I was tempted this morning to pretend it was September 10.
Why not? Everybody’s doing it. Polls show that fewer Americans today believe that terrorism is a threat than at any time since before 9/11. A CNN survey shows that 48% of the electorate will decide whom to vote for based on “the economy,” and only 9% based on “terrorism.” Candidates for national office have declared their disbelief in the very idea of a “war on terror.” There hasn’t been a terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, and Al-Qaeda is on the run in Iraq — what’s the big deal? A gang of chumps got lucky on 9/11 — they won’t get lucky again.
So I was tempted to this morning to give myself over wholly to September 10, to declare that any future terrorist attack will no doubt be dealt with strongly by law enforcement, and that It’s The Economy, Stupid, and to give this site over wholly to the Election Blah that inundates us everywhere else. After all, jihad news and commentary gets low ratings — ratings hounds (as opposed to those who actually care about defending us) have long since lost interest and moved on to sexier topics. I could give up this whole thing, pick up the soprano saxophone again (or was it fluegelhorn?), put together a band, let the good times roll.
But then I remembered some things.
I remembered that there are still people around the world who hold the same ideology as that held by the 9/11 hijackers. They haven’t given up. Reports that they have discarded their ideology or given themselves over wholly to infighting are greatly exaggerated or based on a misunderstanding of what their motives and goals were in the first place.
I remembered the jihad against Israel, which pitilessly targets civilians — a 70-year-old woman, an Israeli tourist, was just this morning found murdered in Sinai.
I remembered the airplane plot in Britain, in which one of the plotters made his jihadist intentions very plain: “We are doing this in order to gain the pleasure of our Lord and Allah loves us to die and kill in his path.” He may have been referring to Qur’an 9:111, which promises Paradise to those who “kill and are killed” for Allah.
I remembered ongoing efforts in the U.S. to force Americans to accommodate Islamic law. If all such attempts succeeded, Osama bin Laden’s dream of an America transformed into an Islamic state would be accomplished right under the noses of Americans, without another terrorist attack. Of course, it is unlikely that these stealth jihadists will attain this goal, but they are already eroding our freedoms as they demand ever more accommodation of Islamic principles and practices — with politically correct public officials only too happy to oblige, and complacent conservative commentators, if they deign to take notice of this problem at all, serving up contemptuous dismissals of conspiracy-mongering rather than dealing with this issue fully and justly.
And so ultimately I couldn’t do it. Today, even if I party like it’s September 10, the sun will set, the sun will rise, and tomorrow will, inexorably, unavoidably, be September 11.