There is a lot that can be be said. Much of it really doesn’t need to be, to many people. My own family had a short discussion of this last night. I didn’t watch the french documentary of the firefighters that I taped when it was aired last year. I know that I once rented United93 – and didn’t watch it, though I intend to at one point. My wife likely never will.

One thing I know I share with a lot of people who remember that day vividly is the sequence of the impressions. The shock at the first crash: no-one knew what was going on, and many of us thought of it as a tragic disaster, but no more. Bad things, after all, happen. This is despite our best efforts, and often our failings at proper attentiveness contributes.

Then we heard of the second jet, and a cold certainty sets in. One I last felt with the USS Cole. This was no mistake.

Once again I stared at the debris left over from an act of war against our nation, by an enemy we had refused to acknowledge.

We are still at war. We have been since at least the 1970’s. It changed its nature in the early 1990’s, and without the will to enforce the cease-fire and finish the war, we kept our troops in a position that was lose-lose for our nation. We are now stuck in Iraq. Whether through bumbling, conscious choice, or subconscious strategic brilliance, that country is now a honeypot for AQ, Syria, and every fanatic that wishes to lop off heads and stone people over a cigarette or skimpy clothing. Iraq is the decisive battlefield and AQ has dug in and defined what they term victory – kicking us out of Iraq so they can take over.

If that is what happens, it will be a strategic disaster of unimaginable proportions. As a result, regardless of what we call victory, we must not allow what Iran, AQ, and their ilk call victory. That means that failing all else, we must not leave Iraq until there is a stable government that will not be a breeding ground for terrorists, and will treat fairly with the West.

Even when that is done, the war will go on, but we must still fight. If we are not willing to fight for the survival of our culture and our identity, despite our imperfections and hangups, then all of our vaunted tolerance, freedom, egalitarianism, and relative lack of class structure will vanish along with our sins.

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