September 11, 2013

What I Saw: Notes Made on September 11, 2001 from Brooklyn Heights

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[What follows is a slightly edited transcript of what I saw and how I felt on the 11th of September, 2001 from Brooklyn Heights in New York City. On that day I was posting to a West Coast Computer Conferencing system known as The Well. As a result, even though I was writing from Brooklyn Heights directly across the river from the Towers, the time stamp reflects PST. Real time is +3 hours.]

Tue 11 Sep 01 08:07

Saw the first tower collapse from the Promenade across the river in Brooklyn. Fine white and pale yellow ash everywhere. Lower Manhattan covered in smoke with ash still drifting down.

Military jets overhead every five minutes or so.

Lower span of Brooklyn Bridge jammed with people walking out of the city, many covered with white ash. Ghosts. The Living Dead. BQE empty except for convoys of emergency vehicles.

Sirens in all directions. Ferry ships emerging from the smoke heading to the Brooklyn shore riding low in the water fully loaded.

This is monstrous.

Deaths in the thousands in New York.

My body is trembling with sorrow and rage. I saw the first tower fall. Everyone in it would have been killed. This, all this, must be stopped. Those who have done this must be wiped out to the last.

War with whom?


Any and all terrorist organizations, foreign or domestic, must now be brought to a swift and complete halt no matter where they are located.

I watched this happen. The enormity of it cannot be communicated. Vile and bestial.

We need to destroy any and all capacity of anyone living anywhere to do anything like this ever again. There were thousands in those buildings. Thousands.


There is no justice swift enough or sure enough.

All that we have must be brought forward and used without restraint. This is an act of war beyond Pearl Harbor.

Military jets overhead again.

More ash on the street. I am cooled down. Way down.

This is pure evil.

*Tue 11 Sep 01 12:33 *

There is no World Trade Center visible from the Promenade. But you can smell it from there -- a sort of burnt stench as if someone lit newspaper in a trash can and then poured water on it. That kind of wet, burnt stench.

It is bright in the sunshine now except for where the Trade Centers stood, and there is still a plume of thick brown smoke smouldering up from there making the sun behind it look dim and oily.

Just now I saw three large military helicopters land across the river from the Heights on the big pad at the foot of Wall Street. People on the streets are talking quietly -- many of them on cells now that some of those nets are back up.

Everything is as quiet as it was this morning when I got up and began to take a shower.

Showering I felt a vibration shake my building in Brooklyn Heights like a subway train passing deep underneath the structure. I didn' t think much of it. I' ve felt similar vibrations before.


Getting out of the shower I was dressing, and I heard the second explosion from the second plane striking the buildings.

I turned on the radio and found out what was happening.

I dressed and left the house and walked a block to the Promenade at the edge of Brooklyn Heights and saw both towers in flames sending huge gouts of smoke into the air.

You don' t know what to think. You don' t know what to feel. You're just reacting. The promenade was jammed with people with more arriving.

Then as I watched the first tower just imploded and plunged, it seemed to me, straight down. Then a huge brown and black rolling cloud of smoke came boiling through all the streets between the buildings and surged outwards towards us on the other side of the river and, at the same time, upward until it took over the center of the sky.

You could see bright shiny bits of metal squares tumbling up and down and drifting out of the smoke that moved up and blew out to the south east it was like confetti or stuff tossed out of windows in a ticker tape parade. I felt the sound before I heard it and it shook everything around me. I heard gasps and screams around me. People were turning away. Everyone with children was leaving the promenade. Some were moving closer.

The smoke took over everything. I knew that anyone in that building was dead. There was no building. I started to shake, and to weep, and to look around at the others who were in all states of reaction. And I had to go back to my house to regroup.

After I was in the house for a few minutes I heard another larger explosion. I went back out and down to the promenade again, but this time I couldn' t see the sky as I had before. This time the whole sky had been darkened and, the wind having shifted, this fine white ash was swirling down the street. Not heavy, but everywhere around me and it was settling down lightly on all the surfaces.

When I got to the promenade again the entire southern tip of Manhattan was enveloped in a dirty brown cloud, No buildings visible at all. Nothing. It filled the sky and made it dark. Turning the corner if you looked uptown past the Brooklyn Bridge which was filled with hordes of people walking towards the Brooklyn shore you could see the buildings start to emerge from the smoke. People were sparse on the promenade now although down towards the end there were more, and if you walked down there you could see a little bit into the downtown section of Wall street. And there were ferries moving out of the smoke at high speed.

And then I started to hear the military jets but I didn 't see them. But no other planes are to be seen.

Now it is still smoking there. The trade centers are just gone. Erased. 50,000 people they say work there and 150,000 pass through.

What do I feel? I don' t know what I feel --- except that I want vengeance. I want everything this country possesses put onto the people who did this, and the people who supported this act, and the people who believe this is the way in which political ends are achieved.

I want there to be war until these people are eradicated whoever they are, and where ever they are. I want it made clear that anything even approaching this evil act will be met with utter destruction -- people, families, villages, cities, nations. This is an act of war and war must be the response.

We will be having a long series of mass funerals for many weeks. I only hope that this country finds the stomach and the resolve to carry retribution forward until it is complete.

That is what I feel, now, today. And I 'm not alone. I' m not alone at all.

Tue 11 Sep 01 12:42

We need to be in a state of War and to pursue the real aims of war. Against what country? Against a list of countries that support, harbor, or approve of terrorism.

A list of countries. All of them. And we need to take action that is terrible and unilateral. Individuals, families, villages, cities, nations... all must be pursued and eliminated.

There needs to be revenge. There needs to be a balancing of the scales.

This is the greatest single evil act against Americans in history. It cannot be allowed to stand.

Tue 11 Sep 01 22:11

All day the images have repeated themselves on television while the smell of the smoke persisted in my rooms. Off and on, all day, I walked to the promenade to look at the reality of it and watch the smoke that didn 't stop. It will now play itself out, over and over again in my mind, until the day of my own death.

Television and reality. It is very difficult to separate the two, and when one has no reality, television is the thing that replaces it.

And because it is through television that those responsible for this monstrous act receive their impression of this country, I believe they have made a fundamental miscalculation about the deeper nature of the United States. A miscalculation that will cause to be visited upon them what I pray will be a terrible lesson; a lesson that will make the survivors envy the dead.

If you look at television, at the endless products of pap and nonsense that are piped out of the media centers of the United States, it is easy to see us as a weak, self-obsessed and foolish people. And many of us are that, even if we pretend to be other than weak, self-obsessed and foolish.

We have sitcoms and MTV. We have endless opinions about things which are not really central to serious life questions and serious policy decisions.

Our young people look foolish in their vanity and their fashions. Our military institutions are often ridiculed. Our entertainments are light and vapid. Many in positions of influence give short shrift to millions more with deeply held religious and traditional political convictions.

Our major issues on a day by day basis rarely rise above the level of fretful worry about the safety of restaurants that allow smoking, or whether or not a flower will be threatened by an oil well. These are serious issues to many Americans, and it is easy to see why such wet and weak concerns would lead others elsewhere in the world to hold us in contempt as a weak and decadent society that cannot defend itself against attack.

They see our men as feminine and our women as masculine and, to the fundamentalist mind, this signals a weakness in the blood and bone of the nation.They believe that they can attack such a society with a kind of impunity, or with the expectation of a careful and delicate response. They even note that our President is a man who communicates in a clumsy way, who is an "illegitimate" leader, and who does not have the support of many of the ruling elites of the country. They hold him to be easily frightened and stupid.

And perhaps he is many, if not all, of these things: clumsy, weak, illegitimate, frightened and stupid. Perhaps appearances are deceiving.

But it will not, in the long run, matter. And I pray it does not avail them. That is all only the television America.

But there is - and always has been - another America, and it is this America that I hope will emerge from this day, and remind all those who seek to harm us that we can be a nation that is as terrible as it seems foolish; that we are a country of deep resolve, capable of striking back in cold anger. Striking without compassion or regret; that we are, as the Japanese knew and were to discover, a sleeping giant. You wake us at your own risk. And once woken we will destroy you, and then rebuild you. The Japanese had their lesson and have learned. Germany had its lesson and has learned. Now it is the turn of a number of nations in the middle east.

We will first tend to our dead. Many funerals will take Place over the next month or so. At the same time we will also prepare for our vengence and I pray it will be terrible and without hesitation or compassion until all terrorists and all the villages, cities, and nations that support them are reduced to rubble.

This will be an America whose anger is not hidden beneath grief and the committment to save those not yet dead in the rubble of New York and Washington.

This is the America you see when you watch the head of the Fire Department of New York try to express his feelings at losing 300 men in one terrible moment.

This is the America of the thousands of rescue workers on the job tonight trying to dig through the rubble.

This is the America of terrible resolve that you can read on the face of the Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when he states the military is ready to do whatever is required of it. Whatever is required of it. I pray we require them to visit horror on our enemies that is a thousand fold worse than what we saw today.

You see, it doesn' t really matter who is the President. It matters only that there is a President.

The President is only one man and in times like this he does not really have to lead. He has only to follow and get out of the way.

After that what takes place will be done by many, many others in the hundreds and thousands. These people will not be a group of lame celebrities with their puling little concerns whose lives are just roles on television. They will not be a host of sensitive new-age babblers whose fantasies of a perfect world blind them to the evil of this one and the need to tear it out root and branch.

These will be Americans with terrible tools and with even more terrible weapons, and the skill and the will to use them. They will be filled with a terrible intensity and, I hope, a deep sense of mission which will not be lightly put aside.

This mission should be clear to everyone who has some experience of the world and how the world operates -- how reality operates. This mission should be nothing less than one that is willing to use whatever means necessary to target terrorism and to destroy it, wherever it exists. If this means the wholesale destruction of nations, so be it.

This mission should be to remind the world that while we are a nation committed to peace, we are a nation to be feared at war. We have the power to do this. We must use it without hindrance. If peace needs to be purchased with the sword, we should be ready to do this. We must become what we were during the Second World War-ruthless and unrelenting.

Those who think we are only what they see on our foolish television, need to have a hard and burning lesson on who we are when we decide to turn off the sit-coms and get real.

If we cannot do this, we will suffer this again and we will deserve it. The time to fill ourselves with the resolve to crush this monster is now and I pray we are up to the task.

Wed 12 Sep 01 07:30

[I wrote above that we must be ] capable of striking back in cold anger without compassion or regret

[A Well Denizen responds: Perhaps boswell [ my Well handle] has never spoken with any WWII vets who were active in (e.g.) the bombing of Dresden.

I respond: You have no sense of shame or patriotism or anything other than your limp, feeble and twisted sense of a perfectable world that vanished yesterday morning.

Do I have a sense of WWII vets who bombed Dresden and what they feel today? I am sure they feel bad about it. I am sure that they felt bad about it at the time.

"Feelings," upon which so much of your useless world view rests have nothing to do with this.

Only by doing what has to be done to protect and preserve this nation will we be able to maintain a way of life on this earth that makes your ideas and feelings possible.

In my family, I have four uncles. Three served in World War II and of those three, one, the most handsome and dashing -- I have the pictures -- was a navigator on a Flying Fortress. He was lost over the North Atlantic in the closing days of the war against Germany. His name is carved into the stones of the monument to these men that stands at the foot of Manhattan. I haven 't been to it in some years, but when the smoke that I can see from this office clears and we are allowed to go there, I plan on making a visit. [I did.]

Another uncle, a younger one, was in Korea at Inchon. He never speaks of it, but once when I was young I found an envelope filled with black and white pictures that he took during his time in that battle and they were horrific.

So while I in truth do not know the feelings of the bombers of Dresden, I know something of the effect of war on families in this country and I do not take it lightly.

The French has a saying that translates as "Revenge is a meal we eat cold." Cold is what it will be and all your smary small comments will not change that one whit.

Wed 12 Sep 01 08:05

To answer leroy, I am back at my absurd day-job. So far I m just about the only one here. Maybe eight people out of 200+.

I don 't know quite why I am here, but then, in truth, I' m never sure why I am ever here, other than that my personal life obligations require me to be here. That may have to change. [It did.]

At any rate, I woke up and could only take about five minutes of the endlessly repeated images of disaster, and having, literally nothing better to do, decided to try and come in.

I first walked to the Promenade to see where the Towers had been. The vile smoke blooming across the river was still there as it has always been, probably as it always will be in my mind where I will see it first as that moment when the first tower went down carrying thousands to a death I cannot imagine.

Still there. And the faint smell lingers too. And there were small clumps of people standing around, one couple even posing for a picture against the new skyline.

Then I walked through streets in the Heights that barely had any people on them. Usually full and bustling even on holiday weekends. Now just some elderly people moving slowly and a few clots of Jehovahs Witnesses in their cleaned and pressed clothing going down to put out what I am sure will be a special " We told you so" issue of The Watchtower.

Clark Street subway station is shut down with a few police directing people to the Jay street station. Buy a New York Post because I' ve read the Times. Walk to Jay Street in the heart of the Brooklyn government center across streets with few pedestrians and no traffic except for police, fire, and security vehicles cruising aimlessly about or parked at the curb.

Security in front of the courts and the city offices lounging in the bright sunshine of this second day of Indian Summer weather.

Down into the Jay Station and a very sparsely occupied A train. We set off on a slow, very slow, trip into Manhattan. Several people are reading bibles but most of the 15 or so people are just staring into space and looking vaguely alarmed whenever the train halts between stations -- which is often.

I spend this time reading the New York Post which has, inside, a picture of the exterior of one of the towers just before it collapsed. In this picuture I can count around 24 people poking their heads out of the windows or actually on the outside of what has to be the nintieth floor of the towers. All of them, ALL OF THEM, about to ride this building down into oblivion and you know that THEY ALL KNOW THIS.

Next to this is a picture of the side of the Tower and a large empty space on the left which is thin air. In this space, close to the tower you can see five to seven people falling with nothing but space above and below them, falling straight down into doom rather than be burned alive.

Finally, the train pulls into 23rd Street and halts. After a minute or so you can hear the announcer telling us that we will be held in the station for some time because of a police investigation in Penn Station, my destination.

I get out and go up to the street to walk the rest of the way.

And I walk into a Manhattan I have never seen in the almost 30 years that I 've been here. Streets almost utterly clear of traffic for as far uptown or downtown as you can see on 8th Ave. Nearly the same thing on 7th.

A smattering of pedestrians that grows somewhat thicker as you approach Penn Station. A nail salon open but with nobody getting their nails done that I can see.

Extortionate parking lots that are usually jammed with cars almost empty and with nobody there to collect the money.

On the street parking? Oh, we ve got it now.

Everywhere the hush. Everywhere. Like a ghost town with real ghosts now walking among us. People just standing around, people talking softly on cell phones, and people talking to themselves. On every corner small groups walking slowly into the street or ambling along the sidewalks as if nothing they normally do on Wednesdays in New York City is really all that important after all.

Wed 12 Sep 01 13:07

On blood and the giving of it in New York. It is important to do this, but no longer because of the need. It is pretty clear at this point in the evening of day 2 in New York that the city has more than enough blood to cover for this present emergency.

Still, people should give because it is something than they can give. That is the need it fills. As for blood for the wounded and the suffering, there is now a sufficient quantity. Why? Because there are not as many wounded as first feared. There are just mostly the dead.

With the exception of a few miracles that I hope will happen over the next few days, there will not be large numbers of injured beyond those who are already receiving treatment.

We are now starting to see the bodies emerge and they will continue in a ghastly parade of orange body bags for weeks now. Soon, tomorrow and over the weekend, the funerals and the memorials will begin. And they will go on and on and on. We will have, if we are fortunate 10,000 funerals in this city in the coming weeks.

Let me say that again: Ten thousand funerals.

Try, right now, to close your eyes and visualize this number of funeral ceremonies of every type and description and religion. You cannot do it because the enormity of it is too much for the human mind and soul. But we will have them, one by one and in groups. And here is another fact that comes along behind this number: We do not have enough land for 10,000 graves.

We do not have enough crematoriums. Many will go unburied for weeks. Many will be burned because that will be the only choice.

Many will have to be moved by train, plane, or van to some other place in the state, country, or the world.

And we will bury a thousand, and then another thousand, and another. And still the orange body bags will come up out of the pile and the pit one by one by one and lie in rows.

And this will go on for weeks if not months.

Think about what this will be like. Just stop and try to really see it.

And then think this: No matter what many may feel now about the wisdom, or the goodness, or the morality of retribution, there will come a time during this parade of our dead when this country, already uniting in a way I cannot remember in my 55 years, will have even a greater sea-change of spirit and rage. Many of those who do not really feel this now, for whatever enlightened or unenlightened reason, will feel this change and become part of it.

There will be those who do not, a smaller and smaller part of us as the days go by, and they will in the end be left behind.

But by far the most of us will be changed by this, even if now we are not.

Ten thousand funerals. We cannot imagine it, and yet we will live it. And I hope that each one of us can bear witness to as many as we can bear. It is the least of our duties.

dbd-911.jpg
Image from Day by Day Cartoon by Chris Muir


Video by James Lileks, Friday, September 11th

Posted by Vanderleun at September 11, 2013 12:34 AM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Well written, Gerard

Posted by: hanan levin at September 10, 2006 12:58 PM

I will never forget.

I will never forgive.

Posted by: Kim at September 10, 2006 4:16 PM

+
http://11sep.info - what was 22 years ago before attack

Posted by: SeaBreeze at September 11, 2006 2:21 AM

Superbly observed. Would that the rest of our fellow Americans were able to so clearly see the need for clear-eyed, hard-hearted action, if for no other reason than to make the butcher's bill far too high for others to contemplate such an act against us.

Posted by: Mike Lief at September 12, 2006 3:31 PM

Thanks Gerard. You have put into words so well the way that I felt then and still feel today. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the resolve is holding. We should have seized the day with an aweful vengeance, while the wound was fresh.

Posted by: jm at September 12, 2006 3:46 PM

Thank you for (re)posting this. I'd moved far away from hometown Manhattan before That Day. What had been special ground is now sacred ground, the line in the sand cutting through lower Manhattan -- by force, not by choice. If you're of a mind, please click over to my modest tribute this year. Regards.

Posted by: Jeremayakovka at September 19, 2006 5:05 PM

Very well written. But it didn't happen, did it? What happened instead was the family of the culprit of this atrocity - which, it should be remembered, is part of the extended Saudi royal family - because of their business links with America's President of the time, being whisked out of America while all other air traffic was grounded. What happened instead was an invasion of a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, causing a number of casualties that makes those of 9/11 look trivial.

What should have happened? The bin Laden family, instead of being whisked out, should have been locked up - and bin Laden should have been searched for, in force, in his hiding place in Afghanistan. Instead, a country with no connection to the culprits except a shared religion was invaded to finish the job Bush Sr. should have finished fifteen years ago.

Because of this, the wind in the Heights will happen again - but this time it will be the winds of the Manhattan firestorm.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at September 11, 2007 12:19 AM

A moving piece, Gerard. Thank you.

Unfortunately in the years since we have had to put up with the lunacy of the psychotic left of which Fletcher Christian is a member of.

What BDS blinded fools like Fletcher tend to forget that his heroes Bill and Hillary Clinton were offered Osama on a silver platter by the Sudanese and they refused the offer. Bill had the chance to stop all of this and he didn't.

Clinton did choose to lob the Monica missiles at Sudan and Afghanistan (a country with no connection to the culprits except a shared religion as Fletch said) at a later date. The only thing "gained" by that act was that Pakistan got a free cruise missile to tear apart and copy.

Posted by: Ennis at September 11, 2007 2:52 PM

This essay was even more poignant this time around...for those of us who remember 9/11.

Posted by: gabrielpicasso at September 11, 2007 3:44 PM

Ennis, you mistake me. A member of the psychotic left I am not. I also think that the Clintons were slimeballs - not only that, but ineffective slimeballs. And by the time of 9/11, in any case the failure to get Osama when they could was history. Where I perhaps differ from you is that I think that Bush is also a slimeball - a stupid, venal one at that - and equally ineffective.

But why should I find that surprising? All politicians are slimeballs. All politicians - not just American ones - are more interested in keeping their noses in the trough than in the welfare of their country. Once, perhaps, it was different. To use the same title, that used to be an honourable one, for a Bush and for a Lincoln makes me sick.

So what do I mean? I mean this. OBL is merely the most famous proponent of the worst, most evil form of the most evil of religions. He is a member of the royal family of the country where that form (Wahabism) started, and if any country was culpable it was that one.

So the invasion should have been of Saudi Arabia, and before it started the bin Laden family should indeed have been sent back - in pieces, wrapped in bacon.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at September 13, 2007 9:48 AM

I was watching the futures market on 9/11 and when it fell off sharply, turned on CNBC to see why. The first plane had hit and I thought it was a very bad accident. The talking heads were talking but the camera stayed on the towers, then the second plane hit. My brain refused the thought that this was an attack, for several minutes. Then anger. I can still feel it all, even seven years later.

Posted by: Retread at September 10, 2008 4:58 AM

That was a very nice description of memories from that event. Your forethought to write was great. I wish I had done something similar for my own memories.

Posted by: Terry in Georgia at September 11, 2009 3:07 AM

I remember about a month or so later hearing a report that a teacher in Washington State told her class that Bin Laden was the George Washington of the Middle East. I remember then thinking how difficult it would be for America in the coming years. I couldn't fathom any rational person suggesting that a mass murderer resembled GW in any way.

Anyway it looks like my prediction has become fact. The left used the the aftermath to turn us into the bad guys, have taken control, and seem to be doing their best to put us out of business.

ACORN and SEIU are the new corporate/government powers.

Posted by: JD at September 11, 2009 5:25 AM

I was in midtown that day. The spouse of a colleague was literally on the floor below where the first plane hit and he (and everyone on his floor) somehow survived (it took quite awhile that day to find out). Your descriptions and feelings are descriptions and feelings I shared. Even your comments about President Bush. Only a week before September 11 I'd commented to my wife that I hoped Bush was as lucky as Clinton as far as disasters went because Bush was the least qualified president we'd had since Warren Harding.

There are things I'd change about the Bush administration but I've agreed with how they responded to September 11. I didn't vote for him in 2000 but I'm grateful that Al Gore wasn't president on September 11 because we'd still be wringing our hands at a negotiating table with the Taliban today and more bad events would have happened. Of course that's pure speculation but it's how I feel. And because of that I worry a lot about the current Carter-like administration and hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: Lazlo Toth at September 11, 2009 1:14 PM

Perhaps you stood next to my mother that day, Gerard.
She lives on Pierrepont St(for the last 40 years).
After these eight years her voice is still hoarse from breathing the smoke that hung as a pall over the Heights for so long.
I tried to get her to come up to Maine, but she couldn't bear to leave - she went to the firehouse across from P.S. 8 every day and cried, went to their funerals.

It makes me so angry that we haven't rebuilt on the site.

Posted by: teresa at September 11, 2009 1:37 PM

I might well have since I too lived in the last block of Pierrepont Street.

Posted by: vanderleun at September 11, 2009 2:31 PM

Really! We moved there in 1969 and she's lived there ever since. Right across from the Apellate Courthouse(on Monroe Pl.).

Nice neighborhood.

Posted by: teresa at September 11, 2009 4:06 PM

I still cannot understand why we did not take more action than we did. Everyone is afraid of killing civilians over in the Muslim world. Yet, we see every day that more and more of the civilian population are getting in on the action of poking Big Satan with a stick. I think that we need to dust off all the huge old carpet bombers and have a liquidation of our non-smart bomb stockpiles. If they want a war then I say lets give them one, not this pussy-footing around that we are, and have been doing for several presidencies. We need to let them know that we do not negotiate with terrorists and those who support them. Don't just go after their leaders - more will rise to take their place: go after their base; the people, and crush them utterly. Then those who live, and their children, and their children's children will know to mess with someone else because we won't take any more shit from them.

Posted by: Malishious Intent at September 12, 2009 12:35 AM

It is to our undying shame that the USA did not vaporize any of our international troublemakers on Sept 12.

The first duty of a legitimate government is to protect the country, and failing that avenge the dead and destroy our enemies. We should have started making desert sand glass until our enemy nations made them self bloody trying to turn over to us the evil in their midst.

Posted by: Scott M at September 10, 2010 3:19 AM

Our enemies and opponents know that we can vaporize them and their tribes in the next 30 minutes and we don't. Many in Mayberry feel good because we show restraint. The barbarians know that it is doubt and weakness that keeps us away from victory. We are more like Red Coats taking pride in how well we follow the civilized rules of war while we are picked off from the treeline. Our enemies deserve nothing but utter, unrestricted destruction yet we try to fit the war into a budget and a schedule.

There was no better place than Afghanistan and no better time than the days after Sept 11, 2001 to demonstrate what happens when 14th century thugs make trouble. Now we will see nukes used against us and the Left will demand even more weakness from us.

Posted by: Scott M at September 10, 2010 3:55 AM

"I only hope that this country finds the stomach and the resolve to carry retribution forward until it is complete.

That is what I feel, now, today. And I 'm not alone. I' m not alone at all."

Sadly, a vast chunk of our people had no stomach for doing what it takes to be feared and the "resolve to carry retribution forward ." (Most of them the types that read The New Yorker). When I saw the towers attacked my first thought was that we were at war, my second thought was that a big enough number of our ruling elites wouldn't have the guts to see the job through. There was alot of tough talk - but instead of taking advantage of the "get out of jail free" card we had been issued, and taking a truly retributive action like nuking Mecca, a move that would have been met with outrage, but ultimately vast, cowering fear by our enemies, we squandered our fleeting opportunity and went the soft route - hence a coward (Bloomberg) now in the place of a hero (Giuliani). An equivicator (Obama) in place of a black and white guy (Bush), God help us, the barbarians are at the gates and no one can turn them back.

Posted by: Chris G. at September 10, 2010 4:55 AM

If we have learned anything, it is that the most powerful men in this nation are more afraid of the savages' reaction to the dissing of their holy book than they are angry for their holy book being the inspiration of so much death and destruction in the first place.
The music in the Lileks video, Gerard...I wept.

Posted by: Jewel at September 10, 2010 6:02 AM

Fletcher Christian, you may not be a "member of the psychotic left", but you have clearly bought Teh Narrative wholesale -- that Iraq was revenge against the wrong people, and that not finding WMD entirely discredits the effort. The rest of your attitude follows directly, like mushrooms after rain.

All of which is bullshit having nothing to do with the reasons Bush went to war, but if it comforts you to take Fisk & Co. at face value and reason from that I suppose it gives you a warm snuggly feeling of belonging.

Regards,
Ric

Posted by: Ric Locke at September 10, 2010 7:45 AM

Mr. Locke - Whether the Iraq invasion was an appropriate response to 9/11 is one question - although I happen to think that it should have been unnecessary if Bush Sr. had finished the job the first time. Where we appear to differ is in whether it was enough.

IMHO the minimum price of the WTC should have been the King of Mordor's palace - with him and whoever of his family was then in residence included. After all, Saudi royalty has been supporting Wahabism since it started - and Wahabist Islam is the culprit for 9/11 (and many other atrocities and attempted atrocities before and since).

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at September 10, 2010 8:32 AM

And now we see it matters very much who is president.

Posted by: Bonny Kate at September 10, 2010 8:51 AM

No, Fletch...it's Islam, plain and simple. It's the Shi'ites in Iran, it's the Salafists in Algeria, the 'moderate' Sunni in Jordan and the 'peaceful sufis' of Turkey. It took one day in September 2001 for me to jettison the silly divisions within Islam and see that it was the creed and its founder who were the problem. You could have reduced to rubble the palaces of all of Sheikhtown, Araby and still you would have to come to the conclusion that it is Islam, its texts and the role model of humanity - its vile and wicked false prophet. Those are the culprits.
Tomorrow, I am going to burn my Koran. Fall is early here, and it will feel nice and warm just to burn it. Maybe toast a Nathan's hotdog in the burning embers, and quaff a Corona...just because I can. Screw the Religion of Peace.

Posted by: Jewel at September 10, 2010 9:16 AM

Gerard - For you to have witnessed this attack on America is uncanny. I say that because you have the words, the poetry, keep this memory alive in all of us.

No one I have read has ever elicited such emotion in me about this momentous event in American History.

This will go out to all of my friends and into my personal storage along with you other insightful writings

God bless you.
.

Posted by: bobham at September 10, 2010 9:41 AM

Fletcher C -- all of which is to say you have no idea what's going on, and would be pleased to achieve bin Laden's first and primary aim for him if it gives you the chance to kill some sand n--s.

But let us call for red bloody REVENGE! -- after all, the cycle's only been going on for two millenia that we know of; it's the game the Middle East knows and prefers, and by all means let us join in with enthusiasm.

Yes, things would have looked much different if Bush I had "finished the job". Among them would very likely be an old-fashioned, standup war with the Russians using the Iranians as shock troops, and with our good European allies dithering on whether or not we could use their territories to get access to the battlefield, when they failed to come down decisively against it.

But yes, let us all heap calumnies upon the head of George W. Bush, who had the effrontery to offend both sides at once -- by agreeing that there were, in fact, "root causes", which blew the tops of the heads of knee-jerk revenge-seekers calling themselves the "right", and by identifying what those root causes were and taking steps to correct them, which galvanized the anti-American forces operating under the cynically assumed banner of "the left". It is sure to carry the debate forward into productive lines of thinking.

Regards,
Ric

Posted by: Ric Locke at September 10, 2010 9:55 AM

I was working at one of Virginia's largest universities on 9/11. When I went into the secretaries' area, they told me planes had slammed into the Towers.

By noon, the media was saying this was a terrorist attack. Here are the comments I heard in the locker room from faculty when I went to the university gym to work out over lunch:

1) "I hope that little twerp in the White House doesn't try to retaliate against someone. It will just make things worse."

2) "This is our own fault. We've been on the wrong side in the Middle East for 50 years."

3) "I certainly feel safer knowing Bush is working on a missile shield, don't you?"

And that was only hours after the attack, when we still thought 10,000 people may have died.

That day that filled me with loathing for Progressives and the resolution to destroy them.

Posted by: Salt Lick at September 11, 2010 5:31 AM

For more perspective, you should see what Chris Muir has up today...

http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2010/09/11/#005788

Posted by: Mark Webster at September 11, 2010 6:52 AM

The greatest obscenity of all is that, as they flew their planeloads of victims into their targets, those men at the controls were no doubt reciting over and over: "God is great".

Posted by: RebeccaH at September 11, 2010 7:56 AM

Great article. What I also saw in Brooklyn, in the days following 9/11, were the arab shopkeepers around Atlantic Avenue, handing out candies, smiling, taking photos with the smoke of the incinerated WTC in the background, with various people in the photos giving the finger "v" victory sign salute. I then read how the Brooklyn DA Hynes was prosecuting people for assaulting muslims. When it was all I could do to restrain myself from doing the same at these added offenses. Imagine if Japanese-Americans in the days following Pearl Harbor, did the same thing, what the response would have been? But we are told that we must tolerate intolerance and hatred if it comes from muslims; but we must outlaw it and decry it if it comes from westerners/ christians/jews/ conservatives.

Posted by: eaglewingz08 at September 11, 2010 7:59 AM

From the comments above, it's too bad the Fletcher Christians didn't have their day, but that the Ric Lockes did, and as a result, nine years after the atrocity, Muslims are about to build their monument to the heroes of 9/11.

So at this point, bin Laden got what he wanted - America supine, and Islam rampant. But the "Ric Lockes" of the world suggest that had we retaliated massively and taught the Muslims a lesson, THAT would have been what bin Laden wanted? Insane.

Bin Laden declared that America was a paper tiger, poke her in the eye and she'd tear apart like tissue. Here we are nine years later building Mosques on the 9/11 graveyard and "winning hearts and minds" in Muslim countries. We've sacrificed thousands and spent trillions trying to bring a semblance of civil society to the sewers of Islam in Iraq and Afghanistan. We've enshrined their disgusting Sharia in the constitutions of both nations. We spend millions restoring their temples of hatred, and allow them to build more across our lands.

But the Muslims still hate us. Perhaps, Ric Locke, we just haven't done enough? It would be terrible to try kicking their ass instead of giving into their endless tantrums, right? What a clueless jackass.

Posted by: MortOn Doodslag at September 11, 2010 8:22 AM

Drudge's headline right now:

ISLAM CASTS SHADOW OVER 9/11

Is he being sardonic or something?

Posted by: rickl at September 11, 2010 9:03 AM

Those who saw have a responsibility to remind. Thank you, Gerard, for stirring the ash again this year.

Posted by: f/zero at September 11, 2010 9:08 AM

I watched the second plane go in after watching the fires from the first.


At 13:03:07z 11 Sept 2001 - 4 seconds before 2nd plane hit I said to my mate as we watched the second plane head in: "This means war".

====

As to why Iraq? It is central to the region and we had been watching it for 10 years.

This is going to be a very long war and Iraq was as good a place to start as any and probably better than most.

And then you have to consider that attacking Saudi and the "Holy Cities" would have started a Fourth World War. (the first Two being officially numbered and the Third against the Soviets).

Saddam deserved it. For 9/11? Maybe not. But he did the first WTC bombing so the action did have a connection to him.

Posted by: M. Simon at September 11, 2010 10:30 AM

MortOn,

Right On!

Rick,

We have two choices as I see it. Take the long war approach and civilize the ME or turn it into glass. I'd like to give the first option a chance. I'm not against the second.

Iraq is a fair test case for the first option.

Posted by: M. Simon at September 11, 2010 10:38 AM

Shame on our lying, cowardly, leftist media...they have no right to flush the images of 9/11 down the memory hole to serve their preferred political agenda.

If it were not for the Blogosphere this travesty would pass into the twilight of leftie PC thought, appeasement and ultimately surrender.

Thank you Gerard and James...for bringing tears to my eyes and really, really pissing me off again.

People. We must vote in Nov to change the direction of this country and stop the bullshit before another horror is visited on us by the shills, legislative asshats, Islamic sycophants and appeasers in power.


Posted by: BJM at September 11, 2010 10:51 AM

It really wasn't that big a deal and we completely overreacted. Fareed Zakaria said so.

Fareed needs the Clockwork Orange treatment where he is forced to watch that video over and over with the call to prayer playing in the background. Or would that be insensitive? GWB wasn't the only one to blow our response to this atrocity. The military brass, having come up during Vietnam and all the rest of our half-hearted efforts at war over the years, didn't think the American public had the stomach for all out war and held back. That's why they let the Northern Alliance take the lead at Tora Bora rather than the 101st Airborne and voila, Bin Laden escapes to Pakistan. They wouldn't even allow the troops we had there to plant mines in the mountain passes to prevent that escape.

We could have invaded Hell in those days and the American people would have backed it. Now it's too late. The Rick Lockes of the world have won.

Posted by: DanG at September 11, 2010 10:52 AM

God bless George Bush. I was a Libertarian back then (it lasted about 4 more weeks after 9/11 until the Libs called me and asked for a donation and I found out that the majority of the Party was anti-war. The proud defenders of the 2nd anti-war? Go figure.). That is when I decided I was a Republican. A libertarian Republican to be sure. But I was no longer going to associate with wimps who can't comprehend human nature. I still want the US to be the strong horse.

I can't wait until the c***sucker currently occupying the White House is gone.

Posted by: M. Simon at September 11, 2010 10:53 AM

I posted this elsewhere, and it wasn't terribly well received. Never mind; I would like to repeat it here:

I was undergoing my own ordeal at the time - woke up in the middle of the afternoon while undergoing chemotherapy in a cancer ward, to see this horror on the ward TV. My blood went even colder.

I think that September 11 ought to be made a day of mourning everywhere in the West. After all, it will undoubtedly be a day of celebration all across the Dar-al-Islam.

We ought never to forget. Never, until the focus of this filthy plague is a hole in the ground, sowed with salt. Never, until Islam is one with the worship of Moloch and Baal. Never, until we can say "Mecca delenda est".

Pastor Terry Jones ought to be given a medal.

RIP all the victims of 9/11 - and all the victims of Mohammed (hellfire and eternal damnation be upon him) before, since and no doubt still to come.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at September 11, 2010 11:39 AM

M. Simon:
Same here. I was a member of the Libertarian Party on 9/11/01, but let my membership lapse after they started their "American foreign policy causes terrorism" nonsense.

Posted by: rickl at September 11, 2010 12:52 PM

Your excellent writing perfectly captured my feelings of that day, and the way I still feel. On the one hand I suppose that the Bush approach of attempting to civilize the Middle East was moral and appropriate as a response. But I cannot escape the feeling that it will fail--that at some point we will be attacked again, perhaps even with nukes. Will we find the resolve at that day to fight this war in earnest, in the only way that these savages will understand? I fear we will not.

Posted by: Frank at September 11, 2010 12:55 PM

Frank:
On the one hand I suppose that the Bush approach of attempting to civilize the Middle East was moral and appropriate as a response. But I cannot escape the feeling that it will fail--that at some point we will be attacked again, perhaps even with nukes. Will we find the resolve at that day to fight this war in earnest, in the only way that these savages will understand?

I agree that Bush's limited response (civilizing the Middle East) was the right thing to do, although I didn't feel that way at the time. It was worth a try. But now we know that Islam can't be civilized, and Islam and Western Civilization cannot peacefully coexist on the same planet. It was a learning experience. After the next attack, I think the gloves will come off.

I fear we will not.

Oh, the American people most certainly will, and woe be to any American leader who stands in our way.

Posted by: rickl at September 11, 2010 1:20 PM

What is the music accompanying the video?
Thanks for the article and the video.

Posted by: Tom T at September 11, 2010 2:41 PM

I was awakened that morning by a friend calling and literally screaming into the phone, "Turn on you TV." I turned it on just as the 2nd plane hit the South Tower. Within moments, I'd roused the rest of the household and for the remainder of the day, we sat together in my family room watching the horror in New York unfold. We were a multi-generational group sitting there. My 91 year old Mother, me in my fifties, my son and daughter-in-law in their early 30s, my 20-something nephew and my our 18 year old foster son. As I looked around, I saw that the younger family members were visibly shaken and trying not to show how really afraid they were. I felt nothing at first and then little by little I could feel the most intense anger take over every cell of my body. Gerard describes it well, this anger, this need to strike back, to take control of the situation and annihilate those who did this.

We were in the desert in So. California, thousands of miles away and at no personal risk, yet I knew that the world had changed and nowhere was safe any longer. I looked at my Mother, who was nearly blind from a stroke a few months earlier, not sure she completely comprehended what was happening, and all I wanted at that moment was to be a very little girl and curl up in my Mother's arms and have her tell me all would be okay again. And I realized that all these other young people were looking to me for answers that I didn't have.

I'm still angry. I do not understand those who call themselves Americans who are not. I find myself feeling hate and disgust toward those who are so cowardly, they preach appeasement and chastise me for laying blame at the feet of anyone other than my fellow Americans. I don't understand these people and I never will and have no wish to even try to understand them.

We have replaced our flag twice since that day, but we've flown the flag every day since. My Mother has passed away, my nephew is now married with 2 children of his own, our foster son graduated from high school and has married and also has two children, I have three more grandchildren under the age of 8, so life goes on. My eldest granddaughter started her freshman year in college last week and is excited about the offer of a record contract. She got her start, as a 9 year old, singing the National Anthem at a school assembly honoring those who lost their life on 9/11.

Posted by: Sara (Pal2Pal) at September 11, 2010 3:07 PM

You may heap calumnies upon my head; I remain unmoved.

My actual response, as opposed to the one you attribute to me, is pretty much that of M. Simon: the chance should have been granted, and it was. Next time, not so much.

There are root causes. They are not the ones the leftoids parade; those are simple echoes of the stereotypes they carry in the heads. The tragedy here is that the real root causes have not been addressed, thanks to leftoid domination of the media, ably assisted by the "you shouldn't punish Saddam, he didn't do it" brigade as represented by Fletcher Christian. Leftoids can perhaps be excused for crying "imperialism!" because, for them, an American buying a stick of gum from a vendor in the third world is "imperialism". Supposed rightists and putative "conservatives" have no excuse for making a hard job harder by giving the leftoids additional ammunition.

George W. Bush went to war in Iraq because revenge is not enough. As it actually turns out, we may have to settle for it because nothing better is attainable. That wasn't evident in September 2001, and the game was worth the candle anyway. The value of the "GZM mosque" controversy is that it makes the issues clear.

My genuine contempt is reserved for the people who think better police and "security" are the right answer to any question. Making air travel unbearable for anyone lacking a really strong motive comes from the same mindset that thinks the "war on drugs" is a good thing. I've spent a good bit of time in countries where guys in uniform, carrying weapons, are a normal sight on any random street corner. It is not an American response to terrorism, or anything else.

Regards,
Ric

Posted by: Ric Locke at September 11, 2010 7:20 PM

Brilliant, absolutely stunning to read, and view, but more important than ever before today.

QUOTE:

"All that we have must be brought forward and used without restraint. This is an act of war beyond Pearl Harbor.

What do I feel? I don' t know what I feel --- except that I want vengeance. I want everything this country possesses put onto the people who did this, and the people who supported this act, and the people who believe this is the way in which political ends are achieved.

I want there to be war until these people are eradicated whoever they are, and where ever they are. I want it made clear that anything even approaching this evil act will be met with utter destruction -- people, families, villages, cities, nations. This is an act of war and war must be the response.

We need to be in a state of War and to pursue the real aims of war. Against what country? Against a list of countries that support, harbor, or approve of terrorism.

A list of countries. All of them. And we need to take action that is terrible and unilateral. Individuals, families, villages, cities, nations... all must be pursued and eliminated.

There needs to be revenge. There needs to be a balancing of the scales.

This is the greatest single evil act against Americans in history. It cannot be allowed to stand.

because it is through television that those responsible for this monstrous act receive their impression of this country, I believe they have made a fundamental miscalculation about the deeper nature of the United States. A miscalculation that will cause to be visited upon them what I pray will be a terrible lesson; a lesson that will make the survivors envy the dead.

But there is - and always has been - another America, and it is this America that I hope will emerge from this day, and remind all those who seek to harm us that we can be a nation that is as terrible as it seems foolish; that we are a country of deep resolve, capable of striking back in cold anger. Striking without compassion or regret;

This mission should be to remind the world that while we are a nation committed to peace, we are a nation to be feared at war. We have the power to do this. We must use it without hindrance. If peace needs to be purchased with the sword, we should be ready to do this. We must become what we were during the Second World War-ruthless and unrelenting.

Those who think we are only what they see on our foolish television, need to have a hard and burning lesson on who we are when we decide to turn off the sit-coms and get real.

If we cannot do this, we will suffer this again and we will deserve it. The time to fill ourselves with the resolve to crush this monster is now and I pray we are up to the task."

This fight should have been over years ago, but is far from over now.

Why?

The baby in Lileks video will soon be old enough to join the military, will the babies of 2001 STILL be fighting this battle in the years to come.

I will never forget.

I will never forgive.

I've done too damn much book reading, article, and website reading, and watching of videos, by reputable authors, and researchers, who have more than done their homework, on the threat from "The Religion of Peace".

To all those who defend it, yet prefer not to speak out again the terrorists, and the hate toward non-muslims, or those who wish to leave the faith, I ask, if the faith is so wonderful, and living under all that it preaches, and it's laws is so great..why do you prefer to live elsewhere?

Now I read of a Saudi Dipolomat asking for US Asylum, because the fact he is gay, and befriended a jewish woman, on top of that, has cost him his job, and will cost him his life, if he returns to Saudi Arabia, as the Saudis insist he do.

Open your eyes, people, read, watch, and learn.

I'm just a non-church going Moderate Conservative,, and a Tea (Caffeine Free, please!) Partier, and I'm pissed.

Posted by: Kiril The Mad Macedonian at September 11, 2010 8:38 PM

I suspect that others have thought this, but anyway:

One of the most interesting and disturbing things about the response to 9/11 is that the West in general, and the USA in particular, had in its power the capacity to deliver an appropriate response, within an hour or two - and end the 1400-year war now and forever, and go back to sleep.

I really don't know what to think about the fact that we did not do that. Or about the fact that, if the leaders of the West do not do the right things in the next decade or two, then the Final Solution to end all Final Solutions will sooner or later be applied. And that, after that, sooner or later, that will be the end of the idea of the West. How does a democracy function with the blood of billions on its hands?

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at September 13, 2010 3:18 PM

If we forgive and forget, we are doomed to repeat history. We are living in this politically correct climate, and the fact that one day some ass hole will challenge the fact that it offends him/her to have to watch the destruction of The World Trade Centers every year, and possibly win his/her case, will make me ashamed I am a member of the human race. It takes balls to get up every day and be an honorable person with passion for right and wrong. When the passion is eliminated, then it is time to exit from the human race.

Posted by: Cilla Mitchell, Galveston Texas at September 17, 2010 4:57 AM

"had in its power the capacity to deliver an appropriate response, within an hour or two - and end the 1400-year war now and forever, and go back to sleep.

I really don't know what to think about the fact that we did not do that."

I do.

Our civilization has lost the will to live. That is exactly what we should have done. Every day that goes by that we are still fighting to protect boy-buggerers in Afghanistan rather than just coating the trouble areas with anthrax, every day that we continue to pay the Saudis while they turn that money right around to fund sharia schools in the USA and bombs everywhere else, every day that we support the jihadists of Kosovo against the Serbs whose national birthplace it is, every day that we talk about how we're going to issue sternly worded warnings to the Iranians while they chuckle and build their bombs ...

This country has damned ITSELF. There will be a reckoning. And - most regrettably - it will be, by and large, deserved.

Posted by: Rollory at September 29, 2010 12:09 PM

At the end of World War II anyone who suggested that we would elect a President named Günter or Sakimoto would have been laughed out of the room.

Posted by: rickl at September 10, 2011 7:54 PM

ricki

Excellent. Just about sums it up in one sentence.

Posted by: Frank P at September 11, 2011 6:38 AM

Horrible and fascinating story all in one. So tell me, given that you lived it, how is it that we in the midwest only hear about New Yorkers who find our actions after 9/11 over the top? It's simply incomprehensible to me and I was sitting safely in an office in Indianapolis watching this nightmare play out while I was trying to figure out where my mother's plane would be landing.

I've read so many posts today that still want me to forget.

And I've posted back, Today I will be angry, I will clinch my fists and watch again and again how this horrible event played out.

And tomorrow I will go back to work and live my life the same as always so the bastards will not, can not EVER WIN.

But today I am a NY worker on a floor just above where either plane hit and today I sit among the passenger of Flight 93 and today I am a worker at the Pentagon. Today, we are Americans. And today I will let my anger bake and baste and add fuel to that flame and tomorrow I will let it all ebb out and flow into being an just an ordinary American where I will tolerant those of different viewpoints, but I will not tolerant those who want to destroy us because of our freedoms.

Thanks for the vividly raw reminder. I need that today. I don't know why, I just do.

Posted by: Rita at September 11, 2011 6:03 PM

My goal here is to link the wordpress blog entries to a frame in a personal site. So I want only the blog entries to appear, but none of the menu bars or other things associated with wordpress only what was posted. I know wordpress is done in PHP so i was wondering if anybody knew the specifics of the coding and how I would go about doing this.. . Thanks!.

Posted by: rfofl at September 12, 2011 5:02 AM

Thanks for posting this. It's required reading for me every year.

Posted by: James Ritchie at September 11, 2012 8:41 AM

We are in the City now. Last night they displayed the Towers of Light. It was overwhelming. Like a the phantom of a limb amputated long ago it continues to ache.

I still maintain that we were far too nice to the perps that day. What we should have done:

Ripley: "I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

We should have nuked Mecca and Medina on 9/12/2001.

It was the condign penalty for harming the Homeland.

There would not be another attack on the US for 100 years. Islam would have shriveled up and died.

Posted by: Fat Man at September 11, 2012 10:38 AM

I despise those two gaping, tranquil square holes in the ground in NYC. They nauseate me with their deceptive peace and calm and endless waterfall.

3,000 dead. They deserve a monument, not a glorified sepulcher. They deserve towering, awesome beauty and terrible vengeance.

Obama tried to hijack our collective misery and turn it into butterflies of Hope and service. Well, I’m not done with my grief, I’m not blind to the Truth, and I’m not bowing to anybody.

He wants it to be a day of service? I want a day when we serve it up COLD. And finally.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh at September 11, 2012 3:42 PM

Joan of Argghh - Oh, I agree. The monument to the dead of the WTC (and those of the Bali bombings, and the London Underground bombs, and others too numerous to list) ought to be very simple. A quarter-mile-deep, mile-wide, glass-lined crater where Mecca used to be.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at September 12, 2012 11:23 PM

In The Great War and Modern Memory, author Paul Fussell writes in the first chapter that the themes which form the content of war poetry began almost twenty years earlier.

The sixties’ generation, which took as its moral, philosophical, and intellectual guides both communism (Marcuse, Che, Chomsky…) and popular music (Browne, Dylan, Baez,…), and made hard-Leftist singer-songwriters (and imitators), who hated America, hated Capitalism, hated freedom, hated humanity (such ideas were blowin’ in the wind), the voices of their generation.

And so I seem to be the only one who remembers “Pride of Man,” by Hamilton Camp, covered by both Quicksilver Messenger Service and Gordon Lightfoot:

Turn around go back down
Back the way you came
Can't you see that flash of fire
10 times brighter than the day
And behold a mighty city
Broken in the dust again

And it shall cause your tower to fall
Make of you a pyre of flame
Oh, you who dwell on many waters
Rich in treasure wide in fame
You bow unto your, your god of gold
Your pride of might shall be a shame
For only God can lead his people
Back unto the earth again

OK, it wasn’t as popular as “Morning Dew.”

The attack on the towers was, as the anti-war protestors put it, “bringin’ it all back home,” and “bringing the war home.”

The anti-war protestors then weren’t anti-war, any more than Ed Asner, Barbara Streisand, Alec Baldwin (the current generation has substituted actors for singer-songwriters as their moral authorities) are anti-war. They are anti-America. These people seek to (and have succeed) in ending the Enlightenment. (The actors and singers had a lot of help, primarily from Nazi and Soviet critics of the West.)

And so, IMHO, Fletcher is right: the reckoning for the bombing of New York and Washington D.C. never happened. Never will. Can’t. That America, Fred Reed’s America, is dead and gone. R.I.P.

Posted by: ErisGuy at September 11, 2013 3:29 AM

Thanks for posting those words again. Required reading.

The music for the video is, of all things, the closing-credits soundtrack from "Crimson Tide," if I recall correctly.

Posted by: Lileks at September 11, 2013 10:25 AM

Not a bit of the anger has receded, 12 years later.
Islam is a sick cult, as practiced by far too many of its adherents, and the silence of the so-called "peaceful muslims" is, as far as I'm concerned, tacit approval of their co-cultists' actions.
Sure, some muslims are fighting alongside our troops around the globe, but if muslims wanted to stop this madness, I am sure they could do it.
They haven't, and that speaks volumes.

Posted by: Uncle Jefe at September 11, 2013 11:08 AM

> ... that we are a country of deep resolve,
> capable of striking back in cold anger.
> Striking without compassion or regret;

In this we have failed and our failure ushers in the end of days...

Posted by: mysterian at September 11, 2013 9:27 PM
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