Tomorrow it will be seven years since the that murderous day, 9/11/2001. It is a sad statement on the state of the culture that for the most part the misnamed "war on terror" has receded from the headlines. This despite the fact that the perpetrators of that atrocity have not been destroyed, and more importantly the overall enemy, namely totalitarian Islam or Islamism, is still alive and getting stronger. It is even more depressing that even though we're in the middle of a presidential election neither candidate seems to understand these facts.
Our fundamental problem with this conflict lies in the intellectual weakness of the victim (the United States and Western countries in general). It is not that Islamism possesses any strength of arms -- far from it. Rather, the Islamists possess the strength of their convictions that they are right and stand for what is right. The United States for the most part has lacked this and is undermined by altruism emanating from both secular and religious sources. The West has appeased and sanctioned the terror coming from the Islamists by refusing to draw the proper moral and political conclusions about its sources.
If the United States (and the West in general) is to prevail, its intellectuals must first recall what about its ideas and culture is superior to the kind of society that the Islamists are fighting for. The intellectuals must remember that some ideas such as reason, egoism, individualism, capitalism are worth fighting for and furthermore that savage murderers who violently threaten our lives, liberty, and property ought to be met with overwhelming deadly force so that there be no mistake about who was in the right and who was wrong.
Only when a significant number of intellectuals in this country start agreeing with such ideas will there be a chance for a future anniversary for rejoicing in the defeat of the enemy and not another reminder of the self-enforced impotence of this great country.