chapter
5 Pages

Introduction

To President George W. Bush, Septem ber 11, 2001 repres ented “the Pearl Harbor of the 21st century;”1 the first salvo in a new era of asymmetrical warfare against an enemy bent on the aboli tion of Western culture and a willingness to go to extremes as a means to attain that ob ject ive. Moreover, it signified an epic struggle between darkness and light. “We are here in the middle hour of our grief,” Bush ac know ledged at a national prayer ser vice held on Septem ber 14. “But our respons ib ility to his tory is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil.”2 Six days later, speaking to a joint session of Congress, he expanded on this theme, declaring:

What is at stake is not just Amer ica’s freedom. This is the world’s fight. This is civilization’s fight. . . . Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment. Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom-the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every timenow depends on us. Our nation-this generation-will lift a dark threat of viol ence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail. . . . The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.3