Thursday, June 23, 2005
Um...And That's Just How I Said It, Too! Yeah!
According to the New York Times, this what was said by this representative of a President who pledged to be a uniter and not a divider,
"Speaking in a ballroom just a few miles north of ground zero, Karl Rove said the Democratic party did not understand the consequences of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks
"Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers,'' Rove said Wednesday night. ''Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war.''
These comments are not just vile, but also untrue. The left, right and center were all united after 9/11 behind the effort to fight Osama and the war in Afghanistan. That was a unique moment in recent American history that Rove is attempting to defile to serve his President's political interests. The Administration is faltering, and it needs a diversion from the public's unhappiness.
If I recall correctly, on the morning of September 11th, 2001, as my husband and I stood in the middle of Seventh Avenue amid fleeing businesspeople trying in vain to get a signal on their cellphones, and watching a plume of smoke where there had been two tall buildings, my exact words were a calm yet resolute, "We're gonna get the f***ers."
Then when we went back upstairs and tuned in to CNN and saw bombs exploding over Kabul, my response was, "Good!" I was kinda disappointed when I heard it was two Taliban factions fighting each other, but then figured, "Even better. They'll blow each other up and no more Americans will be killed."
I live in downtown New York, and nobody I knew was talking about understaaaaaanding the terrorists or sending them to a shrink. Only the groups furthest out on the fringes of the left were putting up flyers suggesting the chickens had come home to roost or that the attacks were the result of "American imperialism," and they were matched by folks on the Far Right who also blamed America, only they said it's because tramps like me wear pants.
A couple of people out of hundreds in my e-mail groups said the inevitably politically correct "It's racist to assume it's Arabs" and "the name Timothy McVeigh comes to mind," and they were both from two different e-mail lists and each said the exact same thing independently of the other. Memes disseminated into a frightened population won't take long to find a willing host for their viruses on either the left or the right. Witness the "Macy's won't let their employees say 'Merry Christmas'" rumor of last December.And I'm not afraid to admit that I assumed right away it was Arabs, because it had been Arabs the last time. In 1993, a group of fanatics attacked the WTC through a bomb in a parking garage, and my first thought on hearing that what I was witnessing was a terrorist attack was, the same or a similar group had now returned to take it, as they say, from the top. Anyone listening to the news for the past twenty years would not be oblivious to the fact that the idea of blowing yourself up in the cause of slaughtering your enemies has achieved a lot of popularity in that part of the world.
In other words, myself and everyone I know in this blue city, and about 98 percent of the people I know in the rest of this country, responded to the 9/11 attacks with outrage and the certainty of justice being meted out to those responsible. Most of us were perfectly okay with the idea of justice being meted out by weaponry. We answered the question, "Can you blaaaame them?" with "Yeah. They did it."
But in the three and a half years since Osama slipped away in Tora Bora, many of us have found ourselves saying, "Wait a minute...did I miss something?" when it comes to the foreign policies of the Bush Administration. The gung-ho attitude post-9/11 has become more and more infiltrated with cries of "Yeah, but..." and those of us stopping to ask just what's going on here have been branded "wimps" at best and "treasonous" by the most loony.
It could be that I haven't been a perfect example of a liberal since I grew disgusted with the "never get angry" aspects of political correctness twenty-five years ago. No thinking person can believe in anything too long without a "Hey, wait a minute" moment. But that doesn't matter, because to people like Mr. Rove, no matter how frequently or articulately I verbalize and vocalize my patriotism, I can never toe his line perfectly enough.
So I give up. A liberal? Sure. Okay. I'm "Flora The Red Menace." Thank you, Karl Rove, for helping me understaaaaaaand myself. Now I don't need therapy.