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April 18, 2008


Jeremiah Wright described the massacres of September 11, 2001 as "chickens coming home to roost". He is not alone in holding this sentiment; not alone in grounding this assertion in a theology of equal parts grievance and narcissism. Candy throwing revelers in "Palestine", the Phelps clan and their ilk, and at least three people I can think of by name who live in my Annex neighborhood by word and by deed have said much the same thing.

They were right; it was our fault. But it was our fault for exactly the opposite reason this collection of moral cretins believe it to be. We deserved what we got not because of what we are but because we are no longer proud of what we represent and what we have achieved. We deserved what was done to us because we allowed it to happen. From creeping formal and informal censorship of dissenting opinion and especially the inexplicable embrace of blasphemy laws by "the left", to the loss of the small freedoms - swimming pool hours comes to mind, to captive sailors chastised for smoking cigarettes on Persian television. On and on it goes all the way back to the next hyper-atrocity... we are allowing it to happen again.

Let us start with the obvious. Jeremiah Wright could care less about the people who were murdered on September 11, 2001. To him, those falling bodies do not even rise to the level of puppets in his cosmic drama. Wright strikes me to be cynical, evil, driven by greed and harbouring whatever trivial peccadilloes animate a man of little imagination. His condemnations of the West have no importance beyond their ability to tar Senator Obama's reputation and, with luck, prevent him from taking the White House.

Osama bin Laden is a lion by comparison, albeit a posturing drama queen; a dilettante who, having never worked a day in his life, has enacted a quite genuine cosmic drama and enlisted the rest of us in it. If things had gone ever so slightly differently it could have been polo or collecting super cars; in this time line it was chic terrorism and a martyr complex. We have seen the like before and - God willing we survive - we shall see the like again. Yet compared to Wright he is the better man in so far as it is still possible to imagine he might believe some part of what he says. Not entirely evil, just a man doing evil having been raised in a demon worshiping cult. It is for this last reason that Osama and the like are wrong about 9/11. Their demon tells them their acts were those of shaheeds, martyrs in a holy war. But their demon is lying to them. The same might be said for the legion of Arab dupes in the West Bank and Gaza, too stupid to realize that in attempting to kill Israelis they are attempting to kill the only people in the world who actually want to help them.

Which leaves my Annex neighbours, also wrong but for reasons yet more trivial, yet more contemptible. To them, the only cosmic drama is one which has them at the centre of the universe. A species of pre-Copernican, fetishistic masochism animates their worldview; they believe at the core of their being that the only people capable of guilt are the only people capable of assuming moral responsibility: "White people". For all the self-abnegation and finger-pointing and saccharine mea culpas, however, this is nothing but a blatant, post-modern racism. East Timor, Tibet, Darfur and, yes, Iraq. There are no third world peoples who cannot be thrown on to the fire to make a rhetorical point about the evil of Starbucks, SUVs and MacDonald's.

Yet for all their nihilism and apartheid era identity politics this last group come closest to being right, closest to understanding why we deserved what happened to the West on 9/11 and why we will deserve it when the bomb goes off in London or Washington DC. These self-styled progressives are closest to being right because the enemy's war-making strategy is only possible because we have been so enervated by a culture of self-loathing. Simply put: It is their fault our civilization has become weak.

It is their fault we are weak. It is their fault we having been fighting lawfare as much as warfare. It is their fault we cannot detain the enemy, intern his relatives or take the fight to his holy capital. It is their fault our universities, our newspapers, our elected representatives cannot even name the enemy's ideology for fear of causing offense. It is their fault we have built a Babel of trivia and historic ignorance and an anorexia of the spirit.

“I don’t regret setting bombs,” Mr. Ayers said then. “I feel we didn’t do enough.”

Former Weatherman, Bill Ayers' unapologetic claim, his boutique terrorism posturing, was published in New York City the morning of 9/11, a fact Senator Clinton now decries as deeply hurtful. But there has hardly been a day since when the great media outlets of that city, its elite universities and art museums and the anti-Fox News coffee house chatter has not excused and enabled men just like the ones who drove those airplanes into the towers. Some similar grotesque apologia will be on their lips even as a second sun renders them differently abled.

It will be their fault. And it will be ours for letting these cowards and moral imbeciles rule us to the very end.

Update: Meet William Ayers.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at April 18, 2008 06:54 AM


Bravo! You are heading towards your own Manufacturing Consent.

Posted by: urthshu [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 18, 2008 09:55 AM

Thanks! I am thinking of this as my Free & Frank Discussion series.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 18, 2008 10:18 AM

Dear GOAF:

Excellent, really. Loved this classic insight: "...the legion of Arab dupes in the West Bank and Gaza, too stupid to realize that in attempting to kill Israelis they are attempting to kill the only people in the world who actually want to help them".

In Gods Monkey House of the Mid East, it's tragedy upon idiocy upon delusion. Your piece reminds me of Dr Sanity and Gagdad Bob. Or Goldberg and Steyn etc.

I may use it as a nice link. I will actually. All the best from Melbourne Australia.

Colonel Neville.

Posted by: ColonelNeville [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 21, 2008 04:00 AM