In attempting to understand 9/11, the first question asked by the world's elites -- as exemplified by leading media and academics -- was, "What did America do to provoke such hatred?"
Ten years later, the same people are still asking the same question. And it is as morally repulsive now as it was then. It was always on par with "What did the Jews do to antagonize the Germans?" or "What did blacks do to enrage lynch mobs?"
As long as people keep asking what America did to incite such hate, nothing will have been learned from 9/11.
The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks occurred because of a law of human life that has been true since Cain killed Abel: The worst hate the best (and the second best and the third best and so on). Evil hates good.
The United States of America is a flawed society. As it comprises human beings, it must be flawed. But in terms of the goodness achieved inside its borders and spread elsewhere in the world, it has been the finest country that ever existed. If you were to measure the moral gulf between America and those who despise it, the divide would have to be calculated in light-years.
If the academic and opinion elites of the world had moral courage, they would have asked the most obvious question provoked by 9/11: Were the mass murderers who flew those airplanes into American buildings an aberration or a product of their culture?
As far as those elites are concerned, only the first explanation exists. The 19 monsters of 9/11 were, for all intents and purposes, freaks. They were exceptions, no more representative of the Arab or Islamic worlds than serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was of America. According to the elites, the hijackers happened to be Muslim -- only in name, we have been constantly reassured -- but were not produced by anything within Arab or Islamic society. Even to ask whether anything in those worlds produced the 9/11 terrorists -- or Britain's 7/7 terrorists, or Madrid's March 2004 terrorists, or Palestinian terrorists, or the Taliban, or Hamas -- is to be a bigot, or an "Islamophobe," the ingenious post-9/11 label to describe anyone who merely asks such questions.
It can be said, therefore, that not only has the world learned nothing from 9/11; it has been prohibited from learning anything.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”