Battle of September 11. "September 11 and the Agony of the Left", by Gregory Melleuish and Imre Salusinszky. [review]
At present, there is no more important subject for serious reflection than September 11 and its consequences. Those consequences range across a wide spectrum, from the military and diplomatic at one end — practical action to destroy al-Qaeda and its leadership — to the cultural at the other end, cued by the metaphysics of "Heart of Darkness". In Australia, the first book to take up this challenge has just appeared. "Blaming Ourselves: September 11 and the Agony of the Left" is a diverse collection of essays that reflects on the significance of the terrorist attack on New York and Washington. As with most essay assortments, the quality is uneven, and, in this case, the title misleads: only a third of the book is devoted to Leftist reactions to September 11. The editors, Imre Salusinszky and Gregory Melleuish, made a mistake in choosing a political orientation for their collection. Neither the Left nor the Right are coherent entities any more. In relation to the grave issues of the time, it is a distraction and wasted effort to conjure up an ideological enemy and imagine that, by humiliating it, progress has been made. September 11 is so difficult and engaging a topic that dwelling on the foolishness of some Left opinion seems trifling.