Today, everyone in the media will repeat “Never Forget” regarding September 11. The President of the United States tweeted, “14 years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, we honor those we lost. We salute all who serve to keep us safe. We stand as strong as ever.”
Every year, America substitutes counterfeit unity for the unity that temporarily united us on 9/11. We wave flags, our politicians blather, and our media members dab at their eyes. We remember where we were when 9/11 happened.
But for a large percentage of the country, “Never Forget” is bulls***.
Not the feelings of horror of course; we all remember those. But “Never Forget” means more than remembering collapsing towers and Americans choosing to die by leaping from a thousand feet rather than burning to death. It means more than welling up when we hear “God Bless America.” “Never Forget” means never forget what, how, who, and why. We’ve remembered the what. We’re actively fostering the how, funding the who, and ignoring the why.
The How. 9/11 occurred because America went to sleep on its enemies. We blinded ourselves to signal after signal that our enemies targeted us, from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing to the bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania to the USS Cole bombing. We pretended that none of it mattered, that we were impregnable and invulnerable, that Islamic terrorism was a law enforcement problem rather than a war being fought by one side against another hell-bent on ignoring it.
Then 9/11 happened. It happened not because we lacked an administrative bureaucracy called the Department of Homeland Security, but because we had become, in the words of Osama Bin Laden, a “paper tiger.” Bin Laden, in 1998, specifically cited the “low morale of the American soldier” and our retreat from Somalia under President Clinton as an emboldening factor in his campaign of terrorism.
After the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama has spent years crippling the American military. The US Army has been cut to 450,000 active duty soldiers. The Democrats have mandated massive military cuts in every budget negotiation. Former Marine Corps strategic planner Dakota Woods of the Heritage Foundation wrote in February, “The US military is rapidly approaching a one-war-capable force.” General Ray Odierno, Army Chief of Staff, has said that if the active force hits 420,000 soldiers, it would fail its global commitments.
Aside from his drone war against members of al Qaeda – a decision to avoid political controversy rather than fighting a successful war, which would require boots on the ground to consolidate gains – President Obama has spent considerable effort crippling efforts to fight terrorism around the world. He has ruled out enhanced interrogation techniques against terrorists and given terrorists Constitutional rights. He has traded terrorists for a deserter. He has released terrorists back into circulation in order to pursue his goal of shutting down Guantanamo Bay.
Meanwhile, the President of the United States has joined a broad-scale attack on domestic law enforcement, pushing a campaign against police that has emboldened rioters and criminals.
The Who. The people who attacked us on 9/11 were Islamic supremacists. This does not mean that all Muslims agreed with the 9/11 terrorists, although a broad swath of Muslims in many Muslim countries did. Palestinians handed out candies in the streets as the towers fell on 9/11. The government of Afghanistan housed Al Qaeda; Iraq provided material support to Al Qaeda and other terrorist entities; Iran provided enormous support to Islamic terrorist groups including Al Qaeda (a federal judge found connection between Iran and Al Qaeda with regard to the USS Cole attack, for example); the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Libyan terrorist entities made common cause with Al Qaeda. The list goes on and on, but the question of “who” is not a difficult one.
Unless you are a politically correct Republican or Democrat. George W. Bush’s bizarre attempt to simultaneously label Islam a “religion of peace” while targeting “radicals” within Islam has borne poisonous fruit: the Obama-esque notion that Islamic terrorism must never be mentioned at all.
Then, you must forcibly disabuse the American people of any connection between Islam and terrorism. When a Muslim terrorist murders 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, the government calls it an incident of “workplace violence.” When Pamela Geller’s “Draw Mohammed” event drew Muslim terrorists, Obama-friendly media spent days talking about the evils of Pamela Geller.
Obama has taken this stupidity to new heights on the international level, where he has stated repeatedly that the Islamic State is not Islamic. As Christians are murdered by radical Muslims across the world, Obama says nothing. The Muslim Brotherhood, the ideological forefathers of Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden, are just another political group, according to Obama – and Obama tried to uphold the Muslim Brotherhood dictatorship over the secular government of General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. When al-Sisi called for a reformation within Islam, Obama simply ignored him.
The evidence that Iraq was a terror state pursuing weapons of mass destruction was flawed, but the justification for going to war with such a state was not. Nonetheless, the President of the United States ignores the fact that Iranian forces are responsible for over 1,000 American deaths in Iraq, ignores the fact that Iran has committed to Israel’s destruction, and ignores the fact that Iran has pursued and will continue to pursue nuclear weapons, and then rams through an unconstitutional treaty that will give $150 billion to the world’s worst sponsor of terrorism, with no restrictions as to funding of terrorism. Meanwhile, we play Iran’s air force in Iraq against ISIS, all after surrendering victory in Iraq so as to hand the country over to the two warring groups. In Afghanistan, we are now negotiating with the Taliban, the same group of people who gave Al Qaeda safe haven.
In Libya, the Obama administration forcibly overthrew a violent secular Muslim dictator in favor of a far more violent and brutal terrorist rule, then left Americans in Benghazi naked before their wrath so as not to offend the locals. In Syria, President Obama’s administration first characterized dictator Bashar Assad as a reformer, then drew a red line against Assad’s use of chemical weapons, then turned the whole problem over to the Russians – and then announced that America would accept thousands of refugees from Syria. President Obama’s preference for Turkey over Israel has reinforced the extremist Islam of the Turkish leadership.
Our enemy made itself clear on 9/11. In many cases, we’ve now joined their side, even as they continue to attack us.
The Why. We did not deserve 9/11. Al Qaeda targeted America, according to Osama Bin Laden’s own writings, because of our support for Israel, our attempts to stop warlords from murdering innocents in Somalia, our support for the Indian regime over Pakistani terrorism in Kashmir, our opposition to terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon, our opposition to shariah law governments, and our placement of military bases in the Middle East to prevent aggression by Saddam Hussein. Bin Laden suggested that in order to avoid future attacks, the United States would have to convert to Islam, renounce all sexually immoral acts under Islamic definition, and give up our laws in favor of shariah. In other words, we were attacked for doing good things and standing for basic principles of liberty. Support for Israel is morally good. Opposing Hezbollah and Hamas and Somali warlords and Pakistani terror groups is morally good. Not abiding by shariah law is morally good.
The American left does not believe that we deserved 9/11 because of our support for homosexuality, or think that we should embrace shariah law, of course. But they do believe that America has been a general force for evil in the world, and that the real Islamist complaint springs from poverty and American injustice causing it.
Fundamentally, a large wing of Americans believe that America deserved 9/11 – and that wing has a major influence on the Democratic Party in particular. Barack Obama sat in Jeremiah “America’s Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost” Wright’s church for 20 years, then shrugged it off in a pathetically self-serving speech. Newly crowned king of leftist race theory Ta-Nehisi Coates has written in his book about getting high while watching 9/11 occur from the top of his apartment building, and feeling “nothing at all.” President Obama spent his early presidency telling the Islamic world that America had been arrogant, and wrote in his book that the “desperation and disorder of the powerless” creates terrorism. The solution: giving the powerless power. And that has been President Obama’s mission – which, incidentally, was the mission of those who celebrated 9/11. Perhaps Obama believes that given power, such believers in evil will change their ways. They won’t.
There is an impact to forgetting the how, the who, and the why of 9/11: more death, more destruction, more 9/11s.
So, today, when the media and our politicians put on their somber faces and show the images of collapsing towers, understand that those tears mask a mentality that will bring about future 9/11s. The sincerity of their grief isn’t in question; the sincerity of “Never Forget” certainly is.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and The New York Times bestselling author, most recently, of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.