The “Alleged” Attack on the World Trade Center

by | Oct 7, 2001

Since Reuters forbids their journalists to use “terrorist” in their reports (couldn’t we construe the attackers as simply irate airline customers?) and CBS, citing allegiance to “neutrality”, is mandating the T word hold hands with “alleged” or some other like qualifier, why not carry their logic into the field of actual events? Excuse me — […]

Since Reuters forbids their journalists to use “terrorist” in their reports (couldn’t we construe the attackers as simply irate airline customers?) and CBS, citing allegiance to “neutrality”, is mandating the T word hold hands with “alleged” or some other like qualifier, why not carry their logic into the field of actual events?

Excuse me — “alleged” events.

If we call the annihilation of the World Trade Center an “alleged” destruction, we leave the door open to the possibility that it didn’t happen — or least not the way we saw it. What do we really know, anyway? We saw planes plunge into the towers, we saw explosions, smoke, fire, occupants leaping to their death, then the buildings collapse on about 6,000 people, who were alleged to be living at the time.

No “alleged” scientist would rush to insert causality into that sequence — or any sequence, for that matter. In time the mess (“alleged” mess) will be cleaned up and new buildings erected. Given our propensity to revise uncomfortable facts into something we can live with, who’s to say the towers were ever destroyed? After all, one man’s annihilation is another person’s renovation.

We must strive to be “objective” and not be carried away with the blindingly obvious. No fact is too daunting for the semantically sensitive.

In time, the “alleged” passing of the victims of this apparent atrocity will be forgotten by most, as we return to the serious matters that government drools over: banning guns, gutting our defense system, meddling with our lives, and throwing away our wealth. Advocates of the “alleged” position know intuitively that these are legitimate concerns not open to argument, qualification, or doubt. All our enemies are illusory, they maintain, and nothing boosts prosperity like taking from the productive.

Our philosophical heritage in the persons of Hume, Kant, and Hegel gives us bad news about our knowledge of the real world: we don’t have any. Fortunately, however, there are among us a few anointed souls who are able to contact the really real, and who happen to be unselfish enough to lead the rest of us through our absolute fog. Only the ignorant cling to the superstition of an objective reality perceivable by common sense.

Given this sobering information, who are we to claim knowledge of what really happened on September 11th? If the terrorists are alleged, so are their acts. If their acts are alleged, our reaction must be restrained.

Our intelligence services are chasing the “alleged” all over the globe, but does this mean they’re guilty of wrongdoing? Wrong to you and me maybe, but not in the court of the sensitivity-trained. We need to be cautious and ever-qualifying and seek peace and unity — with the alleged terrorist states themselves. Don’t squash the regimes that sponsor terrorism, negotiate with them. Do them a favor — cool our relationship with Israel.. Think appease. Give them 100 virgins instead of the 70 Allah promises them.. Grovel if necessary, if it’ll keep the lights on a day longer. America-haters will cooperate. Perhaps we’ll forget payback and focus instead on rehabilitation. Give them a suspended sentence and five years community service picking up after little league games in Pennsylvania.

We’re at war, but we wouldn’t want to cause an international incident.

George Smith lives in Atlanta where he is busy writing screenplays and articles on liberty. In addition to parenting, he enjoys staying fit, tomato gardening, and making the occasional "killer sandwich."

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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