By Alan Caruba
As one drove into New York from New Jersey in the years before 9/11, there was an ellipse of roadway that gently curved into the waiting entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel. From there you could see the Twin Towers in the distance, across the river, dominating the lower end of Manhattan.
It bespoke the nation’s economic strength, its international outreach, its capacity to build two such impressive skyscrapers, made more so by their architectural simplicity. They gleamed in the rays of the Sun. They mirrored the silver Moon.
I had occasion to dine in Windows on the World restaurant several times, high atop one of the towers. A wall of windows ringed the restaurant and one could look at New Jersey on one side and Brooklyn on the other. A walk around that restaurant took in all the boroughs from that great height and there, down in the vast harbor, one could see the Statue of Liberty. So high up were you that it seemed a small thing from that distance.
If I wanted to strike at America’s confidence, America’s bravado, America’s dominance, I would have destroyed the Twin Towers and, of course, that is exactly what Osama bin Laden did.
Our response at the time was to drive the Taliban out of Afghanistan and, in the process, try to kill bin Laden. Neither objective has been achieved. That is because the Middle East is an ancient place enthralled by an ancient religion that roots all present actions in the Arab culture of the seventh century A.D. when it was invented by Mohammed.
They have made little progress in modernizing thought or action. They were and they are the barbarians at the gates.
The Twin Towers were all about modernity and the future. Islam is all about the past and about the demand that it be imposed on the present and the future. These are people who journey to Mecca in order to circle a structure housing a stone!
Every year when September 11th comes around, we must remind ourselves of the triumph of our Constitution, our dedication to freedom and liberty, and our capacity to defeat the enemies of these inalienable rights.
Our grandparents defeated the Nazis and the imperialistic Japanese. Then they and our parents held steadfast against the Soviets for nearly five decades. We fought in Korea and we fought in Vietnam. The current generation’s bravest and best have been fighting our enemies in Afghanistan and Iraq.
We must draw on the reservoir of courage they bequeathed us and, for my part, we must never let lose of the anger we felt eight years ago when a handful of evil men attacked the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, with yet another intended target.
Al Qaeda? Hunt them! Find them! Kill them!
Do not listen to the appeasers, the Blame America crowd. Surrender is not an option.