A botched 9/11 commemoration
Count me out from those who would conclude that we got it just right in marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11. We got it only half right -- the well-deserved honors to the nearly 3,000 victims, the formal and informal remembrances of who they were and what a great loss they were to family, friends and acquaintances. They fully merited all the solemn attention and resolve to never forget them.
But what was missing was what should have been the other half of the 9/11 commemoration -- reminders of who exactly the 19 plane hijackers were, where they came from, what animated them to make such a gross and vicious attack on the very heart of America. In reading the papers and watching the TV news, I didn't find any comparable reminders of Mohammed Atta, the leader of the hijackers who piloted the first plane into the World Trade Center. Where did he come from and what drove him to suicidal destruction of America's crown jewels? What exactly was his agenda? Why were most of the hijackers Saudis? What does it teach us about what was inculcated in them?
And most important, has their jihadist agenda against the West expanded or ebbed in the last 10 years? While there was no second 9/11 during the last 10 years, how many Mohammed Attas are still being nurtured and groomed in Pakistan and Afghanistan, to say nothing of Yemen, Gaza, the West Bank, Algeria, Lebanon, and Muslim enclaves in France, Germany and, yes, even in the good old USA?
All that seemed to have fallen victim to institutional amnesia and a collective media decision not to touch that half of 9/11 lest they be accused of Isalmophobia.
My guess is that the victims of 9/11 would not have wanted such a politically correct, half-baked commemoration in their honor. Certainly not the passengers aboard the plane that went down in Pennsylvania who showed far more guts and moral clarity than their mourners today.