THE LESSONS OF UNITED 93
By Samuel Blumenfeld
May 14, 2006
I have just seen United 93, and it is obvious that many Americans have not only forgotten what happened on 9/11 but don’t want to be reminded of it. The film is a powerful and disturbing experience. But what rivets the audience is the realization that this is a true story, not a work of fiction, not make-believe. It happened, and there is no reason to believe that it can’t happen again.
Fanatical Islam is on the march and it aims to destroy everyone and everything that does not bow down and submit to Allah, the pagan Muslim deity. Considering what happens every day in Iraq, where Islamic fanatics kill other Muslims, who can doubt that Islam is a satanic religion that celebrates murder and mayhem. If we are to restore order to the world, we shall have to defeat this Islamic fanaticism.
But how can it be defeated? Even Democrats now realize that pulling out of Iraq before peace and order are established in that blighted country would be catastrophic not only for Iraqis but also for the West. Europeans already cower in fear of the large Muslim immigrant population that has settled among them. Thus, demographically, Europe is doomed to be dominated by Islam in thirty to fifty years.
And even some American publications have been afraid to print the Danish cartoons for fear of incurring Islamic wrath. These are the same publications that think nothing of revealing the secret methods our government is using to capture and interrogate Islamic fanatics and disrupting their plans.
But simply because the United States has not suffered any major Islamic attack on our shores since 9/11, too many Americans have become complacent about the continued threat. Bush is criticized for the manner in which the Iraq war has been conducted. But after our stunning success in Afghanistan and the initial invasion of Iraq, who could have predicted the ferocity and barbarism of the insurgency in which restaurants, markets, mosques, police stations are bombed every day. And for what purpose? To create the kind of chaos that would discourage us and cause a premature departure of coalition forces from Iraq.
What now seems quite imperative is that we must indeed stay the course. With the Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s threats to destroy Israel, we must remain in the Middle East to counter that madman’s ambitions. There are critics who like to claim that Israel’s interests formulate American foreign policy. But what would the world be like if we stood by and let Israel be destroyed and were then faced by an unstoppable Islamic force, delirious with triumph and armed with nuclear weapons aimed against us. Does anyone believe that these suicidal fanatics would not use these weapons if they had them?
The lesson of United 93 is a reminder of what was done to America on one day in which 3,000 innocent American lives were obliterated. The film bluntly reveals the confusion that reigned among our government officials as they witnessed in total disbelief what was happening before their very eyes. Disbelief is what made America so vulnerable. In fact, the terrorists were able to bring to a halt America’s entire aviation transport system. Nobody had told American officialdom what Islamic fanatics were capable of doing. So we learned the hard way at the cost of 3,000 lives.
We are told that the vast majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the President is conducting the war. The Democrats, so far, have not offered any alternative strategy. Some of them say that we must set a date certain for our departure, no matter the situation on the ground. That would definitely elate the spirits of the terrorists. They would like nothing better than to know when the Americans would give up the struggle and get out.
United 93 demonstrated what ordinary Americans are capable of doing when faced with terror. They decided to fight back even though they lost the battle. We honor their bravery, and the least we the living can do is make sure that no other Americans are ever put in the position the passengers on United 93 were put in.
Which makes us wonder why The New York Times and Washington Post decided to reveal some of the secret methods our government is using to counter terrorist activities. Do we honor those who died on 9/11 by not punishing these traitors?
On September 11th, there were Americans who had to decide whether to jump from the towers in Manhattan or burn to death, or whether to try to subdue the terrorists on United 93 or let them crash the plane into the U.S. Capitol. These are the kinds of decisions Americans should not be forced to make. But make them they did.
At the end of the movie, the audience filed out of the theater in stunned silence. There was nothing to be said, but everything to be felt.
© 2006 Samuel Blumenfeld - All Rights Reserved
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Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of eight books on education, including “Is Public Education Necessary?” and “The Whole Language/OBE Fraud,” published by The Paradigm Company, 208-322-4440. His reading instruction program, “Alpha-Phonics,” is available by writing The Tutoring Company, P.O. Box 540111, Waltham, MA 02454-0111.
What now seems quite imperative is that we must indeed stay the course. With the Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s threats to destroy Israel, we must remain in the Middle East to counter that madman’s ambitions.