Thoughts on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11

Another infamous case in point is the recent “Fear Inc.” report released by the Democratic Party’s shadowy Center for American Progress, the brainchild of George Soros and the Clintons. According to this tainted document, it is chiefly Jewish terrorism experts like Frank Gaffney and David Yerushalmi who are to blame for persuading Americans to adopt a negative view of Islam — assuming this is the case to begin with. The left insists, as David Horowitz and Robert Spencer write in their recent pamphlet Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future, “that the problem America and the world face is not Islamic jihad but ‘Islamophobia’.” Such reports are “highly distorted…cooking the data not to enlighten but to propagandize — and ignoring the reality of Islamic jihad activity altogether.” It is almost as if 9/11 were little more than an unfortunate accident or a dust mote on the radar screen. As Daniel Greenfield correctly argues, “the Center for American Progress and the Democratic Party do the work of the jihadists and have also become part of the problem.”

At the same time, these accessories to mayhem are busily warning the nation about right-wing Christian terrorists who apparently pose an imminent threat to the stability of the country and of the West in general. Thus, the killing spree of the Norwegian maniac Anton Breivik was shamefully exploited by the Islamic-appeasing left to prove that we had as much or more to fear from the Christian right than from the jihadists of the Muslim world. As historian Bruce Thornton points out, “The absurdity of these arguments is patent. First, the number of attacks attributable to self-professed Christian terrorists is miniscule compared to the toll of Islamic jihadists -- 17,489 since 9/11, as counted and documented by Religion of Peace. More important, though the former terrorists may call themselves Christian, only a tiny handful of Christians would accept that label, contrary to the wide acceptance and approval of jihadist terrorism that can be found throughout the Muslim world.”

Liberal rhetoric always seems to come up short of the facts in its effort to trivialize a tragedy and sugarcoat its perpetrators. This is the case not only for the academic, intellectual, and political class but for much of the literary guild as well. I think in particular of the poets collected in Sam Hamill’s turgid and melodramatic Poets Against the War volume, stuffed with poets of unmerited reputations. Thankfully there are better poets who still exist among us, such as Michael Lind who, though apparently a man of the left, in a poem called “Maragheh and Alamut” from Parallel Lives, cannot forget “smoldering south Manhattan” and “the burning columns”; and Billy Collins’ “The Names,” in my estimation the most moving memorial ever composed for those who died in the collapsing towers.