friends who gathered in our ratty movie room so we could be together.  I think of our troops who fought the enemy there, so we wouldn’t fight them here.  I think of the brave young men and women willing to lay down their lives for this country — for the last, best hope on Earth.

And I think of those who died, even on 9/11, to save others: the people who went into the towers, to help total strangers down.  On 9/11 on the Jane Austen board, a woman who worked with Rick Rescorla was telling us all about his heroism.  You could hear her tears through her typing, but she was awed and humble as people should be who met a hero face to face.

Then there are the people of flight 93.  I know a lot of you aren’t believers, and my deepest beliefs are none of your business,  but like many writers I end up thinking of G-d as an author.  Impossible not to, of course, since it’s the mind set I know best.  (Though standing in the middle of the yard, looking up at the sky and going “Does THAT sound like a good plot development?  Seriously?  Why don’t you join a workshop already?” tends to baffle the neighbors.)

And as an author to an Author I have to admire the plotting touch, where the three burly and brave guys who spearheaded the fight back in flight 93 were a born again man, a Jewish man, and a gay man.  Can you imagine any group designed to give more heart burn to the enemies that brought down the towers and who tried to use flight 93 as a weapon?

I can’t either.  But, more importantly, I can’t imagine any other culture, any other country, any other place where those three would have banded together, immediately – instinctively – putting aside any perceived differences, thinking only of trying to save the defenseless, laying down their lives for others.

Their lives were forfeit, but they died free men.  They died heroes.  More importantly, they died Americans.

Surely a nation that produces such men will not perish from this Earth.

We will not go quietly into that good night.

We’re the land of the free and the home of the brave.  And we will stand.

269 thoughts on “Eleven Years

  1. “people who blame their own country for the actions of barbarians; people who kowtow to the barbarians and claim to be multiculturalists because that sounds so much better than vile cowards”

    Personally I would rather trade such anti-american cowards for more transplanted patriots with a spine, like yourself. Toby Keith expressed my sentiments well, when he sung,
    “And you’ll be sorry that you messed with
    The U.S. of A.
    ‘Cause we’ll put a boot in your ass
    It’s the American way”

    I’ll send a prayer up in remembrance of those who died in the towers, and those heroes who died in a field in Pennsylvania, sacrificing their lives for there country, proving that regardless of what you see on the news this is still the greatest country on earth.

    1. Yes, dangit, I’d made it this far without crying this morning, but now I’ve got tears and a lump in my throat and all. But sometimes, it’s important to cry.

  2. And part of me thinks of the psychological twisting that has taken place since then: people who blame their own country for the actions of barbarians …

    It’s not so much psychological twisting that has taken place since then; it’s really psychological twisting that had been taking place all along, but was brought to the forefront after 9/11. 9/11 was a crystallizing event: people’s first, instinctive reactions after they learned about the attack said a lot about them.

    My own reaction was, “This is Pearl Harbor, Act II. This is an act of war. We’re now at war, we just don’t yet know with whom.” (Okay, I actually thought “who with” rather than “with whom”. So my grammar isn’t perfect in moments of shock — sue me.) Which is why I had so much trouble understanding those who wanted (and still want) to treat it as a crime rather than an act of war. It was, and is, so intuitively obvious to me that this was warfare, not criminality, that I had no clue how to argue for that position. Still don’t. It’s one of those statements like “the sun rises in the East” or “breathing oxygen is a good idea” — I know there are people who deny it, but I just can’t fathom how they think.

    1. Walid Phares said that the biggest mistake Bin Laden made was moving too soon: if he’d waited three more years, as had been the original plan, the US would have been too well infiltrated and programmed to respond the way it did (and does).

    2. I thought Pearl Harbor Part 2 myself … and that it was only a matter of time before the terrorists managed to take out a whole city, or at least a chunk of one. That they haven’t is reason for at least a little quiet rejoicing.

      Eleven years … and the new normal. It’s still a bit of a tug at the heart to watch an old movie set in New York, and see the Towers still standing, in the background.

      1. They were there to welcome me when I came to the States as an exchange student. They were there when I came over to get married. They were there the first time I landed after getting citizenship (the time I hugged the passport control man when he said “welcome home”) The first time they weren’t there, I cried. But in a way they’ll always be there. When other countries have “highest tower” it’s not their engineering. The future comes from and lives in America.

        1. Tuesday morning eleven years ago I woke up and turned on the Weather Channel to check out what kind of day we were expecting. They showed a beautiful shot of the World Trade Towers standing against a crystal clear blue sky — the view across from New Jersey — and were commenting that New York could expect a perfect day. That was the last time I saw them without a shroud of smoke.

          1. I was 7, maybe 8 years old and accompanying my Dad on a trip to NY city, where we stayed with my godmother/great-aunt, and I saw them going up. I never think of them as the site of 3,000 murdered Americans; I think of it as the site of 100,000 attempted murders. It is only by a miracle that the 50,000 who worked in the towers and the 50,000 who traversed that subway exchange were not killed.

            On September 12 many people fretted “Why don’t they love us?” … I asked, and still ask: Why don’t they fear us? … but then, I’ve read Machiavelli and learned from the Romans.

  3. Sarah,

    Again you’ve proved you’re one of the best writers of this generation.

    Thank you.

  4. “Surely a nation that produces such men will not perish from this Earth.
    We will not go quietly into that good night.
    We’re the land of the free and the home of the brave. And we will stand.”

    Let me just say that…I doubt we will stand that long.

      1. Sarah Hoyt, I love you so much. Thank you for this. We will stand. IMO, human beings are meant to be free — which means we have the intentions of Nature and Creation to carry us forward.

    1. I’ve said for years that the GWOT is in stalemate for the moment because the equation is in balance – we have the means to destroy the enemy, but we lack the will to do so. The enemy has the will to destroy us, but they lack the means to do so. one day, one side of that equation will go out of balance, and the stalemate will end.

      What is my (depressing) prediction? That the enemy acquires partial means, which, in turn, finally gives us the will.

  5. I heard it all on the radio. I’d landed from a medical flight around one or two AM, turned the pager off at five AM (central time) and Sib called at around 0830. “Wake up and turn on the radio, Sis. Your world just changed.” Did it ever, in so many ways. Airliners scattered all over North America, crews stuck in strange places, even medical flights grounded for two days, and more flags than I recall ever seeing, in every town, hamlet, ranch gate, you name it. And an era in aviation came to an abrupt end.

  6. You don’t give the mention the names of the gay, the Jew and the born again Christian, Sarah, but I remind you that Flight 93 hero Tom Burnett was a devout Catholic.

    1. I am going with the reports I read. If they’re inaccurate, then the reports themselves say a lot about our people. I don’t see anything to take offense at. They were all heroes, they were all American.

  7. Very inspiring –
    I wrote two poems about 9-11 during 2001 after the event. Would you like the link?

    My brother was a flight attendant at the time as was ground in Chicago airport. When they were finally let out of the airport, my brother decided that he needed to find a new career. My youngest brother decided that he wanted a new career too. Both of these brothers went into money (one went into banking and the other became an accountant).

    I was standing in the mailroom at Ramstein AFB when I saw the first plane go into the Twin Towers (they had the TV on). My hubby called that I needed to come home. I saw the second plane run into the Twin Towers from our TV. It was all over the German and military news.

    A good friend was in the Pentagon when she had the desire to get a cup of coffee. While she was filling her cup the plan hit her wing of the Pentagon. She would have been under the plane’s wheels. As it was she lost a lot of her friends.

    And it goes on–

    1. The Spouse, as he left the house to run an errand, told me to turn on the news. By the time he returned the third plane had hit the Pentagon. I spent most of the day in an on line chat with a group of friends. One of them is part of a family that has a long tradition of serving in FNDY. She is the wife of a FDNY officer — one of the very first responders. Fortunately her husband survived the ordeal with limited injury. Another friend had sent her eldest child off from New Jersey to New York, via the World Trade Tower station, to start his first day in art school. She was ever so relieved when he finally was able to call and let her know that he had just managed to catch an earlier train and was out of the station when all hell broke loose.

      1. I was doing the night show at 95 Rock in Augusta GA at the time (Mac’s Nocturnal Emissions) and my wife called me. I woke up to the phone and didn’t leave the TV all day. It wasn’t until around 4 or 5 pm that I started wondering just what the hell I was going to do for my show that night, which was decidedly irreverent. I ended up just taking calls and letting people vent. Even those I disagreed with whole-heartedly, those cut from Truther or Blame America First cloth, I let rant.

  8. On 9/11 we met the enemy, and they were US;
    When the world economy crashes into our
    society we will have only ourselves to blame.
    …and only the likes of Rick Rescorla and Flt. 93
    ‘To stoop and build it up again, using worn-out tools.’

    1. The enemy, M. Report TRUTHER, is not US. You, perhaps, may number yourself among them. As I number you among the enemies of The Republic. Take your sniveling, whining, wretchedness away from this place where we pay homage to the honored dead and vow ‘never again’. You sicken me.

      1. No, Lin, I don’t believe he’s a Truther, he’s an apologist. The Truthers believe that we actually were the ones who performed the destruction on 9/11. The apologists believe we brought it on ourselves by being a force for evil in the world.

        1. Insta posted a Popular Mechanics link today “Myths of 9/11” which apparently is an anti-truther book. If you go to the Amazon link, though, and look down through the comments…wow. That is a rabid, very self-assured bunch.

    2. Well, that was some poorly thought nonsense. Sorry, no, we aren’t the enemy. Nor is the world economy crashing our fault – they did themselves in with too high taxes and parasite populations (though, sadly, we have enough of that type here and are in danger of going the same way).

    3. M. Report, you’d do better to blame evil old men who worship death, who teach angry young men to worship and inflict death and pain, and who persuade abused young women that they have no hope of salvation and are prey to all comers unless they destroy themselves and take other people with them. That pathology did not develop in the USA, and it has been at war with the West for far longer than the US has existed. Wahabism first appeared in the late 1700s, when the Ottoman Empire controlled the Middle East and portions of eastern Europe, and other Muslim peoples ruled North Africa and South Asia.

    4. On 9/11, an evil, malignant force in the guise of human beings, which we had been studiously ignoring for years, intruded itself on our consciousness. The blame, if any of it could be said to lie with us, would be in the years of pretending that it did not exist. This has been the problem with many countries in Europe, where there are now places that women dare not go without dressing as the enemy, lest they be viewed as fresh meat, to be used, abused, or even killed. Where gays would fear to walk, on pain of murder that would not be investigated. Where young “men” can get away with wanton destruction on massive scale without retribution or justice. The list goes on.

      We will not be like that. If the Government allows it to happen, the people will turn it back.

      1. To those who want to control their populations, and to those who are willing to sell their freedoms for an illusion of safety that is a threat.

  9. people who blame their own country for the actions of barbarians

    It struck me as I was reading this that it could also be a symptom of the modern progressive/Marxist belief that man ought to be able to control his world, both immediate and beyond, and solve all his problems. We see it in people who think that if only they found the right system of rules to live by they would be thin, healthy, loved, prosperous and their children would behave and excel at sports and school. So they conclude that we, as the educated and wealthy ones, must be at fault because we haven’t found the right system to make the world a perfect place.

    Yes, they are cowards, ignorant cowards at that. They want safety now at all costs. They are so uneducated about the realities that, for all their claims of multi-culturalism, they think others must want what they want. They have no idea that the safety they get by appeasement will only be illusory and it will incur great future cost.

    So, once again — we need to educate people. We need to expose them to the ideas that makes this country like no other country. We need to let people know how people have faced our short comings, our problems and our challenges in the past. We need to recognize the costs, and honor those who paid them. We need to keep all this in mind, as Lincoln eloquently said on another field in Pennsylvania:

    It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    We need Human Wave fiction and history.

      1. This is why I write what I do, people! Along and about 2003 I began to have the conviction – and this was a deeply-felt conviction that came out of nowhere but it was like a burning bush in the desert to me – that we needed to connect with our history.

        No, not the Zinnified, politically correct pablum force-fed to us by the old-line media and the educational establishment – but the real history, as it was experienced by real Americans. They were striving, hopeful, optimistic, they believed in the American experiment as the best hope! They were decent people, who loved their neighbors, built communities out of strangers, and loved and wanted the best for their children. Like Sam on the lower slopes of Mount Doom – we had to have our stories to cling to, we had to connect with our metaphorical ancesters, we had to have that light in the dark times; it would be a guide, a reassurance and a hope.
        And the best way that I could think of to tell those stories was to make a ripping good yarn out of them – backed with solid research, of course. We need our history, our stories. Without them, we are in a sort of cultural sensory-deprivation tank.

        So, I began to write. One of my fans (a local history enthusiast with a religious bent – he is a lay preacher) is convinced that I was supernaturally guided. Eh – who knows. But we need to reclaim our history, and to know it. Otherwise we are adrift and rudderless, and apt to believe anything sensational that is fed to us at the top of the news hour.

        (PS – is it too early to hope that the Kardashian’s 45 minutes of fame are over? There are 3 of them, times 15 minutes … surely, their time must be up soon?)

          1. And we also need to reclaim our past as well! That is my mission, and I am dedicated to it. We need stories, real stories – otherwise … the public education cutural sensory-deprivation take will claim all. And then we really will be adrift…

        1. Finished the first volume of your Adelsverein trilogy. (Thank you Sarah for promoting your fellow authors.) Enjoyed it greatly. Thank you for writing it.

  10. America is the”land of the free and the home of the brave” and no enemy, foreign or domestic can change that. This campaign season has sought to divide us but we have too much in common to surrender to politics of the moment; 9/11 is with us today as always

  11. This is one of the finest things you have ever written. I broke down in sobs when I read it. Thank you, Sarah.

  12. Yes, we’ve succumbed to security theater. Yes, a lot of Americans blame ourselves, but every single person who has gone to the ‘stans was a volunteer. We are far from broken, and I profoundly believe that the reason that we have seen no other mass terrorism acts in the US is not our wondrous security nor our magnificent policing. It’s because they know that if they did it -again- they would unleash a monster that they dare not face.

    1. We are far from broken

      No, but I fear we are well and truly broke. The last time the US Treasure did a bond sale, the Fed had to buy 61% of it…meaning they just turned on yon machine and started up the print cycle. The events of 9/11 were immediate, horrible, and impacted tens of thousands of lives directly. A complete collapse of the dollar would affect hundreds of millions, if not billions, and could take decades to shake itself out.

      I would rather not raise my children during interesting times.

      1. A year or so ago, Art Laffer said it was still salvageable, the extra money was still sitting in the banks and could be retrieved (which is why we haven’t had rampant inflation (yet)), but who knows if that’s still the case.

      2. A complete collapse of the dollar is no more likely than an influenza epidemic. Could it happen? Sure. Prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse and you’re ready for most anything else. But is it likely? Nope.

        On the other hand, I live in tornado country. The ammo is going to be dry, the water supply is secure, and my neighbors and I have a plan for dealing with whatever comes.

  13. There is a movie awaiting to be made about September 12th, and I just cannot understand the failure of anybody to make it. Heck, I could write it and I am determinedly NOT a writer.

    When the civil air system went on stand-by, there were people stranded everywhere, eager to be back home. Surely some of them pooled resources to rent a car or van and drove across the country. Surely those people came of varying backgrounds and had different feelings about what happened, and surely they would have expressed those feelings on the long ride …

    Heck, pick ten good actors, put them in the van and let them improv their characters …

    Why hasn’t ANY movie about that first week after been made?

    1. Because it is the wrong message. Studio bean counter: “Who would pay to see a movie about how Americans worked together, pooled their resources, helped stranded travelers who might even be foreigners, formed groups to protect Sikh businesses, and donated time, money and blood to help strangers? It’ll never sell in Beijing/Dehli/Cairo/Brussels/Indonesia.”

      1. For that matter, has there been anything but documentaries about the event itself? I can’t think of anything…

  14. I’m not as sanguine as you are. As I see it the terrorists have won. If not won, they are winning. In a few short years from that fateful day we had one major political party who was more interested in demonizing Bush than the enemy. The war was just a political pawn for the Democrats. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

    To prove that we weren’t “haters” we imported hundreds of thousands of Muslims to our country with the connivance of the State Department. People who were dancing for our losses while the sirens rang and a flood of tears were shed in a few short years were living in our midst. They live here still. It’s as if our country’s government during WWII imported countless Nazis to live here during the war. Inconceivable.

    Instead of recognizing the evil of Islam and sharia we give it space in the public square. Instead of tolerating it we should be actively working to put Islam on the ash heap of history, one way or another.

    Something is very wrong and it’s not getting better.

    1. It’s not a defeatist thing. It’s an honor thing. You may say it’s a stupid honor thing, on a par with inviting the Norse to cross over your highly defensible bridge so you can have a really stiff fair fight; but hospitality is part of our natural character, and it comes out even in weird ways. (And it’s traditional for the poorly over-educated to fight the last war/social problem, so of course some people are still fighting ethnic and religious prejudice harder than the current enemy.)

        1. I’m just assuming it’s because the Celts and Gauls are too far distant in history. Cool headgear is all well and good, but charging into battle buck naked is FAR more intimidating. And bughouse nucking-futs.

            1. SM Stirling had the audacity in Island In The Sea Of Time, one of my all-time favorites, to go back to 1250 BC and involve the proto-Celts and -Gauls. He seems to be a stickler for detail, so I’m assuming he’s got reasonable basis for his characterizations of the tribes inhabiting southern Britain at that time.

            2. Sigh. I now have a nigh o’erwhelming urge to dig out and re-read Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy story, The Muddle of the Woad.

      1. Honor? There’s no honor inviting people into your house who will bide their time to slit your throat.

        1. You seem to recognized that not all Germans were NAZIs. Not all Muslims are radicals like the Wahabists. There were Muslims who did not dance on 9/11. They do not all wish to see Sharia Law put in place.

          If you are willing to look, and you won’t have to go far, you will find that there is fighting between various sects of Muslims. Some of those who we have given sanctuary are refugees who were being persecuted for practicing a locally unwelcome sect of the faith. Their governments either turned a blind eye when others attacked them or were actively involved in their violent suppression. For example, there are those who have tried to revolt against the Mullahs in Iran.

          Yes, we probably have let in some people who are ‘out to get us,’ and we probably did so in WWII as well. Are you familiar with the Bund? They were Americans of German decent who actively supported NAZI Germany in the years leading up to WWII, seeking to create a similar political change here. Not letting people in won’t address the problem of the home grown terrorists.

          As suburbanbanshee observes hospitality is part of our natural character. Traditionally we only ban entry to those who are carrying certain communicable diseases or are actively seeking our distruction. So, what do we do? Learn about and defend our Declaration and Constitution. Be able To place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent. (Thomas Jefferson, about the purpose of The Declaration, 1776)

          1. Not all Muslims are radicals like the Wahabists. There were Muslims who did not dance on 9/11. They do not all wish to see Sharia Law put in place.

            I will always remember the lecture I once heard by a former Muslim who had converted to Christianity. He talked about the fear that exists in Islamist countries: the fear that if you don’t attend mosque regularly, don’t make your fasting obvious, don’t pray loudly enough… that someone will denounce you to the religious authorities. Or maybe they’ll just whisper that you’re not really devout, and suddenly you get fired from your job and can’t find a new one.

            Never having lived under a totalitarian regime, I didn’t immediately recognize the source of that fear he was talking about — but now I do.

            So, those people dancing in the streets on 9/11? Most probably were genuinely happy about the deaths of Americans. But I’m now convinced that there were also a certain number of them who understood just how sick this was, but felt they had to keep up appearances, for fear that the crowd would turn on them next if they didn’t. Totalitarian regimes, whether secular or religious, can be like that — if you don’t watch your step at all times, and play along even with something you find abhorrent, you’re afraid you’ll be the next target. It’s insidious, and it slowly poisons the mind.

            If you want to understand the Middle East, read 1984.

      2. Besides, the same thing could have been said about Japanese and Germans living here after WWII. The thing is, we’re not insisting on assimilation into American society anymore, and that’s not good.

    2. In WWII we didn’t invite the Nazis in amidst us. We invited the Communists, and appointed them to High Office, ignoring that they were the bigger threat than the Nazis. That ultimately worked out okay, although it is nay a dance we should want to repeat.

      Despondency and despair be the true sin, to sink without a fight. Fighting for the good ennobles, whether or not you wear cool headgear whilst fighting.

          1. You know, I was telling a joke about the difficulty in picking a gaucho out of his herd for years before I realized that it wasn’t about how ugly those southerners were. Boy was I embarrassed. In my defense, I heard it the first time from a man from Rio Grande do Sul the first time, as is common with such jokes.

  15. One of my Facebook friends posted a photo on Facebook that was supposed to be a “letter to Santa”. I hope this goes through:

    Here’s what I wrote in reply:
    I’d much rather say “Lord, be with those that stand in harm’s way on my behalf, and keep them safe, wherever they are, whatever they’re doing. Bless their families and keep them safe, until the family is once again reunited. Amen.”

    We have men and women in harm’s way to protect us from those that want to do us ill. There will always be those who wish to do any people who are successful harm. 9/11 showed us that there were gaps in our defenses, gaps we needed to seal to prevent further attacks, further harm. I sometimes believe that those in high places really don’t have a clue how to do that, and the “protection” from their actions is weak and poorly planned. At the same time, I know that there is only one true way to defend against such unspeakable evil — that each person must take upon themselves responsibility for protecting themselves and their families to the best of their abilities.

    Our fatal flaw was not the conquest of Afghanistan or Iraq, but in thinking we could change 1300 years of behavior in less than a decade. Our “leadership” believed that we could build a government in these countries separate from their religion, which says such a government cannot exist. The only defense against such people is to tell them that the next time they attack us, we will turn their nations into seas of glass that will last for 5000 years, and that there will be no one left alive, no Mecca to turn to, no Medina to visit, NO ISLAM left in the world that hasn’t been brought to its knees. That is the only thing that can protect us. Is it brutal? Is it inhumane? Is it immoral? How much more brutal, inhumane, or immoral was it to intentionally send two plane-loads of passengers into skyscrapers? To these people that was perfectly reasonable. We’ve slapped their hands and given them a second chance. They will think they have won the day, and will attack us again. The next response must be equal to the task at hand.

    Let us remember that day, and what it means, both to us and to our enemy. Let us be vigilant, and let us be willing to do what MUST be done to secure OUR future.

    1. Disproportionate response is the heart of deterrence.

      An Eye for a Tooth, a Life for an Eye, this is the algebra of justice that is understood by the stone age cultures endemic in the Middle East.

      What we are looking for is for the average ‘man on the street’ in Tehran to start saying to themselves and their government, “Holy Crap, don’t piss off the Americans. Those idiots will kill us all!”


      1. I agree. When somebody hits you, you don’t tap back – you body slam them and break their back.

        As someone who has deployed, let me say that I don’t want a fair fight – I want every advantage I can get, and I want to see them wading through their own entrails without so much as a scratch on me to show in return.

        1. I’ve told people several times: The proper answer to a sniper is a tank round, the proper answer to an ambush is covering mortar fire until we can get people out of harms way, and then follow up with appropriate levels of high explosive in large packages.

          Apparently, however, we think that being nice is better than winning.

          1. the proper answer to an ambush is covering mortar fire until we can get people out of harms way

            That depends. More often than not, the only way to survive an ambush is to close with the attackers as quickly as possible and counterattack through their position.

            1. Well, that was more an illustration of attitude than military strategy, of which I know just enough to get killed. Probably by friendly fire that I called in on my own head.

              1. lol

                My dad was 82nd Airborne in Vietnam and had a reunion for his unit a few years back. There were TONS of great stories out of that BBQ, to say the least. To the topic at hand, that’s what these guys were saying about responding to an ambush. You immediately categorized it as close (ie within grenade-throwing range) or far (outside same). If it was close, which was most often, you turned your line of fire toward the ambushed and tried to assault through, operating under the assumption that most ambushes are a “mile wide and an inch deep”. If it’s far…yeah…you have time to take cover, possible pull back, definitely call for supporting indirect fire.

                One of the best stories I got from them was being underneath a cobra gunship hovering about 150 yards over their position. When it let loose with it’s 20mm, the spent casing fell down on them, whacking their helmets and one extremely hot piece of brass fell into the open front of a guy’s shirt.

                1. My dad doesn’t have many war stories from his time in the Navy in WWII. He was on a Destroyer Escort, and didn’t see very much action. However, they were attacked twice by kamikaze (which is kind of like an ambush). Once, he said, the plane was coming down out of the sky on top of them, and they avoided it by making a hard right turn. It missed and exploded when it hit the water.

                  The other was much scarier: he was coming in low and from behind. Dad said the range officer was calling off the distance from the radar, and they weren’t able to get him under any of their guns until he was only 2000 yards away. He said one of the 3-inch guns fired one shot, and he doesn’t know if it was the proximity fuse that made it go off, or if it hit, but I think it was the proximity fuse, because he said that the plane went by the side of the ship, easily within rock-throwing distance, and the plane crashed in the sea somewhere off the bow.

                  1. Ugh…you couldn’t pay me enough to be on a ship or in a tank. I’ll walk, thank you, and all that implies (shitty food, crappy bunks, cold/hot/wet, etc). I have a good friend who was a submariner. That’s worse than a ship or a tank by orders of magnitude.

                  2. Oh, he also had one REALLY good story – short, but good.

                    What he only describes as “The rendezvous”, which I gather was preparatory to either Okinawa, or perhaps invading the Japanese mainland, his ship was cruising in formation next to the Enterprise. Apparently, someone did something stupid and one of the K-guns launched a depth charge in the direction of the Enterprise.

                    The Captain of the Enterprise was not amused.

                  3. My grandfather was at the battle of Leyte Gulf on one of the mini-aircraft carriers. His ship was sunk. (during WWII). Plus he was on other ships afterwards and talked about the kamikaze pilots. He refused to go to Japan several years later because of his experiences.

                    1. Oh, yes. My father once walked out of an auto dealership after the salesman bragged up the fact that the car had a Japanese motor in it.

    2. People forget that Iran used to be called Persia, the last time there was peace in the area it was the Mongols that brought it. I firmly believe that the next time there is peace it will be under similar circumstances.

                    1. I neglected to note Lamb’s biography of Hannibal Hamilcar, the first of his books I read. There are important lessons to be learned from the Carthaginians and Romans’ history.

            1. Better known as Genghis Khan (he was born Temujin) I’m going from memory here, so there might be slight discrepancies, but, Genghis Khan sent three ambassadors to the Shah, in an attempt to create a trade alliance. Of those ambassador’s two were Mongols and one was a Muslim (the Mongols were strong supporters of freedom of religion in the people they ruled, something virtually unheard of at the time) the Shah, acting much like today’s radical Islamic’s had the three ambassador’s heads shaved, and beheaded the Muslim, sending his head back to the Khan with the other two ambassador’s. Genghis Khan then invaded and conquered the area, bringing peace to region by slaughtering something like 80% of the population, razing entire cities to the ground and reportedly diverting a river to flow over the Shah’s birthplace and remove it from the map. Also posioning wells, oasis’s and sowing salt in large stretches of farmland, thus the saying, “he created a desert and called it Peace.”

              Yes RES, Harold Lamb’s biographies are very good, but it has been a while since I have read them myself.

              1. There was a book a few years ago, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World which argued, among other things, that Temujin’s rule established the principle of Diplomatic Immunity (The Romans had a similar principle, but it only applied to Roman diplomats) and freedom of trade, “opening up intellectual interactions between China, the Middle East, and Europe.”
                [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genghis_Khan_and_the_Making_of_the_Modern_World ]

                The book also argued that many of the tales of the terror and ferocity of the Mongols were fabricated by the Mongols themselves, as an inducement for cities to negotiate peace and acknowledge Temujin as their liege.

                1. Wether the tales of terror were fabricated or not, the Mongols had a very effective carrot and stick negotiation strategy. Although not commonly acknowledged by western culture the Mongols were much less demanding, much more evenhanded and guaranteed many more freedoms to the people living under their rule than any other governments of the day; or if on the other hand you could chose to defy them and be slaughtered 😉

                  If the tales are to be believed they certianly did not take having their ambassador’s slaughtered lightly. Genghis Khan sent a son and 20,000 men to hunt down the Shah who had his ambassador slaughtered when the Shah managed to escape before the Mongols captured the city he was in.

                  In light of yesterday’s events in Libya and Egypt, perhaps we should be taking lessons from the Khans?

                  1. I believe Obama has taken that lesson. According to news reports he is sending 50 U. S. Marines to Libya to find and punish the killers.

                    1. I hope it is to find and punish the killers – but there were 30,000 people who invaded the embassy. (or that is what I got from the news). How many of them should be considered killers and accessories to murder? All in my opinion.

                    2. I’m hoping that was said tongue in cheek, because like Cyn said, the news is reporting tens of thousands of people invading the embassy (actually I think it’s a consulate, but am not exactly sure on the technical differences, the news agencies seem to use the two terms interchangeably). I realize they are US Marines, but still sending 50 after 30,000 is kind of like trying to put out a forest fire by peeing on it.

                    3. Moi? Tongue in cheek?? I know not whereof you speak.

                      I acknowledge erroneously claiming they were sent there to punish the killers — obviously this administration would never prejudge a case that did not involve conservatives, Catholics, cops or Israel. Clearly their orders would be to find the people responsible and bring them to Justice — maybe Eric Holder was some guns that need running.

                    4. Oh, and Cyn, what I heard was the Marines were not to hunt down the killers (Obama is depending on the Libyan government to do that) but to provide additional ‘security’ for the embassy. Talk about shutting the barn door after the cows are out 😦

                    5. Okay, fine I wasn’t here in 79. I was here in eighty. But it feels like I was here in 79. Actually it was worse — when the would-be rescuers crashed, everyone in Portugal thought it was funny. … everyone but me. They thought “funny blunder” while I was mourning and raging. It was very hard being an expatriated American before ever coming here. And Carter didn’t make it easy. I was in the habit of going to the American Consulate (a consulate is usually an agency of a foreign country outside the capital city. Like Lisbon has the embassy, Porto has the consulate) shortly after the inauguration and get a poster of the new president, which I then put INSIDE by closet door, as a sort of secret ID. Carter’s was the first I took down.

                    6. My father went from airborne infantry in Vietnam to E.O.D. for the rest of his career. When we moved back from an overseas assignment at the end of the 70’s, he was accepting into Delta and we moved to Ft. Bragg. That outfit takes block leave, meaning part (I think a third) is active, part is on training or away at various schools, and a third is free to take vacation, etc. My father’s block was on leave when the order came down to prepare for a rescue attempt, and so was not in the group that eventually got sent over.

                      I was too young to understand what was going on, really. All I knew was that we were never allowed to go inside my father’s unit’s building (where we always had been at the various posts prior), that he carried a sidearm at all times (where he never had before), and avoided being photographed in public.

                      In hindsight…damn.

                    7. Bearcat – exactly what my hubby said… I guess from what the hubby said– the ambassador was guarded by civilians. Before this President, Fleet Marines guarded the embassies (or consulate–not sure of the differences either).

    3. Yes, the whole, “We are not going to embark on Nation Building,” or however it was phrased, told anyone who had a clue that it was not going to be a particularly successful venture.

      True, we have routed bad regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and killed thousands of terrorists and fanatics, but the governments that have been set up are not radically better. What should have been done was to invade, occupy, install provisional governments tightly controlled by us, and then work to educate a generation in how to enter the modern world. After 20-30 years, we could perhaps have left decent countries to govern themselves again.

  16. Thank you, Sarah. At work, no truffers downtown, thank the Lord. A different light in the air, or perhaps everything clearer.

  17. And yet again, Sarah, I thank you for saying what I don’t have the words for. And for a smile on a day I normally rage (no, I don’t grieve, I rage – still). Like Robin Munn, I did not see the attack as a crime, I saw it as an act of war. And it was. OBL had declared war on the USA in 1998. We just ignored him. Because he wasn’t a “state actor.”

    As for the smile… ” (Though standing in the middle of the yard, looking up at the sky and going “Does THAT sound like a good plot development? Seriously? Why don’t you join a workshop already?” tends to baffle the neighbors.)” If I were your neighbor, I assure you it wouldn’t baffle me at all. You’d likely be frightened by the sudden applause.

  18. As I did 11 years ago I’m flying to Japan. I think I’m going to see if I can’t continue this – or at least a flight somewhere – every year as a deliberate FU to the scum who hijacked the planes.

    [Although it would be nice if American Airlines could have got us to LAX on time so we could make our connecting flight. As it is we’re taking the scenic route via San Francisco and who knows where our luggage will end up]

  19. The Jewish man you mention from flight 93 happened to be the brother of a friend of mine from college. He had an infant daughter who’ll never know her dad. Hopefully she WILL know what he did – when given an opportunity to fight back, he took it. He couldn’t save his own life, but who knows how many he did save?

  20. There are a few articles on Instapundit today that say the Egyptians invaded our embassy there, and the idiots APOLOGIZED for “antagonizing” them. We should pull our people out of Egypt, and blast the Aswan dam with the biggest nuke we can build. All the arable part of Egypt will quickly become uninhabitable.

    Our consulate in Benghazi was also attacked.

    I criticized Bush and the Pentagon from the very beginning for being such POLITE invaders. The Arab mind only accepts the most powerful force, the best horse in the field. Failing to come in and crush them to nothing was a major failure that we’re now paying for. I hope Romney has the guts to stand up to the Arabs. I don’t trust Obama to not sell us out – again.

  21. “On the one hand, part of me wants to laugh at the terrorists.
    They thought they could break us.”

    Before 9/11 it was inconceivable that any US General could have said
    what Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey, Jr. said in 2009:

    “what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy,
    but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy
    if our diversity becomes a casualty here”

    but from the looks of things 9/11 DID break Gen. Casey
    and the political and military leadership of the U.S.A.

    Without the terror attack of 9/11
    ‘diversity’ would not have become more important than survival itself,
    it would not have become an unforgivable political and social taboo
    to say anything even mildly critical of the Moslem religion,
    magazines and newspapers would not have submitted themselves
    cravenly and ignominiously
    to self-censorship of the Mohammed Cartoons
    as society’s fear of the terror overwhelmed all veneration for the first amendment.

    The terrorists attacked and society gave way.

    If that’s not broken, what is?

      1. Sarah, I agree. And as long as we remain free, the free intelligence of the we the people will prevail.

    1. Have we forgotten the 442nd Infantry Regiment (U.S.), the Nisei brigade? There are some in this country who fled their Muslim home countries for the freedom we have to offer. They did not come here to subvert our nation. We do not condemn the father for the crimes of the son or visa-versa. We have talked here at length about treating individual people according to their own behavior, not subject their only to a group identity. The tragedy at Fort Hood was avoidable. There had been ample warnings that Major Nidal Malik Hasan was a danger and nothing of substance was done.

  22. This is my yearly sad day since it is the day of my deceased son’s birthday. Adding the 9/11 events to it, makes that big black cloud from Joe VS The Volcano even bigger. I watched all the tribute shows today, watched all the re-runs on the event and following days. The shows about the heroes and miracles nearly did me in. But the odd thing is, I don’t feel quite alone on this day as I used to. I know others would understand my pain and sorrow as a mother.

    We were in Hong Kong when 9/11 happened. Hal was on his pc upstairs and called down for me to turn on the US news station. We sat in stupified horror for the rest of the night, watching the events unfold. The next morning, Hal took Crystal down to the ferry to meet up with other students going to Mui Wo and on to school. He went on to work and I spend the whole day worrying that something might happen since he worked on the 79th floor of his building. He must have called every hour to let me know he was well.

    That afternoon I went down to the plaza to meet the ferry from the school, along with all the other moms. We generally sat in the plaza and had a cup of tea while the kids let off steam for an hour or so. The plaza tended to be crowded and noisy, but that day it was very quiet, and hardly anyone was there. My friends and I got our tea from the shop, and sat at the table. I was the only American in the group. Finally my friend, Sema, who is from Turkey and Muslim, started to cry. She just leaned her head on my shoulder and sobbed. She felt such shame for what people were doing in the name of her religion. With that, everyone opened up and we were able to talk through the horror. Until Sally turned up. She looked so stricken, filled with pain. Then she said, I have to go home to the states. My brother was on the first plane. She was like a ghost! Over the next few days, there were several more people who lost loved ones heading to the states. And it stayed quiet and empty in the Plaza for weeks after that.

    As I watched the television re-runs and comments today, I just felt like a huge empty hole was still at the heart of America. We need to get back to our true American optimism and confidence. I am going to make a determined effort to run off the big black cloud tomorrow, and do better each day. May God Bless all those who died, lost loved ones, sacrificed themselves in the service of others, and I thank Him for the miracles he allowed to happen in the lives of the survivors.

      1. I didn’t mean to make anyone cry, but it is good to know others have no become hardened to the horror of 9/11. Remarkable people on this blog.

  23. Because his eloquence in our time of distress is too often ignored:

    When [President George W. Bush] addressed the nation on Sept. 14 in the National Cathedral, we were “in the middle hour of our grief,” but the president showed steady resolve and asked the country to do so as well: “Just three days removed from these events, Americans do not yet have the distance of history, but our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil. War has been waged against us by stealth and deceit and murder. This nation is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to anger.” He continued, “This world He created is of moral design. Grief and tragedy and hatred are only for a time. Goodness, remembrance and love have no end, and the Lord of life holds all who die and all who mourn. It is said that adversity introduces us to ourselves. This is true of a nation as well. In this trial, we have been reminded and the world has seen that our fellow Americans are generous and kind, resourceful and brave.”

  24. “We’re the land of the free and the home of the brave. And we will stand.”

    Sarah IMO that is the correct answer to this question:

    “Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

    It is sad – infuriating, really – that our present administration does not know the answer to this question. May that administration begone in 60 days.

  25. I woke up just a few minutes before the radio went on, and as the news was just breaking. I heard them announcing that a plane had flown into a skyscraper in NYC.

    I reached over to wake up my wife, saying “Someone just made a big mistake …they will regret this.”

    I was already angry.

    That anger has never really stopped.

    I don’t know if it will, until they’ve learned to fear us. Maybe then.

  26. I loved this post, but you forgot to mention one thing. Feeling sorry for all the Muslim-American people who have to walk out of their houses to get harassed by people claiming they are terrorists and helped cause 9/11. You made it seem like everyone American soldiers are killing are enemies, when the majority of the people our soldiers are killing are innocent people paying the price for something they didn’t part take in.

    1. You made it seem like everyone American soldiers are killing are enemies, when the majority of the people our soldiers are killing are innocent people paying the price for something they didn’t part take in.

      Who are the majority of people the enemy is killing?

        1. Citation please, or stop hurling numbers like “millions”. Suicide bombers and Islamic terrorists have killed far more than those that died on 9/11/2001, which is what I was asking and which you seemed to have either purposely not addressed or spoink you’re experiencing the typical and required cognitive dissonance required for your point of view.

        2. Millions? NGOs presently put the total Iraqi casualties at 162,000 — this includes approximately 79% civilians. Many of the civilians have been victims of attacks by their own people, such as the car bombings in market places. The numbers in Afghanistan are lower, with the NGOs stating that the largest number of civilian casualties are victims of the insurgents.

          1. Exactly the response juliahliz182 would have gotten from one of us had she deigned to provide us with her nonsensical claims of millions dead by American military hands. Alas, it appears the young woman has scampered off to a corner and is probably rocking back and forth with her fingers in her ears, shouting LALALALALALALALA as loud as she can manage.

            I’m far less worried about her proven inability to think critically than I am that she can vote.

            1. The Spouse or I will, after a frustrating encounter, say: and, to think, their vote counts exactly the same as mine. 😉

    2. War ALWAYS has civilian casualties. Sucks, but it’s true. And the war was long in coming. While Iraq might not have been directly involved in 9-11 (yes, there is reason to think there were links. The problem is our intelligence sucks) by their flaunting the west for that long, they were encouraging attacks against the west. Culturally Arabs don’t understand people who CAN and won’t destroy someone who wishes them ill. So they assumed we COULDN’T. It would only have escalated, so long as Iraq remained “untouched” despite declaring war on us. Watch for Iran to become a serious issue for the same reason.
      Is it fair to kill civilians who were oppressed by their government? I don’t know. Do you think we could have won WWII with no civilian casualties? No? Then Would you be willing to face a world controlled by Hitler? No? Well, you can only have one.
      As for Arab Americans — I look enough like one to have got odd looks and that people in our little mountain village asked me questions. So what? You want Americans to be super-human? We are still human. Think on this instead: there were no lynchings of Arab Americans. There was no mob justice. There was no uprooting of Arab-Americans. The Arab restaurant (then) a few blocks from us continued to operate peacefully. What other nation in the world would have behaved so graciously after such an attack?

      1. To say Americans operate peacefully is a naive thing to say. Do you wear a hijab? Are you actually Arab? No. So clearly it won’t affect you at all. I know a girl who at 12 was surrounded by a group of grown men taunting her calling her a terrorist, threatening to piss on her, at the grocery store. I had a friend get bullied so bad being called a terrorist, a towel head so bad where she didn’t want to continue out her senior year. My large majority of friends are Arab, so I feel it personally through them, I get to see first hand how hard it is for them to stand strong sometimes when everyone around them act like they are trash. Sorry when 5,6, and 7 year old kids are running around calling Arabs terrorist cause they hear it at home something has gone too far. Yesterday, I am not even Arab, and my heart was breaking over what I was hearing in my college campus about Arab/Muslim people. No there wasn’t any uprooting of Arabs, or lynching, but the way they are being treated isn’t much better.

        1. Yesterday, I am not even Arab, and my heart was breaking over what I was hearing in my college campus about Arab/Muslim people.

          Pray describe your feelings toward the people that did these things to our embassies and people. Then please describe your feelings about suicide bombers and their victims.

          If all that’s happening is someone’s feelings are getting little hurt, so be it. Much better than if Americans at large started “protesting” like what we see constantly in the Middle-East wouldn’t you say?

        2. I frankly think the stories you are hearing are exaggerated, or else they would be getting blared across the media, since the media just love an excuse to show how horrible Americans are toward designated victim groups.

          1. The sad thing is that they aren’t being exaggerated and its even sadder that people are so blind to how people are being treated. I have sat in class while a student screams terrorist at my friend as the teacher ignores them. Just because something isn’t being put in the media doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Don’t be so foolish most of the time what is in the media is false anyway.

            1. You’re really telling me that no one has caught any of this on video? And posted it to Youtube? What part of the country is this?

              1. Oh, and by the way – where I live, if someone was screaming “terrorist” at someone across the room, it would be because it was a running joke between the two of them. Or else it would be a fight, right then and there.

              2. Oh I must have missed how everything MUST get put on Youtube or recorded. Let me go search for the videos of me getting bullied in the 8th grade, and let me find the video of the special ed kid getting picked on. & New Jersey.

                1. Citations on the millions of civilians our military has killed, Julia. Third request. I’m starting to think you actually have no clue and are regurgitation KosKid talking points.

                2. Oh I must have missed how everything MUST get put on Youtube or recorded.

                  No. You make the mistake of extrapolating to an unreasonable conclusion here. YOU have said that such incidents are common, therefore indicating that they are relatively great in number. THUS, because so many people are carrying phones with the capability to take video all over the place, I infer that the likelihood of SOME of those incidents being recorded is very high. High enough that I simply cannot believe that there are no examples to point to online, since so many young people today are addicted to complaining about the terrible things that happen to them on Facebook, YouTube, their own blog, etc.

                3. Youtube was founded February 14, 2005. If you, as you stated, are in college now, you were in eighth grade at least six years ago, so Youtube would have been a new phenomena. Did anyone you know have a video phone when you were in eight grade?

                4. Julia, in spite of everything, people break laws. But each person who breaks the law does so by their own individual choice.

                  By what means is the attack on the 9/11 justifiable? Would you suggest, for example, that the winners of the National Geographic tour (3 children, 3 teachers and NG chaperons) who were on the plane that hit the Pentagon, were guilty of some crime deserving the death penalty simply because they were born in America? In case you are still unaware, Bin Ladan had declared war, as had Iraq. Do you think that the attacks would stop if we ignored them?

                  1. we did ignore them — to an extent. Iraq was under “sanctions” while France and other nations made fortunes selling to them under the table, and Bin Laden (descended from Al Ladin? Just asking) was not captured when we could, having been judged to be toothless.

                    1. It could be that this whole episode has all the ingredients to facilitate a sea change, however glacial, in the minds of those who tend to blame the US first. There are deaths involved, a apologetic/conciliatory speech by a president, an apologetic/conciliatory statement released by the embassy before it’s swarmed, and a mob stirred up by what most Americans would view as a ridiculous reason to get a murderous mob going. The takeaway, finally sinking in to all but the most extreme self-loathing Americans, is that nothing you do aside of complete surrender will appease these people.

                    2. Sanctions have largely been demonstrated to empower the rulers by depriving the people of needed resources, creating shortages whereby the rulers make their society increasingly dependent on the ruler.

                      It is idiotic to treat despots as if they were under the same constraints as democratically elected leaders. Yet time and again our enlightened class repeats that error. Why, you would think that our elected leaders believe dictators are responsive to their people (well, to the extent of treating them with a mailed fist, I suppose they are.) Or maybe it is just our leaders believe that the will of the American people is a manipulable thing and that only correct protests need be heeded.

            2. Citations for your numbers killed, Juliah, please. Second request.

              Anecdotal evidence over the internet does not strengthen your premise. I’ve sat in class and had black people scream about how hateful white men are while the teacher did nothing. Do you believe that?

              1. Yeah, I do believe it. & I would go get a “Citation for your numbers killed” but I don’t answer to snotty remarks via the internet. I am sorry I have been doing work for school, sorry I missed the “first request”

                1. You cannot make a snotty remark suggesting that the American military, of which many here are veterans of, has killed millions of civilians and not be expected to back it up with at least a citation. Where are your facts coming from? As you’ve already put the media out of bounds, not that it mattered much to people here, I would be very disappointed if you use a media link to support your claim.

                  This is not a “snotty” remark. This is a direct challenge to your intellectual integrity. Please provide a citation backing up your claim that the American military has killed millions of civilian post-9/11.

                2. “Your honor, the prosecution refuses to provide evidence of the crime on the grounds that the counsel for the defense is a big poopy head.”

                  “The court hereby finds the defendant guilty as charged.”

                  If that is how you think law and debate work, then truly I weep for the state of our youth today.

                  1. “Big Poopie Head” bwahahahaaaaa . . . I can just hear that said in one of those snobby rich girl voices that drone and whine on and on . . .

            3. Young lady, here of all places there is no need to lecture us on the inaccuracy of the mass media. Wayne’s points, which you so deftly ignored, are that the perpetrators of mass media tend to agree with you, not with us, and that were there the slightest premise on which to hang such an accusation they would gladly trumpet it to the skies.

              Now, you deny that accusations of millions of civilian casualties caused by United States troops are exaggerated, but you have yet to provide any citation or support for that accusation. If you do not know where you heard it, I understand. I read a great deal, and often cannot repeat all of the details of what I have read. I suggest that you find a source for that statement and examine it critically. Then, if it seems credible, bring us those facts and we can discuss them. If you cannot do that, then you do not have the intellectual capacity to contribute to this community, and I suggest you save yourself considerable embarrassment and leave. If, on the other hand, you simply refuse to use recorded fact in your accusations, then you are a contemptible troll and not worth addressing. In either case of the latter cases, I award you no points, and may Heaven have mercy on your soul.

            4. I have sat in class while a student screams terrorist at my friend as the teacher ignores them.

              YOU JUST SAT THERE???? Some friend. I doubt any of the regular commentators here would be so cowardly if a stranger was thus accosted, much less a friend.

              1. Exactly – at the very least I would be in the principal’s office making a report on the teacher and the other student. If that didn’t work, I would be going talking to the parents… and then the police… and so forth

            5. Whoopty-do Julia – I was bullied in school in front of the teacher in school in 7th grade in 1974. So it doesn’t just happen to you or your friends. The girl was yelling slut at me. (terrorism is the new word for slut I guess?)

              1. I got bullied at the same time, then shunned because my family had the “wrong” political connections. Amazingly I survived.

                I recommend everyone watches the Foyle’s War episode (I think season one, at the end) where Italy declares war on Britain and the mob torches the Italian restaurant. Someone tell me one restaurant, one mosque, one Arab culture center that was torched. JUST one. No? We behaved way better tan 90% of the people in history. And yet, we’re required to be perfect, else we’re “evil?” And we get treated as though we’re the source of all evil? Oh, please already.

            1. Scott, Scott – lol
              We don’t know how or if we will come back to life so I am right at THIS moment in time. URg– I feel my leg being pulled. Is this about … we have to consider a certain religion’s feelings above our own?

                  1. Metaphorically.

                    And while I am at it, for some reason I do not believe that as much coffee is lost to posts as claimed.

                    1. Scott, I sadly note that the votes seem to be in and that your identifier on a post automatically resets the default to Condition Yellow: Probable Spew Alert.

                      You have only yourself to blame for this, having failed to emulate my example of always posting in a sober contemplative manner, addressing matters of importance with serious thoughtful mien.

              1. Of course we have — puts nose in air — apologize to Scott IMMEDIATELY madam! okay, now I’ll take a vote by a show of hands to determine what religions we can’t offend on this blog — Do we have any pagans? Any ancient-norse religionarares? Any vestal virgins? Any devotees of the flying Spaghetti monster?

                Duh. Yes I’m joking. Also p*ssed.

                1. Could I vote with the flying Spaghetti monster religion? I had brothers and they made spaghetti fly very effectively. One of the houses we lived in still has spaghetti on the ceiling. LOL

                  Sorry Scott – I didn’t realize you were so sensitive. 😉

                2. I tried to get my son to draw the Flying Spaghetti Monster with a fork stuck in it, so I could put it on a shirt with the words, “I ate the Flying Spaghetti Monster”, but he “was busy with his project”.

            2. As a Christian you should adhere to the view that Death is forever — or, more accurately, eternal, lifting you outside the clammy grasp of Time and into the presence of He Who Am.

              Buddhists are the ones who should complain about her assertion that Death is forever. Well, and certain pagan sects … including the Norse who hold that Death is only eternal for those in Hel; for residents of Valhalla it is merely a temporary inconvenience, far less an inconvenience than their silly headgear.

              1. Actually, the living outside time thing is sorta temporary. (So to speak.) After the end of time/space, eternity and matter get smooshed together in the new heavens and new earth, our souls get back together with our bodies in their new resurrection format, and basically death is only forever for those being punished with the second death.

                Yeah, it’s a nitpicker thing, very compulsive of me.

                1. It seems we have arrived at differing interpretations of the Afterlife, as I see the living outside of time thing as endless, as it were (or as it will be, although the use of verb tense is highly problematic under the circumstance.) But we seem to agree that the Christian view of Death being forever is that it is optional. But I am not sure it is appropriate to term the second death “punishment” when it is a choice freely made.

                  1. Theology? Again? Can’t I leave you people alone for a day? At least I hope no one has mentioned Kierkegaard? Or got in a fight over Augustin?

                    Honestly, I can’t take you ANYWHERE.

                    1. Well, then, if it pleases our hostess, I won’t take the opportunity to quote the Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love. I will note that someone has now mentioned Kierkegaard … you. 😉

                    2. Wasn’t Kierkegaard the wonderfully talented author of a number of dog books, most notably 1945’s Big Red, first in a trilogy about an Irish Setter? I know several here have dexlysia issues, but this seems a peculiar digression.

                    3. Proper spelling is very important at Hogwarts. Moaning Myrtle hid under the sink, but I don’t think she braided her hair. I have a vague impression that hairbraiding was something Hermiione did.

                    4. The Christmas I after I turned 10 my parents gave me a cinnamon beige standard poodle. Until I left home that dog was my best friend. Momma told me if that dog ever showed signs of disapproval towards a person or situation I was to pay attention to him. In dog I trusted.

      2. Also, you have to remember the terrorists we are fighting are civilians, so any not proven to be terrorists (which is very difficult to do to everyones satisfaction) are tallied in the civilian casualty column by the American-hating media.

    3. Mostly, the ones who aren’t either closet fanatics who are trying to help bring Sharia here, or else are whiny, self-absorbed a-holes, think that suspicion is tiresome, but understand it. In fact, I can’t find the article now, but one who is somewhat of a celebrity said that he expected security to be suspicious of him, and that that actually made him feel that they were doing their job.

      As for the “innocent people paying the price”? If they would help rid the world of the terrorists, fewer of them would get killed in the process. We spend man-hours and money getting information on who the bad guys are, and then make targeted strikes against them, instead of what we could do: gather enough information to be reasonably certain someone we want is within 100 meters or so of a location, then destroy that much area, to make sure we get the bad guy, and to hell with the collateral damage. Our troops bend over backward so much to reduce the number of civilian casualties that it makes it significantly more dangerous for them, and we have almost certainly lost lives on our side as a result of being so careful.

      1. I have a writer friend who is Muslim and says the same thing Wayne. She is sweet and treats the people around her well. I had to change some of my views by knowing her.

      2. Just wanted to point out that the majority of civilian casualties are from the Radical Muslims killing their own people with suicide bombs and IED’s. They don’t give a flying damn who gets killed as long as they think they are killing Americans.

      3. For the most dramatic instance of this thought process at work, look at the problems Israel has confronted. Terrorists who freely move about amongst civilian populace, use their houses, schools and hospitals as staging sites for missile attacks on Israeli civilians, and then condemn Israel when counterattacks to eliminate the missile launchers inevitably inflict civilian casualties.

        Israel has even resorted to phone banks calling civilians on a block to warn them to evacuate in advance of reprisals, knowing it would also enable terrorists manning the missile batteries to leave.

        Yes, there are some innocents injured — that is an unpleasant aspect of war. But many of those innocents are more properly identified by a different term: collaborators. Or, if you prefer to think in police terms, they are accessories before and after the fact. That many of them are unwilling accessories is the fault of those terrorists they harbor, not of those bent on removing the threats.

        There is a certain irony in seeing those engaged in group blame objecting when they suffer from it.

    4. Oh, so are you saying our soldiers are going into villages and towns and just mowing down civilians? Maybe you should point a finger at the enemy who thinks it is all right to hide among the innocents because we won’t go in after them. Sorry, but there is no such thing as a clean war. Innocents will be killed — look at what happened on 9/11. Oh, but I guess you don’t think that was an act of war. And, as others have said, where are your cites?

      As for your comments later on about how innocents here are tormented and we ought to feel for them, guess what. We do. However, let’s apply the same standard you want applied here over there as well. I notice you haven’t mentioned the death of our ambassador to Libya or the other Americans killed overnight. And why were they killed? Because fanatics didn’t like the way their religion was portrayed in a movie THAT THESE INNOCENT AMERICANS had nothing to do with.

      I will not apologize for being an American. I will apologize when there is a reason — such as when a child is tormented by adults who should know better. I will also stand up to protest treatment I see happening that I think is wrong. I notice you also didn’t say that you protested the way this teacher supposedly treated your classmate. Maybe you did. If so, good on you. But do NOT come here and lecture us on believing everything the media says. Do NOT come here and tell us that our troops are out there murdering millions of innocents and 1) not present supporting evidence as well as 2) admit that there are those out there who think it is their duty and right to kill each of us.

  27. People have often blathered that “No, they don’t hate our freedom” and “Saying they hate our freedom is so cliche.” Sorry, but it’s the truth…

    They believe there is only one way to religion, and all others are apostates. We think you should be free to worship, or not worship, in any way you want. They think that’s evil, and they hate that.

    They believe that authority to govern comes only from religious scholars who understand the will of God. We believe that the right to govern comes from the consent of the governed. They think that’s evil, and they hate that.

    They believe that women are subservient to men and should be kept from education and the same opportunities as men. We believe that both sexes contribute to our strength. They think that’s evil, and they hate that.

    They think that God is so egotistical that he will be enternally insulted by a differing point of view. We think that diversity of opinion allows all voices to be heard, and that God is probably a bit less insecure than some give Him credit for. They think that expressing that is evil, and they hate that.

    So, yes, they hate our freedom. Looking at the practical aspects, it ain’t hard to see.

    1. Aww, but it’s been years since I’ve had a run at a good old fashioned troll-baiting! /pout

    2. Due to her young age (her Gravatar profile says she’s 19), the temptation is there to attempt to educate her in at least some of the general rules of argument, namely, providing sources for outrageous claims. Of course, we may be shouting down a well, but I still have hope.

    3. I’m one of those evil people that fought in Vietnam. “Worse” than that, I helped select targets to be destroyed, either by bombs or artillery. Personally, I feel very good about what I did. The Vietnamese government of Nguyen van Thieu wasn’t the best, but it was miles above the Communist boot on people’s necks that occurred after the Communist takeover. Even during the Vietnamese war, we did our best to ensure the fewest civilian casualties possible.

      George McGovern came to our unit in 1971, wanting to see the damage WE had done to the village of Tchepone, in Laos – a major transportation hub on the Ho Chi Minh trail. We showed him photos of Tchepone from 1967 (the last time it was occupied by Laotians) and 1971. He wouldn’t believe that we had not attacked and destroyed a civilian city in Laos. At the time the NVA moved into the area (roughly 1965), the population of Tchepone was 85. The population in 1968, after the NVA had forced everyone to leave, was zero. The only people who lived there after 1968 were a few NVA soldiers. George McGovern, a United States Senator, could NOT BELIEVE the US wasn’t to blame for destroying the town.

      I see the same behavior in this Julializ182 character – they cannot believe anything but the worst about the United States. Like George McGovern, her political affiliation is most probably Democrat. She doesn’t understand that the United States is the most forgiving nation on Earth, that its citizens have the most freedom, the most opportunity, and the best of almost everything — far superior in almost every aspect to every other nation on this planet. She also doesn’t understand that the position of the United States was gained not by “exploiting the masses”, but by empowering them; that the freedoms we have were secured by ‘rude men standing in harm’s way’.

      Julializ has a lot of growing up to do. I hope she manages it. We have enough idiot, over-30 children in the world as it is.

  28. I noticed a couple of days ago that Google failed to do one of it’s typical event-day ‘googles’ with it’s logo. Interesting, that. Oh, wait…no it’s not. Completely expected.

    1. This is why Google is no longer my main search, no matter how good they are. Google works with the Chinese government. But you know, it’s their motto. “Be evil, and weasely about it.”

  29. “Marshall thought Dan was dead. He saw him leave on a plane. He saw the plane crash. Kindergartners have problems with the idea of more than one plane.”

    I can’t imagine how awful it must have been to go through this, needing to explain and console your son in this way.
    It’s actually heartbreaking just to think about it.

  30. I know we were poo-poo’ing Google here a couple days ago and there are a lot of things to be wiggy about, but kudos where kudos are due. They have decided NOT to take down the youtube video that the mobs in the middle-east are using as a pretext to go all riot over.

    1. After our gutless wonder of a commander in chief requested they do so. Since commander-in-chief is a military rank, can we charge him with cowardice during a time of war?

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