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Di Leo: Unexpected Evil and the Moment of Comprehension



Sept 11 attacks world trade center

By John F. Di Leo - 

There are milestones in life – personal, educational, religious – these may be birthdays, school graduations, wedding anniversaries, baptisms and first communions and bar mitzvahs. So many personal dates to remember – but they are worth remembering, because they are so meaningful to us.  Even the sad ones are worth remembering; the day we lost a friend or family member to cancer or accidental death, or old age. 

By the same token, there are milestones in history. The date of a declaration of war or of the peace treaty that ended it; the day our Founding Fathers signed our Declaration of Independence and the day each new President renews our commitment to republican governance.   We study such dates in school, we even commemorate some of them with national holidays.  They are worth remembering, because they, too, are part of our history.

And there are some days that are both. September 11, 2001, is a day that lives in history, because it turned a page in the United States’ recognition of a global truth: that the 1400-year history of islam’s assault on Western Civilization is not over – that it may continue to wax and wane with time, but it never ends – and that the United States is indeed, undeniably, among its many targets.

This day is both personal and political, because it changed our national policy and it touched so many thousands of individual American lives.

This wasn’t the day that islamofascist terrorists first declared war on us; they had attacked America many times before, through attacks on naval ships like the USS Cole in 2000, buildings like the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, and individuals, like the assassination of Meir Kahane in 1990.

But this was the day that America understood, however briefly. September 11, 2001 was the day it sunk in.  It’s the day that millions of Americans exclaimed, finally including: “They’ve declared war on our country, our civilization, our way of life! We understand now.”

And it is personal, not only because so many people were killed or injured on that day – 2996 killed, another 6000 injured, and over ten billion dollars in direct real estate and property damage, not counting the broader damage done to our economy, as it necessitated changes to our transportation and supply chain structures, slowing our growth and shaking the world financial markets.

 It is personal because this is the day when most Americans realized – finally – that this war is not like other wars, that this opponent does not follow the rules of the Geneva Conventions, that this enemy does not distinguish between civilian and military targets… that in fact, this enemy has a far different view of “innocence” than the rest of the world.

 All other cultures and religions – Judeo-Christian, Mormon, Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, all of them – share the same general concepts of “an innocent party” or a “non-combatant.”  Only in islam is there a radical departure from the concept.  Another belief system might acknowledge that civilian casualties might be unavoidable collateral damage in a war… but only to the islamofascist terrorist is there no real distinction between a civilian target and a military one.  Only to the islamofascist terrorist is every non-muslim viewed as “guilty” in their belief system.   This is what justifies the targeting of tourist buses, schools, pizzerias, civilian office buildings and passenger planes. 

So this is what made September 11 so different. It was a shock to the system across the West, at least, across the United States, which had blissfully imagined we were mostly free of this war until then.

 This is the day Americans recognized that one is just as much at risk of being a target if you don’t go to war, if you don’t work for a defense contractor, if you don’t work near a military base.  September 11 is the day we understood the warped mind of this singular enemy, for the first time.

 Now, in point of fact, to students of history and religion, this war is nothing new.  It dates back to the date that the first edition of the koran was printed, some fourteen centuries ago.  The islamic condemnation of all non-muslims as “guilty” – and therefore as non-deserving of truth or honorable treatment, let alone life and safety – dates back to their beginning… and Americans have understood this occasionally in our past. 

One of our first wars, after all, was against the muslim nations of North Africa known as the Barbary Pirates… We learned then everything we needed to know, and several of our Founding Fathers are on record as warning their successors of the difficulty in dealing with countries who don’t view non-muslims as worthy of honest negotiations or peaceful coexistence.

 Let us consider the world, in the days leading up to this particular anniversary, in 2017:

  •  On Sunday, September 10, in Kuchiak, Pakistan, Sunni muslims shot up a group of Hazara Shiia muslims, killing four and injuring two. Also on September 10, in Beledweyne, Somalia, a muslim suicide bomber detonated his suicide pack inside a café, killing four and injuring six more.
  • On Saturday, September 9, jihadis set off a bomb in a Baghdad, Iraq market, killing three and injuring three more. On the same day, one group of muslims killed a rival cleric and his bodyguard in Kapisa, Afghanistan. Also on the same day, in Anantnag, India, a nest of islamofascists fired on a police party, killing one and injuring two. And yes, all these acts were in the name of their religion.
  • On Friday, the “holy day” for islam, there were more jihadist attacks than usual. This September 8, Fulani terrorists in Ancho, Nigeria murdered nineteen innocent villagers and injured five more. The same day, ISIS activists murdered 50 civilians in one building – after torturing them first – in Ayadia, Iraq. Also on Sept 8, islamists gunned down two farmers in Mallan, Nigeria… and shot up a refugee camp in Ngala, Nigeria, killing seven refugees and injuring three more… and a mujahid attacker in Baghdad killed one and injured eight in a bombing… and terrorists assassinated a carload of four police in Bala Buluk, Afghanistan… and at another refugee camp in Muna Garage, Nigeria, a Boko Haram suicide bomber killed two refugees and injured five more.


And that’s just three days.   A snapshot of three days in the modern world.  All violent, all unprovoked, all committed in the name of a so-called religion by an enemy utterly defiant in the face of all other cultural norms, all the rules of war, all the morals that normal people of other cultures are born with.

 In these past three days, we have seen jihadist attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria, India… if we cast our vision back further, we would see such attacks in Yemen, Kenya, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Mali, and Pakistan. And that’s just in the past week.

 Somewhere in the world, every day, there are people dying, murdered by gunshots or bombs or swords or grenades, in unprovoked attacks by devout islamofascists, radicalized by their “religious leaders’ at mosques or islamic community centers, or on computer screens in the privacy of their own homes.

 There are efforts in the world to turn this around. General al-Sisi of Egypt gave a marvelous speech to  a roomful of imams on New Year’s Day, two years ago now.  King Salman of Saudi Arabia gave a more well-received speech to a roomful of fellow political leaders this spring, apparently gaining greater support.  The reformation of islam – to purge it of the doctrine of jihad and infuse it with a respect for other people and other beliefs – is imperative, though it is still an open question whether it is possible.

This war didn’t start in this century, or even in the last one. It has been going on for 1400 years.

But September 11, 2001 is the day when the American population tragically learned to understand this particular enemy at last… the day when a new generation was reminded of the warning of our Founding Fathers, that “eternal vigilance is the price we pay for liberty.”

 After watching such attacks occur in Europe, and in Israel and the Middle East and Africa for years, that horrific morning of September 11, when we witnessed that unexpected evil, was the moment of comprehension for a nation in shock.  On that day, we understood at last that we cannot shut ourselves out from the world… that there will always be enemies who want us destroyed, and we must face such enemies squarely, without euphemism or hesitation weakening our resolve.

Copyright 2017 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer, writer and actor. His columns are regularly found in Illinois Review.

 Permission is hereby granted to forward freely, provided it is uncut and the IR URL and byline are included.


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  1. Please review John Lear’s (son of Learjet inventor Bill Lear) 9/11 Affidavit on thelivingmoon.com & elsewhere, and an article on activistpost.com today
    entitled September 11, 2001: Questions to ask if you still believe the official narrative.
    God Bless America!

  2. Mr. Di Leo, Had the Catholic Church been led by our current Pope a thousand years ago Europe would have ceased to exist. He recently stated flatly that all religions exist for peace.
    Months ago this Pope made a similar speech denying Muslim war against the rest of the world. Has he lost his mind? http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/02/17/pope-francis-muslim-terrorism-not-exist/
    As a lifelong Catholic, Marine and Tucson Policeman my so-called “faith” has disappeared in various storms of scandal, stupidity, doctrine-change, criminal behavior and cover-ups.
    Now a Pope supposedly “infallible in matters of faith and morals” ignores Catholic problems while he denies the obvious Muslim War and castigates the United States for Immigration control from behind his 40 foot wall.
    My question: Why has no one publicly questioned and rebuked this hypocritical fraud?

  3. On the contrary, he is rebuked constantly.
    Most Catholics I know consider cardinal Bergoglio to be an illegitimate occupant of the office.
    The problem is that the Vatican is not designed for such a situation, and lacks the solutions (such as impeachment) that republican governments have.