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The “haunted gap” in our national memories has begun to fill with other thoughts, as it must. Unfortunately, the gap is filled by the same forces that were there before — partisan politics, cultural vulgarity, social division. The sobering fact on the 2nd anniversary of 9/11 is that America is far from united in its purposes. President Bush made a rare address to the nation Sunday night, ostensibly to report on developments in Iraq but actually to defend the very concept of a war on Islamic terrorists. That he should have to do so is to some degree his own fault, since his performance as a communicator of the war’s goals leaves quite a bit to be desired. But it also speaks volumes about the country’s inability to remember 9/11 as something beyond a national day of mourning.
September 11th was first and foremost a national day of horror. The middle stanza of Sassoon’s poem is the one most closely tied to his time and place, but with a little imagination one can readily transport himself to those early days at Ground Zero:p> em>Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz — br> The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets? br> Do you remember the rats; and the stench br> Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench — br> And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain? br> Do you ever stop and ask, “Is it all going to happen again?” /em> /p>
Will it happen again? Opinion polls indicate that most Americans believe it will sooner or later. Those same polls indicate, however, that the war on terror lags far behind the economy as a priority nationally. And of course, we need a national prescription drug benefit…so apparently the answer to Sassoon’s question is, Yes, it will happen again. But in the meantime, there ‘s got to be a way to make generic Viagra affordable and available to all.p> em>Do you remember that hour of din before the attack —
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?