Monday, August 22, 2011

Our Post 9/11 World: A Ten-Year Retrospective

New York, Sept. 11 – The new World Trade Center towers, now six years old, rise in a silvery shimmer over lower Manhattan, both fifteen stories taller than the originals, commanding a plaza and an assortment of lower towers. In the daytime, only the plaza, chock full of figures hurrying purposefully on their numerous errands, gives evidence of the unseen commerce that occurs inside the fully occupied towers. IRT and PATH trains rumble through the lower levels of the plaza. Taxis rarely idle for long in the three designated cab stands that border the plaza as they skitter in and out of what seems like yellow conveyor belts of business, dropping off and picking up passengers. Bands, orchestras, and soloists usually occupy the small, sunken amphitheater; the plaza is rarely without music. Vendors serve hot dogs, knishes and ice cream from kiosks and wheeled carts. Dozens of stores, restaurants and fast food shops populate the plaza’s lower levels, even a movie theater and a bookstore.

One unkind critic of the sleek new twin towers wrote in The New York Times, before they were completed, that together they looked like a giant tuning fork. But another critic, writing for The New York Post, said they were reminiscent of Winston Churchill’s “V” for victory sign. If the original towers collapsed because of the heat of an inferno, what replaced them was an inferno of controversy that resulted in the resignation of a governor, the dissolution of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation racked by scandal, corruption, and favoritism, and the relinquishment of the property by the Port Authority to a syndicate of private developers dedicated to building a new World Trade Center “as tall or taller.”

Where the oddly sculptured globe once sat in the original plaza is a modest, circular black marble plaque, enclosed by an oval pool with calming, splashing fountains. The plaque contains the engraved names of all who died here that awful day a decade ago. Benches ring the front of the pool, and are usually filled with tourists and office workers from the towers at lunchtime.

Similar modest memorials were erected in front of the repaired Pentagon, and in the Shanksville, Pennsylvania field where passengers on the flight died fighting to regain control of a hijacked plane destined to crash into either the White House or the Capitol Building. It has never been determined which was the hijackers’ target, although authorities are certain that the White House was the intended target. Monitored Al Qaeda communications repeated the query, “Is he dead yet?” They could only have been referring to President Bush, who fortunately was not in the White House that day.

The Attack

That day! Ten years ago, on September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked on its own soil by agents of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, and Iraq. Complicit in that attack, or at least aiding and abetting it by supplying resources, training, sanctuaries, and “foot soldiers,” were key enablers, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Nearly 3,000 people died in the attack, mostly Americans, including the passengers on the hijacked planes that slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and that Pennsylvania field.

Everyone can remember the response of everyday, rank-and-file “moderate” Muslims: in Gaza, in Iran, in Cairo, in London, in Paris, in Indonesia, in Patterson, New Jersey, in Brooklyn, New York, in Dearborn, Michigan, celebrated, passed out candy, danced in the streets, and shouted their hatred for the U.S. Their spokesmen and leaders put on pious faces and published solemn-sounding regrets, but did not chastise their collects of celebrants.

Two days after the attack, in a stirring, televised speech to Congress and the American people, still reeling from a greater loss of American life than the country had suffered during the attack on Pearl Harbor sixty years before, President George W. Bush assured the nation – and the world – that the “parties responsible for the attack will regret and rue the day they decided that this country had lost its resolve to exist as a free and sovereign nation. It will act to defend its citizens and its shores.” He did not name the suspected “parties,” nor did he specify what actions would be taken.

But everyone knew the identities of the suspected “parties.”

The governments of all Western nations sent their condolences: Britain, France, Italy, and most of the European Union nations. Many announced plans to hold remembrance days in honor of all those killed by the 9/11 hijackers. Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal presented New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani with a $10 million check, on one hand claiming Saudi Arabia was with the U.S. “wholeheartedly,” but on the other blaming U.S. policies for the attack.

During his visit to the wreckage Thursday, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal called the Sept. 11 terrorist attack "a tremendous crime" and said the suspected mastermind, Osama bin Laden, "does not belong to Islam."

But in a written statement handed out by his publicist, the prince said: "At times like this one, we must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack. I believe the government of the United States of America should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause."

“Ingratitude”

After reading this statement, an angry Giuliani returned the check, stating that the attack was not merely criminal, but an actual declaration of war in which Saudi Arabia was complicit, if not an active party. “Crimes,” said the mayor during a press conference at the site of the smoking, jagged piles of the World Trade Center, “are committed by individuals or gangs. Wars are declared by belligerent nations and by the victims of such belligerence. This was a declaration of war on us. We will not apologize for our policies, nor will we shrink from our duty to avenge the deaths of all those who perished in the attacks – mostly civilians – nor will we fail to demand the immediate and worst possible punishment.”

Giuliani was roundly criticized for calling the attack an “act of war,” which only the President and Congress can do. He was accused of “grand-standing” and exploiting the catastrophe for his own political gain. President Bush held his tongue and did not gainsay the mayor’s usurpation of his and the Congressional prerogative. Giuliani was to be proven correct in the following days.

Prince Talal, feeling offended by the rejection and by Giuliani’s remarks, gathered together his entourage and flew back to Saudi Arabia. His publicist issued another brief press release in which Talal said he felt “profound ingratitude.” A poll conducted by The New York Post of New Yorkers revealed the general sentiment about the prince’s departure. “Good riddance.”

The world held its breath. It did not need to hold it for long. The retribution was swift, terrible, and permanent. The remembrance ceremonies and proposed minutes of silence, premature in their conception, were cancelled. It was, as one liberal pundit put it in a daze of astonishment, “the shortest war in human history. And the cruelest.”

He was wrong about it being the shortest. That ranking goes to the Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896, which lasted thirty-eight minutes. Still, another pundit retorted, “And the most just!”

A Declaration of War

On September 15th, President Bush asked Congress for a declaration of war. He named names. With only six dissensions, Congress approved the declaration. And the clock began ticking.

Christopher Hitchens, writing as a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, adopted that theme in a column which did not please the literati or the news media, but which got him invited to the White House for dinner with President Bush (and later, in 2004, earned him a Medal of Freedom):

“The clock is ticking, as inexorably as the clock in High Noon. We don’t know what Bush has planned, and we are all biting our nails while we wait and create patriotic bumper stickers and try not to think of all those people jumping to their deaths from the World Trade Center tower rather than be roasted alive. But this much is clear: It’s Marshall Will Kane who’s on the train, coming to wipe out Frank Miller and his gang. It’s Frank Miller who's watching the clock this time, and his pals and the cravenly accommodating citizens of Hadleyville are debouching for anywhere in the wastes of Arizona rather than stay in town. Forgive me, Fred Zinnemann, wherever you are, but I couldn’t resist.”

Everyone was familiar with the names of the guilty “parties.” The first was Osama bin Laden, an expatriate Saudi sheik who was the head of Al Qaeda and the mastermind of the attack. He immediately boasted of the attack within eight hours of the collapse of the World Trade Center, fulfilling a prophecy he had made years earlier. The boast, recorded on a cassette tape that made its way by anonymous couriers to the Arab news network, Al Jazeera, was soon filling the screens of countless American television sets. This was a grave error. The image of the unkempt, bearded face taunting Americans with an arrogant demand for submission, simply stoked fires of determination fiercer than those that incinerated the hapless passengers of the hijacked planes.

Hiding in an Afghan village in the Swat Valley, bin Laden for two months maintained radio contact with his sympathizers and enablers in the Pakistani government and in Kabul. On November 4th, when our intelligence had confirmed his location and that of his enablers and protectors in Pakistan, the village was vaporized with a battlefield nuclear projectile mounted on a drone fired from a nuclear submarine patrolling the Indian Ocean, the Patrick Henry.

A great hole was dug in the middle of Karachi when three more of the missiles, launched consecutively by the submarine, were targeted on the Pakistani intelligence headquarters. Stealth bombers also reduced to glass Pakistan’s nuclear fuel processing plants and much of its nuclear weapons arsenal. Pakistan subsequently descended into an anarchy which continues to this day. India’s military has turned back hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis looking for refuge in India, often having to fire on crazed mobs. It is thought that all of bin Laden’s lieutenants, including the hierarchy of the Taliban, perished in the Afghan blast, because nothing has been heard from bin Laden, Al Qaeda or the Taliban since then.

On the same day, Kabul, capital of Afghanistan and held by the Taliban, was similarly razed.

On September 22nd, in response to Prince Talal’s statement about the Palestinians, Bush ordered all U.S. subsidies terminated to Gaza and the West Bank. Al Fatah, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Authority immediately and jointly attacked Israeli settlements with rockets and suicide bombers. Israel’s IDF responded by reducing Gaza and the West Bank to rubble with coordinated counter-attacks. Palestinian forces and their terrorist allies were decimated. Palestinians by the tens of thousands streamed for safety to Egypt, Syria and Jordan and established impromptu refugee camps. Gaza is now fully Israeli (it has since become the Israeli “Silicon Valley”), as is the West Bank. Israel has enjoyed ten years of unprecedented peace, and has become a major economic force in the Mideast.

Neighboring Lebanon again became wracked with civil war between Christians, the remnants of Hezbollah, and other intractable factions seeking power. Beirut is still a ghost town where reporters fear to tread lest they and their crews be taken hostage or simply murdered on the spot.

Islam the Enemy

On October 3rd, President Bush warned Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, and Iraq that the “severest measures” would be taken against the regimes of those countries within forty-eight hours” if they did not confess their role in the 9/11 attack.

“Let us not mince words. It has been determined by our intelligence sources that much of the funding and support of the hijackers, most of whom were Saudi nationals, was facilitated through Saudi and U.A.E. banking entities. The network was not disguised well enough, and the money trail that leads back to Riyadh, Damascus, Tehran, and Bagdad points directly to the governments of those countries playing a third-party role in the attack. If the principal figures of these regimes did not directly order or plan the attack, then they had knowledge of it. Silence about the imminent commission of a crime, or even an act of war, does not acquit the silent, it does not exonerate the mute.

“State-sponsored terrorism must and will end immediately.

“Further, lest defenders of those regimes claim that we have declared war on Islam – for all those nations are under the yoke of Islam – they will be right. Islam is not a religion of peace. Let me inform my former friends in Riyadh that I have since 9/11 re-read the Koran more closely, and I am sorry to say that the Koran is nothing less than a blueprint for conquest. I confess that I was misled and saw Islam through rose-colored glasses. Now I realize that the rose tint was the color of blood. It is a heinous, barbaric, and contemptible document.”

But perhaps the most memorable words in that public announcement were:

“Let no one claim that Islam was hijacked by terrorists. The Koran was the magic flying carpet on which the hijackers rode.”

Previously, on September 23rd, President Bush ordered the freezing of all Arab assets in U.S. banks, and the confiscation of all Arab-owned property in the U.S., which included office buildings, vacation resorts, and other real property. “Ill-gotten gains seized by Feds,” ran the headline of the Investors Business Daily. Some of those money assets were subsequently released to private developers to rebuild the World Trade Center, “as tall or taller,” as the slogan went. All the real property was auctioned off to private Western developers and the revenue from the sales credited to the U.S. debt as a reduction measure.

“Extortionists,” said Secretary of the Treasury, “do not have property rights over wealth they have stolen.”

The only Arab government to reply to Bush’s ultimatum – and one of two not named in the declaration of war – was Jordan and King Abdullah II bin al-Hussein, who confessed his negligence and offered evidence of Saudi, Iranian, and Syrian money-laundering that had occurred in Amman-based banks. Jordan was spared the American reprisal, and Abdullah is the sole remaining Arab monarch in the Mideast. With the property confiscation and Jordan's U.S. assets frozen and dispersed, Abdullah is sitting on a tinderbox of revolution and a restless population of former Palestinian refugees.

Members of the Kuwaiti royal dynasty were captured by local Islamist supremacists – agents of the former Muslim Brotherhood – and executed. The government established by the Brotherhood soon fell after an “intervention” by U.S. Marines sent to recover the oil fields. No other Arabs stepped forward to set up an Arab government. Kuwait is now an American dependency with a territorial governor.

“The United States is no longer under the thumb of OPEC,” President Bush said during a press conference last March. “We are no longer in thrall to medievalists. We are no longer financing our own enslavement and destruction. Sharia law will never replace our Constitution.”

With Arab oil-producing clout gone, non-Arab OPEC members scrambled to reduce their production and raise prices as a means of leveraging their new-found hegemony. But the leverage proved illusory, for a freer market allowed prices to rise and fall according to demand. State-produced oil was driven from the market. Venezuela and Ecuador nearly went to war over which country’s oil should enter the market according to old OPEC rules. The organization received its final death sentence when President Bush persuaded Congress to repeal legislation that prohibited oil drilling and development in the shallower waters of the Gulf of Mexico and in Alaska.

“Moderate” Muslims Riot

And everyone remembers the response of the “parties”: Riots in London, Madrid, Marseilles, the Scandinavian capitals, and in Paris, Frankfurt, and Berlin by immigrant Muslims. Riots in Malmo, Cairo and Tripoli and Toronto. Riots in Tehran and Kuala Lumpur. All of them staged by activist Muslims, sometimes called “extremists.” Spokesmen of Islamic governments jeered and mocked the U.S. “The Great Satan is also a paper tiger,” they claimed. Americans and Europeans in Islamic countries were attacked and killed as they tried to escape. “Behead those who insult Islam!” was the constant theme of signs carried by chanting Muslim demonstrators everywhere, most notably in Western capitals.

British police battled Muslim mobs that tried to invade Parliament. Non-Muslim Britons, including Sikhs and other “Asians,” responded to Muslim rioting in Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham by forming their own armies of protestors to combat rampaging Muslim mobs in those and other British cities. Prime Minister Tony Blair cancelled plans to fly to Washington to confer with and “stand by” President Bush when the violence dictated that he remain at home. Oslo and Copenhagen fell into the hands of Muslim mobs for a few days, inaugurating a reign of rape, murder, pillage, and destruction, until those countries’ military forces were ordered to act with unaccustomed force with full authority to fire upon Muslims and restore order regardless of casualties suffered by the mobs. Danish, Swedish and Norwegian police and military soon warmed to their duties when they saw the death and destruction wrought by the mobs.

In Paris, Muslim mobs invaded the Louvre and destroyed works of art they considered “offensive,” including the Nike of Samothrace. Mobs in Rome stormed the Vatican and sacked or destroyed its artworks. The Swiss Guard was overwhelmed; the Pope was taken for safety to a special bomb-proof bunker in the basement of his palace. In Florence, Muslims invaded the Galleria dell Academia and toppled Michelangelo’s “David,” smashing it to bits. They stomped on the fragments, shouting, “There is only one God – not man – and his prophet is Mohammad!” David’s head was carried off by the mob as a trophy, and has never been recovered.

Also in Paris, when Muslims took time out from their rioting for prayers, usually on Paris streets which they had been closing for that purpose for years to emphasize their conquest of France – with the silent cooperation of the police – Parisians finally rallied and began attacking the prayer services and engaged the Muslims in pitched battles. French police could not keep up with the battles. Many were killed on both sides. One group of Frenchmen set up loudspeakers in the open windows of their apartments and played “La Marseillaise” and Jean-Baptist Lully’s choral overture to Isis, “Publicons en tous lieux….” at full volume as the usurpers bowed, completely drowning out the cleric leading the prayers.

The Muslims at first shouted obscenities and epithets at the protestors, then, when the residents defiantly continued with the music, proceeded to invade the buildings, killing some of the residents, beating up others, raping whomever they thought worthy of assault, and then setting fire to the buildings. Fifty people died – mostly non-Muslim French citizens – in the ensuing blaze, which the Muslim mob would not let firefighters through to put out. Too late did the police, lethargic by habit from avoiding conflict with Muslim arrogance, respond with force and tear-gassed the mob. Violent confrontations between the police and Muslim mobs occurred throughout the rest of the country. The government banned the burqa, the veil, and prohibited the obstruction of public streets for “religious reasons.”

The French government, sometime after the war, embarked on a concerted campaign to reclaim all the notorious Zones Urbaines Sensibles, or Muslim “no-go” areas throughout the country, and re-impose French law and arrest clerics and activists who called for “holy war” against the “invading” infidels, often resulting in more riots by Muslims to retain their separatist enclaves. This policy was emulated by Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. After acrimonious debate in Parliament, Britain also adopted the policy, removing its kid-gloves and donning brass knuckles. More riots ensued. A bomb was exploded in St. Paul’s Cathedral, killing dozens during services. Muslim extremist Abu Izzadeen and his “Allah’s Brigade” claimed responsibility. He and his lieutenants were killed in a gun battle between them and the police.

Writing about the French and Indian War in North America, English author Horace Walpole wrote, "The volley fired by a young Virginian in the backwoods of America set the world on fire.” It seemed that President Bush’s defiant volley of words had ignited the same scale of conflagration. Some supporters began to doubt the wisdom of his rhetoric. Other Americans did not, and began to prepare for the worst. Gun and ammo sales spiked off the charts. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Circle of North America, and other Muslim “civil rights” organizations issued joint warnings about the growing “Islamophobia.”

Enemy Capitals Attacked

But suddenly the Bush-inspired violence in Europe came to an abrupt end. After the storm, came a quiet. At first, it was not understood why. But soon, everyone knew why.

On October 5th, drones armed with battlefield nuclear bombs eliminated portions of Riyadh, Tehran, Dubai and Damascus. In Tehran, political opposition forces rounded up survivors of the Mohammad Khatami/Mahmoud Ahmadinejad religious regime and executed them, and their bodies hung upside-down from lampposts, just as the bodies of Mussolini and his mistress were displayed in Italy. Iranians are still struggling to consolidate a republican government.

King Fahd, principal members of the House of Saud, and most of the king’s advisors rose as super-heated molecules in the mushroom cloud that towered over Riyadh. Impoverished survivors of the House have been jockeying for and bickering over the king’s title to rule a country that no longer exists ever since. Saudi brothers and cousins of the late king have resorted to assassination and murder of each other in a turf war that recalls the Prohibition gang wars of 20th century America.

The royal family of Abu Dhabi fled when U.S. Navy vessels approached its shores. The United Arab Emirates subsequently disintegrated. Navy Seal teams and Special Forces units covertly sent into Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Iran before the drone launches neutralized, before they could act, the security forces responsible for sabotaging oil facilities in case of hostilities. Stealth bombers pinpointed the palaces and bunkers of Saddam Hussein in and around Bagdad and flattened them with tons of heavy ordnance, including napalm. Hussein and his sons were consumed in the fires. The Iraqi government collapsed and this artificially created country has also been in a state of chaos ever since, marked by interminable tribal warfare between Sunnis, Shi’ites and Kurds.

Oil fields nationalized or expropriated by the Arabs were returned to their rightful owners, American, British and French oil companies. Although many of the claims are nearly a century old and now mired in court challenges and disputes over prior claims, oil is flowing and is cheap. Aramco, a Saudi-American “partnership” for decades, was abruptly dissolved. The Petroleum Club of Houston filed for bankruptcy. Numerous stocks of companies in which Arabs held majority interests were delisted from trading on Wall Street.

Holy Shrines Eliminated

But what ended what might have been continued rioting and dissension in Europe and elsewhere for years by immigrant Muslims was President Bush’s most courageous act. On October 6th, without warning, one Stealth bomber took off from the Enterprise in the Mediterranean, and another from Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. The first dropped a two-kiloton bomb on Mecca. The second dropped a two-kiloton bomb on Mohammad’s burial place in Medina. The Kaaba in Mecca and the Green Dome in Medina were rendered gaseous. Tens of thousands of pilgrims perished in the blasts.

More stunned than Westerners by the operation were Muslims. Their holy shrines were erased from existence in milliseconds. The expected wrath of Allah did not materialize. He had forsaken his chosen people. The sun did not rise in the West. The stars did not begin to vanish. The Five Pillars of Islam were rendered redundant, proven meaningless. The absence of supernatural retaliation and vengeful global punishment resulted in mass disorientation among Muslims, a species of trauma still being studied by top psychologists in major universities. Suicide rates among Muslims skyrocketed –suicides that did not include bombs detonated in public, but which were private affairs of family heads killing their own families before themselves.

Countless other Muslims simply ceased adhering to the faith. Once-faithful Muslims proclaimed their apostasy, preaching tearfully and angrily to sympathetic crowds about what a fraud Islam was. Women discarded their burqas and veils, and even burned them in the streets in demonstrations of freedom. Prayer rugs were turned into welcome mats or converted into scratching posts for cats. Mosques in Western nations were eventually abandoned by the dozens. Once-influential imams and mullahs preached to ever diminishing congregations. Several clerics were arrested by authorities for plotting terrorist acts against the U.S. government and are serving life sentences.

In a completely unrelated and unexpected development, on October 6th the government of Hosni Mubarak announced the return of the Suez Canal to the British and French governments. “The government and people of Egypt,” announced Mubarak, “apologize for the actions of Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein, who was nothing more than a bandit aided and abetted in his theft by a very strange American president.”

By April of 2002, the world had settled down again. Vladimir Putin of Russia had stopped making bellicose threats against the U.S. and directed his energies to extinguishing the Islamic “separatist” movements within Russia. Former Soviet “republics” have formed an effective alliance against Russia to forestall any “reunification” moves by Moscow. China clamped down on the “democracy” movement there, evicted Western business and industrial “partners” and confiscated their holdings. Hong Kong defied Peking with its own separatist movement and won its independence.

Droves of diehard Muslims began returning whence they came, abandoning their self-created ghettos and separatist enclaves, leaving Western nations now hostile to their creed, to countries still governed by the diminishing power of Sharia law, or where they thought there was still a chance of reestablishing it. Talk of a global caliphate ceased. Islamic “civil rights” organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations” and the Islamic Society and Circle of North America found their funding drying up and they dissolved. Several officials of those organizations left the U.S. just ahead of arrest by authorities investigating their role in the attacks, or just steps ahead of being served subpoenas by authorities investigating their finances. The Muslim Brotherhood, sire of all such organizations in the West, experienced a renewed extermination effort by Mubarak’s government.

George Bush was severely criticized by the American and European press. He was accused of “cowboy geopolitics” and charged with jeopardizing world peace with his unilateral military actions, actions taken without first consulting the United Nations. Calls were made in the U.N. by Russia and China to hold the U.S. responsible for the “callous collateral casualties, in the hundreds of thousands, in actions that can only be described as criminal.” Newly appointed Secretary of State John Bolton answered them in January, 2002, “If the United Nations regards the United States as a renegade nation, why is this body still here?”

War Won, Government Diminishes

But as many of Bush’s critics have since acknowledged – only reluctantly and often with muted bitterness – his actions have actually created an “environment conducive to peace,” even though, for example, the European Union, an expensive and authoritarian behemoth, is on its last legs as the citizens of member nations rankle loudly against its corruption and arrogance. But the last suicide bombing occurred on New Year’s Eve in Madrid, and had nothing to do with Islam. It was a Basque terrorist action. The plane hijackings and atrocities committed by Islamists in the second half of the 20th century and the first year of the 21st comprise a nightmarish Hieronymus Bosch-like canvas of hell on earth, of bodies strewn through a landscape of wreckage and ruins, with the dark sun of the Islamic crescent and star rising over the carnage. That was the “garden of Islamic delights” this country narrowly missed becoming its reality.

George Bush was, of course, reelected for a second term, and taking his cue from insurgent Republicans almost immediately dubbed by a contemptuous press the “Tea Party,” embarked on a program of vetoing Congressional spending bills and endorsing the privatization of Social Security. He also advocated ending Medicare and other welfare programs, and reduced the Department of Education to an anemic skeleton staff. It was completely abolished and its staff furloughed in 2006. The Radio Act of 1927 was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (better late than never), and the Federal Communications Commission disbanded. The Food and Drug Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission are next on the chopping block and are expected to expire in 2014.

And Ramadan dinners in the White House, initiated by President Bill Clinton and held once by Bush in 2001, were never held again. “We shouldn’t be feeding the enemy,” said Bush in June of 2002. Muslim holidays even disappeared from calendars.

As his second term neared an end, the country was on tenterhooks during the 2008 election, with John Bolton running against a nobody from nowhere, Barack Obama, a former Illinois senator with questionable political connections and associations that could not remain hidden. His past could not withstand scrutiny, not even by his supporters. Someone unearthed a video of his Chicago pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, “God-damning America,” and columnists speculated on just what kind of person was actually running for the highest office in the land.

Joe Wilson, a Representative for South Carolina, asked a question for which he was excoriated by the press, but for which the public forgave him: “They lie! Who’s running for office here? Reverend Wright or Mr. Obama? Or Bill Ayers?” Discouraged and disillusioned by this and other unsavory revelations, Democrats stayed away from the voting booths that November. In a landslide victory, Bolton won the popular vote and the Electoral College. The defeated candidate returned to his former post of teaching law at the University of Chicago Law School, and was later dismissed from it for having doctored his students’ test scores.

President Bolton has in turn been criticized by the news media for playing too much golf and holding too many whist games in the White House. Health advocates have even scored him for smoking cigars in the Oval Office and in the presence of non-smokers. In answer, during a press conference last February, he said, “Look: Why should I be busy lobbying and strong-arming Congress, when I pledged to make government as inconsequential as possible in the lives of Americans? Idle hands are not necessarily the devil’s tools, and I mean to be as idle as possible. Congress should follow suit.”

President Bolton is assured a second term in the White House. Democrats have yet to settle on a slate of candidates to run against him in 2012. Their majorities in the Senate and House were irretrievably reduced in midterm elections and by an unprecedented number of resignations and sudden retirements, leaving Republicans in control of both chambers.

Authors Paint Grim Futures

The nation began to rebound in prosperity and economic growth. Everyone seemed happy with the course of events that could have led to disaster and economic and societal collapse – everyone but those who had plans to turn the country into authoritarian paradise. And columnists and psychologists had another phenomenon to report: Many people would suddenly believe they were being stalked by jihadists. They would turn around see nothing. The fall of Islam and its virtual disappearance from men’s concerns was a true sign of “Islamaphobia,” but eminently curable. It is not every century when a major faith suffers from mass abjuration.

One can only wonder what the U.S. would be like had Bush been less dedicated to its sovereignty, less forthright in identifying the issues, and more compromising in his facing the Islamic threat. It is hard to imagine what state the world would be in. Not a few imaginative novelists have penned credible dystopian political fantasies that describe a world almost as dysfunctional and schizophrenic as that described in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Novelist Tom Wolfe, in Love Thine Enemy, which appeared in early 2003 to rave reviews, painted an America groaning under the weight of a “Department of Homeland Security” – a very Nazi-Gestapo sounding organization that pries into the lives of all Americans – the merger of the CIA, NSA and FBI into one ineffective intelligence gathering Goliath, more concerned with controlling Americans than detecting and combating terrorism. There are his police state entities called the Transportation Security Agency and Community Action Groups that search travelers and patrons at airports, bus terminals, churches and synagogues, and even in Walmarts. In the meantime, he creates a gloomy picture of mounting government debt as Washington fights two costly wars in the Mid- and Far East to bring “democracy” to peoples who neither understand it nor want it, while American casualties mount to the thousands.

Tom Clancy wrote another best-seller, Ground Zero, which debuted in 2004 also to rave reviews, echoing the style of Allen Drury, depicting the creation of “Eurabia” and the Islamic conquest of Europe by invading hordes of Muslims, with only Britain just barely holding out, awaiting the appearance of a new Churchill or Margaret Thatcher. But his focus was the jihad waged within America’s own borders. Former functionaries from Islamic “civil rights” organizations are now White House cabinet members.

The IRS is empowered to collect Islamic jizya, the Islamic tax on non-Muslims, in addition to regular income taxes. The Secretary of State, Imam Feisal Rauf, negotiates a détente with La Raza, representing millions of illegal Mexicans. There are rumors of impending war between La Raza and Washington. His wife, Daisy Khan, runs a federal program to “educate” military and civilian draftees on the “ins and outs of Islam.” Non-Muslim recruits who convert to Islam during basic training are awarded instant promotion and special “G.I. Bill” educational status.

As did Wolfe, Clancy describes the incremental loss of all Constitutional guarantees and limitations that once preserved American liberties, and the rise of a new class of citizens: the privileged Muslim. De facto Sharia law complements regulatory law. Muslim judges sit on half the federal district and appellate courts. Both writers conceived of patriotic, underground “resistance” groups or “militias” that function like the French ones of World War II, led by fugitive men and women who once wrote columns warning Americans of the advancing enemy, and of the Quislings in government who paved the way for the conquest. They are regarded as “subversives” and hunted by the DHS.

Uncounted thousands of “dissidents” are transported to “reeducation” camps built on the Alaskan tundra, where food rations depend on how well prisoners respond to a daily and constant immersion in a multiculturalist curriculum designed to strip an individual of his identity. The curriculum, Clancy wrote, “was designed by leading lights in the Department of Education and approved by the National Education Association, although some dared think the roles were reversed. This hardly mattered, however, to the inmates. Few could withstand the ‘good cop-bad cop’ regimen of the indoctrination and emerge to damn the ‘therapeutics of tyranny.’ Those who did were branded ‘intractable recidivists’ and simply vanished one day from the barracks.”

Clancy’s novel climaxes with the dynamiting of the “Ground Zero Mosque,” a “victory monument” approved by a former mayor of New York, erected near the site of a new World Trade Center that more resembles a public housing project than a monument to capitalism. This segment of the novel tasks one’s credibility – what cowardly souls would actually allow an Islamic victory monument be built anywhere in America? – but it is an entertaining read nonetheless Demolition of the mosque by the “James Madison Strike Force” serves as a signal for a general American uprising against the “establishment,” although Clancy left open the denouement of the rebellion. After all, the manpower and firepower are on the side of the “establishment.” But then, the British Crown had the same advantage over the colonists over two centuries ago. Clancy leaves the ending to his readers’ imaginations. Movies were made of the Wolfe and Clancy novels, and have become cult classics, especially among the young and college students.

But as we remember those who died on this day ten years ago, we should be thankful to all those living souls who took their responsibilities seriously and rose to the occasion to preserve a sane and safe world. They saved us from what might have been an awful and terrible future, the end of America as it crept along a path to extinction, like a senior citizen leaning on a walker, headed for a precipice, and unable or unwilling to resist the momentum. The attack required nothing less than victory over the cancerous phenomenon of Islam, a totalitarian ideology riding on the coattails of expanding and insatiable federal powers. Islam is now a fading memory, as is Congressional arrogance. The change authored by President George W. Bush has given America – and the world – new and tangible reason for hope for the future.

Benjamin Franklin wrote: “He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.” Americans can be proud that they deserve both. They have not short-changed themselves. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, once jeopardized by ignorance and complacence and an omnivorous pragmatism, have been renewed in men’s minds and in fact. Their symbols are the new World Trade Center towers that flash their meaning as eloquently and permanently as does the Statue of Liberty. Knock us down again, if you dare. We will rise again.

Long may the Twin Towers shimmer in the sun! And Long Live Lady Liberty!

© 2011 by Edward Cline

37 comments:

Bill Bucko said...

Ed Cline's most powerful essay yet.

Thanks, Ed!

Anonymous said...

How much better the world would be today if the heroic actions described in this essay had taken place instead of the cowardly, inept, inactions that actually took place. This is what could and should have been ...not as it pitifully was.

Terry Carter

revereridesagain said...

In reality, 10 years after the 9/11 attacks Islam has grown in numbers, influence, and aggression. Their yearned-for Caliphate is now in the early stages of formation on the ashes of the "Arab Spring". Europe is well into its transformation to "Eurabia". Israel is threatened with nuclear annihiliation by the nut-lined squirrel nest of Iran. In this country "muslim civil rights" advocates are demanding integration of Islamic Sharia'h law into the American legal system as our pro-Islam POTUS looks the other way. In response, the GOP proffers a presidential candidate who partners with the Aga Khan to present whitewashed Islamic "history" to Texas schoolkids. Our prostrate dhimmified media has a new favorite word: Islamophobia. Should president "Hussein" be re-elected by a fickle and clueless majority, is there any doubt that the scenarios of those "dystopic novels" will start to become our reality?

Oh, and that triumphal mosque on the site of the WTC attacks...?

Try the same exercise that Ed Cline presents so brilliantly, but on WWII. What would have been the outcome had FDR responded to the attack on Pearl Harbor with assurances that "Bushido Shinto is a Religion of Peace", sent Navy planes in search of the specific Japanese aircraft carriers and pilots from which the attack was launched, and instituted a campaign to win the "hearts and minds" of the Nazi invaders devouring Europe? What if the US remained in denial until we were hopelessly outmanned, outproduced, and outgunned? And, perhaps, until either the Empire of Japan or the Third Reich had learned to build nuclear weapons?

Instead, FDR responded appropriately. Four years later tens of millions were dead worldwide, Nazism was eradicated, Japan was an empire no more, the USSR was about to drop the Cold War's Iron Curtain, Europe was beginning to rebuild, and America was embarking on an era of relative freedom and prosperity.

Perhaps the question to ask is, what would have happened had the right actions been taken 5 or 10 years before the moment of crisis? Could the horrors of both outcomes have been avoided? Instead, today, we are trudging in the direction described by White's and Clancy's fictional fictions.

Thanks, Ed, for a vision of what could have been. It is no hyperbole to ask how different many of our lives would hae been without the stress of watching the growing shadow of Islamic aggression loom ever larger. Long Live Lady Liberty, indeed!

Teresa Hermiz said...

More of this, Ed! Maybe a whole novel. Keeps the spirit up like looking at heroic paintings or listening to Mozart and Beethoven.

Teresa

Anonymous said...

Ed,

I wish the events in your fictional account had really happened but I don't think they could have ever been carried out in our philosophical/political/cultural climate. If Bush had been the type of man capable of actually nuking Mecca I think there would have been potentially nation destroying civil unrest in both America and Europe in response to these types of hawkish actions.

The Left would have stoked up both a class and race war in response. Cities all over the Eruo-American world would have burned. Black, Hispanics and Muslims would all have been encouraged by the Left to wage open war against "red state" America; ie everything not associated with the Left. I don't think the country would have survived it. There would have been total chaos.

That being said, that type of President Bush would have done what needs to be done and that is fight the war against the Left. It is the Left which is our primary enemy. Christian Conservatives are second banana and second fiddle to Leftists who they just "me too" anyway. It is the Left which had made Islam the threat that it is. The Islamic revivalism that we have seen the last century dates to the rise of the Left with the Progressive movement. As Progressivism has grown stronger, the West has grown weaker and Islam has become more beligerent and hostile.

The steps your alternate universe Bush took would have precipitated a civil war and I'm not sure the good would have prevailed. But it is the battle that needs to be fought and it would be better that it be fought as soon as possible to see both how much destruction is done and how soon we can rebuild. But it is a battle that needs to be fough against our two greates enemies: Leftism and Islam. The sooner the collapse of the Left and the subsequent devastation, the sooner we can rebuild and hopefully in a Classical Liberal direction.

All that being said, it was great just reading what a principled response to our Islamic enemies would have looked like.

D. Bandler

revereridesagain said...

I have to disagree in part with D. Bandler. The Islamic supremacists and the Left have unquestionably made common cause and allied with each other. This is not surprising, as they are soul mates in totalitarianism. But the Islamic resurgence is a distinct and separate phenomenon with its own characteristics. One of its main guiding organizations, the Muslim Brotherhood, was formed shortly after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire with the aim of returning Islam to its imperial glory via another Caliphate, a goal which is now within their grasp, albeit still a bit of a stretch at the moment.

Cline's portrayal of all-out war against state sponsors of Islamic supremacism, including the destruction of Mecca and Medina, is, I believe, consistent with peculiarities of the religious ideology itself, which postulates an omnipotent, unknowable, explicitly anti-rational god. It is an essential element of Islamic belief that, while "He" is regarded as typically vindictive, Allah cannot be "limited" by the expectations of mortals about what "He" would when "provoked". Therefore the theory goes that if Mecca and Medina were to be destroyed by the enemies of Islam the most likely reaction amongst the "believers" would be the shock and disorientation portrayed by Cline. Since in the 10 years since 9/11/01 no one has struck a truly devastating blow against the Islamic supremacist forces, such an outcome remains theoretical at this point.

And while -- as Cline does note -- there would likely be rioting and destruction especially in Europe, I doubt such outbreaks would have happened to the same extent here. The Nation of Islam black muslims would have foamed at the mouth, and some uprisings in the muslim enclaves such as Dearbornistan might have happened early on. (And, consistent with the storyline, would have been firmly limited by law enforcement.) However, "Blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims" were not allied and organized to the same degree or with the same focus in 2001 as today. Certainly there would have been no "class-race civil war" or "total chaos" had Bush taken such actions following so soon on the 9/11 attacks when most of the country was very much united. (Of course Bush would never have done any such thing. This is a "what if" scenario.)

Alas, the Left and the Islamic supremacist agendas have now intricately merged, and any action taken against the latter will virulently opposed by the former. Another negative and dangerous result of our failure to act in 2001.

Geoff said...

Excellent alternate history fictional piece, Mr. Cline. Would that it have been reality!

I must admit, to begin with I thought it [i]was[/i] reality – to the point where I was scrambling to Google Earth for confirmation. “The Twin Towers have been rebuilt?” I asked myself. “Since when?”

In any case, I kept reading, enraptured. What a sense of life, to experience the feeling of Islamic evildoers finally getting their comeuppance! And of the world turning to reason again. Being an Aussie largely unaffected by 9/11, I can only imagine the spiritual recharge that someone more emotionally connected would feel.

I wholeheartedly agree with Ms. Hermiz – such a piece on the scale of a novel would be a marvellous read, not to mention a sound blow against your war on Islam, vis-a-vis the Aristotelian 'history vs. fiction'. Perhaps it's already in the works? You certainly seem to be up to the task.

Please excuse me if my flowery prose is inappropriate. As an aspiring writer, I felt I could use some practice. In essence, the above is nothing if not true.

Thanks again.

D. Flynn said...

Christ on a bike that was good. You certainly have a way with words, Mr Cline. Loved Jack Frake btw.

Daniel.

Drew said...

Ed,

Brilliant piece, that was.

A bit off topic, but there was a case of Muslim violence against an author---who was bound and battered, being dragged into the woods---for writing a book that "is insulting to Muslims". This took place literally minutes from my house in Oakville, Ontario. He's also received death threats, etc.

Here's a link: http://ironicsurrealism.com/2011/08/24/canadian-author-critical-of-islam-dragged-into-woods-tied-up-and-beaten-unconscious/

It's got to be only a matter of time before any one of u

Edward Cline said...

Thanks to all for the compliments.

Drew: I read about the Canadian writer who was assaulted by Muslims. Brian Williams, Katie Couric, and Matt Lauer were all over the story and expressing outrage....No, wait...that was in my dreams....

As for a novel version of the article, I'm in the middle of my third Roaring Twenties detective novel which will dramatize how we have come to be where we are today.

Ed

jayeldee said...

Ed, this is a most interesting construction of an alternate and superior reality—yet I find it ultimately unfathomable, in the way, for example, that most science fiction is—given, especially, the names of the protagonists. Every time I run across the “Bush” moniker, for instance, the reality-based vision of an irredeemable fool pops to mind, and obliterates the substance of the reality you’re describing. (Ditto, mutatis mutandi, for Giuliani and Blair; and I find neither Hitchens nor Bolton nor Thatcher to be much more convincing.)

And moreover: everyone who appreciates this clever and thoughtful piece should remain mindful that the American “Right” is just as likely as—if not more likely than—the “Left” is, to implement the trends, agencies, and programs described in the fanciful “Wolfe” and “Clancy” novels (which I find, for reasons that I hope are obvious to all, to be the more believable, by far, of the accounts on offer).

“Long Live Lady Liberty”? But she is quite dead, as I write—and must, first of all, be revived.

Edward Cline said...

jayeldee: I had to work with what was available. And the purpose of the piece was not to uphold Bush or Blair or anyone else named in the fictive account, but to underscore the contrast of what might have been with what we wound up with.

Sarah G said...

Bravo! I want to second and third the other commenters who wanted more of this world--this is the perfect statement of what I kept hoping would happen in the aftermath of 9/11. I want to live in the world you describe, or at the very least, I want to borrow the binoculars that let you see into this world. Christ on a bike indeed!

Rebecca in Crystal Lake IL said...

The 9/11 hijackers were not from Iraq. None of them. They were from Saudi, UAE, Egypt, and Lebanon. Different countries entirely. It's disappointing that you got that pivotal and very telling detail wrong.

Not one was from Iraq. Not one. If you consider that your national pride would be seriously offended if somebody falsely accused Americans of such an act, you can understand why I'm picking this nit. Especially given that Reason must have a basis in cold hard fact, rather than the fantasies we wish were true. What you describe is like unicorns and pegasi, beautiful, but impossibly not real.

Zilla/MJ said...

This is what SHOULD have happened, my hear weeps that it did not. Look at what cowards we have 'leading' our country and their 'islam first' insanity. We need people who are not afraid to tell the truth about islam and act appropriately to defend us from it to enter public office. But all we get are dupes, from both parties, like Rick Perry, who says that "islam is a religion of peace". Americans' persistent ignorance is as appalling as it is suicidal.
Thank you for your powerful piece about the country and world we COULD have had.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca:

I state that most of the hijackers were Saudi nationals. That isn't the issue. The issue is the enabling financing. Mush of that went through Iraqi government controlled banks. Also Saudi, Syrian and Pakistani entities. Very likely through Jordanian banks, as well.

Ed

Maggie@MaggiesNotebook said...

Thanks for an insightful look at what might have been, how many Americans would not be in their graves today, would not be maimed today - how much more peaceful the world would be. Linked at my place. Oh, and thanks for making John Bolton president..

1389 said...

This is indeed what we should have done.

Sadly, we can "thank" Grover Norquist and other Muslim Brotherhood agents for having deceived both parties in the US.

Oh, and by the way, another vital step was (AND STILL IS) mass deportation of Muslims, even those who have taken an oath of citizenship despite their beliefs in Islamic doctrine, with an exception made for anyone who had the courage to publicly apostatize from Islam.

It very likely will come to that eventually.

Drew said...

Funniest contradiction I saw today, here in Burlington, Ontario. We host the biggest "ribfests" in Canada. I saw several Muslim families, with women covered head to toe, visiting the event. Giant cartoon pigs in flames and other such images on huge billboards, etc. I doubt they would eat even chicken cooked alongside ribs. Weird.

I still think Bosch Fawstin should do a jihadi fighting cartoon hero called Edward Swine. That would be awesome.

Mark Hallenberg said...

This surely resonates with millions of Americans who love peace and reject the lie of Islam.

Thank you for turning the soil.

May the delayed gratification of our victory over tyranny be all the more sweet.

JB said...

WOW!

Please make this into a booklet we can purchase and give as a gift to people we care about. (Much nicer and personal than just a link via email).

This would make an incredible movie.

Thank you Ed Cline.

JB said...

I forgot to sign off with this quote:

Science flies you into space. Religion into buildings.

Neil Parille said...

Ed,

Instead of bombing Islamic holy places, why not just prevent Moslems from coming to the US?

One Objectivist who says she supports "open immigration" said that Israel is morally obligated to allow Moslems into Israel even if it means Israel becomes Islamic.

Do you support the policy of "open immmigration" as advocated by Craig Biddle, Diana Hsieh, and Harry Binswanger?

-Neil Parille

Neil Parille said...

Ed,

Sorry, I now remember that you don't support open immigration.

I do not believe that Moslems are going to give up on their religion if their holy sites are bombed. Moslems in the US would commit acts of terrorism against us. Moderate Moslems would become radicalized.

And our country is teetering on the edge economically. Attacking other countries would result in an oil embargo that would put us into a huge depression.

Jack Galt said...

>I do not believe that Moslems are going to give up on their religion if their holy sites are bombed. Moslems in the US would commit acts of terrorism against us. Moderate Moslems would become radicalized.

I think that this view fails to fully appreciate the mystical mind. The Islamists believe that even minor victories against the US are the fruit of God’s grace. To raise Islamist shrines would serve to demonstrate that God is utterly impotent, while we are not.

jayeldee said...

Jack Galt wrote:
"To raise Islamist shrines would serve to demonstrate that God is utterly impotent, while we are not."

I assume you mean "raze", not "raise". (And I agree with you, FWIW--assuming you mean the former.)

Joe said...

I don't usually like to waste time wishing but your depiction of how it could/should have been are tempting. Great job, Ed.

Neil Parille said...

Mr. Galt,

Judaism continued after the destruction of the Temple in AD70.

Neil Parille

Edward Cline said...

Parille: So what? Why do you keep bringing up irrelevancies?

Neil Parille said...

Cline:

My point is that Islam will still continue as a religion and Moslems will still continue with terrorism even if someone bombs Mecca.

Do you stop supporting the ARI even though their doctoring of Rand's material has been exposed by Burns and others?

Anonymous said...

Parille: Again the irrelevancies. Get lost. Don't come here again.

Neil Parille said...

Ed,

Why is it irrelevant? In 70 AD the Jews revolted and Jerusalem and the temple was destroyed.

They revolted again in 132 AD.

Bombing the sacred places of Islam is unlikely to stop militant Islam. I think it will radicalize the moderates and anger those who are friendly to the US.

Drew said...

If bombing Islamic holy sites "radicalized" the "moderates," and "angered" the "friendly," then it seems pretty obvious that these cohorts of muslims' respective "moderation" and "friendliness" was not a value to begin with. If this "anger" and "radicalization" is a response to a morally justified annihilation of the physical relics of a vicious totalitarian ideology that has murdered countless individuals, then it it only becomes clear where the "moderates'" true allegiance lies---they would have to be crushed along with the ones that were more open about their "radicalness" to begin with.

*I take a big haul on this doobie* totally radical dude.

jayeldee said...

Drew, your argument is cogent--and unanswerable. Kudos to you. (But I cannot for the life of me comprehend your final sentence. I suppose I haven't the lingo.)

Drew said...

Sorry Jayeldee, I'll translate:

As I inhale a large amount of smoke from my marijuana cigarette, I utter the phrase, "totally radical dude".

I just had this urge to use the word "radical" in a colloquial way. That is all : )

elmas said...

Does anyone know if this piece has been translated into Spanish?

Thank you.

Lone Wanderer said...

I don't really like Islam either, but dopping canned sunshine on Mecca, never mind the other places you listed, probably would not do anything good. Oh, and by the way: The "Right" would establish IngSoc-style agencies just as soon as the "Left" would, so long as it means deregulation of industry, tax cuts, etc. Intresting TL though.