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The Lessons Of September 11

February 2024
1min read


I thoroughly enjoyed your special section on the lessons of September 11 in the November/December issue. It was inspiring and thought-provoking. I do, however, want to take issue with John Lukacs’s contribution to the essays in “Can History Help?” Mr. Lukacs believes that “this is not ‘war.'” But whether or not we realize it, whether or not we want to be, we are most certainly at war. Even our adversaries admit as much. It is, as President Bush has said repeatedly, “a different kind of war.” It is not limited to simply “an armed struggle between states or nations or tribes.” It is a struggle on several fronts, military, political, economic, and even intellectual.

I also believe Mr. Lukacs is in error in his view that the perpetrators of September 11 are not cowards. Willingness to die for a cause does not exonerate someone from charges of cowardice; it is the means that one uses in his or her willingness to die that determines whether or not that person is a coward.

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