From Doc Bailey:
Americans are still trying to grasp what September 11th means. For some it is a sign of an evil conspiracy of truly vast and epic proportions to shock a nation, and indeed the world, and thus increase the power of the people who set out to do it. There are a lot of theories on this point as to the who, the why and the how. The “truther” movement has been thoroughly debunked, but this view persists.
Another view is that this was a random flailing of fanatics of a sub-sect of Islam. Thus the violence is random, and thus far more incomprehensible. Why would they attack us? Most Americans didn’t know (or care) that these yahoos in the middle of A-stan existed. al-Qaeda? What the hell is that? Even the name is poorly understood. “The base”? What the hell is that? that 19 men (most of the “muscle” with only rudimentary education) could catch our national apparatus so unaware shocked us to the very core.
There is a third option, that is poorly understood by Westerners. This was deliberate, well planned and everything about it had symbolism. Granted symbolism that most of us would not get. We get the two Airlines being used. United and American, no big surprise there, If there had been an Airline that had “states” somewhere in the title, you can bet that this would have been thrown in too. But why a Tuesday? Why September 11th? Why Hijack AND suicide attacks? In the past it was always one or the other. There would usually be some bold and grand statement of how we were evil, and they were carrying out Allah’s will for justice or something.
Indeed, we didn’t even know who did it to us till days later. Perhaps the most terrifying thing for Americans in the aftermath was the “who” and the “why”, how could we be at war when (to our understanding) we had done nothing to provoke this. At least with December 7th 1941, we could get the why, and the who. It pissed us off royally, but didn’t ever really scare us. September 11th did. You don’t need to be an expert in human nature to know that. If you look at CNN, and Fox News’ ratings for the days before and after 9/11 you’ll notice a huge uptick. “Regular Scheduled programing” seemed to disappear from peoples minds, as every new bit of information had to be absorbed recorded and marveled at, and while our reaction could certainly be fodder for hot debate, It’s the “why” I want to tackle.
We already know that this was planned months and even years in advance. Why September 11th? If you look at the figures of troop deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan you’ll notice almost every year an uptick during Ramadan. Why? well that’s the Holy month. You die then, in service to Allah and you got a b-line strait to heaven. Pass Go get 72 Virgins etc. But 9/11 wasn’t on Ramadan. Why not the 10th, or the 12th? Why September at all? New York weather is notorious in the winter, if it had not been a clear day they might’ve missed their targets entirely. Well it all has to do with a little known event in 1683. The Siege, or Battle of Vienna, which took place on September 11th and 12th of 1683.
Why is this so important? Because this is the absolute limit of advance into Europe of the Ottoman Empire. The gains in Spain by the moors had been soundly defeated and the rather disastrously so, almost 1000 years previously at the Battle of Tours, and after that Islam was slowly but surly purged from Western Europe. So the Ottomans were Islam’s last best hope of ending Christianity and bringing the world to heel under a global Caliphate. They had previously attempted to lay siege to Vienna in 1529, and failed rather miserably. This time they were caught flatfooted by Jan Sobieski and his Polish Calvary. The battle was long and bloody, and reflects the warrior spirit of the Poles and Germans. It als marked the beginning of the end of the Ottoman Empire. From this point on, Europe would push back, handing defeat after defeat against Islamic armies. They were pushed back all the way to Istanbul eventually. Though the Ottoman Empire remained a theocracy, it became far more secular after this.
So now that the history lesson is over, why should it matter to the West? Well for us it really doesn’t matter. Christianity gave up conversion through conquest with the third crusade (though a strong argument could be made for the Reformation and counter reformation). But Islam never really did. One of the major hallmarks of Islamic expansion was to take Shrines, churches, etc and make them Mosques. I’d invite you sometime to actually look at how Mosques are built then compare them to places like the Dome of the Rock or the Hagga Sophia. In essence once land is taken for Islam it is, and should always remain in Islamic hands. there’s actually Suras that say just that.
So why September 11th? In essence Osama was sending a message to the secular West, that Islam was going to expand, and that he was taking revenge for thwarting Islamic expansion. The problem is this message was totally missed by the West. Why? Because while interesting WE REALLY DON’T CARE WHAT HAPPENED 400 YEARS AGO! Nor do we believe that our theocracies should expand through conquest. So what does this mean in a larger context? We have already seen how even the most minor insult has been cause for extreme over reaction. How do you deal with a society that is prone to violence in extreme proportions? Well you can not deal with them on your own terms. These are not Nazis, or Soviets, you need to understand both the culture and religion, and make a case to all of Islam why they need to reform themselves. It is difficult to get most Americans to memorialize Dec 7th and that was only one (in some cases two) generations ago.
In the end the “Global War on Terror” will not be won until the Islamic world decides to reform itself. There will continue to be violence between Islam and the West until the West as a whole makes both a secular AND theocratic appeals to the Islamic world. In essence the Crusades ended 1000 years ago. The Battle of Vienna was a bunch of Christians defending their homeland, and lastly that while they can hold their heads high that they have not bowed down to the West, the cultural and technological differences have made it so that their lives are needlessly miserable. Once Baghdad and Alexandria were the centers of learning in the whole world. They could be again if the Islamic world stopped trying to fight battles that ended 400 years ago.