Naturally the right-wing commentariat are out in force today, attempting to persuade readers that the last decade has actually been a glorious victory for the West thanks to the wise leadership of George W Bush and John W Howard and Tony W Blair. (It’d be nice to live in a world in which they hadn’t made things much worse, wouldn’t it?)
For example, here’s Miranda Devine’s effort, uploaded yesterday:
It starts with the apparently de rigeur but increasingly laughable (some are seriously claiming some kind of credit for having watched it live on television) “I HAD A PERSONAL CONNECTION” angle:
TEN years ago, I flew into New York on the first Qantas plane after the September 11 terrorist attacks, as the smoke was still billowing from the gaping hole n the ground and the city was still breathing in the ashes of the 3000 dead.
So shut your noise holes, people who’ve never been, or went on the second Qantas plane. I have personal authority on this one.
Here’s how Miranda describes the choice we then faced:
Passionate and courteous, [New Yorkers] were formulating the debate we have been having ever since – do you appease the hatemongers, shower them with largesse, apologise for past perceived misdeeds, change your way of life in order not to cause future offence, or do you strike back at the terrorists and their supporters.
An… interesting construction. Was anyone of consequence in the West suggesting we “appease” hatemongers? I don’t recall anyone outside of the extremists themselves seriously advocating implementing a Caliphate in New York. And “shower them with largesse”? Who was asking for that? There was a choice around “changing our way of life”, but it wasn’t “in order not to cause future offence” – it was in order to give the fanatical criminals the huge war between Islam and the West that they’d hoped for. We elevated their crime to super villain status, and took away civil liberties from our own citizens on a scale the psychotic idiots could scarcely have hoped for.
Nor was the question do we “strike back” at these criminals or not – it was how do we do it. Do we treat them as the biggest threat to our civilization since Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany, as the super powerful world figures they so wished they were, helping them portray themselves as crusaders rather than criminals, and blunder about getting ourselves stuck in unwinnable wars that would aid recruitment for the extremists? Or do we treat them as the nasty violent criminals they are and prove to them that our system of justice is bigger and more resilient than they’d hoped? Do we deny them the martyr’s death they craved, and force them to live out their miserable days in prison for the crimes they’ve committed?
Sadly, we picked option A, and fanatics who genuinely do hate “our freedoms”, our civil liberties, watched and cheered.
Even Miranda Devine can’t portray that as a victory:
If you look at US power and prestige today, the state of its economy and sense of confidence today, it has been all downhill the past 10 years.
From the debilitating inconvenience of airline security, to the parlous state of US finances, in part due to the cost of war, September 11 is still taking its toll.
But, she says, after a couple more attacks they stopped. And it only cost us our economies and our civil liberties and our credibility as countries under the rule of law.
Osama is dead! And it only cost a decade to give him the martyrdom we could’ve denied him much earlier if we hadn’t helped build up Al Qaeda by giving them the authority in the Middle East they never would’ve had otherwise.
But what’s the real point of Miranda’s column? Of course, it’s to bash her political opponents – the dastardly “left”.
You see how awry is our moral compass in the fact we lionise David Hicks, who trained as a terrorist under Osama bin Laden, took up arms against our allies, and rushed back to Afghanistan to support his brother terrorists after September 11.
Who “lionises” David Hicks? And if he’d broken the law, Miranda, why could they not charge him and try him and convict him on evidence? Like we do for any other alleged criminal?
Could it be because he had committed no crime, and that thus imprisoning him for more than five years without trial and then forcing him to plead guilty to charges that did not exist when he was alleged to have committed them is the real affront to our society? A society that formerly prided itself on standing for the rule of law?
Ms Devine is outraged that we can’t just live in a world of goodies and baddies:
We have so gentrified the idea of moral relativism that it is considered distasteful to talk about the “good guys” and the “bad guys”.
Well, let’s see Miranda – are our military allies in Bahrain, who are brutally oppressing their own people right now, are they the “good guys” or the “bad guys”? How about our allies in Saudi Arabia, with whom Bin Laden had such close connections? Pakistan?
Please, no-one ever put Miranda on a foreign affairs desk.
ELSEWHERE: Reader Scott offers a response to another dubious little 9/11 effort by Miranda:
He was acquitted because of “anti-Muslim feeling in the community”? It would be pretty outrageous if it was true, on par with the OJ trial.
From her Daily Telegraph link:
The man maintained he did not fire at police but at the horizon in what was intended to be a warning shot so he could flee. The man testified he was sick at the time and jumpy about surveillance and possible police questions.
Judge Flannery accepted it was a reasonable possibility he may have focused on Sgt Bates during the arrest, not noticed Sgt Wolsey, and fired a “warning shot in panic”.
So it was more like he was acquitted of shooting at Sergeant Adam Wolsey with intent to murder, shooting at him with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, and shooting at him with intent to resist apprehension because of reasonable doubt.
You might also think from Miranda’s tweet that he got off scot-free, but:
The man was convicted on lesser charges of firing a gun in a public place and using an unauthorised firearm and will be sentenced on September 23.
You sometimes get the sense that Miranda actually believes what she writes; but this is a clear bit of manipulation of what actually happened. She was trying to make a connection between our post 9-11 world and how guilt about the persecution and targeting of Muslims has led to “political correctness” run amok.
But anti-Muslim sentiment was not the cause of the verdict; in fact his fear is attributed to illness. Does she realise that if this guy was actually suffering from an illness when he did what he did the whole thing is a real tragedy; not including the lives of the police officers who have left the force because of the incident? She loves to play the sympathy card as the reason behind her extreme convoluted beliefs, which is mind-blowing considering this nasty bit of subterfuge.