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My Generation Never Lived In A World Without Terrorism

My Generation Never Lived In A World Without Terrorism

It seems the rest of the Generation Y crew has weighed in on this, so I figured I’d put in my two cents.

My experience is more like Michael’s than Kathleen’s.  Islamist terrorism was a real issue in the world grew up in.  It was something I was aware of and thought about.  I remember the first attack on the World Trade Center.  I remember some of the First Intifada.  I remember the Oklahoma City bombing, and the fact that most initially assumed it was Islamist terrorism.

In 1999 or 2000, I wrote a high school paper on the threat of Islamist terrorism.  I specifically mentioned bin Laden and the possibility that Al-Qaeda might attack large buildings, damns, or power plants.

I remember reading about issues of Islam and the West, and about approaches to fighting terrorism.  I recall first reading Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” and  Francis Fukuyama’s “The End of History” for that paper, as well as Benjamin Netanyahu’s first book  on fighting terrorism.

It may be, however, that my focus on terrorism and my belief in a generally hostile world comes from being raised in a Jewish, very Israel-concerned household.  My experience was not typical.  After 9/11, Bill Bennet, Phyllis Chesler, Marty Peretz, and others spoke some version of “We Are All Israelis Now.”  In the sense they meant, some of us already were.


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It sounds like you had a solid understanding of reality – moreso than the Clinton administration, frankly. Also, you had solid grounding due to your upbringing.

You knew what life was like before and after the attack. But, you were already a Sept. 11th person, as opposed to having a Sept. 10th mentality.

We need more like you, with a sound, solid understanding of what the purpose of 9/11 was – and the continued threat from Islamic jihadis who want to destroy the Western world, Israel, and anything that has not “submitted” to their tyranny.

Good post!! Thanks!

I must say.. as a Gen Xer I too have not lived in a world without terrorism. I grew up conscious of the Soviet threat and the Islamic threat; first because my father served in the USAF and then I myself did. Sep 11 2001 was not the beginning of the War on Terror it was merely the first successful attack by Islamic terrorists on our soil.

I watched the unfolding drama of the Iranian hostages during their revolution. I remember the barracks attacks in Beirut. I recall speculation that Qaddafi had also been involved in destroying the Challenger, just before the the Lockerbie destruction 2 years later.

I remember the first attack on the World Trade Center. It was handled just as badly as the successful one some 8 years later. I keenly remember the string of attacks against embassies using truck bombs and the attack upon the USS Cole.

So finally on Sep 2001 several thousand Americans died because of a successful attack. I witnessed the inanity of a media and apparently my fellow citizens saying they never saw this coming. From my perspective terrorists had been trying for my entire life to attack the United States and to kill Americans. Somehow many other folks didn’t realize this. The missed or didn’t recall the eternal ‘Death to America’ chants, the flag burning, and the attacks themselves.

Since then nothing much has changed but to make air travelers more vulnerable on the ground by bunching them up in front of Security barriers. For me Sep 11 was not the beginning… it was merely a milestone along the way.

I hope it turns out to be the last milestone, but the same willful ignorance has begun to reassert itself, primarily among the left leaning.

And so you young’uns aren’t the only ones to grow up this way and I can relate. And in many ways Obama does resemble the Carter I remember , but this administration strikes me as being mendacious, mean and petty. Carter’s was honestly clueless and ineffective; not ( that I recall) corrupt, shady, and behind-closed-door deals sort of regime.

No one whose lived in America since the mid/late-70’s has lived without terrorism. If anything, it seemed much more common prior to the mid-90’s (in frequency, if not in scale). I remember sitting on the living room floor as a kid and watching an American body thrown off a hijacked TWA plane. It seemed like another plane was taken each week. The Marine barracks was big news. American hostages in Lebanon seemed to be a daily event, as did Palestinian attacks in Israel. Lockerbie was a huge story, and attacks on American clubs in Germany. Then you had the first WTC attack and the embassy bombings in Africa.

Terrorism wasn’t something new to the average American’s consciousness after 9/11, that was just first example of it our current teens and twenty-somethings were old enough to remember. You guys aren’t living in something new, you just had one big event that made you all aware of what already existed at the same time.

    Exactly. Islamic Terrorism did not begin with the attacks at the World Trade Center. Muslim Terror attacks were on the news almost every day in the early seventies and again in the early 80’s.

    The West has been under attack from Islam continuously since Mohammed consolidated power.

    The US has been under attack since our nation was founded.
    Here’s the Ambassador of Tripoli to Thomas Jefferson justifying the pirate attacks on US ships in the Mediterranean (with the crews being sold into slavery).
    “It was written in the Qu’ran that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet [Mohammed] were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave, and that every Muslim who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise . . .”