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On this anniversary of 9/11, one reporter notes how much we have forgotten about that day, and what it demanded we do afterward.
Fourteen years later, it is astonishing the degree to which these and other lessons of that day have been forgotten, rendered moot, or cast aside.
Shocking as it seems, America didn’t learn much at all from 9/11. It was not a particular moment of cultural or political change in American society. No generally held assumptions were overturned. No historical watershed was reached. It yielded no great art or literature. The monuments to the dead are for the most part defeatist, not expressions of resolve. What was baked into America’s future on the 10th of September, 2001 was still there on the 12th of September, 2001. The nation did not change.
I disagree with him strongly on one point. The nation did change, but for the worse. Instead of aggressively committing ourselves, all of us, to an effort to eliminate the evil in the Middle East that allowed 9/11 and many other horrible violent attacks to occur, we instead attacked ourselves, limiting our freedom by allowing the government to pry into our private communications, perform offensive strip-searches of us at airports, and impose restrictive security measures on our lives.
The result is that 14 years later, our political leadership now bows down and surrenders to Iran, agreeing to give them billions while allowing them the ability to develop nuclear weapons. This leadership is so terrified that any opposition to Islam might cause offense, they are thus willing to crap on the dead bodies of Americans who were killed by these vile fanatics.