Happy Nine Eleven Day

Something is happening here.  What it is ain’t exactly clear…if you’re a writer for the Wall Street Journal:

From the beginning, there were disagreements over how to memorialize victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. How to compensate the families. How and where to try the responsible parties.

But always, family members of Sept. 11 victims say, the anniversary of the attacks brought a moment of unity.

Not this year.

The plan to build an Islamic community center with a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero has heightened emotions and created discord. A Florida pastor’s threats to burn multiple copies of the Quran Saturday, since rescinded, has further inflamed tensions.

As the city and nation brace to remember the moment when two planes flew into the World Trade Center, one hit the Pentagon and one crashed in a Pennsylvania field, killing thousands of people, those most affected say they feel more isolated and frustrated than ever.

The article continues with comments from families of 9/11 victims, some opposed to the “Ground Zero Mosque,” some supporting, and a few who just want the whole controversy to go away, so they can remember, and grieve, in peace.

Nowhere in the article is any indication of what might have caused, and is continuing to exacerbate, the “controversy.”  No mention of Newt Gingrich and his terror-porn movie, the release of which coincides with the 9th anniversary of the attacks, or any earlier examples of Newt’s ridiculously overheated rhetoric. No mention of Sarah Palin’s “refudiation” of the “mosque.”  No mention of Charles Krauthammer, John Bolton, or the dozens of other conservatives and prominent Republicans who have helped to push the “controversy” and put it front and center, tying it in most cases to their “otherization” of Muslims and, by implication, President Obama.  No mention of how the media has elevated obscure, batshit-insane bloggers like Pam “Atlas Juggs” Geller to the status of authoritative observer.  It must just be something in the water, I guess.

The article mentions “Florida pastor” Terry Jones in passing, but says nothing about how this obscure head of a 50-member church in Florida became the biggest news story of the year, or at least the summer.  And of course, no mention whatsoever in the Rupert-Murdoch-owned WSJ of how the Rupert Murdoch-owned subsidiary of the Republican Party, FOX News, has played a major role in freaking out America about the Muslim Threat.

The best part of the article comes at the end, when we hear a voice of sanity:

In the years since the towers fell, the opinions of family members of the victims have been sought out on an ever-widening range of issues that go far beyond what to do with the place where their loved ones died.

That prompted Nikki Stern, who lost her husband in the attacks, to write a book examining the phenomenon, called “Because I Say So: The Dangerous Appeal of Moral Authority.”

“I don’t think that losing someone on 9/11 or in any other place makes you a moral paradigm,” said Ms. Stern, who lives in Princeton, N.J.

And so, Ms. Stern said, she will honor her husband’s memory by going on a 16-mile bike ride, because biking is something her husband loved, something they loved to do together. “What I do is I pull it down and make it personal and private,” she said. “Nothing can touch that, because that’s mine. I own that, and that’s all I want to own. I don’t want to own arguments about community centers and conspiracy theories, or the best way to protect the United States. I want to own my ability to deal with this day.”

If only someone would listen.  Instead, after nearly 9 years of relative sanity and unity, the right-wing trolls (aided and abetted by their corporate-media enablers) have come out of the woodwork in force to do that voodoo that they do so well, trying to scare the bejeebers out of everybody, and laying blame on the “dirty fucking hippies” that let 9/11 happen in the first place.  As Atrios reminds us, they started not long after the event itself:

“These seem to be lonely days for the Birkenstock-and-beads set,” reported Newsweek magazine (10/1/01). It’s certainly true that anti-war activists, the apparent target of Newsweek’s disdain, might have felt lonely–if they were counting on visits from mainstream news reporters.

In place of consistent coverage of the peace movement, some pundits and columnists sounded the alarm about the threat to America from within. New Republic editor Peter Beinart (9/24/01) thought critics of administration plans should either keep quiet or explain their loyalties: “Domestic political dissent is immoral without a prior statement of national solidarity, a choosing of sides.”

New Republic columnist (and former editor) Andrew Sullivan had a more ominous warning (London Sunday Times, 9/16/01): “The middle part of the country–the great red zone that voted for Bush–is clearly ready for war. The decadent left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead–and may well mount a fifth column.”

Washington Times columnist Robert Stacy McCain (9/27/01) was even more threatening, implying that military force should be used against anti-war protesters: “Why are we sending aircraft carriers halfway around the world to look for enemies, when our nation’s worst enemies–communists proclaiming an anti-American jihad–will be right there in front of the Washington Monument on Saturday?”

Right-wing provocateur David Horowitz (L.A. Times, 9/28/01) chided today’s student activists with this reminder: “The blood of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese and tens of thousands of Americans is on the hands of the antiwar activists who prolonged the struggle and gave victory to the communists.” Horowitz added that “this country was too tolerant toward the treason of its enemies within.”

At least one commentator blamed the left for the attacks themselves. Columnist Steven Schwartz (New York Post, 9/12/01) wrote that “the anti-globalist rioters seek to intimidate world capitalism into shutting down altogether, and the distance between breaking the windows of McDonald’s to achieve that end and blowing up the World Trade Center is pretty damned narrow.”

As election day approaches, expect things to get even worse.  Stoking fear and resentment, blaming the “Other,” you’re either with us or against us – we’ve seen this movie before from the right.  It’s the only strategy they have, and it is focus-group tested and approved.  Remember November!

This entry was posted in Conservatives Are Always Wrong, Douchebags on Parade, Hippie Punching, Our God is Bigger Than Your God. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Happy Nine Eleven Day

  1. Sharon Brown says:

    i went to vote today with my husband,TomTerrific Republican, and on the way in i lamented that that there were no good socialists to choose from. TTR said “shhh”, like i was endangering myself in this bastion of REDness we live in. i just get angrier and angrier.

    i hope molly bloom is doin’ well. and you too. and your son.

    have you found a job? i apply almost daily , and i get a call now & then, but it doesn’t go further than that.

    i’ve been finding FDL to be pretty scattered, much the same way they describe “progressives”.You , on the other hand, seem pretty cohesive in your outlook. Oh. Wait… maybe it’s bc you’re just one person…
    What i’m trying to say is i appreciate your singular pov.

    • Thanks, Sharon. Considering how schizophrenic my political views were and how contrarian I’ve been most of my adult life, I consider it a real compliment for you to tell me that I’m “cohesive in my outlook.” I guess being unemployed in my fifties has had a very focusing effect on me. Still looking for work; I’ve got an interview for a paralegal job next week, so fingers crossed.

      The son has started community college, and is liking it much better than high school. molly just got back from visiting her “new” family, and I made her promise to write a post soon about her experience there. I’ve been busy cleaning up the hovel for the last few days in anticipation of her return, which explains why my posting has been somewhat light. Return to normalcy is expected shortly.

  2. Sharon Brown says:

    Thinking about 9/11 and “are we safer?”, reading that we have not seen the enormous personal & economic losses since that “fateful day”, makes me wonder just where the joker who wrote that was living for the last three years?Wall Street Terrorists hijacked the global economy, causing untold economic despair to untold millions, innumerable foreclosures, homelessness and desperation for children.

    And these were genuine U.S.A. born and bred motherfuckers who committed these atrocities.

    All this overheated bullshit rhetoric from corporate-backed TeaParty hustlers is camouflage, pure and simple

    • So true. I went to the airport today to pick up molly, and it struck me that you can’t even get anywhere near the gates to meet arriving passengers – everything is totally sealed off with security checkpoints, and you have to wait at a “Meeting Point” (sheer poetry, whoever the genius was who came up with that deserves a Pulitzer) next to the baggage claim area.

      Paranoia took hold of this country big time after 9/11; meanwhile, the fucking banksters were raping, looting and pillaging at will, with no regulators to stop them and no media to ask any questions. The priorities of our elites are insane, and will continue to be so, for the foreseeable future.

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