9/11? No. Big. Deal.

David Bell says we've overreacted to 9/11. No, seriously. Those are his words. Why have we overreacted? He blames the Enlightenment.

So, I guess David Hume and Descartes are really to blame, and not Osama bin Laden and Mohammed Atta?

He's right, though, when he says that the Islamists may be just as bad as Hitler, but they lack the capacity to inflict the damage of a Hitler. But that is not to say they lack the potential for that harm. And isn't that an argument for the alleged "overreaction to 9/11"? That states such as the Taliban, which openly supported the Salafi jihad, and states such as Iraq, which covertly supported it, might be even more dangerous than Hitler--who never perfected atomic weapons--was?

As John Donovan says, "granting that Islamofascists don't necessarily have the capacity, to constitute an existential threat to the United States, neither did Adolf Hitler when he sent his Army in to re-occupy the Rhineland." QED, I believe.

It also seems to suggest that we've underreacted to 9/11 on another front. That Iran, which is both hostile to the U.S. and openly supports jihad (albeit of the Khomeinist variety), is also on the fasttrack toward developing nuclear weapons. And if nuclear weapons in the hands of the Iranian Mullahs isn't every bit as dangerous as the Luftwaffe, I don't know what is.

HT: Dave Schuler who's point about Soviet casualties is well taken.

Posted by: Rusty at 03:37 PM


1 "Iran, which is both hostile to the U.S. and openly supports jihad (albeit of the Khomeinist variety)"
Dr. S.,
The Islamic Republic of Iran is not merely hostile, it has in fact on several occasions perpetrated ACTS OF WAR against the United States. Indeed, they openly say that they see themselves as being at war with the U.S.

Posted by: Garduneh Mehr at January 29, 2007 04:51 PM

2 The anniversary of the Challenger explosion was yesterday. How is this relevant? Well I did not see it. I was at work that morning and had HS in the Afternoon. My mom was worried I'd be uspet. Well, no, I said rockets are dangerous it happens. But I noted that those who saw it live were very affected and emotional about it. 9-11 I had the day off and was watching from start to finish. So I wonder if that's part of the reason I'm so affected and some seem to shrug it off. I witnessed the live event. Anyone think that's valid?

Posted by: Howie at January 29, 2007 04:53 PM

3 And if nuclear weapons in the hands of the Iranian Mullahs isn't every bit as dangerous as the Luftwaffe, I don't know what is.

Exactly. And if the mullahs develop the capacity to inflict the damage of Hitler then I take it Bell's fully in favor of us doing everything to the mullahs that we did to Hitler. But my guess is he isn't.

Posted by: Jesusland Carlos at January 29, 2007 05:36 PM

I have given some thought(actually, it wasn't worth much) to what David Bell said. He reminds me in no small part of the fools in Byzanthium and Persia who probably gave little mind to a group of riders who came out of the Arabian peninsula in 625 A.D.We all know how that turned out for Persia and Byzanthium. Millions dead and enslaved, looting, rapine and slaughter not previously seen in history. The jihad had arrived, and it still flows and ebbs, and the collective memory of the World subsides along with the jihad, only to have tobe learned again in a dirth of blood and death.As for the danger, there has been no time in human history where the actual destruction of the World hangs in the balance, perhaps on nothing more than the whimof madmen. Hitler never had the bomb. He would, of course, have used it, but the point is moot. The danger is greater now than it ever has been, and yet the fools fiddle. So it has been before, and others have stepped into the breach. So we shall again.

Posted by: templar knight at January 29, 2007 05:43 PM

5 Howie, you're right. Even though I'm in SoCal, I watched 9/11 live, since I got frantic calls immediately after the first plane, trying to ascertain if my big brother was alive (NY lines jammed, and my brother worked near the top). So I saw the second strike live, and spent most of the day assuming my brother was dead (he was late and lived). It severely affected me. But as I drove around town the next week, I saw hardly any american flags. When I went to the midwest a couple months later, people still had flags all over their cars. 9/11 never really touched the west coast, since all the dramatic events were over before most people were even awake.

Think about this. On 9/11/1, my wife had to go to all of her law school classes. The teachers forced her to sit through lectures, and even called on students like normal (if you were absent, you had your grade docked). What kind of fucked up professors decide they are going to hold a normal Civil Procedure class on that day? California lawyers, that's who.

Posted by: wooga at January 29, 2007 06:27 PM

6 Actually - and regrettably - he's sorta/kinda right by my view. A direct line from that enlightnment crap can be drawn through romanticism and to modern leftism.

Yup: I'm an Age of Reason kind of guy. Bach over Brahms any day.

Posted by: Hucbald at January 29, 2007 09:55 PM

7 Two points need to be made here: One, patriotism has been on the decline on both the East(not so much in the SE)and West Coasts for quite some time. Large numbers of illegal and legal immigrants with little or no education, legal immigrants and citizens educated in foreign and domestic colleges with liberal and leftist agendas, and activist judges able and willing to disrupt the republican political process areresponsible. When traveling in the East and West, I rarely seeinstances of patriotism in the classical sense. When I travel in rural areas of the South and Midwest, however, I see tremendous support for our troops, our nation, and our ideals.The second point is easily made as well. Two schools of thought came out of the Enlightenment. One school, the English school, personified by John Locke, believed in a limited government restrained by the people in the form of a Republic, with laws that spelled out what the state could and could not do. The other school, what I call the French school, personified by Rousseau, awards the state the power to force its citizens to act in a certain way. Namely, the state is given the power to enforce the utopian ideals of equlity and fraternity. This led to the totalitarian states that later formed in Europe, and is still widely influencial in the current European system in Brussels.As in most things, the enlightenment was both good and bad. The French model led to the Leftist systems we still see today. Why it has continued to influence so much after all its failures is beyond me, but it appeals to the worst in humanity, so perhaps that is the explanation.As for me, I much prefer Mozart.

Posted by: templar knight at January 29, 2007 11:52 PM

8 You can't over-react to 9-11. I watched it for 2 1/2 days with only about 2 hours of sleep. I was for nuking whoever did it, and I still think we might have been better off using a couple to make the point. Nobody should entertain the idea that they can do this kind of thing, and not get a mile wide crater for their gravesite.
Having said that, I am very convinced that we are in a two front war that is of existential proprotions, and we are sleepwalking through it.
We need to cause hope and joy in our friends, and abject, paralyzing fear in our enemies. Then we induce our enemies to become our friends, because of the advantages. That's my idea of a good foriegn policy.
Anyway, I'm sorry I've been in 'lurker mode' but it's a busy time back here.
USA, all the way!

Posted by: Michael Weaver at January 30, 2007 12:25 AM

9 OVER REACTED! BULLSHIT! We have under reacted. The entire muslim world should be held responsible for 9/11. Remember those animals cheering in the streets. 9/11 was directly caused by Islam. A cowardly religion that feeds on this type behavior. Look around the entire world today. What is the cause of the wars and bombing going on. ISLAM IS THE CAUSE. When a religionit teachesthat killing innocent people will get you into heaven I say that religion must be purged from this earth. OUTLAW ISLAM. Its' believers stink.

Posted by: greyrooster at January 30, 2007 06:48 PM

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