Remembering 9/11 and Benghazi
Twelve years ago today, America was attacked by Islamofascist fanatics. Thousands of innocent people lost their lives, tens of thousands were injured, hundreds of thousands were left orphaned or widowed or deprived of a dear friend.
We particularly remember today a graduate of Tulsa's Memorial High School, Jayesh Shah, who was in at his office in the World Trade Center's North Tower when the first plane hit. Jay was a devoted husband, father, brother, and friend. Here is one tribute page to Jayesh Shah, with memories and expressions of love from his children, relatives, and childhood friends.
In 2006, on the fifth anniversary of the attacks, Jay's family presented a memorial flag, inscribed with the names of the 9/11 victims, to Katy, Texas, Elementary School, where his children had been students. The story of the presentation provides this capsule summary of his life:
He played Little League football and baseball, high school soccer and, in 1980, became Oklahoma state chess champion. He received a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa, then went on to get a master's degree in computer science and begin work with Amoco in Chicago, then Houston.
Through it all, he retained a reputation for being easygoing and carefree, a man on the fast track professionally who greeted life with gusto and an almost perpetual smile.
He had moved his family to Edgewater, N.J., easy commuting distance to New York City, where he worked as vice president of eSpeed, a division of investment traders Cantor Fitzgerald, when he became one of the company's 658 employees who died on 9/11.
Jay was highly esteemed by his extended family, too, as evidenced by this from the Hindustan Times story about the 10th anniversary commemoration of the attack:
The Galas of Connecticut have made it to all the anniversaries of the attack. They come to Ground Zero every year, just to connect with Jayesh Shah, a relative who had worked for Cantor Fitzgerald....
"He had a great smile and was like the big brother to my children," said Mansukh Gala, of Indian descent. Jayesh was his wife Manju's nephew. The entire family was at Ground Zero, wearing T-Shirts bearing images of Jayesh. On the back, shirt simply said: 10 years, we will never forget.
If you find yourself forgetting, I'd encourage you to watch the eyewitness videos that the History Channel has collected: 102 Minutes That Changed America: The second plane hitting the south tower, as seen from near Trinity Church, the people sprinting down Maiden Lane ahead of a wall of dust, the panic as the South Tower collapses and people begin to run for their lives.
The movement that attacked America on 9/11 is still in existence, notwithstanding the elimination of many of its leaders. This movement is fueled by a hate-filled ideology that America's leaders hesitate to name, much less oppose. It is on the march across the Middle East, replacing secular kleptocrats with Islamic totalitarians, and it reaches through cyberspace to warp the minds of young men living in the west, to inspire acts of "sudden jihad syndrome," in which a Muslim appoints himself an instrument of Allah's vengeance against the corrupt West and its interventions in the Middle East. The attacks at Fort Hood and on Boston Marathon spectators are two prominent examples. In September 2008, the quick reaction of an Oklahoma Highway Patrolman narrowly averted a similar massacre at the 41st and Sheridan Burger King in Tulsa.
What's at the heart of Islamofascist terrorism? Ace sees a pattern:
Meanwhile, Ron Paul, who's Raising Some questions of his own tonight at an organization which Questions the Math on the Holocaust (or... Holoclaim), says 9/11 was nothing but blowback for our imperial adventurism.
Um, no, that's the pretext. Islamofascist psychopathy is fundamentally psychological in nature. It is an ideology of the deranged which uses a Hero Fantasy to give succor and meaning to a Soul in Shame. It's not quite true that they hate our freedoms primarily-- they hate those, but not primarily. They hate, in ascending order, our Wealth, our Success, and our Might.
The weak man always secretly hates the strong man, and the deranged weak man sets about doing something about it. And I don't mean "useful steps towards self-improvement."
Crediting Al Qaeda's stated reasons for attacking us is like crediting the stated reasons of a Stalker who shows up at your door with a knife and says "You shouldn't have gone to my supermarket." Yes, that's the stated reason, the pretext, but the real reason is an unreasoning hate and an obsessive thirst for vengeance for slights both real and mostly imagined.
Imagine if the police told you at this point: "He's quite right, you know. You shouldn't have gone to his supermarket. What were you thinking, provoking him like that?"
You'd call that cop an idiot, wouldn't you?...
Anyone still citing the Shame of Vienna as a justification for murder isn't an example of blowback. It's an example of lunacy. And yes, we need to diagnose lunatics... but we don't permit them to self-diagnose and then take their diagnosis as accurate.
Here's another thought about the source of that shame: Having failed at internal jihad -- what my reasonable Muslim friends call the true holy war against one's own evil impulses -- they have turned to external jihad to solve their own sin and shame problem. The West, the source of the temptations that they cannot resist, must be forced to submit to Islam so that the temptations will go away.
Jesus had an answer for that: "What comes out of a man defiles a man."
Shortly after 9/11, Ann Coulter famously wrote: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." There was great outrage, but she was right. The only hope for this shame-filled, angry, young men is the message that God Himself humbled Himself, bore their sin and shame, and offers them redemption and eternal life and adoption as His own beloved children. The same is true for all the deranged young men who have blown up buildings and shot up schools and movie theaters and shopping centers. They need the liberating hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Shame on our leaders, Republican and Democrat alike, for being so overly sensitive to Islamism that they have hindered the spread of the Gospel to the lands that our nation -- military forces filled with followers of Christ -- helped to liberate.
(NOTE: No, I don't mean convert them to Christianity at the point of the sword, and I don't think Coulter did either. But we could at least have required the new governments in Iraq and Afghanistan to enshrine freedom of religion in their constitutions and to allow mission organizations the freedom not only to help rebuild the country but to preach the Gospel openly.)
Not only have we failed to stop this movement, our own government seems determined to aid it. From Erick Stakelbeck's column today commemorating the 2001 and 2012 attacks:
Today, on September 11, 2013, one year after the Benghazi attack and just twelve years removed from 9/11, the U.S. government is throwing its weight behind forces--whether Al-Qaeda types in Syria or Muslim Brotherhooders in Egypt and elsewhere--that share the exact same totalitarian, anti-American ideology as the jihadists who brought down the Twin Towers.
Which begs the question: what exactly do we have to show for twelve years of American blood and treasure expended in the War on Terror?
President Obama's willfully misleading claims during the 2012 campaign season that Al Qaeda was "on the run" and "nearing defeat" notwithstanding, AQ and its allies and affiliates now cover more geographical ground than they did on 9/11: from Pakistan and Iraq to Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, North Africa, Sinai, Nigeria, Algeria, Europe and beyond.
Likewise, Al Qaeda's ideology has inspired a generation of young followers in the West, resulting in the kind of terror and mayhem we saw unleashed by the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston last April.
Our government won't even go after those responsible for the Benghazi attack:
Despite President Obama's pledge to "hunt down" the Islamic jihadists who slaughtered those four brave Americans in cold blood, to date, not one suspect has been killed or apprehended.
This despite the fact that one of the main suspects in the attack, Ahmed Khattala, has granted lengthy interviews to the New York Times, CNN and several other American news outlets and saunters around the streets of Libya in plain sight even today, almost daring the Obama administration to come get him.
At least one congressman believes that there may be a cover-up behind the lack of presidential drive to pursue the culprits of the Benghazi attacks. Frank Wolf of Virginia is asking whether some of the weapons the US is helping to "stockpile and secure" in Libya, at a cost of $400 million according to a State Department spokesperson, have wound up in the hands of Syrian rebels:
"I firmly believe that whatever the State Department and CIA were doing in Benghazi had a direct connection to U.S. policy in Syria--a policy that to date has not been fully revealed to the American people or Congress," Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) said on Monday evening during a discussion focusing on "unanswered questions" surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that killed four Americans.
"Were these rebels being armed with weapons collected in Benghazi?" Wolf asked, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. "Again, there is reason to believe this may be the case and a clear explanation is warranted."
We must continue to target terrorist networks, eliminate their leaders, and frustrate their efforts at coordination. A lone fanatic can do great damage, but not as much as a coordinated, planned attack.
But we must also attack, with weapons of love and truth, the despair and rage that fuel sudden jihad syndrome and Al Qaeda recruitment. Pray for Christians who are taking the Gospel to Islamic countries and to Muslims in the United States. Learn how to share the Gospel with your Muslim neighbors. Contribute funds to mission agencies reaching out to the Muslim world. Send encouragement to persecuted Christians in Muslim countries.
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