Monday, September 11, 2006


Over at the Rotty Pup, folks are writing about their memories of five years ago. I can't say my memories of that day were particularly iconic. When I think back, two things dominate my memories: beans & Dick Van Dyke. I was 'working from home' (i.e. not working at all) and I was having a late lunch when I decided to watch Diagnosis Murder, and so tuned in at around 14:32 to see the towers burn.

I remember - in a too perfect for fiction taste of the future - the BBC recaped events by explaining that a plane had hit the WTC, even while replaying the footage of the second aircraft hitting. So even with the war less than an hour old, and the reality of attack blindingly obvious, the BBC was already retreating into terminal blather.

To be honest, I've never been one to watch history unfold. After an hour I decided that all this TV wasn't getting the job done. I went upstairs to do some work and so missed the days other iconic images, the collapse of the towers. Seeing them fall later that night was somehow more disturbing than seeing the planes hit - a plane crash and a fire was one thing, but bringing down the towers ? After that, anything was possible.

If I'd been asked on that day why I thought America was attacked, I'd have said that it was US support for a Jewish supremacist state insistant on maintaining virtual colonies in the Occupied Territories. I suspect I'm not the only one who's learnt a lot these last few years. The trouble is while there are plenty of people whose worldview fell down with the towers, plenty of other folk are still resolutely stumbling round in the dust cloud - and if the dust ever threatens to settle, they'll kick it up again.

The Left will allow the attacks to be commemorated, but only as some kind of tragedy, some kind of misfortune. To them, Sep 11 isn't a call to action, it's a call to unfocused victimhood, a celebration of powerlessness. The thing is they're exactly right - albeit only in the personal sense. September 11 was the day Liberalism was exposed as a ludicrous folly. Everything Liberals had ever said was exposed as a lie.

This is why all Liberal coverage of the attacks remains firmly rooted in the abstract. That's why they talk of 'planes' hitting the towers, of the 'towers' being destroyed. They can't say that terrorists killed thousands of people, instead they want to talk about the 'root causes', the 'real issues', and anything else that will let them retreat back into fairly land away from the grim reality of mass slaughter. Only in dreamland does Liberalism still make sense.

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