The sixth anniversary of the 9-11-01 attacks is more eerie than the previous five. First, today is a Tuesday, and 9-11-01 was a Tuesday. Second, the country as a whole has lost perspective. From complacency to insanity to outright inanity, reactions by American politicians, Europeans and the general American populace to the events of six years ago have been, at best, generally misguided -- and prominent members of the media have completely lost their minds. Mark Steyn said it best for his column that appeared on 9-12-01 in the Daily Telegraph "On Tuesday the post-Cold War era ended, and a new one began." Too few people recognized this at the time (although to his credit, Pres. Bush was one and the indefatigable Norman Podhoretz is another) and even fewer comprehend that today.
Jonah Goldberg notes the prevailing thought process, and why that conventional wisdom is flat wrong:
It quickly became a cliché that 9/11 changed everything, but when it comes to the basic divisions of the last 20 years, 9/11 didn’t change nearly enough so much as accentuate everything we knew before. And that all but guarantees we’ll have another 9/11 of which to ponder the meaning.
Indeed, the ennui and complacency of the US and especially Europe (including Israel) in the face of the continuing intent of Islamist terrorists to murder massive numbers of innocent civilians is staggering. This observation from Nancy Gibbs of Time Magazine shows how little has changed despite how much needed to do so:
The homefront remains on alert, but in a leisurely, one eye open kind of way. Police at the scrape the air for signs of radiation or chemical attack, track the wind direction to guide escaping employees. But chairs Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton used the anniversary to remind people that security remains a shield with holes. Most air cargo is still not screened, the high tech bomb detectors are indefinitely delayed, and Congress demands tighter standards for drivers' licenses but won't fund them. The broadcast industry has until 2009 to turn over the spectrum that rescuers need to beam signals through concrete and steel. Three years ago, Kean and Hamilton observe, their commission noted that the reported to 88 congressional committees and subcommittees. At least that number has now been pared down - to 86.
Neither do I.