Tuesday, 2 August 2005
Thoughts for Today
Topic: Islamic Jihad
"Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that is not with me is against me.'""George Orwell
At the end of Fahrenheit 9/11 Michael Moore has a quote by Orwell. One wonders if he ever read much by the man or actually understood Orwell's Thoughts and Philosophy.
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf"
"War is evil, but it is often the lesser evil"
"There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them."
"The quickest way to end a war is to lose it."
"So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot."
"There is hardly such a thing as a war in which it makes no difference who wins. Nearly always one side stands more or less for progress, the other side more or less for reaction."
"For the ordinary man is passive. Within a narrow circle (home life, and perhaps the trade unions or local politics) he feels himself master of his fate, but against major events he is as helpless as against the elements. So far from endeavoring to influence the future, he simply lies down and lets things happen to him."
"The high sentiments always win in the end, the leaders who offer blood, toil, tears, and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic."
Michael Moore has stated the Terrorists in Iraq are Modern Day Minutemen, I think this quote by Orwell is quite fitting
"One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that; no ordinary man could be such a fool."
Orwell is considered by some to be one of the Great Western Thinkers of the 20th Century, celebrated and acclaimed as such.
Let us revisit what he said and I quoted at the start of this Post?"Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that is not with me is against me.'""George Orwell
Those were the words of one of the Great Thinkers of the West.
For Extra Credit what 21st Century Thinker uttered These Words
Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.
Under the Heel of the Mullahs
Yes we heard much in the Exempt Media when the Uzbekistan Government fired upon demonstrators.
But have you heard ANYTHING about THIS?Police shoot dead protesters in northwest Iran Tue. 2 Aug 2005
Tehran, Iran, Aug. 02 – Iran’s State Security Forces on Monday evening opened fire at a peaceful anti-government demonstration in the Kurdish town of Sanandaj, northwest Iran, killing several people including two children and starting riots throughout the town, eye-witnesses reported.
At least 1,000 people had gathered at Esteghlal Park in the evening, peacefully demonstrating in protest to the brutal torture and murder of a young Kurd by police in the neighboring town of Mahabad which had acted as a catalyst for widespread anti-government protests in Kurdistan and Western Azerbaijan provinces for the past three weeks.
Protesters held up placards demanding justice for the killers of Shown Qaderi. There were also chants against senior officials within Iran’s theocratic leadership.
Uniformed and plain-clothed police attacked Protesters in Enghelab Square and Sheshom-e Bahman Street and at one point started to shoot live rounds. Eye-witnesses reported that several people were injured or killed. Among the dead are believed to be two children.
As demonstrators dispersed, a full-scale riot broke out in Sanandaj. People threw stones to fight off police and burnt car tyres in the streets. Local banks were attacked and had their windows shattered.
Several sonic-booms were also set off in between Protesters.
There is presently no accurate information on the number of people arrested, though witnesses reported heavy police presence in the town. Anti-riot units were also brought in from neighboring towns to quell the protests.
Or a couple of weeks before the Andijan massacre
Did you hear about this at all??????Iran executes teenage demonstrators in Ahwaz ? reports Sat. 23 Apr 2005
Ahwaz, Apr. 23 ? Iran?s Revolutionary Guards executed a number of teenage demonstrators in the streets of Ahwaz, southern Iran, according to eye-witnesses.
Residents reported that Revolutionary Guards arrested demonstrators in the city streets and gunned them down to terrorize the local people and end a week long anti-government uprising that has spread throughout the oil-rich Khuzestan Province.
Helicopters were also seen opening fire on demonstrators.
A 5-year-old boy was killed when he was run over by a Revolutionary Guards? armored personnel carrier, eye-witnesses said.
Smoke from tear-gas that has been fired was so heavy that hospitals have been inundated with patients complaining of severe respiratory problems. A number of hospitals have also been raided by State Security Forces and large numbers of youth have been arrested on charges of taking part in the demonstrations.
Fierce fighting has brought the province to a complete stand-still since Friday, when State Security Forces (SSF) opened fire on a 3,000-strong anti-government demonstration in the city of Ahwaz.
Ahwaz was placed under a de facto martial law after anti-government demonstrations led to bloody clashes between local residents and security forces.
A government-orchestrated counter-demonstration on Friday was greeted with apathy by the local people. Even the non-Arab residents of Ahwaz stayed away from the march led by local clerics and officials of the Islamic Republic. State television showed scenes of the demonstration, with large banners blaming ?the U.S., Israel and the Monafeqin? for the uprising. Monafeqin, or hypocrites, is the term Iranian state media and officials use to describe the People?s Mojahedin, Iran?s main opposition group.
The semi-official Jomhouri Islami daily wrote in its editorial today, ?We must not ignore the seditious role being played by the Monafeqin in the events in Ahwaz?.
The Prosecutor-General of Ahwaz Amir Khani said today that five people had been detained by Iran?s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, charged with being the primary instigators of the clashes that are still on going in a number of districts. He also announced the arrest of a further 59 people involved in the clashes in Ahwaz by the security and intelligence apparatus.
Now after Andijan, " The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for an independent investigation into the massacre."
What did we hear from the UN High Commissioner after
There were TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY anti-government protests, clashes, strikes, and other forms of social unrest throughout Iran over the past month, according to the opposition Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK, or People?s Mojahedin).
Most of the protests and public actions occurred in Tehran and other major cities, including Isfahan, Mashad, Ahwaz, and Tabriz.
Monday, 1 August 2005
Yankees Go Home
Recently in Uzbekistan, demonstrators were fired upon by government troops, with tragic results.
That the US had a base in that country, was of course commented upon in the media.
Wherever we are, whatever happens there, we are responsible it seems.
Well the US has made its concerns known, and has been asked to leave and is doing so.
Bush kept the faith.
This in from TigerHawk
Sunday, July 31, 2005
The United States stands on principle and loses a base in central Asia
The United States has a strategically significant base in Uzbekistan, which borders on Afghanistan. In May, Uzbekistan's hideous government opened fire on demonstrators and killed hundreds of innocent people, raising the ire of the civilized countries of the world. The United States, among others, threw a fit. Uzbekistan has now expelled the United States, ordering it out of the base within six months. Russia and China, neither offended by the thugs running Uzbekistan but both sorely annoyed by the U.S. presence in central Asia, are happy today.
The next time somebody tells you that the United States operates without principle, remind them that the Bush Administration walked away from an important base in central Asia because it stood up for political liberty in one of the most isolated places on the planet.
Now one wonders what the media will being saying about demonstrators being gunned down in Iran?Over 280 protests in Iran in past month - opposition Mon. 1 Aug 2005
London, Aug. 01 ? Disenchanted Iranians stated more than 280 anti-government protests, clashes, strikes, and other forms of social unrest throughout Iran over the past month, according to the opposition Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK, or People?s Mojahedin).
Most of the protests and public actions occurred in Tehran and other major cities, including Isfahan, Mashad, Ahwaz, and Tabriz.
There were many protests in regions with substantial ethnic minorities, such as Kurdistan and Khuzistan.
Workers staged 170 strikes in the same month, the opposition group said.
Student demonstrations were widespread, despite the closure of most schools and universities during the summer period. Many of the students who took part in anti-government activity were arrested and some continue to be in detention at unknown locations.
Civil servants, nurses, drivers, and other social groups organized more than 50 protests.
The opposition group highlighted the unrest in the Kurdish town of Mahabad, northwest Iran, where it said protests started on July 9 and have not ended since. Several people have been left dead including a woman after police launched a crackdown on Mahabad and neighboring towns to prevent social dissent from escalating.
The southern province of Khuzistan has also been a hotbed for anti-government demonstrations and clashes between the population and security forces.
Don't hold your breath waiting for Mainstream Media Reports.
One demonstration where the US has a base?
Full coverage, 280
protests in ONE MONTH?
We never hear about.
Sunday, 31 July 2005
I WAS WRONG
Topic: Iraq War
The fact that I was not alone is no excuse.Conclusion Jumping At CQ
Yep and jumping to conclusions by me as well"On July 25th, I wrote that leftist vandals piled flags from the yard of a family mourning the loss of a son-in-law who died serving his country in Iraq. An arsonist had piled all twenty flags adorning the yard of the Wessel home under their daughter's car and set them on fire, totaling the vehicle and narrowly avoiding setting their house on fire. I had assumed that only someone who wanted to stage a protest to the war would do something that stupid and dangerous to make a point.
Well, I was wrong. It turned out to be pointless after all:
Two teenage boys were charged Thursday with burning 20 small American flags set up in honor of a soldier who died from injuries suffered in the Iraq war.
Police said the boys apparently did not know the significance of the flags they took from the yard and set afire under a car belonging to the soldier's sister-in-law. The vehicle was destroyed."
Yes let me repeat in the matter of burning flags from a funeral of a slain soldier, to torch the car of one of his family members I WAS WRONG
It appears not to have had political motives.
But I am NOT
The disabled Iraqi War Vet who was harassed by a crowd during a 4 th of July paradeVeteran gets rude welcome on BainbridgeThink about the Seattle area -- Bainbridge Island to be exact -- and you think scenic views and liberal-minded tolerance.
Read the latest update: An apology and -- it is hoped -- healing on Bainbridge.
At least the killer views are still there.
The bucolic island's deep reputation for civility got a gut check this week during the annual Grand Old Fourth of July celebration.
That's when Jason Gilson, a 23-year-old military veteran who served in Iraq, marched in the local event. He wore his medals with pride and carried a sign that said "Veterans for Bush."
Walking the parade route with his mom, younger siblings and politically conservative friends, Jason heard words from the crowd that felt like a thousand daggers to the heart.
To understand why the reaction of strangers hurt so much, you must read what the young man had written in a letter from Iraq before he was disabled in an ambush:
"I really miss being in the states. Some of the American public have no idea how much freedom costs and who the people are that pay that awful price. I think sometimes people just see us as nameless and faceless and not really as humans. ... A good portion of us are actually scared that when we come home, for those of us who make it back, that there will be protesters waiting for us and that is scary."
On the Fourth, Jason faced his worst fear
It was such a public humiliation -- home front insult after battlefield injury.
Jason's mother, Tamar, says a female parade announcer locked eyes on her son who was walking behind a pro-Republican group called Women in Red, White and Blue. The group supports President Bush and the troops in the fight against terrorism.
According to Tamar, the female announcer sarcastically asked Jason:
"And what exactly are you a veteran of?"
The perceived mocking, the mother adds, set off some people in the crowd, loosing a flood of negative comments, "like a wave... a mob-style degrading."
or the parents of a slain soldier who were harassed at a memorial service.
Peace Activists Harass Gold Star Mother
SGT. CHAD DRAKE was killed in Baghdad three days ago. So when his family learned of a candlelight vigil in honor of our fallen soldiers to be held in their hometown of Dallas, they thought it would be a good way to begin the healing process.
As it turns out, they were wrong.
Drake's mother was "harassed and yelled at, booed and hissed, told her son died for nothing,"
the message read.
Drake's mother reportedly left the event in tears.
The family attended the vigil because they thought it was meant to honor U.S. casualties. The event was organized by the Dallas Peace Center, which opposes the war.
Anti-war, or just on the other side?
Family Of Killed Soldier: Vigil Crowd Threatening
Crash of Symbols
Though the Department of Defense did not describe Drake as the 1,000th casualty, somehow Drake got singled out. Ginger Drake, Chad's mother, and other members of the family declined to do interviews but gave Steve Alberts of KXAS-Channel 5 photos and information about Drake's life.
"He did a beautiful presentation of my brother," says Jennifer Ott, Chad's sister. "At the end, it said the Drake family would like to invite everyone to a candlelight vigil."
The Drakes felt the broadcast made it seem as if they were involved. Ott called Alberts, who assured her the vigil was non-political. She then spoke to Sherry Bollenbacher, a member of the Peace Center, who also reassured her it was non-political.
"I looked at my mother and said we have to go," Ott says.
About 20 of Drake's relatives arrived at Dallas City Hall just before 7 p.m. When the family arrived, only a handful of people were there, Herriage says, though they could hear drums. "I thought there was a band. Then it just didn't feel right. I could tell it wasn't like a marching band."
Herriage says a woman approached them and asked if they were there for the vigil. Mrs. Drake introduced herself and asked about the drums. "If this is some kind of protest," Mrs. Drake said, "I'm not going to participate."
Bollenbacher introduced herself and reassured her: "Oh, no, we're just here to comfort you in your grief."
Mrs. Drake saw a man with a basket full of fliers accusing Bush of war crimes. Bollenbacher again reassured her.
"I had told him he couldn't hand those out," Bollenbacher says, but she allowed a banner that read "Vets for Peace."
The Drakes saw that banner and then realized the drummer was wearing a T-shirt that said "Drums Not Guns." Believing it was an anti-war protest, Mrs. Drake burst into tears. She started screaming, "Somebody has lied to me."
Herriage says the situation turned even uglier when another woman walked over, grabbed the weeping Mrs. Drake and shook her. "She said, 'Shut up and I'll explain our cause to you,'" Herriage says. "That's when Ginger went ballistic."
Those actions DID have political motives.
Afterthought: used to be teenage punks set trash cans on fire, and bashed in mailboxes, I wonder where they got the idea burning American Flags was a cool Idea to get attention?
Oh Well two out of three is not that bad.
I am a little sorry I have already used "The World Turned Upside Down" for a topic,
When I read the following from the Fjordman
website it reinforced how MUCH the World has changed in the last few generations.
Had one said something like this would happen someday, people would have thought you mad.
Europeans sent missionaries to Africa a couple of centuries ago. Now, Africans are sending missionaries to all those pagan white people and their empty churches.
What portent does this omen presage for the future of the World and of Europe?
I am going to have to think about this.
But still, the concept of African missionaries sojourning northward to save the souls of Lost Europeans?
Who says God does not have a sense of humor?
Saturday, 30 July 2005
In Other News You Probably Won't Hear
Kazemi was deliberately killed, says Iran's Ebadi
There was some mention awhile back of journalists losing their lives in the MidEast. Not much about the ones who get their heads cut off by Jihadists but quite a lot of carping about combat deaths of Journalists by American or Coalition Fire.
Myself I figure if you want to run around the countryside with Jihadists, you better keep in mind that:
A We shoot at them
B We can't tell who you are from a distance so we will shoot at you too.
All that aside if AMERICA or anyone of the Coalition had taken a Journalist into custody and BEATEN THEM TO DEATH.
Would there be any protests worldwide denouncing us?
Would there be headlines and speeches denouncing us?
YOU BET THERE WOULD
So somebody please explain the total silence from the Worldwide Community on this?Kazemi was deliberately killed, says Iran's Ebadi
TEHRAN - Lawyers representing the family of a Canadian photographer who died in custody in Iran said on Monday she was deliberately killed and demanded an impartial court retry the case.
Zahra Kazemi, a Montreal-based photojournalist, died in July 2003 after her skull was split after being arrested for taking photographs outside Tehran's Evin prison where many political dissidents are held.
"Forensic reports show her head was hit in two spots and based on Islamic penal code, this cannot be unintentional," 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, one of the four lawyers acting for Kazemi's family, told the court hearing.
But the judge said a preliminary court had already found the killing had been 'unintentional' and said Monday's hearing was not in a position to discuss the issue.
Ebadi said previous courts were biased and asked the Judiciary to send the case to an impartial court.
"If justice is not served in Iran, I will appeal to international courts and human rights organizations," Ebadi told Reuters.
The case severely damaged ties between Iran and Canada. Ottawa has twice withdrawn its ambassador and in May froze most ties with Tehran, accusing Iranian authorities of failing to investigate the death properly. Though Iranian-born, Kazemi had taken Canadian citizenship.
Foreign media were barred from Monday's court hearing.
"I do not consider this hearing as an open court hearing. Why were foreign media not allowed to attend at the hearing?" Ebadi asked.
Iran's conservative judiciary initially said Kazemi had died of a stroke but an investigation by the reformist government revealed she had received a heavy blow during questioning which caused a brain hemorrhage.
The judiciary last year acquitted an intelligence agent charged with the murder of Kazemi and argued she had died in an accident, hitting her head after fainting.
At the last hearing of the appeal in May, lawyers for Kazemi's family argued the original court did not have jurisdiction to rule in such the case
News You Won't Hear
Woman protestor killed by Iran?s security forces in Kurdish town
There has been a LOT of play on the Media recently about Aruba. Now first off let me say, that I feel deeply for the family, it is a terrible tragedy and no parent wants to out live a child, but that girl is not the only young girl who has died recently.
Jamileh Khezri is dead, gunned down in the street and VERY few outside of Iran will ever hear about her or her fate. You need to ask yourselves, your newspapers, your radio stations and your televisions stations.
Tehran, Iran, Jul. 28 - Iran’s security forces gunned down a woman protestor in the Kurdish town of Oshnavieh, northwest Iran, on Wednesday during clashes between residents and government forces.
The woman was identified as Jamileh Khezri and was among three protestors killed by state security forces in Oshnavieh during the unrest.
On Monday, two anti-government demonstrators were shot dead by police, according to local residents.
Monday’s demonstration in Oshnavieh, during which participants chanted anti-government slogans, was in solidarity with the more than 200 people arrested in the nearby towns of Mahabad, Piranshahr, and Marivan, according to local Kurdish websites.
The two killed were identified as Heydar Abdollahzadeh and Amr Amini.
Friday, 29 July 2005
Some Things Are Sacred
Some things do NOT need to be changed or altered into something that they never were.
I have several posts about the WTC Memorial whatever shape it eventual comes in, it does NOT need to be a comment on ANYTHING but the Honored Dead, the Victims AND the Heros of 9/11 Whether at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, or Flight 93.
Some cannot accept such simplicity, they must turn everything into a Political Statement or Lesson.
They are tying to do it with the Memorial, just as they tried to do it with a spontaneous demonstration after the attack.
I am speaking of the Statue derived from the Famous Flag Raising Photo at the WTC.
You can read the story Here
I will post an edited synopsis of the key points but I encourage all to read its entirety.
Thomas E. Franklin's firefighters raising the flag photo
Franklin was traveling with James Nachtwey, a Pulitzer-prize winning photojournalist who told him he had just narrowly escaped death at Ground Zero.
Around 4 or 5 p.m., Franklin and Nachtwey were taking a break and drinking water and juice. A trio of firefighters caught his eye.
"I would I say was 150 yards away when I saw the firefighters raising the flag. They were standing on a structure about 20 feet above the ground. This was a long lens picture: there was about 100 yards between the foreground and background, and the long lens would capture the enormity of the rubble behind them," Franklin said.
The three firefighters, William Eisengrein, George Johnson and Daniel McWilliams, had discovered a US flag on the back of a yacht inside a boat slip at the World Financial Center. They took the banner and decided to raise it as a statement of loyalty and resilience.
Franklin recalled, "I made the picture standing underneath what may have been one of the elevated walkways, possibly the one that had connected the World Trade plaza and the World Financial Center. As soon as I shot it, I realized the similarity to the famous image of the Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima.
This was an important shot. It told more than just death and destruction. It said something to me about the strength of the American people and of thse firemen having to battle the unimaginable."
Two generations ago, when the US was in World War II, Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal snapped a picture of six Marines raising Old Glory on Mount Suribachi on the Pacific island in February 1945. The photo became a WWII icon and the basis for a Marine Corps memorial sculpture in Washington, D.C. The Battle of Iwo Jima also is recognized as the beginning of the end of the campaign against the Japanese in the Pacific.
The firefighters of Engine 255 and Ladder 157 of Brooklyn had been digging in the rubble and searching for survivors at WTC 7, when they were told to evacuate. The weakened structure was close to collapse.
During the evacuation, McWilliams, 35, of Long Island, saw the yacht, Star of America, owned by Shirley Dreifus of the Majestic Star company in New York. He took the flag and its pole from the stern and rolled it up so it would not touch the ground. He took it to the evacuation area. The Old Glory itself was American made, originating from Eder Flag Manufacturing of Oakcreek, Wisconsin.
McWilliams, of Ladder 157, passed a coworker, Johnson, 36, of Rockaway Beach, Queens. He slapped Johnson on the shoulder and said, "Give me a hand, will ya, George?"
Eisengrein, of Rescue 2 from Brooklyn, saw them and said, "You need a hand?" Eisengren also was a childhood friend of McWilliams on Staten Island and still resided there.
The firefighters found a flagpole within rubble about 20 feet off the ground on West Street. They used a improvised ramp to climb to the pole to raise the flag. As they performed their act, Franklin aimed his long lens in their direction.
McWilliams remembered that other fire personnel yelled, "Good job!" and "Way to go!"
"Ever pair of eyes that saw that flag got a little brighter," McWilliams said.
The three firemen decided to raise the flag on the spur of the moment. McWilliams said that "a big part of this is maintaining the unity of the whole team." The men were stressed from the WTC collapse and the lack of survivors among the debris.
"Everybody just needed a shot in the arm," McWilliams told the Associated Press.
In all, 343 firefighters died in the Trade Center disaster, along with 23 New York City and 37 Port Authority police officers and six medical rescue workers.
Franklin's photograph appeared in the 12 September 2001 Record. Reaction was swift and emotional. The flag raising firemen were hit with numerous calls from friends and family. Their first reaction -- surprise, as they didn't know Franklin took their picture.
DO you UNDERSTAND? They did not know they were being photographed, the scene was NOT posed!
One replica of the photo even generated controversy. In December 2001, the New York Fire Department unveiled a study of a memorial statue based on the picture, but with the firefighters as black, Latino and white. The three original men are all Caucasian. The sculpture was by StudioEis of Brooklyn.
"Given that those who died were of all races and all ethnicities and that the statue was to be symbolic of those sacrifices, ultimately a decision was made to honor no one in particular, but everyone who made the supreme sacrifice," said Frank Gribbon, an FDNY spokesman.
Many of the complaints about the statue came from New York firefighters themselves. They criticized their department for being politically correct and "rewriting history," as the father of fireman Thomas Casoria, a WTC victim, said.
Yes it IS true that "those who died were of all races and all ethnicities" and it would be RIGHT to include that in a memorial statue, but do NOT change what HAPPENED.
Some things are Sacred
They do not need to be altered to make a Political Point or Create a Political Lesson.
Some People can not understand this simple concept.
What's the Big Deal?
I have noticed I have been getting a fair amount of International hits on this site. Also for those Americans who may not have heard all the details, I think it best to post here WHY some of us are signing petitions in protest of some of the planss for the 9/11 WTC Memorial. There was a very good article on these issues in the Wall Street Journal.
The Great Ground Zero Heist
Will the 9/11 "memorial" have more about Abu Ghraib than New York's heroic firemen?
BY DEBRA BURLINGAME
Wednesday, June 8, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT
On Memorial Day weekend, three Marines from the 24th Expeditionary Unit who had been wounded in Iraq were joined by 300 other service members for a wreath-laying ceremony at the empty pit of Ground Zero. The broken pieces of the Twin Towers have long ago been cleared away. There are no faded flags or hand-painted signs of national unity, no simple tokens of remembrance. So why do they come? What do they hope to see?
The World Trade Center Memorial will break ground this year. When those Marines return in 2010, the year it is scheduled to open, no doubt they will expect to see the artifacts that bring those memories to life. They'll want a vantage point that allows them to take in the sheer scope of the destruction, to see the footage and the photographs and hear the personal stories of unbearable heartbreak and unimaginable courage. They will want the memorial to take them back to who they were on that brutal September morning.
Instead, they will get a memorial that stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the yearning to return to that day. Rather than a respectful tribute to our individual and collective loss, they will get a slanted history lesson, a didactic lecture on the meaning of liberty in a post-9/11 world. They will be served up a heaping foreign policy discussion over the greater meaning of Abu Ghraib and what it portends for the country and the rest of the world.
The World Trade Center Memorial Cultural Complex will be an imposing edifice wedged in the place where the Twin Towers once stood. It will serve as the primary "gateway" to the underground area where the names of the lost are chiseled into concrete. The organizers of its principal tenant, the International Freedom Center (IFC), have stated that they intend to take us on "a journey through the history of freedom"--but do not be fooled into thinking that their idea of freedom is the same as that of those Marines. To the IFC's organizers, it is not only history's triumphs that illuminate, but also its failures. The public will have come to see 9/11 but will be given a high-tech, multimedia tutorial about man's inhumanity to man, from Native American genocide to the lynchings and cross-burnings of the Jim Crow South, from the Third Reich's Final Solution to the Soviet gulags and beyond. This is a history all should know and learn, but dispensing it over the ashes of Ground Zero is like creating a Museum of Tolerance over the sunken graves of the USS Arizona.
The public will be confused at first, and then feel hoodwinked and betrayed. Where, they will ask, do we go to see the September 11 Memorial? The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation will have erected a building whose only connection to September 11 is a strained, intellectual one. While the IFC is getting 300,000 square feet of space to teach us how to think about liberty, the actual Memorial Center on the opposite corner of the site will get a meager 50,000 square feet to exhibit its 9/11 artifacts, all out of sight and underground. Most of the cherished objects which were salvaged from Ground Zero in those first traumatic months will never return to the site. There is simply no room. But the International Freedom Center will have ample space to present us with exhibits about Chinese dissidents and Chilean refugees. These are important subjects, but for somewhere--anywhere--else, not the site of the worst attack on American soil in the history of the republic.
The so-called lessons of September 11 should not be force-fed by ideologues hoping to use the memorial site as nothing more than a powerful visual aid to promote their agenda. Instead of exhibits and symposiums about Internationalism and Global Policy we should hear the story of the courageous young firefighter whose body, cut in half, was found with his legs entwined around the body of a woman. Recovery personnel concluded that because of their positions, the young firefighter was carrying her.
The people who visit Ground Zero in five years will come because they want to pay their respects at the place where heroes died. They will come because they want to remember what they saw that day, because they want a personal connection, to touch the place that touched them, the place that rallied the nation and changed their lives forever. I would wager that, if given a choice, they would rather walk through that dusty hangar at JFK Airport where 1,000 World Trade Center artifacts are stored than be herded through the International Freedom Center's multi-million-dollar insult.
Ground Zero has been stolen, right from under our noses. How do we get it back?
Ms. Burlingame is a member of the board of directors of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, pilot of American Airlines fight 77, which was crashed at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
More information Here
and The New York Times
Thursday, 28 July 2005
Take Back The Memorial Petition
From Michele Malkin
On a beautiful, blue September morning in 2001, 3,000 innocent men, women and children were brutally slaughtered in the worst attack on American soil in the history of the country. The story of that day is one of tragic loss, uncommon valor and the spirit of a people who rallied together, a triumph of hope over hatred
We owe it to the victims and to the heroes who sacrificed their lives for others to tell their story.
To Governor George Pataki, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation:
We, the undersigned, believe that the World Trade Center Memorial should stand as a solemn remembrance of those who died on September 11th, 2001, and not as a journey of history's "failures" or as a debate about domestic and foreign policy in the post-9/11 world. Political discussions have no place at the World Trade Center September 11th memorial, and the International Freedom Center honors no one by making excuses for the perpetrators of this heinous crime. The memorial should be about what happened that day, about the brave heroes who risked their lives so selflessly, and about the innocent lives that were lost... nothing more.
Sign the Petition
UPDATE: 1917 9/11 family members have signed the petition.
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