4 years, 9 months, 2 weeks, 3 days, 21 hours, 27 minutes ago...A decade of revelations
"in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." — The Third Man
I find hard to believe that it has been 10 years already, but here we are. Nearly 3,000 victims, as young as two and as old as 82, murdered in a most brutal manner by 19 Muslims hooked on the fanatical and homicidal teachings of their political-religious ideology.
A decade since their future was robbed by men who renounced all pretenses to humanity by planning, helping and perpetrating the attacks.
Reflecting on these past 10 years, the one thing that strikes me most is how the attacks have indeed become the “defining event of our time”, as pundits and press repeatedly put it—sometimes even without really caring much about the actual meaning of that powerful sentence.
10 years on and there is no doubt for me: September 11 has been so far a Great Revealer of the spirit of both nations and individuals.
In the West, Europe and the largest part of Europeans either could not care less or actually rejoiced when the planes crashed and the towers fell:
[...] the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen [...] called the attacks “the greatest work of art ever created.”
… while in Paris:
A far-right journalist who fantasizes he is of the left because he opposes the “plutocracy” [...] was crossing the boulevard Saint-Germain: “150,000 Americans less! What excellent news!”
Meanwhile, in the Parisian suburbs, the flags of various Northern African countries were flying high, while people danced in the streets singing “A bas, à bas, Babylone!” (“Down with Babylon”)—spontaneous expressions of insane joy, only matched by the bile served by the French press at large in the weeks that followed.
10 years on, and if things have changed in Europe, it is only for the worse. What Septembers 11 reveals is that on that day, 10 years ago, Europe chose—definitely—the path to suicide, a path on which she was already too far advanced anyway, even if most Europeans don’t even realize it or won’t admit it.
America and the majority of Americans did not. No matter how grim the global situation may look at this very moment, it pays to take a step back from the current woes of the US economy and look at the bigger picture, through the lens of the Great Revealer, that “defining event of our time”. Why? Because culture always trump economy.
The enduring spirit of the USA, the efforts and sacrifices Americans have been willing to make, the unrelenting hunt for any aspiring or confirmed Jihadist who might have harbored the notion that “al-Ameriki” were soft targets and a quick way to Islamic paradise—only to discover that after September 11 the first part of that assumption was now fatally incorrect—reveals without a doubt where the real future of Western Civilization lives and will thrive.
No, not in Europe anymore.
Surely, mistakes were made. The election of President Zero for instance is a good example—yet simply a typical case of battle fatigue on the count of the American voter, of which he has began to recover and react already.
Americans have a way of fixing errors (theirs and frequently those of others, even when it isn’t their immediate best interest) that is far beyond the grasp of the average European (wallowing as we are in whatever the new and trendy nihilist ideology of the day) and that ensures their nation’s resilience, no matter what happens.
10 years after, the lesson of September 11, 2001 is that while Europe doubled-down on the path to societal suicide, America took the high road to survival.
I expect that despite a few bumps on the road, she can only gather speed now.
There is much comfort to be taken in that, and I simply cannot think of a better way to remember and honor the victims of that terrible day.
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