History Is Written By the Winners

In all the controversy over the upcoming release of "United 93," one question has yet to be asked: as the decade draws to a close, what event will be seen as the defining moment of the 2000s: 9/11 or the War in Iraq?

If the left has its way–and they’ll try to, in newsrooms and classrooms for years to come–the latter will be seen as the most significant event of this decade.
One of the reasons the left has howled so much about "United 93" is that the film reminds people not only of the horror of 9/11, but of President Bush‘s courage in responding to the Isalmofascist assault. Bush’s leadership in the days after 9/11 destroyed the left’s image of him as an incompetent, in-over-his-head "pResident," and generated political momentum that allowed Republicans to defeat Democrats in the 2002 and 2004 elections.

Although the left could not negatively spin Bush’s performance in the wake of 9/11, recent poll numbers suggest they’ve (unfortunately) done an effective job of spinning Bush’s performance in the wake of Operation Iraqi Freedom. By trumping up "controversies" such as Abu Gharib and obsessing endlessly over the relatively minor casualty count, the left has convinced a significant number of Americans that Iraq is a quagmire and a failure for the Bush Administration. The left’s campaign to undermine support for Bush and the war in Iraq has been so successful that figures such as philosopher Francis Fukuyama — once a supporter of removing Saddam Hussein from power — have now become pessimistic about our efforts in Iraq.

The left will have a vested interest in promoting the notion that Iraq was the defining event of the 2000s. Having had some success with their propaganda efforts, how can they possibly resist continuing such efforts? After Bush took office in January 2001, the left swore an oath of its own: to record him in the history books as a failed and corrupt President, the same way they recorded Richard Nixon. Emphasizing 9/11 as the central event of the 2000s does not give them an opportunity to do that. However, by emphasizing the alleged "quagmire" of Iraq, they can also stress the alleged "failure" of the President who led us into war.

It makes sense for the left to whine about "United 93." After all, many people learn history from Hollywood, and "United 93" will undoubtedly remind people of Bush’s leadership. Look for a slew of anti-Iraq war films over the next five years, attempting to "remind" people of Bush’s "loathsomeness."