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Middle America celebrates spontaneously.
Much like the day we achieved victory over Japan, the revelers were overwhelmingly young.
I am struck by the negativity of the far right and the far left.
The far right:
This gang has a huge Obama allergy. Even if he does something the right wing would normally cheer, there must be something “wrong.”
This allergy clouds their thinking to the point where they parse out his speeches looking for proof of “narcissism,” and accuse him of timing the whole thing to coincide with re-election strategies.
They are even accusing him of lying about the timing of the attack, since they have proof that DNA takes longer to evaluate. Never mind all the Pakistanis in the Abbottobad neighborhood who were tweeting like crazy about helicopters overhead exactly when Obama said they were there.
Since he is a “bad man,” or so the thinking goes, everything he does, even if they agree with it, must be wrong. Thus, he deserves zero credit for leadership or calling the shot.
The far left:
This has always been the whinier voice in America. They are upset with the young celebrants in Times Square and outside the White House, because we should not be celebrating the death of any human being.
Much of this is tinged with Christian language implying we should love our enemies. This view clearly attempts to come across as more civilized than the U-S-A chanters. Martin Luther King is invoked (i.e. we should have used non-violence against Bin Laden).
I’m just glad MLK was not in Churchill’s chair during World War Two or all the European Jews would be dead and my wife and her Dutch family would be working the fields of ethnically cleansed Russia.
A sophisticated chronic embarrassment about all things American is the basic vibe underlying all far-left language.
Meanwhile, Middle America celebrates.
These are the people that provide the soldiers, pay the taxes, and head into the WTC fires with FDNY on their jackets.
These are the people with fragile small businesses which have been shaky in the economy which has been chronically unstable since 9-11.
These are the young people who have grown up for half of their lives with Osama bin Laden’s work forcing grandmas to take off their shoes before getting on planes and having to show up way before their flight, having their water bottles confiscated.
These are the honest people who have all of their banking tracked and their hard earned paychecks put on hold to “clear.”
America has had the jitters, economically and otherwise, since 9-11. The man who started it all has been brought to justice.
Let’s let the young people celebrate.
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My novel, The Blackberry Bush, debuts June 2011. Watch for it!
Not asking if Muslims have a right to build a mosque an arrow’s shot from ground zero at a place that was covered by ash.
I am a constitutionalist and believe that they have every legal right as Americans to build the mosque.
But the real question is: Is it the right thing to do? (props to J. Michael McCoy in Iowa on whose radio show I appeared yesterday).
So please don’t post that they have a right to do it. They do. Our constitution says so. I agree with you.
They also, with millions in donations from those who see this as a victory monument (if you haven’t already heard them, the views of those foreigners backing this would curl your hair), are very assertive in wanting to build it in that place. The leader of the project refuses to condemn, without reservation, the attack on the WTC. I will remove this line if you can prove otherwise.
Can such people, with such views, still build, according to American laws? Yes.
But is it the right thing to do?
And do we have to like it? And do we have to be supportive? I’m planting a flag on this issue–I am totally against the building of the mosque.
Since our constitution guarantees that we have a free society (thank God) I have a right to be against it and to say so. And I choose to do so in a civil way. This blog is my playground and I will edit/delete any non-civil comments. Keep it upscale folks. I will not tolerate any hate speech against Muslims.
Here are some random truths:
1) Islam is an especially assertive faith system. All religions are not the same. Not all are equally peaceful and constructive.
There doesn’t seem to be a firewall between extremist Islam (the WTC terrorists were avid Muslims shouting “for Allah” at the collision) and enlightened world-citizen Islam. That firewall would be easy–the world leaders of the Islamic movement condemning the fringe, and the clear de-demonizing Israel and the US. They are very reluctant, however, to do so.
2) There are hundreds of millions of peaceful Muslims. I love them. God loves them. Great world citizens just trying to raise families and be happy. Bless them.
3) You may think that the pic at the top of the post is needlessly provocative. Unfortunately, it’s a common sight in much of the Islamic world, and was not staged–you trip over scenes like this is many areas. If you don’t know that, you haven’t been there. It’s more or less unthinkable to see smiling Buddhist, Latin American Catholic, Scandinavian Lutheran, or secular humanist kids in such a picture. This gun-fetish stuff among boys is heavily encouraged in much of the Islamic world.
4) The weapon they are brandishing is the Kalashnikov AK-47. The most lethal rifle on earth. One of them shot down a B-52 in Vietnam. Probably the biggest military reason we had to leave Vietnam. Without a troop surge and the multiplication of high tech, Kalashnikov-proof armored vehicles, this rifle would have chased us out of Iraq–it almost did. In an equal un-armored firefight against AK-wielding semi-trained troops, we would lose–the M-16 is no match. 50 million of them are in circulation, and the vast majority are in the hands of informal militias led by extremist Muslims. Thousands of Imams encourage Muslim men to spread Islam with the Kalashnikov (by name) this week, and every week in the mosque. In what other faith system is this happening on this scale?
This rifle is the very Icon of Bin-Laden–you never see him without one. In the area where Bin-Laden is hiding, there are more AK’s than young men, literally. One of the main reasons we can’t find him.
Every religion has a lunatic fringe. Let’s just say that the fringe of Islam is gigantic. It is not a sliver. It is huge and armed to the teeth.
5) There is a philosophical question involved. To what extent do you allow a non-tolerant system into the heart of your tolerant system? In some countries that are governed by Islam, women can’t even get a driver’s license. The Taliban is not a tiny fringe of Islam–you can find Taliban-like views all over the Middle East and Indonesia in every coffee shop and hookah lounge. Don’t believe me, go see for yourself.
6) This same system that says we should be open minded and let them build won’t allow Danish cartoonists to draw pictures of Mohammed. The ones who did will live under death threats for the rest of their lives. Tolerance is a one-way street on this issue.
7) Can you imagine Japanese people buying land and putting up a Shinto shrine within walking distance of Pearl Harbor? Praise God they know better. Or us building a nuclear-research office in downtown Hiroshima? We can, but we won’t. Certain places have deep visceral meaning to people. Ground Zero is one of them. It is sacred.
Of course they can build it. But the fact that they don’t know better bothers me deeply.
God bless all humans, Muslim or otherwise. But guys, build it somewhere else.