It's September 11 and 11 years after 9/11. A few 11s knocking about then. Here's an 11 of my own devising to mark the day: 11 themes that have been around since 9/11, though not because there's anything much, or indeed at all, to be said for them.
(1) Number one - it has to be - is that America got its comeuppance on 9/11, this theme contextualizing an act of mass murder even while the number of the dead from that day was not yet known, and pinpointing what their deaths 'represented' to a certain way of thinking.
(2) That those who commit terrorist acts are driven to do so, despite the fact that many others similarly situated are not so 'driven'.
(3) That you can't wage war on an abstract noun - a claim which, if it had any force, would rule out a war against fascism, or a campaign for political honesty.
(4) That the democratic and human rights justifications for overthrowing Saddam Hussein's regime were only brought up post hoc, once the WMD justification had been seen to fail. Untrue.
(5) That 'we marched but they didn't listen' - as if when you march, those who disagree with you are obliged to change their minds; as if government in a parliamentary democracy is by mass demo.
(7) That the source of most bad things in the world is America. A couple of my favourite manifestations of this mind-set. (a) From The Guardian on the eve of the 2004 presidential election: 'It [the US] hangs on the threshold of becoming a one-party state ruled by a clique of radical religious reactionaries. If Republicans succeed in this election, the Democratic party cannot survive...' (b) From one of its journalists: 'George Bush turned America into a fascist imperium'. That's a fascist imperium with free elections, a free press, that sort of thing.
(9) That to be concerned about the fate of women in Afghanistan should the Taliban return to power there is to indulge in 'bedtime stories' and 'simplistic morality tales'.
(10) That it's not for us to criticize other countries with respect to how they govern themselves.
(11) That democracy and human rights are not universal norms, from the absence of which millions of people have suffered and millions still do; they are... an imperialist agenda.
Goodness. Fancy being able to swallow some significant proportion of those and still digest your food.