This Sunday will be the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
All over your TV, all over the newspapers, and all over the web, people will be talking about how much the day means, remembering the dead, and holding themselves in general mourning.
Is it because I don’t think 9/11 was significant? Balderdash—it was the most successful terror attack on the U.S. in history.
Is it because I want to “move on”? Nonsense—this attack highlighted the threat of radical Islam, and I think that is one of the most serious threats facing the entire world. Moving on is not only a bad option, it is a blind option.
It’s just this.
Other than the actions of the passengers on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania, 9/11 was the most serious defeat we suffered during the War on Terror. It was a cause for celebration in many parts of the Arab world. I still have not forgotten the festivities in the “Palestinian” areas that were recorded before Arafat, terrified of U.S. reaction, suppressed the reporting of them. The series of events made Bin Laden a hero to many in the radical Islamic world (and to some in the Western world, as well). Time and death have not changed that status.
By dwelling on and beating our breasts over one of the worst defeats in U.S. history, all we do is embolden and encourage our foes at a time when they are regularly being defeated in the field. They have little reason to cheer, and yet every somber event that takes place while the war is still being fought will lend them hope at a time when we should be giving them only grief.
The days we need to be remembering are the fall of Saddam (April 9th); the fall of the Taliban government in Afghanistan and Tora Bora (Dec 17th); and the death of Bin Laden (May 2nd). We should hold those days high, and make sure that not only do we remember and celebrate those days—but those we defeated remember it as well. Those days should be celebrated just as we did with VE and VJ Days, right up until the greatest generation was replaced by the baby boomers, and those World War II landmarks began to fade from memory.
When the war is won, then perhaps things will be different—but as long as we are still fighting, a somber remembrance is the wrong thing to do.
So while the rest of the country puts on their sackcloth for 24 hours, I will respectfully pass on that. Instead, I will pop a cork to the passengers of Flight 93 for producing the first in many U.S. victories during the War on Terror and toast the troops who continue to win one of the toughest wars our country has ever fought.
The people whose feelings on that day would interest me most are too busy monitoring the reactors on submarines, playing swap-a-tronics in the electronic guts of a JSTARS, or shooting smelly terrorists in the face to go pose for the cameras in NYC.