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The Nobel Prize for Partisan Vitriol

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Hiding from the Storm?

You might think that on a solemn occasion such as the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th attacks, for once, the left would be able to set aside their campaign of destruction against all things American.  Sadly, you’d be wrong in so thinking.  Paul Krugman couldn’t restrain himself, and in blustering,  irresponsible rhetoric, the reckless and obtuse NY Times columnist is at it again.  Not satisfied that Americans will remember the horrors of that day from the perspective of witnesses, and unwilling to accept the clear association between the radical left and our enemies that he helped to foster as an exemplar and prototype, on this 10th anniversary of those horrendous events, Krugman launched yet another attack at those to whom the nation turned on that day for leadership, and who answered the call.  On that day, we Americans stood transfixed by the events unfolding in New York, Washington DC, and in a field in Shanksville, PA.  As we did so, Mr. Krugman was already formulating his response in the form of further attacks in opportunism at the earth-shattering event.

Today, as then, Krugman remains a staunch anti-capitalist who never fails to be wrong about our country, its people, and its economic and political system.  On Sunday, September 11th, 2011, he offered this:

September 11, 2011, 8:41 am

The Years of Shame

Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?

Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.

What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. Te atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.

A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?

The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.

I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.

Obvious reasons, indeed!  Mr. Krugman may have no desire to read a response to this partisan attack, but that hardly means he won’t receive one. “Shame,” Mr. Krugman?  The shame to be felt on this day should come in the form of your own guilt. Only three days after the tragic events of 9/11/2001, Krugman himself was seeking to capitalize on the horrors of that day:

“These aftershocks need not be major. Ghastly as it may seem to say this, the terror attack — like the original day of infamy, which brought an end to the Great Depression — could even do some economic good. But there are already ominous indications that some will see this tragedy not as an occasion for true national unity, but as an opportunity for political profiteering. “

This is just a sample of Mr. Krugman’s perpetual indecency.  As you will remember, I’ve recently covered Mr. Krugman’s apparent wish for a war, or an alien invasion, to rescue us from our economic crisis.  In typical fashion, Mr. Krugman decries political motives while spending the space of his short diatribe discussing little else.

A mere five days after the horrors of that day, while emergency workers still struggled in hope to find somebody, anybody alive in the wreckage, Mr. Krugman began to assign blame.  As ever, Mr. Krugman blamed America and Americans for failing to be taxed enough to pay for national security. On 9/16/2001, he wrote:

“Right now most Americans are focused on punishing the perpetrators. But Tuesday’s tragedy was partly self-inflicted. Why did we leave ourselves so vulnerable?

“For this is a tale not just of villainy, but also of penny-pinching that added up to disaster — and a system that encouraged, even forced, that penny-pinching. It’s a problem that goes beyond terrorism. Something is amiss with our political philosophy: we are a nation that is unwilling to pay the price of public safety.”

If you’re astonished that Mr. Krugman could so easily blame America, consider that in his bankrupt world-view, the victim is always to blame.  In another perverse inversion of right and wrong, Krugman reveals his real motive: He wanted to use the occasion of the horrors on 9/11 as the pretext to raise taxes on the American people.  More, he regarded 9/11 much as Reverend Wright, apparently, though in a different context:  The event was merely the return of our chickens to roost.  What sort of monster is it who lurks within a short distance of this spectacle of death and destruction, and first thinks to politicize the event and to urge more burdens on a shocked nation?  Paul Krugman is that sort of monster.

One would think that such a well-known propagandist as Krugman would be careful to cover his own tracks, and not accuse others of doing the things he himself has first done.  Hypocrisy is no impediment to the radical left, and as one of its allegedly mainstream spokesmen, Krugman is no exception.  In an article published on 9/30/2001, he wrote:

“The most vocal hitchhikers are conservative pundits, who within a day of the terrorist attack were urging the administration to use the occasion to ram through tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, drilling in the Arctic and so on. This drive reached a sort of climax in the already notorious Wall Street Journal editorial of Sept. 19, which added appointments of conservative judges to the list of goodies the administration should grab while the grabbing is good.” (Emphasis added)

In pointing to a Wall Street Journal editorial of September 19th, Krugman ignores his own editorials published on the 14th, 16th, as well as the 19th in which he sought to use the events of 9/11 to drive home his political and economic agenda.  There’s nothing quite like the pot calling the kettle “black,” and few have been so willing to do so as Paul Krugman.

Mr. Krugman is entitled to his opinions, but not his own custom-manufactured version of history.  Remembering that he is among those who first sought to use 9/11 to political advantage is important, for while he claims in shrill terms today to eschew any form of cashing-in on 9/11, the truth is that he was among the first in print, anywhere, who sought to do precisely that, if only in support of his own preposterous economic policy ideas.  We’re all well aware of Paul Krugman’s status as a Nobel Laureate, but by now we should have realized that rather than in economics, his prize ought to have been in partisan vitriol.  Ten years after the day of such horrors, when most Americans are quietly contemplating all that has been lost, Krugman could not deny to himself the opportunity to take one more shot at President Bush.  He may not want any response published on his own page, but as more Americans realize just who Krugman really is, I scarcely believe he will avoid it.

Note: For your Sunday reading, you may wish to consider another form of remembrance in which Stella Paul at American Thinker explains how today’s left is still tied to the tragedy of 9/11:  Obama and Our 9/11 Trauma

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9/11: Remembering the Fallen

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Remembering 9/11

I had been at work just half an hour.  A good friend and colleague, a man who had been a rookie cop in Dallas on another tragic day nearly forty years before, John called me to come up to the conference room because a plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center.  I immediately walked to the conference room and sat with him and two others, and began to watch the live coverage.  John and I surveyed the scene, and looked at one another, but I’m not sure which of us said it first:  This had been an attack, and could not not have been accidental.  No sooner had those words been spoken when from the right of the frame, appeared another airliner, and while the impact was concealed by the two buildings, the explosion that erupted made clear what had happened.

The other people gathered in the room let out a collective gasp, and one woman screamed in horror.  John and I looked at one another across the table, and we began to tick off a list of potential targets.  John is an easy-going, jovial man with a fine sense of humor, but this morning he had reverted to his game face.  Due to his responsibilities within the organization, and his years of experience, others in the room deferred to him.  One woman looked at him, tears streaming down her face, and asked John “Who did this?” John, by then on his feet and walking toward the door, paused placing his hand on the woman’s shoulder as an act of comfort, and said: “I don’t know Darlin’, but if I was guessing, it must be the same bunch from ’93 back to finish the job, and they may not be done yet.”

Like most Americans, I watched the events of 9/11 unfold from afar, yet the nature of the events left the unmistakable impression that this was the beginning of an escalation in the endless war of hatred directed at our country.  This hatred of our country is rooted in a clash of civilizations.  Our nation has been so successful for so long, and has become the center of developments in popular culture and media that it had become pervasive.  For a culture like Islam, the images they see of our nation are those which lend to the assessment that we are corrupt and defiled by their standard of measure.  These images make it all the easier for the demagogues who hold power in the Islamic world to demonize the West and spawn militancy against us.  Jihad means “to struggle” or “to resist,” so that in their view, this war against us is justified insofar as they are fighting against us in what they believe is an effort to preserve their way of life against what they see as a defiled and morally corrupted civilization.  They have been taught by demagogues to view the expansion of the Western culture as a malignancy to be excised as a matter of self-defense.  The lessons of 9/11 must include a recognition that the collision of these two civilizations may well have been inevitable, and our only choices are to adopt theirs or to defeat them.

Ten years later, we are marking the day with memorial services and events intended to remind us of all the fallen.  We rightly mark the heroism of all those who answered the call one final time on that infamous day.  Their acts in opposition to the war against us must not be forgotten.  For me personally, the events aboard Flight 93, that went down in a field in Shanksville, PA, are the things from which we must take heart concerning 9/11.  That airliner was full of ordinary Americans who did on their own the most outrageous thing:  Rather than wait for the inevitable, they took actions directed not only at the chance of saving their own lives, but with the knowledge that whatever the outcome, they would surely save others.  That moment of decision, in appraisal of their immediate situation, should be considered carefully by every American as this clash of civilizations continues.  What are the choices? Shall we fight, or wait to be slaughtered?   Shall we pretend that if only we’ll huddle quietly, we will be left alone and alive?  Shall we recognize that we are now the front line in a war between two civilizations, and act in the name of ours?

These are the questions with which the passengers aboard Flight 93 were confronted on that day.  Ten years later, these are the questions our nation must answer once again.  Will we wait until the fight comes to us?   Will we abide the abandonment of our allies living under this same threat?  Will we hunker in fear and inaction, pretending to ourselves that we can survive as a culture living as prisoners in our own nation?  Would we rather live another short span of time in relative safety knowing that the death we’re avoiding is really inevitable?  I believe the greatest memorial to those who died on 9/11, or on battlefields around the globe ever since, lies not in the laying of wreaths and the erecting of statues or markers, but in recognition of the simple, yet life-affirming choices we must make if we are to survive as a nation.

At the beginning of our nation, one famed patriot had already considered these questions, and his answers provide the true meaning of the choices and actions undertaken on 11 September, 2001, in the skies over Pennsylvania:

“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” (Patrick Henry – March 1775)

These words now stand as a testament to the recognition that one must not yield for the sake of temporary comfort or safety in the face of an inevitable war.  The choices made by the passengers aboard Flight 93 stand as a stark reminder of how Americans must always answer this fundamental question, and it is an answer encapsulated in the words of a man who had said his goodbyes, and who turned with others to fight against an inevitable doom, so that if doom it would be, it would come on their terms with everything they could muster.   Todd Beamer, in plain-spoken recognition of what laid before him, uttered those now equally famous words:

Let’s roll!

When I remember 9/11, it is this simple declaration that I recall.  It stands as the only valid answer to the question laid before us, and as Americans, we must know its real meaning and take to heart all that it implies.  Justice requires it.  Our survival demands it.