20 years ago, horror

by Monique Thurston

The planes hit the Twin Towers, then the Pentagon, then Flight 93 crashes in Shanksville.  It started at 8:46 AM and ended at 10:03 AM.   

I sit on the sofa, riveted to the TV screen, my elderly father visiting from Belgium. We hold hands. I scream, “It is Bin Laden!”  Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaida, the broad-based militant Islamist organization, had together with other Islamic leaders, declared Holy War against the USA. 

Al Qaida had trained thousands of Muslim militants and had already engaged in numerous terrorist attacks including the destruction of the U.S embassies in Nairobi Kenya and Dar Es Salam Tanzania in 1998 and had committed a suicide bomb attack against the U.S warship COLE In Aden, Yemen in 2000. 

After we realize day after day the extent of the damage, the media is approaching us on two fronts.  First the obvious one. There is no way the journalists can escape the power their own medium delivers, the dust clouds, the contorted faces of running people, the pictures of the victims, the destroyed families, the heroism of the emergency personnel, firefighters, police, medical teams, simple fellow human beings reflecting the generosity of the American people.

The second front, which the media controls entirely, is the spin applied to the genesis of the attack. Who is our enemy? Why were we attacked? How to label our enemy and how to understand it …or not.

As the government works feverishly to restrain further terrorist activities at home with the Patriot Act and with the war in Afghanistan in search of Al Qaeda, the mainstream media and the academic elites at many universities are pushing their agenda either through omissions or politically correct spin work in the form of “Blame America“. 

  • At the University of Amherst, professor of journalism, Bill Israel claims “Many commentators are describing the disaster in New York as terrorist attacks, the worse since Pearl Harbor. None I have seen calls them what they are, the predictable result of American policies”. 
  • After reading the NY Times headline “US Attacked!”, historian Chalmers Johnson remark to a group of students at Yale, “This is insane, in many ways the terrorists rightly identified us as the leaders of those who try to keep us down.” 
  • As America itself became the root cause of the attack on so many campuses and in the mouth of commentators, the symbol that soothed the heart of many after the bombings , the American flag becomes a source of endless hate.
  • At Marquette University , undergraduate students were blocked from holding a moment of silence around the flag. University administrators worried that the gesture might alienate foreign students. 

Those quotes were taken from Daniel Flynn book :


In the aftermath of 9/11, patriotic sentiment had surged and in early October 2001 poll  79% of adults said they displayed an American flag.

But now I often wonder what Americans would do if a similar attack would occur and how deeply the leftist “blame America” movement has eroded the sense of what it means to be an American.  

In a powerful article called “Does America still Work?” Victor Davis Hansen writes, “For nearly two years Americans have engaged in a great woke experiment of cannibalizing themselves. American civilization has invested massive labor, capital and time in an effort to constantly flagellate itself for not being perfect.”

In a July 2020 New York Times article on the BLM movement Douglas McAdam professor emeritus at Stanford wrote, ”It looks, for all the world, like these protests are achieving what very few do: setting in motion a period of significant , sustained and widespread social, political change. We appear to be experiencing a social change tipping point – that is as rare in society as it is potentially consequential”.

As the American left undermines our institutions and divides us, Al Qaida now has room to grow under a friendly Taliban regime. China is already working at deploying military personnel and economic development officials to Bagram airfield, perhaps the single most prominent symbol of the 20 year US military presence in Afghanistan.  

Meanwhile, thousands of immigrants willing to risk dying of thirst in the desert attempt to evade capture by the Border Patrol to come to America.  With all its faults the American Experiment is the best hope for much of the world.  But the American Experiment is vulnerable.  As Victor Davis Hansen wrote, “America’s resilience and its resources are not infinite”.  

One of the most significant action we can take to honor the memory of the victims of 9/11, and of all those who lost their lives or were maimed in the wars that ensued, is to keep alive the American Experiment, our Nation, our home, the place of everlasting and sacred repose of those who sacrificed.    

Categories: Commentary

2 replies »

  1. And, the Left does not change 20 years later. Now Pres. Biden is praised by the Left for handing Afghanistan back to the Taliban. Quote: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared President Joe Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan a “remarkable” success and praised the chaotic mass evacuations of both Americans and Afghans that took place in August.

  2. One interesting aspect of Left-Liberal-Progressive “ideology” is the belief that the views associated with the ideology are representative of a superior intellect and offer a true vision for what society should be.

    The Left-Liberal-Progressive ideology is exemplified by a bill signed into law in Oregon by Governor Kate Brown that drops the requirement that high school students prove proficiency in reading, writing or math before graduation.

    “Charles Boyle, the deputy communications director from Brown’s office….said that the new standards for graduation will help benefit the state’s “Black, Latino, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and students of color.”

    So not requiring proficiency in reading, writing or math, will help the aforementioned groups??? If that is a visionary approach to learning in America expect stormy seas ahead.

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