Reflections on 9/11: In 16 years little has changed

On September 11, some of us opened our eyes. Others closed them as hard as they could," writes Greenfield. "That Tuesday irrevocably divided my generation.

Aerial view of the Pentagon Building in Arlington, Virginia during search and rescue mission after the 9/11 terrorists attacks. (U.S. government photo, public domain via Wikipedia entry on 9/11)

CHARLOTTE, N.C., September 12, 2017 – Many writers and analysts reflected Monday upon the events of 9/11/01, a day that altered Western history forever. Among those commentators was Daniel Greenfield, who contributed an article to “Front Page Magazine” that accurately summed up the divide in our country between then and now.

The only problem with his story was its headline, which read, “Everything I needed to know about Islam, I learned on 9/11.” If you read the entire piece, it becomes clear that the headline is misleading within the context of Greenfield’s message.

“Everything I needed to know about Islam, I learned on 9/11.”

If you read the entire piece, it becomes clear that the headline is misleading within the context of Greenfield’s message.

“On September 11, some of us opened our eyes. Others closed them as hard as they could,” writes Greenfield. “That Tuesday irrevocably divided my generation.”

Unfortunately, and sadly, Greenfield’s generation has remained divided ever since, and the 16 years in between have done little to make many Americans wake up to the realities of modern day terrorism.

Greenfield continues,

“The great lesson of that Tuesday morning was that it wasn’t over. It wasn’t over when the air began to clear. It wasn’t over when the President of the United States spoke. It wasn’t over when we were told to mourn and move on.

“It still isn’t over.

“After every attack, Boston, Orlando, San Bernardino, New York, Paris, Manchester, London, Barcelona, we are encouraged to mourn and move on. Bury the bodies, shed a tear and forget about it.”

“Hold a candlelight vigil. Bring garlands to the site. Walk arm in arm in the streets proclaiming solidarity. But don’t DO ANYTHING to stop it. Simply ‘shed a tear and forget about it.'”

Greenfield says he was too preoccupied with the events of 9/11 to do anything amid the confusion, fear and chaos of the moment. It was not the time for researching and understanding the ideologies of those who created worldwide havoc in America. That came later.

In the days that followed, Greenfield was one person who undertook the daunting task of attempting to comprehend what this clearly ongoing global war is all about. What he discovered is what everyone discovers when they undertake even a smidgen of unbiased and honest research into Islam; namely, that Islam is a medieval, hate-based way of life that must either undergo radical change or be eradicated from the face of the planet.

Greenfield elaborates on the real nature of today’s murderous fanatics who hide under the cloak of the Religion of Peace. As for their murderous radicalism,

“It did not go away with Hope and Change. Appeasing and forgetting only made it stronger.

“Everything I needed to know about Islam, I learned on September 11. The details of the theology came later. I couldn’t quote the Koran while the sirens were wailing. But I learned the essential truth.”

Meanwhile others buried their heads in the sand. The great American political schism was now fully exposed and it has not gone away. “Protesters” today continue to march with their cynically idealistic placards promoting platitudes against “war” and “Islamophobia” or claiming America should be “welcoming Middle Eastern refugees into our midst.”

This political game is not about compassion. It is about the pure and simple rejection of common sense.

As Greenfield expresses it,

“A new and terrible era in history began on 9/11.

“Each generation is born into history out of a moment of crisis. We are defined by our struggles. On a Tuesday morning in September, my generation was born into history, and we still haven’t learned how to fight it.”

Whether some American’s don’t want to fight this latest threat to our democracy; whether others remain ambivalent about whether terrorism and the resulting hatred of Islam will somehow just disappear over time; or whether still others delude themselves by holding to the pure and simple apathy that imagines 9/11 was some kind a fluke, the horrible truth is that we “can pay now or we can pay later.” And in life, paying later tends to be a lot worse.

Americans and other Westerners are war weary. There is no desire on the part of Western culture to fight endless, senseless, expensive, destructive and deadly wars without apparent result. Negotiation is absolutely the preferred solution in most cases of conflict. But there comes a time when a crisis reaches the obvious point at which we understand that endless negotiations are nothing more than empty words without meaning and without result.

It is at times like these that we must make a final, conclusive decision. The best way to fight the scourge of Islam is to do precisely what Daniel Greenfield did, and that is to read, learn, research and study the mindsets and philosophies of those who would do us harm.

That is exactly what the Islamists have done to us, cleverly twisting our laws and our freedoms with the aim of destroying our way of life. Yet still, every time another horrible explosion or suicide bombing occurs, we always resort to the usual “tears” before we once again “move on,” even as we continue to ask the question, “Why?”

Chances are good that when the 17th anniversary of 9/11 rolls around next year, the same words, memorials, observances we’ve heard this year will return yet again, remind us anew that we still have done little to halt the horrors of Islamic terrorism.

About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.

Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (
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