September 20, 2001; Leadership on display

September 20, 2001; Leadership on display

Phil
Boehmke

America was still in a state of shock
when President George W. Bush addressed our nation before a joint session of
Congress on the night of September 20, 2011.  As the President spoke I felt a
deep sense of pride in his leadership and for the first time since the terrorist
attack nine days earlier my faith in America was restored.  Looking back on that
evening and our President’s speech a number of powerful images stand out in my
memory.
President Bush began by addressing
the state of our union:
We
have seen it in the courage of passengers, who rushed terrorists to save others
on the ground–passengers like an exceptional man named Todd Beamer.  And would you please help me to welcome his wife,
Lisa Beamer, here tonight.  We have seen
the state of our Union in the endurance of rescuers, working past exhaustion.
We’ve seen the unfurling of flags, the
light of candles, the giving of blood, the saying of prayers–in English,
Hebrew, and Arabic.  We have seen the decency of a loving and giving people who
have made the grief of strangers their own.  My fellow citizens, for the last
nine days, the entire world has seen for itself the state of our Union–and it
is strong.
The
President gave voice to our need to understand why the terrorists attacked us
and in assessing the state of mind that drives our enemies he made statements
which have turned out to be prophetic in the light of more recent
developments:
Americans are asking, why do they
hate us?  They hate what they see right here in this chamber–a democratically
elected government.  Their leaders are self-appointed.  They hate our
freedoms–our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote
and assemble and disagree with each other.  They want to overthrow existing
governments in many Muslim countries, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.
They want to drive Israel out of the Middle East.  They want to drive Christians
and Jews out of vast regions of Asia and Africa.  These terrorists kill not
merely to end lives, but to disrupt and end a way of life.  With every atrocity,
they hope that America grows fearful, retreating from the world and forsaking
our friends.  They stand against us, because we stand in their
way.
As
President Bush neared the end of his speech he held up a police
badge:
And I
will carry this:  It is the police shield of a man named George Howard, who died
at the World Trade Center trying to save others.  It was given to me by his mom,
Arlene, as a proud memorial to her son.  This is my reminder of lives that
ended, and a task that does not end.  I will not forget this wound to our
country or those who inflicted it.  I will not yield; I will not rest; I will
not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American
people.  The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain.
Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that
God is not neutral between them.
That
September evening ten years ago our nation witnessed poised and considerate
leadership from our President in the face of incalculable tragedy.  Most of us
who watched President Bush’s thoughtful and moving speech will never forget the
strength of character and steady resolve which he gave to our beleaguered
nation.
September 20,
2011

Remains of 72 people found at World Trade Center site of Muslim Attack — NO MEGA MOSQUE AT GROUND ZERO

Remains of 72 people found at World Trade Center site of Muslim Attack — NO MEGA MOSQUE AT GROUND ZERO

911

We are still finding bodies of Americans murdered by Muslim terrorists on September 11th. Still. And the Islamic supremacists want to build a monster mosque on that sacred burial ground, a giant symbol of Islamic supremacism on the cherished site of land they think they conquered?

Never going to happen.

Remains of 72 people found at World Trade Center site Telegraph hat tip ArmarosNew York City officials say a renewed search this year of debris in and around the World Trade Center site has recovered 72 human remains.

The sifting of more than 800 cubic yards (612 cubic meters) of debris recovered from ground zero and underneath roads around the lower Manhattan site began in April and ended Friday.The greatest number of remains – 37 – were found from material underneath West Street, a highway on the west side of ground zero. The new debris was uncovered as construction work made new parts of the site accessible.

The city began a renewed search for human remains in 2006. More than 1,800 remains have been found.

Some have been matched to previously unidentified 9/11 victims.

Mosque hall2 

“The Only Thing The Oil Spill And 9/11 Have In Common Is Nothing“

“The Only Thing The Oil Spill And 9/11 Have In Common Is Nothing

June 16th, 2010 Posted By Erik Wong.

obama

New York Post:

President Obama doesn’t like the fact that the Gulf oil spill reminds people of Hurricane Katrina, since the public response to that catastrophe hastened the decline of his predecessor’s standing. He’d prefer that the American people be reminded of something else — something that rallied people around their president.

And so he told Politico over the weekend that the oil spill has “echoes of 9/11.”

Americans thought differently about “our vulnerabilities” after the events of 9/11, Obama said, and the oil spill is “going to shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come.”

This is, not to put too fine a point on it, one of the most bizarre things ever said by any president.

It is worth considering the meaning of this profoundly wrongheaded analogy tonight when the president delivers his first Oval Office address — his latest attempt to minimize the political damage the oil spill is wreaking on his reputation.

The first thing that needs to be said is this: The only thing the oil spill and 9/11 have in common is nothing.

Yes, 9/11 was very important and so is the spill. But many terrible things happen, are important — and are unalike. The Haiti earthquake of 2009 and Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 were both important, but they had nothing whatever to do with each other. Nor did the tsunami of 2004 and the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Just as in those cases, what’s most notable about 9/11 and the oil spill is how essentially dif ferent they are. One was a brilliantly conceived and diabolical act of war; the other a horrific accident that was the last thing anybody wanted to happen. One was designed to decapitate the US government and deliver a mortal blow to the world’s financial system; the other wasn’t designed at all.

One was purposeful destruction intended to harm. The other is a purposeless catastrophe that was in no way intentional at all but will do great harm. One was an attack on the United States. The other was an accident.

So what on earth could the president have been thinking?

The first possibility is that there is some kind of perverse wish being expressed in these words. They have a wistful quality, as though the president wished he had a different crisis, a more popular crisis, on his hands.

Of course the fact that 9/11 would prove to be a net political benefit for George W. Bush was not the result of happenstance. It was due to the way he responded.

After a few days of discomfiting uncertainty, Bush found his voice and his purpose, delivering a series of powerful speeches that suggested a seriousness of purpose in regard to his presidential responsibilities that no one had actually expected of him.

Whatever happened afterward to shake that perspective on him in the minds of so many, the fact was that Bush had to meet the moment to secure the political advantage.

Obama has had no such moment in relation to the oil spill, because he couldn’t have. BP didn’t mean to do it and has been laboring desperately to fix what got broken. It is liable for what it did, it does not deny its own culpability, and it may itself be capsized as a result.

What the deployment of the 9/11 analogy suggests is that Obama would like to treat BP as though it were al Qaeda, at least rhetorically — a villain for him to confront on behalf of the wounded American people.

That may seem politically shrewd to Obama and his team, but it will have parlous consequences. The analogy muddies and obfuscates.

By comparing an unwanted disaster to a conscious act of war, Obama is adding an improper moral dimension to the effort to clean up the Gulf — a moral reckoning that will make it harder rather than easier to focus on the task of actually plugging the damn hole.

By likening the murder of 3,000 people and the efforts to take out the US government to a series of mistakes that added up to a catastrophe, Obama has defined evil down in a fashion that does immense violence to good sense, good taste and good leadership.

Obama Nominee for Deputy Attorney General Says 9/11 Attacks Not Acts of War

Obama Nominee for Deputy Attorney General Says 9/11 Attacks Not Acts of War

June 15th, 2010

On the heels of Obama comparing the oil spill to 9/11, it appears that Obama’s nominee for the second to the top spot at the Justice Department compared the 9/11 attacks to domestic crimes like murder and rape. It’s beginning to seem like it is the Obama administration’s game plan to denigrate the tragedy of 9/11. 

Obama Nominee says 9/11 attacks weren’t acts or war 

  

By Fred Lucas, CNS News.com 

Despite a resolution by Congress authorizing war against those responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Obama’s nominee to be the number two official at the Justice Department, James Cole, wrote an op-ed in 2002 likening the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon to the domestic crimes of murder, rape and child abuse, while arguing that the attackers ought to be treated like domestic criminals.
“But the attorney general is not a member of the military fighting a war–he is a prosecutor fighting crime,” Cole wrote in a Sept. 9, 2002 article in Legal Times that critiqued the way then-Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft was handling the 9/11 case.
“For all the rhetoric about war, the Sept. 11 attacks were criminal acts of terrorism against a civilian population, much like the terrorist acts of Timothy McVeigh in blowing up the federal building in Oklahoma City, or of Omar Abdel-Rahman in the first effort to blow up the World Trade Center,” said Cole. “The criminals responsible for these horrible acts were successfully tried and convicted under our criminal justice system, without the need for special procedures that altered traditional due process rights. 

Read More 

Proposed Mosque at Ground Zero draws protests

Proposed Mosque at Ground Zero draws protests

June 8, 7:12 AM · Micha J. Stone – Portland Humanist Examiner
video

A proposed mosque and community center at Ground Zero continues to draw protest from the right wing fringe. Sunday, close to a thousand angry, uninformed Americans gathered in lower Manhattan to demonstrate against plans to build the mosque and community center near the site of Ground Zero, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed by Islamic hijackers on September 11, 2001.

Opponents of the proposed mosque call it “offensive” and “demeaning”. Their angry and perverse paranoia willfully transforms a gesture of good will and community spirit into an insult to Americans and a celebration of Muslim fanaticism.

Those protesting the proposed mosque and community center have an uninformed and ignorant view of Islam. They see Islam as a monolithic force for evil, rather than a fragmented religious world view with both good and bad aspects.

Of course, many of the loudest voices of protest are fundamentalist Christians, with their own perverse and twisted world view, a world view that demands simple minded, black and white explanations, a world view incapable of dealing with the complexity and nuance of reality.

CNN reports:

The project calls for a 13-story community center including a mosque, performing art center, gym, swimming pool and other public spaces.

It is a collaboration between the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative.

The Cordoba Initiative aims to improve relations between Muslims and the West.

“The Cordoba Initiative hopes to build a $100 million, 13-story community center with Islamic, interfaith and secular programming, similar to the 92nd Street Y,” its website says, referring to the cultural institution on the upper East side of Manhattan.

The proposed Islamic cultural center should stand as a testament to the tolerance, diversity, and vitality of a great nation. Bigots should not be allowed to detract from that testament. America is better than that.

Proposed Mosque at Ground Zero draws protests
Proposed Mosque at Ground Zero draws protests
(commons.wikimedia.org)

Why the Ground Zero Mosque Must Be Stopped

Why the Ground Zero Mosque Must Be Stopped

By Madeline Brooks

Planting a mosque just two blocks from where Muslims murdered Americans on 9/11 in the name of Islam is a huge slap in the face. Why shouldn’t Muslims be sensitive enough to realize that a huge mosque planted right near the horrific wound to the U.S. created at Ground Zero by Muslims is outrageous to us? They claim a right to be insulted by cartoons mocking their prophet, even to the point of beheading people.
The Imam of the Ground Zero Insult, Faisal Abdul Rauf, is not the nice guy he likes to hold himself out to be. At his Friday afternoon khutbah services and in his book What’s Right With Islam Rauf states that he wants the mosque to be a place where inter-faith understanding is fostered. His sonorous voice is smooth and almost hypnotic. His writing style appears to be rational and unthreatening.

However, this does not jibe with the aspects of him that are downright hostile and frightening.

During a recent Friday sermon, this writer did due diligence as a mosque monitor and heard Rauf deny that Muslims perpetrated 9/11. In an interview with CNN shortly after 9/11, Rauf said, “U.S. policies were an accessory to the crime that happened. We [the U.S.] have been an accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world. Osama bin Laden was made in the USA.” Elsewhere, Rauf has stated that terrorism will end only when the West acknowledges the harm it has done to Muslims. And that it was Christians who started mass attacks on civilians. 
Rauf has numerous ties to CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Department of Justice funding case brought against Hamas, an openly terrorist organization. CAIR is also the initiator of numerous cases designed to intimidate non-Muslims from criticizing aggressive Muslim behavior, and to use our own legal and democratic processes to undermine and dominate America, forcing it to become Islamic. 
Rauf calls himself a Sufi, evoking among non-Muslims a “peace and love” image. But that’s not the whole picture. Sufism has many sides to it, including the Koranic injunction to spread Islam one way or another, and it has a rich history of waging war, too. Could it be that one of the frequently used tools of war, lying to the enemy, explains the contradiction between Rauf’s image as reconciler of religions and his sympathies and associations with terrorists?
A previous Rauf project, Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, clearly shows on its website that it is headed and funded by individuals from Saudi Arabia, the country that spawned fifteen of the nineteen jihad jockeys who rode the 9/11 planes of destruction. The funding for the mosque at Ground Zero is much murkier so far. All that has been publicly disclosed is that the support comes from unidentified sources in Saudi Arabia and Muslim-ruled Malaysia. Rauf reportedly says he paid $4.85 million for the property — in cash. Where exactly did this money come from? Was it Wahhabist-supporting Saudi sources, which have already funded many other mosques in New York City?
The mosque is called Cordoba House. Muslims like to refer to Spain and especially the city of Cordoba as a place where their rule reached a glorious peak. Contrary to the myth of a Golden Age of equality during the Muslim occupation of Spain (and in particular in Cordoba), Spain and Cordoba were places where Christians and Jews suffered as social inferiors under Islamic oppression. Equal civil rights never existed for non-Muslims under Sharia, or Islamic law. Rauf even admits as much when he writes, “Jews and Christians living under Muslim rule simply had to pay a tax to finance their protection by their Muslim overlords.” This is not equality! Americans do not demand a special tax to protect Muslims from ourselves. That would be extortion, not “protection.”
Through another organization Rauf started called the Cordoba Initiative, he created the “Sharia Index.” This will measure how closely countries follow Sharia, or Islamic law. While Sharia can cover such relatively innocuous aspects of Muslim life as religious weddings (hopefully not to twelve-year-old girls), it also demands that all Muslim life be governed by laws derived from the Koran, without the intervention of civic institutions, such as democracy. And the Koran dictates that everyone, even non-Muslims, must ultimately live under Sharia. Do you understand how that is in direct conflict with our Constitution and other aspects of our secular society? 
Rauf gets even trickier here. He states in What’s Right With Islam that a society that follows natural law, such as America, is already practicing Sharia. However, he does not note that his peculiar definition of Sharia acceptance is shared by just about no other Imam. So what prevents him from adjusting his singular idea of Sharia back to the norm of forced conversions, murdering non-Muslims and apostates, amputations of thieves’ hands, stoning of adulterous women, execution of homosexuals, etc.? Throughout his writing, Rauf floats an image of a harmonious, pleasant Islam — nice to everybody. But this is totally disconnected from Islam’s actual history of bloody conquest, enslavement, and humiliation of other people — which he never acknowledges. 
Still another unsettling part of Rauf’s problem mosque is why the city has given the building a pass. Records for the Department of Buildings have shown numerous complaints for illegal construction and no access, yet the issues were listed as “resolved.”
Community Board One’s financial district committee needs to reconsider its endorsement of this mosque. The prestigious American groups that are reportedly also financing the mosque, The Ford Foundation and The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, need to think again about what they are getting into. The Department of Buildings needs to reassess its action. The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, which supports the project (Why? What has a religious building got to do with immigration?) needs to reevaluate its approval. 
Mayor Bloomberg himself needs to withdraw his support for this mosque, especially in light of the recent Times Square car bomb attempt. If not, he will be helping to provide a handy meeting place for future terrorists, those who understand Imam Rauf’s real message: Speak sweetly, appear to be a well-adjusted member of American society, and plan the destruction of America, either with bombs or “peaceful” undermining. 

Madeline Brooks is an NYC resident and writer.