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making stone soup of 9/11

I've stewed about this all day and tried to figure out how to word it so my point would get across without sounding too strident and whatnot but, what the hell, I'm just going to come out and say it.

Let me quote, first:

The Pentagon will hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an unusual announcement tucked into an Iraq war briefing yesterday. "This year the Department of Defense will initiate an America Supports You Freedom Walk," Rumsfeld said, adding that the march would remind people of "the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation."
--
Q: What is America Supports You?
R: " America Supports You," is a nationwide program launched by the Department of Defense (DoD) to recognize citizens' support for our military men and women and communicate that support to members of our Armed Forces at home and abroad.

...

The America Supports You Freedom Walk is the fourth September 11 commemorative activity sponsored by the DoD. The goal for the 5th anniversary in 2006 is for each state to host a Freedom Walk in order to provide an opportunity for as many citizens as possible to reflect on the importance of freedom.

The word "crass" immediately comes to mind. Call me crazy, but I just don't think that a commemoration of 9/11 should be mixed in with a "support the troops" march. You know what this is? A thinly veiled pro-war rally. And concert!

It's four years later. I think at this point we should be diminishing the pomp and circumstance of the commememorations, not addding to it. The purpose of the event is "to remember the victims of September 11, honor our troops and celebrate our freedom." I don't think it's right to do those things together. It's an opportunistic move designed to make people feel good about a war that a lot of people don't feel good about it. Mixing the "let freedom ring" chorus in with the funeral dirge that is still ringing in the hearts of the victims' families is just shy of vile.

I do support the troops. I do cherish my freedom. And I do like a good concert. But how those things fit in with remembering those who died on September 11, 2001 is beyond me. I think that at this point, the administration has chosen to remember the event, not the people. They've chosen to celebrate the start of a time of war rather than memorialize the end of nearly 3,000 lives.

That's a shame.

[Please read the update to this post here]

Comments

It's at least in poor taste, as I said at my place.

Mostly agree. I'm one of those that doesn't think the war is an unmitigated disaster. I tend to think a lot of good is being done, but it just doesn't make for good ratings like bad news does.

But I also think, with support slipping, that the administration is going about drumming up support the wrong way. President Bush just needs to come out and level with the people. No speeches from the Army War College, no concerts, nothing but criss-crossing the country and telling folks that a lot of good is being done.

I agree entirely. And, what's with that name? Don't they have enough market researchers to test how clunky it sounds? It's like some nonsense slogan you'd see on a t-shirt in a Japanese mall. "America Big Chief Freedom Let's Talk Why Not Walk"

I disagree. I feel good about the war. I refuse to wear a hair shirt and walk around with slumped, guilty shoulders because we misplaced our magic wands and are having to deal with the terrorist-spawning nests in the Middle East the old-fashioned way. As for the people who lost friends and family four years ago, I think that at least some of them might like to not be told every September 11th that they should be feeling that their lives are still ruinous dark existences of misery and grief. Some of them might even -- yes I know I blaspheme, but in for a penny -- want to enjoy life again.

As for the event itself, though such things are parades are not to my taste this effort seems to me to have the clunky yet charming feel of those things people did during World War 2 to make themselves feel better. Rallies, victory gardens, collecting aluminum foil, silly things like that which everyone knew weren't really doing anything much served to boost morale and make people feel they were doing something together for the war effort instead of sitting back and watching things being done while they sat on the sidelines, things that were much needed back then and which, from the way everyone is still tearing at each other four years after the fact, are even more needed now.

Oh what am I saying. We are much more sophisticated now -- we don't need childish parades and stupid patriotic events with wince-making names, and we have moved on beyond the need to worry about tired old Victorian concepts like "morale." We have better things: our sense of irony, our good taste, and our fine-shaved sensibilities. Too bad these things won't be much help when we give up in disgust on this war because it doesn't dovetail with our personal soundtracks and the world goes to hell in a handbasket.

As long as they keep it down in that Beltway swampland, I couldn't care the proverbial dead rat's ass.

If they try and pull a mirror in NYC, unleash the dogs.

I can't wait to see who the corporate sponsors are.

I disagree.

One, concerts-- including country acts-- have been used to commemorate 9/11 since the very first days after the attack, from NYC to DC to across the country. Nothing new there.

Second, a march, or a parade, or a walk-- all are used during other solemn memorials, such as Memorial Day and Veteran's Day. 9/11 may still be an open wound for many (it is for me), but as far as this nation's military is concerned, there are no days more solemn than Memorial & Veteran's Days, and these sorts of things don't spark angst there.

Third, do recall that the Pentagon was attacked too. If the military wants to reflect in this manner, and invite the general populace to join them, they are entitled to such a choice.

Fourth, 9/11 started a Global War on Terror. Regardless of what anyone may feel about the war on Iraq, the United States Armed Forces is fighting the war begun on 9/11 across the globe in places beyond Iraq. If there were no "controversial" Iraq War, would this be appropriate given our involvement in Afghanistan, directly related to 9/11? Would it be appropriate to have participation by the men and women who participate in Operation Noble Eagle, the combat air patrols over America begun on 9/11 and continued to this day? If not, why not?

I understand, and sympathize, with the angst this sort of thing may cause people. However, in the end and without being flippant, tough. We are at war, and hiding that fact from the populace does not serve either the populace or the men & women defending us well.

My two cents.

Cheers,
Dave at Garfield Ridge

Roxanne,

You don't have to wait, the informational web site gives the info:

Stars and Stripes newspaper (should have known, they've always had a bias toward the military), Pentagon Federal Credit Union (hmmmph, sneer--a government-subsidized entity that is proof of the current administration's fiscal hypocrisy), Subway (beneficiary of the infamous oil-for-cold-cuts program), Lockheed Martin (a defense contractor that for shadowy reasons maintains close ties to the military!), The Washington Post (notorious right-wing goose-stepping rag!), WTOP Radio Network, and ABC WJLA-TV Channel 7 & NewsChannel 8 (local D.C. stations whose proximity to DoD workers is no excuse for their blatant march toward Stalinism!)

In other words, I don't see the problem.

Unless Clint Black is singing "When I Said Reconstituted Nuclear Weapons" (with Lisa Hartman Black).

I was kidding. I didn't actually think there would be corporate sponsors.

I honestly think it's an innocent event for DoD workers and the community. Perhaps my sense of outrage for stuff like this has been dulled by years of enduring corporate good intentions that result in lame-seeming events (e.g. Heart Walk, etc) but I would posit that this is a manifestation of the benign side of a corporatized DoD.

Me, I'm done mourning 9-11. The faster we turn it into something positive the better. Every time we treat it like some black hole of our psyche we do exactly what the fuckers who did this to us want us to do.

Fuck that.

I say we turn it into the biggest freaking nationwide block party we can put together. Make it a day of getting that feeling of unity back that we had during the days after the attacks.

But I'm just a poor dumb military guy who's been corporatized...what the fuck do I know?

Ya know...I expect it out of most civilians but some of you all I considered to be friends of the military. I'm not suprised. I expected you all to grow tired of us much sooner than this, but Christ...can you be any more condescending?

I agree with you, its crass.

Way to miss my point, Timmer. Tired of the military? How did you get that out of my post?

I don't think that commemorating 9/11 should be tied in with a support the troops rally. How the hell does that mean I don't support the troops? Christ, you are thick.

Well, M, if you are in the business of making war, then it's not a shame. Uh-uh, it is an advertising expense.

It's a totally feeble attempt by the Bush administration to once again link 9/11 and Iraq.

They don't go together.

Also, it's totally crass to use 9/11 for support of the troops - who did next to nothing on that day. We already have Memorial Day and Veterans Day - why do we need another day for this?

Er, Mark.

When did Bush ever link 9/11 and Iraq?

That's right, he didn't.

However, the 9/11 commission did say there were links between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

Sorry Michele, but I couldn't let that worn out moonbat meme go unanswered.

By the way, I understand the point you were making about how 9/11 should be a solemn event of rememberance rather than a time of celebration.

In no way did I discern any "disrespect towards the soldiers" in your post.

(Unlike Mark, whose contempt for those who served in the military was all too apparent when he whined "We already have Memorial Day and Veteran's Day - Why do we need another day for this?")

However, I do think something needs to be done to counter the moonbat left's efforts to get us to "cut and run" and leave the Iraqis spinning in the wind.

Why not 9/11? What better way to "give the finger" to Al-Qaeda and all the rest of the islamic fascists?

The daily dose of negative news from the "unbiased" media and the almost gleeful seeming daily body count needs to be addressed.

I've heard enough stories from soldiers coming back from Iraq where they wonder what war the MSM is covering.

(ignoring everyone between Dave and here)
No, Dave, it's gauche. The only show I want the Pentagon putting on involves little blips on the map behind Iranian and Syrian lines suddnely getting lit up like candles. And then Bolten slaps someone in Turtle Bay and says "New Game!"

"(Unlike Mark, whose contempt for those who served in the military was all too apparent when he whined "We already have Memorial Day and Veteran's Day - Why do we need another day for this?")"

Where exactly did you get contempt from that?

We have a group of people - veterans and current soldiers - who are clearly deserving of respect and celebration.

We have not one but TWO days to celebrate them. Memorial Day is for those who died defending our country. Veterans Day is for the rest (including current soldiers and sailors).

These are both holidays. Most people already get a day off from work to concentrate on the meaning of the day for Memorial Day (whether or not they do is something that I can't help).

Do we really need another day for a pep rally? And does it have to be on a day of sadness for a large number of Americans - a day that had very little involvement of the service (the Pentagon victims excepted, of course).

Between this pro-war rally, the smearing of Cindy Sheehan (sp?) and the pro-Canadian NAFTA ruling that will be ignored by the US, I think your country is jumping the shark.

Vince,

Actually, I believe the practice of a Canadian coming into a comment thread just to drop in a sneering "America sucks" putdown jumped the shark sometime in 2003.

"Where exactly did you get contempt from that?"

Since you couldn't resist posting a tired moonbat myth that the Bush Administration tried to tie Iraq directly to 9/11, I assumed that by the whining tone of your complaint that "we already have two holidays - why do we need another?" you meant "We already have two holidays too much for those war-mongering animals - we don't need another holiday honoring those babykillers"

That coupled with your snide observation that the "military did nothing on 9/11"

Sorry, but your comment had the rank odor of tofu and patchouli oil.

Post a leftist moonbat meme and you get regarded as a leftist moonbat.

If I misread you, I apologize. It's just that moonbat myths parroted in comments sections makes my "agent orange" act up.

Canada is a commonwealth of the U.S.

They just don't know it yet......

;)

So, other than ferry the president around the country and close down flights after the attack, what exactly did the military do? Oh, that's right - nothing. They didn't get any orders - that would've been the president's job - so they didn't do anything.

I didn't see where anyone except you has said "baby killers".

And by calling Iraq the "Central Front in the War on Terror" before the invasion, before al Qaeda and bin-Laden had been neutralized (where IS he anyway?), you're equating them. By saying, "we have to strike back" you're saying that they (Iraq) had struck us. Ummm, other than 9-11 when were we struck, exactly?

Jeez, Elephant Man did that KoolAid taste good? When the truth is just a "moonbat meme" to someone, they're too far gone.

/delurking

Elephant Man's statement above exposes one of the character flaws afflicting our administration and the little word games they and their supporters seem to need to play. Why they're deluded into believing this way is beyond me to understand but I think it has to do with ultranationalism, greed and intolerance.

Read here, E Man:

President Bush yesterday defended his assertions that there was a relationship between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda, putting him at odds with this week's finding of the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50679-2004Jun17.html

Further, no rational thinking liberal or progressive I know is advocating cut and run from Iraq. You ascribe a radical idea to all liberals. You're wrong.

No one I know who opposes the occupation is 'gleeful' over body counts. Again you ascribe a radical idea to liberals. That's also wrong.

Lastly, have any of those happy Iraq stories come from any of the 14,000 wounded there? Or the families of the 1800 American dead? Or the families of the 100,000 Iragi dead?

Right, they'd just be whining 'sour grapes' anyway, huh?

MtnGoat

"Actually, I believe the practice of a Canadian coming into a comment thread just to drop in a sneering "America sucks" putdown jumped the shark sometime in 2003."

I'm not sneering. I quite enjoy America and Americans. But this shit, the pro-war rally (country music? is Ben Stein and Pat Sajak emceeing? Bo Derek in a bikini?), the beyond the pale disgracefulness of the Cindy Sheehan affair and now this NAFTA business (do as we say, not as we do, gimme a break) has left me entirely disappointed.

Where the Republicans coming out saying "this is wrong"?

Vince,

Sorry if I seemed sensitive, but nationalistic pride is one of my many weaknesses. I should not that I'm not a Republican, and I don't think a nation is defined solely by its politics in any case.

On the rally and Sheehan I can just say, honestly, shrug. Already spoke to the rally, I don't want to start a debate on Sheehan but I don't put extra stock in her opinions, and I would think that the NAFTA ruling would only be a scandalous thing if the Bush administration doesn't comply with the ruling that just came down. It looks like they argued their case, and lost.

I disagree with plenty of stuff the Bush administration does, as do many of his "supporters" (as variously defined), quite often. For quick examples: Faith-based initiatives, the misleading numbers on the Medicare prescription drug benefit proposal, the GMA, a too-simplistic devotion to tax cuts, no veto when a veto was promised, and on and on...

"We're not just going to shoot the bastards, we're going to cut out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks."

~ G. S. Patton ~

I agree. The event isn't being advertised as a pro-Iraq rally but methinks that's what it will morph into. Iraq is devastated, a disaster. Bush and Co. are simply there to suck its bones dry. To say, as one poster did, that "some good things" have come of invading Iraq is like saying we found a candy bar floating in sewer sludge after we blew up the septic tank.

"When did Bush ever link 9/11 and Iraq?

That's right, he didn't.

However, the 9/11 commission did say there were links between Iraq and Al Qaeda."--Elephant Man

Get your fingers out of your ears for second and put down the Kool Aid. Every action of the administration was aimed at making the American public believe that there was a connection. I know you wingnuts believe that if you repeat a lie enough times, it becomes truth, but you're only kidding yourselves on this one.

See this story from the Christian Science Monitor from just before the war.

A real leader--a good president--would have leveled with the American people and with the soldiers he sent to die. Bush, Cheney, and the rest chose the path of deception, at every step of the way.

People like you have no values, other than allegience to your party. There is no right or wrong, just what side your on.

If you support the troops, like you say you do, then go enlist right now. That's the only real way to show your support. Otherwise, you could try to take an objective look at the disaster that Bush's war of agression has brought.

I know you think the media doesn't report enough positive stories, but what would you have them do, not report on the dozens of people being blown up every day(including our American brothers and sisters in the military)?

C'mon man, you owe it to the troops you support to take an objective look at what Bush has done.

When did Bush ever link 9/11 and Iraq?

"You can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror." -George W. Bush, 9/25/2002

Uh, MtnGoat? Perhaps you didn't hear, but the "100,00 Iraqis dead" of the Lancet Report has been long debunked, even before the UN report came out (hell, Amnesia International and Iraq Body Count refused to accept Lancet as a legitimate report.) Sad that so many in the IndyMedia and DU crowd seem to WANT the Lancet study to be true.

(sigh) ...No, no one wants the Lancet study to be true, and I doubt many in the 'IndyMedia and DU crowd' want there to be any deaths at all.

But thanks for helping make my point, Pat!

M.

Uh, what point? As far as I can tell from your post, you simply wrote a widely disproven statistic as though it were fact, and people at this blog are well-studied in politics and current events, and know that the "100,000 dead" meme is bunk. And if you seriously believe that the, ahem, "members" of DU and Indymedia have only the most altruistic, peaceful, and selfless of intentions, either you have never truly seen what is written at those places, won't look into what they are really saying, or are simply denying what is evident to most honest liberals and Democrats.

Hm. I see that this comment section has been infested by the "OMG Iraq is a totally destroyed disaster we sent all those soldiers to die for nothing ten million dead Iraqi babies no more kite-flying" contingent so in lieu of commenting I will simply post a link to this blog entry from someone from Iraq.

Pat, there are plenty of liberals, myself included, who know that the 100,000 figure isn't accurate. The thing is, we really don't know for sure because our leaders don't want us to know.

Realistically speaking, there were probably around 25,000 innocent Iraqi civilians killed. Not all were killed by Americans, but all were killed because of the Bush regime's war of choice--and because of their lies. If that doesn't affect you conscience, then I just feel sorry for you.

Oh yeah, like someone already said, you chickenhawk wingers need to quit talking and go enlist. Or, if you're too old, encourage your children and neices and nephews to enlist. Maybe when you have a stake in it you might care a little more.

Several members of my family served our country, so don't tell me I don't understand. It's the job of the military to follow orders, and most of them do support the actions of the commander-in-chief. But it's the job of the public (in a democratic society, at any rate) to hold our leaders accountable when they sent our brothers and sisters in the military to war under false pretenses. We owe it to the troops.

What if Clinton started this war? Would you be so supportive?

What if Clinton started this war? Would you be so supportive?

Yep, I supported the intervention in intervention in Bosnia, for example.

The weird thing was, none of my more-leftist friends accused me of being a "chickenhawk winger" back then. Strange, that.

Yes, well, the difference is that Clinton didn't lie to the American people to get us to support the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia.

(shrugs) Well, I guess anwering your questions won't help. I presumed you wanted an answer.

Good luck to ya.

The different figures for the loss of Iraqi civilians is because people are measuring entirely different things.

Some people have tried to figure out how many people died of a direct consequence of the war.
That number is a few thousand (I've seen estimates of 5-20,00).

Others have tried to figure out how many people have died earlier than they would have--from infections, or in childbirth, or whatever. I wouldn't want to have an attack of appendicitis in Bagdhad. That's where the 100,000--or more--figure comes from. In some cases, it's people like the elderly, dying a year or so before they would have--it's not like there's going to be great opportunities to get treatment for anything you might have. In general, the mortality rates for everything have gone up in Iraq. And the infant mortality rate has risen pretty sharply.

I don't know if the figures are correct--but it wouldn't surprise me that over after 2 years of this, with so little electricity, and iffy water, and doctors under seige, that tens of thousands of people would die earlier than they might have otherwise (even under sanctions).

I do think holding a jamboree on 9-11 is in poor taste. I'm all for not making a big deal of 9-11...I have 9-11 fatigue. But I just don't get a country-western support-our-troops concert to commemorate the murder of almost 3,000 people, the vast majority of which had nothing to dowith the military.

I don't object to a support our troops parade, and tons of concerts. But, given that we're currently at war with something that is related to 9-11 only in the sense that it motivated George Bush to do something in Iraq, I'd prefer the "support our troops" parade to be held veterans day, or memorial day, or even mabe the day that Bagdhad fell. Something to do with this war. Not 9-11.

It's also a little disconcerting if you happen to believe (as I do) that terrorism has found new opportunities in Iraq. (I'd love to be proven wrong. But the administration's track record at predicting Iraq has not been good.)

.

I see that the sanctuary of most of "The Left" is the bliss of being terminally obtuse.

Bush and the 9/11 Commission said there were links between Saddam and Al Queda.

It's apparent that in the leftist moonbat mind, that translates as "Bush sez Iraq had a hand in planning 9/11".

Keep spinning.

Just let the psychotic hatred of Bush flow through your veins...

By the way, of course the leftists supported Clinton's "Wag the Dog" war in Kosovo.

The one where he promised the troops would be home in a year.

As Janine Garafalo said, it was "hip" to do so.

Yep. It sure was "hip" watching us bomb the absolute living crap out of them for weeks before putting "boots on the ground".

Kinda takes the starch out of any resistance with "round the clock" bombing coming down on your head.

And civilians killed during this aerial bombardment? They didn't matter. It was done in the name of "peacekeeping" so it's "nothing to see here, move along".

By the way, we're still "occupying" Kosovo.

But I forgot.

A Democrat president getting us into a war is always a "just and noble cause".

A Republican president getting us into a war is alway "imperialistic aggression for world domination."

I know it's summertime, and you're hot and thirsty, but you should try drinking something other than Michael Moore brand Kool-Aid.

After reading some of the "replies" to my comments, It's readily apparent that diminished brain function is one of the side effects of that particular beverage.

I agree michele, it's a stupid idea. I think those who turned this into democrate vs republican or left vs right, need to take a vacation and a pill.

Washington Post pulled out.

I think that the war in Iraq has gotten to the point that we need to rethink what we are doing. For every "insurgent" killed in Iraq, there is an entire family of people that are force to support them. People that were not our enemy are becoming just that. Innocent, civilian lives 3000 Americans in NYC, 25000 Iraqi civilians. Where do these car bombers come from. The families of 25000 people. When do we stop, is it when we are sending 6000000 "insurgents to the gas chambers? My heart goes out to the victims, but the number of victims of 9/11 is still growing. Letís not combine support for an illegal military action with remembering the innocent who are still falling.