9/11: Twelve Years Later

Bruce Bawer is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and the author of “While Europe Slept” and “Surrender.” His book "The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind" is just out from Broadside / Harper Collins.


9/11 was a moment of utter moral clarity that has been succeeded by twelve years of moral chaos. Twelve years of duplicity, flim-flam, double-dealing, humbug. Twelve years of timorousness, incompetence, impotence.

Thousands of lives have been sacrificed in vain; inconceivable amounts of money have gone to waste. America’s financial security and its international standing have been imperiled. And all for one simple reason: because, from the very beginning, the powers that be, in both political parties, chose to lie about the nature of the enemy we were up against.

In the years before World War II began, Winston Churchill spoke up again and again in the House of Commons about the danger that the Nazis represented. His colleagues responded to his eloquent, passionate warnings with ridicule. He was considered a bore, a nag. Some of his fellow Tories viewed his preoccupation with Hitler as an embarrassment. But he didn’t waver. He knew whereof he spoke, he saw what was coming, and he did what he saw as his duty.

On September 11, 2001, only a couple of hours after the planes struck the World Trade Center, President Bush went on TV and promised the nation that we’d get the “folks” who did this. “Folks”? Would Churchill ever have called the Nazis “folks”? The tone was wrong, right from the start. Tone matters.

In the same TV address, Bush asked everyone to join him in a moment of silence. But it was not a time to bow one’s head in silence. It was a time to be enraged, to speak the facts firmly and clearly, and to plan appropriate retributive action. It was time for a moment of truth.

But nobody wanted to speak the truth.

Three days later, Bush was at the National Cathedral for an “interfaith service of prayer and remembrance” that had been jointly planned by the Cathedral and the White House. An account of the service at the Cathedral’s website recalls that the participants “spoke English, Hebrew, and Arabic” and “stood side by side—Jew, Muslim, Christian.” At the service, the Dean of the Cathedral offered up a prayer to “God of Abraham and Mohammed and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ.” Muzammil H. Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) said a prayer. “Today,” pronounced Bush, in his comments at the service, “we feel what Franklin Roosevelt called the warm courage of national unity. This is a unity of every faith, and every background.”

And there, in that service, just a few days after 9/11, you can see it all – the seeds of everything that has been so terribly, tragically wrong about the last twelve years. I remember watching Siddiqi pray on TV that day and thinking: “OK, who is this guy?” The Investigative Project on Terrorism has since answered that question at length. Siddiqi’s group, the ISNA, is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, and his mosque hosted a lecture by Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the man behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In a 2000 speech, Siddiqi said that “America has to learn that because if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come.” In 1996, he told followers that “Allah’s rules have to be established in all lands, and all our efforts should lead to that direction.” He’s also praised jihad as “the path” to “honor” and expressed support for the death penalty for gays in Muslim countries.

And yet there he was, in that pulpit, at that service. His presence there was an obscenity; to invite his participation was an act of either utter ignorance or sheer dhimmitude. But it was only the first of many such acts. It was the template for the post-9/11 era, the new American order, during which we were told by everyone, from our president on down, that the 9/11 terrorists had hijacked not only airplanes but their religion as well, which, of course, was a religion of peace. That, we were told, was what Islam means: peace. Those of us who knew better and who dared to say so were vilified as bigots, even as the likes of Saddaqi were celebrated as noble bridge builders.

Before too long, the all-important goal of seeking out and destroying the people who had carried out the 9/11 attacks – and sending a lesson to any others who might be tempted to mount similar operations – morphed into a dubious effort to democratize the Muslim world. For a time, Osama bin Laden himself got lost in the shuffle. In the immediate wake of 9/11, Bush committed the U.S. to capturing him “dead or alive”; just a year later he said offhandedly that getting bin Laden really wasn’t a priority.

Meanwhile much of the political left, driven not by a reasoned critique of the administration’s arguments for war but by a fierce partisan animus that in some cases seemed to border on psychosis, made fools like Cindy Sheehan their spokespeople and equated Bush with Saddam Hussein himself.

The brief interlude of national unity on 9/11 soon became a distant memory. When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad spoke at Columbia University in 2007, the audience of PC students and professors cheered him, a bloodthirsty tyrant – partly to prove that they weren’t Islamophobes, and partly because he was the enemy of their enemy, Bush, and thus, presumably, their friend. Many antiwar groups were little more than fronts for jihadist organizations.

In the name of wartime security, a massive national surveillance apparatus was put in place, and airports were staffed with TSA screeners whose solemn task it was to make sure we weren’t carrying fingernail clippers or overly large tubes of toothpaste. Yet while these clowns were busy patting down wheelchair-bound octogenarians from rural Vermont and babies in diapers, Army officials were issuing commendations to a major at Fort Hood who’d made clear his jihadist sympathies and who, in 2009, ended up slaughtering 13 people in a clear-cut act of Islamic terrorism. Major Hasan explicitly affirmed that he was a jihadist – but his superiors, the media, politicians, and ultimately the judge and lawyers at his trial refused to treat him as one, insisting instead on characterizing his massacre as workplace violence. This sort of Orwellian lie was not the exception but the rule: in 2013, even John McCain was capable of saying, with a straight face, that “Allahu akbar” means “Thank God.”

The antiwar movement was ardent, vehement, cutthroat – and evaporated almost instantly the moment Obama succeeded Bush. (“A lot of people,” Ed Asner said the other day, by way of explaining the disappearance of so many Hollywood celebrities from the antiwar ranks since 2008, “don’t want to feel anti-black by being opposed to Obama.”) Meanwhile, the level of disinformation about Islam intensified. Bush, while seeking to strengthen America’s ties to its allies, had massaged the Muslim world with insipid rhetoric about our shared heritage as “people of faith”; Obama, while kicking our allies in the teeth, spun outrageous fantasies about Islam, transforming, in his famous 2009 Cairo speech, fourteen centuries of primitive brutality into a glittering parade of moral, cultural, intellectual, and spiritual triumphs.

As the years after 9/11 went by, other major acts of jihadist terrorism occurred around the world. Each time, the mantra from on high was the same: these crimes had nothing to do with Islam. Government officials, military leaders, authors, filmmakers, journalists, teachers, professors – all played their part in obscuring the truth about Islam. When the “Arab Spring” came along, only the systematically enforced ignorance about Islam made it possible for so many Americans to respond enthusiastically to the overthrow by religious fanatics of relatively secular, America-friendly regimes.

Most disgraceful of all is the fact that even American servicemen and women were lied to. Many of those who were sent to Afghanistan and Iraq thought they were going there to protect good Muslims, who embodied the innate peacefulness of Islam, from bad Muslims, who had betrayed the faith of their fathers by claiming to kill in Allah’s name. These soldiers thought they were going to bring freedom, equality, and secular government to people who truly wanted those things and who would be grateful for them. These soldiers went into harm’s way unaware of the vast gulf between their own Western mental world and the Islamic mental world of the individuals, both “friends” and “enemies,” with whom they’d be dealing. That was the greatest crime of all: keeping the soldiers on the ground in the dark about the true nature of the enemy.

During the Cold War, America was governed by men who’d fought in World War II and who thus knew how fragile freedom is and how serious their task was. American voters, who had also lived through World War II, got it as well. They understood responsibility. Too many Americans today, alas, live in a historyless, present-obsessed fog of peace, privilege, and prosperity. Some of them barely grasp the difference between voting for president and voting for the People’s Choice Awards. And more than a few are driven by a concept of morality that isn’t about making tough decisions in the name of what’s right but is, rather, about doing whatever makes them feel non-racist, non-judgmental, non-prejudiced. It’s all about image – the way they appear to others, and the way they appear to themselves.

9/11 was a day of heroes and of villains, of stark contrasts between good and evil. Yet how quickly the politicians, journalists, and others in positions of power managed to make a muddle of it all. Instead of witnessing a democratization of the Middle East, we experienced a steady Islamization of the West. Instead of seeing freedom bloom in the Islamic world, we saw a rise in Western censorship and self-censorship on the subject of Islam. Some high-profile figures in the West have been put on trial for speaking the truth about Islam, while others have made sophisticated arguments for limiting freedom of expression and for introducing sharia law into Western courts.

When Osama bin Laden finally was taken out in 2011, almost ten years after 9/11 – an event that one might have expected to restore at least some degree of the national unity we experienced that day – it just brought on more fractiousness. Some on the left thought it had been criminal to kill bin Ladin (or, at least, unseemly to celebrate his demise); some on the right complained that Obama had taken too much credit for the Navy SEALs’ work.

The last twelve years have underscored the vital importance of real leadership. It’s impossible not to compare the leaders we have had during these years to Churchill – and impossible not to dream of what might have been. Even now, Americans in positions of authority are still telling lies about Islam. As a result, millions of Americans still don’t understand the meaning of what happened that day. For many of them, a mere ten-minute lesson in the basics would make a huge difference. But they’ve never had that ten-minute lesson. Instead they’ve been inundated with untold thousands of hours of disinformation. It doesn’t just hamper their understanding of 9/11; it renders them incapable of fully comprehending, and intelligently addressing, every new challenge that comes along in the Muslim world, such as the question of whether the U.S. should bomb Syrian government installations – thus effectively allying itself with some of the very people who attacked us on 9/11 – or should, rather, focus its energies on trying to protect what is left of the free West from the ever-spreading toxin of Islamic rage.

It’s one thing to say “never forget.” But unless you have some sense of the strong, deep ideological roots of what happened on 9/11, remembering the horrific images themselves doesn’t, practically speaking, really amount to much. Rarely, if ever, has the truth of Santayana’s sober warning about knowing the past or being condemned to repeat it been so starkly manifest.

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  • AlexanderGofen

    Thank you, Mr. Bawer. Your picture of islamization of America is pretty complete.

    It was not even worth questioning who was that guy Siddiqi in the National Cathedral. It was despicable to have any moslems in the Cathedral in that time – never mind to utter a prayer to “God of Abraham and Mohammed(!)” (may he be cursed). Is it possible even to imagine Roosevelt having the service with participation of Germans then?!

    Woe to our civilization if the best leader we had in such a tragic moment happened to be “the-religion-of-peace-Bush”: “Bush lied – Saudis flied”. Just take a look at 3 upper photos here: http://www.resonoelusono.com/Infamy.htm

    • defcon 4

      It’s interesting to note that the “moderate” islam0nazis in Syria desecrated Abraham’s tomb, which kinda refutes the lie that islam constitutes an Abrahamic faith.

      • AlexanderGofen

        Forget tombs: See what they do to living human beings (if you can stomach this). 20 thugs first raped, then tortured and murdered this beautiful Christian girl. If your blood boils, it should.

        • defcon 4

          My G-d that poor woman. Who in their right mind would be so cruel and sick?

          • Biff Henderson

            This deed is good for double bonus points towards the golden ticket to Allah’s Paradise. Allah’s (Satan) minions.

          • AlexanderGofen

            Gang rape it is a common method of punishment even for moslem girls who presumably sinned – see my explanations above.

      • UCSPanther

        They’re barbarians. They destroy historical artifacts, even their own.

        Shoot an Islamonazi, save a historical artifact…

  • Hass

    “Muzammil H. Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) said a prayer.”

    Yeah, and I bet that Muslim prayer in Arabic was a condemnation of those infidels that died even further.

    When is this PC madness going to stop?

    • kimberly537

      My Uncle Christian got a nearly new black Infiniti M Sedan by working parttime off of a home computer. see it here w­w­w.J­A­M­20.c­o­m

  • Rivkah F.

    You are 100% correct. And about the great inimitable leader, Winston Churchill: If I recall, Obama removed the bust of Churchill from the White House. It was given to Pres. Bush by Tony Blair after 9/11. That says everything.

  • Chezwick

    In the days before 9-11, Muhammad Atta was asked by a close associate how he could possibly believe the plot would work. Atta’s response:

    “The enemy is stupid.”

    He knew us a lot better than we knew him.

    • Aizino Smith

      Sun Tzu all the way.

    • Dyer’s Eve

      Interesting words. It pains me to say this, but Atta was right. He also could have said, “The enemy is weak and drowsy with peace… and misguided by their spineless leaders”.

      The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Unfortunately, if we do not remain eternally vigilant, we will be destroyed. We know this, so do our enemies, so it is time our suit-coated, soft cock leaders started to realise this. Maybe they will when their own loved ones are in the direct line of fire. Is that what it will take?

      Until then, how many millions will have to die?

      And the earth carries on… we are nothing more than a snapshot in the history of the earth. And the earth carries on…

  • Elizabeth Jenan-Dickman

    God Bless you Mr. Bauer for speaking the truth.

    I’m so sick of hearing that Islam is a religion of peace when they are
    torturing, beheading, raping and destroying everything in their paths in the
    name of some mythical God.

    What is this obsession by our leaders and politicians to cover for Islam?
    The Fort Hood killer should have been trotted outside immediately and shot.
    Instead we actually had an expensive, nonsensical trial as he sat there
    admitting he was a doing Allah’s work.

    I don’t understand how our leaders can refer to what they call a ‘moderate
    or peaceful’ Muslim. If they just read the Koran they would understand that
    there is no such thing as a peaceful or moderate Muslim. If they are moderate
    then they are not believers of Islam. Moderate Muslims are those that are not
    active and are waiting to become active.

    Islam, the Koran, Allah are all just excuses for violent Muslim rage.

    • Telling_The-Truth

      What an idiot you are. Completly changed the article for your own agenda. And I doubt you have read the Koran as I know plenty of Muslims who haven’t taken the fundamental route. If you believe that is the only option then you will also think that of Christianity et al The Crusades.

      • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

        Many Muslims are lax … so what? Islam is Islam. A is A.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        Telling_The_Taqiyya,

        The world doesn’t have to READ the Koran.

        The world SAW the Koran on 9/11 and the reaction to the 9/11 atrocity by the Muslim world.

      • Aizino Smith

        The Crusades were a response to Muslim aggression

        No Muslim aggression, no crusades.

      • nomoretraitors

        The true idiots are the ones who bring up the Crusades every time someone discusses the threat we face from global jihad. That was 1000 years ago so it is no longer relevant (nor is what happened to the native tribes here any longer relevant to the current debate on border security).
        Furthermore, Jerusalem was under Muslim occupation, and there were plenty of atrocities committed in the name of Islam as well as Christianity

        • defcon 4

          I’d argue that islam is demonstrably MUCH worse than Christianity ever was. What they did and are doing in the Indian sub-continent is unbelievable. Timurlane had thousands (tens of thousands?)beheaded for no other reason than that they weren’t muslime. He enslaved thousands more. Timurlane made hills of the heads of those he had beheaded. Hills so tall a man on horseback could not see over the top. Muhammad was a psychopathic raider, tyrant, child molester, slaver, narcissist and Jew hater, Jesus was NONE of these things.

      • Aizino Smith

        @ Telling Lies

        I can’t think of one Christian country Muslims did not attack before 1820 on a regular basis.

      • TW of G 58

        Many muslims have NOT read the whole Quaran… only peacefull verses….selected verses!
        YOU get real!!

        • Hoss

          Name one.

      • Biff Henderson

        I have read the Koran. She’s spot on. The rest of your post is insults, projection and self-delusion or taqiyya. What I would call Da’wa by nit-wit. Allah would give this slave a failing grade. To be a slave is to experience humiliation at every turn. Congratulations are in order for being a good slave.

        • Hoss

          You must be a “moderate Muslim.”

          • Biff Henderson

            If throwing the words of the Qur’an and the Sunna back in Twist the Truth’s smug mug turned me into a ModMuz I’m $crewed.

            Twisty thinks of himself as a thinking slave, He takes pride in his mastery of the jihad of the pen (Jihad bil
            qalam). What he has learned to do is gorge on hate, his place in the world is to be a prickly little d*ck weed. This runs contrary to the notion that Allah predetermines everyone’s fate and they are to humbly accept it.

            According to a concept that is of central importance in Islam Twisty is guilty of being a kufr. Al-fikr kufr, the idea that the very act of fikr (thinking) makes one become an infidel (kufr).

            “Your brain is just like a donkey [a symbol of inferiority in the Arab culture] that can get you only to the palace door of the King [Allah]. To enter the palace once you have reached the door, you should leave the donkey [your
            inferior mind] outside.”

            This parable means that a truly dedicated Muslim no longer thinks but automatically obeys the teachings of Islam. Those who have, figuratively speaking, cut off their own heads and left them in a heap outside the door of the mosque,

            Twisty follows

            “The father from whom you are is the devil, and the desires of your father it is your will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth because there is no truth in him.” – John 8:44

          • defcon 4

            I believe he was writing satirically.

          • Biff Henderson

            Twisty’s a walking, talking, fire-breathing satire of “true” Islam. The venom he spits condemns him in the eyes of Mo’s (Predatory blowhard used half-wits) fictive monstrosity. Dissimulation without finesse is like a day without the bright ball leaving the mud hole.

            Spilling out the monkeys in Twisty’s barrel and stringing them along is a mercy. He’s in a dark hole and in need of some light. There is only one truth.

            “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

      • truebearing

        You judge a religion by what it teaches. Teaching followers to kill all non-believers means Islam is a religion that encourages evil, and certainly not peace.

        You judge an adherent by how closely he follows the teachings of a religion. Acording to the Quran, a devout Muslim is required to wage jihad ceaselessly, which means he is supposed to kill all non-believers. He is also encouraged to enslave people. That means Islam is a necessarily a religion of violence and evil.

        Islam teaches that murder, rape, slavery, lying, etc., when commited against “infidels” are acting as Mohammed did, therefore “good.” Mohammed had sex with a seven year old girl, had sex slaves, sold slaves, and murdered untold of numbers of people. Is that not evil?

        Islam’s most devout, or “good” Muslims, commit heinous crimes against other human beings, all for the glorification and manifest destiny of Islam. That is collective evil.

        Islam is made up of a huge percentage of people who were abused as children, sexually and otherwise. They were brainwashed with hate in madrassas, beaten, raped, and forced to submit to the ravings of unhinged teachers. The Muslims you cited as not following the fundamental route are, most likely, the ones who weren’t subjected to the profound depravity of fundamental Islam and who, therefore, are somewhat sane.

        It seems that the best way Muslims can become good people is by becoming entirely indifferent to the teachings of Islam. Of course, Islam prescribes a punishment for that: death… as usual.

      • defcon 4

        The first Crusades were a response to genocidal muzzies raping, enslaving and murdering Christians dirtbag.

      • Chubby Freen

        Speaking of idiots, The Crusades were launched in response to the Islamists conquering much of western Europe, converting at the the point of a sword. They did magnanimously allow some “dhimmie” to remain alive, to pay the “jizya” which was needed to support the new Islamic government. “Dhimmie” were even allowed to keep some of their churches–but they could not, under penalty of death refurbish them, nor could they build any new ones when the old ones were dangerously decrepit. The Crusaders, for all their faults and flaws, liberated the people in those countries wrested from the grip of Muhammad and his murderous army.

    • truebearing

      I agree that Bawer nailed it, but Islam isn’t just an excuse for Muslim violence, it is a mandate, a direct order to it’s adherents. Islam was designed from the beginning to be a license to commit atrocities in the name of a cold, distant, nihilistic, god. Every evil imaginable is served by Islam.

    • AlexanderGofen

      Islam, koran, allah are not excuses but GOAL STATEMENTS of violent spreading of islam.See the big picture: http://www.resonoelusono.com/Imminent.htm

  • Always On Watch

    Dhimmitude and whitewash have nearly overtaken America over a period of 12 short years.

    Denial of reality — the reality of the threat of Islamofascism — cannot be forever denied. But the cost of delaying the recognition of reality? It’s mind boggling.

    • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

      It truly is mind boggling. A few of us haven’t forgotten.

      • Always On Watch

        Jason,.
        Some know on a gut level. But they don’t have the factual and ideological details. I try to remedy those flaws every chance I get!

  • Aizino Smith

    Would we not be better off conquered?

    When WW1 & WW2 broke out, we didn’t count how many ethnic Germans or people of German descent and shy away from War with Germany.

    Is it because the are several million Muslims living in America that we are afraid. there were more Germans living in America before WW1 and WW2.

    Is it because of oil?

    Is it a combination of those facts?

    Is it because liberalism is a mental disorder?

    Or are we missing something in our blood? a certain allele is missing in the vast majority of the populous and it is not missing in the Muslim world? We are timorous by nature and they have temerity? In that case would we not be better off conquered?

  • Race_Dissident

    A superb distillation of the post-9/11 intellectual climate of the West. I doubt its equal will be published today. But I would like to briefly address this sentence by Mr. Bawer: “9/11 was a day of heroes and of villains, of stark contrasts between good and evil.”
    Given all that Mr. Bawer has correctly stated about the post-9/11 West, how much better is the West than the Islamic world? Is any civilization that lays bare its loins for the Islamic fiends really heroic or good?
    The West is suicidal and filled with self-loathing. As such, it does not deserve to survive. The Islamic world is, by and large, a vile place. But it is perhaps less contemptible than the civilization it is avidly consuming.

    • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

      You can’t be serious. The West is still the standard bearer of a civilized liberal order. It may not properly defend its essence and it is in danger because of its failure to cherish its virtues. But that doesn’t make it evil and lower than the savage backwards irrational Islamic culture. It’s when good do little that evil thrives. We are still the good; we just do to little.

      • nomoretraitors

        If we do little to stand up for ourselves, then we are participating in our destruction and deserve to be destroyed

      • Race_Dissident

        I’m quite serious. The West is no longer a standard-bearer of anything more than modern Leftism and its vast panoply cultural outrages and intellectual fatuities. And I hold the Leftist in only slightly higher regard than the Islamic terrorist and his supporters.

        • Guest

          B.S. We are still the producers, still the innovators, and yes, still the warriors. Still the greatest quality of life. Still the greatest opportunities. Remove your head from your posterior, take some pride in your culture, look around AT REALITY, make a contribution to our culture and stop whining like a baby.

          • Race_Dissident

            Dream on. The Chinese are the producers and our warrior legacy has been destroyed by the PC takeover of the military. Our martial supremacy now rests only on technology, and that supremacy will evaporate as our society, damned by a rapidly deteriorating educational system, becomes more and more stupid. Regarding the culture, it is a cesspit. If you can’t see that, then there’s little hope for you. And while the West may still boast the greatest opportunities and “quality of life,” those advantages, too, are quickly shrinking. But enjoy it while you can, because your children may not be so fortunate and your grandchildren will be living in a society little different from your average 3rd-world sewer.

          • http://oldschooltwentysix.blogspot.com/ oldschooltwentysix

            What do you suggest be done to remedy the matter?

          • Race_Dissident

            I believe the best hope lies in secessionist movements that can perhaps preserve Western civilization in various, smaller blocks of territory. Then perhaps–and this may take place more than a century from now–those remnants of Western civilization will stage a Reconquista. As long as some spark of genuine Western civilization remains, there will be at least some hope.

    • defcon 4

      I used to think that way, but the islamic world is vile beyond words. I’d rather live in Communist Cuba than any islam0nazi state.

  • WhiteHunter

    I’ve watched a few tedious, sickening minutes of today’s usual anniversary “commemoration” of the 9/11/2001 massacre. The ponderous, thudding reading of the first, middle, and last name of each victim; the gong of the tolling bell after each one. The words of “condolence” and “they will never be forgotten.”
    The words “terrorist,” “mass murder,” “islam,” “moslem terrorists” are never spoken. To an uninformed observer, these “fallen” might well have been the victims of an earthquake, tsunami, or Hurricane Katrina.
    No hint whatsoever that they’re murder victims. Murder victims of mohammedan murderers following the commands of the child-raping, hostage-beheading, wife-stealing, Dark Ages desert cult leader that has been a festering, deadly pustule on humanity for the past 1,400 years, like a case of untreated syphilis or cancer.
    Whenever some leftard calls me a “racist” or “islamophobe,” I no longer bother to debate or disagree with him. I just grin, shrug, and say, “So?”
    I’ve found that none of these idiots, BTW, has ever read a single “sura” of the Koran–I’ve made a point of reading much of that devil’s cookbook so that, unlike them, I know what I’m talking about. They know as little about the true nature of the cutthroat cult as they do about the other two subjects about which they pompously pontificate: the Constitution and the Bible.

    • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

      Remember 911 without noting the nature of Islam is like remember the holocaust without acknowledging the nature of Nazism.

      • WhiteHunter

        Exactly. Strange how quick some were to blame (and still do!) Katrina on GWB. Not just the failures of FEMA in the aftermath, but the actual genesis of the hurricane itself “due to global warming, because Bush refused to sign the Kyoto Treaty!”
        Not only that, but also, even more incredibly, that this “moron” “cowboy” somehow actually steered the eye of the hurricane toward the black neighborhoods in New Orleans “because he’s a racist!”
        Imagine that: he’s both a dimwitted retard, but at the same time an evil, racist (nevermind his appointment of Condi Rice and Colin Powell to his cabinet) genius who literally conjures up hurricanes and controls the weather.
        Against such malevolent, delusional, mendacious idiocy there is no defense.

      • Always On Watch

        Exactly!

      • defcon 4

        What an apt analogy.

  • WW4

    This summer the family took a trip to NYC and we stopped at the Trade Center memorial site on that first day.

    Though it is a stunningly beautiful memorial, it’s impossible not to get a sense of the tremendous evil that came to us on that day. You may stop to wonder how that evil came to flourish so devastatingly. You go through all the emotions. Thanks to the care that was put into the design of the site, you are left with a feeling of hope and pride in your civilization–knowing that we DO remember–and THIS is how we do it.

    But more than anything I remember the anger I felt. Even rage. I was unable to speak to anyone for a while. As you look around that site, and you see the names, and the good people who come to visit, as you stand in the greatest city of the free world, a rage builds in you to protect this place. Any “justifications” for this evil truly seem ridiculous and pathetic. I don’t know that I agree 100% with everything in this article–but I agree with the message. Don’t forget the who, the what, and the why. It matters.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    “Today,” pronounced Bush, in his comments at the service, “we feel what Franklin Roosevelt called the warm courage of national unity. This is a unity of every faith, and every background.”

    I know it’s a little late, but someone please inform Bush that Islam is not a faith, as it compels total, complete, and unconditional submission to the “will of Allah”, which is Sharia, i.e., Islamic totalitarian law, under the penalty of death for blasphemy and apostasy. Faith connotes the intention of freedom of conscience. However, in Islam, there is no freedom of conscience allowed, as all Muslims are jihadists in one form or another. Otherwise, they are blasphemous apostates that per the texts and tenets of mainstream orthodox Islam must be executed. Hence, Islam should not be morally equated with faith-based religions. Indeed, Islam should be outlawed in the West altogether and mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage should be banned and reversed ASAP, because it is really stealth and deceptive non-violent jihad for demographic conquest.

    Sorry loyal Republicans, but GWB is one of the most incompetent Presidents to have ever served in the office. His father’s tenure was pretty damning as well.

    • nomoretraitors

      I think he did a pretty good job of preventing another attack by treating this as a war, not a law enforcement issue, and by instituting enhanced interrogation and rendition

      • ObamaYoMoma

        I think he did a pretty good job of preventing another attack by treating this as a war, not a law enforcement issue, and by instituting enhanced interrogation and rendition.

        And I don’t think but know you are a moonbat, so get lost! Nevertheless you moonbat, we still have millions of jihadists living within our borders and they can hit us with devastating blows anytime they feel like it. By the way, what planet have you been living on for the past 12 years?

        • nomoretraitors

          Planet Earth, the same one you’re on.
          You must be a closet liberal, since you’ve resorted to name calling instead of rebutting my statement with facts. And the fact is we did not have another 9/11-style attack while Bush was in office, in large part due to aggressive interrogation of captured Al Qaeda leaders. Yes, the issue of sleeper cells is a concern, but so far we have not had another mass casualty incident (though if we continue on the Obama path of giving Constitutional rights to enemy combatants we might well see one)

          • ObamaYoMoma

            You must be a closet liberal,

            Funny, that’s the same exact first impression I got of you. I mean you are obviously a GWB brownnoser and he didn’t have a conservative bone in his extremely liberal body. Which is why like an unhinged loon he proclaimed Islam to be a so-called “Religion of Peace” while funneling the Saudis out of the country at the same time. Then in response to 9/11, instead of reacting with a little common sense, he instead acted exactly as a Leftist, by growing government like a drunk Dhimmicrat on steroids via the creation of the massive Department of Homeland Security and the gigantic National Intelligence Directorate and all of it allegedly to protect the American people from terrorism. Only problem is terrorism isn’t even an Islamic manifestation. Hell, he even named his so-called “War on Terror” after terrorism, and because it was so fantasy based it inevitably turned into the biggest strategic blunder ever in American history.

            Anyway, a true conservative would have reacted to 9/11 with common sense, instead of growing government like a drunk Dhimmicrat on steroids in response to 9/11, as that only makes the government perpetually bigger without making us any safer. In response to 9/11, a true conservative would have outlawed Islam in America and then banned and reversed mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage ASAP, because mass Muslim immigration is really stealth and deceptive jihad for the devious purpose of demographic conquest, and also because common sense dictates that zero Muslim jihadists in America would equal zero jihad. Indeed, between both Bush’s, Clinton, and Obama, all leftwing loons like you, everything Ronald Reagan taught us and accomplished has been torn apart! By the way, I only barely scratched the surface with respect to why I consider your idol one of the worse Presidents to ever have served in the office.

            And the fact is we did not have another 9/11-style attack while Bush was in office.

            Okay you moonbat, name all the attacks that the Department of Homeland Security and the National Intelligence Directorate actually prevented? The answer is absolutely zero! Meanwhile, we have millions of jihadists living in America today and they can hit us anytime they desire. You really don’t have the first fricking clue. Man…talk about a low information voter. Your so far gone, that even trying to have a discussion with you is a complete and utter waste of my valuable time.

            in large part due to aggressive interrogation of captured Al Qaeda leaders

            Dude…trust me…you don’t have the first clue of what you are talking about. Indeed, you even think the greatest strategic blunder ever in American history is somehow a great American victory. Man…talk about lost in space.

            sleeper cells

            Give me a break! What a genius!

            Dude you are so brainwashed it isn’t funny! It’s like you live in a time warp or something. Indeed, you are the caricature of the establishment Republican and one of the reasons why I’m proud to say that I’m no longer a Republican anymore. Not to mention that my 3rd grader knows exponentially far more about the reality of our enemy than you do.

          • ObamaYoMoma

            You must be a closet liberal,

            Funny, that’s the same exact first impression I got of you. I mean you are obviously a GWB brownnoser and he didn’t have a conservative bone in his extremely liberal body. Which is why like an unhinged loon he proclaimed Islam to be a so-called “Religion of Peace” while funneling the Saudis out of the country at the same time. Then in response to 9/11, instead of reacting with a little common sense, he instead acted exactly as a Leftist, by growing government like a drunk Dhimmicrat on steroids via the creation of the massive Department of Homeland Security and the gigantic National Intelligence Directorate and all of it allegedly to protect the American people from terrorism. Only problem is terrorism isn’t even an Islamic manifestation. Heck, he even named his so-called “War on Terror” after terrorism, and because it was so fantasy based it inevitably turned into the biggest strategic blunder ever in American history.

            Anyway, a true conservative would have reacted to 9/11 with common sense, instead of growing government like a drunk Dhimmicrat on steroids in response to 9/11, as that only makes the government perpetually bigger without making us any safer. In response to 9/11, a true conservative would have outlawed Islam in America and then banned and reversed mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage ASAP, because mass Muslim immigration is really stealth and deceptive jihad for the devious purpose of demographic conquest, and also because common sense dictates that zero Muslim jihadists in America would equal zero jihad. Indeed, between both Bush’s, Clinton, and Obama, all leftwing loons like you, everything Ronald Reagan taught us and accomplished has been torn apart! By the way, I only barely scratched the surface with respect to why I consider your idol one of the worse Presidents to ever have served in the office.

            And the fact is we did not have another 9/11-style attack while Bush was in office.

            Okay you moonbat, name all the attacks that the Department of Homeland Security and the National Intelligence Directorate actually prevented? The answer is absolutely zero! Meanwhile, we have millions of jihadists living in America today and they can hit us anytime they desire. You really don’t have the first fricking clue. Man…talk about a low information voter. Your so far gone, that even trying to have a discussion with you is a complete and utter waste of my valuable time.

            in large part due to aggressive interrogation of captured Al Qaeda leaders

            Dude…trust me…you don’t have the first clue of what you are talking about. Indeed, you even think the greatest strategic blunder ever in American history is somehow a great American victory. Man…talk about lost in space.

            sleeper cells

            Give me a break! What a genius!

            Dude you are so brainwashed it isn’t funny! It’s like you live in a time warp or something. Indeed, you are the caricature of the establishment Republican and one of the reasons why I’m proud to say that I’m no longer a Republican anymore. Not to mention that my 3rd grader knows exponentially far more about the reality of our enemy than you do.

          • nomoretraitors

            No I am not “GWB brownnoser,” and you have again confirmed my suspicion you are a closet liberal as you have not refuted my arguments with reasoned discourse but rather with name calling and accusations.
            The fact is we were not attacked again 9/11-style due in large part to the fact we kept on the offensive, treating it as a war instead of a law enforcement issue. Yes, Bush made mistakes (Iraq perhaps chief amongst them), but the facts speak for themselves. We had no further attacks on the homeland during his tenure in office.
            Was the creation of Homeland Security and the National Intelligence Directorate the best idea? Maybe. Maybe not. But they were created in large part to try to foster more inter-agency cooperation to breakdown the “wall” erected during the Clinton years between domestic and foreign agencies.

  • WW4

    “Twelve years of duplicity, flim-flam, double-dealing, humbug. Twelve years of timorousness, incompetence, impotence.”

    That’s a bit overstated, isn’t it? The United States and the world have been irrevocably changed. That day changed everything. The people involved with this website are not the only people who “get it.”

    Personally, I think the government has gone overboard both in its interventionist foreign policies and its all-encompassing security apparatus. If anything it’s been over-reactionary and lacked focus–what was the alternative? Do too little? But “timorous, incompetent, and impotent?” Have a little respect for your country for God’s sake! We’ve been involved in two wars, we have killed thousands of Islamic militants, and we’ve eviscerated al Qaeda leadership, including getting the top guys.

    What we still “don’t get” is what we’re supposed to do in a region where Islamic militants co-opt any legitimate reform movements (in countries they don’t already have power) and intimidate the factions we’d prefer to see in power.

    • defcon 4

      “We’ve eviscerated Al Qaida leadership”? Really? Then why is AL Qaida fighting in Syria successfully and why has Al Qaida taken over parts of a North African nation (I think Yemen)?

  • nomoretraitors

    Excellent article. But there are 2 issues I have:
    1. At least give Bush credit for treating the attack as a war, instead of a law enforcement issue as his predecessor did. Yes Bush was misguided about the true nature of Islam, but I believe it was part of an effort to establish intelligence contacts in the Muslim community so we could keep tabs on others who might have similar designs
    2. Much more should have been said about the current “administration’s” active undermining of American security, culture and law — directing the FBI to purge all references to Muslim jihad in their training manuals, calling the Ft Hood massacre an act of “workplace violence,” granting Constitutional protections to enemy combatants, intervening on behalf of a teacher who wanted time off during the school year to travel to Mecca, as well as a female corrections officer who insisted on wearing her veil while on duty, appointing someone to head NASA who believes one of the agency’s purposes is to highlight Muslim “contributions” to math and science, stating in his Cairo address how Muslims were among the founders of this nation

    • Aizino Smith

      Would we not be better off conquered?

      When WW1 & WW2 broke out, we didn’t count how many ethnic Germans or people of German descent and shy away from War with Germany.

      Is it because the are several million Muslims living in America that we are afraid. there were more Germans living in America before WW1 and WW2.

      Is it because of oil?

      Is it a combination of those facts?

      Is it because liberalism is a mental disorder?

      Or are we missing something in our blood? a certain allele is missing in the vast majority of the populous and it is not missing in the Muslim world? We are TIMOROUS by nature and they have TEMERITY? In that case would we not be better off conquered?

      The left reminds me of naked more rats. They are fierce fighting one another, but once out of their burrows in the harsh light of day they make a quick snack for any passing predator.

      The left sure fights us hard, but not the Salafis. Because they know better.

  • http://www.clarespark.com/ Clare Spark

    A reminder that progressivism was founded by Theodore Roosevelt and his followers. On our inadequate political glossary see http://clarespark.com/2012/08/30/political-hate-speech-in-the-media/. “Political hate speech in the media.”

  • ObamaYoMoma

    As the years after 9/11 went by, other major acts of jihadist terrorism occurred around the world. Each time, the mantra from on high was the same: these crimes had nothing to do with Islam. Government officials, military leaders, authors, filmmakers, journalists, teachers, professors – all played their part in obscuring the truth about Islam.

    Well, when you conflate and morally equate at the same time what is really jihad, which is specifically and only holy fighting in the cause of Allah for the expansion/establishment of Islam, as somehow being terrorism, which is always and only violent, you end up not only not providing opposition to what is actually stealth and deceptive non-violent jihad because if it isn’t violent then it can’t be terrorism, but also at the same time you end up empowering the unhinged Left to make the absurd claim that those other major attacks had nothing to do with Islam itself.

    Indeed, this is a perfect illustration of why jihad, which is both violent and non-violent, in stark contrast to terrorism, which is always and only violent, must be recognized as a separate and distinct entity altogether different and unique from terrorism and in which is also a separate and distinct manifestation that is exclusive to Islamic totalitarian society only as well. Otherwise, the unhinged Left will always make the absurd claim that the attacks have nothing to do with Islam, while blaming them also on American foreign policy at the same time.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Anyway, I want to thank Bruce Bawer for putting things into proper perspective. Bravo!

    • defcon 4

      For you to praise anyone is rare indeed.

      • ObamaYoMoma

        I give credit where credit is due and I also give criticism where criticism is due.

  • Max Modine

    Superb article Bruce. Every single element of it true. I was reading about Churchill again, just now, as I periodically do, trying to figure out why Churchill ‘got it’ and the succession of ‘leadership; morons in the US, UK and Europe choose not to.

    The reason we have lost ‘reason’ is money. The flood of money from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Iran flowing into the pockets of our politicians, beginning with Bill Clinton. And into ‘Islamic Studies’ departments in our Universities and Muslim Brotherhood front groups like CAIR and ISNA and the Muslim Students Associations (MSA) spreading as a cancer all over our civilized world.

    The western world today is turned upside-down relative to where it needs to be regarding Islam. I expected a roll-up and annihilation f Islam following it’s declaration of war on the United States on September 11, 2001. Instead I have, to my disbelief witnessed the exact opposite, culminating in a Manchurian Candidate Muslim President in the White House. There were 1209 mosques in the US on 9/11. Today there are 2,106. As islamacist Turkish Prime Minister and ally of Obama and Morsi, Erdogan says, ‘The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers…’

    • defcon 4

      Islamic history and ideology are being whitewashed in our universities, colleges and public schools, as well as in our enemedia.

  • tokoloshiman

    the cowing of america began on 9/11 and has gained momentum since then
    culminating in the cringeworthy obama and his phalanx of sycophants drooling at his magnificence whilst at the same time embracing hugging and welcoming the MB with all their heart.
    New rules writing terror or islam out of the lexicons altogether has assured victory for our enemies and the absolutely corrupt appointees of obama assure non recognition of truth and a bending over backwards to appease radical islam.
    The decline is a steep descent and the crash is imminent.
    America will go out like a damp squib with obama the chief firecracker fizzling
    out and taking all credibility the USA once had down the drain of history with him.
    hillary the Liar will the take over the flailing whale and ride into history …..

  • EamonnDublin

    God Bless the United States of America – Protector of Western Civilization. But PLEASE get rid of Obama! Éamonn, Dublin, Ireland.

  • Suzanne

    This was a wonderful article – one of the best I’ve read since 9/11. I’d also like to add how western leaders, including the leaders of the US, have betrayed their citizens by letting in untold numbers of Muslims into our countries. I am in disbelief over this as well as the utter lack of responsibility in flooding our shores with other immigrant groups as well and in such a way that there’s little chance of socializing them to our unique cultural heritage. Theoretically, I have always known that empires come and go but the 2012 election sealed it for me that America is in decline and I never thought I’d live to see it. I also never thought I’d live to see when, because of nonstop Muslim immigration, Europe could fall. But then again, I could never imagine our popular culture being so debased or our family structure so destroyed or the many other traditional values that Americans held so dear so stomped upon – it’s like a general malaise has engulfed this country and is choking the life out of it. In general, I’m weary of losing on every issue I’ve ever cared about. Can we turn this situation around? With divine intervention, I suppose anything’s possible but, as the author mentioned, it will take exceptional leadership as we are hemorrhaging in so many directions. For starters, we could completely revamp our education system.

  • jinky44

    I remember seeing a program about a wee boy in Afgan getting to friendly with US soldiers 3 days after the filming he was beheaded. He was only 10.

    • defcon 4

      I remember reading in Nat Geo (a disgusting rag that whitewashes islam every chance they get) a interview w/an Afghani policewoman who was investigating a man who had slashed his wife w/a knife. When asked if anything would happen to the husband-perpetrator she indicated in the negative. Some weeks later the Afghani policewoman was murdered. Of course the scumbags at Nat Geo never bothered to find out why (but I’ll bet it had something to do w/the interview she gave to them).

  • El Desdichado

    Far-called, our navies melt away;
    On dune and headland sinks the fire:
    Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
    Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
    Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
    Lest we forget – lest we forget!
    Kipling’s full text at my 9/11 Memorial post
    http://connecthook.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/pieces-be-upon-it/

  • http://oldschooltwentysix.blogspot.com/ oldschooltwentysix

    Really sorry that I did not know you in Oslo, but then I had not experienced transformation.

    Great essay!

  • cathy

    GWB’s entire “Islam is Peace” speech
    September 17, 2001
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_ZoroJdVnA

  • defcon 4

    Your last paragraph introduces the absurdity that the best muslimes are the ones who aren’t muslimes at all, because they no longer follow their faith.

  • bleedinell

    Muslims, all muslims, are the problem.
    When you do nothing to deter and prevent muslim attacks on non-believers, you are as guilty as the perpetrators.
    A note for all muslims wanting to come to America:
    “You are not welcome here, even if you want to assimilate. Your wacked out brethren have assaulted us and our country and our values. Your mere presence is an insult to our way of life. We will not tolerate you or your religion. When we have to we will push you back into the sea, or simply exterminate you, man, woman and child. The experiment to accept you into our country has failed and we have had enough. You have been warned. Most real Americans have the means and the will to wipe you off the face of the earth.”

  • defcon 4

    Thank you Mr. Bawer for an excellent article.

  • Chubby Freen

    The big problem with our leaders is economic. The US dollar is all but worthless–that’s why it take $1600 of them to buy an ounce of gold today, but only $20 to buy the same ounce of gold in 1900. Gold isn’t worth more, the dollar is worth less. It’s only value is that it is the agreed-upon sole currency with which oil can be bought or sold on the international market. Because of Nixon’s sucking up to the Saudis with promises of military hardware and other financial aid, they reluctantly agreed to continue to accept the dollar after Nixon took us off the gold standard. That was what the “embargo” was about back in the 1970′s. The Arabs didn’t want any currency that wasn’t backed by gold or silver. If the Arab oil producing states stop accepting the US dollar in exchange for oil, we are screwed. This puts our overspending, useless politicians in a tough spot. Insult the house of Saud, and the dollar may be rejected. Since most of our domestic oil is sold on the international market, and we can’t drill any more wells, we’d be reduced to the living standard of the 1800′s. This could have a bad effect on the re-election prospects of our spineless elected officials. As always, re-election is Job One…