.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Wisdom Of Mark Steyn: On Remembering 11 September

Sunday always brings us to Mark Steyn and this Sunday is no different. After the Hell leading up to the anniversary of the worst attack on US soil in American history (Hell caused by those who diudn't want a reminder of how we got to that point, i.e., Democrats), the remembrance was little more than a yawn from the MSM. Mark picked up on more, and without giving too much away, he wasn't happy. Please, read on:

A lot of the 9/11 anniversary coverage struck me as distastefully tasteful. On the morning of Sept. 12, I was pumping gas just off I-91 in Vermont and picked up the Valley News. Its lead headline covered the annual roll call of the dead -- or, as the alliterative editor put it, "Litany of the Lost." That would be a grand entry for Litany of the Lame, an anthology of all-time worst headlines. Sept. 11 wasn't a shipwreck: The dead weren't "lost," they were murdered.

So I skipped that story. Underneath was something headlined "Half a Decade Gone By, A Reporter Still Cannot Comprehend Why." Well, in that case maybe you shouldn't be in the reporting business. After half a decade, it's not that hard to "comprehend": Osama bin Laden issued a declaration of war and then his agents carried out a big attack. He talked the talk, his boys walked the walk. If you need to flesh it out a bit, you could go to the library and look up a book.

But, of course, that's not what the headline means: Instead, it's "incomprehensible" in the sense that, to persons of a certain mushily "progressive" disposition, all such acts are "incomprehensible," all violence is "senseless." Unfortunately, it made perfect sense to the fellows who perpetrated it. Which is what that headline writer finds hard to "comprehend" -- or, rather, doesn't wish to comprehend. The piece itself was categorized as "Reflection" -- dread word. No self-respecting newspaper should be running "reflections" anywhere upfront of Section G Page 27, and certainly not on the front page. But it has exactly the kind of self-regarding pseudo-sophistication the American media love. The proper tone for 9/11 commemorations is to be sad about all the dead -- "the lost" -- but in a very generalized soft-focus way. Not a lot of specifics about the lost, and certainly not too many quotes from those final phone calls from the passengers to their families, like Peter Hanson's last words before Flight 175 hit the World Trade Center: "Don't worry, Dad. If it happens, it will be very fast." That might risk getting readers worked up, especially if they see the flight manifest:

"Peter Hanson, Massachusetts

"Susan Hanson, Massachusetts

"Christine Hanson, 2, Massachusetts"

No, best to stick to a limpidly fey, tastefully mopey, enervatedly passive prose style that suggests nothing very much can be done about the incomprehensible lost. This tasteful passivity is the default mode of the age: Five years ago it was striking, even in the immediate aftermath, how many radio and TV trailers for blood drives and other relief efforts could only bring themselves over the soupy music track to refer vaguely to "the tragic events," as if any formulation more robust might prove controversial.

Passivity is far slyer and more lethal than rabid Bush hatred. Say what you like about the left-wing kooks but they can still get a good hate on. Sure, they hate Bush and Cheney and Rummy and Halliburton and Fox News and Rush Limbaugh rather than Saddam and the jihadists, but at least they can still muster primal emotions. Every morning I wake up to a gazillion e-mails from fellows wishing me ill, usually beginning by calling me a "chicken hawk" followed by a generous smattering of words I can only print here peppered with asterisks, and usually ending with pledges to come round and shove various items in a particular part of my anatomy. There's so much shipping scheduled to go up there I ought to get Dubai Ports World in to run it.

The foaming leftie routine seems to be a tough sell to a general audience. I see that, a mere three weeks after I guest-hosted for Rush, the widely acclaimed and even more widely unlistened-to Air America is going belly up. Coincidence? You be the judge. But I doubt the "liberal" radio network would be kaput if anti-Bush fever were about to sweep the Democrats to power this November. I think I said a few months back that the Dems would be waking up to their usual biennial Wednesday morning after the Tuesday night before, and I'll stick with that.

But there's more to the national discourse than party politics. And, whoever wins or loses, the cult of feebly tasteful passivity rolls on regardless. As part of National Review's fifth anniversary observances, James Lileks wrote the following:

"If 9/11 had really changed us, there'd be a 150-story building on the site of the World Trade Center today. It would have a classical memorial in the plaza with allegorical figures representing Sorrow and Resolve, and a fountain watched over by stern stone eagles. Instead there's a pit, and arguments over the usual muted dolorous abstraction approved by the National Association of Grief Counselors. The Empire State Building took 18 months to build. During the Depression. We could do that again, but we don't. And we don't seem interested in asking why."

Ray Nagin, New Orleans' Mayor Culpa, is a buffoon but he nevertheless had a point when he scoffed at the ongoing hole in the ground in Lower Manhattan. And whatever fills it is never going to include those "stern stone eagles." The best we can hope for is that the Saudi-funded Islamic Outreach Center will only take up a third of the site. But in our hearts we know whatever memorial eventually stands on the spot will be rubbish -- tasteful rubbish, but rubbish all the same. Last year, I criticized the Flight 93 memorial, the "Crescent of Embrace," whose very title is a parodic masterpiece of note-perfect generically effete huggy-weepy blather. And in return I received a ton of protests pointing out that the families of the Flight 93 heroes had "approved" the design. All that demonstrates, I think, is how thoroughly constrained our society is within its own crescent of embrace: The cult of passivity has insinuated itself deep into our bones. Behind those "IMAGINE PEACE" stickers lies a terrible failure to imagine.

At what point does a society become simply too genteel to wage war? We're like those apocryphal Victorian matrons who covered up the legs of their pianos. Acts of war against America have to be draped in bathetic music and uncomprehending reflections and crescents of embrace. We fight tastefully, too. Last week one of America's unmanned drones could have killed 200 Taliban big shots but they were attending a funeral and we apparently have a policy of not killing anybody near cemeteries out of sensitivity. So even our unmanned drones are obliged to behave with sensitivity. But then, these days the very soundtrack to our society is, so to speak, an unmanned drone.

Bravo. Excellent coda to the anniversary of 11 September. And he's right. the passivity of america is sickening. To think that such an event--an unprovoked attack that killed 2996 Americans--could be watered down into some politically-correct muck is disgusting. New Yorkers, despite their differences--both ethnically and ideologically--remember "Bloody Tuesday," as Ann Coulter refers to it as.

I have a close friend from New York that was there the day it happened. He worked in Manhattan, but not near Ground Zero. He did, however, lose about a dozen close friends that day. And not just people who worked in those buildings. The father of a very close friends was one of the first firefighters on scene, and he was killed by falling debris as the engine crew went in. For him, 11 September will never be forgotten, and it won't be forgiven until we kill those that engineered the attack. He tells me everytime I broach this subject with him that he wants nothing more than bin Laden's head on a pike at Ground Zero; a message to the rest of the savages in the world of what happens when you mess with this nation.

Unfortunately, as Mark points out, that won't happen. We're fighting this war on pleasant terms. We don't want to offend our enemies. Lord no, that might make them angrier. This is why we treat the detainees down at Gitmo more like hotel guests than prisoners. We seem to have forgotten what is necessary to win a war, and we are simply going through the motions.

Don't think for a moment that I'm trivializing the efforts of our troops. I am well aware of their achievements, and their overall goal. I never question the military in what their aims are. They know what they need to do. Their simple mandate is destory the enemy and his capability to fight. They're doing that. But the orders do not come from the Joints Cheifs or Pentagon without the president's approval. He calls the shots, and I think he has done a good job, but for crying out loud, take the gloves off the troops, and let them win this thing.

Much of the blame for the passivity of the nation I lie at the feet of the MSM. Why? It was their call to quit showing the images of 11 September. As a matter of fact, on the anniversary, I don't recall seeing a "memorial" broadcast that showed the attack. I saw still images; very moving, yes, but not the actual act. That is what this nation needed on 11 September: An in-your-face reminder of why we are where we are in this war. The president did an outstanding job over the last few weeks reminding America about the war, what's at stake, and what our goals are. His approval numbers went up. And I'm sure corks were popped at the White House over that. But in the end, is that all it's about?

It shouldn't be. The three-ring circus unleashed by the Democrats over "The Path to 9/11" was subdued by the MSM, and they did their best to spin it in their favor. Again, in the end, what matters is that we see what happened. Is it any wonder why so many people tuned into Part Two of the docudrama than Part One? (Aside from the fact that the match-up of the brothers in the NFL--Eli and Peyton--outdrew the first part, that part didn't have the attack.)

Anyone really know why? I'm guessing it's because WE KNOW how this happened. It was ineptitude on the part of the government in not dealing with our enemies when they declared war on us. It was treating their attacks like crimes rather than acts of war. It came from a Congress bitterly divided by partisanship, and a president distratced more by his own issues than anything of real national interest.

It came from a lack of vigilance. And for that, we paid a high price. No one wanted to talk about that on 11 September. No one wanted to touch on our accomplishments. They only wanted to utter more heavy sighs in remebering the day. Don't disturb those that grieve still; you might offend them.

If that's their idea, then please sign off permanently. I'm an American. I still grieve. And frankly the MSM is disturbing my grieving period.

Publius II


Post a Comment

<< Home

weight loss product