Why we must never forget 9/11

Let’s quit making a big deal out of 9/11, some are saying as the sixth anniversary rolls around, and maybe you disagree as I do, but hold your arguments. A recent event speaks louder than our words could.

It occurred in Germany, where police arrested three Islamic-fascists who had cruelty up their sleeves. They had their own recognition of 9/11 planned, but no reading of the names of the 3,000 who died in that day’s attacks, no families joining to pray for the victims, no speeches about the need for vigilance.

Instead, German officials reported, the terrorists envisioned a kind of re-enactment in which American servicemen would be blown to smithereens in airports, pubs and discotheques. The intent was to do the bombing on the 11th as a way of making a celebratory statement that infidels should perish from this Earth, or at least be subjugated to a worldwide caliphate.

The revelation of this plan is surely more persuasive than mere rhetoric in telling us that we need to continue heeding what once seemed a great wake-up call, a harsh screech in the ears that a dreadfully hateful religious fanaticism just might destroy our civilization unless we somehow found effective ways to fight back. The attacks of 9/11 brought millions of us out of slumber into the glare of a frightening, new reality, but now millions are dozing again. If the German story doesn’t jar them out of their dream world, maybe stories of other terrorist attacks can.

Scout about and you learn that, just in the past few days, Islamic jihadists have murdered police, a soldier, bodyguards and dozens of civilians in separate attacks in Somalia, Thailand, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Look at the past few years, and you discover vile attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, of course, but also in Lebanon, Israel, Qatar, Egypt, Bangladesh, Russia, Jordan, India, Sri Lanka, Great Britain, Indonesia, Greece, the Philippines and more.

All the attacks are ghastly, the work of barbarian thugs as evil as human beings get, but some especially leave you feeling sickened, as for instance the killing of three Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia. The fanatics cut off their heads with machetes and left them in front of a police station and a church. The London bombings in 2005 particularly strike home, perhaps because Great Britain is in so many ways akin to us and it is easy to put ourselves in the place of the 52 commuters whose lives were abruptly ended. Of all the ugliness in Iraq, nothing has lately seemed more awful than the massacre of hundreds of Yezidis, members of an innocent, remote, kindly religion described in one account as Quakerlike in its devotion to peace.

“In this age, we are all of us seduced by hope but mugged by reality,” says John Agresto in a quote I recently found after seeing him on TV and doing a Google search. And what is “the pre-eminent reality of the day”? He defines it as “a religious fanaticism, self-assured, unafraid of death, unafraid of killing, medieval in its outlook yet armed with powerful modern weaponry, growing in its mass appeal and able to co-opt democratic forms and elections.” This academic who once worked for the U.S. government in Iraq and is author of “Mugged by Reality” is surely more to be listened to than a woman quoted in a New York Times piece as saying of 9/11 remembrances, “Let’s wind it down.”

The piece tells of a growing “weariness of reliving a day that everyone wishes never happened,” and I understand that just as much as I understand that if we don’t shake off this weariness, if we don’t look at what is going on and how it endangers our republic, if we don’t determine to do what is necessary to defeat an enemy that has been growing dramatically in its potency, political astuteness and viciousness since the 1980s, we will have more attacks, maybe even nuclear ones that destroy cities and render us a mere shadow of the vibrant, optimistic, forward-striding land we once were. Forget 9/11 through weariness, and a further reason to forget it someday could be that worse events overshadow it.

(Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado. He can be reached at SpeaktoJay(at)aol.com.)


  1. Electric Bill

    What a crock of shit. Be afraid all the time and never ever question the president. Does Ambrose have that tattooed on his ass. It’s all he ever writes.

  2. the Don

    Cut the crap–to believe any politician or any report from the mainstream media is a fools errand, lying bastards all.

    Desperation as the US (and thereby the western world) economy heads for collapse, blame must be sent in all directions, Al-Quaida, Iraq, Saddam Hussain, Chavez, North Korea and now Iran.
    Electric Bill is right–BE VERY AFRAID!!!

    Our lying leaders have sold us down the river since 1913 when Congress allowed the creation of the Federal Reserve. Pres. Wilson said later that “I have ruined this great country by allowing the creation of the Federal Reserve.” (Perhaps paraphrased!)

    As the Mogambo Guru says, “We are doomed, doomed, doomed, I tell you.”

    Trust none of these SOBs, republican or democrat, except for one–Ron Paul. To return to contitutional money-silver-and gold, is the only solution but that would make it so much harder for the rich and powerful to steal from the poor and powerless.

    Make no mistake–The conspiracy amongst international banks, multinational corporations and the US government is the largest criminal enterprise in the history of the world.

    Buy silver and gold, love your children and parents, and your neighbor, and your friends, and watch as America becomes the worst possible combination of fascism and communism, a corporate police state of unimaginable proportions but with no real power. A paper tiger, but still fearsome because of its nuclear weapons with fanatics in charge.

    “May we live in interesting times”

    the Don

  3. Donnat

    Could we drop the term “Islamo-facist”? It means nothing. Islamic terrorists should be called Islammo-theocratists but it would probably make Bush’s core bootlicker group of religious extremists a little too nervous. I haven’t read that these terrorists are performing these acts for the glory of BP or Haliburton.

    Facism is control of the state by corporations, something more evident in America than in the ME. (Unless you count the petroleum corporations and the Carlyle group)

  4. allan hirsh

    mr. hirsh:
    I agree with post-er #1.
    Forget about 9-11? How could you if you have to watch political speeches or pundit variety shows? Or follow those demagogues who’ve worn the date on their sleeves? To be told by a self-righteous journalist whose been put out to pasture to enrich his spiritual life by going public on something and agreeing with him–where was I, anyhow?

  5. jzelensk

    It’s one thing to “remember” or “not remember” 9-11. But what is lacking is any decent level of curiosity about what happened on 9-11. Of what value is remembering TV images, when our nation’s leaders have utterly refused to investigate this massive crime, based on the evidence.

    And please don’t pretend to believe that the 9-11 Commission counts. It was a sham run by Bush insiders.

  6. Wayne K Dolik

    Jay Ambrose it is just amazing how you could drink so much Cool
    Aid. I want to tell you a little story. Just two days ago I was in front of ground zero. I looked at the site and it’s just amazing how those two buildings fell into their own footprint. I mean so little space in all. And, I felt deep sadness for those souls that lost their lives. I am sure that if you could stand there where innocents fell, you would feel the same way too. You see Jay Ambrose I am with the Fireman who could not get their buddies out of there. You see Jay; I stand with the Firefighters and the Policeman who lost their lives there. And Jay, I stand with the New Yorkers that lost their lives there as well. So, not so fast Jay Ambrose.

    Mr. Ambrose, I need to tell you another little story. You see Jay the day before I was in Lexington and Concord. Please let me refresh your Cool laid logged memory. It was April 19, 1775. Two hundred Red Coats came upon Lexington on the way to Concord (to capture the gunpowder that General Washington and the Militia had secured in Concord.)

    In Lexington, they were met by 86 Patriots (private citizens) whom decided to defend the town. It was 9 of those Americans that lost their lives in that first meeting. 50 years later they dug them up and buried them in the town square. Jay, I stood at their grave. It was an honor and a great privilege to pay my respects to them. So too, I honor the innocents of New York City and the Firefighters and Policeman. I and millions of us will continue to honor their memory until questions are answered, for the sake of history and honor.

    The Red Coats next moved on to the North Bridge over the river at Concord. The Red Coats were 500 strong. On the other side of that bridge that faithful day stood 400 American Patriots. They too were about to give their lives for freedom. The battle at Concord, Massachusetts was on. Next the King of England’s British soldiers beat a hasty retreat back to Boston.

    While retreating this Imperialist Army was assaulted by 4,000 angry American Patriots and history records that the British Army was met with a hail of bullets all the way back to Boston by our original colonists.

    So when people in the press play the fear card, they should be ready for a hail of questions. And, if we do in fact have another “event” they should expect some very hard questions by the readers of CHB. Be careful what you wish for.

  7. JoyfulC

    Of course we shouldn’t forget 9/11 — but we shouldn’t accept the handed-down truth about it, nor should we allow ourselves to be manipulated by it.

    9/11 was supposedly a terrorist attack on the US — but was it? It seems to me that certain American factions and politicians have used it far more to their advantage than any “islamo-terrorists” ever did.

    We have to follow the benefits. Who has benefited most from 9/11? That’s probably our culprits.