Four Years

11 September 2005

Some things happened to us on September 11, 2001:

  • 08:46am American #11 hit the north tower in New York
  • 09:03am United #175 hit the south tower in New York
  • 09:37am American #77 hit the Pentagon in Washington
  • 10:03am United #93 hit in a field outside Shanksville

After the towers fell, we listened to a great speech . Then, we decided to visit Afghanistan and Iraq. We also formed a commission which wrote a report. Perhaps it needs another chapter or an appendix.

Or, as Mark Helprin wrote so well in this week’s Wall Street Journal (subscription may be required), perhaps we need to do something more:

Perhaps this and previous administrations have had an effective policy just too difficult to comprehend because they have ingeniously sheltered it under the pretense of their incompetence. But failing that, the legacy of this generation’s presidents will be promiscuous declarations and alliances, badly defined war aims, opportunities inexplicably forgone, ill-supported troops sent into the field, a country at risk without adequate civil protections, and a military shaped to fight neither the last war nor this one nor the next.

Mr. Helprin, a Journal contributing editor, is Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute and Distinguished Visiting Fellow of Hillsdale College. He is the author, most recently, of “Freddy and Fredericka” (Penguin, 2005).

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