September 3, 2011

"9/11 anniversary programming: Is there too much of it?"

Ken Tucker scolds you for asking:
The argument against the volume of 9/11 programming, which has cropped up on various blogs and in newspapers such as The New York Post, has been articulated most reasonably by Brian Lowry in Variety. In a piece titled “Cacophony of voices dull anniversary,” Lowry writes, “So many networks have scheduled specials, movies, even entire themed weeks centered on Sept. 11 that they risk trivializing the event, making it equivalent to... Halloween or Christmas episodes… networks with no logical connection to the story have piled on, defensively or opportunistically. Either way, it’s unnecessary.” Lowry concludes: “TV’s immersive approach to marking the anniversary unwittingly seems more reminiscent of another tower — the biblical one in Babel.”...

Too much? You mean, as opposed to airing Big Brother three times a week? Or the hours and hours of Bravo’s various Real Housewives franchises also coming this same week? It’s “too much,” too numbing, to replay footage of the planes going into the World Trade Center towers, but it’s not too much to air two hours of Bachelor Pad and two hours of America’s Got Talent, which combine to form four hours of entertainment that are numbing in a different way, not emotionally but intellectually numbing?
So... if you're going to be numbed, get numbed the lofty way? I think it's fine to preempt the usual junk on TV, but the problem is trying to make something profound and, as so often happens, making junk anyway. That is the definition of profanity.

And one other thing: After 10 years of remembering what happened on the day we sustained a great loss in a war, have we ever — as a nation — celebrated a victory? I remember when President Bush tried to do that. And he was crushed by criticism so harsh that it has served as a warning: never ever savor a victory. Now, it's: "we don't... spike the football... that's not who we are."

And who are we?  Is our preferred self-image the collapsed towers?

200 comments:

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I was at the doctor's this morning and I picked up a copy of the local community news magazine. They had a roundup of 9/11 coverage on all of TV. Did you know that Animal Planet is planning coverage?

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

W/ Sharia on the verge of dominating our courts, I guess we can't celebrate much.

Herman Cain will save us.


Or maybe Carol Herman.

MarkG said...

I don't have TV but I watch a 9/11 DVD on most anniversaries. One of these years I'll be discovered dead of heart attack on Sep 12th next to the TV. It's only a matter of time.

chuck said...

...have we ever — as a nation — celebrated a victory?

Grand Review of the Armies, May 23-24, 1865.

Ann Althouse said...

"Did you know that Animal Planet is planning coverage?"

Yeah, it's in the linked article.

There are some animal stories, such as the dogs that worked on the recovery effort. I can't think what else.

EDH said...

Leading the day's march, General Meade dismounted in front of the stand and joined the dignitaries to watch the parade. His army made an awesome sight: a force of 80,000 infantrymen marching 12 across with impeccable precision, along with hundreds of pieces of artillery and a seven-mile line of cavalrymen that alone took an hour to pass. One already famous cavalry officer, George Armstrong Custer, gained the most attention that day-either by design or because his horse was spooked when he temporarily lost control of his mount, causing much excitement as he rode by the reviewing stand twice.

36fsfiend said...

“And one other thing: After 10 years of remembering what happened on the day we sustained a great loss in a war, have we ever — as a nation — celebrated a victory?”

Who from the other side is going to sign the instrument of surrender when we achieve “victory” in this “war” on terror?

Dan said...

i feel honored that there is so much attention paid to this date....it deserves it for sure....so many lives affected and not all directly...i wanna "remember" that day

Synova said...

"Who from the other side is going to sign the instrument of surrender when we achieve “victory” in this “war” on terror?"

Why is that relevant? Who signed the declaration of war?

Bin Laden actually did issue a rather lengthy declaration of war. And his death was our "we don't spike the football" moment.

But we see this "we like to think first of our failures" stuff all the time in any number of different contexts.

deborah said...

"And who are we? Is our preferred self-image the collapsed towers"

Great point, actually. A sort of psychosexual subterranean imaging is put forth, I think.

Paco Wové said...

Good question, 36. But it'd be even better with more scare quotes! E.g.,

Who from the "other side" is going to "sign" the "instrument of surrender" when we "achieve'" “victory” in this “war” on "terror"?

ricpic said...

Next Althouse will be asking what we did to deserve 9/11.

Julie C said...

My preferred image is the first responders rushing into the buildings, the heroism of average citizens as they helped one another flee the falling buildings, the story of the woman who ended up burned over 82% of her body and survived, more determined than ever to remember all her fellow Cantor Fitzgerald employees who died that day... I could go on.

My kids were little on 9/11 and I don't want them to forget, so we will watch some of the documentaries. We watched the Nat Geo interview with GWB and it was excellent.

rick said...

Count me as someone who is not big on memorials. An apparent weakness on my part.

I am a move forward type of person. I will not watch any memorials on TV. The fact that we have no buildings on the site is a sad testament to what our country has become. Inertia .... our specialty.

Fred4Pres said...

If you did this today, you would be lucky if you just got a civil suit.

Elle said...

I've been dialed in on the National Geographic channel coverage, including the Bush interview - all good progamming. I find some comfort that I still cry. I haven't turned as bitter as I thought.

Then I saw Richard Engel pimping his 3-hour special, including Rachel Maddow I think as well. I choked after he said his program was about the day, but more about what America has done to the rest of world since 9/11.

Bitter party of one.

traditionalguy said...

Th heck with the WTC sneak attack.

The Islamic tribal attacking armies have proclaimed victory over the Jews and the Christians 5 times daily for 1500 years in a large part of the world.

So we would offend them if we proclaimed a victory in our on territory.

The shameful victory of a Jewish forces in an enclave the size of Vermont on a once Islamic conquered area has become the only activity of most of the world since 1967 as judged by UN Resolutions.

That is because the Jews and the Christians have the Bible, which Mohammed claims to have re=made as his own historical event.

Islam cannot allow the prior claimants to the Bible's heritage to survive because they expose Mohammed's lie.

It's not over. Obama has slowed them down some by surrendering to them a little bit, as a faithful Muslim must.

They think he will give it all away if they wait awhile.

PatCA said...

No, it's not too much. And yes, the collapsed towers are now one part of who we are.

It's good to go over what happened 10 years ago; I have forgotten so much of it because I was in shock at the time. I had never heard of Firefighter Siller, for instance.

It's good to remind ourselves we are at war and that we have, all in all, been pretty successful at it. We have had some victories, the killing of Bin Laden as the greatest example. It's not too much at all, it's necessary.

edutcher said...

I recall on the first anniversary, Peter Jennings' attitude was, "Yes, yes, unfortunate so many people died, now let's shedule something more PC".

Given that's how GodZero acted when he and McCain went to Ground Zero - that's when he lost me (if, indeed, he ever had me), I'm expecting the same attitude now.

Ann Althouse said...

And one other thing: After 10 years of remembering what happened on the day we sustained a great loss in a war, have we ever — as a nation — celebrated a victory? I remember when President Bush tried to do that. And he was crushed by criticism so harsh that it has served as a warning: never ever savor a victory. Now, it's: "we don't... spike the football... that's not who we are."

And who are we? Is our preferred self-image the collapsed towers?


Like Hell!

That's the creep Leftists of the Commie anti-war crowd (the ones who went along with the Russians' idea of Peace - give us our way all the time).

We haven't been permitted by the Left to celebrate Victory since VE Day because that's when Communism was saved.

GodZero may get all wee-wee over the idea of MacArthur taking the surrender of Japan on the fantail of the Missouri, but, except for Lefty stooges like Alpha and franglo and J, I think real Americans celebrate our victories, especially ones like the success of the surge in Iraq and the defeat of the Taliban.

The rest applaud GodZero any time he tries to sabotage such efforts.

John M Auston said...

I'd like to see a 9-11 special that juxtaposed two 'frameworks'. The 20th century internal steel framework of the twin towers, that failed to hold up the buildings, and the 6th century 'framework' that DID hold up, the one the planners used to support 19 individuals making separate decisions to self-immolate. Islam. Few other ideologies would have been sufficient. This is not pointed out enough.

The Drill SGT said...

We remember 9/11/01, 11/22/63 and 12/7/41 for the same reason, things changed...

Julie C said...
My preferred image is the first responders rushing into the buildings, the heroism of average citizens as they helped one another flee the falling buildings



My group nomination would be the nearly 300 FDNY firemen ( I use that word carefully, because as far as I know, all of the FDNY losses on 9-11 were men) who donned respirators, picked up axes and coils of hose line and went up the stairs to their deaths....

My individaul best performance award would go to Rick Rescorla. He deserves a special place in our history. The single sentence says it all:

When the first tower got hit, building mgt ordered "shelter in place", Rick said, "screw them, that baby is coming down, I'm getting my people out." He got all but three of his 2700 charges out. He was last seen on the 10th floor, going up...

never forget, never forgive.

A. Shmendrik said...

I would like ABC to replay their coverage - a verbatim playback of what was said during the first 4 hours.

I recall being awakened to see the 2nd plane impacting the WTC, and then listening to Barbara Walters go on an extended riff when she learned that some entertainment mogul/executive had been on one of the flights. She spent an inordinate amount of time lamenting what was then the apparent loss of this fellow few outside of the industry would recognize, while watching what then appeared to the the death of perhaps 10,000 or more people. Really jaw droppingly inappropriate and I'd love to hear it again.

garage mahal said...

My preferred image is the first responders rushing into the buildings,

Conservatives like to call them, among other things, "thugs" and "parasites". Or as Althouse prefers: "privileged".

36fsfiend said...

Synova said...

“Why is that relevant? Who signed the declaration of war?”

Victory to me implies we have won the “war”. We will certainly have operational successes as well as set backs in our efforts to combat terrorism. However, I don’t believe we will achieve “victory” on terrorism any more than we will completely eliminate other crimes. After we depart Iraq and Afghanistan, we will still have to deal with terrorism

“Bin Laden actually did issue a rather lengthy declaration of war. And his death was our "we don't spike the football" moment.”

Even though Bin Laden is dead do we not still face a threat of terrorism? Can we really “spike the football”?

“But we see this "we like to think first of our failures" stuff all the time in any number of different contexts.”

We have celebrated the operational success of getting Bin Laden. Why do we need to see pictures of his corpse? Do we need war trophies?

Trooper York said...

September 1lth is a time for remembering. Not politics.

rhhardin said...

They'll put on whatever attracts eyeballs.

Just shut it all off, as I did in 1971.

There's nothing to remember except that a war started that's going to continue until Islam has a reformation, thanks to ancient grudges with modern weapons.

The Drill SGT said...

A. Shmendrik said...
I would like ABC to replay their coverage - a verbatim playback of what was said during the first 4 hours.


The MSM has no problem showing the Abu Grab prisoner pics, but has embargo'd many of the segments from 9/11 because it inflames us clingers.

Trooper York said...

We know a mother who visits her son's grave every day. He was a fireman who died on 9/11. He was one of the guys who went back in after rescuing other people and kept going in until the building collapsed.

He deserves better than this being a political football like everything else.

exhelodrvr1 said...

The Drill Sgt,
Have you ever read "We Were Soldiers Once", by Moore and Galloway? Rescorla was one of the heroes in the Ia Drang Valley, too.

Mike K said...

My individaul best performance award would go to Rick Rescorla. He deserves a special place in our history. The single sentence says it all:

Absolutely agree. He also went over the record of the 1993 attack and predicted they would try again. The book about him is terrific.

It's too bad his story was omitted from the movie "We Were Soldiers Once." The photo on the cover of that book is of him and he was the great hero of that battle in the Ia Drang Valley.

Mike K said...

It would also be nice if ABC would repeat the series, "The Path to 9/11." They have refused to show it again or put it on DVD because the Clintons look so bad in it.

The Drill SGT said...

exhelodrvr1 said...
The Drill Sgt,
Have you ever read "We Were Soldiers Once", by Moore and Galloway? Rescorla was one of the heroes in the Ia Drang Valley, too.


several times...

LOL, he was on the cover:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:We_Were_Soldiers_Once...and_Young.jpg

edutcher said...

36fsfiend said...

Synova said...

“Why is that relevant? Who signed the declaration of war?”

Victory to me implies we have won the “war”. We will certainly have operational successes as well as set backs in our efforts to combat terrorism.


People celebrated Buena Vista before Guadelupe Hidalgo, Atlanta before Appomattox and Leyte Gulf before VJ Day.

You celebrate victories as they come.

If the war goes on, the war goes on, just as the crew of the Abraham Lincoln celebrated the end of the assault phase in the Iraq campaign.

kimsch said...

I've been posting names on twitter under the hashtag #NineEleven. I've been posting about 30 tweets with approximately 5 names per tweet in order to get them all in by 9/11.

My stepdaughter (grew up in upstate New York, now living in Japan) tweeted back that no one cares, it's been ten years, etc.

I'm still posting names. I have a list of all the names at my blog and I will link to that list on 9/11 as well.

I've had a couple of responses, people appreciating my efforts.

9/11 is her birthday. Ten years ago she said, "I'll never wish for anything to happen on my birthday again."

CEO-MMP said...

I didn't read the article.

I have a question: in the balls to the wall coverage, will they be showing the full thing? People making the decision to jump rather than burn and hitting the concrete, things like that?

You know, all the stuff that's been censored since then because the media didn't want people to remember why GWB had us killing terrorists.

wv: swand. Carol Herman swand along saying nothing but stupid shit over and over and some people were excited because they thought she was clever.

Tits. Tits and clouds, tits and clouds for all!

Synova said...

"We have celebrated the operational success of getting Bin Laden. Why do we need to see pictures of his corpse? Do we need war trophies?"

I think we need trophies. Not necessarily war trophies, but we need trophies. They could be about other things. You know... like a space program. We need heroes. Doesn't have to be astronauts; could be soldiers; it can be Rick Rescorla.

I think that the more interesting question is, why is it unseemly to want a war trophy? Why does "spike the football" bring the vision of someone who ought to have scored with more decorum?

Why is it more intelligent to be a downer? Why do we go on and on and on about our country's faults and refuse to have a party over her virtues? Just the other day someone (on the internet) tried to make the Star Spangled Banner about the freedom to keep and hold slaves. Seriously! People like to be down on America so very much that they just make sh*t up if it follows their preferred narrative. Why is that tolerated for even a moment?

Why *not* display a war trophy? Why not have a party on the Lincoln? Why allow someone to slander the national anthem and portray our country as founded in moral decay? Why do we not have a base on the frigging moon!

Is it so terribly bad if we've got something to look at and say, "Whoot! We are royally Bad Ass! Go US!!"

36fsfiend said...

edutcher said...

“If the war goes on, the war goes on…”

So when, as a country, are we going to start sacrificing for this “war”? When are we going to reinstate the draft to spread the burden that is being carried by our service members, some who are on their sixth, seventh or eighth tour? How about a war tax to pay for the multi-billion dollar combat operations?

richard mcenroe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
richard mcenroe said...

"Have we, as a nation, ever celebrated a victory?"

The Return of the AEF
V-E Day
V-J Day

We stopped celebrating 'victories' when our so-called leaders stopped admitting we were even fighting wars...

n.n said...

I would prefer the towers rising from their ashes. That, as well as liberty and Americans bearing children, would be the best victory we could hope for.

As it is, ten years later, we still have not rebuilt; our liberty is progressively stifled through the passage of totalitarian policies and a selective rule of law; and Americans continue to favor instant gratification to investing in our future (e.g., children).

The Drill SGT said...

CEO-MMP said...
I have a question: in the balls to the wall coverage, will they be showing the full thing?


You know better

Synova said...

I'm not big on memorials either, but I do think that 9-11 is as important as Pearl Harbor and we do tend to formally remember the attacks rather than the victories.

I think that our recent penchant for national self-flagellation is a sad sad thing, but I also think it's sort of separate from the memorial part of it all.

Not spiking the football is bad, but we also remember for a reason.

Interestingly, having been reminded of the Star Spangled banner... the poem is profoundly lovely and we only ever sing the first verse. During the first verse the only thing that assures us that we have not been defeated is that the sounds of war continue. And we end with a question every time... does that star spangled banner yet wave? And we leave it there. Are we secure? Are we well? Are we strong? And we remember the forces arrayed against us and it's actually proof that we still stand.

Memorials are important too.

Ann Althouse said...

""Who from the other side is going to sign the instrument of surrender when we achieve “victory” in this “war” on terror?""

You want to put "war" in quotes. Let me put this in quotes:

"The deliberate and deadly attacks which were carried out yesterday against our country were more than acts of terror. They were acts of war. This will require our country to unite in steadfast determination and resolve. Freedom and democracy are under attack."

The Drill SGT said...

The Return of the AEF
V-E Day
V-J Day


I remember parades after Desert Storm. The First since VJ Day

richard mcenroe said...

IIRC, Bush was "crushed" by the same people who think we're over-celebrating a tragedy... and won a second term in spite of that "crushing."

It's not "we don't spike the football" it's that our "betters" prefer sneering reminders of failure to celebrations of success... TMZ vs Wide World of Sports, if you would...

(sorry, fixed my typo)

Synova said...

"So when, as a country, are we going to start sacrificing for this “war”? When are we going to reinstate the draft to spread the burden that is being carried by our service members, some who are on their sixth, seventh or eighth tour? How about a war tax to pay for the multi-billion dollar combat operations?"

I'd just like to say... moral virtue attained through suffering is a theological concept.

I don't know why people keep coming back to it over and over again, but no moral question changes just because people are made uncomfortable.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

garage mahal said...

Conservatives like to call them, among other things, "thugs" and "parasites". Or as Althouse prefers: "privileged".


No doubt they all had "Che" tee shirts on under their turnouts, eh, garage? Schmuck.

Ann Althouse said...

"Next Althouse will be asking what we did to deserve 9/11."

I'm saying the opposite. If it's too subtle for you, sorry.

Carol_Herman said...

Fuck, no!

36fsfiend said...

Synova said...

“I think that the more interesting question is, why is it unseemly to want a war trophy?”

I think some of our vets who have seen actual combat can answer that question.

“Why is it more intelligent to be a downer? Why do we go on and on and on about our country's faults and refuse to have a party over her virtues?

Again, we did celebrate the success of the operation in getting Bin Laden.

“Why *not* display a war trophy? Why not have a party on the Lincoln?”

Because this is not a party. This is about people getting killed.

Synova said...

Also, just as an aside concerning the draft... the new news is that the Army probably doesn't want you. It's harder than ever to be *allowed* to enlist.

But sure, trot out the "draft" thing.

36fsfiend said...

Ann Althouse said...

“You want to put "war" in quotes. Let me put this in quotes:”

"The deliberate and deadly attacks which were carried out yesterday against our country were more than acts of terror. They were acts of war. This will require our country to unite in steadfast determination and resolve. Freedom and democracy are under attack."

OK Ann, when is son signing up to fight for freedom and democracy? How fast would this “war” end if we had a no kidding draft?

Ann Althouse said...

My question about whether we have celebrated a victory refers to the past 10 years, not to all of American history. I am contrasting these last 10 years to prior history and asking why.

It seems to me that we lost in a major sneak attack, like Pearl Harbor. 10 years after the Pearl Harbor attack, we still observed Pearl Harbor Day, but we also celebrated victories, and we knew we won the war. We don't have that now. We have the major attack and then military actions, going on much longer than WW2 and we have never allowed ourselves to celebrate victories. At most, we observe all the additional sacrifices that have been made. That is the image of America that has been impressed on us. That is the culture we have made. It is all loss, and people adamantly strive to keep it that way. Why?

36fsfiend said...

Synova said...

“Also, just as an aside concerning the draft... the new news is that the Army probably doesn't want you. It's harder than ever to be *allowed* to enlist.”

“But sure, trot out the "draft" thing.”

Let’s put a limit on the number of rotations to the combat zone and then see if we need a draft.

garage mahal said...

No doubt they all had "Che" tee shirts on under their turnouts, eh, garage?

How original. No I'm sure they are much like the thousands of firefighters that marched in Madison for months, slept at the Rotunda, and knocked on doors for the recalls. I'm not surprised you think that way, Althouse steadfastly refused to show them to you.

The Crack Emcee said...

Now, it's: "we don't... spike the football... that's not who we are."

That Bozo never defined who we are - he was only a blank sheet you tried to put yourself on - and that was rejected, too. We're Americans:

We invented spiking the football.

Trooper York said...

9/11 is not about wage negotiations.

Please stop.

Both sides.

There are plenty of other places to argue about that.

Ann Althouse said...

My father once asserted that the news should only be about people dying. Dying is a bigger deal than anything else, so every day's news should be wall to wall stories about who had died. I tried arguing with him about why that wasn't a good idea, but he stuck to his position.

What words are there to say in response to those who want the focus to be endlessly on death, death, death.

There are words. People have thought of words amidst all the death.

For example: "It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us..."

Synova said...

"I think some of our vets who have seen actual combat can answer that question."

But not you? You don't have a reason for your opinion?

Just to play devil's advocate for a moment, war trophies, really gruesome horrible bloody displays, Historically have near universal adaptation across cultures. Certainly there was a reason to put a head on a pike. On the far other end from gruesome a signed surrender treaty might be viewed as a war trophy.

Both the head on a pike and the treaty are a way of rubbing in "we won, you lost, sucker".

Now, why *not* do that? After WW1 where the "you lost, sucker" part was the winners dividing the world up between them to disastrous results, we decided that might not always be a good plan, though it took us a while to get over the impulse.

But is a trophy, this thing to point to to say "we beat you" always a bad thing? It can't be. It is meant to demoralize the enemy and contribute to the morale of your own side. Because it IS about people being killed. It's not a cocktail party at a country club. It's life and death. Refusing to pay attention to the morale of your own people is morally repugnant when those are the stakes involved. Failing to use any psychological persuasion to discourage the other side from continuing the fight is morally repugnant when those are the stakes involved.

edutcher said...

36fsfiend said...
edutcher said...

“If the war goes on, the war goes on…”

So when, as a country, are we going to start sacrificing for this “war”? When are we going to reinstate the draft to spread the burden that is being carried by our service members, some who are on their sixth, seventh or eighth tour? How about a war tax to pay for the multi-billion dollar combat operations?


How about cutting a lot of Cabinet departments that only exist to serve as bagmen to funnel money to Democrat constituencies? How about cutting regulations so businesses can expand and bring in more revenue?

God forbid we do anything like that!

As for the draft, the military doesn't want one. They'd rather be able to pick and choose from the best volunteers available. However, if you want to talk to Chuckie Schumer and the rest of the Demos about increasing the Regular Army to its Reagan era levels (18 to 20 divisions), be my guest. Congress, of course, doesn't want to pay for a bigger Army, so the guys on their eighth tour are going to have to tough it out if the Democrats have anything to say about it.

In any case, it's the Lefties that wanted the draft stopped. Ask them; although, right now, I'm sure they'd love a draft just to get the unemployment numbers down and a lot of angry, frustrated young men off the streets.

Unemployment dropped from 20% to 15% from the beginning of 1941 to the end.

36fsfiend said...

Ann Althouse said...

My question about whether we have celebrated a victory refers to the past 10 years, not to all of American history. I am contrasting these last 10 years to prior history and asking why.

It seems to me that we lost in a major sneak attack, like Pearl Harbor. 10 years after the Pearl Harbor attack, we still observed Pearl Harbor Day, but we also celebrated victories, and we knew we won the war. We don't have that now. We have the major attack and then military actions, going on much longer than WW2 and we have never allowed ourselves to celebrate victories. At most, we observe all the additional sacrifices that have been made. That is the image of America that has been impressed on us. That is the culture we have made. It is all loss, and people adamantly strive to keep it that way. Why?”

Ann, did we have major celebrations in this country prior to the end of WW II? We haven’t won this “war” on terror and I don’t think we will. Terrorism will always be with us.

And I put “war” in quotes because as a nation are we really sacrificing like we did during WW II or Vietnam? Where is the rationing, the taxes and the shared sacrifice with those lost in combat? We seem detached as nation with this conflict and act like this is some sort of football game with wanting photo ops and trophies.

Richard said...

That is the culture we have made. It is all loss, and people adamantly strive to keep it that way. Why?

The media strives to keep it that way because loss gets better ratings. Plus it happened on Bush's watch so there's a vested interest keeping up the loss narrative.

As for Obama's we-don't-spike-the-football, he's about as un-American as one can be, so don't look to him for a good example.

Ann Althouse said...

The topic of the draft is a thread hijack that I won't respond to.

Synova said...

"Let’s put a limit on the number of rotations to the combat zone and then see if we need a draft."

We don't and we won't.

We can increase enlistment, pay a bonus, and you'll get someone who has the essential mindset of someone who at least chose to be there, but you still have someone who doesn't know jack-shit because they're an E1.

You do know what that means, don't you? E1? An E1 knows how to wear his uniform and find the latrine and might know which end the bullets come out of his M-16.

Someone on his fourth or fifth deployment is not an E1. He's a bad ass NCO. The suckage of being deployed too many times is a real problem, but it can not be solved by an influx of E1s. The problem you state is legitimate. Your solution is not.

Synova said...

My apologies. I'll leave it be.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

I agree with your Dad - death is what's important in war and I don't think we should be shielded from it.

But there's also nothing wrong with looking at the enemy and saying, "Better him than me," while dancing on his grave.

Spike the damned football.

caplight said...

Kimsch, I don't twitter, tweet whatever but I appreciated your remembering.

Garage, every once and a while you are beneath contempt. Congratulations today is one of those days.

The other day my wife was caring for the child of an employee of the Department of State at her hospital. She asked him what he did for work and he said he worked for DOS in, and he named a middle east country. She asked what he did and he said counter terrorism. When she was done and before she left the room she turned to him and said, "I just want you to know that we appreciate your service. Thank you." That is part of the legacy of 9/11 in our lives. Since I am a pastor to first responders and military I often find myself thanking such folks for their service, buying rounds of drinks on airplanes and making myself available in any way I can to help them.

Maybe Ann and Meade could post the names on the site. Might be too much bandwidth.

I appreciate the shows that have the least commentary and just let the people and events as recorded speak for themselves. My friend's son was in the American Express building that morning. He could see the looks on the faces of people contemplating jumping and he could even see the patterns on their neck ties. I think that should be shown once a year with the recordings of the calls to 911 to remind us of the horror and the cold act of evil perpetrated against us. Elites don't want us to remember because it interferes with their world wide kum bah yah.

Any remembrance that shames the present set of self important politicians fighting over who gets seen at Ground Zero works for me. Good grief, they have had ten years and it still isn't replaced.

The Drill SGT said...

Congress, of course, doesn't want to pay for a bigger Army, so the guys on their eighth tour are going to have to tough it out

To be clear, Army tours are normally 12-15 months. Some skill sets get deployed more than others. I suspect that an enlisted infantryman who served all 10 years would have 2 tours and possibly 3,

SPEC Ops, the equiv of 3-4 years

However, the Marines have had tours of 6-12 months, and the USAF favors 4 month tours, so when you say somebody has had 7-8 tours, you are likely talking not about a regular 11B, but about a SOF guys "deployements" which might be as short as 2 weeks or as long as 12.

36fsfiend said...

Synova said...

"I think some of our vets who have seen actual combat can answer that question."

"But not you? You don't have a reason for your opinion?"

I didn't need to see the bodies of any enemy - or civilians - that may have been killed by the air-to-ground missiles I fired in combat to know that I achieved my mission. And I'm sure there are many soldiers and Marines who do not need to keep pictures of those they killed in close combat to know the were successful in their mission.

Ann Althouse said...

"I agree with your Dad - death is what's important in war and I don't think we should be shielded from it."

He wasn't referring to war specifically. He thought the central issue to be learned about and contemplated and given pride of place was death.

Somebody dies of an illness or in an accident... that should be on the front page. And nothing else! Nothing about what somebody achieved or something good. Just: who died.

But it doesn't make sense. It's only because the person lived that the death is anything at all. The absorption with death is a contradiction.

Matthew 8:21-22:

"Another disciple said to him, 'Lord, first let me go and bury my father.'

"But Jesus told him, 'Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.'"

Now, why did Jesus say that?

Trooper York said...

In the years since 9/11 I have discovered that I knew about 500 or so people who worked at the World Trade Center or the surrounding areas or who were fireman or cops. Twenty five of them perished. There was a woman who owned a restaurant that I used to go to and started to work at Windows. A busboy from "The Quiet Man" who worked there too. A couple of people who worked for New York State. A couple of guys who were bond traders and came to Yankee games with us with a friend of mine who also worked in that industry. And a whole bunch of fireman that my wife knew because her Dad was a fireman and they were the sons and grandsons of guys who worked with her Dad and we met at various weddings or communions or christenings.

They all died that day.

I don't need to make a glib assertion that enough is enough. That we can just forget about them as though they died at Pearl Harbor or the eruption of Pompeii.

Ten years ago is just a blink of an eye.

Last year a gentlemen died who was a frequent church goers at our parish. On the Sunday of the week that he passed Father Chris spoke about him. He had survived the attack on the Arizona at Pearl Harbor. He had lived for another sixty nine years after that day. He didn't forget. He didn't dismiss it. He didn't walk around crying or pissing or moaning. But he remembered his friends that died that day. He wouldn't talk about it. He wouldn't shove it in your face. He would just honor their memory by remembering them in his prayers.

Have some common decency.

Ten years ago is just a blink of an eye.

Synova said...

A good victory "trophy" would be if we were building a big, permanent base in Iraq. It would prove we "won" and could do as we pleased there. But we won't do that. Instead we'll just piddle along until it piddles out.

WW2 piddled along for a long long time after we had our victory and we knew we'd won. We don't count all those years like we count all of these years. We didn't used to be so intent on not seeming too powerful.

36fsfiend said...

Ann Althouse said...

“The topic of the draft is a thread hijack that I won't respond to.”

OK Ann. Why the comparison between Bush’s and Obama’s “victory” celebrations in the original post? What did that have to do with the 9/11 memorial ceremonies?

If we want to honor their sacrifice then let’s do what we did after Pearl Harbor and really put this nation on a war footing.

Lem said...

Conservatives like to call them, among other things, "thugs" and "parasites". Or as Althouse prefers: "privileged".

First of all those descriptions (as your notes will bear out) were elicited by actions that can only be characterised as thuggery.

That is far from saying "all" firemen are thugs.

Unless viewed for a left center perspective were every thing is political.

The Drill SGT said...

Rescorla reminds me of a line I heard as an example of strongly worded OERs. This was in the Early 80's. Using Rick's persona:

"If the Army were going to breed Leaders, Rescorla would be a Stud"

Browndog said...

"Don't you fret.."

Althouse loves posting threads via NYT-

How about this one???????

Op-Ed Contributor

Don’t Fear Islamic Law in America

By ELIYAHU STERN
Published: September 2, 2011

emphasis mine

Now, don't you worry your pretty little burqa covered face...

Lem said...

What Trooper said..

Trooper York said...

And caplight....you are a good man for a Protestant. Just sayn'

edutcher said...

36fsfiend said...

And I put “war” in quotes because as a nation are we really sacrificing like we did during WW II or Vietnam? Where is the rationing, the taxes and the shared sacrifice with those lost in combat? We seem detached as nation with this conflict and act like this is some sort of football game with wanting photo ops and trophies.

There was rationing during 'Nam? High taxes?
Shared sacrifice?

When LBJ sent the first wave over in '65, the big news was that everybody could now afford a color TV because the Federal excise tax had finally been repealed.

My parish lost one kid - although several guys I went to school died in the service, although not necessarily in combat. Not a whole lot of shared sacrifice - too many people were either getting into the National Guard because of connections or getting deferments because of politicians relaxing the rules.

I don't know where fiend was, but I remember those years very well and the fact that there wasn't more of a commitment - there's more of one today in a lot of ways because we've been attacked on our own soil - was why the protests started.

PS Spare us the crock about "'war' in quotes". If they're trying to kill you, it's a war.

And the Moslems want to kill us.

PPS And, O!, how I remember all the Lefties who said, "Hey, man, if we were attacked, I'd go".

Guess whose side they've been on the last 10 years?

36fsfiend said...

Synova said...

"A good victory "trophy" would be if we were building a big, permanent base in Iraq. It would prove we "won" and could do as we pleased there. But we won't do that. Instead we'll just piddle along until it piddles out."

Let's keep those Muslims stirred up with a permanent presence in their country right? You're ready to sign up for the extended tours of duty to man that base, right?

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

I have to admit I wake up most mornings with the thought "Who died?" so, again, your Dad and I aren't that far apart. Steve Jobs' passing, if and when it happens, is going to be a bigger deal than the release of the latest iPhone. I don't see why reserving that for the front page is so bad. We can put the other shit somewhere else.

Why did Jesus say "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."?

I don't know. You thinking about following somebody now?

Ralph L said...

they have had ten years and it still isn't replaced.
Actually, the Freedom Tower is now taller than the surrounding buildings. I hadn't heard it had been even started until last week. Of course, it should have been done several years ago.

One thing no one has talked about is that it could easily have been 30,000 dead instead of 3,000. If the planes had struck lower and simultaneously, if the towers had fallen to the side, if flt 77 hadn't hit a nearly empty part of the Pentagon. I celebrate our less than worst case (can't call it "good") fortune. I don't celebrate how many Americans demanded defeat in Iraq for political reasons.

The Crack Emcee said...

Trooper York,

Caplight....you are a good man for a Protestant. Just sayn'

I was going to say the same thing:

For a believer, Cappy - a pastor even - you're alright.

Palladian said...

"The fact that we have no buildings on the site is a sad testament to what our country has become. Inertia .... our specialty."

...

"As it is, ten years later, we still have not rebuilt; our liberty is progressively stifled through the passage of totalitarian policies and a selective rule of law..."



I am really, really tired of this stupid, ignorant notion that there's still nothing but a big, smoldering hole at "Ground Zero". There is now a 50 story (and still rising) building on the site, not to mention the nearly-complete memorial, a new transportation hub, a bunch of other buildings, new roadways, and other projects breaking ground on or near the site.

Do a little bit of research (you know, like a Google search) before you whine about nothing being done. The reclamation of that site was an extraordinary bit of engineering and I'm sick of people pretending that nothing's happening.

The Drill SGT said...

Let's not forget:

Chaplain Mychal Judge

He was 68 when he died, ministering to his flock in the Lobby of the North Tower

E.M. Davis said...

The most appropriate way to commemorate 9/11 would be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new tower(s) ... big, fucking tall, audacious buildings.

We are so timid.

Synova said...

Last gasp of someone who's got no logical argument is "chicken hawk."

Would I go to work at big base in Iraq if anyone were willing to let me? Yes. Unequivocally. I am too old to re-enlist, even if I were otherwise able to pass the physicals. Would I go to either Iraq or Afghanistan as a civilian given the opportunity? Yes. This is not a difficult question. Yes, I would go. Yes, I *would have* gone if that was ever a possibility.

The other assumption, that a permanent base would keep Muslims riled up... I don't think that can be assumed. Firstly, are they actual people like other people or are they not? Did our bases in Germany and Japan make those people our eternal enemies? No, they did not. The best way to make friends seems to be hanging around and getting to know each other. (Lord knows we've made a habit of abandoning our allies in recent decades.)

This notion that we can attain peace if only we cringe enough, act meek enough, is the problem we're talking about. And there is no reason at all to think that Arabs or Muslims of any sort respect "meek."

Also, Iraq would be an incredibly useful place to have a base, considering the state of the world.

E.M. Davis said...

I am really, really tired of this stupid, ignorant notion that there's still nothing but a big, smoldering hole at "Ground Zero"

True, but frankly, there was more hand-wringing than building going on down there for too long.

garage mahal said...

@caplight
Nice story, but I'm not sure what your beef with me is. Those words are used to in almost every single thread regarding public workers on this site. Maybe have a talk with Meade, he likes the thug slur to describe public servants like firefighters

36fsfiend said...

edutcher said...

“There was rationing during 'Nam? High taxes? Shared sacrifice?”

Yes. Higher taxes then today, that’s for sure. We had a draft and lost over 58,000 in Vietnam.

“When LBJ sent the first wave over in '65, the big news was that everybody could now afford a color TV because the Federal excise tax had finally been repealed.”

"My parish lost one kid - although several guys I went to school died in the service, although not necessarily in combat. Not a whole lot of shared sacrifice - too many people were either getting into the National Guard because of connections or getting deferments because of politicians relaxing the rules.”

Sorry for your loses. But do we want to repeat those mistakes from the Vietnam war?

“I don't know where fiend was, but I remember those years very well and the fact that there wasn't more of a commitment - there's more of one today in a lot of ways because we've been attacked on our own soil - was why the protests started.”

Too young for Vietnam. My first conflict was the first Gulf War. Do you really think that this conflict in the Middle East would go on so long if a draft was implemented?

“PS Spare us the crock about "'war' in quotes". If they're trying to kill you, it's a war.”

Then let’s have a “war” on murder even though that crime will never be completely eliminated.

“And the Moslems want to kill us.”

Have you ever been to Indonesia or Malaysia?

Browndog said...

The Drill SGT said...

Let's not forget:

Chaplain Mychal Judge

He was 68 when he died, ministering to his flock in the Lobby of the North Tower


He died giving Last Rites when a body from a jumper landed on him, killing him.

Kinda tired of the sugar coating....

No clergy allowed at the Memorial--Hail Bloomberg

Synova said...

Maybe we don't hear enough about the progress on the tower going up for the same reason so many of us thought the towers should have been done sooner, that it would be a huge defiant message to the world.

So we're getting our tower without undue football spiking.

Or something.

In case we draw unseemly attention to ourselves.

Trooper York said...

Chaplain Mychal Judge was a good and holy man. He helped many firefighters who had been invovled in tragedies before 9/11. He prayed with them and helped them find a way to survive after they had survived when their friends were taken.

We could use his voice today.

We could use his wisdom today.

We could use his humanity today.

We could respect his sacrifice and his service.

caplight said...

Crack,you were hot today, in fact all week at The Macho Response. Back at ya.

Trooper, yeah, "for a Protestant". I love it. But how sobering that you knew so many who were killed.

Garage, timing is the key.

Ralph L said...

The History Channel is on one its alien binges.

One reason we haven't had a big celebration is the fear of tempting fate. Ten years without another major attack in the US, but who knows who may be about to strike?

36fsfiend said...

"The other assumption, that a permanent base would keep Muslims riled up... I don't think that can be assumed."

You earlier mentioned Bin Laden declaring a war on us. What was one of the reasons he cited in that declaration?

They don't want us over there and the radials will use our continued presence to help recruit others to their cause.

Trooper York said...

It's not a big deal to know so many people who died if you live in New York. Lots of people were at risk that day. Some of them didn't make it. I didn't even know that some of them had died for years because it was a very peripheral acquaints with many of them. You know you go to a wedding and ask for someone and you find out. For the longest time I thought it was only three people.
It's not a big deal. They are who is important and should be remembered. And shown some respect. At least on that day. That's all.

Lem said...

Garage suffers from shell shock..

Not many liberals here ;)

Lem said...

The History Channel is on one its alien binges.

Believe it or not.. The History Channel needs ratings too.

Browndog said...

Trooper York said...

Chaplain Mychal Judge was a good and holy man. He helped many firefighters who had been invovled in tragedies before 9/11.


Aye.

Everything you said and more-

Like, we need his humility today

The man was a Saint...IS. My bad

edutcher said...

36fsfiend said...

"The other assumption, that a permanent base would keep Muslims riled up... I don't think that can be assumed."

You earlier mentioned Bin Laden declaring a war on us. What was one of the reasons he cited in that declaration?

They don't want us over there and the radials will use our continued presence to help recruit others to their cause.


bin Laden's big fixation (and we're letting nut cases direct our foreign policy?) was that we had established King Khalid Military City for the purpose of throwing Saddam out of Kuwait, for which the Kuwaitis seemed reasonably grateful. We did not impose that installation on the Saudis, they were happy to have us. Last I looked, most Iraqis don't want us to leave - we help keep the peace.

Most of the "volunteers" for AQ came from the ranks of the unemployed who couldn't do anything about the situation in their own countries. When the survivors limped back, the word was, "Don't go, the Americans shoot to kill". This is pretty well-documented.

fiend's rap is the sort of thing we heard from Halo Joe and the Dick from Illinois and Patty Murray when the Demos needed to invent a reason to oppose Dubya.

Now we know where fiend is coming from. We should be hearing about rendition and torture pretty soon.

Browndog said...

The only thing that separates us, the living, from those who were murdered that day was that we weren't born and raised in NYC, chose a different line of work, or dumb luck.

I understood that when I got home that day.

They wanted to kill of of us, but settled for who they could.

They still do.

Ralph L said...

They don't want us over there and the radials will use our continued presence to help recruit others to their cause
We could target the radials, but the world would belt us.

9/11 was intended to raise the prestige of Al Queda among Muslims, they didn't need any other reasons.

rick said...

Why did Jesus say "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."?

Jesus ministry was for the living. There was work to do.

Lucien said...

Yes, there is too much 9/11 anniversary programming, in the nature of an affected natural piety of the type that TV turns into cloying treacle without fail.

The best remembrances will not be televised.

Leland said...

Last night, National Geographic ran a documentary comparing the science to the conspiracy theories. If you missed it, is available "on demand" probably on most cable/satellite providers and their website.

It pissed me off. They showed some of the crazy "truther" kids, but they brought in PhD conspiracy theorist to debunk evidence. NG did a great job presenting the evidence, but these claimed professors in various fields just completely dismissed it. Even when the evidence sitting in front of them, they still claim no evidence existed.

What pissed me off? First, that these people ever received advanced degrees and then anyone gave them a job. They are dishonest. You have to be to claim what's in front of you isn't real. Second, it reminded me just how ugly the rhetoric was against President Bush and his entire administration. Seriously, these people still believe 10 years later that their own country men conspired to kill 3,000 citizens and are evil enough to still hide it. That's a level of hate that goes beyond incivility.

WestVirginiaRebel said...

Too much coverage? In our era of 24-7 news and reality shows, I would have to say yes. I prefer to think of the fact that there is something being built on the site. I prefer to remember that ordinary people were still capable of being heroes. I would also like to see a discussion on what has gone wrong-an as-yet unresolved outcome in Afghanistan, the mess that is the TSA, the erosion of our privacy in the name of security. I will also think of how we have moved forward in most ways. For example, I think the 2008 election was a turning point-regardless of what I think of Obama, it was an election that focused on domestic issues in a way we hadn't seen in several years. So were the 2010 elections. 2012 will be largely about the economy. That, too, is a sign of moving forward and moving on.

caplight said...

Ann said:
Matthew 8:21-22:

""Another disciple said to him, 'Lord, first let me go and bury my father.'

"But Jesus told him, 'Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.'"

Now, why did Jesus say that?"

I think the passage is relevant to the discussion here. Jesus says that at a time in his ministry when crowds are growing and he wanted to have a reality check for some who professed to follow him. The notion of "burying my father," probably meant going home until such time as his father died, maybe years, who knows. Jesus response is a way of saying that he is offering a way of life that is new and alive as opposed to the old and dead ways of the past. It is part of Jesus larger teachings on counting the cost of being his follower before you sign on.

That speaks to me in the lives of the heroes of 9/11. When you become a firefighter, EMT or police officer in a sense you are entering a new and exclusive life. At its best it is a life of oath, commitment, integrity and service that may well be above and beyond the call of duty. I believe our armed forces are like that as well. So in that moment when the call of duty comes be it in the Ia Drang Valley or at the base of the Twin Towers you go and you do things that would seem outrageous to others. You do it because you have counted the cost, taken the oath and because like Jesus calling people to the kingdom of God you are a part of something way bigger than you. So an NYFD fights his way up the stairs not scorning the citizens pouring down the other direction seeking to save themselves because he understands, Let the citizens tend to the citizens, I have a duty and a higher call. Same for a police officer or a soldier, let the civilians tend to the civilians I, a soldier, have a duty to do.

The ultimate cost Jesus said is the laying down of ones life for the rescue of others. And even as I will celebrate the sacrifice of Christ tomorrow in the liturgy I will remember in humility the sacrifice of those who gave their lives to save so many. It puts new flesh on the bones of a very ancient story.

36fsfiend said...

edutcher said...

“bin Laden's big fixation (and we're letting nut cases direct our foreign policy?) was that we had established King Khalid Military City for the purpose of throwing Saddam out of Kuwait, for which the Kuwaitis seemed reasonably grateful. We did not impose that installation on the Saudis, they were happy to have us."

We're letting nut cases direct our foreign policy? – apparently so. Bin Laden was the reason for going into Afghanistan, correct? Wanted dead or alive, right?

We had plenty more bases than King Khalid Military City in Saudi Arabia, believe me. As far as the Saudis being “happy” with us there they actually look on us as a necessary evil. A lot of restrictions were imposed on us so as not to offend the local population.

“Last I looked, most Iraqis don't want us to leave - we help keep the peace.”

And how long will we have to remain there to keep the peace? What have we won if the country falls back into turmoil after we leave?

“Most of the "volunteers" for AQ came from the ranks of the unemployed who couldn't do anything about the situation in their own countries. When the survivors limped back, the word was, "Don't go, the Americans shoot to kill". This is pretty well-documented.”

Are there still unemployed disgruntled people in Iraq? I think the families of the over 4,400 service members who died in Iraq and the over 30,000 wounded would disagree with you about the people there being unwilling to engage us. Nineteen of these radicals took out nearly 3,000 of us on our own homeland on 9/11.

Look, my initial post was about celebrating victories in this war. This "war" is never going to end because terrorism will never end. We can certainly control and contain it as we do with other crimes. We cab celebrate our successes like we did with the death of Bin Laden and mourne our loses like we did for the 66 we lost last month.

PatCA said...

I did see a program on the WTC rebuilding. The project manager convinced me that the public debate was necessary; what's happening there now is quite good. The museum especially will not sugarcoat anything or hint that we deserved it.

Yeah, we did need the time. And they're doing a great job.

I also agree with Richard that it's the media and the haute monde denying us any sense of victories. They are probably the same ones complaining about too much coverage.

kimsch said...

Caplight: There's a list here. There's a pdf file at the link, 22 pages of 3 columns of names. It'a actually more than 2,996 names.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

The answer is very simple. Don't watch TV.

Unless football is on. Then you can watch TV and maybe you can even see your team spike the ball.

I have my memory of the day and that's enough.

Browndog said...

"I have my memory. It's enough".

NOT enough.

It's a start.

The Crack Emcee said...

garage mahal,

@caplight
Nice story, but I'm not sure what your beef with me is.


Hilarious. You're fucking Garage.

That's everybody's beef with you.

Meade said...

garage mahal said...
"...[Meade] likes the thug slur to describe public servants like firefighters."

What evidence do you have for saying that?

bagoh20 said...

The enemy has not successful attacked in 10 years. Most of the leadership responsible has been killed or captured, the head (Bin Laden) has been killed. They have lost all their territory and are simply running from place to place hiding like rats.

We have accomplished as much as is possible militarily. Realistically, what else is there to do?

Now we are simply trying to stabilize other countries to make the world a safer place, as we always do. I suspect we will always be doing that to some extent, somewhere. That's one of many reasons why the U.S. is exceptional.

We still need to keep the world at relative peace as we have for 65 years. The U.S. has been lucky and successful at keeping war far away, even when we are in it. That's not a bad thing.

Our lack of shared sacrifice is a measure of our power. There is nothing that additional sacrifice would accomplish. We aren't of a mind to escalate this, because the enemy is weak, well suppressed and hiding behind innocents.

Our military simply keeps the never satiated dogs of war as far away as possible. And they have been supremely successful now for nearly a decade. And not just us, but our allies and most of the world, whether they appreciate it or not.

Mission Accomplished....and continuing.

Henry said...

@Browndog -- Put me in the camp of those that thinks wall-to-wall media coverage is deadening. It is impossible for TV and glossy magazines not to produce shallow, repetitive dreck. They trivialize and demean whatever they embrace.

I believe in history, not the History Channel.

In that light, perhaps the only honest tribute is the replaying of the unfolding news events of the day.

But even there, what I think is resonant to those of us who were alive that day (my son was born three months later -- already there is a new generation!) is not the images, but what the images cause us to remember.

On September 11, 2011 I was on vacation with my wife in a cabin with no electricity. We didn't hear about that attacks until late in the afternoon. My most powerful memory is not something I saw on TV (though I watched all of it replayed in the local hotel bar that evening) but the shock of hearing the news from the stranger who stopped us on an empty dirt road that led between dark green pines down toward the ocean.

"Never forget" is not the same as "relive it".

36fsfiend said...

bagoh20 said...

"Our lack of shared sacrifice is a measure of our power. There is nothing that additional sacrifice would accomplish. We aren't of a mind to escalate this, because the enemy is weak, well suppressed and hiding behind innocents."

"Mission Accomplished....and continuing."

And yet, the "war" continues:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/09/03/fbi-dhs-warn-small-plane-terror-threats-ahead-11-anniversary/

Simon said...

Let me chip in a tangent from an immigrant's perspective. From the moment I got here, it struck me that America focuses on the undertaking, on the call to arms. 9/11 fits that pattern; so does Pearl Harbor. Most Americans know that the civil war effectively came to an end at Appomattox, but it's April 12th and Fort Sumpter that they remember.

But the most vivid example is the Fourth of July. The declaration of independence was not the achievement of independence, but its assertion; ahead, as we now know, lay years of what Payne would call the times that try men's souls. Yet it is not Yorktown that America commemorates, nor the treaty of Paris. Notwithstanding the occupation of New York, Philadelphia, Savannah, and Charleston, notwithstanding the physical trials symbolized by Valley Force, it is the bugle call of July 4, 1776—a beginning, not an end. It's simply how America rolls, I think.

garage mahal said...

What evidence do you have for saying that?

Loads. Are you saying you have, or have not used that slur to describe public workers?

Simon said...

Synova said...
"Last gasp of someone who's got no logical argument is 'chicken hawk.'"

It's an anti-war shell-game. If a politician didn't serve in the military, he's not allowed to launch a military action because he's never served—a chickenhawk, etc. If (s)he has served in the military, (s)he's not allowed to launch a military action because then (s)he's a military guy/gal—a warmonger, etc. The purpose of the game is to illegitimize all use of force by creating an environment in which no one can legitimately order it. The only way out is to refuse to play.

bagoh20 said...

C'mon Garage, that's just lame. The term "public worker" is a little broad isn't it. Why not just go large and accuse him of badmouthing all humans or mammals even.

Henry said...

Are you saying you have, or have not used that slur to describe public workers?

Some have used the descriptive "thugs' to describe thugs, that's for sure.

Ann Althouse said...

"But the most vivid example is the Fourth of July. The declaration of independence was not the achievement of independence, but its assertion; ahead, as we now know, lay years of what Payne would call the times that try men's souls. Yet it is not Yorktown that America commemorates, nor the treaty of Paris. Notwithstanding the occupation of New York, Philadelphia, Savannah, and Charleston, notwithstanding the physical trials symbolized by Valley Force, it is the bugle call of July 4, 1776—a beginning, not an end. It's simply how America rolls, I think."

The 4th of July is the declaration of independence, not the other side attacking and getting the best of us.

In the Civil War, we might see the Emancipation Proclamation that way.

These are big announcements of what we stand for and why we fight.

9/11 has some similarity, in that it infuses us with resolve and a sense of our own rightness as we steel ourselves to fight.

But I don't think we are observing 9/11 the way we observe the 4th of July. The fireworks on the 4th are expressions of joyful fervor in patriotism and anything good about America. It's about looking forward as a nation, even though it took place over 200 years ago.

9/11 has been very much about recalling the feeling of being attacked and the sadness over all the lost lives. This post doesn't say that we shouldn't devote 9/11 itself to remembering the dead. This post observes -- on 9/3 -- that we have gone 10 years without celebrating any of the victories of the war on terror. It hasn't been part of our culture.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

At the start of World War II, the U.S. was a giant, but a young and inexperienced one. We could still picture ourselves as the underdog, and boy do we love the underdog. Today, or in 2001, everybody is the underdog except us. That puts us into a quandary. We want to root for the little guy, even when the little guy would like to kill all of us. So we have conducted this war, or these wars, with exquisite sensitivity. We are in the right, we know that, we just don't believe it. If we did, this war would have been over in two days, with several Middle Eastern capitals being mere memories.

bagoh20 said...

"And yet, the "war" continues:"

Of course, the cops don't close down shop just because they catch a few criminals. War is here for good, like a contagious disease. We do prevention, and treatment as needed and as possible. Grow up about it. You don't sing "Give Peace a Chance" do you?

We may have disagreements about when and how to treat this disease, but the disease doesn't give a shit. It's just waiting for an opportunity.

None of this is new. Every period in history had this, we are unique in being able to make a global difference about it, for now. I pity the world when we no longer can.

Consider yourself lucky to have lived during that window when the world had nuclear weapons deliverable worldwide and the U.S. - the most benevolent superpower ever - was there, and strong. It won't be that way forever.

Meade said...

@garage, you have my email address. If you have "loads" of evidence that I "[like] the thug slur to describe public servants like firefighters," share it with me. I'll make a public apology. But if you don't have evidence, you have defamed me, and it is you who owes me an apology.

Beau said...

And he was crushed by criticism so harsh that it has served as a warning: never ever savor a victory

Because there is no 'victory' in invading country that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack?

Celebrating US troops involvement in bringing WWII to end- different story.

bagoh20 said...

Althouse, The answer to your question, I think, is something that has come up here a lot. The feminization of the culture. It's seen as now as boorishly masculine to celebrate violent victory.

If we could just settle this stuff with spelling bees, we could all get behind it. Maybe if we give Al Qaeda a participation award and celebrate their part in the war as well. Invite them to the ceremony and stuff with seats right up front.

AJ Lynch said...

Public workers = fat ass highly paid clerks + patronage no-show employees + drones protected by impervious civil service rules + lazy public transit + dedicated law enforcement + dedicated sanitation workers + fireman + underworked inncompetent judges + underworked incompetent attorneys etc.

And ,as usual, Garage moves the goalposts and slurs Meade by claiming Meade disparaged fireman aka all public workers.

wv = adump = when I take one, I am reminded of Garage

virgil xenophon said...

A cogent observation, I think, Simon. Like the case of D'Tocqueville, it often takes an outsider's eyeball to best analyze a given society. How recently did you arrive and from where, if I may ask?

Simon said...

Ann Althouse said...
"But I don't think we are observing 9/11 the way we observe the 4th of July."

I agree with that. Nevertheless:

"This post observes -- on 9/3 -- that we have gone 10 years without celebrating any of the victories of the war on terror. It hasn't been part of our culture."

Are celebrations of victory part of our culture at all? I'm not sure that they are. That was the point I was driving at: We recall "big announcements of what we stand for and why we fight" like 7/4 and events that "infuse[] us with resolve and a sense of our own rightness as we steel ourselves to fight" like 9/11, 4/12, or 12/7. But we're less apt to celebrate accomplishment rather than undertaking. Who knows the date of VE Day without looking? And while December 7 may still live in infamy (or not, in this more politically-correct age), September 2 has faded into obscurity. We just don't seem to do that stuff.

Simon said...

Virgil, I came here in 2004 from Britain, and proudly became a citizen of the United States as of July 2d last year. :)

garage mahal said...

Meade
I hate to break it to you, but firefighters are public servants. When you use the term "union thugs", [and you have], to describe the public workers protesting in Madison, did you mean to exclude firefighters? Because what I'm looking at I don't see it. And it's not possible you missed all the firefighters protesting in Madison, they were literally everywhere.

bagoh20 said...

I think Simon is right about celebrating war victory dates. We don't do that much. Probably because it's never really a sudden thing that happens on a specific day. The victory is clear long before the signing. That date is not a memorable event on it's own.

But Althouse is on to something about us not celebrating the victory even when it just happened. There was little celebration of the free elections in either Iraq or Afghanistan which I think were monumental, especially in Iraq's case. the problem in part was that a Republican President who 97% of the press voted against would get some of the glory. We can't have that.

If I remember right, the NYT covered Abu Grab for 30 days straight on the front page, but the first free elections ever in an Arab state (Iraq) didn't make it.

Some of us celebrated that, but I believe the passion for that piece of freedom's history was quite partisan. Which just sucks.

Meade said...

garage,

You claim to have "loads" of evidence that I "like the thug slur to describe public servants like firefighters."

Share one piece of evidence or admit that you defamed me and apologize.

Meade said...

In fact, you only dig yourself in deeper by defaming me again:

When you use the term "union thugs", [and you have], to describe the public workers protesting in Madison,

Show me where I have used the term "union thugs" to describe the public workers protesting in Madison. My search turns up the answer: I never have.

That's two defamations, two apologies.

bagoh20 said...

"When you use the term "union thugs", [and you have], to describe the public workers protesting in Madison, did you mean to exclude firefighters?"

Meade doesn't need my help, but:

Stop flailing Garage. I'm sure anyone who says that public workers are union thugs is quite aware that some are not. Just like I'm sure you don't eat everything you find dead on the road.

garage mahal said...

So you had to search to see if you used the term union thugs?

The troublemakers have arrived but they haven't been planted by Walker and the Koch brothers. They are union thugs, anarchists, and lefty dead-enders. And even, no doubt, a few assemblymen (D).

So in a thread on a Dem Assembly member getting tackled entered his workplace, you manage to slur even anarchists.

bagoh20 said...

I don't think you can slur an anarchist. Nobody has jurisdictional authority for that.

Meade said...

Evidence that I like to slur firefighters by calling them thugs, garage.

Apologize, my friend. Just get it over with.

garage mahal said...

First you wanted me to email you personally examples, supposedly to avoid embarrassment. Then you did your search, came back and confidently asked for an example, which I gave you.

If you don't think the term "union thug" is a slur to a firefighter, let's both go and ask one together.

Meade said...

Where in that thread do I call firefighters "union thugs?"

Stop flailing. Apologize.

Palladian said...

Some firefighters are union thugs. There, I said it.

Synova said...

"The other assumption, that a permanent base would keep Muslims riled up... I don't think that can be assumed."

"You earlier mentioned Bin Laden declaring a war on us. What was one of the reasons he cited in that declaration?"

Bin Laden's declaration was a laundry list that, as I understand it, included the invasion of Somalia where we were trying to feed people as well as the 650,000 Iraqi children we supposedly killed because we wouldn't let Saddam have weapon's grade chlorine and he refused to treat water with any other sort.

In other words, the entire document was an excuse. I think he may have mentioned Hollywood and gays and general moral depravity as well.

"They don't want us over there and the radials will use our continued presence to help recruit others to their cause."

Yet you say that as though the truth of it, assuming it is true, proves there is an alternative. More, that the alternative is obvious and effective. I can think of no reason at all to think that the radicals would cease to be radical if only we exert ourselves to calm them.

I think it's hubris, or vanity or something, or at least dehumanizing to all of the other people in the world when we refuse to allow other people the assumption of free-will.

Which is what we do when we view all of their decisions as if they are controlled by our actions.

Also, real events do not support the idea that the number of radicalized persons is dependent on the extent of our presence. The reasoning behind maintaining the lightest possible presence so as not to seem like occupiers in 2003 and onward did not keep the influx of foreign fighters from flooding into Iraq. What stopped that was an increase in our presence and a more thorough contact with the people; the surge. So there is at least one data point in my favor. Also, logically, people would be more willing to take a risk when there is an assurance they will not be abandoned. After Desert Storm we abandoned a lot of people. That's a dangerous reputation to have.

rhhardin said...

Firefighers and police are very important, if you listen to firefighters and police.

36fsfiend said...

Synova,

"The other assumption, that a permanent base would keep Muslims riled up... I don't think that can be assumed."

Here’s Bin Laden’s letter to America:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/nov/24/theobserver

In Paragraph (1)(e) he stated:

“Your forces occupy our countries; you spread your military bases throughout them; you corrupt our lands, and you besiege our sanctities, to protect the security of the Jews and to ensure the continuity of your pillage of our treasures.”

And in Paragraph (2)(b)(iv) he stated:

“You are a nation that permits acts of immorality, and you consider them to be pillars of personal freedom. You have continued to sink down this abyss from level to level until incest has spread amongst you, in the face of which neither your sense of honour nor your laws object.”

I’m sure not all Iraqis would be upset with a continued American presence in their country. However, the radicals would certainly use a permanent U.S. base as justification to recruit others to their cause.

-------
“Yet you say that as though the truth of it, assuming it is true, proves there is an alternative. More, that the alternative is obvious and effective. I can think of no reason at all to think that the radicals would cease to be radical if only we exert ourselves to calm them.”

The radicals consider us as infidels - I don’t believe a continued presence will calm them. Rather, I think it will further infuriate them.

-------
“I think it's hubris, or vanity or something, or at least dehumanizing to all of the other people in the world when we refuse to allow other people the assumption of free-will. Which is what we do when we view all of their decisions as if they are controlled by our actions.”

The radicals don’t believe in our concepts of freedom or free will. That’s one reason they are against our culture. Bin Laden used hatred of our culture as a means to recruit individuals willing to attack us.

------
“Also, real events do not support the idea that the number of radicalized persons is dependent on the extent of our presence. The reasoning behind maintaining the lightest possible presence so as not to seem like occupiers in 2003 and onward did not keep the influx of foreign fighters from flooding into Iraq. What stopped that was an increase in our presence and a more thorough contact with the people; the surge.”

The original force size for Operation Iraqi Freedom was based on the Administration’s estimate on what was required to achieve our objectives in Iraqi while continuing the combat operations in Afghanistan. The surge came about because we were not realizing those objectives.

-----
“Also, logically, people would be more willing to take a risk when there is an assurance they will not be abandoned. After Desert Storm we abandoned a lot of people. That's a dangerous reputation to have.”

As far as our forces abandoning the Iraqi people, we’ve shed a lot a blood and expended billions of dollars for them already. We cannot remain there forever. In any case, I don’t doubt radical factions will use a continued presence of U.S. forces beyond the end of 2011 as a cause to recruit followers willing to carry out future attacks on our forces in theater, at other overseas installations or the U.S. mainland.

The Drill SGT said...

I for one, like firefighters a alot more than I like unions

Mom said...

"I'm always worried about using the word 'victory,' because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur."

"This isn't a football game, so I'm not interested in victory; I'm interested in resolving the problem."

Issob Morocco said...

Don't watch, if one feels that way.

TosaGuy said...

"I for one, like firefighters a alot more than I like unions"

The City of Madison firefighters are refusing to participate at the 9/11 ceremony at the capitol because Gov Walker was invited. Town of Madison is taking their place.

TosaGuy said...

Not all people in a gov't union are thugs. However, all people who put their union above their job and professional responsibilities are, indeed, thugs.

exhelodrvr1 said...

9/11 is remembered in the fashion it is because to a lot of people it represents a change for the worse.

garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

"Where in that thread do I call firefighters "union thugs?"

I'm not sure why you're getting defensive. You said union thugs, did you not mean to include firefighters? Anyone else?

The Crack Emcee said...

Meade,

Garage is playing the typical game I've said repeatedly ain't worth shit:

Taking colloquial language and trying to twist it's meaning by demanding it be specific.

I know what you meant, you know what you meant, he knows what you meant, everyone knows what you meant, but he's going to stick to this firefighter point because - in his head alone - it's a safe position to attack from. It's bullshit.

But then, we know not to expect anything more from Garage.

And please make a note of how frustrating, and demeaning, it can be when you've got someone dead-to-rights, and an apology is requested and deserved, but they refuse the courtesy:

That seems to be a common practice in these parts,...

Dr Weevil said...

Let's explain this very simply for garage and anyone else who is confused on the point, or pretends to be:
1. Some (perhaps most) public servants, including NYC firemen, are union members.
2. Some (definitely not most) union members are thugs.
3. When someone criticizes "union thugs" he is not referring to all union members, still less to all public servants. He is referring to those union members (some of whom are public servants, at least in name) who are thugs, no one else. Similarly, someone who refers to "corrupt cops" is not impugning the honor of all policemen in America, or in the world, for that matter - just the corrupt ones.

By the way, I'm a public servant (public school teacher) and I've never felt insulted by anything Meade or Ann has written. Since I'm not a thug (or a union-member, for that matter), I know they're talking about other people when they write about thugs. If the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it.

wv: cesses, which is Latin for 'you should stop': good advice for garage, but he won't take it.

Maguro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maguro said...

Maybe it would help garage if someone drew him a Venn diagram with different circles for union members, union thugs and firefighters. The boy is a little slow, he just needs some help to understand the concept of intersecting subsets.

garage mahal said...

When someone criticizes "union thugs" he is not referring to all union members, still less to all public servants

Then I'm sure everyone won't mind me using "Tea Party Racists" to describe the Tea Party as a whole. Clearly not all are, but clearly some are. If you're not a racist, why would you mind?

Still think Meade and I could solve this by taking a short field trip to a firehouse, and ya know, asking them.

caplight said...

From Peggy Noonan in November of 2001
"We have learned, as a minister put it, that the age of the genius is over and the age of the hero begun. The observation is that of Father George Rutler, a Roman Catholic Priest who ran to the Trade Center when the towers were hit. As Mew York's fireman, the first and still greatest warriors of World War IV, passed the priest on his way to the buildings they'd pause for a moment and ask for prayers, for blessing, for the sacrament of confession. Soon they lined up to talk to him in rows, "like troops before battle," he told me. He took quick confessions, and finally gave general absolution "the way you do in a war, for this was a war."

When I heard this story it stopped me dead in my tracks because it told me what I'd wondered. They knew. The firemen knew exactly what they were running into, knew the odds, and yet they stood in line, received the sacrament, hoisted their hoses on their backs and charged."

My comment: These are the stories that must be told. Heroism, patriotism, sacrifice are thus shaped for a new generation. The irony is that the preening public officials who will gather on the platform on for the 9/11 observance display non of these. They are for all their earthly powers small, petty and pretentious. Small wonder that they do not want themselves surrounded with men and women of greater character and nobler lives. To Mayor Bloomberg I say, "Let the dead bury the dead."

We will remember. For the glory of God and the good of the Republic we the people will remember.

Dr Weevil said...

We don't mind at all when you refer to "Tea Party racists", garage, even though we know that you are implying that all Tea Partiers are racists, we know that that is a lie, and we know that you know that it is a lie.

The reason we don't mind is that you are already established as a filthy, contemptible, lying asshole, so being abused and lied about by you is a badge of honor.

Of course, context generally makes it quite clear whether the construction "X Y" means that all Xs are Ys or that some Xs are Ys. No one else has any trouble figuring out that "union thugs" are a subset of union members, just as "asshole commenters" are a subset of commenters. "Tea Party racists", on the other hand, does seem to be designed to equate the two. English syntax is often ambiguous, but context generally resolves the ambiguity. When garage refers to "Tea Party racists", is he referring to the minuscule percentage of actual racists in the Tea Party? Given his previous record, that seems extremely unlikely.

B said...

'The reason we don't mind is that you are already established as a filthy, contemptible, lying asshole, so being abused and lied about by you is a badge of honor.'

Let's not get carried away here. You can't be sure about garage's hygiene.

garage mahal said...

We don't mind at all when you refer to "Tea Party racists", garage, even though we know that you are implying that all Tea Partiers are racists, we know that that is a lie, and we know that you know that it is a lie.

So, we can use "union thugs", without referring to any particular event to describe union members, but the same cannot be said about the Tea Party. Precisely what I thought all along. I love the fact you don't mind being called a union thug even though you're not a member of a union. With this sort of logic I can only pray you aren't teaching any of my kids.

B said...

'With this sort of logic I can only pray you aren't teaching any of my kids.'

You are monumentally stupid, garage. You should avoid the subject of logic at all costs rather than pretend to its use.

This should be quite interesting if Dr Weevil decides to tear you a new one.

Dr Weevil said...

Yes, garage, it's obvious to everyone but you that "union thugs" does in fact mean the subset of union members who are also thugs. Did you read my parallel to "corrupt cops"? Do you think that anyone who refers to "corrupt cops" is insulting all policemen? Answer the question: do you or don't you think that "corrupt cops" implies that all cops are corrupt? It's a simple yes-or-no question, that you refuse to answer because that would mean admitting that you are simply wrong, that you are slandering Meade, and that you should probably just shut up and go away until you have something honest and intelligent to say.

While you're answering that question, or trying to figure out how to avoid doing so, here's another: Do you think all Tea Partiers are racists? And another: Can you specifically name any Tea Partier who is in fact a racist? And another: What percentage of Tea Partiers are racists, and what is your evidence for that estimate? (Mobies at Tea Party rallies don't count.)

Simon said...

I have some sympathy for Garage's position here; the point in his 10:58 comment is well-taken. When lefties refer to "tea party racists," the term "racists" is obviously not intended to limit the referent but rather to define it as a class. It can be taken in the former sense, but that's not typically how it's meant, and it's not how it's received by normal people. (Cf., felicitously, Judge Posner's disquisition on the reasonable person in Arroyo v. United States last week.) It certainly isn't how I hear it, I doubt it's how most conservatives and tea partiers hear it, and that should give us pause to consider Garage's position. Let's.

When one refers to "union thugs," the same thing obtains: Absent specific cues to the contrary in the context, reasonable people will hear that as a label describing all union members as thugs ("unionistas are thugs"), not as a qualification ("those few unionistas who happen to be thugs"), even though it can be interpreted in the latter sense. Garage is right about that.

Meade asked for Garage to supply "one piece of evidence" that you "like the thug slur to describe public servants like firefighters." And Garage supplied an example. The problem with that example, however, is that while it seems to answer the request at first blush (a reasonable person could infer that a person who refers to "tea party racists" has animus toward the tea party as a whole, believing them to be racist, not just animus toward specific members), it actually answers a different question: "Show me when I have ever referred to unions or union members as 'thugs.'" Only if one can generalize from the latter to the former, as Garage is doing, has he hit the mark.

So: Are the two questions alike? No. That's where the argument comes off the rails. If you read what Meade said, there were specific cues to the more limited reading in the context. On March 4, Meade commented that "[t]he troublemakers have arrived," and that, inter alia, they included "union thugs." But that plainly has to have the more restricted meaning ("the subset of union members who are thugs") because the broader meaning ("all union members are thugs") makes no sense: Union members had been on the scene for two weeks.

Firefighters are a subset of union members, and so a slur against all union members would be, as Garage contends, a slur against firefighers. He's right about that. But Meade is right that Garage's "pyramid maneuver" doesn't work: Criticizing a one subset of union members (the thugs) isn't a criticism of the superset (all union members, moving from base 1 to apex) and thus isn't a criticism of a different subset (the firefighters, moving from apex to base 2). I think it's clear that that's what Meade meant, and so Garage's example in fact is not an occaision on which Meade used "the thug slur to describe public servants like firefighters." And because you can't generalize an attitude from a single event that in fact doesn't show that attitude applied specifically, on a closer look, the example given is inadequate as a "piece of evidence" that Meade "like the thug slur to describe public servants like firefighters."

My $0.02.

Dr Weevil said...

Simon:
I agree with most of what you say, except that firefighters are not a subset of union members. That may be true in Wisconsin and New York City, but there are plenty of non-union firefighters elsewhere in the U.S.

Maguro (9:41am) is right. Union members, firefighters, and thugs would make one of those symmetrical Venn diagrams with three circles all intersecting each other. A member of the very small set of people who are unionized firefighters and thugs would go in the semi-triangular middle space, the non-thug union firefighters (lots of them), non-union thug firefighters (very few), and non-firefighter union thugs (lots of them) would go in the lens-shaped spaces between the circles, and the non-union non-thug firefighters, non-union non-firefighter thugs, and non-thug non-firefighter union members would go in what's left of the main circles.

Of course, we can't assume that all seven possibilities actually exist in significant numbers. In Wisconsion and other states, we mostly see non-firefighter union thugs, many of them in purple SEIU shirts.

garage mahal said...

Yes, garage, it's obvious to everyone but you that "union thugs" does in fact mean the subset of union members who are also thugs.

There are 238 "union thugs" hits on Althouse. Are you seriously trying to tell me these were all phrased properly to imply that only a small subset of the members were thugs? Of course not, and you know it. The slur union thugs is part of the accepted conservative vernacular going back decades to describe unions in general.

Anyways the family is waiting imnpatiently for their bike ride, and I gotta jet.

Trooper York said...

Tosa Guy said......
The City of Madison firefighters are refusing to participate at the 9/11 ceremony at the capitol because Gov Walker was invited. Town of Madison is taking their place."

That is so very sad.

What are they thinking?

Dr Weevil said...

Now garage complains about the prevalence of the phrase "union thugs" on Althouse. Let's look at a few examples. Remember "18 Seconds of Raw Class Warfare" (link) from last Sunday, the 28th? It's the number four hit for "union thugs" on Althouse, out of 238 on Google and 1,150 on Bing.

Not only that, the phrase occurs six times in the comment section of that one post. Shocking! Even more shocking, the first use is by someone who calls himself 'garage mahal' who asks "Union thugs or union wimps?" and impugns the masculinity of . . . it doesn't matter who, it's obviously projection.

Up until then, the word "thug" had not appeared in either the post or the comments, and the word "union" only once in the comments (a comment by AA, as it happens).

After GM started the ball rolling, "union thugs" were mentioned five more times in the comments to that post, in every case by people specifically quoting GM. So garage mahal thinks we should be ashamed at the frequent appearance in Althouse comments of a particular phrase which he has done his best to make appear more frequently. What kind of moronic hypocrite would make such an idiotic and dishonest complaint?

Perhaps he's complaining that Althouse hasn't banned him yet: "Stop me before I humiliate myself again!"

wv: dersith - a German Star Wars fan?

Synova said...

"The City of Madison firefighters are refusing to participate at the 9/11 ceremony at the capitol because Gov Walker was invited. Town of Madison is taking their place."

Not thugs then, petulant infants.

Maguro said...

I sincerely hope garage is never banned, he's easily one the most entertaining commenters here. Unintentionally so, but still.

raf said...

I have always (well, for ten years, anyway) thought the proper context for remembering 9/11, or the twin towers, it that used to remember the Alamo, the Maine, and Pearl Harbor.

Synova said...

fiend,

I appreciate your reply, but I think you've missed an important fact of History. Bin Laden complained about our presence when we had almost no presence at all in the middle east. We had a ship, we had an embassy, we had rented rooms. That's what got bombed... an embassy, a ship, a hotel. The world trade center.

And Desert Storm happened and he suddenly cared about that, too, despite our being invited by the Saudi's. He was a demagogue and *religiously* motivated.

To claim that our continued presence would radicalize those who would not otherwise be radicalized needs to show that if we turn it around the opposite will happen. But we can't show that. Historically it seems to make almost no difference if we try to stay small or if we throw our weight around. The Jews still exist and Hollywood is still all sex and homosexuals and minding our own business does not buy us peace.

I wish that it did.

raf said...

Why does Blogger keep changing my spelling when I hit "post"? I swear, "it" was "is" before that.

The Drill SGT said...

Thanks Caplight for the Father George Rutler segment. I have not been able to find the whole Noonan article, but your snippet ran like a bell in my heart.

They knew. The firemen knew exactly what they were running into, knew the odds, and yet they stood in line, received the sacrament, hoisted their hoses on their backs and charged."

36fsfiend said...

Synova,

"I appreciate your reply, but I think you've missed an important fact of History. Bin Laden complained about our presence when we had almost no presence at all in the middle east. We had a ship, we had an embassy, we had rented rooms. That's what got bombed... an embassy, a ship, a hotel. The world trade center."

I don't know exactly when Bin Laden's letter was written but it was published in the UK's Observer in November 2002.

We have had a significant presence in the Middle East well before that time. Standard Oil of California started exploring for oil in Saudi Arabia in 1933. Our oil companies have been there ever since.

We have been supporting Israel since that nation was founded in 1947.

The U.S. Navy has had a presence in Bahrain since 1971. As a result of the first Gulf War the U.S. has had a presence in Saudi Arabi, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE and Qatar.

The U.K., another Western power, had been involved in Palestine and Iraq since WW I.

This ongoing Western influence is what Bin Laden was against and is what he used to instill hatred against us to recruit radicals.

"He was a demagogue and *religiously* motivated."

Yes, Bin Laden used religion to justify his actions. He wasn't the first and will certainly not be the last one to do so.

"To claim that our continued presence would radicalize those who would not otherwise be radicalized needs to show that if we turn it around the opposite will happen. But we can't show that. Historically it seems to make almost no difference if we try to stay small or if we throw our weight around. The Jews still exist and Hollywood is still all sex and homosexuals and minding our own business does not buy us peace."

Because of the history of conflict and foreign rule dating back to the Crusades, factions in the Middle East have long been radicalized. Our continued present in the region just further inflames them. They are from a completely differnt culture with a very different set of values. Our form of democracy may just not work for them.

Synova said...

"Because of the history of conflict and foreign rule dating back to the Crusades, factions in the Middle East have long been radicalized."

Show me a place on the planet that does not have a history of conflict and foreign rule. Why do other people have to behave like they're civilized?

"Our continued present in the region just further inflames them. They are from a completely differnt culture with a very different set of values. Our form of democracy may just not work for them."

Entirely separate issues, democracy and radicalization. People organize themselves in any number of different ways, but I don't see tribal or clan structures demanding dictatorships. Those structures are rather participatory structures.

And in the end we are all human with identical basic needs and similar responses to similar social pressures. A culture inculcates expectations but it does not change human nature.

So we've got Saddam beating his chest, oppressing the Shi'ite, eradicating the Marsh Arabs, gassing the Sunni Kurds and imprisoning their children, and building palaces instead of treating water or making baby formula and when his miserable people look at him to see who is responsible for their misery he says, "Don't look at me, it's the petroleum companies and the Americans."

America is not the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega. But we do make a good scape-goat.

Iraq is miserable because of Iraq. The Taliban made Afghanistan a sh*thole with the worst infant mortality in the world. It's Saudi culture and not the West that make "labor" in that country shameful and status dependent on having nothing useful to do with your life.

And in the end, Israel still exists and Hollywood is full of homosexuals and naked women.

And life in the middle east sucks rocks and someone has to be found to take the blame.

The Drill SGT said...

36fsfiend said...
Because of the history of conflict and foreign rule dating back to the Crusades, factions in the Middle East have long been radicalized.


So why does Islam make this so?

After all, It was Arabs that founded Islam and imposed it on the other 6 major ethnic groups in the ME (Persians, Kurds, Turks, Egyptians, Tuareg, Indo-Aryans. They did this for 400 years before the Christians tried to get their holy places back. That was 800 years ago.

Did the Muslim invasion and conquest of Spain, the conquest of the Balkans? or Hungary, Sicily or southern France radicalize the Europeans? The latest invasion was only 350 years ago.

Why do Muslims get to play the Crusader victim card? They seized Christian sites, not the other way around. Unless one falls back on Allah's divine Destiny as told by big M, where the whole earth becomes one House of Allah.

Do the Muslims have a chip on their collective shoulders because the last 1400 years haven't gone according to the final word of Allah (e.g. the Koran)?

How, other than by submitting, could the West ever answer their grievances?

And since we can't, why should we care?

36fsfiend said...

Synova said...

“Show me a place on the planet that does not have a history of conflict and foreign rule. Why do other people have to behave like they're civilized?”

You seem to be missing the point I’m trying to make. They have a completely different culture and set of values than we and other nations have. Have you ever been to Saudi Arabia? We are indidels and they do not want us in their lands.

“Entirely separate issues (regarding our continued presence in Iraq and radicalization), democracy and radicalization. People organize themselves in any number of different ways, but I don't see tribal or clan structures demanding dictatorships. Those structures are rather participatory structures.”

“And in the end we are all human with identical basic needs and similar responses to similar social pressures. A culture inculcates expectations but it does not change human nature.”

See my first response.

“So we've got Saddam beating his chest, oppressing the Shi'ite, eradicating the Marsh Arabs, gassing the Sunni Kurds and imprisoning their children, and building palaces instead of treating water or making baby formula and when his miserable people look at him to see who is responsible for their misery he says, "Don't look at me, it's the petroleum companies and the Americans."

“America is not the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega. But we do make a good scape-goat.”

Remember who supported Saddam during the 1980s Iraq-Iran war during which he employed chemical weapons – we did. Where do you think he got those weapons that he later used on the Kurds? He was our Frankenstein.

As far as invading Iraq because Saddam was a cruel dictator who murdered his own people, why didn’t we do the same with Stalin (681,692 executed), Mao Zedong (between 2 and 5 million executed), Kim Jong-il (over 2 million deaths from starvation), Idi Amin Dada (100,000 to 500,000 killed), Pol Pot (750,000 to over three million killed). Augusto Pinochet (1,200 to 3,200 killed and up to 30,000 tortured) and other cruel leaders?

How about the millions dying in Africa from civil wars and famine? What not invade those countries? What was different about Iraq? Maybe this, perhaps:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves_in_Iraq


Who stands to gain the most from a continued presence in Iraq?

“Iraq is miserable because of Iraq. The Taliban made Afghanistan a sh*thole with the worst infant mortality in the world. It's Saudi culture and not the West that make "labor" in that country shameful and status dependent on having nothing useful to do with your life.”

“And in the end, Israel still exists and Hollywood is full of homosexuals and naked women.”

“And life in the middle east sucks rocks and someone has to be found to take the blame.”

I don’t disagree with those points. Again, that’s their culture. But how much suffering have we caused by our invasion of Iraq? How many thousands of Iraqis have been killed or injured? Those civilians had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. We are in effect giving the radicals the tools to recruit more followers.

caplight said...

Drillsgt
That Peggy Noonan piece was in the WSJ November 2001. In my mind the weeks after the attack were the best work she has done. The more she wrote the more vapid and vacuous MoDo sounded. The comparison was quite remarkable.

36fsfiend said...

The Drill SGT said...

“So why does Islam make this so?”

“After all, It was Arabs that founded Islam and imposed it on the other 6 major ethnic groups in the ME (Persians, Kurds, Turks, Egyptians, Tuareg, Indo-Aryans. They did this for 400 years before the Christians tried to get their holy places back. That was 800 years ago.

The same can be said about other religions. Take Christianity. The Spanish conquistadors, the Inquisition, the treatment of the North American indigenous peoples are some examples.

As far as why the Moslems are more radical - maybe because Islam is a relative young religion compared to Judaism and Christianity and they still closely follow all the teachings in their faith as compared to Jews and Christians. I would argue that if Christians followed all the rules in the Old Testament word for word they would be considered just as radical.

“Did the Muslim invasion and conquest of Spain, the conquest of the Balkans or Hungary, Sicily or southern France radicalize the Europeans? The latest invasion was only 350 years ago.”

“Why do Muslims get to play the Crusader victim card? They seized Christian sites, not the other way around. Unless one falls back on Allah's divine Destiny as told by big M, where the whole earth becomes one House of Allah.”

What about the lands conquered by Alexander the Great, the Romans or the Mongols who had the largest land empire in the history of the world and threaten Western Europe and Christendom? Why are Moslem invasions and conquests different from those? As far as the Christians trying to take back their holy sites in the Middle East, who was there before the Christians, Moslems and Israelites? Do the descendants of those people not have a right to lay claim to those places as well?

“Do the Muslims have a chip on their collective shoulders because the last 1400 years haven't gone according to the final word of Allah (e.g. the Koran)?

When did all the recent conflict begin with the Middle East? Did it start with the British rule in WW I? How about our activities starting with Iran in 1953? Who invaded who?

“How, other than by submitting, could the West ever answer their grievances?

Maybe by staying out of their internal affairs? What would we do if we were constantly being interfered with by outside powers for the past 100 or so years? I think we would fight back.

“And since we can't, why should we care?”

The events of 9/11 maybe?

Trooper York said...

Mayor Bloomberg has banned the clergy and the First Responders from the 9/11 ceremony.

But there is plenty of room for Bush, Obama and a bunch of politicians and their families.

This is what caplight was talking about. The politicians are the problem. They are hijacking this event for political purposes from both sides.

They should be ashamed of themselves.

But politicians feel no shame.

May they rot in Hell.

Youngblood said...

36sfiend wrote:

"Where do you think he got those weapons that he later used on the Kurds?"

The Soviet Union supplied Iraq with the bulk of its conventional weapons, with France supplying most of the remainder.

East Germany (and some West Germany companies that operated on both sides of the Iron Curtain) supplied Iraq with the majority of the expertise and equipment necessary for its chemical and biological weapons program.

The United States mostly sold Iraq non-military equipment that could be used for military purposes (such as trucks, helicopters, and computers), but restricted US corporations from configuring this equipment for military use.

The United States also offered samples of various diseases that could be used to develop biological weapons, although the goal was to allow Iraq to develop its own vaccines and treatments. For the most part, these samples were used in that capacity, although Iraq is known to have developed a strain of weaponized anthrax from the sample we sent them.

Although Israel cut short Iraq's nuclear ambitions, the Iraqi nuclear program was supported mostly by Germany (East and West) and France.

The US didn't supply Iraq with much in the way of weaponry, conventional or otherwise.

Youngblood said...

Intelligence was another matter. We gave Iraq lots of satellite photos of Iranian troop movements and such.

36fsfiend said...

Youngblood,

Thanks for the specific information regarding Saddam's weapons program and our intel support. My point is that we continued to support him while he used chemical weapons against Iran.

I see you are from Philly. I'm up in Blue Bell, PA.

Cheers

Synova said...

So, morally, since this seems to all be based on moral implications... if we supplied Saddam with anything at all that he used for evil purposes, at our instigation or otherwise, does that make him off limits or does it make him our problem?

Because which it is seems to change according to how the moral club can be best employed to a particular end.

And I'm never going to buy the "they are young" argument. The cultures in the middle east are ancient. Treating them like children is racist.

It just really is.

Youngblood said...

Iraq's first large-scale use of chemical weapons took place in mid-to late 1983. The US pressured Iraq to stop using chemical weapons and, by November of 1983, Iraq this pressure produced results. (It is well documented that in his famous December 1983 meeting with top Ba'athist officials, Rumsfeld advised Iraq not to start using chemical weapons again.)

In February of 1984, Iraq started using chemical weapons again. Over the next month, the US warned Iraq that existing and future deals would be jeopardized. This had no effect so, in March, the US condemned Iraq for its continued use. This pissed off the Iraqis and, after that, US-Iraq relations (which were very poor to begin with -- we didn't even have an embassy in Iraq) started to crumble.

All of this is fairly well documented, and you can look it up if you don't believe me.

I have a question for you, but I'll put it in a new comment for the sake of clarity.

36fsfiend said...

Synova said...

“ So, morally, since this seems to all be based on moral implications... if we supplied Saddam with anything at all that he used for evil purposes, at our instigation or otherwise, does that make him off limits or does it make him our problem?”

“Because which it is seems to change according to how the moral club can be best employed to a particular end.”

Are you for invading this country to help the starving? They don’t have oil though?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2011/sep/03/charity-aid-groups-misleading-somalia


“And I'm never going to buy the "they are young" argument. The cultures in the middle east are ancient. Treating them like children is racist.”

Islam began around 630 AD. It is a younger religion than Judaism and Christianity. Nothing racist about that – just fact.

36fsfiend said...

Youngblood said...

"All of this is fairly well documented, and you can look it up if you don't believe me."

Youngbloodm,

Maybe I need to read more on the subject. However from Wiki on United States support for Iraq during the Iran–Iraq war:

"Author Barry M. Lando says, by 1987, the U.S. military was so invested in the correct outcome, that "officers from the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency dispatched to Baghdad were actually planning day-by-day strategic bombing strikes for the Iraqi Air Force." Iraq used this data to target Iranian positions with chemical weapons, says ambassador Galbraith."

and:

“According to retired Army Colonel W. Patrick Lang, senior defense intelligence officer for the United States Defense Intelligence Agency at the time, "the use of gas on the battlefield by the Iraqis was not a matter of deep strategic concern" to Reagan and his aides, because they "were desperate to make sure that Iraq did not lose." Lang disclosed that more than 60 officers of the Defense Intelligence Agency were secretly providing detailed information on Iranian deployments. He cautioned that the DIA "would have never accepted the use of chemical weapons against civilians, but the use against military objectives was seen as inevitable in the Iraqi struggle for survival." Despite this claim, the Reagan administration did not stop aiding Iraq after receiving reports affirming the use of poison gas on Kurdish civilians.”

and:

“Joost R. Hiltermann says that when the Iraqi military turned its chemical weapons on the Kurds during the war, killing approximately 5,000 people in the town of Halabja and injuring thousands more, the Reagan administration actually sought to obscure Iraqi leadership culpability by suggesting, inaccurately, that the Iranians may have carried out the attack.”

Youngblood said...

My question is simple:

What would the right move had been?

Before you answer, consider the context:

In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Also in 1979, the Islamic Revolution transformed Iran from an allied country into a hostile one. Our relationship with Iraq, at that point in time, was extremely poor. (In addition to constant CIA interference in the nation's affairs, we'd fingered it as a state sponsor of terrorism and levied economic sanctions against it.)

We weren't the only game in town back in those days. If Iraq didn't deal with us (by which I mean Europe, Britain, and the United States), it would have gone knocking on the USSR's door. (Sure, Saddam hated Communists, but he didn't hate AK-47s, Soviet tanks, SCUD missile systems, or MiGs.)

Now, go find a map of the region and look at it. See how Afghanistan shares a border with Iran, and Iran shares a border with Iraq?

At the time, a Soviet Afghanistan was a very real possibility. Iraq had previously enjoyed a close relationship with the Soviet Union, and it wasn't inconceivable that it might slip into the Soviet sphere of influence. Sandwiched between those two was the ally-turned-enemy Iran, with its weak post-revolutionary government.

At the dawn of the 1980s, a Soviet-dominated Middle East was a very real possibility.

What would the correct move have been?

We weren't trading weapons with Iraq; we were mostly loosening restrictions on civilian trade and helping to modernize the nation's infrastructure. Should we have stopped doing those things when Iraq used chemical weapons? Or should we have used them to try to lure Iraq away from the use of chemical weapons?

Jim Howard said...

I'm surprised that only one other commenter has mentioned the large victory celebrations that occurred in 1991 at the end of Desert Storm.

36fsfiend said...

Youngblood said...

“What would the right move had been?”

If we really had the balls as a nation – confront the Soviet Union directly instead dealing with them via proxies. I’ll have to go back and read my history from that time but what did we or the UN actually do to confront the Soviet action? Did we and the rest of the world see it coming and take any preemptive action?

If there wasn’t vast oil reserves in the Middle East would we even care? I don’t know. But since there were, it was in our national interest to be involved. So I get that we supported Iraq to offset the influence of the Soviet Union in the Middle East.

However, coming back to our latest war in Iraq, which was suppose to be about finding WMDs and taking out Saddam for being a terrible dictator who murdered his own people and cooperated with terrorists, I find it interesting when I hear people say that it had nothing to do with oil. However:

http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/mar2010/gb2010034_232444.htm

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2011/03/28/Exxon-Mobil-reaches-milestone-in-Iraq/UPI-25731301320635/

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9HM532G3.htm

Let’s just be above board and admit that we are in it for the oil. Like you said, look at a map and see where we are engaged in conflicts. Not in lower Africa where millions are dying from civil wars and famine but in the Middle East and Libya.

If admitting that to ourselves is not palatable, then maybe we do need to wean ourselves off the oil teat and develop other energy sources that are not dependent on potentially hostile nations. Which given the volatility of the Middle East would make good economic and foreign policy sense. Will it happen – not with all the money in Big Oil and not when we’re unwilling to put the country on a real war footing (drafts, taxes, etc.,) and share the sacrifice when we go to war for these national interests.

36fsfiend said...

Youngblood,

Perhaps another case of the U.S. interfering in the affairs of another Middle Eastern country:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html

Ron Paul's idea of "Blow back" is making more sense each time.

Simon said...

36fsfiend said...
"[Youngblood asked what the right move would have been.] If we really had the balls as a nation – confront the Soviet Union directly instead dealing with them via proxies."

What macho nonsense. "Directly confronting" a country that had thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at us (see, e.g., Gervasi, Soviet Military Power 29 (1987)) wouldn't have been a question of "balls" but of mass suicide.

36fsfiend said...

Simon said...

"What macho nonsense. "Directly confronting" a country that had thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at us (see, e.g., Gervasi, Soviet Military Power 29 (1987)) wouldn't have been a question of "balls" but of mass suicide."

Diplomatically? Economically? What actions could we really have taken? Who knows since we are not privy to all the classified information of what actually was going on behind the scenes as noted in my previous post

Simon said...

With a pole? With a sharp stick? With what implements could we have poked the bear before it woke up and mauled us?

Oh, sure, if it would have come to it, we'd have killed the bear as we bled to death ourselves, but the better plan was probably to starve it to death, which is a rather tortured extension of the metaphor to cover what Reagan did, I admit, but you get the idea. :)

36fsfiend said...

Simon said...

"Oh, sure, if it would have come to it, we'd have killed the bear as we bled to death ourselves, but the better plan was probably to starve it to death, which is a rather tortured extension of the metaphor to cover what Reagan did, I admit, but you get the idea. :)"

And now we reap the harvest - this Global "War" on terror - from our involvement with the volatile and radical factions in the Middle East in containing the bear.