SO NOW IT’S THE 21st ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11. Back then, InstaPundit was shiny and new. Now it’s not (and neither am I!), and for years people have been warning of “blogger burnout.” But I’m still here. On prior 9/11 anniversaries, I’ve given shooting lessons to a Marine, I’ve taken the day off from blogging, and I’ve even gone to a Tea Party with Andrew Breitbart.
At this late date, I don’t have anything new to say on 9/11. Most of my law students don’t even remember it. My worries about the growth of a monstrous and ineffective internal security bureaucracy certainly bore fruit, alas.
The picture above is by my cousin-in-law Brad Rubenstein, taken from his apartment that day. You might also want to read this piece by James Lileks.
And here’s a passage from Lee Harris’s Civilization And Its Enemies.
Forgetfulness occurs when those who have been long inured to civilized order can no longer remember a time in which they had to wonder whether their crops would grow to maturity without being stolen or their children sold into slavery by a victorious foe.
They forget that in time of danger, in the face of the Enemy, they must trust and confide in each other, or perish.
They forget, in short, that there has ever been a category of human experience called the Enemy. And that, before 9/11, was what had happened to us. The very concept of the Enemy had been banished from our moral and political vocabulary. An enemy was just a friend we hadn’t done enough for — yet. Or perhaps there had been a misunderstanding, or an oversight on our part — something that we could correct. And this means that that our first task is that we must try to grasp what the concept of the Enemy really means.
The Enemy is someone who is willing to die in order to kill you. And while it is true that the Enemy always hates us for a reason — it is his reason, and not ours.
I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating today.
One thing I guess I didn’t believe 21 years ago is that America would elect such a feckless President in 2008, and stand idly by while he flushed our global position, and security, down a left-wing toilet. But we did — and then we did it again in 2020 — and we’ll be paying the price for a long time.
We said “never forget.” Well, we haven’t forgotten the heroism of people like Rick Rescorla, the Flight 93 passengers, the firefighters who charged up the WTC stairs, or the volunteers who set up the American Dunkirk evacuation of lower Manhattan by boat.
But we have forgotten the criminal negligence of our political leaders and intelligence services that got us to that point. We should have purged the incompetents then. Instead, they’re still running the show. The country is still sound, but the people in charge of it have only gotten worse.
God bless America. We need it.
I don’t mean this to sound gloomy. But Americans consistently shrink from the realities of both international and domestic politics and that’s not good. I think the coming decade will be a dose of reality, for better and for worse.