Sept. 11, 2001, dawned in Washington as the most beautiful day of that year and one of the most beautiful days I have ever experienced.
I left my home in Northern Virginia early that morning. The route to the White House was always inspiring because of its historic evocation along the way—driving around the Lincoln Memorial each day after having come across the Memorial Bridge from Arlington into Washington, with the Vietnam Memorial on the right-hand side.
Chalk displays are common tools for spreading messages on college campuses, but they can also be examples of the different treatment that conservative and liberal students experience.
This semester, a College Republicans’ chapter had their chalk messages defaced while another group of liberal students were able to celebrate National Coming Out Day without harm to their chalk display.
Destruction of the family has always been at the center of the collectivist project. In chapter two of The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels point out that the destruction of private property will never be complete until the “abolition [Aufhebung] of the family” is accomplished. The dream is perennial among snarling misanthropists. A couple of years ago, an interview in The Nation with a radical feminist explained that if you “want to dismantle capitalism” then you have to “abolish the family.”
It is worth keeping that in mind as the little drama of Merrick Garland versus the parents of America unfolds. I wrote about the attorney general’s absurd but troubling memorandum shortly after it was released on October 4. As all the world knows (but only some precincts of the world admit), Garland threatened to mobilize the entire police power of the state against parents. Why?
As we get to the midpoint between the last presidential election and next year’s midterms, all political sides are expending extraordinary effort to ignore the 900-pound gorilla in the formerly smoke-filled room of American politics. This, of course, is Donald Trump.
The Democrats are still outwardly pretending Trump has gone and that his support has evaporated. They also pretend they can hobble him with vexatious litigation and, if necessary, destroy him again by raising the Trump-hate media smear campaign back to ear-splitting levels.
Twenty years after the U.S. government declared war on terrorism, it consummated its own defeat in Kabul and Washington, in a manner foreseeable, foreseen, and foreshadowed in 9/11’s immediate aftermath. Fixation on itself and unseriousness about war are the twin habits of heart and mind that disposed the ruling class to defeat. The practical explanation for why and how it accepted defeat is found in the overriding interest each part of the ruling class has in doing what it wants to do.
On the night of September 11, 2001, Muslim governments strictly forbade public celebrations of the carnage. The Palestinian Authority, anticipating that outraged Americans would destroy them to avenge the day’s events, even called the attacks al nachba—“the disaster.” But as the U.S. ruling class made clear that it was accepting defeat, the Muslim world’s media and streets celebrated.
Two decades later, after that defeat’s logic had worked its way through and transformed American life, and as the government’s self-humiliating exit from Afghanistan consummated it, much of mankind followed Muslim crowds in celebrating—including prominent Americans.
As with so many other aspects of our time, we seem destined to suffer the most trite and underwhelming imitations of things that once were great or at least impressive. Exhibit A would be the great war advocate, George W. Bush. Can there be a more perfect synthesis of the last 20 years of disappointing American politics than this man? He exemplifies everything—unaware, unashamed, unapologetic—that the American ruling class has become. NeverTrumpers and neocons yearn for a return to the days of measured, steady Bush leadership. We are told constantly now that he is kind, polite, well-bred: a politician from a more dignified tradition of public servants than those of late. But of course, in reality he is none of these things.
The everlasting incompetence and mesmerizing self-delusion on display at his recent 9/11 remarks make that clear.
A student senator at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri was filmed tearing out and throwing away nearly 3,000 American flags featured in a 9/11 memorial on campus, as reported by the New York Post.
The student, Fadel Alkilani, was captured on video Saturday as he tore the flags out of the ground and stuffed them into multiple large garbage bags. The student filming the incident, Nathaniel Hope, confronted Alkilani; Hope said that Alkilani falsely claimed that the memorial was “in violation of school rules,” and “was also saying profanity.” In the video posted to Twitter, Alkilani, who is wearing a face mask, stops for a few moments when he realizes that he is being filmed, then quickly walks away with the bags, calling Hope “weird” before leaving the scene.
The 2,977 flags were placed in the grass on the campus’s Mudd Field for the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks in 2001, with each flag representing one of the victims of the attacks in New York City, Arlington, Virginia, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania on that day. This has become a common tradition around the country every year since 2001, often organized by conservative student groups.
The Virginia Department of Education recently posted a video on their YouTube Channel telling teachers to avoid talking about American exceptionalism while teaching about September 11, 2001.
Campus Reform reporter Ophelie Jacobson talked with University of Florida students about this video to see how students think 9/11 should be taught in the classroom.
Suggestions for lesson plans included keeping “gruesome” facts out of lesson plans avoiding discussion of who was responsible for the attacks.
Now relegated to the history files of the New York’s police department, a September 2001 after-action report prepared by then-NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik for then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani provides a stunning account of what happened on the deadliest day in American history as four hijacked planes pierced the sunny, blue morning skies 20 years ago.
Nineteen terrorists — working under the command of Osama bin Laden (since executed by the U.S. military) and his chief planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (since captured and on trial now at Guantanamo Bay) — exacted unspeakable carnage on an unsuspecting country that was forever changed.
The report, provided by Kerik to Just the News as part of its “9/11: Never Forget” podcast special, details how the NYPD executed “Condition Omega,” an emergency plan that achieved an unprecedented sealing of the Big Apple, an historic evacuation of hundreds of thousands from the city’s financial district and a grim, gruesome recovery of more than 2,500 bodies, including hundreds of police officers and firefighters who rushed into the burning Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and its adjoining command center.
Americans commemorated the 20th anniversary of the world’s deadliest terror attacks, ringing bells, singing hymns and solemnly reading the names of the nearly 3,000 who perished and are never to be forgotten.
With skies blue and sunny just like that fateful day two decades ago, presidents past and present joined the memorials at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., as Americans marked their first 9/11 anniversary without U.S. troops engaged in battle in Afghanistan.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden joined the crowd at the Ground Zero site where the former World Trade Center once stood.
As 9/11 moves further into the past, I find I’m having a harder, not easier, time with these anniversaries. I suppose that’s because it’s become more of an event than a remembrance.