Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lest We Forget

By J. Lileks , written September 11th, 2003.

Two years ago today I was convinced that every presumption I had about the future was wrong. This war, I feared, would be horrible, total, and long.

Two years later I take a certain grim comfort in some people’s disinterest in the war; if you’d told me two years ago that people would be piling on the President and bitching about slow progress in Iraq, I would have known in a second that the nation hadn’t suffered another attack. When the precise location of Madonna’s tongue is big news, you can bet the hospitals aren’t full of smallpox victims. Of course some people are impatient with those who still recall the shock of 9/11; the same people were crowding the message boards of internet sites on the afternoon of the attacks, eager to blame everyone but the hijackers. They hate this nation. In their hearts, they hate humanity. They would rather cheer the perfect devils than come to the aid of a compromised angel. They can talk for hours about how wrong it was to kill babies, busboys, businessmen, receptionists, janitors, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers - and then they lean towards you, eyes wide, and they say the fatal word:


And then you realize that the eulogy is just a preface. All that concern for the dead is nothing more than the knuckle-cracking of an organist who’s going to play an E minor chord until we all agree we had it coming.

I’ve no doubt that if Seattle or Boston or Manhattan goes up in a bright white flash there will be those who blame it all on Bush. 'We squandered the world’s good will. We threw away the opportunity to atone, and lashed out.' Really? You want to see lashing out? Imagine Kabul and Mecca and Baghdad and Tehran on 9/14 crowned with mushroom clouds: that’s lashing out. Imagine the President in the National Cathedral castigating Islam instead of sitting next to an Imam who's giving a homily. Mosques burned, oil fields occupied, smart bombs slamming into Syrian palaces. We could have gone full Roman on anyone we wanted, but we didn’t. And we won’t.


  1. Those people up there, struggling to breathe in the heat and smoke, living out the last few moments of their lives, those people were you and me. The effort on the left, from the day they died, to say 'we' had it coming" is sheer bunk. The New York coroner's efforts to say that no one jumped, that they all had just been 'blown out of the building' was bunk. And the media's efforts to sanitize the story, 'cleaning it up' by to not allowing the images of people jumping and falling to their deaths, all so our emotions would not run too high...that was bunk as well.

    All those people in those buildings were innocent. They did nothing to deserve what happened to them. It was murder. And the people that did it, were happy about what they did. They haven't changed their minds about it.

    That is the world we live in today.

  2. I'll never forget, Jim.

    What's happened since doesn't restore my confidence in America's future. We let those guys who thought we had it coming take charge of all rebuilding and memorial efforts. What did that get us? A Muslim prayer circle in Shanksville, PA oriented toward Mecca and not-much in NYC--except the future Islamic victory mosque at ground zero. I guessed they showed us!
    Just more idiots scratching their noses with their middle fingers. That never gets old and never fails to make them laugh.