I can’t believe it’s been 19 years since that terrible day, September 11th, 2001.
It was such a beautiful day, so clear and crisp and sunny. And then murder on a horrific scale; and then murder again; and then again and then again.
Thousands of lives were lost that day; thousands more in the wars to come, in Iraq, and Afghanistan; and then ripple wars so many other places.
America is almost completely out of the Middle East; has that much changed? Is Afghanistan free? Is Iraq a blossoming democracy? What came from all that blood and treasure? Iraq is a plaything of Iran; Syria is run by Russia and Iran; Libya is a failed state, with open-air slave markets; and millions of migrants — including hundreds, maybe thousands of terrorists — have simply walked into Europe.
Was it worth it?
I don’t know. The West had to flatten the terrorist groups attacking us — Al Qaida, the Taliban, ISIS and other offshoots. I’m not sure if a land war and occupation was the right prescription. Afghanistan is not like Italy or Greece, with histories and traditions and cultures of liberal democracy. Did we think that there was a Thomas Jefferson or a George Washington or a Sir John A. Macdonald just waiting in the wings?
And, to me, the craziest part is that while we sent so many young men and women over there to die — the theory being it’s better to fight the terorists over there, rather than here at home — well, we opened up the borders for mass immigration from those very same terrorist-infested countries.
(In fact, in Canada at least, the Muslim population has tripled through immigration since 9/11. But if that were liberal, progressive Muslims who want to live with a separation of mosque and state, well, that could be a good building block for Canada. But we simply don’t distinguish between moderate Muslims and Islamists.)
Ironically, it has been Trump who has brought the first twinkle of peace to the Middle East. Not through wars, and not through pressuring Israel into making ridiculous concessions to terrorist groups. Trump started with the most moderate Arab countries — the UAE last month; and now, Bahrain, just today. Real peace deals. Not giving terrorist groups a veto. No wonder the media is so silent on it — it is a Trump success; and a repudiation of the “peace process” of the past 50 years.
But back to 9/11. I think we’ve already forgotten its lessons.
We’ve forgotten the price we’ve paid for freedoms. We see that again as we so easily give up our freedom because of a pandemic panic. Giving up freedoms that we wouldn’t if some foreign tyrant demanded it from us. But we’re happy to give up all freedoms because some domestic politician says it’s for our health, or for the children, or whatever.
Today I sent out our young reporter Andrew Chapados to the streets to Toronto to ask people — do they know what 9/11 is?
Generation Z grew up without even a memory of the moment. I fear that they have not been taught the day’s meaning; or the importance of believing in freedom and fighting for it; and that our enemies are real and they hate us and they are at war with us, even if we don’t admit they’re our enemies, even if we convince ourselves that they love us, and that we should love them.
Things are worse now, on average.
This isn’t about Trump, but I fear that without him, we’ll make many more mistakes again, and worse.
NEXT: Our good friend, filmmaker Phelim McAleer, has a new movie in the works, and he's crowdfunding it. It's called Obamagate: The Movie and he joins me to talk about it.
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