Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Legacy of 9/11

This is the subject of Ben Shapiro's latest article, in which he argues that the legacy of the attacks on September 11th is still in doubt. We know what happened but we haven't yet decided what it means. And, according to Ben, Liberals are trying to mess with our collective heads.
Now, on the sixth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the most important ideological battle -- the battle to define America's aims and self-image -- is between those who see America as the perpetrator of racism and violence and those who see America as a force for good in the world. The ideological battle is the battle to define the lessons of 9/11. On one side stands the Vietnam-era left, which blames the United States (and in particular, its support for Israel) for the attacks of 9/11 and suggests that the American response to 9/11 demonstrated our boorish egocentrism and bigoted misinterpretation of world politics. On the other side stands the right, which sees Islamism, not American exceptionalism, as our true enemy. In the center, wavering, stands the bulk of the American people. The legacy of 9/11 remains in doubt. A century from now, 9/11 will be seen either as the death knell of a crumbling civilization or a rallying cry for a renewed, American-led movement for freedom. The choice remains in our hands.
Young Ben has a black and white mind. He can't understand how someone can believe terrorism to be wrong and evil while also thinking the United States could improve how we deal with the rest of the world. Any criticism of American foreign policy indicates hatred of and disdain for America - unless you are criticizing America for not being bloodthirsty enough. That's o.k. Suggesting the U.S. could be more restrained is anti-American; suggesting the U.S. should kill more is pro-American.

So I guess it's understandable that Americans aren't quite a simpleminded as he is.

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