Remembering 9/11 with a very focused mind

Over the past several years, especially since Obama became president, 9/11 turned into a diffuse holiday during which a Leftist-dominated media and political class ruminated about the needs of Muslims.  Patriotism was verboten.  We were allowed to shed tears for those who died, but the media shut its collective door on examining why they died.

This year it’s different.  This year, we’re once again looking into Islam’s gaping and bloody maw.  The Arab Spring is a carnage-strewn winter.  Egypt is imploding, Syria is a bloodbath, and Iran is ascendent.  More than that, in the past week we witnessed the complete collapse of American influence in the Middle East and, by extension, everywhere else too.  We’re not even a paper tiger.  We’re paper after it’s been through the shredder.

The situation we face today is September 10, 2001 all over again, only worse:  Islam is more vengeful and weaponized; and America is more weak, disrespected, and discredited.  For those who care about their children’s future (and their own), remembering 9/11 isn’t just a tearful, bathetic media wallow in photogenic images, along with equally teary statements about the misunderstood religion of “peace.”  Instead, it is a very real reminder of the risks we face and the strength we need to find in order to protect ourselves from something that will make 9/11 look insignificant.

This 9/11, I definitely remember and pay homage to those who died and those who served.  I’d also like to applaud the bikers across America who are riding into Washington, D.C., today, both to commemorate the dead, and to make a statement about the power of the people and the power of patriotism.

As for me, a piece of my heart was left behind forever on September 11, 2001.  I will never forget.

I don’t have anything else of note to say about this solemn day. In the past, I’ve written memorials about three of the honored dead, and I include links to them here. (I prefer “honored dead,” a nicely Victorian phrase, to the word “victim,” which negates Americans’ tattered, but still surviving, fighting spirit). Also, below the fold, there is a very, very, very, very long list of each person who lost his or her life on September 11, 2001 at the hands of Muslim terrorists.

Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas

Brian Ahearn

Rick Rescorla

[Read more...]

Three degrees of separation

I enjoy reading my Liberal-Lefty friends’ Facebook posts because they are so insightful into the mindsets of the Left.

One insight that I have gained over time is that the differences between us conservatives and the Progressive/Left are so profound that they are unlikely to ever be bridged, barring some cataclysmic, life-changing events. What I have tried to do is understand why this is so. I share this with you because I greatly appreciate the insights that Bookworm group has to offer on such issues – be it “yay” or “nay”.

Our disagreements appear to come down to three levels of separation.

1) First, there are objective facts (OK, I am being deliberately redundant here). These are easy enough to resolve. Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock world has arrived: everybody is so overwhelmed with information that we can’t absorb and process all there is to know and we therefore choose our facts selectively.

As Ronald Reagan said, ““It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”

In discussions, factual disputes are easy enough to resolve: my typical response to Liberal /Lefties is simply tell them to “Google it”. Amazingly, many apparently don’t know that you can Google entire texts or sentences. A good example was the recent George Zimmerman trial…many people with whom I disagreed told me outright they were too busy to bother looking up facts. The Left operates on so many facts that just aren’t so.

2) The second level of separation involves our assumptions or premises. These are tougher to resolve, because we assume and presume events based on our past experiences. I suspect that we humans are hard-wired to build assumptions (true or false) as a defense mechanism: for example, my cave ancestors probably assumed that to allow a saber-tooth tiger to stand in their path was not a good thing and that such assumption is one reason why I stand here today.

We go through life building mental templates on how the world works in order to short-circuit decision making and evaluation. Otherwise, we would soon be overwhelmed with indecision. As long as our world templates work for us, we continue to hold onto them. Many formerly Liberals (e.g., David Horowitz, Bookworm) only became conservative when one or more events (e.g., 9/11) rendered their previously comfortable world views untenable. For me it was Reagan’s second term, when his policies led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and an economic resurgence. I, young man at the time, knew then that my Democrat world template had been very, very wrong.

I use the word “comfortable” deliberately, because our templates represent our comfort zones. Losing that comfort zone is terrifying. Imagine if all of a sudden nothing in the world made any sense to you; you would feel totally deracinated and quite possibly insane. You would also feel a deep sense of personal failure, as in “how in the world could I have been so deluded?”

And, the older you get, the more frightening that sense of loss, confusion and failure would be. So, the older we get, the more desperately we defend our mental templates, selecting and force-fitting “facts” to fit our own perceptions of reality. I believe this is where modern Liberalism and Progressivism are today (Google “Paul Krugman”). As Thomas Sowell put it, people of the Left expect the world to conform to their misperceptions. Eventually, however, reality hits like a 2 x 4 between the brow…as in “Detroit”.

I believe that this dynamic also explains the sheer viciousness expressed by many on the Left when the presumptions of their world templates are threatened (as by Sarah Palin or by black conservatives, for example). This is also the reason why I believe that world Islam will fail, because it doesn’t work and eventually people in Muslim worlds, aided by the internet, will eventually realize this (some of my Middle Eastern friends assure me that many already do). Reality is a harsh mistress.

This level of separation helps to explain why Liberals and Conservatives usually talk past each other. We try to rationalize our positions to each other, but our rationalizations only make sense if the other party shares the same assumptions and understandings of how the world works. We operate from completely different templates.

3) Faith. This the most difficult and potentially dangerous degree of separation, because it addresses fundamental values that are non-negotiable. Our “faith” defines how we perceive ourselves and our place in the world, irrespective of facts, logic and reason. I cannot, for example, “prove” the veracity of my Christian faith. Environmental extremists and atheists cannot “prove” the righteousness of their positions. We just “know” that what we believe to be true is true. There is no logical argument that I know of that can challenge faith-based values. Our values define who we are and how we perceive the world to be. Utopian fascist ideals (Progressivism, Nazism, communism, Islamism, etc.), for example, are defined by a faith in a future to come – they require no proof. Abortion is a similar issue of faith and values – there is no middle-of-the-road compromise if you believe abortion to be murder and that murder is wrong (a value proposition). Psychologists have claimed that only very powerful shocks to the system can challenge faith.

I have no dealing with the first degree of separation. I admit, however, that I am totally stumped on how to address (2) and (3). Any ideas?

Our feckless president

We all recall how Michael Moore mercilessly savaged George Bush because, when the first reports about the 9/11 terrorist attacks began, Bush was reading a story book to small children, and chose not to run screaming out of the room.  Fast-forward eleven years and we have a president who boasts that he’s better than everybody at doing anything.  Apparently he’s now decided to one-up Bush’s insouciance in the face of imminent disaster.

Yesterday was not a good day for America.  First, it was the eleventh anniversary of the most deadly attack ever launched against U.S. soil.  More than 3,000 American civilians died, horribly, over the course of a few hours, and they did so at the hands of people in thrall to radical Islam.  Obama celebrated this anniversary by campaigning, talking music with a pimp with a limp, and by sending a nice message to the Arab Forum on Asset Recovery.  Feckless.

Moving on from past tragedy to imminent disaster, radical Islamists attacked the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.  The Embassy responded before the attack by apologizing explicitly for Free Speech and doubled-down on that apology after the attack.  Hillary Clinton — Obama’s highest State Department official — reiterated the spineless apology.  The administration has tried now to walk back the statement, claiming that it didn’t authorize it (something that rings untrue in light of Hillary’s conduct) but the damage is done:

But the damage control being performed in Washington isn’t enough to put the administration’s stand in a positive light. If the initial apology resonated around the world it was because it was very much in line with the tone of moral equivalence that was the keynote of President Obama’s speech to the Arab world given in Cairo in June 2009. Having set forth a credo that balanced understanding for grievances against U.S. policies with a desire to conciliate its critics rather than to forthrightly defend America and its allies, the president cannot now be surprised when the instinct of U.S. representatives abroad, and especially those in Cairo, is to apologize first and to be resolute later.


The news of what happened in Egypt was swiftly followed by a report that “rebels” had stormed the American embassy in Benghazi, killing one person.  It only got worse.  We learned today that Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others were deliberately murdered — Christopher by alleged “suffocation,” and the three others by gun shots.  The murderers than did the usual Arab thing of dragging the Ambassador’s body through the streets.  Honestly, they’re so primitive out there that, if it wasn’t for the Koran’s dietary proscriptions, I suspect they would have gone all Aztec or Druid and eaten his heart.

Obama’s response was swift:  He’s heading for Vegas.  He did take time out from his busy campaign season this morning, however, to make a short statement.  Considering that he used this statement to jettison the First Amendment, maybe it would have been better if he’d just kept quiet and gotten on the Vegas plane.

Romney, incidentally, gave a speech in favor of Free Speech.  He clearly understands that yesterday’s events are not the pathetic Arab have-nots standing up against the arrogant and cruel American haves.  Instead, what we saw yesterday was the latest outbreak in a war between the backwards, repressed, bloodthirsty world and American exceptionalism, a doctrine founded on individual freedom, which is inextricably intertwined with Free Speech.

Maybe it’s no wonder that Obama was caught flat-footed.  He’s been so busy with campaigns and phone calls to rock stations and TV appearances that he hasn’t had any time for security briefings in the last week.  Yet more evidence, as if we need it, that Obama’s priorities are all about . . . Obama.  Feckless wretch.

Obama didn’t do any better in his dealings with Israel’s existential nightmare — a nuclear Iran.  The first reports were that Obama refused to speak to Netanhayu at all.  Fear not, Obama fans.  This doesn’t mean he’s too busy to do the really important stuff, such as making an appearance on David Letterman’s show.

When the uproar became too great to tolerate, Obama announced that he spoke on the phone for one hour with Netanyahu.  Think about that:  Israel, America’s only stable, democratic ally in the Middle East is facing a potential nuclear holocaust, and Obama is able to carve out a single hour from his busy schedule of shmoozing and begging for money.  As Roger Simon asks, how can Jews continue to ally themselves with Obama and Democrat party?

Obama is the most feckless president in American history, especially when it comes to the Middle East.  Or maybe he’s not feckless at all.  Worse, maybe this is part of a grand plan and ideology.


September 11, 2001: In Memoriam

My life is divided into two parts:  Before September 11, 2001 and after September 11, 2001.

Even the most exciting things I’ve done in my life (marriage, children, etc.) haven’t affected me as strongly as September 11, 2001 did.  That day stands as a bright line that breaks my world view into two entirely disparate segments.  During the first part of my life, I was confident that “it can’t happen here.”  I felt protected by America’s borders.  I was safe within our country.  During the second part, the time after September 11, I’ve known that it can and will happen here.  My children are at risk.  In 21st Century America, borders are only as strong as the people’s will — and our people aren’t as willing as they used to be.

Saying “Never Forget” isn’t the same as never forgetting.  We remember the date now but, with every passing year, the emotional resonance lessens, until September 11 becomes a sad story rather than both a national tragedy and wake-up call.  If we still remembered strongly as we should, we would not, as a nation, have succumbed to the frenzy that saw us put Barack Obama in the White House in 2008.  And if we still remembered that day at a visceral level, the current presidential race wouldn’t see Obama holding even the narrowest lead.

I refuse to forget.  Below the fold, you will find the names of all of the men, women, and children who died on September 11, 2001 at the hands of Islamic terrorists — terrorists who are still revered wherever radical Islam has a hold.

I’ve written memorials about three of the honored dead.  (I prefer “honored dead,” a nicely Victorian phrase, to the word “victim,” which negates Americans’ fighting spirit):

Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas

Brian Ahearn

Rick Rescorla

[Read more...]

Remembering things past — the 9/11 round-up

I have to admit to a great act of cowardice this morning:  I was afraid to turn my computer on.  I’m still a little leery here, treating the internet as a potential harbinger of horrible news.  I feared, of course, that I would awake to reports of another attack, just as I awoke to reports of that first attack exactly ten years ago today.  There was bad news (my thoughts are with the 77 troops wounded in the latest attack in Afghanistan) but, so far, the internet hasn’t reported a 9/11 redux, and I pray it stays that way.

I also knew that turning my computer on would mean a day that is a remembrance of things past.  For my kids, it was the thing that happened way back then, when they were too little to have awareness.  For me, though, it’s as raw a wound now as it was then.  Examining that bloody hole in my psyche, I found myself thinking of the hackneyed phrase “lack of closure.”  The WWII generation had closure.  It had a vigorously fought, balls to the wall, all-encompassing, popularly supported war, which was concluded with complete victory.  By August 1945, a “mere” four years after the nightmare began, the bad guys were utterly defeated. People turned their back on the past and looked to the future.

We haven’t had that.  For the past ten years, we’ve fought a three front war:  Iraq, Afghanistan, and American hearts and minds.  It’s this last war that’s been the most damaging, and I say that with the greatest of respect to those who died, who were wounded, who served, and who still serve in our American forces.  Even as our troops fling themselves in front of the guns, the rot at home is so deep, it ensures that our 9/11 wound remains an open, festering sore.  We have no closure, we have no future, we have only ten years of internal agitation and self-loathing.

But still, we try, and there are so many in America who fight the good fight, not just on the battlefields of the body, but also on the battlefields of the mind.  This post is a small effort to catch up with those who are engaged in the war on the Fifth Column, the one we fight here at home.  I know that many of your favorite internet destinations have devoted themselves today to 9/11 remembrances (e.g., American Thinker, National Review or Pajamas Media), so I won’t tag individual posts from those sites here.  Before I begin, you should know that the Anchoress has a massive round-up of links, as does Melissa Clouthier and Kim Priestap.

As is always the case with me, this round-up is an ongoing thing, as I come across links, so please check back often.  Here’s a start:

Gotta start with my own big, thoughtful post on the subject.

Melissa Clouthier’s 9/11:  No, America is not over it yet

The New Editor reminded me that he asked, a long time ago, What if the September 11 attack was thwarted?

Noisy Room’s Remembering 9-11 — 10 years of war

Michelle Malkin, who has been at the forefront of the war at home, hasn’t forgotten

The Pink Flamingo Bar has a video montage

Even the young’uns know that the world changed that day, as Bruce Kesler’s 11 year old son demonstrates.

At Red State, just the names, the long, long list of names.

Lauren would have been happy to learn that her beloved husband has managed to move on.

The Razor, always thoughtful, thinks about the 9/11 legacy.

CAC, at Ace of Spades, writes about the visceral horror of the falling man.  And ArthurK, also writing at Ace of Spades, comments on the 9/11 singularity.

Another link to myself, but after all these years, I cannot forget Brian Ahearn, a 9/11 firefighter, nor my friend Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas.

If you like Twitter, soccerdhg (Soccer Dad) has created a hashtag you can follow:  #Essential911Reading (and use yourself, of course).

This one isn’t quite a remembrance, unless it helps you (as it did me) remember who America’s enemies are.

Ten years later, I remember 9/11

I wrote my big 9/11 post a few days ago and many of you are sharing your amazing and moving memories even as I write these words.  I’m not sure what else to add.  The day and its import are seared in my consciousness.  They never leave me.  I will never lose the pain and the anger I feel when I think about that day, and what that day did to our nation.  That’s not good for my soul, but there it is.  I’m still mad.  I still want to quash completely the ideology that encouraged a group of people to think it was a good idea to kill 3,000 of my American family, and to spend the next ten years trying to repeat that act.

“Never forget” is a stupid thing to tell me, because I find it impossible to stop remembering.

All the pretty lights in the world won’t bring it back.

9/11 Open Thread

I remember as vividly as if it happened yesterday what my day was like on 9/11? Do you remember your day? If you do, and if you’d like to share it here, this open thread is for you.

Honoring 9/11 by remembering that we are warriors

The murderous frenzy unleashed on 9/11 is an awkward size.  Had it been smaller — a handful of people, or even a hundred people, killed at a mall or a hotel — we would have noted it as a tragedy powered by a crazy person (or two) in thrall to bad ideas.  We would have criminalized the crazy person and moved on with our lives.  Had it been monumentally bigger — say, the size of Hitler’s Poland invasion — we all would have easily recognized it as “a war,” and would have treated it accordingly, both strategically and emotionally.

What do you do, though, when nineteen men hijack four planes and kill 2,996 people?  Actual events proved that, in the post-modern world, our nation had no template to define our emotional response following 9/11.  We had a vacuum.

The one thing you can say with certainty about America today is that, when there is a vacuum, politics will fill it.  Following a short frenzy of national mourning, the nation divided itself into two oppositional viewpoints with regard to what 9/11 means.  The Left (of course) took refuge in a Walt Kelly worldview:  “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Leftists in the media, Hollywood, and academia swiftly absolved al Qaeda and Islam from any seriously responsibility for what happened.  While only the Truthers could deny that Islamist al Qaeda members flew those planes, people on the Left knew what really mattered:  the nineteen al Qaeda hijackers were as much victims as we were, if not more so.  It was our overbearing, racist, arrogant, resource-hogging, Israel-loving, capitalist country that drove them to commit their foul deeds.  God damn the U.S. of KKK!  Those chickens roosted but good!

This template has served the Left for ten years now.  The details may vary, but the tone is unchanging.  Americans are bullies.  We’ve bullied the Muslims so much over the past few decades, it was inevitable that they, prodded beyond bearing, turned on us.  And while it’s sad that 2,996 non-combatants (mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters) had to die, that’s what happens when you give your allegiance to — and, worse, make your money from — a system that is inherently parasitical.

It is this paradigm that led the current occupant of our White House to tell us that 9/11 wasn’t just our tragedy, so that our current efforts to mourn prove that we’re not only bullies, we’re also self-centered bullies.  The White House assures us, though, that we can atone for our sins by approaching 9/11, not as a national day of mourning, but as a “National Day of Service.”  The message is clear:  We Americans don’t deserve to mourn.  Not only was it not about us, it was our fault!  This analysis sees just two narrow categories of victims on that fateful day:  those who died and those who killed.  The rest of us were guilty, and we have to work hard to expiate that stain from our collective conscience.

That’s the Leftist view.  There are, thankfully, other voices in America.  Those of us who reject the Leftist paradigm see ourselves neither as evil-doers nor as victims (although we were victimized by evil).  We are warriors.  George Bush understood that when he addressed the Emergency Rescue Workers the site of the World Trade Center:

That’s also what George Bush understood when he took America to war.  When we are attacked, we fight back.  And when we are attacked by a shadowy organization that takes succor from various Islamic tyrannies around the world, we challenge those tyrannies.  It’s not pretty, it’s not surgically neat, it’s not politically correct, but it is necessary.  We mourn our dead and then we hunt down their killers.  We have met the warrior and he is us.

And speaking of warriors, I think it is appropriate to end this post by talking about Rick Rescorla.  Nowadays, Rick Rescorla is not a name that will elicit much recognition if you mention it in liberal enclaves.  A few might have a hazy memory of him, since his heroic actions garnered some attention in the immediate wake of 9/11 but, since then, Rescorla hasn’t been a big part of the American collective consciousness.  That’s a shame, because Rick, although born and raised in England, is the essence of America.

If you really want to know about the man, you have to go to the military blogs, where his actions are accorded a rare degree of reverence that has not diminished with time.  For the long versions of Rick’s story — and I urge you to read these versions — check out the Mudville Gazette and Blackfive.  Just be sure to have a box of tissues at your side when you read, because you’ll need it.  I can’t do justice to the long version (and, as I said, it’s been done), so here is the short version, to whet your appetite and to carry through the premise of this post:

Rick Rescorla was born in post-War England, yet he somehow managed to be fiercely anti-communist.  He didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk.  At sixteen, he joined the British military and fought against communists in both Cyprus and Rhodesia.  When the battle between the free world and the communists moved to Vietnam, he moved too, relocating to America, and joining the U.S. Army.  He fought ferociously in Vietnam (see the Mudville Gazette and Blackfive), making a name for himself as a warrior’s warrior.

After returning to the States from Vietnam, Rick completed his education, taught, and eventually moved into the corporate world, ending up as Morgan Stanley Dean Witter’s VP of security. His new address — World Trade Center, south tower, 44th floor.

Rescorla was working in the World Trade Center in 1993, when a truck bomb exploded in the basement.  This bombing was one of those “small” terrorist attacks I mentioned in the first paragraph, above.  Most everyone saw it as a criminal matter and moved on.  Not so Rick Rescorla.  Warrior to the bone, he understood that this was the first small shot in a big battle.  He also understood that the Twin Towers were irresistible targets and their tenants sitting ducks.  Rick couldn’t change the towers’ attraction to terrorists, but he could change the tenants’ vulnerabilities — at least the tenants over whom he had control.

Under Rick’s leadership, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter conducted regular evacuation drills.  Every employee knew out to get out of the building.  You can easily imagine employees over the years trying to avoid the drills (“Hey, I’ve got a lot of work to do here”) and jokingly complaining as they were forced to comply (“One little bomb blows up over ten years ago, and I’m having more fire drills than my kid in elementary school.”). The jokes stopped first thing in the morning on 9/11.

When the planes hit the Towers, Rick instantly knew what had happened.  He didn’t know the details, but he understood the core issue — the World Trade Center had once again become a terrorist target.  He and his team swung into gear.  (Again, please see the Mudville Gazette and Blackfive to understand what Rescorla and his security group accomplished.)  Singing “Men of Cornwall” at the top of his lungs, Rick and his team rescued approximately 2,700 Morgan Stanley Dean Witter employees.  Only three employees were unable to follow Rick and his team to safety.

Sadly, it wasn’t just those three employees who died.  Never leaving their posts, Rick and two of his security team went back into the South Tower one last time, to make sure they’d done their jobs.  They had indeed done their jobs — but they didn’t make it out again.  The Tower collapsed, taking them with it.  (I’m sorry to say that I cannot honor Rick’s team members by writing their names here, as I cannot find that information.)

Rick may have died, but his memory and what it stands for linger on.  He is America’s fighting spirit.  He is proof that you don’t have to be born on American soil to have American virtues.  It is enough to love freedom and to be willing to fight for that freedom.  He is American initiative, ignoring bureaucratic paralysis and acting in the face of danger.  He is American sangfroid, singing his flock to salvation.  He was a warrior and a hero.  He is us.

This year, on the tenth anniversary of the end of the world as we knew it, I will most certainly remember the innocent men and women who died in a billowing, dusty cloud fueled by incredible evil. But I’m also going to remember the day by saying I am neither victim nor criminal. My nation is neither victim nor criminal.  We are not lambs to the slaughter.  We are warriors.

The Bookworm Turns : A Secret Conservative in Liberal Land, available in e-format for the new low price of $2.99 at Amazon, Smashwords or through your iBook app.


Reducing patriotism to a sleazy roll in the hay

Mr. Bookworm is catching up with the Jon Stewart episodes he missed while we were away. One particular segment, which starts at the 2 minute mark, caught my eye. In it, Perry talks about love for country, clearly distinguishing himself from Obama, who hasn’t shown such love, either explicitly or implicitly. Take a look at what Stewart, a very bright, and periodically honest, dyed-in-the-wool Progressive, does with Perry’s simple statement of patriotism:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2012 – Michele Bachmann Fever & Rick Perry’s America
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

I was disgusted, not just because I’m not a fan of coarseness as a substitute for humor, but because I think this is the perfect example of what the Left has done to patriotism. It’s reduced it from love of country to a sleazy roll in the hay, something embarrassing, wrong and deserving of no respect. You, my readers, get this. A whole generation of young people, however, raised on 30 years of Progressive education, no doubt feels that this little “comedy” segment is the perfect epitaph for that embarrassing animal known as American patriotism.

That same Leftist embarrassment with patriotism is manifest in the White House’s approach to 9/11.  Stated simply, on September 11, 2001, shortly before 9 a.m. E.S.T., nineteen men, all of whom were foreign nationals and Al Qaeda members, hijacked four jets.  They flew two into the World Trade Center towers, one into the Pentagon, and one crash landed in a field in Pennsylvania, a crash that almost certainly averted a direct hit on the Capitol or the White House.  Almost 3,000 people, most of them Americans, died that day.  Or more briefly, ten years ago, foreign nationals, acting on American soil, slaughtered almost 3,000 Americans.

Even more briefly:  This was an American tragedy.  Is that how the Obama Administration is framing it, though?  You tell me (emphasis mine):

The guidelines list what themes to underscore — and, just as important, what tone to set. Officials are instructed to memorialize those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and thank those in the military, law enforcement, intelligence or homeland security for their contributions since.

A chief goal of our communications is to present a positive, forward-looking narrative,” the foreign guidelines state.

Copies of the internal documents were provided to The New York Times by officials in several agencies involved in planning the anniversary commemorations. “The important theme is to show the world how much we realize that 9/11 — the attacks themselves and violent extremism writ large — is not ‘just about us,’ ” said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal White House planning.

I don’t know about you, but I think the tenth anniversary of one of the greatest tragedies in American history is an appropriate time for looking backwards and mourning, rather than a time to engage in feel-good cheer.  Contrary to that official’s blithe assurance, it was just about us.  The attack took place on American shores, against American symbols, and killed American citizens.  Sure, there’s a larger narrative — Islam against the West –  but our current government is as steadfast in its refusal to acknowledge that larger narrative as it is to acknowledge an American tragedy.

What we’re left with is a government that won’t acknowledge that 9/11 was an attack against us, nor will it acknowledge that it’s a subset of a larger existential war.  If our government fails to acknowledge those vital facts, what’s left?

The box the government has locked itself into, one that sees it commemorating a transformative national event for a nation it doesn’t love and an event, moreover, that was a battlefield in a war our government refuses to acknowledge, effectively exposes the nihilism underlying Stewart’s sordid attack on simple patriotism.  The Left has left itself with nothing.  Sadly, as is typical for all degraded movements, it tries to take everyone else down with it.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

The Bookworm Turns : A Secret Conservative in Liberal Land, available in e-format for the new low price of $2.99 at Amazon, Smashwords or through your iBook app.

The anniversary of 9/11 is coming up

Sadie sent me a very interesting email about the tenth anniversary of 9/11.  I’m gambling her that she won’t mind if I share her email.  I’d add my own comments at the end.

It’s coming (the 10-year marker) but it’s been here all the time, every day and in every way.

I went to Michael’s Craft store this past week and was,to put it mildly, PO’d — put off by a display of flags, T-shirts, yellow ribbons display, all if it imprinted with NEVER FORGET.

Never Forget what? September 11, 2001

Never Forget that the laws of war changed forever.

Never Forget the misery inflicted on the dead and the survivors.

Never Forget that the cost of securing airports, bus terminals, trains, bridges, water, nuclear plants, Times Square or Washington has upped the cost of everything from that day forward.

Never Forget we’ve been at war since 2002.

Never Forget that we keep burying soldiers.

Never Forget what?

Never Forget that what we saw and what some now call Islamophia is actually September 11, 2001 everyday.

I don’t have to be told to “Never Forget” but some have to be reminded to ALWAYS REMEMBER, who, what, where when and why…the five “w’s” of old fashioned journalism.

Just needed to rant and who better than you [and the Bookworm Room crowd] to share a rant.

Damn, I am feeling cranky lately. Is Israel the only place in the world where the grip on reality still exists. Do you have to live some version of September 11th everyday?

To which I’ll add this: Sadie is absolutely right that the short hand (“Never forget”), which worked perfectly well on 9/12, has become totally meaningless a decade later.

As for me, I’m put off by something different. I know this is silly, but it bugs me that someone as unworthy and American-hating as Obama is presiding over this anniversary. We know that in his ponderous, Leftist, bloviating, cliched way, he’s going to leech this solemn day of any meaning other than Leftist platitudes.

Don Quixote has frequently and correctly pointed out that my dislike for Obama is so strong that it affects my posting — the fact that I hold Obama in deep and obvious disdain destroys my credibility when I try to write objectively about his conduct.  But 9/11 is different.  In addition to the pragmatic concerns (national security, inconvenient air travel, ongoing wars, etc.), 9/11 is a deeply visceral thing.

I know this is silly, but I still have a frisson of unhappiness when I glance at a digital clock and the read-out says “9:11.”  It’s become a sad number to me.  It is imbued with emotion.  So yes, it bugs me ridiculously to have those emotions, real, even though intangible, presided over by a man whom I dislike and who doesn’t, I think, “get it.”  It’s just one more little thing to make the day more disheartening than any other day of the year.

Blind intelligence

Has the U.S. ever been so clueless as  it is today with respect to events going on in Egypt?

CIA Director Panetta just admitted that he gets his information on Egyptian events from the media, rather than from his own agency. National Intelligence Director Jim Clapper, meanwhile, pontificates about how the Muslim Brotherhood is a largely secular organization, only to be immediately followed by the rapid back-pedaling of his minions.

So, is it fair to blame the CIA for these massive intelligence failures?

What we are seeing is the successful culmination of the witch hunts that have been directed against the CIA post 9/11 by the Democrat Left and their fellow travelers. Remember AG Eric Holder’s crusade to prosecute CIA personnel when the Obama administration came to power?

Were I in the CIA today, I expect that I would be doing everything that I could to take no risks, make no decisions, and effectively do…nothing! And that’s what we have got for national intelligence…a blind nothing.

No, I don’t blame the CIA or any other intelligence agency for these intelligence failures.

Feel safer now?