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Friday, September 11, 2009

Another Damn Anniversary

Mullahs still in power in Tehran? Check. Iraq still a semi-mess? Check. Saudi money flowing to Islamist boosting Madrasahs the world over? Check. Exactly eight years after the day that changed everything, rather little has changed for the better. Responding to the modern impulse to bureaucratize every problem, a massive new government department was erected by the American government under the improbably folksy name of Homeland Security. It has proven to be something akin to Jim Hacker's Department of Administrative Affairs, the fictitious British ministry that co-ordinated the efforts of the other government ministries. Bureaucrats directing other bureaucrats to direct other bureaucrats. Wheels within wheels. 

The nostalgic, of which I count myself a member, will recall when the American Republic's internal security was handled by a single government agency, the FBI. Whatever the civll liberties impairments of the J Edgar Hoover era, the old cross dresser could pretty much do it all himself. The alphabet soup of agencies trying to keep Americans safe from threats foreign and domestic had yet to emerge in Hoover's time. Suffice it say that the FBI had the resources to track down genuine threats, with enough left over to keep tabs on obnoxious left-leaning celebrities. A Red agent here, John Lennon there. The difference between vague rhetoric and genuine conspiracy to subvert American freedom was always a bit hazy to the mid-twentieth century FBI. Yet they, and America, somehow muddled their way through the Cold War.

For the American conservative movement 9/11 was a call to arms against Islamism. Few objected to the creation of the DHS, yet on the other hand they share a well founded suspicion of the state as incompetent and destructive. Railing about Obamacare, while supporting the growth of the Department of Homeland Security on the other. Government isn't particularly good at doing what it's not suppose to be doing, it's not much better at what it's suppose to be doing. The tendency of all government agencies is to expand. When you're the Department of Agriculture that means, literally, more pork barrel politics. The Department of Homeland Security doesn't hand out farm subsidies. 

Whether mandating seat belts, banning nail clippers from airplanes, or detaining without warrant, the soft and hard ends of the nanny state aren't just corrosive to liberty, they're horribly impractical. Mrs Thatcher was fond of saying that the facts of life were conservative. In her time that was another way of saying that freedom worked, statism didn't. Free health care often means delayed or no health care. A social safety net becomes a fishing trawler's net of controls and welfare traps. The statist plans for utopia fail repeatedly not just because the means don't justify the ends, the means prevent the ends from ever happening. A bureaucratic war on terror means the terrorizing gets directed at the point of least resistance, the average citizen. It's easy enough to regulate and control otherwise peaceful people. Its the violent ones that tend to fight back. 

Eight years ago an ideology with a world-wide reach desecrated the skyline of New York. Rather than seeking to destroy its financial and intellectual heart, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the West on the whole has settled for half-hearted invasions and occupations of two countries, and a steady war on the rights of their own citizens. The logic of the current "War on Terror" is that it's better to fight 'em over here, than fight 'em over there. The check points, the increased border patrols, the airport hassles, all the illusion of the state protecting its citizens from dangers. Empire building disguised as public safety. 

Posted by Richard Anderson on September 11, 2009 | Permalink


I remember quite a few grass-roots movement conservatives objecting to DHS. Many others seemed to think it would just be re-organizing federal agencies that already existed. None of these conservatives hold any power of course.

We have to remember that Obama has declared today a day of "National Service". I expect that over the next few years they will try to wash away the memories of 9/11/01 and replace it with a day to promote servitude to the state.

America hasn't had a radical socialist President since FDR with the ability to change so much in so little time. Van Jones was just the tip of the iceberg and par for the course for this movement that Obama is part of.

They're just getting started.

Posted by: GeronL | 2009-09-11 7:45:53 AM

Virtually all Canadian responses to 9/11 were stage-managed by the government, carefully controlled to avoid antagonizing the large number who supported the attacks. Sad.

I personally witnessed Toronto cheering that day, and a few days later had the gall to be upset when President Bush did not mention Canada in a speech to Congress (he only mentioned a few anyway.)

Pathetic. The military efforts in Afghanistan barely compensate for the slow, hesitant response by the majority of the population.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-09-11 8:29:13 AM

Afghanistan is of little strategic value. Let's pull out and let these barbarians carry on as they have for the last 2 thousand years. Our efforts change absolutely nothing and it is naive to think otherwise.

Iran is another story. They should be attacked immediately.

And the sooner we can get off this stupid petro-bandwagon the better. I look forward to seeing seeing the Saudi Empire sink into the sand.

Talk about not knowing who your real enemies are.


Posted by: beachgirl | 2009-09-11 9:32:43 AM

I still remember a Canadian forum(shown on C-SPAN) about the terrorist attacks shown a few weeks after the 9-11 attacks? Most of the Canadian audience seemed to blame the U.S. for the attacks. They felt it was payback for the CIA. The head of Canada's intelligence service defended the U.S. but few else did. It proved to me that Canadians truly despise the United States. Your government may say otherwise but I wonder how many Canadians would really be outraged if a dirty bomb went off in New York City. Over 80% of your countrymen wanted us to elect Obama(who claimed that he would get the world to help us more). Funny, he got elected and Canada is still going to leave Afghanistan by 2011. Now, we are turning against his socialist agenda and self-hating american foreign policies(includes his infamous "I'm ashamed to be an American tour 2009"). People are getting sick of the politically correct bull(call them terrorist but don't bring up radical islam). We are sick of the poverty pimps of the ACORN organization, the radical greens and communists that he appoints as czars, the labour unions that are led by mobsters who don't really care for the common worker, and the Democrat party that seems more willing to fight the american right than terrorists! There is an anger rising and the people are starting to really understand the truth(that most of the world doesn't want whats best for the U.S. They only love America when it can give them money.) The people are beginning to comprehend that the UN and western Europe don't care. Obama is a self hating american. Bush put U.S. forces under too many restraints in Iraq and Afghanistan(and was too beholden to the crooks in Saudi Arabia).It is only a question of time before a real American leader arrives on the scene who will right the wrongs. In 1980, it was Reagan. He stood up for America when most of the world relished our decline(including your anti-american leader Trudeau).In 2012, a new loyal conservative leader will arrive to drive out the leftist scum and stand up for America. The gloves will come off and he will handle the radicals in the manner they deserve(no mercy to them and their sympathizers).

Posted by: Bob | 2009-09-11 10:06:02 AM

Virtually all Canadian responses to 9/11 were stage-managed by the government, carefully controlled to avoid antagonizing the large number who supported the attacks. Sad.
Posted by: Zebulon Punk | 2009-09-11 8:29:13 AM

Yet more drivel berating Canada from an American toady. If there was support in Canada for the attacks it came from immigrant muslims. Curiously Da Punk is an avid promoter of multiculturalism though only for his people. Another interesting aspect is that almost every poll taken from 2006 onwards shows that one quarter to one third of Americans believe 9/11 to be a government conspiracy. How can people that think that way be taken seriously.

Pathetic. The military efforts in Afghanistan barely compensate for the slow, hesitant response by the majority of the population.
Posted by: Zebulon Punk | 2009-09-11 8:29:13 AM

Afghanistan was a secondary theatre for the Americans. They were so fixated on Iraq they didn't didn't see were the core terrorist base of operation was. They had the chance on numerous occasions to get rid of Bin Laden and his supporters and blew it every time. Now we have an unwinnable war in Afghanistan and it spreading through Pakistan. Read the book "Ghost Wars" by Steve Coll and whatever faith you have left in the Americans in Afghanistan will evaporate.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-09-11 12:16:04 PM

to view a partial list of crimes committed by FBI agents over 1500 pages long see

to view a partial list of FBI agents arrested for pedophilia see

Posted by: mackie mccleod | 2009-09-11 8:15:55 PM

Can I get a list of libertarians who also have committed serious crimes? Or are they just victims of the big scary state? I have read this blog long enough that there are several of you that I wouldn't allow within several hundred meters of my kids! Most FBI, CIA, RCMP, and Canadian intelligence are good men trying to protect the public. Can I say the same of most of you?

Posted by: Dan. | 2009-09-12 8:32:47 AM

Good points throughout. The aftershocks of damage from 9/11 to the American people was the loss or restriction of many of their freedoms, blended with the polarization of its citizens that has led to endless, time-wasting debate over issues like Guantanamo Bay, waterboarding, etc.

The War on Terror will never be won as long as it remains a P.C. war.

Posted by: Leigh Patrick Sullivan | 2009-09-12 1:28:36 PM

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