Sunday, September 11, 2011
V for Victory, Peace Through Victory
10 years ago today, Al Qaida terrorists under the direction of Osama Bin Laden crashed two jet airliners into the World Trade Centre in New York City. They also crashed a jet airliner into the Pentagon in Washington, DC. A fourth airliner crashed into a field in Pennsylvania when passengers decided to take the plane back from the hijackers.
2,819 people were killed in the attacks. Fortunately, it was far short of the 10,000 suspected to have been killed within hours of the attacks.
The people of the United States, Canada, Britain and the civilized world were certainly afraid on the day of the attacks. But not too afraid to fight back.
Osama Bin Laden would not live to see the 10th anniversary of the attacks he directed. But he did live to see the full extent of the western victory over the fear he sought to plant in the hearts of the civilized world.
The civilized world should not be mistaken to mean only the western world. The attacks launched on the United States were meant not only to terrify citizens of the United States, but freedom-loving people around the world, including those in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran (among others).
He did live long enough to see the civilized world fight back: in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in Iran, in Tunisia, in Egypt, in Libya, in Syria, in South Sudan, and in countless other places around the world.
The fight for freedom certainly hasn't been definitively won anywhere. Even in places that now show so much promise, such as Egypt, there is still a chance that the forces of Islamofascism will exploit the efforts of the liberal (classical liberal, that is) activists who are throwing off the chains of oppression. There is still a chance they may simply be re-chained under someone else's brand of oppression.
It happened after the Iranian revolution, and could quite easily happen again.
But in the guise of Islamofascism -- something that should not be mistaken for Islam itself, but is rather a political perversion of Islam -- the world sees the kind of threat it has seen on occasion in the past: the kind of threat that simply must be defeated in order for peace to be possible.
It's been seen before. During the 1930s, in Germany, Adolph Hitler lead a political phenomenon so hostile to anything even resembling peace -- let alone a just peace -- that it had to be destroyed for peace to be possible.
Some, like Neville Chamberlain, attempted to placate that threat in the hopes of attaining peace. The more they attempted to appease Hitler, the more aggressive he became. Peace was only possible when Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of Britain, and stood up and declared that they would fight Hitler anywhere and everywhere they could.
In the process, he made the v-shaped finger salute -- v for victory -- truly iconic.
In the 1960s, the peace movement adopted the same gesture in order to demonstrate their devotion to peace.
Some have viewed this as a perversion of the "v for victory" gesture. They're not entirely correct.
Certainly, the peace movement can often be wrong about their pronouncements. For example, any peace activist who demands that the western world stop fighting the war on terror is not legitimately a peace activist. Their demands would result in a world in which radical Muslim terrorists would continue to attack the civilized world while the civilized world simply declines to fight back.
That is not peace.
In the case of Islamofascism, as with the case of Nazism and fascism before it, peace -- true, actual peace -- is only possible through victory.
On this, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we must not allow ourselves to forget the example of Winston Churchill. We must win the victory against Al Qaida and the varied forces of Islamofascism so peace can be possible.