Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Friday, September 11, 2009


Megan McArdle remembers 9/11.
Where's Osama?
Nice title. It's not insensitive at all. I'm surprised she doesn't have a drawing of a red-capped Osama among thousand of red-wearing corpses.
Every year, I'm surprised by the way it still punches me in the gut. I was closer to 9/11 than most people: just out of business school, huge numbers of my friends and classmates were working down there. I was living with my parents a few miles uptown. And of course, I ended up working at the disaster recovery site for almost a year. I knew a number of people who died, including someone I dated. When I watch the President and the First Lady standing, hands over hearts, as Taps is played, it is of them that I think . . . and the thousands of faces that were posted on flyers all over downtown, all of them beaming out happy and unknowing from their snapshots.

The rage for revenge, though, has abated, at least on my part.

All of us were angry and in pain, but only a blood-thirsty fool indulges in a rage for revenge. What on earth does she think was motivating the Saudis who attacked us? Does she think that they hated us for our freedoms? The most important thing Jesus* ever said was turn your cheek, because he knew that an eye for an eye was never-ending. When will our Christians start acting like Christians? Do they think Jesus was just joking around?
Capturing Osama will not give any of those people another breath. I care only insofar as it helps us prevent another attack, either because we cripple Al Qaeda, or pour encourager les autres.
(I assume that McArdle is trying to say discourage, not encourage, others.) Attacking someone before they attack you is a crime. You can't attack someone just because you think they might attack you. Anybody could use that justification for any action. Rod Dreher is convinced that gays will come after him because they all want to kill Christians. Is it okay for him to kill gays preemptively? Or is preemptive action (also know as murder) only okay when a Republican president does it?
Will we? Unlikely, but maybe. I'm told that the Taliban's popularity is waning rapidly in Pakistan, thanks to some ill-thought-out attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, and a horrifying video of Taliban members beating a girl in Swat.
Were you told this by the same people who told you that the banks were managing risk, Goldman Sachs needed a bailout, Saddam had WMD, and 80% of European health care profits come from the US? Because I'd start wondering if I were being manipulated and lied to.
On the other hand, I'm not really convinced that he isn't dead. So Al Qaeda gets its propaganda victory. On the other hand, we got eight years free of terrorist attacks.
Except for the anthrax attack. But yes, many terrorist attacks were thwarted because of our vigilance. The vigilance that lazy, inattentive, perpetually vacationing George Bush didn't have before thousand of people under his protection were killed. The rest of the world was not so lucky. And the propaganda coup was not the attack, it was the Bush Administration's inept, immoral response to the attack.

*Still don't believe he existed, but you get the point.


Malaclypse said...

Do they think Jesus was just joking around?

I'd assume so. If they thought he was serious, it seems to me they would behave very differently.

While I can't claim to believe in the Christian mythos, I do have a recurring fantasy of GWB at the Last Judgement, with God looking at him and saying "You thought I meant WHAT?"

Susan of Texas said...

Just imagine what would have happened if Bush went on tv and looked into the camera and said, "Despite our rage and grief, we forgive you. We are Christians and we turn the other cheek. We will ensure that this does not happen again, but we will also pray that our mutual God forgives the attackers." Man, we would have been kings in the eyes of the world, and everyone would have done their best to help and punish the attackers for us.

Ken Houghton said...

"Except for the anthrax attack."

And the 7/7 attack in London. And a few other small attacks here and there. And the attacks (ongoing) on our troops who are following orders in Afghanistan and IranLite. And the Taliban's retaking of Afghanistan, to all intents and purposes, because we installed a fraud and a liar(echoes of 11 Sep 1973), and support him loudly in the wake of blatant election fraud.

But Osama might be dead, because he hasn't released a video in what, almost a year? (Too lazy to Google.) It's as if Megan thinks he's under contract with EMI or something.

Dr Zen said...

BTW, no big thing, but you say "pour encourager les autres" when you mean to punish someone in a way that discourages others from doing one thing or another (it's "to encourage the others to do the right thing", which presumably is to bow down to American capital). However, the strong implication is that the punishment is unmerited (you are only doing it to encourager les autres).