A television producer called and told me that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center, so I ran to the den, saw the second plane crash in real time, sped to the TV station, went on air occasionally, and mostly sat in a dingy office angrily writing an article ("U.S. Failure") on American policy mistakes which National Review Online published that afternoon.
Two contrary responses seesawed in me on 9/11: a heart swollen with misery over the (initially reported) 7,000 deaths and a mind swirling with strategic implications, notably the hope that Americans would focus on the Islamist threat.
The latter offered some solace. Unlike most Americans, I felt safer on 9/11 because I expected the day's atrocities finally to wake my countrymen to the "Death to America" movement that had already caused some 800 deaths since it first struck in 1979 at the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
However imperfectly, that awakening did occur. The anti-Islamist reaction now underway assures that those who died on 9/11 did not do so in vain. (September 8, 2011)