11 September 2010

THE TWO 9/11s

I will never forget the reaction of people in New York on September 11, 2001. Most broke into spontaneous chants of patriotic songs or chants of USA, but in Union Square the people started singing “Imagine.” That more than anything symbolized to me the divide between left and right in this country, or more accurately between the left and the rest of the country. Not surprisingly we see the same division on the location of a mosque at ground zero, nine years later.

For the left, the United States is a deeply flawed society responsible for most of the evil in the world. That hard core amounts to those not part of the 88% that approved of George Bush after 9/11 in a moment of national unity and resolve. Yet improbably, nine years later “Imagine” made its way to the White House and contributes to the current unpopularity and mistrust of this administration.

No matter how much we might wish to stand down, there will always be evil in the world, sometimes controlling governments, sometimes revolting violently against them, but with a constant disregard for human life and joy in mass murder. We did not “bring this on ourselves;” it came to us. There are only two choices- surrender or fight. There is no middle way with this enemy. No matter how painful it is to revisit, we must keep alive the horrible images of innocent bodies jumping from the burning towers to remember what we are up against, even as we finally begin the process of rebuilding the WTC site.

Hollywood has noticeably been AWOL on this, and if anything has produced anti-American propaganda. The old patriots who once controlled the studios and built the industry are long gone. There was one production that was truly excellent in laying out the facts. It was “The Path to 9/11” which aired on ABC. However they have refuse to rerelease it or produce it on video to avoid offending the Clintons, even though the show did not particularly blame them outside of laxity in government agencies.. It was an objective and sobering account. Everyone should call on ABC to release this production in its original format

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