Friday, September 11, 2009


September 11, 2001, seems like both an eternity and only yesterday. As Meghan Cox Gordon says in the Washington Examiner:
On this anniversary, it is worth unpacking our memories. Eight years is a long time. In 2001, no one had heard of Facebook because it hadn't been invented yet. Barack Obama was just an Illinois state senator. Saddam Hussein enjoyed complete power in Iraq. The Taliban spent its time dynamiting priceless antiquities and flogging women. Washington was speculating about who was behind the disappearance of pretty intern Chandra Levy.

It's not enough to remember as a general idea that America was attacked out of a clear blue sky on September 11th, 2001. It's not enough to have it fixed in one's interior timeline, as a historical event the political effects of which are still reverberating. It's important that we revisit what it was really like, how it really felt, so that, in the tumult of events, we don't lose the awful clarity of that day.
I won't; I still miss and mourn those murdered eight years ago today.



Wun Lefty Dipsh** said...

What? Something important happened eight years ago? What was it?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The easiest counterfactual history is to pretend that everything would have been just the same except for the problems, had we only done something else. We cannot know what would have been had we not gone to war, we can only estimate and make our best guess about future actions.

This negative evidence, this absent evidence, should be kept in mind whenever we regret the cost. We don't know what the cost would have been had we done otherwise. But the last thing we can assume is that Saddam would still be gone, we would not have been attacked, and that Osama would be invisible. Such things don't happen on their own.