The Corner

Nuking Cleveland won’t help

Stu Bykofsky filed a column this week headlined “To Save America, We Need Another 9/11“:

What kind of a sick bastard would write such a thing?

A bastard so sick of how splintered we are politically… America’s fabric is pulling apart like a cheap sweater.

What would sew us back together?

Another 9/11 attack…

Is there any doubt they are planning to hit us again?

If it is to be, then let it be. It will take another attack on the homeland to quell the chattering of chipmunks and to restore America’s righteous rage and singular purpose to prevail…

Our pal Michelle Malkin responded:

He wants more Americans murdered on American soil to “sew us back together?”

We don’t need healing. We need the half of the country that doesn’t believe we are under threat from global jihad to wake up and smell the suicide bomb smoke.

And that’s right. But there’s another point to be made.

I get a ton of mail every week along Bykofsky lines: “Oh, this country won’t get serious until there’s another attack.” Sorry, but don’t look to a big smoking crater in Buffalo to save us.

For a start, the author overstates the immediate unity post-9/11. Even then, there was a big difference between the “righteous rage” crowd and those who wanted to wallow in bathetic weepy let’s-hold-hands-and-drone-”Imagine” candlelight vigils and retreat into antiquated tropes about “root causes” like global poverty (notwithstanding the middle-class backgrounds of Mohammed Atta and co). The second time round, there won’t even be a momentary veneer of unity. The angry left will be demanding by lunchtime “What did Bush know and when did he know it?” and citing eminent scientists such as Professor Rosie O’Donnell to demonstrate that it couldn’t possibly have been anything but an inside job. The less angry left will demand not a punitive military response but a 12-month blue-ribbon commission co-chaired by Lee Hamilton to call witnesses and investigate where the Administration went wrong. Less motivated types will be convinced – like British public opinion after the Glasgow attack and the sailor kidnappings – that it’s blowback for Iraq. And a big chunk of the rest may even plump for the Spanish option post-Madrid: Oh, dear, we seem to have caught your eye. What would it take for that not to happen again?   

The split in this country is real. The so-called “singular purpose” of Fall 2001 was mostly illusory. Lightning won’t strike twice, even if the Halliburton Tsunami-Hurricane Machine wants it to.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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