Wednesday, September 21, 2005

 

Watch out, College Liberals!

Recently, the staff of Young America's Foundation asked for it's Club 100 members to submit articles as a chance to win a columnist spot in their organization. Here is the latest published article.

Mohammed's Miscalculation

by Paul Ibrahim, Club 100 Columnist

Four years ago this month, nineteen terrorists murdered many of our finest heroes and destroyed some of our grandest buildings. In addition to killing 3,000 innocent civilians, they harmed our economy and, for a long time, instilled a sense of fear in many Americans. They certainly succeeded in dealing a huge blow to our beloved homeland. It would be rather interesting, however, to temporarily bring back September 11th ringleader Mohammed Atta, revisit the landmark events since that day, and perhaps get his perspective on the impact of his acts.

We would start right here in the United States—the land he loathed so much that he blew himself up to prove it. We would look at images of America in its most beautiful state in the days and weeks following 9/11: the deluge of compassion, the extent of heroism, and the unity of white and black, old and young, conservative and liberal. We would examine the plans for the Freedom Tower, the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and perhaps take a moment of silence in the Pentagon chapel built at the site of the crash there.

After stopping at a few elite universities for Mohammed to greet some fans, we would leave for Afghanistan, where he met with Osama Bin Laden. We could visit the empty terrorist training camps, including his own at Khalden, once filled with his fellow, young fanatics. The Kabul locals would probably invite us to join one of their soccer games at the stadium once used for public executions. If a high school classroom was in session, Mohammed might, for the first time, see the faces—literally—of Afghanistan’s newly educated women. And just think, the September 11th attacks made all of these changes possible.

Of course, Iraq would be another country to explore. Since 2003, Iraq ceased to be under the brutal grip of Saddam Hussein, who starved his own people to build palaces and fund terrorism. We could visit Olympic athletes training for their respective sports without fear of torture and perhaps go north to watch the Kurds dig up mass graves, a reminder of a tragedy that will never again occur. Should Mohammed inquire about the purple finger phenomenon, we can sit down and retrace the Iraqi timeline for a fully functioning democracy. He might then understand the irony of having been a major factor in creating this new, free Iraq.

But the liberation of Afghanistan, which was a direct result of the terrorist attacks on the United States, and the subsequent liberation of Iraq are not the end of it. We could also take a look at Egypt, Mohammed’s native country, and examine how his suicide mission is still having an effect there and on the rest of the region. Almost precisely four years after September 11th, 2001, Egypt held its first contested presidential elections during Hosni Mubarak’s reign. Although by no means were these free and fair elections, Mubarak, for the first time, received less than 90% of the vote, and a low turnout of 23% tainted his victory. September 11th initiated the rise of democracy in the Middle East, and unknowingly, Mohammed Atta sowed the seeds of freedom in his homeland by flying a plane into the World Trade Center.

While we’re at it I could inform Mohammed about the disarmament of Libya, the liberation of Lebanon from Syrian occupation, the free elections in the Palestinian territories, and the gradual opening of the Gulf countries to democratic ideals. All of these are related events, brought about by an American foreign policy that seeks to fight terrorism with democracy. The September 11th attacks represented the beginning of a great battle, and so far, we are clearly winning.

Before letting Mohammed go, however, I would share with him the impact that September 11th had on me. Before the attacks, having immigrated to the U.S. from Lebanon a few years before, I was stuck in an Arab-European mindset of seeing American foreign policy as aggressive and insensible. Then Mohammed and eighteen other extremists, representing a sizeable constituency in the Muslim world, rammed planes full of American civilians into buildings full of more American civilians. The Pentagon was only a few miles from my high school, and on that Tuesday morning, I watched many of my classmates endure the trauma of not knowing the status of their parents, relatives, and friends.

Until that day, I was naïve. I had fallen into the trap of moral relativism, giving as much respect to the lifestyles of barbarians as I did to Western, and particularly American, civilization. Once I began developing my understanding of the world, it seemed clear to me that with the fanaticism, backwardness, and totalitarianism found in the Third World, and with the secularism and weak spirits that had come to dominate Europe, America was the only hope left for the world. The September 11th terrorists understood this fact as well and hence, tried to defeat America. Fortunately, the plan backfired on them.

Along with eighteen others, Mohammed Atta managed to unite Americans and convince many, such as myself, of the righteousness of America’s cause. He paved the path for the defeat of Islamo-fascists in Afghanistan, the liberation of Iraq, the disarmament of Libya, the decline of Arab totalitarianism in the Middle East, the democratic elections of the Lebanese and Palestinians, and the even bigger presence of American forces around the world. A slight miscalculation on your part, wouldn’t you say, Mohammed?

Published at Club 100 on September 20th, 2005.

Visit YAF's site. Besides the great pieces like this, there are always interesting subjects being discussed by bright and thoughtful young conservative activists. For some reason, lefties who venture there don't often hang around too long.

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