Taliban suicide troops attack US forces in Afghanistan, with predictable results.
Perhaps they should have watched a training video or two:
(Graphic via the now-defunct A Small Victory)
The world has always been a dangerous place; the conflict between civilization and barbarism never ends, though from time to time it can seem otherwise to those of us who have the luxury of living in a society noteable for its wealth and ease.
It certainly seemed so six years ago.
Like everyone I know, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing on 9/11/2001, but I have absolutely no recollection of the day before, none at all, because nothing extraordinary happened.
As much as I might like the world to be as it was six years ago today, I recognize that it is, in fact, not, and never again will be.
An unfortunately large number of people, willingly or not, remain blind to the dangers civilization continues to face in a post-Cold War world. They seem to have slept through 9/11 and today still long for the "vacation from history" of the 1990s. Worse, many people — unfortunately including not a few of the movers and shakers in popular society; celebrities and whatnot — still behave as though 9/11 had never happened.
Even worse, there are those within our civilization who would act to the benefit of the barbarians — throwing open the castle gates, as it were — for the sake of mere political advantage.
Why they do it matters little in the long run. That they do it bodes not well for our future.
[This is a re-post, modified, from 9/11/2004]
One morning while working from home I turned on the TV in time to see one of the World Trade Towers burning. As I watched, an airliner slammed into the second tower; in that second, the world changed.
No, that's not right. The world didn't change — we all woke up.
As events unfolded, I could only think of the people trapped by the fire, and I wondered how the authorities would evacuate so many people. Helicopters on the roof, I figured.
Then the towers fell. A plane had crashed into the Pentagon, and everyone expected there would be more attacks.
Our "vacation from history" was over, and we were at war. Against whom didn't quite matter at that moment.
Remember the preliminary casualty estimates? Numbers upwards of 30,000 were cited that morning. The shock I felt could only have been the merest shade of the horror and despair felt by the families of the victims watching on TV, wondering if their loved ones had escaped... or wondering if the body falling from the tower was their family member.
Five years later, we count ourselves fortunate that "only" 3,000 died on 9/11.
From that day and in the years since, we have learned of acts of incredible courage and steadfastness, starting with Todd Beemer and his fellow passengers on Flight 93, continued by the people who stopped Richard Reid's potentially deadly shoe-bomb plot, carried on by men leaping into the darkness over Afghanistan, with leaders like GEN Tommy Franks, and continuing today with all our armed forces.
We are also fortunate that the man in the White House is a man of moral courage and intestinal fortitude, who knows that doing the right thing should not be subject to an opinion poll.
Since 9/11, the war on terrorists and terrorist states has gone very well overall, with few mistakes and a blessedly low casualty rate for our soldiers. We have also been lucky enough — and good enough — not to have suffered another attack approaching the magnitude of 9/11.
The lesson I take from all this is that we can never again allow ourselves to nap through history; it has a way of catching up with us, and when it does, it will take all our skill, intelligence and courage to face it down. The bad guys, present and future, may get lucky again some day, but real Americans are made of stern stuff. No matter the setbacks we may face in the future, we will ultimately win.
Benedick presents an eight-point plan for ending the Islamofascist threat.
I could probably do without #8. What the heck is "qahwah," anyway? Sounds like it might be "fermented camel phlegm" or something equally noxious.
But I'm all kinds of keen on #4.
I find myself liking Steve's idea for speeding up airport screening.
Captain Ed explores the "knife/gunfight" paradigm.
Marcus Cole might put it differently:
It's like I've always said: You can get more with a kind word and a two-by-four than you can with just a kind word.
There's a time for diplomacy, yes, but sometimes you have to kick the other guy in the teeth to get his attention.
With the head having been cut off of al Qaeda in Iraq, how long will that chicken continue to run around before it dies? Or will it instead sprout a new head?
Many lower life forms are capable of regrowing damaged organs... and there aren't too many life forms lower than the jihadists.
I'm planning to go see United 93 as soon as I can. I have no doubt that I'll be a wreck afterwards — I already find my heart leaping into my throat when, in the TV ads, I see the passengers rushing into the aisle to begin their charge.
Some people say they're "over it." Others say it's too soon for a film about the attacks of 9/11.
Well, I'm not "over it," I'll never be "over it." The majority of America isn't "over it." And a film of this sort is long overdue.
I am reminded of the 1942 film Wake Island, released less than a year after the valiant but doomed struggle of a Marine battalion, abandoned to their fate because of the inability of the Navy to reinforce or withdraw them. (The cold calculus of war dictated that a battalion of Marines was not worth the risk of losing two aircraft carriers in the weeks following Pearl Harbor; strategically, it was the right choice, but I'm glad it wasn't me that had to make that awful decision.)
In 1942, no one had the complete story of what had happened at the end, only radio reports. The garrison and the island were lost. The film was made anyway — indeed, work on it began before the battle was over — and can rightfully be called a masterpiece of wartime filmmaking.
60+ years later, the story of Flight 93 is much the same as that of Wake Island. We have the cell phone calls, we have the cockpit voice recordings, and from them we can make a good guess what happened on the flight. But we know the result: free Americans stood and fought, and though they lost their lives, they prevented a much greater tragedy. Their efforts and sacrifice must not be forgotten.
In a different time, a film memorializing them would have been in progress before the end of the year. In that different time, Hollywood was on our side.
(via Tanker at Mostly Cajun.)
(Reviews and more from Hot Air.)
Dang. Looks like Aaron the Liberal Slayer got hacked by followers of the Religion of Peace, Enlightenment and Understanding. Again.
Maybe the Feds will have been watching and waiting for it, and will consequently be able to come up with some JDAM targeting information.
Update: On further reflection: forget the JDAM — precision isn't needed. A bigger footprint kills more roaches.
Update 2: He's back. It's hard to keep a good man down.
Bonus: Scott has a screenshot. (I got one, but it's on my work computer... I knew I forgot to do something before I left the office.)
Update 3, 4/28: And now, of course, the obligatory DDOS attack on warbloggers, Aaron included. It must be in the Koran or something....
I've completed and submitted my assigned portion of the Gitmo study, as detailed by Cap'n Ed.
I'll post a summary of my results later, if time permits. (I am at work, after all.)
Update: Time hasn't permitted.
Update, 12Mar06: Nope, still no time. Maybe tomorrow, on my day off.
Over at Captain's Quarters, Captain Ed is looking for assistance in compiling/analyzing data from the Department of Defense's reports on Guantanamo detainees.
Many hands make light work, as they say. Head over to Ed's, read the background, and if you can lend a hand, let him know.
Of course, they aren't really Men in any meaningful sense, nor are they really of the West.
I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.
A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day. This day we fight!
By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you Stand, men of the West!
It is not a small matter to make oneself a potential target of the rage of a death-worshipping ideology bent on conquest. Any rational person might feel fear at the thought of being targeted by such a concentration of evil. We already know how the followers of evil react when their behavior is exposed.
Some people, perhaps many, will surrender to fear and threats. They do not realize we are all already targets.
But many more will not let their courage fail them. They know we are all already targets.
We are in the midst of an ongoing struggle, culture against culture, and there is no guarantee of victory. But fight we must, in big ways and small. Some of us can don a uniform; many of us have done so in the past. Most do other things, making their own individual stands right where they are, not surrendering to the ideologies of fear or tolerance of evil, but by living the lives of free men and women and exercising dearly held freedoms.
Including the freedom of speech.
In this, I don't care how you vote, nor does it matter what church you attend, or not. I don't care whether you're red state or blue, pink or green. If you value your freedom to make choices, to live your life as you see fit, respecting the rights of others, even though you disagree on some or many things... if you will not surrender your fundamental liberties merely to save your own skin, and will not submit to dhimmitude, then stand.
And to those of you who would tolerate the intolerable, who fear to give offense rather than speak the truth, who would strike a bargain with evil to save your miserable skins: begone. We have no use for you.
1. Don't miss Jeff Goldstein's post, Identity Politics, Free Speech, and the Future of worldwide Liberalism, 2: a follow-up.
[If, as Lileks once said, Bill Whittle is the Kirk and Steven Den Beste the Spock of the blogosphere, then surely Jeff is the Scotty. His ability to dig into the nuts and bolts of issues, to get to the fundamentals, and then to deliver superbly-written analysis is top notch.]
2. The quote of the day is from Tim Blair, on the Danes vs. Muslims "clash of civilizations":
No; that would require two civilisations.
Wind Rider points out what is not meant by "stand."
Ace opines on the proposed Flight 93 Memorial "Crescent of Embrace" as a work of alleged "art."
But can the heroism of a group of strangers -- of Americans -- coming together to save the lives of their fellow human beings dare be expressed in something less symbolic, and perhaps more vigorous, than red trees and lilting windchimes?
And on that-- why is always our assumptions which need to be provoked?
Can we have a monument to the brave dead of Flight 93 which shows them in cool reflection as they decide to make their attack? Huddled together as they collectively decide to give their lives to spare others? And just before they mount the first battle in the war on terrorism?
And yes, engraved at the base of the statue, the rallying cry: "Let's roll."
Ahhhh... but such a tribute would "provoke" and "challenge" the wrong people-- the tastemaking elites who presume to rule us. Their beliefs and assumptions are never to be provoked or challenged, always to be reassured and reinforced by their preferred sorts of meaningless symbolic nothingnesses. It is we who need to be shaped and scolded like schoolchildren; it is they who wield the rulers.
So that I don't forget or lose it, I reproduce here the comment I posted:
A statue could have been good.
A handful of men and women
huddledbanded together, in the midst of plotting their counterattack; one looking over his shoulder, keeping an eye on the unseen jihadists; another with cellphone in hand; and perhaps another pair actually praying (!) before their desperate attack.
Something simple. Something inspiring. Something that actually memorializes those who fell that day in the first defeat of those who would kill or enslave every single one of us who remain.
Something everyone can look at and say "Thank God it wasn't me up there... but if it had been me, would that I had the courage of those men and women to face the evil that showed itself that day."
That's my idea of a memorial.
It is my idea of a memorial. Something people can look at and know precisely what it stands for.
No one has to wonder about the meaning of the Marine Corps Memorial. The six men raising the flag on Mount Suribachi is an enduring image, with meaning that no abstract geometrical construct could ever by any stretch of the imagination hope to convey.
If a work of Art isn't meant to convey meaning, then in exactly what aesthetical way does it differ from, say, interior decorating?
Bombings in London... and my cable box/DVR is busy rebooting on me, so I can't see jack.
Update: Still not getting squat. @#$%&! Time Warner Cable.... I'm getting my news online, starting with Wizbang.
This has irritated me for quite a long while, too.
• "Bomber" by itself implies "homicide," which makes "homicide bomber" redundant. Are there bombings which aren't meant to kill people and/or destroy things?
• The distinguishing characteristic of the attacks Fox News (et al.) call "homicide bombings" is the death of the bomber in the act of carrying out the bombing, making the use of the adjective "suicide" both descriptive and accurate when applied to the noun "bomber."
• Making reporters and news anchors say "homicide bombing" just makes them look stupid.
And now that I think on it, I've posted about this before.
In some societies, peoples' response to bombing and murder is a bit of vandalism.
In other societies, peoples' response to a bit of vandalism is rioting and murder.
Mote ≠ beam.*
If, however, there is to be a war of nerves let us make sure our nerves are strong and are fortified by the deepest convictions of our hearts.
Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valor, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar.
You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.
Murderous scumbag über-terrorist Yasser Arafat is a bit farther under the weather today than he was just a couple days ago:
Arafat's condition deteriorated sharply on Wednesday and he was rushed into intensive care at the French military hospital where he has been undergoing treatment for a week.
Under the weather... I'll be happier when he's under the dirt... six feet under, in fact.
Whatever is physically wrong with him, I hope it hurts. I hope he feels the pain of every life he has stolen, of every life he has ruined.