RUSH: “Was 9/11 Really That Bad? The attacks were a horrible act of mass murder, but history says we’re overreacting.” This is by David Bell in the Los Angeles Times. “Imagine that on 9/11, six hours after the assault on the twin towers and the Pentagon, terrorists had carried out a second wave of attacks on the United States, taking an additional 3,000 lives. Imagine that six hours after that, there had been yet another wave. Now imagine that the attacks had continued, every six hours, for another four years, until nearly 20 million Americans were dead. This is roughly what the Soviet Union suffered during World War II, and contemplating these numbers may help put in perspective what the United States has so far experienced during the war against terrorism.”
This is simply unbelievable, comparing ourselves to what the Soviet Union endured in World War II and saying we’ve got a long way to go before we even have any right to complain. We haven’t experienced anything compared to what other nations have. I guess Mr. Bell discounts all of the other Americans killed by terrorists in hijackings of pleasure craft, airplanes, and cruise ships, in our embassies, our Marine barracks, the attempted destruction of the World Trade Center in 1993. But even if he includes all of that, it still wouldn’t get us anywhere near the list of Soviet casualties that happened during World War II.
He continues, “It also raises several questions. Has the American reaction to the attacks in fact been a massive overreaction? Is the widespread belief that 9/11 plunged us into one of the deadliest struggles of our time simply wrong? If we did overreact, why did we do so? Does history provide any insight? A great many Americans, particularly on the right, have failed to make this distinction. If we look at nothing but our enemies’ objectives, it is hard to see any indication of an overreaction. The people who attacked us in 2001 are indeed hate-filled fanatics who would like nothing better than to destroy this country. But desire is not the same thing as capacity, and although Islamist extremists can certainly do huge amounts of harm around the world, it is quite different to suggest that they can threaten the existence of the United States.”
So we are to discount their desire to do so, which he admits, in favor of the knowledge that they are unable to do so. Yeah, we’re supposed to wait ’til they really, really kill us, and then it would be okay to respond the way we are, but now it’s premature. Time to pull out now, according to this guy. “Yet a great many Americans, particularly on the right, have failed to make this distinction. For them, the ‘Islamo-fascist’ enemy has inherited not just Adolf Hitler’s implacable hatreds but his capacity to destroy. The conservative author Norman Podhoretz has gone so far as to say that we are fighting World War IV (No. III being the Cold War). But it is no disrespect to the victims of 9/11, or to the men and women of our armed forces?” Oh, no, of course not, of course it’s not — to say that, by the standards of past wars, the war against terrorism has so far inflicted a very small human cost on the United States.? Really? Small human cost? Then why the never-ending drumbeat of fear and anger over the small number of troops we’ve lost? Is this not amazing how the left, on one hand, can argue how 3,000 battle causalities in Iraq is horrifying, 3,000 slaughtered innocent civilians is existential, it doesn’t really mean anything. The spin he puts on it in a CYA mode is no disrespect to the victims of 911 or to the men and women of our armed forces. No, of course not. But by the standards of past wars, a very small amount of damage has been inflicted on the human costs.
“Even if one counts our dead in Iraq and Afghanistan as casualties of the war against terrorism, which brings us to about 6,500, we should remember that roughly the same number of Americans die every two months in automobile accidents.” It’s nice to see the stat finally used by the left, but look at how they’re doing it, to justify that we don’t really face a threat and we’re making too big a deal of this, we’re all overreacting and we’ve got to lose a lot more Americans before we actually get serious about dealing with this.
RUSH: Now, I can’t let this “Was 9/11 really that bad?” column from the Los Angeles Times yesterday go. I want to pick this up because, folks, I’ve known this was coming. The Democrats have been trying to make the case in an implied or even a subliminal way for two to three years now. We live in a pre-9/11 country today; we don’t need to be in Afghanistan, we don’t need to be in Iraq, we don’t have any really enemies out there. This is just Bush and his insanity or whatever they want to say that it is. “Even if one counts our dead in Iraq and Afghanistan as casualties of the war against terrorism, which brings us to about 6,500, we should remember that roughly the same number of Americans die every two months in automobile accidents,” as I so frequently point out. But isn’t it interesting here to see that this guy and the LA Times and the rest of the Drive-By Media hammering daily every casualty number from Iraq into our heads to show how bad we are losing the war, now it fits their political agenda to tell us it isn’t so bad after all. All of a sudden now the 3,000 deaths in Iraq of the soldiers, according to this guy, no big deal, 3,000 dead on 9/11, no big deal, nothing compared to what the Soviets lost in World War II.
Why do leftists compare everything to the Soviet Union? “Of course, the 9/11 attacks also conjured up the possibility of far deadlier attacks to come. But then, we were hardly ignorant of these threats before, as a glance at just about any thriller from the 1990s will testify. And despite the even more nightmarish fantasies of the post-9/11 era (e.g. the TV show ’24’s’ nuclear attack on Los Angeles), Islamist terrorists have not come close to deploying weapons other than knives, guns and conventional explosives.” Uh, where to start? “Conjured up the possibility of far deadlier attacks to come, but then we were hardly ignorant of these threats before?” Actually, some of us were ignorant because the previous administration was doing diddly-squat about it. The previous administration wasn’t trying very hard at all. It’s like Mrs. Clinton in Iowa over the weekend claiming that it’s irresponsible we haven’t gotten bin Laden and she’s going to take care of that when she’s president. She’s in the White House with her husband for eight years, they had five chances to get bin Laden, and they punted on every one of them. It’s like she was never in Washington; like her husband was never president of the United States; like he never said any of the same things about Iraq and Saddam Hussein that she herself said along with practically every other American politician in 2002.
This business of “24” providing these nightmarish fantasies, “Islamist terrorists have not come close to deploying weapons other than knives, guns, and conventional explosives?” What were the three airplanes? An airplane, like the way they used it, is not conventional. It is not a conventional weapon. Stop and think what they did. Box cutters, fake driver’s license, expired visas and all of this, and our own airplanes, taught to fly them in our own country. And we have no threat? They don’t have the ability to get a — what do you think the Iranians are doing? What do you think the Iranians and the Russians working together, not to mention the Chinese, are working on? So anyway, he asked, “So why has there been such an overreaction? Unfortunately, the commentators who detect one have generally explained it in a tired, predictably ideological way: calling the United States a uniquely paranoid aggressor that always overreacts to provocation. In a recent book, for instance, political scientist John Mueller evaluated the threat that terrorists pose to the United States and convincingly concluded that it has been, to quote his title,” “Overblown.” But he undercut his own argument by adding that the United States has overreacted to every threat in its recent history, including even Pearl Harbor (rather than trying to defeat Japan, he argued, we should have tried containment!). Seeing international conflict in apocalyptic terms “viewing every threat as existential is hardly a uniquely American habit.”
At any rate, we need to overcome this long habit of thinking every threat is aimed at our existence and remind ourselves that not every enemy is, in fact, a threat to our existence. You have to always keep in mind, folks, yeah, they may say they want to wipe us out, but can they? And until they can, we don’t need to really worry. We’re manufacturing all this fear and going through all of these procedures, security measures and so forth, and it’s totally unnecessary because we have overreacted here in the United States about this threat. It doesn’t matter what the imams and what the sheiks, what they’re saying out there, doesn’t matter what they’re promising to do, doesn’t matter what they’re training their young boys to do, none of that matters. What matters is, we haven’t taken nearly as many casualties as the Soviets did, and we’ve only lost 6500, come on, we’re way, way, way overreacting. Need to lose a lot more before we react properly.
Well, works for me. If that’s all it takes to feel good about the future, we’re overreacting, there is no threat. The threat is being manufactured. It’s existential. Yeah, they say they want to do this, but they can’t really, they can’t wipe us out, so why worry about it? Whew. That’s going to make this year even — I was prepared to be all hunkered down and buttoned up and very serious about this year, but now I can be carefree and hunky-dory, and I can listen to the Democrats with a new perspective. Meaningless resolutions will mean everything. What really matters is nothing more than paranoia on our part, and emptiness, vacuity, and that’s what will count for reality. That is what the left is attempting to get you to buy.