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REQUIEM

Below are the two final essays to be posted on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed. The first one is written by a friend -- screen name 'Euro-American Scum' -- who, over the past four years, has been the most faithful essayist here. He has written about everything from his pilgrimage to Normandy in 2004 to take part in the 60th–year commemoration of the invasion, to his memories of his tour in Vietnam. His dedication to America’s founding principles ... and those who have sacrificed to preserve them over the past 200+ years ... is unequaled. Thank you, E-A-S. It has been a privilege to include your writing here, and it is a privilege to call you my friend.

The second essay is my own farewell. And with it I thank all of the many regular visitors, and those who may have only dropped in occasionally, for coming here. I hope you learned something. I hope a seed or two was planted. But, even if not, I thank you for stopping by ... 25 March, 2010

9/11/2006

Programmed into Submission

We are finding ourselves bombarded with 9/11 memorial tributes over these twenty-four hours, but I can’t help but wonder whether most of us are too often compartmentalizing the repercussions of that fateful day – not allowing them to penetrate and permeate our lives as deeply as they must, for us to have a strong enough grasp on the threat that we are facing.

To help us along that self-destructive road, there has existed a self-imposed media moratorium on showing more than a smattering of the horrific pictures, videos and accounts of the holocaust of 9/11 over the five years that have elapsed since (with the exception of today). And a similar moratorium has been placed on the showing of equally horrific images of, or making anything but passing reference to, beheadings, burnings, dismemberments, etc. that have occurred in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries in which Islamic fascists have been doing what they do best.

I believe I watch television news reports as much as, and probably more than, the average American, and I only once saw pictures of an frenzied mob, consisting of Iraqi men, women and children, dragging the charred, dismembered bodies of the four American contractors through the streets of Fallujah early on in the war, two of whose barely-recognizable-as-human remains were hung from a bridge over the Euphrates. Seeing that video caused a head-to-toe, visible chill the likes of which I have never before experienced. And just that one viewing has caused the image to be forever emblazoned in my memory.

The kidnapping and brutal murder of British C.A.R.E. worker, Margaret Hassan, illustrates this media moratorium as well. To this day, authorities are not certain whether Hassan is the woman whose body was discovered on a street outside of Baghdad with her legs and arms cut off and throat slit, or whether she was merely shot in the head by her captors. Whichever her fate, once it had been determined that she was no longer alive, her story disappeared from our television screens, as if it no longer merited investigation or our collective attention and remembrance.

Islamic terrorists perform such grisly rituals frequently, and with relish. But the mainstream American media have taken it upon themselves to decide that the American citizen is much too weak-kneed to anymore view, or focus for any length of time on, such atrocities. The media have become our sensitivity censors-by-proxy.

… a fact which would be slightly more palatable if we had not all been subject to weeks upon weeks of photos of a handful of aberrant American soldiers (who no doubt represent .00001% of Americans serving in the Middle East) ‘humiliating’ Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, or rumors of incidents of American misconduct at Haditha.

My guess is that, were the average American subject to an equal amount of visual reminders and commentary regarding the genuine atrocities committed against freedom-loving people world-wide as they are the fabricated or magnified-out-of-realistic-proportion ‘atrocities’ committed by Americans, the generally short-attention-span mindset of the citizenry would be far more united and resolute in our war on Islamic fascism – perhaps even to the point of being outraged by the recent judicial ruling (among other countless outlandish offenses) outlawing effective intelligence procedures that have been proven to enhance our safety and security.

So why the media blackout? And, equally disturbing, why the media insistence on drumbeat repetitious reference to America’s warts?

My husband and I have seen three major media productions that purportedly attempt to portray the events of 9/11: Paul Greengass’s United 93, Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center, and the A&E made-for-television Flight 93. The first two were fairly well publicized, and the third received little if any fanfare.

United 93 was a dry, documentary-leaning depiction of the hijacking and eventual crash of United flight 93. It evoked little emotion, and we left the theater feeling as if we had just sat in on a college physics lecture.

World Trade Center was a soap opera depiction of the attack on the Twin Towers – a depiction of the courage and resolve of the first responders. But nowhere did it even remotely illustrate the vicious, sadistic, brutal, obsessive nature of the barbarians who caused the tragedy. Even the image of dozens of our countrymen plunging to their deaths was bastardized by the showing simply of a single rag doll-like figure falling lifelessly from a window. And the explanation that the focus of this movie was intended only to be fixed on the courage of the rescue workers falls on my deaf ears. One cannot purport to depict any major aspect of that tragic day without making reference to the subhuman nature of Islamic fascism that brought it about. To ignore the roll of the perpetrators amounts to purposefully dulling the sense of outrage that needs to be aroused.

In contrast, A&E’s Flight 93 is a godsend that every adult American, and every high school history class, must see. The movie does beautiful justice to a story whose accurate, meaningful telling seems next to impossible. In the viewing, we come to know (and know intimately) our countrymen who were aboard that ill-fated plane. We come to know their families. We feel the agony, anger, despair … and we applaud the courage. There is no soap-opera dialogue or phony Hollywood dramatics. And we see and experience what the madmen of this world, without conscience or compassion, have planned for those of us who do not come to embrace their beliefs.

Here is my point in all of this (if you’re still with me :) …

Shortly after seeing Flight 93, I heard Deena Burnett, the wife of Tom Burnett (who, along with, Todd Beamer, Jeremy Glick, Mark Bingham, and others, took it upon themselves to rush the cockpit), and author of Fighting Back: Living Beyond Ourselves, speak at Saint Mary’s College. She must have spoken for close to an hour. She is every bit as intelligent, eloquent, passionate, engaging, and humble as Todd Beamer’s wife, Lisa. And her account of the events of 9/11, as well as its effect on the families of those on board Flight 93, and its repercussions for our country, was mesmerizing. Every fact and recollection that she offered the audience was incredibly, and accurately, portrayed in Flight 93. I admire her immensely, as I do Lisa Beamer. And I applaud their courage, their faith, and their mission: (1) to awaken America to the importance of a knowledge of the nature of the enemy, (2) to underscore the need for preemption and preparedness, and (3) to remain strong in spite of our adversity.

After her talk, Mrs. Burnett was asked how often she speaks publicly. She responded that, with three young daughters who are her first priority, she limits her speaking engagements to only about four a year.

And yet, the room in which she spoke appeared to have a capacity of perhaps four hundred … and half of the seats were empty.

We cannot fault our government, our ivory-tower academics, and our media for all that ails us. Many of us disconnect from the events of 9/11, and don’t take them with us in our daily walk. We allow the powers that be to lull us into believing that the Duke Lacrosse rape case, or the continuing sagas of JonBenet Ramsey and Natalee Holloway, are somehow momentous events, more deserving of our attention than the daily atrocities perpetrated on innocents around the globe by madmen who grow more emboldened by our willingness to embrace programmed diversion and apathy.

Sometimes the most powerful truths can be found in the most simple of ideas: The winning of this war will depend entirely on whether we are more determined to preserve our liberty and sovereignty than they are determined to destroy them.

Doing the former will require not intermittent, but consistent, outrage and resolve. In order to maintain both, we must not allow the media to lull us into a sense of security, or allow ourselves to be diverted by bread-and-circus repetition of pointless drivel posing as news.

And we must not allow snake oil salesmen masquerading as public servants to preach their divisiveness, because they value the amassing of personal and ideological power more than they do the defeat of this historically unprecedented malevolence bent on the annihilation of the free world. A good segment of the American citizenry has been programmed to believe that 3,000 deaths on the battlefield during a three-year war is indicative of an un-winnable quagmire. I wonder how many among us are aware that, during the battle of the Somme in World War I, the British sacrificed more than 19,000 men in a single day.

We are allowing ourselves to be programmed into submission. We are being conditioned to be impatient, superficial and self-absorbed. And a people with the attention span of a field mouse, and the critical thinking ability of the same, doesn’t stand a prayer of defeating the most wicked force in the history of mankind.

At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide ... Abraham Lincoln

~ joanie

20 comments:

John Cooper said...

I had to turn off the TV today - I don't watch it much, but every time I turned it on today to check the news and weather, it always made me angry within a few seconds.

Seeing the faces of the good people that the Muslims killed made me angry at the perpetrators, and seeing the politicians on both sides wanting America to just knuckle under and submit made me even angrier.

Minuteman23 said...

You have an uncanny way of getting to the core of an issue Joanie, and making the reader connect dots that they might not otherwise connect. This is one of your best and I thank you.

B4Ranch said...

>>We are finding ourselves bombarded with 9/11 memorial tributes over these twenty-four hours, but I can’t help but wonder whether most of us are too often compartmentalizing the repercussions of that fateful day – not allowing them to penetrate and permeate our lives as deeply as they must, for us to have a strong enough grasp on the threat that we are facing.<<

As a man who has seen too many bodies that were torn and dismembered I don't criticize those who compartmentalize the horrors of life. I understand that the average person who has never been involved in combat or worked in emergency services doesn't know that the smell of a burnt body is a smell you never forget. The image implanted on your brain the first time you see a human being who is torn and dismembered gives you a shield so that the next one isn't quite so memorable.

These never forgotten scents and images that I carry in my brain are not the ones you can get from watching a news video or a television show. They are not something housewives need to do their duties as a Mom or a wife.

They certainly are not something that I wish for every American to have. What I do wish is that every American would become determined that they will never have to see them due to the will of a Muslim terrorist. That requires an alertness that 98% of the people don't currently have.

When I go into a restaurant or public building with my wife or daughters, I automatically look to see where the EXIT signs are. Those signs determine where I will accept seating for my family. If my preferred seating is not currently available, I don't mind waiting 20 minutes or so until it is.

For me this is now a natural instinct. I look for avenues of escape for my ladies because I don't want them to engage in fighting.

What I have asked them to do is to be on the lookout for important figures who might be targets.

Men and women who travel with body guards don't do this because they want the company. They do it because they have reason to fear of an attack. If such people come into a building I want to get my family out of there. I cannot think of any reason why my family should be anywhere close to someone who requires bodyguards.

If a group of towel wearing or nervous Muslims comes in I get out. There is so many different factions of these people that hate us and each other, I don't want to stay to watch their fight.

>>So why the media blackout? And, equally disturbing, why the media insistence on drumbeat repetitious reference to America’s warts?<<

The socialist 'communist' media also hate America. That is obvious to me. Perhaps the freedoms that we enjoy are too much for them to handle. I know they much prefer to live in an environment where individuals do not make independent decisions. They should have no fear. It won't be long before government will control everything. National ID cards, national medicine, national firearm registration, etc. are all on their way. Of course all of these are necessary for national security. Fear is much easier to push than independence and perhaps acceptable risks.

When the freedom loving generation, that's us, dies off in the next thirty years America will become a socialist nation.

We are allowing ourselves to be programmed into submission. We are being conditioned to be impatient, superficial and self-absorbed. And a people with the attention span of a field mouse, and the critical thinking ability of the same, doesn’t stand a prayer of defeating the most wicked force in the history of mankind.

Multiculturalism and the acceptance of diversity is a fact of life in our childrens minds now. The beliefs that five year old children in public schools need sex education should give you an idea of what's coming.

In my opinion, America will be defeated from within. The disease is growing stronger each day. The cure, revolution is not an acceptable one. (yet)

3timesalady said...

Well done!

daveburkett said...

And we must not allow snake oil salesmen masquerading as public servants to preach their divisiveness, because they value the amassing of personal and ideological power more than they do the defeat of this historically unprecedented malevolence bent on the annihilation of the free world. A good segment of the American citizenry has been programmed to believe that 3,000 deaths on the battlefield during a three-year war is indicative of an un-winnable quagmire. I wonder how many among us are aware that, during the battle of the Somme in World War I, the British sacrificed more than 19,000 men in a single day.

A powerful paragraph and an all around great column.

D_o'connor said...

I'm glad to hear there's a movie worthy of portraying what happened before the crash in Shanksville.

I'll be looking for it.

The American media gets more biased by the day and in these times that bias borders on treason.

Robmaroni said...

Joanie, have you read the book “The Man Who Warned America: The Life and Death of John O'Neill, the FBI's Embattled Counterterror Warrior”?

He’s the guy in “Flight 93” who was the head of security at the World Trade Center. He was a true American hero and hardly anybody’s ever heard of him.

Anonymous said...

Like Joanie said!

John Galt said...

I approve!

lori_gmeiner said...

You covered all the bases. Our survival as a free society will depend on the citizen much more than the politician.

John said...

Programmed into submission ... unto whom? Do you mean submission to "Islamofascists"? Or submission to American police state government?

Anonymous said...

B4ranch--

"As a man who has seen too many bodies that were torn and dismembered I don't criticize those who compartmentalize the horrors of life."

Turning a blind eye to what terrorists do because it's too hard to look at is the kind of thing that's going to cause us to lose this "war." Too many Americans would rather be ostriches than look the enemy in the eye.

sandra said...

Oriana Fallaci died at age 77 on September 15, 2006.

The New York TIMES, the Guardian (British), and the rest of news media trashed her thoroughly in their obituaries.

The Los Angeles Times obituary wrote of the "bigoted nature of her final essays on what she called the Muslim invasion of Europe and Islamic assault on Western values."

She had the nerve to write that islam was evil.

...................................

After interviewing Kissinger years ago she wrote that Kissinger was "an eel icier than ice."

daveburkett said...

Oriana Fallaci coined the term "Eurabia" and she was a courageous woman who never minced words. Her description of Kissinger is the best I've ever read.

R.I.P.

Sandra said...

http://www.sierratimes.com/06/09/16/70_60_239_6_58925.htm

The NY TIMES, which trashed Oriana Fallaci in its obituary of her,

is instructing its reporters on how to continue giving the muslim enemy US government secrets in the future:

the Times is now giving lessons to their reporters on how they can best "dispos[e] of story drafts and cut back on telephone and e-mail contact with sources—or use disposable cell phones for important calls." In addition, New York Times reporter David Barstow has recommended other subterfuges such as "altering Times expense-sheet forms so that a reporter does not have to list the names of sources who have been taken out for lunch or dinner." Barstow adds that even company e-mail should conveniently disappear in a short time in order to hinder any investigation of who might be leaking secrets to the Times staff. "There has been a conversation about changing our e-mail system so that e-mail is automatically deleted after 30 days unless you mark the e-mail for preservation," says Barstow.

robmaroni said...

Even if we weren't battling Muslim terrorists we'd have our hands full trying to keep this country afloat while the traitorous publishers and editors at the NY Times and their sister papers in all other major cities are trying so hard to sink us.

Anonymous said...

Robmaroni, you got that right.

Minuteman23 said...

Joanie, here's a great Brent Bozell column on media bias. It's worth your time reading:

http://www.mrc.org/BozellColumns/newscolumn/2006/col20060912.asp

LouBarakos said...

Re: Kissinger-----

Henry Kissinger’s accent has deepened ever since his Sammy-Glick days working for Nelson Rockefeller and training those Future Leaders of the World at Harvard Summer School (making his contacts, filling his Rolodex, spreading his fame, making his moves). He did all this no doubt to the chagrin of those who, purely in intellect but not in sammy-glickdom, were his clear superiors, such as Stanley Hoffmann (who alas came a cropper over Israel, and now over Islam --some who had taken his course "On War" thought he was Raymond Aron, and he turned out...not to be).

Kissinger never gave any sign of understanding Islam during his active career, before he began trading on government "service" to open Kissinger Associates and pocket a half-million a year from Bear Stearns. He is the kind of fellow whose "insights" and "understanding" are breathlessly reported by Barbara Walters ("well, Henry says this" and "Henry says that" to those on the other end of the telephone).


(http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/013141.php#more)

Danthemangottschall said...

Kissinger warns of possible "war of civilizations"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060913/en_afp/usattackseurope_060913155404

"We now know that we face the imperative of building a new world order or potential global catastrophe."

I vote “neither,” thank you.