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9/11: White House issues remembrance guidelines?

When the words 9-11are uttered they conjure up a variety of mixed and poignant feelings to all who remember that fall day; this year marks the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack against the United States, an attack which led eventually to two wars, more than 5,000 American dead, tens of thousands additional American wounded, hundreds of thousands of Afghan and Iraqi killed and wounded and trillions of dollars thrown away.

White House guidance on commemoration plans – for the government – call for a “positive” and “forward-looking” message with minimum reference to Al Qaeda, the New York Times reports.

Commemorations should honour victims of global terror, they say, as citizens of over 90 countries were killed.

OK, I have to admit that when I first heard about the White House guidance on how the nation should commemorate the attacks I was a little taken aback; however, having thought about it, I agree with the President that it’s time to look to the future while still remembering the honored dead. I believe it’s also time to stop hating and to down play Al Qaeda; I’m one of those who’ve never bought into the theory that Al-Qaeda was some sort of well-oiled terror machine; to me they’ve always been a pack of punks hiding out in caves who managed to pull off a terrorists dream attack against the United States, but nothing more. They’re still a bunch of cave dwelling punks and they’re still coming out into light every now and then to lash out and kill and maim.

Following the attacks we invaded Afghanistan with the thought of capturing or killing Osama Bin Laden – the purported master mind of the attack – and to punish the uber-conservative Islamic Taliban government of Afghanistan which had allowed Al Qaeda to shelter and train there; but we weren’t long into the invasion when the Bush/Cheney administration became distracted with Iraq. Bush sent the country into a second war based on lies and manipulated intelligence reports. The cost was enormous both in casualty rates and in treasure squandered to ostensibly settle a Bush family score with Saddam Hussein. Bush left office with one of the lowest presidential approval ratings in history; a ruined economy and no Bin Laden to show for his wasted efforts.

A few months ago President Obama ordered Navy Seals to do what Bush/Cheney could never do – to kill Bin Laden. He was taken out; hiding in Pakistan behind one of his wives, and his body was unceremoniously dumped into the ocean. I admit I was more than a little happy when I heard they had capped him in the head.

So, now the boogey man is gone, and it’s time for the President to move the country past 9-11, past the terror of that day, past the hate filled vilifying of everything Islam, and past the wasteful wars of Bush/Cheney.

Accordingly, the White House has said commemoration plans will place emphasis on the theme of resilience, and warned of future attacks; while highlighting the steps taken to break up plots against the US since 9/11 and praising foreign allies in the fight against terror.

On Tuesday, President Obama reiterated his pledge to support the “9/11 generation” of veterans in a speech to the American Legion in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“They were there, on duty, that September morning, having enlisted in a time of peace, but they instantly transitioned to a war-footing,” the President said.

The President – unlike the Republican Tea Party (GOTP) – supports those who fought, and bled since 9-11. He is opposed to cuts in Veterans Administration (VA) spending and believes it’s the country’s obligation to help those who stepped forward to defend freedom following the attacks. The GOTP slate of presidential hopefuls on the other hand have all said they support massive federal spending cuts including cuts in veteran’s benefits. It’s the typical uber-right response to things. While they’re sending young men and women off to war they’re filling the air with platitudes of support and reverence, but after those same young men and women return, having borne the terrors and pain and suffering of war, having done their bidding, they discard them like broken toys.

It’s time to remember the fallen, and those who have fought since the attacks. It’s time to ensure the first responders who rushed into harm’s way are taken care of and supported; it’s time to care for the wounds of our veterans, and to support their transition back into the civilian world; it’s time to move past the hate and to begin to look to the future. Remaining always ready and always vigilant but doing so with confidence and not the fear inspired by those on the right; it’s time to start beating some of our swords into plow shares.

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2011 in 9-11

 

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FOX PAC Declares “Banning Clergy” From 9-11 Anniversary Ceremony Is “A Victory for the Terrorists”?

FOX PAC has its collective knickers in a knot because NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided that members of the clergy will not be included in 9-11 memorial ceremonies at ground zero. Problem for the uber-conservative talking bovines at FOX PAC is this isn’t a new policy; in fact it’s the exact same practice that has been in place for past memorials. Of course, when have facts ever mattered to the people at FOX PAC?

We can always count on the brain thrust of FOX PAC & Friends to lead the way into conservative hysteria – particularly in anything concerning 9-11 and Ground Zero, Steve Doocy started it off, “Meanwhile, religion has no place at ground zero. That’s because New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is banning the clergy from the September 11th, 10th anniversary ceremony. This comes as a surprise, especially since he recently defended plans to build that mosque near ground zero.”

Well gee, I guess Doocy caught Mayor Bloomberg in his Islamic conspiracy – is Doocy really this obtuse? I wonder if Doocy and his cohorts would support an Imam giving a prayer during the ceremony?

Doocy continued, “We’ve gotten a statement from the mayor’s office, and here’s how it reads. It says, ‘Religious leaders or others are free to hold such an event, the focus of this commemoration ceremony is on the family members of those who died.’ You know, I haven’t taken a poll of the audience, but I would imagine most of the people who lost somebody on September the 11th would be comforted by some words of prayer.”

Well, maybe, but again who offers the prayers, a Rabbi, or an Imam? Or would it have to be an evangelical minister?

FOX PAC The Five co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle told viewers it was a violation of religious freedom not to include religious leaders, “It’s very insensitive, it really is. And I think it violates your freedom of religion. And why would you do something like that with – it’s so important, and the clergy played such an important role. Why’s he doing it?”

Why’s he doing it? Because he doesn’t want it to become a Glenn Beckian style event with one minister after another parading across the stage offering religious rants against Islam most probably. And, oh, by-the-way, the Mayor of New York not inviting religious leaders to take part in a government sponsored event doesn’t violate anyone’s freedom of religion. It was interesting to note that when asked if she would support an Imam offering a prayer she said no.

Not to be out done, FOX PAC The Five co-host Monica Crowley also jumped on the band wagon, “The other point too, Kimberly, is that these terrorists acted in the name of their faith. So, if we strip faith out of these services completely and make it totally secular, then that’s a victory for the terrorists.”

Well, of course it isn’t a victory for the terrorists; does Monica not understand there were followers of Islam who were victims of the attacks too, including one young woman who was 7 months pregnant, and that there were also first responders who died that morning who were Muslim? Of course they do, but they don’t care, they’re still consumed with the rabid hate of the uber-conservatives concerning all things 9-11.

As was mentioned earlier, the Mayor’s decision isn’t an isolated incident; in fact the Wall Street Journal reported clergy have not participated in past ceremonies commemorating the attack.

The Wall Street Journal reported on 24 August 11, “Religious leaders are calling on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reverse course and offer clergy a role in the ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

“City Hall officials, who are coordinating the ceremony, confirmed that spiritual leaders will not participate this year — just as has been the case during past events marking the anniversary. The mayor has said he wants the upcoming event to strike a similar tone as previous ceremonies.

“‘There are hundreds of important people that have offered to participate over the last nine years, but the focus remains on the families of the thousands who died on Sept. 11,’ said Evelyn Erskine, a mayoral spokeswoman.”

Perhaps the Mayor could have a chaplain from the NYFD give an invocation, and a chaplain from the NYPD give a benediction? And perhaps a Rabbi and an Imam could offer prayers in the middle of the service? After all this is supposed to be a memorial; problem is, once the religious Pandora’s box is opened, he won’t be able to close it, and then there will be cries of favoritism of one religion over another, and if he does invite an Imam the FOX PAC crowd will call for his lynching.

This is another case of uber-conservatives crying out against Islam and Sharia law while wanting to impose their Christian version of the same upon everyone else. Fact is this is not the first time religious leaders haven’t been invited, and FOX PAC knows this, wait for the other shoe to drop when FOX personalities blame the absence of religious leaders on President Obama so they revive the theory of him secretly being a closet Muslim.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2011 in 9-11

 

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