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September 10, 2001: “Make no mistake, it’s not revenge he’s after. It’s a reckoning.”

He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Easter, 1916 by William Butler Yeats

I’ve been trying to remember September 10 but it’s no go.

I know what I must have been doing, but I don’t remember what I did. I kept no notes on that most ordinary of September days. I kept many notes on the day that followed and the days, weeks, months and years that followed that day. What I do know is that whatever might have followed September 10 was taken from us all that day never to be returned or recaptured only avenged. What I do know is that “justice being served” has no part in it, and never did.

I can, of course, assume what I did — what I must have done — on a routine Monday in Brooklyn Heights. I would have gotten up and showered in my strange bathroom with half a tub. I would have dressed for work; maybe a white shirt and a tie and a suit. I would have walked a block and a half to the Clark Street Station and taken an elevator 11 floors beneath the surface of the earth, ridden a train deeper still under the East River, and gotten out at Penn Station, walked across the street and taken the elevator up to the eleventh floor, and worked my way through my day before repeating the journey back to Brooklyn Heights. I must have done those things and done them without knowing it would be the last time I would do them in a heedless fashion. It was just the pattern my life had come to in all the long New York years leading to September 10.

I can, of course, look and see what the nation and the world was concerned with on September 10. John O’Neil, the FBI’s leading counterterrorism expert was dining at Elaine’s Restaurant on the Upper East Side, and telling his fellow diners, “We’re due. And we’re due for something big. Some things have happened in Afghanistan….” O’Neill would be dead within 24 hours when the South Tower collapsed. On the same day, Iran denied, not for the first or last time, that it was trying to develop nuclear weapons. Down on Wall Street the Dow Jones index remained flat at the close of business and the New York Times wrote, not for the first or last time, of “the darkening economic outlook” while noting that most economists didn’t “anticipate a full-blown recession.” Overall the hottest news story in the nation concerned Michael Jordan’s pending return to professional basketball. The news that day was a case of the banal overshadowing the mundane.

It was against that background of works and days that the doors of history swung open and we all walked through them forgetting to ask, “What fresh hell is this?”

We were soon to know the nature of the new hell and we were all thrust into it without repeal. The days turned to months and the months turned to years and now we have turned around and a decade is gone. What might have been ours, for good or ill, in that decade was forever stolen from us. Stolen from us not — never doubt this — by one man alone, but by a host of savages and throwbacks spread around the world and here among us and dedicated to our destruction. A host that will use any means necessary to destroy this nation while this nation “serves justice” up in spoonfuls and creates “Rules of Engagement” with which to hamper those who would defend it with their very lives.

What the nation has become, through death by fire, bravado, war, forgetfulness, treason, and blunt stupidity could not have been foretold on September 10, but here we are — a lurching ship of state captained by a malicious hater of the American soil. That same captain, maddened by his own stunted heritage, will today disgrace the soil of Ground Zero. It is a difficult reality that has been dealt by the hands of fate; one that is still being played out.

Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death.

SEPTEMBER 1, 1939 W.H. Auden

Now over a decade and a half has passed, “a low dishonest decade,” since the day after September 10 and the thing that looked like a man, the monster that set the events of the 11th in motion, has been expunged from the Book of Life. Too easily and too quickly for my tastes but my tastes in these matters are rooted in Scots’ blood, and that blood demands punishments too severe to write down here or to hold in the mind for long.

Some would say that his death with a bullet to the brain and then the use of the body as food for crabs and worm on the bottom of the ocean means “Debt paid” and “War over” and “Victory.” Let that be to them as it will be, but my blood says that it is not paid, not over and not a victory.

My blood says that all of those in his line need to be expunged, and that all of those who emulate and revere his manner of thinking need to be expunged, and all of those in his part of the gene pool need to be drained away and destroyed, root and branch. My blood says, “Carthago delenda est.”

From what little I know of history, what little I know of our enemies, I know in the marrow of my bones that there will come a terrible day in which that final judgment will be rendered and that final act shall be done. And as it was on the day after September 10, I remain relentlessly for this reckoning; a reckoning that is still to come, but like September 11 itself, certain to arrive.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • WiscoDave September 10, 2017, 8:47 AM

    I, too, can’t remember that day. But I do think of those that went about that day, in each their own way, with no idea it would be their last full day on this plain of existence.
    Just like I go about each and every day…

  • Jack September 10, 2017, 8:51 AM

    Good article and I agree completely. I’m old but I would love to help bring righteous destruction to them, served up in spades and with a fury that even those bastards would shrink from.

  • Howard Nelson September 10, 2017, 10:49 AM

    Your words, your meditation, should be spliced into our dna, for this reckoning will go on for many generations. Madrassas continue to teach hate for all others. Until that ideology is shown to be idolatry, and shattered, we must be on guard and on the offensive.
    Will what we teach in our homes and schools activate that dna spirit-slice?

  • jwm September 10, 2017, 12:16 PM

    @Howard Nelson:
    Get it into their DNA, indeed. Call me the fool for thinking it was inborn. Progressivism, leftism, or whatever you choose to call the insanity infecting the West has had the effect of cultural AIDS. In many it has destroyed the ability tell Good from Evil; it has ruined the most basic instincts of cultural survival. The desire to defend one’s self and one’s civilization has been lost in these people. Dennis Prager has said, many times, that there is a three-way battle going on for the future. Broadly stated, it is the Judaeo-Christian West, the Progressive left, or islam. The sheep have been well and truly separated from the goats. The alignment of sides is complete.


  • Fuel Filter September 10, 2017, 2:14 PM

    Will re-post “A Desert Called Glass” on 9/11

  • Bob Sykes September 10, 2017, 2:54 PM

    I fear that final judgement will be entered against us, America, and that Islam will have its final revenge, perhaps via North Korean nukes.

  • Madhatton September 10, 2017, 3:49 PM

    I was there . I ran into it to get my grandlings . I still smell it , see it , cry it . Look grandmom, thereare people falling ! No that’s debris .. no i see legs .
    Went to episcopal st luke’s that sunday . Before their “service ” .. let us pray for our muslim brothers .. and not judge . Well fuck that . I felt punched . The fires were still burning . Never went back to that ” religion” of crap , i hate this time of fake rememberance with those who don’t mean it , don’t see the war against innocent.

  • ghostsniper September 10, 2018, 4:31 AM

    There’s enough wrong to go around, but it is not in the innocents that died that day.
    The incompetency and irresponsibility is breath taking.
    When they turn the pages of history when these days have passed long ago
    Will they read of us with sadness for the seeds that we let grow?
    We turned our gaze from the castles in the distance
    Eyes cast down on the path of least resistance
    The hypocrites are slandering the sacred halls of truth
    Ancient nobles showering their bitterness on youth
    Can’t we find the minds that made us strong?
    Oh can’t we learn to feel what’s right and what’s wrong?
    Cities full of hatred fear and lies
    Withered hearts and cruel, tormented eyes
    Scheming demons dressed in kingly guise
    Beating down the multitude and scoffing at the wise
    Can’t we raise our eyes and make a start?
    Can’t we find the minds to lead us closer to the heart?

  • Casey Klahn September 10, 2018, 4:58 AM

    My compliments to the author and all commenters above.

    I think Carthage already got destroyed; we understand salting the Earth from that history. In the extreme eastmost part of Europe, they “scorched” the Russian earth. Fury feels good, in part, but it never sticks. A bug crawls out and so it begins again.

    Some turn inward and find fault. On that awful morning of the eleventh, my wife interrupted my shower to tell me that the WTC was being attacked, and that the buildings were falling down. My almost immediate reaction was: “there is nothing wrong with us!” So, I turn inward and ground myself. My strength. My rightness, such as it is, and lit by God and a great history. The West is not beholden to Mohammed; it is at war with him. M’s bug crawled out of hell; it is up to us to stay girded.

    Razed Earth? That’s process, not answer.

    Now you know why I think of war as “us right – you wrong.” It must be so. Have no doubt.

  • Arcs September 10, 2018, 5:56 AM

    “Well fuck that,” is right. Thanks, Gerard, for what you do here. Your words and thoughts are of invaluable import to some people. They help keep me centered where I think one should be on this eve of our dread anniversary.

  • Tom Hyland September 10, 2018, 7:46 AM

    I’ll never forget September 10, 2001 as long as I live. I went to a local clinic and had a vasectomy. As I was walking out the doctor told me it doesn’t hurt now, with all of the anesthetic. He said, “Tomorrow, it’s gonna hurt.” I’ve got a TV but I seldom turn it on….. I read a lot. September 11th I was looking forward to reading all day long when a friend called early morning and said, “Turn on the TV… doesn’t matter which channel… just turn it on.” All day long it was “Osama bin Laden” repeated endlessly. As for the pain, it felt like a jet aircraft had crashed into my crotch. I’ve been lied to endlessly since I was 8 years old…. when Dan Rather said, “The President’s head jerked violently forward.” I watched the most powerfully built skyscrapers ever erected tumble into dust because there was a fire on the 83rd floor. I watched building number 7 flatten into dust because office furniture was smoldering upstairs. Ten years later I was told Osama bin Laden got whacked and they threw him in the ocean. No photos allowed. He was too icky to look at and the American people can not be subjected to icky. The fabric of our nation would unravel. Just take our word for it… Dan Rather, Katy Couric, Obama and the like. Believe. Believe what you’re told. Got a problem with what you’re told? You don’t love America. Get out. We have tolerance only for those who believe.

  • Bill in Tennessee September 10, 2018, 8:02 AM

    I learned everything I ever needed to know about Islam on that day. Thus endeth the lesson.

  • Welp September 10, 2018, 8:17 AM

    After we were attacked by Muslims, TPTB decided that what America needed was…more Muslims! Imagine that! More Muslims here while we kill them there. We must defend ourselves against the threat overseas, while remaining exposed and vulnerable at home. Oh, we created a couple of new agencies and gave up a few of our rights to mitigate the risks. All because every single line of defense against attack failed that day, every single one, and no one, not a single one, was held accountable. If the cognitive dissonance of that doesn’t hit us, it proves history really is written by the victors.

  • Boat Guy September 10, 2018, 10:17 AM

    A friend posited that the appropriate response would have been “MIRV’s on Mecca on 12 September”; I’ve come to conclude he is right. If it wasn’t 12 September 2001 it’s still not too late.

  • MMinLamesa September 10, 2018, 2:44 PM

    I remember exactly what I was doing on 9/10 only because I also remember exactly where I was on 9/11, which was the same place, Nevis, setting up my off shore banking account.

    When flights into the States were allowed to resume, myself and my very large friend were ready for blood.

    I’ve always been curious that the Afghan BS was the extent of our retribution.

  • SLM September 10, 2018, 3:27 PM

    Anybody 25 years old today was 8 years old then. There is now an entire generation that has only a hazy memory of 9/11, if they remember it at all. This world is their normal: Homeland “Security,” TSA, NSA, Sudden Jihad Syndrome, War in Afghanistan because…?

  • ghostsniper September 10, 2018, 6:16 PM

    Woodpile update:

    Update: Here’s what’s going on. Windows 10 itself crapped the bed, so my IT guy had to recover all my stuff – excuse the technical jargon – and put it on a new PC. So, dead in the water until now, Sunday pm. My many hundreds of “favorites” are gone so I gotta rebuild it, and there are almost 300 emails piled up unanswered … jeez, how I love the 21st century. Bottom line, I’ll have a new Woodpile Report out in a few days.

    There’s an automatic archive thingy attached to the new PC, every day it makes a “mirror”, so I’m told. One terrabyte (sp?). I remember when I first heard of a one gigabyte hard drive. Seemed dubious to me. What would such a beast look like, an old 78 rpm record? Would it spin so fast the proximate time/space continuum would be distorted? Would it take days or weeks to defrag the thing? And so forth. Y’gotta remember, I’m from the old 8-bit paper punch days, and one of the holes was a parity check.

    As for my recovery, I’m ahead of expectations. I felt so good the other day I went woods cruising for an hour and a half. Bad mistake. Next day I paid dearly … dearly, gasping for forgiveness, making promises I know I’ll not keep, and yes the missus told me so. And wouldn’t you know, today is a perfect day for woods cruising: cold, overcast, drizzly rain. And here I am pecking away. Jes’ ain’t no justice in the world.

    Anyway, thanks for hanging in there. WPR will be back better ‘n ever in a few days.

  • Exnuke91! September 10, 2018, 6:27 PM

    Someone quoted Rush lyrics! I love it. Wait. Weren’t the hijackers almost all Saudis? 28 pages. Did we not heartily support the mujahadin who became Al Q for many years? 9/10. I was in Cleveland at an Indians game. It was the end of my young adulthood and the beginning of the U.S. transition to full empire mode. I am now 51 and I don’t believe in anything we did after Tora Bora. SF brought Al Q in Afghanistan to its knees in weeks. Then what. The U.S. ordered military commanders on the ground to essentially allow the few remaining Q to escape to Pakistan. Because we needed a “good war”. Read Studs Terkel. We knew those assholes were in the country and there were people in the FBI we knew they were bad actors and nobody gave a shit. Bill Binney knew, but they shut him down. 9/11 was a sickening act and there were millions of Americans who were devastated on that day. But this was the U.S. war machines wet dream. Read Scott Horton’s, Fool’s Errand. As a former Submariner and a patriot of liberty, I can only feel shame and anger about the U.S. Our vengeance should be on the impudent, impotent men that put US (Americans) at such risk. Then and only then, we can deal with Islam with clear, razor sharp focus.

  • Exnuke91! September 10, 2018, 6:36 PM

    Tried to buy me some Remus on the street corner this morning from some Lester Holt looking Sumbitch. Cat told me it was bone a fide, high quality stuff! Musta been Maddow cut with rat poison. All I got was a case of the diversity and a bad headache. I needs me some WPR!

  • mushroom September 10, 2018, 7:23 PM

    Then there was 9/11/2012 with its lies.

  • pbird September 10, 2018, 7:53 PM

    I do remember that day because one of my kids was coming home from Japan and was in the air the next morning. She was coming home to Brooklyn, NY. It was a very uniquely terrifying time for several reasons.

  • Alan Potkin September 10, 2018, 8:01 PM

    Thanks, Tom Hyland, for terminating on Sept 10th 2001 any future contribution to our national gene pool of your well-stated, if not unique, variation upon America Derangement Syndrome.

  • Martell September 10, 2018, 9:57 PM

    Don’t remember 9/10. Probably a regular busy day taking care of my kids and home.
    The next day stands up as a vivid and deep chasm in my past. The memory is huge like a fault between two tectonic plates. From that moment on I’ve been in a state of heightened awareness. A feeling of impending doom started to develop and increased slowly over the years culminating when obama came into the picture. I felt that evil approaching and saw the foolishness of the people who saw only what they wanted to see and not what was truly in front of their eyes.
    My view of islam is a stark and brutally clear understanding of an evil that goes back way back for centuries. I have a loathing for it embedded in my dna, and I am not sorry for it.

  • azlibertarian September 11, 2018, 9:38 AM

    By my nature, I am a peaceful and fairly non-competitive man. I would like to live and let live.

    However, that changed on 9/11. I now believe that there are far too many of us who want peace with our enemies. There can be no peace with someone who defines himself as your enemy. There can only be victory over him.

    Until we realize this, and really right-down-to-your-bones seek out that victory, none of this will be over. Our enemy does not hide that they’re after victory; Why shouldn’t we do the same?

  • Tom Hyland September 12, 2018, 7:47 AM

    The ADS disease, the “American Derangement Syndrome” that Alan Potkin is referring to, is the diagnosis tagged to people who practice critical thinking. Alan is offended by those who think. If you ask, “where’s the plane?” when viewing that steam-spewing ditch in Shanksville, Pennsylvania then you’ve got ADS. If you ask, “how does a jet airliner leave a 16′ diameter hole in the Pentagon, no trace of wings or engines?”… ADS. If you ask, “how do passengers on jet aircraft make cell phone calls at a 33,000 foot altitude?” …. ADS. If you don’t swallow the government and msm explanation for how it all unfolded that September 11th then you are deranged, disturbed, unpatriotic, a quack, a deplorable, an unhinged whack-job. I say to Mr. Potkin, “Believe… believe and sleep tight. Your government is doing all your thinking for you.”