The Lessons of 9/11: Still Unlearned

9/11/2001 is one of those momentous days in history that you remember where you were during the attack on the twin towers in New York.  The article, titled above, on by Bruce Thornton supports his conclusion that “We are still what Osama bin Laden called a ‘weak horse’” and, in so doing, echoes passages in Intrepid Spirit.  In short, that 9/11 was, in large part, a result of our misinterpretation of Islam, the effect on it by western nations, in particular the U.S. and our own military history.

Thornton writes, “This misinterpretation of modern Islam’s traditional resistance to infidel hegemony began with the Iranian Revolution, the first of subsequent jihadist attacks on the U.S. that culminated on 9/11. The West filtered that religious revolution through the old ideas of anticolonialism and national self-determination encoded in the Versailles settlement. Barack Obama, in his cringing flattery of Islam during his 2009 Cairo speech, recycled this stale received wisdom, blaming “tensions” between Islam and the West on “colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.”

As in Intrepid Spirit, the author goes on to reject the West’s apologies and attribute the origins of the attack to the Muslim religion itself, that predated western colonialism, and the existence of America, by hundreds of years: 

“This ahistorical orthodoxy had been explicitly rejected 30 years earlier by the Ayatollah Khomeini, who proclaimed the traditional Islamic universalist goals of the Iranian Revolution: “We shall export our revolution to the world. Until the cry ‘There is no god but Allah’ resounds throughout the world, there will be jihad.’ Nor was Khomeini an outlier among Muslims. Hassan al Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928, similarly said that his designs for transforming Egypt into an Islamic state ruled by sharia law would be a ‘springboard for universal expansion ‘until the entire world will chant the name of the Prophet.’

This sacred ambition was also the purpose of al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, whose terrorism was a front in the cosmic battle, as he put it, between ‘two separate camps––one of faith, where is no hypocrisy, and one of infidelity.’ The struggle, he added later, could never be resolved short of absolute victory, for “it is one of creed.” His declaration of war against the U.S likewise was traditional Islamic practice, as historian Efraim Karsh points out: ‘Declaring a holy war against the infidel has been a standard practice of countless imperial rulers and aspirants since the rise of Islam. Nor does bin Laden’s perception of jihad as a predominantly military effort to facilitate the creation of the worldwide Islamic umma differ in any way from traditional Islamic thinking.’”

Whereas Intrepid Spirit includes a similar message to Thomas Jefferson from the Tripolitan Ambassador to England that presaged Jefferson’s decision to build a fleet, including #USSConstitution and fight back against the #BarbaryCoastpirates, Thornton goes on to show the philosophies and motives of Khomeini and bin Laden were nothing more than rewrites of Muslim orthodoxy from hundreds of years ago.

“For example, the late-14th century writer Ibn Khaldun, one of the greatest Islamic historians and philosophers, wrote in the Muqaddimah, ‘In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.’ Despite this long tradition codified in the Koran, Hadith, and writers like Khaldun, our State Department continues to follow the ‘nothing to do with Islam’ canard in their thinking about jihadist terror.”

The parallel between Thornton’s article and the lessons embedded in Intrepid Spirit are remarkable.  Read the full article.

Intrepid Spirit

Past and present cross swords in Intrepid Spirit when Moses Redding, unjustly punished for an act of heroism, is banished to command of USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides,” on a Mediterranean goodwill tour.  It’s purgatory for a man of action, but it sets him on a course to redemption and romance as he and the crew must foil a terrorist plot to light the fuse on a world-wide jihad.  With nothing but their mysterious floating museum and her antique weaponry, the crew must rescue the Vice President from the descendants of the ship’s historic foes, the Barbary Coast corsairs.