Obama’s 9/11 lesson

by
September 11th, 2009

Like many of you, I’ve watched Obama this week attempt to take the 9/11 anniversary and turn it into a National Day of Service (led by ACORN, no doubt). Generally, I’m not one to immediately read cynical things into these kinds of efforts, but it really got me thinking: what does 9/11 really mean to our Commander in Chief? What does he take away from it? Is it a day for mourning the loss of innocent lives? For deep reflection? For a renewal of resolve to stamp out the forces of evil?

For Obama, apparently it is a day to recognize (among other things) Ted Kennedy. As his press release on this shows:

In April I was proud to sign the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which recognizes September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Originated by the family members of those who lost loved ones on 9/11, the National Day of Service and Remembrance is an opportunity to salute the heroes of 9/11, recapture the spirit of unity and compassion that inspired our Nation following the attacks, and rededicate ourselves to sustained service to our communities.

I’m not sure how many family members of 9/11 victims actually organized this, but it strikes me as a bit odd: what does Ted Kennedy have to do with September 11 and how does he fit into this?

What exactly is the message being sent here?

Clearly, it isn’t about terrorism (sorry — Obama doesn’t use that word. “Man caused disasters”) or it would  have been named for the “George W. Bush Serve America Act” — for Bush 43 did more to destroy Al Qaeda and its radical brethren than all the other public servants in our history combined.  Instead, we get another honor for Ted Kennedy’s 46 years of (self) service in the U.S. Senate, and a lot of drivel about “unity”, “compassion” and “community”. Is it all surprising that the Community Organizer in Chief sees 9/11 as an opportunity to community organize?

He goes on in his press release:

Throughout the summer, people of all ages and backgrounds came together to lend a helping hand in their communities through United We Serve. As this summer of service draws to an end, we renew the call to engage in meaningful service activities and stay engaged with those projects throughout the year. Working together, we can usher in a new era in which volunteering and service is a way of life for all Americans. Deriving strength from tragedy, we can write the next great chapter in our Nation’s history and ensure that future generations continue to enjoy the promise of America.

Obama has taken the anniversary of an evil act of terror and watered it down to a national day of volunteering. How offensive! I cannot believe that we have turned 9/11 into a sound-bite for community activism. It further reinforces the fact that our president is completely out of touch with the reality of the world we live in — and of the true meaning of September 11, 2001.

But of course this is no surprise. Obama, like many on the left, refuses to believe that evil exists. There is always a causal reason for such bad behavior. It is truly a victims view of the world. In this world view, America is part of the problem, and the terrorists are poor, oppressed lads from the third world who have never had a chance at life. Ergo, they want to commit mass murder.

Such reasoning allows liberals to sleep at night, because it gives them a false sense of certainty that if they keep working hard they can actually change the dynamic that creates a 9/11.

Barack Obama wrote an Op-ed in the Hyde Park Herald on September 19, 2001 — just a week after the attack. It said this:

Even as I hope for some measure of peace and comfort to the bereaved families, I must also hope that we as a nation draw some measure of wisdom from this tragedy. Certain immediate lessons are clear, and we must act upon those lessons decisively. We need to step up security at our airports. We must reexamine the effectiveness of our intelligence networks. And we must be resolute in identifying the perpetrators of these heinous acts and dismantling their organizations of destruction.

We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent, is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, and may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics. Most often, though, it grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.

We will have to make sure, despite our rage, that any U.S. military action takes into account the lives of innocent civilians abroad. We will have to be unwavering in opposing bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle Eastern descent. Finally, we will have to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes and prospects of embittered children across the globe—children not just in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and within our own shores.

This tells you really all you need to know about how Barack Obama views 9/11 and the threats we face. Its a matter of poverty, helplessness and despair, right? Wrong. The attackers on 9/11 — as were the attackers in London on 7/7/2005 were middle class Arabs. They were well educated. They were not ignorant poor Muslims. Now, it is clear that when Obama wrote this he did not know the exact backgrounds of the 9/11 terrorists. But this kind of supposition is de rigeur on the left: terrorism is bred by hopelessness and exploitation. If we can just “raise their hopes and prospects” they will surely come to love us.

This kind of thinking represents a fundamental misreading of the threat we face. It is beyond scary that our Commander in Chief holds this kind of view, for it masks the real root of terrorism: the radical ideology of Islam. The problem with the terrorists is the very belief system they are taught from the time they can read and write. The Wahhabi sect of Islam and its radical offshoots are the root of the issue — and it can be found in the Arab world within all social strata. We are not fighting an enemy that can be eradicated through “hope” and “change”. It can only be eradicated by its utter and complete defeat.  That is the lesson of 9/11. Our enemies prey on our weakness and respect only strength. And right now we have never been weaker.

The Obama move to change 9/11 into a service day is indicative of his true feelings about 9/11 — that it is stain on our history that can be somehow moderated by our good deeds.

It is tragic that our president views the world this way. We should all be very embarrassed — and very scared.

The author can be reached at kgdavenport@aol.com

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