Since I grew up after World War II, September 11, 2001, was — as it was for many of us — by far the most cataclysmic public event of my life. I may have experienced it staring at a television screen in my Los Angeles bedroom, but watching those planes fly into the Twin Towers like a time bomb from the Middle Ages changed my world view, even altered many of my relationships, forever.
And, although I certainly didn’t know it at that moment, that assault on modernity led inexorably to the founding of PJ Media and ultimately PJTV. PJ Media is very much a child of 9/11.
Not just because of me, of course. A large number of people banded together online then, realizing that a war of civilizations had been joined. They became known as the “war bloggers” and a good number of those bloggers are still with us now.
Was it by accident that Glenn Reynolds commenced Instapundit — our most popular blog — one month before 9/11?
Well, probably. But it was a fortuitous accident because it gave us some place to go and from which to expand outwards. The war bloggers were early adopters of sorts in the global struggle against fundamentalist Islam.
Or was it Islam itself? That is the question we are still asking ourselves ten years after that fateful day. As I write these words, news comes that the Libyan revolt against Gaddafi has been heavily infiltrated by allies of al-Qaeda, that same al-Qaeda that supposedly suffered a mortal blow with the assassination of bin Laden.
Of course, it didn’t, because Islamism (Islam?) is an ideology and ideologies only suffer a mortal blow when they are really and truly no longer popular. A cursory look at the so-called “Arab Spring” yields the opposite conclusion.
Irredentist Islam in its Sunni and Shiite strains is everywhere now, not only in Egypt, Libya, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and (hugely) Iran, but even in putatively secular Turkey where the reforms of Ataturk seem a distant memory. It has also spread to Latin America through the nefarious alliance of Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez.
And this Islamic ideology has a major advantage in durability over the totalitarian ideologies that pervaded the twentieth century — Nazism and communism. It promises eternal life. There is no easy way to disprove that.