Monday, September 11, 2006


By Cassandra D

Well, I just gritted my teeth and sat through Bush's speech.

"We must put aside our differences." Yep. That's what he said. Of course, what he meant by that was, "You people must agree with everything I say and do."

I had a brief glimmer of hope when I heard him talk about "working with Democratic leaders." But then I realized he was talking about working with little "d" "democratic leaders" in the Middle East. I should have known he wasn't talking about the opposition party in the U.S. As Chase pointed out, he would have called them "Democrat leaders."

Just before GWB's speech, I watched Keith Olbermann speak words that resonated deeply with me. Read it or watch it, but here's just a snippet:

"How dare you, Mr. President, after taking cynical advantage of the unanimity and love, and transmuting it into fraudulent war and needless death, after monstrously transforming it into fear and suspicion and turning that fear into the campaign slogan of three elections? How dare you -- or those around you -- ever "spin" 9/11?"

I want a bumper sticker that says, "How dare they spin 9/11."


At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Brett said...

"Well, I just gritted my teeth and sat through Bush's speech."
Whenever I have approached an opponent's presentation or point of view with that attitude, I have never been able to give them the courtesy and respect for that point of view I am so quick to insist upon or even demand for my own.
Mr. Olberman offers proof I am not alone, and he does so ever more frequently these days. More fool I for thinking that the smarmy snark he brought to SportsCenter represented his low.

At 11:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

President Bush uses 9/11 as a crutch. He could have looked to a fellow governor and followed the example of Frank Keating. I oppose everything his party stands for politically, but I have always respected his handling of the OKC Bombing. Imagine how we all would have felt if Gov. Keating had used the tragedy to expand his powers. With my suspicious eye I never saw Keating try to use the bombing to his advantage.

At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Cassandra D said...

I gave GW the benefit of doubt over and over and over again, and after his having repeatedly abused my trust, I find it difficult to tolerate him. He's lucky (yeah, I know, he doesn't care) that I listened at all.

Olbermann is at times even too snarky for me, but his comments tonight were heart-felt (I believe anyway) and meaningful to me.

At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1 says, "I oppose everything his party stands for politically..."

Really Anonymous? The GOP in Oklahoma stands for limited government, a reasonable tax burden that encourages the growth of wealth and capital investment to spur opportunity, a system of education that challenges kids to excel rather than encouraging mediocrity, and investments in a crumbling infrastructure. Keating stood for those things time and again.

So you're against those things?

At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Dr. Pants said...

Anonymous #2 -- who doesn't stand for those things? I can't remember Democratic leaders coming out with their "Huzzah Mediocrity!" campaign.

Regardless, I commend you for being able to sit through the speech Cassandra. My inability to sit patiently while I was lied to, hectored at and condescended to prevented me from taking it in (same with church).

I've watching it this morning and, wow, thanks for pretending, Mr. President.

For even more fun, check out the Matt Lauer interview with Bush. Nothing like seeing Bush try to physically intimidate a reporter.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger RedDirt said...

Thanks for the link to Olbermann, Cassandra. Without it, I never would have known that on September 5, Olbermann took Bush to task for comparing bin Laden to Hitler. He didn't like the comparison. Olbermann felt uncomfortable with it.

Here's a direct quote from Richard Clarke, the former terror czar, and certainly no Bush stooge, from a PBS Frontline documentary that examined the life of FBI agent John O'Neill. Clark is talking about O'Neill's views, and his admiration for the FBI agent:

"I think he understood, first of all, that Al Qaeda wasn't a nuisance -- that what Al Qaeda said in its documents and bin Laden's speeches was the truth. He said to me once, "You know, it's like Mein Kampf. Hitler wrote Mein Kampf when Hitler was just a jerk. No one took him seriously, so no one read the book, or if they read the book, they didn't believe he would try to do what was in the book. [John] said, "Bin Laden's just like this. When you read what this guy says he's going to do, he's serious. He is going to try to do it in the Middle East, and there are a lot of people who support him. A lot of people are giving this guy money. We have to take him seriously, because what he says he's going to do is to go to war with the United States." ~Richard Clarke

I guess the obvious question is, does Olbermann disagree with Clarke and O'Neill too? Unfortunately, O'Neill is not here to argue with Olbermann, because he died in the World Trade Center.

At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, do all of you who are chastising Cassandra really believe it was appropriate for the president to deliver a political message on this tragic anniversary? Or are you so much like our president that you also are incapable of setting aside political divisions for one day to honor the innocent lives lost?

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Cassandra D said...

I think, RedDirt, that the comparison to the Nazis was felt to be offensive not because it equated al Qaeda with them, but it attempted to say that Americans who don't agree with the Bush Administration's policies are the equivalent of Nazi appeasers.

Also, I believe it was George Will (but don't quote me on that) who wondered whether all of our rhetoric about al Qaeda may be helpful to them by turning disparate groups of terrorists into a unified worldwide entity. Perhaps our rhetoric is giving them power.

That is not to say they aren't evil, by any means.

At 2:13 PM, Blogger RedDirt said...

I'm glad you're willing to use the term "evil," Cassandra. Some are still uncomfortable with that terminology.

And maybe you and George Will are right about our rhetoric empowering al Qaeda in ways we don't want. On the other hand, maybe the rhetoric is simply describing reality.

Everyone should consider reading a column from today, written by an Arab American called "One Arab's Apology"...

It begins: "September 12, 2006 -- WELL, here it is, five years late, but here just the same: an apology from an Arab-American for 9/11. No, I didn't help organize the killers or contribute in any way to their terrible cause. However, I was one of millions of Arab-Americans who did the unspeakable on 9/11: nothing."

More: "I'm sick of saying the truth only in private - that Arabs around the world, including Arab-Americans like myself, need to start holding our own culture accountable for the insane, violent actions that our extremists have perpetrated on the world at large."

The writer concludes: "Five years after that awful day, it's time for all Arab-Americans, and Arabs around the world, to protest against Islamic fascism, to raise our voices - and, where necessary, our arms - against these tyrants until their plague of terror has been driven from the face of the earth forever."

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Cassandra D said...

Thanks for sharing that, RedDirt. That was something I needed to hear, and it should give you a glimmer of hope, RedDirt. Perhaps we aren't for certain doomed.

At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous #1 said...

Look Anonymous #2 get ahold of yourself-- I was paying Frank Keating a compliment. I am a Democrat and I will always fight for my team. I have no problem admitting that AND, I have no problem giving a shout out to someone who deserves it. I'm multi-dimensional you see.

I am for clean water, healthy children and fuzzy bears, too.

At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Brad said...

"Some are still undcomfortable with that terminology."

Who? Straw men?

At 11:57 AM, Anonymous Brett said...

The problem with Mr. Olbermann used to be snark. Now it's accuracy and perhaps even common decency. Lincoln spoke at a ceremony marking the beginning of construction of the Soldiers National Cemetery, not the "Gettysburg Memorial." (Once called the Soldiers National Cemetery at Gettysburg, it's now known as the Gettysburg National Cemetery). He couldn't speak at the Soldiers National Monument dedication in 1869, as the bullet John Wilkes Booth fired into his brain four years earlier canceled most of his subsequent engagements.

In fact, the Cemetery was finished in 1872, nine years after the battle, and the last soldier's remains weren't buried there for another five years. Later wars saw additional remains brought to the site.

If Mr. Olbermann sets his clock by President Lincoln, President Bush should be given until 2015 to finish the job, which may be hampered slightly by the fact that he will be out of office for the last seven years of that span.

Of course, President Bush has very little to do with the planning and building of any memorial on the WTC site. It's controlled by a consortium of state governments, authority agencies and other regulatory bodies, and the legal details of insurance payments, jursdiction, security concerns as well as political gamesmanship by many parties have not sped things up much.

So in retrospect, the layers of cheese Mr. Olbermann smirked his way through at ESPN seem almost benign. It took a whole 'nother network to allow his malignancy to flourish.

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Cassandra D said...

You know, I blame local combatants for the lack of a 9/11 memorial. That doesn't bother me in the slightest, and in a way I think anything that is built will come up short when it tries to memorialize the WTC. To me it is a sacred spot, like Arlington, but I know for many that it would feel wrong if tall buildings bustling with activity aren't there. No design can win.

So that's not the part of Olbermann's commentary that I found meaningful. It was the rest of it.


Post a Comment

<< Home