What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.


What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

September 11.


What happened on this day eight years ago may be stated simply: The Jihad delivered against America a most grievous and staggering blow. Conceived in blind bitter hatred, plotted in treachery and skulking malice, it was also — as befits the Jihad — a spiritually impotent blow. To erect a great symbol of resistance to the power of the infidels, these operatives made war on the defenseless and unwitting. Somehow the man who extolled the bravery of armed men attacking airline stewardesses is still a respected clever-man on TV. By now it is not uncommon for someone to pedantically chide the President for having called them cowards.

But September 11 was not a blow delivered against the American fighting man. Against him the Jihad has generally withered or taken flight. The Jihad has not won a real battle against men of the West in many a year.

We demean the word by calling what happened on September 11th a battle. It was a treacherous strike against men and women the great majority of whom never had even a moment to contemplate self-defense. That some Americans — who we venerate today where their mortal remains lie, in the wide fields of Shanksville, Pennsylvania — gave battle to these brigands, and in the end conquered them by thwarting their conspiracy, shows indeed their valor, but does not grant their murderers the honor of the title Soldier.

The crown of honor on that day was won above all by the police and firemen of New York City, whose losses were terrible; these men who more than self their country loved. O beautiful, for heroes proved in liberating strife!

The Towers fell; the Pentagon burned; Lower Manhattan became a crematorium. It was the Jihad in brutal summary. The guilt of its victims, according to ancient doctrine, was fixed by their unbelief. America stood as the citadel and champion of Infidelity. There could be no innocents here.

And so honor, innocence, charity, kindness, courage, nobility, valor — all must kneel at the feet of the obligation of the Jihad to make war on the powers of Infidelity. America is the greatest of those powers. Whatever our foreign policy, whatever the interventions of our military, whatever the skill of our diplomats, whatever the character of our statesmen — still we shall attract, at least for the time being, the boldest stratagems, the cleverest sedition, the cruelest bloodlust of the Jihad. Even now its agents and operatives are maneuvering against us. Even now they plot terror and mayhem and torture.

Our countrymen perished in the flames of this wicked system, this terrible institution of Jihad. Today we remember them, we honor them, we lift up those who mourn them in prayer; and we steel ourselves for the day when the Jihad will try again.


Comments (16)

Mr. Cella:

Thank you once again for bringing to our attention the significance of the day.

On the other side of the world we too remember.

We need to remember the millions of people that have since suffered because of our reaction to the 9/11 attacks. How many stories of innocent Afghans and Iraqis killed will we hear about over the next few days? When do we remember the lives of people who were caught between our lust to avenge our dead and the supporters of violent Jihad? As Christians, we at least need to remember the faceless and nameless thousands that have perished since we decided to live by the sword.

"The Jihad has not won a real battle against men of the West in many a year." Actually, it has.


Amazing, beautiful photo. Strikingly reminiscent of Brueghel's famous painting of the Tower of Babel:


It cannot be coincidence that the attacks happened on the 318th anniversary of the West's most crucial victory against Islam, but I've never seen any evidence that the killers made the connection between 9/11 and Vienna. Does anyone know of evidence to the contrary?

I've posted this before, but whenever we discuss Christian resistance to Jihad, I am reminded of the most stirring words of a Christian fighting against the Jihad I've ever heard. From Emperor Amda Seyon I of Ethiopia when his men begged to go home after a long campaign:

Do not repeat in front me what you have just said, for I will not leave so long as the ungodly Muslims make war on me, who am the King of all the Muslims of Ethiopia, and I have confidence in the help of God.

When a Muslim vassal begged him to break off the attack:

While I am attacked by wolves and dogs, by the sons of vipers and children of evil who do not believe in the Son of God, I will never return to my kingdom, and if I leave without going as far as Adal I am no longer the son of my mother; let me no more be called a man, but a woman.

Steve, you're right. I just looked up the Brueghel.

Christians would do well to take a look at Mr. Cella's entry concerning same in previous years:

The Victory of September 11.

In 1565 the Grand Master of the Knights was a Frenchmen of Gascony, Jean Parisot de la Valette by name, who was by then (like Sultan Suleiman himself) in his seventies, but still vigorous. Piety and military acumen were his leading virtues: he was the very model of the warrior-priest, a kind of throwback to a dying medieval age. The religious fervor of the Knights had of late diminished, much as the chivalric piety of the medieval age itself was dying, and many of them had become worldly, sensuous, and arrogant. But La Valette, when he became Grand Master, aimed to check this corruption. Ernle Bradford calls him, “that rarest of human beings, a completely single-minded man.” His lieutenant was an Englishman, in exile from his homeland where Catholicism was proscribed; and it was this latter who decoded the reports from spies in Constantinople that the Turks were again massing against the Knights. The Order was the last vestige of that great Christian counterattack known as the Crusades, and the Sultan was now determined to stamp it out forever. Communiqués were sent all over Europe, calling the Knights to the defense of their last island home.

For the strategists of the Turks, including an old Algerian corsair called Dragut, Malta was more than just the remnant of an antique military order: it was the key to a proposed offensive in the western Mediterranean, an offensive that was to cow the Spanish and if possible carry the jihad to the very doors of St. Peter’s. And in any case, since Sicily, Sardinia, Majorca, and southern Spain itself had once been Islamic lands, it was a duty imposed upon the Sultan, by the iron principles of jihad, as duly constituted ruler, the successor to the caliph, to recover them from the infidel. Lands where the banners of the Crescent had once flown proudly must be returned to the Dar al-Islam (the House of Islam). The presence of the Maltese Knights barred such a project; and therefore the reduction of the island would be a prelude to a wider war. Said Dragut: “Unless you have smoked out this nest of vipers, you can do no good anywhere.” In March of 1565, a fleet of nearly 200 vessels, bearing some 40,000 soldiers (including 6,500 elite shock troops known as the Janissaries), assembled in the Golden Horn for the Sultan's inspection. Dragut made two astute recommendations: move against the isle early in the season, and detach a significant flotilla to menace the Spanish mainland, thereby preventing aid from the Emperor. Once the invasion began, the more confident among the Sultan's advisers anticipated the victory to come — in a matter of days.

The victory never came. Across Europe news of the bravery of Knights — outnumbered five to one or more — rang like a great tocsin. All throughout that brutal summer on the sun-baked isle, the Turks had been repulsed, time after time, in their attempts to take the Christian fortresses of Malta. One such fortress had been reduced to rubble by Turkish artillery, and its garrison (almost every one of them already dead) desecrated by enraged Turks; but the other had held. Casualties among the Sultan’s army had been terrible, and disease ran rampant. The stiffness of the resistance, added to the depredations of pestilence and heatstroke, had won for Western Christians their first great victory over the Turk. La Valette’s final address to his men has come down to us:

A formidable army composed of audacious barbarians is descending on this island. These persons, my brothers, are the enemies of Jesus Christ. Today it is a question of the defense of our faith — as to whether the Gospels are to be superseded by the Koran. God on this occasion demands of us our lives, already vowed to his service. Happy will be those who first consummate this sacrifice.

The date of this victory has for us a certain resonance: it was September 11, 1565.

From that day we may date the decline of Turkish power on the Mediterranean. Six years later at Lepanto, a vast Ottoman fleet was decisively beaten by a comparable fleet of the Christian Holy League in one of the largest and bloodiest naval battles ever fought. The Knights were there on that day too. On another September 11, 1683, the Polish King John Sobieski led an army to relieve Vienna from a Turkish siege, in a battle that marks the end of the Turkish advance into Europe. These dates may strike us today as very ancient indeed; the reader may wonder what significance they have to us. The answer is that they form the conclusion to a very long story, a great tale of human drama, mostly forgotten now by a forgetful people k a drama that, on yet another September 11th, was renewed here in America. It is the story of the Jihad.

Is the problem "Jihad" or Islam?

When we became Christians we (or our parents) took an Oath, To REJECT the Lies of the Devil, to reject the cup of his poison and today we renew that Oath; on the blood of the severn brothers, on the blood of the Maronite Martyrs, on the blood of the martyrs of Otranto, on the Blood of the Apostles and on the most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ that won our Redemption We will NOT yeild. Crux sancta sit mihi lux Non draco sit mihi dux Vade retro satana Numquam suade mihi vana Sunt mala quae libas Ipse venena bibas

The crown of honor on that day was won above all by the police and firemen of New York City

Their heroic leadership was decapitated early on and they lacked even a crude communications system, yet they somehow managed to spontaneously stage the greatest rescue operation in our nation's history. The hellish chaos of that day may prevent the story from being told in full and truly understood.

"The Jihad has not won a real battle against men of the West in many a year." Actually, it has.

A nation can lose her national honor, geopolitical advantage, squander her Treasury and suffer the needless loss of countless lives without ever once experiencing defeat on the battlefield.

Just a single sentence to reflect about humanity:
there is no document of civilization that is not at the same time a document of barbarism

Take care

The most striking image I recall from the weeks after 9/11 was this cover of the New Yorker. It offers an uncanny perspective to the nihilistic spectacle that traumatized the country.


A nation can lose her national honor, geopolitical advantage, squander her Treasury and suffer the needless loss of countless lives without ever once experiencing defeat on the battlefield.

Posted by Kevin | September 11, 2009 11:17 PM

We are headed in that direction if Christians continue to fail to stand on the command of Christ to "Occupy til I come" Lk 19-KJV

By the standards of a true Christian soldier, we are not merely headed in that direction, we have already arrived there. The question is do we have the moral wherewithal to change our course. And I hope, "Occupy til I come" isn't being misinterpreted as a Scriptural endorsement of liberal interventionism, "nation-building" and armed cultural transformation.

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