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Paul Hayden

Nine Years After

September 13, 2010

September 11, 2001 is truly a day that will live in infamy in our United States. However, in today’s culture of political correctness and the requirement never to offend anyone unless they are conservative and Judeo-Christian in outlook, much of the initial outrage and resolve felt in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks has dissipated.

That we are even having a national argument about the construction of a Muslim “worship center” that includes a mosque, located in the shadow of the twin towers that were so mercilessly wiped off the face of the earth on that fateful day, says a lot about where we are as a “united” nation. We are not united today, in any meaningful sense of the word, about much of anything.

So, instead of coming together in our national resolve to never forget what happened on 9/11 and to do everything in our power to ensure it never happens again, we sit arguing about how some fringe pastor who wanted to burn Korans on 9/11 may or may not have been influenced by fellow high school student Rush Limbaugh, who claims he didn’t even know the man back when. And then we argue some more about the harm that could come to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan if the pastor went through with the burning, given the easy offense the Muslim world takes to any perceived slight and the intimidating tactics the more radical elements use to keep us “infidels” forever on the defensive.

Unfortunately, our “mainstream” media feed the impression that it’s always America that has to be the guilty party even when we are the victims, as if one loony pastor who doesn’t deserve a penny’s worth of national attention somehow reflects the mood of all of us yahoos out in flyover country. Maybe one reason that liberals rarely have a negative word about Islam is that the tactics used by the radical Muslims are remarkably similar to those used by the left. Both use the Alinsky playbook to target the enemy and do whatever they can to destroy that enemy. It just happens also that they seem to have a common enemy—American conservatives. And to liberals, that outweighs those pesky things that might otherwise bother them about Islam, at least the more radical elements—the second-class and often worse treatment of women just as an example.

Our national security strategy since 9/11 has of course been a major bone of contention. Why wasn’t the main focus on capturing/killing the dastardly bin Laden, with the idea that chopping off the head (of al Queda) would eventually destroy the body? However, it seems that the radical elements continue on with a marginalized if not dead bin Laden. And there are many recruits in this country, even in our armed forces, as witnessed by the Fort Hood massacre carried out by an active-duty major. It may be several generations down the line before we have any idea whether the toppling of Saddam Hussein and the establishment of a quasi-democratic beachhead in Iraq was a success in the long run. And Afghanistan appears to be an unresolvable quagmire.

Whatever else could be said about the presidency of George W. Bush, with the exception of border security (granted a pretty glaring exception), he gave a lot of attention to keeping the country secure in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The same cannot be said about the current occupant, who is more concerned about friendly relations with the Muslim world regardless of their attitude toward us.

As we pause to reflect on the events of 9/11, it’s important to remember that without a strong national security policy designed to prevent future such attacks, all the focus in the world on economic recovery may be for naught.

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