‘To Forget a Holocaust is to Kill Twice’

by PETER FARMER September 17, 2012

Just over eleven years ago, al-Qaeda terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center Towers, grievously-damaged the Pentagon, and caused the crash of United Airlines Flight 93; 2977 people were killed and countless more wounded in the most-lethal surprise attack ever launched against the United States. Faced with the terrible choice of perishing in the flames engulfing the towers or throwing themselves out of windows hundreds of feet above Manhattan, many of the victims plunged to their deaths before millions of horrified on-lookers watching live on cable television.

In every sense, the attack was slaughter on a massive scale - a true holocaust. However, today, a short eleven years after that epochal day, one would never know that such an atrocity had even occurred, judging by media coverage of the anniversary.  

An Associated Press/CBS feature which appeared on the CBS News website, "America Remembers Sept. 11 Attacks 11 Years Later," provides a case in point; the entire story is centered on individual recollections and memories of the attacks. The piece opens with the lines,

Americans marked the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks Tuesday in familiar but subdued ceremonies that put grieving families ahead of politicians and suggested it's time to move on after a decade of remembrance.

There is no mention of those who planned and launched the attacks or their reasons for doing so. Osama Bin Laden was not named in the article, nor was al-Qaeda. Neither the Middle Eastern nationalities of the actual hijackers, nor their Islamic faith, were mentioned. The tone of the entire article is politically-correct and relentlessly therapeutic; the healing cannot be completed until we "move on."

Mainstream media coverage elsewhere tracked very closely with that of CBS and the AP; the Orlando Press-Register ran a feature entitled, "Remembering the Tragedy of 9-11."  Like its CBS/AP counterpart, the focus was on "remembrance."

These stories reveal a people in denial about the nature of what happened on September 11th, 2001 - and they also reveal a culture that has lost the moral language necessary to describe such an event. A "tragedy" is when an unexpected tornado or flood wipes out a town and claims the lives of unsuspecting people; it isn't a "tragedy" when Islamic attackers meticulously plan for years to hijack four jet airliners to use as guided weapons against civilians with the intent of killing as many of them as possible - it is a holocaust and an atrocity. It is an act of war. Specifically, it is an act of jihad - or holy war. The language of jihad is the language our enemies in the Islamic world used and still use today to describe what happened on that day.

Unfortunately, as the late author-historian Iris Chang once observed, atrocities often occur in pairs - first, the actual act of violence, then the cover-up and denial of it. Elie Wiesel, Nobel laureate and survivor of the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald, once made the same point by saying, "To Forget a Holocaust is to Kill Twice." Can we not say that today's mainstream media are themselves committing an atrocity by the standards of Chang and Wiesel?

The evidence answers overwhelmingly in the affirmative.

There are powerful vested interests in the nation and the world that want Americans to "get past" the 9-11 attacks, and go back to living in denial of what we face - a civilizational war with Islam that stretches back more than one thousand years. Awakened, our enemies know that we are a formidable force with which to be reckoned; they would rather we remain asleep than alert to the dangers we face. The cultural left and its enablers in the Republican Party prefer the soothing comforts of appeasement and dhimmitude; the sooner the memory and real meaning of 9-11 can be boxed-up and stuffed into the attic, the happier they'll be.

As Richard Fisher so eloquently noted, "Intellectual disarmament always precedes actual disarmament." White-washing the history of 9-11 away is not only a moral atrocity; it disarms us intellectually and thereby prevents us from facing reality.

Make no mistake; the way of Neville Chamberlain failed to work in 1938 against Hitler, and it will fail again if employed today. Sir Winston Churchill, the "Last Lion" of Great Britain who stood alone against Nazism in the 1930s, once said, "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last." There is no safety in appeasement; no security in ignorance. Instead, each of us must summon the ghost of Mr. Churchill and his defiance in the face of danger. As the old British lion himself once growled, "Never, never, never give up!" we should growl "Never, never, never forget!"


Copyright 2012 Peter Farmer

Peter Farmer is a historian and commentator on national security, geopolitics and public policy issues. He has done original research on wartime resistance movements in WWII Europe, and has delivered seminars on such subjects as political violence and terrorism, the evolution of conflict, combat medicine, and related subjects. Mr. Farmer is also a scientist and a medic. 



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