The fifteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks has brought us mournful memorials, declarations that we will "never forget," and outraged realizations that nearly a third of Americans don't recall what year that signal event occurred. All of this is quite natural, but it isn't what we need at the moment. Yes, anniversaries are a time for looking back, but I want to do something quite different: I want to look forward, and ask "Where are we now – and where are we going?"
But we can't see where we are going without understanding where we have been, and thanks to that miracle known as the Internet you can do that by reading something I wrote fourteen years ago, in the Autumn of 2002: "Iraq: First Stop on the Road to Empire." It is actually a speech I gave to the Washington University chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, in which I gave a pretty thorough accounting of the history that brought us to that day, September 11, 2001, as well as a warning of what the future held.
While the fires ignited by the blast in lower Manhattan had been put out, I warned that a fire had been lighted in the hive mind of our political class, one that, to this day, still smolders and burns and fills our eyes with acrid smoke: