The Decade Without A Name
Vol: 99 Issue: 30 Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The interesting thing about the first decade of the 21st century is that even as it draws to a close, nobody really knows what to call it. The British called it ‘the Noughties’ but that was way too cute to catch on Across the Pond.
The ‘two-thousands’ is too cumbersome and the ‘oughts’ seems too archaic. There is none of the easy nostalgia of the ’50s or the ’60s. One can write about the nuttiness that characterized the 70’s or label the ’80s the Microsoft Decade.
The various levels of intensity of the Cold War are identified by decade; the Red Scare of the ’50s, the 60’s Cuban Missile Crisis, the Evil Empire of the ’80’s and so on.
The ’90’s marked the birth of the ‘Internet generation’ and the dot.com bubble, the ‘decade of Oslo’, the first Gulf War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the rebirth of Russia, and so on.
But the first decade of the 21st century stands alone, a decade of such unrelenting bad news that while we can’t put it out of our mind, we can’t find a place for it in our vocabulary. It remains nameless even unto its death.
It didn’t start out that way. Thanks to the heroic efforts by legions of programmers worldwide, the Y2K Bug didn’t bite.
Terrorism was largely a problem elsewhere; few Americans on January 1, 2000 knew anything about Islam, let alone al-Qaeda.
The Dow rose by 25% in a year’s time. Home values soared. The Internet boom brought with it technological marvels like MP3 players, instant messaging and Voice Over IP.
We had a name all prepared for 2000 — it was to be the Millennium, infused with all the hope the name implied. Unfortunately, that name was poisoned when the media dubbed Ahmed Ressam the ‘Millennium bomber’.
So we settled for The Year 2000.
In retrospect, the Decade Without a Name didn’t really begin until September 11, 2001. There had been earlier terrorist events, and plenty of warnings, but the jihadist babble was just white noise to most of us until that day.
ay began the decade of fear. It led America into two wars overseas and countless individual battles on secret battlefields world-wide.
It started a decade in which grandmothers in walkers were wanded for explosives as a matter of routine.
Political Correctness replaced free speech and Americans began living in a dreamscape that began with President Bush praising Islam as a ‘religion of peace and love’ during Ramadan 2001 — and concluded with President Obama identifying the al-Qaeda-trained Islamist terrorist who tried to blow up an airliner over Detroit as an ‘isolated extremist.’
As we close the books on the Decade Without A Name, it is practically illegal to mention Islam in connection with terrorism and in some cases, it IS illegal.
According to the 2000 CIA World Factbook 0.7% of the US population practiced Islam, 2% practice Judaism, 87% practiced Christianity and 7% were either atheists or ‘other.’
Over the course of ten years of relentless pounding during the culture wars, the CIA finds only 77% are Christians, but shows 12% fit into a new category called “Unaffiliated”.
That is the underground Church — the ones that the Department of Homeland Security issues warning
While a mere hint of a connection between the 0.7% ‘moderate’ Muslim population with terrorism is tantamount to racist bigotry, anyone is free to attack Jesus Christ and His followers with total impunity.
The 77% has been so routinely pummeled throughout the past decade by the 4% — and feels so threatened by their 0.6% allies — that when some retailers this year replaced ‘Happy Holidays’ with “Merry Christmas” it was considered a major victory for religious freedom by the 12% ‘unaffiliated’.
Writing from his perspective some 2500 years ago, the Prophet Zechariah prophesied that in the last days, the center of the world’s attention would be the tiny city of Jerusalem.
Included was the warning that the whole world would gather ‘against’ Jerusalem and that any that burdened themselves with its defense would “be cut in pieces.”
The 1993 Oslo Agreement included provisions for the final status of Jerusalem. After seven years of negotiations aimed at dividing both Israel and Jerusalem as part of a ‘two-state solution’ President Clinton pressured Israeli PM Ehud Barack into agreeing to divide Jerusalem at the 2000 Camp David Summit.
Subsequent US efforts to divide Jerusalem at Taba in January 2001 failed. So did later efforts by “the Quartet” — US, EU, Russia and the UN, all of which have been shattered by constant terrorism and war throughout the 21st century
I note with some interest that the EU, UN and Russia have backed off somewhat in their efforts to force the division of Jerusalem.
The EU is on the verge of overtaking the US economically, Russia is awash in oil, the UN has never been more politically powerful.
And America is where it is, following a decade so awful we’d rather forget it than name it.