Bloggers Don’t Die, They Just Burn Out.

It’s 9/11, and I’ve mostly given up blogging about 9/11, because I don’t have anything new to say on it. My Year Ten at Ground Zero post at Revolutionary Nonsense pretty much summed it up:

So, with the shattered Towers transformed into watered gravestones for those eternally interred by them, we can at last put our grief and rage from memory into history. We have remembered, and we have moved on, through the light and shadow of a world born in fire. We make the best of that world to the extent that we feel that those who suffered at last have peace. Time will bury all wounds, but as the centuries pass, men and women will walk through Lower Manhattan and see the names of those martyred for being American.

This is what stands in the place of smoke and death today. Because, America.

Rather, I’m more interested in the subject of the blogosphere, partially because Instapundit took the opportunity of the anniversary to ponder his status as survivor, but mostly because I seemed to notice the blogosphere at about that time. I started blogging myself in 2003, and I’m still doing it. But I’ve burned out a couple of times. It happens. It starts to feel like a job, or worse, an unpaid internship that never ends. You start getting bored with the struggle to say something that several million people are not already saying. So you just stop.

But I keep coming back. Whenever I shuttered a blog, I would suddenly find myself with things to say. So I’d start a new blog. At one point I had two, plus a randomly updated LiveJournal. That was too much, which prompted me to set up shop at WordPress in 2011.

I don’t nuke blogs when I tire of them anymore. The new rule is: When I don’t feel like blogging, I don’t blog. Andrew Sullivan used to take August off, I usually end up doing the same. When I feel like blogging again, I come back.

Here’s another blogger that burned out and came back. She’s funny, too.

All Debates About Foreign Affairs are Bunk, and None of This is Over.

 

Back in college, a wise professor told me that foreign policy debates in America are about the next election. This assertion, bluntly proven true over the past eleven years, rather dissuades me from having anything to say to mark the anniversary. All the old feelings return, the old anger, the old sadness, the old regret. I don’t want to write about it. 9/11 did not effect me personally, except insofar as it affected everyone American. I don’t want to slam the other side of the aisle for what I see as an irretrievable stupid approach to the problem of global terrorism. I’ve read all that before, and while I don’t disagree, it doesn’t seem quite as important as it did in 2003-2006. And also, none of it matters.

Guantanamo Bay is still open. I’m going to repeat that: GUANTANAMO. BAY. IS. STILL. OPEN. Despite everything Obama said, whatever paper he signed, the place is still running. We still keep men there in a legal limbo. None of which I have a problem with. But I’d like it noted for the record.

Also, we’re still in Afghanistan. I don’t know if we’re winning or losing, and neither do you. But we’re still there. Despite every screech about Bush being the warmonger of all warmongers, the Lightbringer still has troops in country. It’s as much his war now as it ever was Bush’s.

So while we send Seal Team Six everywhere from the Horn of Africa to the Himalayas, while unmanned drones drops screaming death on our suspected enemies without possibility of return fire, I have to ask. Is this what John Kerry would have done? Is this what Al Gore would have done? Is this the flexible response, the shadow war, that Democrats wanted all along?

Maybe. Maybe not. I kind of think they’ve lost interest. I suspect that they assume that someone on their team knows what he’s doing, as Republicans also do. And I suspect that the fury at Bush was kabuki to highlight political differences in an election year. Because we haven’t stopped killing people on the other side of the world, and I don’t see Code Pink or Cindy Sheehan much up in arms about it. Or if they are, they’re getting deliberately ignored by the legacy media, which amounts to the same thing.

None of which matters, because this is not over. In five, ten, twenty years, someone is going to find a way through our security systems and hit us again. And we’re going to go off to war again, in the same quixotic and heavy-handed manner. It’s what we do. And the same players will make the same arguments with some new rhetorical dressings and the same  noise will sound. And we’ll win, and lose, and struggle again. And some new places will get democratic regimes, and some new locals will play us for the saps we are, and some new graves will be dug at Arlington. And then things will quiet down again.

Two thousand years ago, the Romans spent decades, countless lives, and cartloads of treasure pacifying the Jews. It was on-again, off-again. Legions were slaughtered and Temples destroyed. And every time the Romans thought they had made a desert and called it peace, the soil burst forth with the same old fight. Until it didn’t.

No one knows the future, on this of all days. But I’m pretty confident in the assertion that we have settled nothing in all our back-and-forth, and that our enemies, though chastened, are not crushed, and that the problem is still there. Draw your own conclusions.