The tenth anniversary of 9/11 has been marked by a fresh outbreak in Britain of the political equivalent of auto-immune disease: treating the mortal enemies of the west as the victims of the west, while treating the west’s defenders as its mortal enemiesOne thing al Qaeda got right about Britain and Europe (but not about the patriotic heartlands of the US) was that they no longer had the will to fight and die for their beliefs because they no longer knew what they were.
Surely, however, even al Qaeda could not have envisaged quite how stunningly incapable the western intelligentsia and political class would be of grasping the difference between civilisation and its would-be destroyers, and how comprehensively they would therefore play into the Islamists’ hands – even now, ten years on.
For the chattering classes seem determined to give al Qaeda a helping hand in reducing the west to a state of paralysis and impotence. According to liberal opinion, every single thing America did after 9/11 was wrong.
The strategy of pre-emptive war was wrong. Better, apparently, that Saddam should still be in power developing his nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programmes! Better that the Taliban were still in power training al Qaeda! Then we would all be so much safer!
So the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were wrong. The security measures taken against Islamic terrorism at home were wrong. Indeed, opined a Times writer, how worse than useless was this ‘war on a medieval world view’ (which after all only killed a few thousand people) when the British and US government could have been doing something really useful, like fighting climate change – over whose course, as we all know, mankind has such purchase.
In the Guardian the esteemed thinker Francis Fukuyama, whose earlier thesis that the global triumph of democracy had brought about the end of history was not altogether borne out by the events of 9/11, marked the anniversary by dismissing al Qaeda as ‘a mere blip or diversion’, with the US ‘overreaction’ to 9/11 turning anti-Americanism into ‘a self-fulfilling prophecy’ – the murder of almost 3000 Americans in the attacks on New York and Washington clearly being inspired by a ‘blip’ that had nothing to do with anti-Americanism.
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