September 12, 2011

Some reflections on the tenth anniversary of 9/11

Bret Stephens on 9/11 and the Struggles for Meaning

September 11 was nothing if not a day of loss, and this memorial cannot avoid expressing something of that loss. The problem is that it's exclusively about loss, while 9/11 was also a day of extraordinary giving: of the first responders, the passengers on Flight 93, the people in the towers who helped each other out, the emergency crews, the volunteers. A better 9/11 tribute would reflect those deeds, not sound an echo to the nihilism that was at the core of al Qaeda's designs.
So 9/11 remains a date and an event unto itself, somehow disconnected from everything that still flows from it. No doubt that helps draw a line between our feelings about it and the controversies over Iraq, Guantanamo, waterboarding, drone strikes, the freedom agenda and all the rest of it. But it also strips the day of any context, intelligibility or a sense of the greater purposes that might flow from it. This is how an act of evil and of war has been reduced, in our debased correct parlance, to a "tragedy."

We'll Never Get Over It, Nor Should We Peggy Noonan

But New York will never get over what they did. They live in a lot of hearts.

They tell us to get over it, they say to move on, and they mean it well: We can't bring an air of tragedy into the future. But I will never get over it. To get over it is to get over the guy who stayed behind on a high floor with his friend who was in a wheelchair. To get over it is to get over the woman by herself with the sign in the darkness: "America You Are Not Alone." To get over it is to get over the guys who ran into the fire and not away from the fire.

You've got to be loyal to pain sometimes to be loyal to the glory that came out of it.

 Tattoo 9:11

Rich Lowry sees A Decade of Heroes

On a morning of horrors on Sept. 11, 2001, we witnessed acts of sacrifice that will live forever in American memory.

As people fled the World Trade Center, amid falling bodies and debris, firefighters ran into them. As people ran down the stairs, the firefighters marched up them. They carried 100 pounds of gear, moving slowly toward a fire hot enough to melt steel raging 1,000 feet above them.

After a flaccid decade of (somewhat illusory) prosperity and peace in the 1990s, the savagery of September 11 brought home the timeless relevance of the virtue of courage. Not “moral courage,” but old-fashioned physical courage of the sort celebrated since the days of Homer.
 Nyfirefighter Remembers-1

Ten Years Later, "My Pet Goat" Has Gone from Anti-Bush Fodder to Inspiring Moment

President Bush's remarks at the Dedication of the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA

And with their brave decision, they launched the first counteroffensive of the war on terror. The most likely target of the hijacked plane was the United States Capitol. We will never know how many innocent people might have been lost. But we do know this: Americans are alive today because the passengers and crew of Flight 93 chose to act, and this Nation will be forever grateful.

The 40 souls who perished with the plane left a great deal behind. They left spouses, children, and grandchildren who miss them dearly. They left successful businesses, promising careers, and a lifetime of dreams that they will never have the chance to fulfill. And they left something else: a legacy of bravery and selflessness that will always inspire America. For generations, people will study the story of Flight 93. They will learn that individual choices make a difference, that love and sacrifice can triumph over evil and hate, and that what happened above this Pennsylvania field ranks among the most courageous acts in American history.

Ten Years Without an Attack,  John Yoo

Looking back over the decade, the first clear lesson is the critical importance of Mr. Bush's decision to consider the struggle with al Qaeda a war....The 9/11 attacks constituted an act of war—they were a decapitation strike, an effort to eliminate our nation's leadership in a single blow. If the Soviet Union had carried out the same attacks, no one would have doubted that the United States was at war. Al Qaeda's independence from any nation state would not shield it from the American military and leave it solely to the more tender mercies of the FBI and the courts.

9/11 and the successful war
, George Friedman

Ultimately, there are three lessons of the last decade that I think are important. The first is the tremendous success the United States has had in achieving its primary goal — blocking attacks on the homeland. The second is that campaigns of dubious worth are inevitable in war, and particularly in one as ambiguous as this war has been. Finally, all wars end, and the idea of an interminable war dominating American foreign policy and pushing all other considerations to the side is not what is going to happen. The United States must have a sense of proportion, of what can be done, what is worth doing and what is too dangerous to do. An unlimited strategic commitment is the definitive opposite of strategy.

Iran gave the hijackers and Al Qaeda  a lot more help than is generally supposed. Iran's Dirty 9/11 Secrets

It has taken nearly ten years, but the real story of Iran’s direct, material involvement in the 9/11 conspiracy is finally coming to light. And it’s being revealed not by the U.S. government or by Congressional investigators but by private attorneys representing families of the 9/11 victims in U.S. District Court.
Posted by Jill Fallon at September 12, 2011 5:48 PM | Permalink