My father, Norberto, was a pastry chef at Windows on the World in Tower One. For 10 years, he made many fancy and famous desserts, but the sweetest dessert he made was the marble cake he made for us at home. … Whenever we parted, Poppi would say, ‘Te amo. Vaya con Dios.’ And this morning, I want to say the same thing to you, Poppi. I love you. Go with God.
Today is the fifteenth anniversary of one of the darkest days in US history. This day is always a somber day for those who lived through the events of 9/11. I will remember it until the day I die. Future generations will come who will see this event as an entry in a history textbook. What will they think about it? I can only speculate, but this is what I think about it now.
The first thing I must address are the root causes of 9/11. When it happened, I was an atheist by then, but it was my personal secret. I was also leaning towards the libertarian view of things. One of the four horseman of atheism, Sam Harris, gave his opinion on why 9/11 happened,
The men who committed the atrocities of September 11 were certainly not 'cowards,' as they were repeatedly described in the Western media, nor were they lunatics in any ordinary sense. They were men of faith—perfect faith, as it turns out—and this, it must finally be acknowledged, is a terrible thing to be.For Sam Harris, 9/11 happened for religious reasons. Al Qaeda was a radical Islamic terrorist outfit, and their motivations for attacking the United States was motivated and fueled by their Islamic religion. This event and this interpretation was what propelled Sam Harris to write The End of Faith. That book was the spark that set fire to the movement known as the New Atheism. Harris made the argument that religious faith caused 9/11, and that religious faith was an inherently dangerous thing because it divorced people from reason. He then went on to equivocate the Islamic religion of terror with Christianity.
The other viewpoint was the one offered by Ron Paul when he said, "They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years." For Dr. Paul, 9/11 was the bitter harvest of the interventionist foreign policy of the United States over in the Middle East. It was blowback for imperial overreach, and we should retreat to our borders and mind our own business.
The "official" viewpoint was that 9/11 happened because the al Qaeda terrorists hate "freedom." That is rather vague and nonsensical. In hindsight, I think Sam Harris was the one who came closest to the real reasons for 9/11. Here is how Osama bin Laden put it in this series of quotations,
America has been hit by Allah at its most vulnerable point, destroying, thank God, its most prestigious buildings.
The war is between us and the Jews. Any country that steps into the same trench as the Jews has only itself to blame.
Free men do not forfeit their security, contrary to Bush's claim that we hate freedom. If so, then let him explain to us why we don't strike Sweden, for example.
Jihad will continue even if I am not around.No one listens to the actual terrorists who commit the acts for their reasons for attacking. The reality is that Muslims hate Jews, and they hate Israel. They want to attack Israel and kill every last Jew. But when they try, Allah is not on their side, and they suffer defeat. Muslims blame this defeat on their secular governments in their Muslim countries who they believe reject Allah. If they could topple those governments, Islam could and would flourish again. The Jews would fall by the sword. Islam will take over the world again.
The George W. Bush freedom argument is obviously not the fundamental reason for 9/11. But there was a kernel of truth there. Bush could not say the real reason because he did not want to infuriate the Saudis and whatever Arab allies he needed in the War on Terror. They do hate us, but they hate us for not being Muslim. But even if we were Muslim, they would still hate us for not being sufficiently Muslim. Muslims kill other Muslims all the time. There's nothing you can do to satisfy this evil. Evil is never satisfied.
The Ron Paul blowback argument is nonsensical because it assumes they will leave us alone if we leave them alone. But this is naive. Muslims don't want peace. Ron Paul and other libertarians assume that all people want the same basic things. Two of those things are freedom and peace. But Islamic fanatics don't want these things. To retreat from over there can only put us on the bottom of the list of targets from our spot on the top. But we are always on that list and always will be.
The Sam Harris argument is the one that makes the most sense. Unfortunately, he uses it to attack Christianity instead of Islam. Harris is the victim of a false equivocation. Christianity is not the same as Islam.
The second thing I must address is the response to 9/11. Basically, the USA did every stupid thing it could think up except doing the right thing. This mass of stupidity we know today as "neoconservatism." Step one was to turn America into a virtual police state with electronic surveillance, invasion of privacy, and the rest. Freedom is weakness to the neoconservative mind. If you start to see neoconservatism as a flavor of fascism, you would be correct. Step two was to invade Iraq on flimsy evidence because this was what the neocons wanted all along. The answer was to stop walking softly in the world and start swinging the big stick of empire. Did this work?
Neoconservatism has been a colossal failure. Iraq is now the base of ISIS. The neocons would argue that we should have never left Iraq, but I am with Ron Paul. We were better off with Saddam Hussein in power. Yes, the Middle East is rife with dictators, but dictatorship is what those barbarians need. It is all they understand or will ever understand. Toppling these dictators in places like Iraq, Egypt, Libya, and Syria only pulls the cork out of the bottle of radical Islamic terrorism. Yet. the USA still continues with its efforts to "promote democracy." Ron Paul was wrong in the reasons for 9/11, but he was right and continues to be right about neoconservatism and foreign intervention. The USA would be better off if we let them sort out their own messes over there.
The neocon policy is to conquer and dominate. The problem with this approach is that it would cost trillions to maintain such an empire. Iraq was a quagmire which has cost this country a lot of money, and we are still paying for it today. A permanent solution would be the genocide of the entire Muslim population, the razing of every mosque and Muslim holy site, and the burning of every copy of the Koran. This sounds like madness, but Islam is not communism. I do not advocate doing this, but I also know that a reasonable solution cannot be found with these unreasonable people. They are motivated by a religion that cannot die except the believers die with it. That is the final endgame of Islam. Only genocide or the Second Coming of Christ will end this abomination. In the interim, we should let secular dictators police this problem instead of working to topple them.
|The ruthless Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad|
The proper response to 9/11 was not to repent for not being Muslim or disavow our support for Israel or build a neoconservative empire or become atheist like Sam Harris suggests. The proper response for America was to become robustly Christian again. America was attacked because we are a Christian nation. Yes, we are a Christian nation. This was basically the declaration of Sam Harris in his book, Letter to a Christian Nation. Osama bin Laden saw America as a Christian nation. ISIS sees the USA as a Christian nation. Yet, it seems hard to make that case today.
The United States of America cannot decide if it is a Christian nation anymore or even believes in God. Abortion has continuted unabated since Roe v. Wade. Marriage has been turned into a farce with sodomites exchanging vows. We have a president who can't even say "Islamic terrorism" and will be remembered for letting perverts into the women's restroom. The reason 9/11 happened was because God allowed it. It should have been a wake up call to this nation, but America has hit the snooze button and gone back to sleep.
Today is a day that people will wave the flag and express their patriotism. Those are good things. But this is not a war about Nazi dictators or communism. This is a war about faith. Osama bin Laden attacked this country because it was Christian but also to see if it was still Christian. The lack of repentance in this country, the election and re-election of a godless bastard like Barack Obama, the killing of the unborn, the embrace of sodomy and the mental illness known as transexuality, and all the rest demonstrate very clearly that America has strayed far from the Christian faith. This country can no longer muster the same moral strength it drew upon to defeat the Nazis and the Communists.
The proper response to 9/11 should have been repentance and a renewal of Christian faith. For some, prayer and church were the answer, and they heeded the call. For others including myself, faith was a dead thing. A cross was found in the rubble of the World Trade Center, and it became a symbol and a touchstone for many people. It was a reminder in this tragedy that God was still there and in control. Atheists will merely point to it as a coincidence that this symbol was found in the twisted rubble. Those same atheists have been suing to have the 9/11 cross removed from the memorial. The terrorists believed in their god. Do we believe in ours?