If 9/11 Can't Bring Us Together, Rightbloggers Figure, Let It Tear Us Apart
On the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, some rightbloggers (including, we must admit, some of whom we never expected it) were actually somber, reflective, even moving.
But most of them were their usual belligerent selves. Amid their howling one could make out a theme, appropriate to the era of the Burlington Coat Factory Mosque and Koran-threatening Pastor Terry Jones: That Americans were getting soft, and must man up and acknowledge that all Muslims, from Sheik Mohammed down to that guy who makes your bagel at the deli, are trying to kill them.
Many rightbloggers were annoyed that 9/11 was not, in their estimation, getting the attention that patriotism required. Rather than attribute this to fatigue from nine years of the War on Terror -- or the fact that 9/11 fell on a Saturday this year -- Ace of Spades blamed the media.
"And it doesn't help," he lamented, "that the MFM/MSM tends to sanitize things like this, to gloss it over as if it's some abstract thing that happened in ancient history: 'And we mustn't get those rednecks all flustered about these things...we must provide the filter and nuance since they don't understand the subtleties of the matter. There are two sides to this story and both are equally valid. We must provide the narrative.'" (Though that last passage appeared in quotes, Ace of Spades neglected to provide a source; we think it may have been Keith Olbermann.)
Westchester Knicks Playoffs - Round 2 Game 1
TicketsTue., May. 3, 8:00pm
New York Islanders Playoff Round 2 Game D (If Necessary)
TicketsWed., May. 4, 12:00am
New York Islanders Playoff Round 2 Game B (If Necessary)
TicketsFri., May. 6, 7:00pm
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
TicketsFri., May. 6, 7:05pm
"Fuck that nonsense," he continued. "I want to be reminded every single day of what happened to us." He then provided no fewer than 18 videos of 9/11 archival footage, so that interested readers could, over hours of viewing, be inspired to Ace of Spades' level of outrage or PTSD, which he perhaps considers a precondition of patriotism. (Other rightbloggers offered gruesome photo spreads or graphics to similar effect.)
Others blamed America. No, not in the treasonous way that traitors like President Obama do it -- in a tough-love, 9/11-hurts-me-more-than-it-does-you way.
"Remember when we said we will never forget 9/11?" wrote JoAnne Thomas at Right Pundits. "Well we did and shame on us for it!" For one thing, "we sent our Military off to war and then tied their hands behind their back. We now have to fight the politically correct way or someone will get upset!"
She didn't say what she meant by this -- maybe it was a reference to Bush's famous defense of Islam? (Wow, that seems like a log time ago, huh?) -- but was insistent that, if her readers did not accept that England was now "run by Islamic extremists, not the Prime Minister or the Queen," then "you're also one of those that have already forgotten 9/11 happened," and not even 18 videos could help you remember your way back to patriotism. Other signs that we had forgotten: the election of Barack Obama, "smoking pot and lamenting global warming."
Thomas added, "On 9/11/2001 I felt terrified and helpless... Nine years later, I remain afraid." No kidding.
"By the end of 2005 it was apparent that the majority of Americans had forgotten, or just did not care" about 9/11, said Thomas Ferdousi, and the proof was the ascent of the Democrats. "Do you remember how idiotic the 10 percent of the rest of the country looked when they opposed attacking Osama?" cried Ferdousi. "Those people formed the core of the anti-Iraq War detractors and the Kerry '04 and Obama '08 campaigns. They are just as stupid now as they were while Ground Zero was still smoldering." Yet look who's President! Shame! (Say, whatever happened to that Osama guy, anyway?)
Rightbloggers bade us remember other villains of 9/11. Yid With Lid did his part, and commemorated the treacherous attacks on America and Israel by Mad Dog and Mike on WFAN. Never forget!
President Obama naturally came in for some heavy 9/11 abuse. When he called for a National Day of Service and Remembrance, Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit screamed, "WTH?... Barack Obama Marks 9-11 As National Day of Community Service & Soup Kitchens.. Outrageous!" From his astonished tone, you would think Gateway Pundit missed it when Obama did the exact same thing last year... oh, wait, Hoft did note that occasion ("Obama & Radical Left Plan to Desecrate 9-11 Into Day of Community Service") -- in fact, his 2010 complaint had a link to his 2009 complaint. People must love to throw office birthday parties for Hoft, because he's very skilled at acting surprised.
Even the President's anodyne 9/11 speech riled the blogbrethren. When he called the 9/11 hijackers a "sorry band of men," Scared Monkeys leapt to object: "UNREAL! AMERICA IS AT WAR WITH A SORRY BAND OF MEN?" We wondered at first why Scared Monkeys would contest such a disparaging characterization of depraved killers; as we read further ("Who is the sorry one?"), we had to consider the possibility that Scared Monkeys did not know that "sorry" can be a synonym for "pathetic," and assumed Obama was suggesting the hijackers were sorry in the afterlife for what they had done.
Eventually we were forced to conclude that the issue (apart from an obsessive dedication to answering anything Obama does or says with screaming anger) was one of nomenclature: SM was mad that Obama did not call the 9/11 attackers "radical Islamic terrorist[s]." Similarly, Commentary's Jennifer Rubin was enraged that Obama did not call the attackers "Islamic fundamentalists" or "jihadists." And she said the killers were "anything but pathetic or, as he put it, 'sorry' -- they did slaughter thousands, after all." Hey, credit where credit is due!
Also, Rubin claimed that Obama "ridiculed his countrymen for overreacting to the most lethal terrorist attack on our soil" and said (figuratively, we have to assume) "Get over it" and "Really, let's not dwell on the bad stuff," though she did not indicate what parts of his actual text carried these meanings. She also claimed that "reporters complain that Obama can't muster the same enthusiasm and passion for the economy that he does for his Muslim outreach and his ongoing lectures about tolerance" -- without telling us what reporters she meant. (For such as Rubin, blind sources are like imaginary playmates, and help ease the lonely work of propaganda.)
All this happened, BTW, during a week in which Obama reauthorized the WOT State of National Emergency begun by George W. Bush. If he's trying to give America over to the Islama-whatchamacallits, he's doing it in a very roundabout way.
If anyone got harsher 9/11 attention from rightbloggers than Obama, it was Muslims, both domestic and imported.
National Review's Andy McCarthy commemorated the day by telling us there was no such thing as moderate Islam. "If only the fantasy were true." he began. "If only there actually were a dominant, pro-American, echt moderate Islam, an ideology so dedicated to human rights, so sternly set against savagery, that acts of terrorism were, by definition, 'un-Islamic activity.'" Followers of such a creed would have been identifiable, he said, by the way they "said 'thank you' to our troops" who invaded and occupied Iraq and Afghanistan (which actions McCarthy cutely described as "trillion-dollar American investments to forge democracies"), rather than complaining or noisily wailing over the bodies of their bombed family members.
But alas, McCarthy hadn't seen much of this, and so he judged, "such an Islam does not exist." At American Thinker, Andrew G. Bostom agreed: "The real Islam of today -- not some chimerical non-existent creed -- cannot be in our corner in the struggle against its own totalitarian desire to impose Sharia on all of humanity," he wrote.
So McCarthy and Bostom counseled the immediate arrest and/or neutralization of all Muslim-Americans. Ha! Just kidding, though you have to wonder: If they really believe that all Islam is committed to America's destruction, why would they countenance letting any follower of Mohammed walk around loose?
Moonbattery denounced "The Unchanging Face of Islam" -- violent in 1000 A.D., violent now. Reliapundit attacked "ISLAM - AND ITS APOLOGISTS." "Islam- Religion of Violence and Fear," hollered The Freedomist. Etc.
If rightbloggers are dismayed at what they see as the weaker draw of 9/11, they may nonetheless take heart that their hostile attitude toward Islam and the folks who practice it seems to be gaining traction. Gone are the displays of solidarity, for example, that once distinguished New York's 9/11 observances. This year, downtown Manhattan enjoyed dueling rallies -- one for Burlington Coat Factory supporters, one for its detractors -- marked by scuffles between the two groups. Rightbloggers may not be able to revive the feeling of common purpose that was general right after the 2001 attacks, but they've had some success tearing people apart. And, for such as they, a victory's a victory.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.