Sunday, September 11, 2005


September 11

There's nothing tragic about this

Mark Stein reminds us that there is nothing tragic about what happened 4 years ago today:
Sept. 11, 2005 -- the fourth anniversary of the start of the war. That is, if you believe it's a ''war'' A lot of people didn't want to, even in those first days.

About a week after, one of my local radio stations held a fund-raiser and this is how their trailer for it opened. Cue the terminal-illness-movie-of-the-week soupy piano. Then:

''After the tragic events of Sept. 11 . . .''

And, by the time I'd heard it half-a-dozen times, I retuned the dial and never listened to the station again.

It wasn't a 'tragic event' or even one of a series of unfortunate events. It was an 'attack,' an 'act of war.' I sat at the lunch counter with a guy who'd tuned out the same station on the grounds that 'I never heard my grampa talk about 'the tragedy of Pearl Harbor.' ' But, consciously or otherwise, a serious effort was under way to transform the nature of the event, to soften it into a touchy-feely, huggy-weepy one-off. As I wrote last year: 'The president believes there's a war on. The Dems think 9/11 is like the 1998 ice storm or a Florida hurricane -- just one of those things.'
Sad, but true.

But I must quibble with Stein about this: Today isn't the fourth anniversary of the start of the war. Lest we forget, al Qaeda's first attack on the World Trade Center occured February 26, 1993. The real tragedy is that for 8 years we had a feckless President who, despite repeated al Qaeda attacks, refused to fight back.


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