Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Learning From 9/11

The National Geographic Channel had a five hour documentary on the Islamic attack of 9/11. It covered the growth of the Islamist movement, prior attacks, and extensive coverage of the 9/11 attack itself – including new interviews and footage withheld from broadcasts at the time. There will be a repeat broadcast.

The documentary clearly showed the religious dimension of the hijackers although any wider discussion of Islam was beyond the scope of the documentary. A summary of each episode starts here.

The show ended on an ominous note. The experts believe we aren’t taking the continued threat seriously. They expressed the view that it will take another 9/11 to wake America up. Those of us who are frustrated at the lack of mobilization – from securing our borders and ending support for Islamist states, from revamping the FBI to fighting unapologetically wherever the enemy needs to be fought – wonder if a worse attack is likely. Yes, much has been done and we should give credit where credit is due. Follow-up attacks were prevented and terror cells uncovered. But the opposition stands ready to hinder any initiative. And that has taken its toll.

There is still time to wake-up the country and take the Islamic threat seriously. There are two reasons to education our fellow citizens. First, we might succeed and change this culture and our government’s policy. Second, in the process we will help to create the leadership – intellectually and politically – that will be ready if a more horrendous attack takes place. This time we won’t wonder what it is all about – we’ll be ready to explain and articulate sane policy.

It’s all about being forward looking.


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