American Elephants

Obama Has Decided How We Are To Observe 9/11. by The Elephant's Child

You may be interested to learn that the Obama Administration, unwilling to leave anything to the wishes of the American people, has drafted a set of detailed orders for just how it wants the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks to be observed.  Andrew Malcolm of the Los Angeles Times lets us in on the plans.

After weeks on internal planning, two sets of guidelines have been  set forth, one for American representatives abroad, and one for federal agencies here at home.

No elaborate programs including speeches or other ceremonies to mark the murder of nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001.  Those have been discarded  in favor of low-key appearances by President Obama and a few other officials.  They are to emphasize that the day’s observances are “not just about us,” an unnamed administration source told the New York Times, which has received copies of the plans…and the talking points.

The Times reports that of particular concern to Obama is “how the immediate post-attack sympathy for America in some foreign circles turned to anger at the U.S. responses on detention and interrogation by a certain U.S. president who immediately preceded Obama in the Oval Office.” Good grief, he’s still trying to run against George W. Bush!

Diplomats are reminded that there were losses by many nations in the attacks, and many nations have participated in the effort to track down  the terrorists, and have suffered losses that should be acknowledged.  That is only common sense. There will be the usual tributes to first responders, military and police personnel.

Then it gets a little stranger. Officials are to “minimize references to Al Qaeda” because Osama bin Laden in dead and “Al Qaeda and its adherents have become increasingly irrelevant.” Huh? And those troops in Afghanistan are there for the exercise? Wasn’t there just a  downing of a U.S. Chinook helicopter killing 38 troops? Wasn’t this one of the deadliest incidents of the war? Oh, yes, Obama wants to get the troops withdrawn before the 2012 presidential election to fire up his base, who are currently distinctly not fired-up.  When does the movie about how Obama single-handedly tracked down and eliminated Osama bin Laden come out?  Does that come out just before the election as well?  We did see the account of the White House conference on how to respond to bin-Laden being located, and although it was from an “anonymous source” every word rang true.

At the same time that officials are instructed to minimize any mention of al Qaeda, they are supposed to warn Americans about the real possibility of future terrorist attacks, and “the need for resilience in recovery from those inevitable losses.”

Professor Shelby Steele, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution,  pointed out in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that:

Yet there is something more than inexperience or lack of character that defines this presidency: Mr. Obama came of age in a bubble of post-’60s liberalism that conditioned him to be an adversary of American exceptionalism.  In this liberalism America’s exceptional status in the world follows from a bargain with the devil — an indulgence in militarism, racism, sexism, corporate greed, and environmental disregard as the means to a broad economic, military, and even cultural supremacy in the world.  And therefore America’s greatness is as much the fruit of evil as of a devotion to freedom. 

Mr. Obama did not explicitly run on an anti-exceptionalism platform.  Yet once he was elected it became clear that his idea of how and where to apply presidential power was shaped precisely by this brand of liberalism.  There was his devotion to big government, his passion for redistribution, and his scolding and scapegoating of Wall Street as if his mandate was somehow to overcome, or at least subdue, American capitalism itself.

Was it last year that Mr. Obama wanted to make 9/11 “a national day of service,” and the Obamas had a photo-op where they were painting a room somewhere and Mr. Obama was photographed hanging curtains — a shot that has been used in innumerable humorous photoshops.  The national day of service thing didn’t go over too well either.

Americans’ thoughts, in remembering that terrible day, probably turn naturally to a little militarism.  I believe I heard on the radio that we have allayed 48 terrorist attacks this year, and instead of a robust effort to defend the nation — like closing down the border, and profiling instead of groping little girls. Or giving the generals the time and equipment they ask for instead of using the troops as a campaign pawn to be moved around to suit the president’s reelection chances.

President Obama clearly does not want us to remember 9/11.  It’s apt to make us remember George W. Bush, and how much we miss him. I printed out a lot of the news and commentary from that period, as a little history, and I think I’ll re-read it all on 9/11.  I don’t want to ever forget.


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