Skip to comments.Mark Steyn: We’re Winning This War
Posted on 09/11/2003 10:03:49 AM PDT by quidnunc
The emergency dispatcher wasnt quite sure shed heard correctly. Sir, you have what jumping from buildings? People. Bodies are just coming from out of the sky .
On a day like 11 September 2001, time is both accelerated and suspended. On the top floors of the World Trade Center, office workers who moments earlier had been scheduling lunch appointments and making plans for the weekend had a few seconds to determine the manner of their death to stay and be burned alive, or to take one last gulp of fresh air as they plunged to the plaza below. For almost everybody else, time is halted: when youre caught up in the middle of a terrible day, you dont know that thats what it is a day. By 11 oclock on that Tuesday morning, with the second tower collapsed and the Pentagon on fire and rumours of more missing planes and the White House evacuated, none of us knew how much more was to come. I dont think you could find many Americans who went to bed that night expecting to get through the next two years without another major terrorist attack on US soil. Yet here we are.
That in itself is remarkable. Even more remarkable is the lack of credit that the Bush administration gets for it.
There are basically two lines on Bush these days. At home, the media and the Democrats argue that Americans are somehow reeling under a terrorist onslaught. As the New York Timess elderly schoolgirl Maureen Dowd put it last week, We wanted to get rid of Osama and Saddam and the Taleban and al-Qaeda. We didnt. Theyre replicating and coming at us like cockroaches. Really? Osama is replicating? Thats news to me. Considering that the original hasnt been seen in a year and three quarters, it looks more like hes plicated. I said in these pages 15 months ago that hes dead, hes bin Laden to rest, hes pushing up daisy-cutters, and Im sticking with that.
Meanwhile, in Europe, the tinfoil-hat brigade has gone mainstream. Of course America hasnt been attacked again. Thats because 9/11 was a neocon conspiracy to give Washington a pretext to grab Iraqs oil and Afghanistans, er, rubble. The conspirazoids now include the Rt Hon Michael Meacher, MP, a man who until a few weeks ago was one of Her Majestys ministers of state, a fellow who sat at the Cabinet table with Tony Blair and discussed troop deployments. But now, with time on his hands, hes frolicking merrily on the wilder shores of the Internet. In the Guardian on Saturday, he demanded to know whether US air-security operations had been deliberately stood down on 11 September in order to facilitate the attack. Who would do such a thing? Why, Rummy, Cheney, Wolfie and the other sinister graduates of the Project for a New American Century.
Meacher is late to the Mad Hatters tea party. Ive had a gazillion emails a day about this for almost two years. Condi Rice apparently warned all kinds of people not to fly on 11 September. If thats true, it seems odd that Don Rumsfeld, one of the architects of the conspiracy, didnt warn himself not to go to the Pentagon that morning. Youd think, being in on the plot, hed warn himself not to be sitting at his desk as the plane sliced through the building. If Michael Meacher had had advance warning that a plane was going to slam into the Department of the Environment that day, would he have had the cojones to be sitting there dictating a memo to Miss Jones as the nose cone ploughed into the photocopier? Or maybe thats just how well planned the conspiracy was: Rumsfeld knew the plane would hit the other side of the Pentagon well away from his office, so, if he coolly went to work as usual, hed throw even expert conspiracy-sniffers like Meacher off the scent. Or maybe there was no Pentagon plane at all; it was a pure invention of the administration, as that French bestseller argued. Or maybe the Pentagon itself is just a thought-form generated by the microchip implanted in Meachers brain when he sat next to Dick Cheney at a G7 buffet lunch. Or maybe .
Looking back at the columns I wrote in the first days after 9/11, Im pleasantly surprised by how perceptive they were on the self-loathing of the West, the uselessness of the Cold War alliances, the duplicitousness of Americas moderate Arab friends, etc. But I seriously underestimated the degree to which much of Europe would be unhinged by 11 September. If its a choice between Meacher or the Continentals whove turned down US requests for troop contributions because they want Iraq to go belly up so that Bush gets defeated in 2004 and some wimp Democrat gets elected wholl treat them with the respect they deserve, Ill take the latter. Chiracs decayed cynicism is marginally less unmoored from reality.
But, as the descent into madness of Mr Meacher illustrates, theres no longer any agreement on what reality is. Last Sunday, the Observer ran a story headlined Bush Seeks An Exit Strategy As War Threatens His Career: The President will make a dramatic U-turn on Iraq in a TV broadcast tonight to try to salvage his hopes of re-election amid Americans growing hostility to the casualties and chaos approval ratings plummeting another Vietnam sons and daughters dying daily bogged down .
Did Bush seek an exit strategy? Did he make a dramatic U-turn? Au contraire. We have carried the fight to the enemy, he said. The surest way to avoid attacks on our own people is to engage the enemy where he lives and plans. We are fighting that enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan today so that we do not meet him again on our own streets, in our own cities.
Are Americas sons and daughters dying daily in guerrilla attacks? No. As I write, no American serviceman has died in Iraq for nine days. Whatever that is, its not Vietnam.
Are Bushs approval ratings plummeting? Gallup has him at 59 per cent. In any case, he always takes August off and his numbers always slip as noisy Democrats run around filling the vacuum. Then September arrives, he comes back to work and they rise again. Its now an established seasonal variation.
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.co.uk ...
Dont ask me what the long-term strategy behind these biennial attacks is supposed to be. But, from oh, say, November, it becomes harder with each passing week for the doom-mongers to argue that the lack of activity is consistent with bin Ladens modus operandi. To be sure, I still read the in-depth reports by experts who say hes alive and well and living on the Northwest Frontier. But, if he doesnt show himself, then inevitably those experts begin to sound like the fellows who claim to know the whereabouts of Lord Lucan or the truth about the Loch Ness Monster. Its all very scientific, Im sure, but sooner or later Lucan and Nessie have to do a bit of work and put in an appearance themselves.
Instead, Osama makes audio cassettes, and he licenses his subordinates to make audio cassettes, and they issue bloodcurdling threats against everyone from the Great Satan to hapless bystanders like Ireland and Canada, and none of those threats comes to pass. Theyre all turban and no jihad. They were at it again the other day: We announce there will be new attacks inside and outside [the US] which would make America forget the attacks of 11 September, said an al-Qaeda spokesman.
Maybe hes right, and by the time you read this Chicago and Atlanta will be ablaze. Or maybe it will be like all the other empty threats. Even in the Hindu Kush at the all-U-can-eat scorpion buffet, you cant dine out on 9/11 for ever. This is a long war but for America, with victories at home, in Afghanistan, in Iraq and elsewhere, its been a pretty good start.
Good writing, that!
Steyn at his best
I think I just found my new tagline...for awhile, anyway.
This applies to a few Freepers as well.
Tears in my eyes on this one, because it's true. But "all turban and no jihad" is destined to become immortal.
quidnunc, you have been around for a while, come on, you know that the only thing that needs to be excerpted is the WP and LAT articles.
That onslaught was just reduced by 80 foreign terrorists captured north of Baghdad, by the 101st.
I love this liberal nonsense. My sister wanted to take me to an Afghani restaurant and I asked her why she would want to dine at a place that made high cuisine from......dirt.
Thge reason WP and LAT articles must be exerpted is because they sued Free Republic for violation of copyright i.e. theft of intellectual property and won.
Those same same protections extend across the spectrum to all copyrighted materials.
Why do you think the recording industry has decided to sue music downloaders right and left?
It is not beyopnd the realm of possibility that if publications continue to get their stuff stolen, content will either be not available on-line, or will be posted as non-copyable PDFs.
I post some articles in their entirity, but not conservative-friendly stuff.
Those people deserve the courtesy of a page-view hit.
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