Posts tagged ‘9/11’

September 7, 2011

9/11 Encyclopedia

by Vince Giordano

The New York Times Magazine put together an encyclopedia in response to this Sunday’s 10th anniversary of September 11th, 2001 and the attacks that day:

As this anniversary loomed, we found ourselves asking: With all we now know, how to begin to address the enormity of the event? Our solution was not to shrink from its scale but to embrace it.
September 2, 2011

White Whine of the Day

by Vince Giordano

Tags: ,
August 31, 2011

In Limbo At Gitmo

by Vince Giordano

If you are told that everyone in Guantanamo Bay’s U.S. prison is the same as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, read this story:

It is a strange population, the 171 men still left at Guantánamo. There is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and another two dozen hardened militants, who will never be released. This class of prisoner represents a small minority of the population. Then there are the others — about a hundred men, mostly Yemeni, who have been cleared to leave but have no place to go, as no country will take them. And there are another thirty-five or so like Noor. They are nameless, low-level operatives, or hapless men who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are the detritus of a decade-long war.

They can’t simply be released. That would be admitting that they aren’t as bad as the government once said they were. And most can’t be tried, either, because much of the evidence against them — if there is any — is too fraught, as it was gotten by torture, and would never have even been considered to be evidence in any American judicial proceeding before September 11, 2001. And no serious person would have ever argued for it as such.

April 28, 2011

Conspiracies the Left Believes

by Vince Giordano

I found it refreshing to see OTB remind us of 9/11 truthers (people who believe the U.S government did the attacks on 9/11) as there is an influx of birtherism surrounding Barack Obama. Both sides, after all, have their loony conspiracies. Money quote:

I think that this, along with a good deal of the birtherism we see in the GOP is a reflection of the fact that we now live in a political culture where people are likely to believe the absolute worst about their political opponents. We saw during the Reagan/Bush years when the left spun tails of conspiracies to fix the 1980 election, and during the Clinton Administration with the Vince Foster story and the allegations about Mena, Arkansas. I’m not sure if people actually believe these things, or if it’s just a reflection of the fact that they hate the other guys so much that they’re willing to ascribe the worst possible motives to them.

October 22, 2010

Patriotism For Your Day

by Vince Giordano

Foreign Policy describes the ridiculous amount of money America has spent (and made) on 9/11.

Tea Party garb?

October 1, 2010

No Love

by Vince Giordano

Above is the trailer to the movie 9500 Liberty. Michael Drane mentioned that I should look this movie up. The words, utter cruelty, and attitudes within that trailer have sunk into my gut like a sudden punch. Why do some people think God ordained a government to be so cruel, harsh, and inflexible towards “the orphans and widows in distress“?

September 29, 2010

“How To” with Iran and Human Rights

by Vince Giordano

A handbook was created for the Islamic nation whose leader not only denies the Holocaust ever happening but believes 9/11 was an inside job. PBS tracked Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s pernicious lies while recently in NYC for a UN General Assembly:

“Iran is the freest country in the world”:

This is while there are at least 800 political prisoners in Iran whose sole “offense” has been protesting the terrible state of the nation, at least 110 people have been killed since last year during demonstrations and in detention centers, at least two prominent supporters of the Green Movement have been assassinated, and at least eight people have been executed.

Obama reacts here.

September 11, 2010

“They went to save survivors, not raise taxes”

by Vince Giordano

Another notch against the House Republicans who claim to be from the “patriotic, we speak on behalf of all of those who died or risked their lives on 9/11” party. This leaves me without words.

September 11, 2010

Observing 9.11

by Vince Giordano

Algebra I. I was sitting in a circle of desks with my classmates Alex and Pete as we toyed with our TI-83 calculators. We most of time didn’t work much on our packets but pranked each others calculators, drew funny messages on each others desks, and threw pencils across the room. The life of a freshman.

Our teacher, Mr. H, came in to the classroom from his side office without saying a word and turned on the rear TV. He said nothing nor did he have to. We all directed our attention one by one to the TV. We looked up and saw one of the twin tours burning and smoking. The headlines seem now to be a blur. We all watched in awe. I don’t remember anyone saying anything. We then watched as the second place hit and then both of the buildings crashed down.

I don’t remember much of the rest of the day. We may of had a message from our principal over the PA system and I am sure some students left for the day to spend the rest of the chaotic day safely with their families.

I remember going to the Seven Dolors parish that night with my Dad. We went there to pray. We prayed for our country, for those helping out up in NYC, for those hurt in D.C., in Shanksville Pennsylvania, and those utterly in shock over what had just sent ripples through the Western world. I remember that night at the parish seeing and hearing helicopters and airplanes overhead. L-RD only knows what was going on up in the air.

Years from today, people will ask me and you where were you on 9/11. I think back to this experience of mine because as I see everything that has built up over the summer; from the NYC mosque proposal, proposed Koran burnings in Gainesville Florida, and religious extremism. Life is too short to get wrapped up in these ephemeral matters. 9 years ago today, we lost Muslims, Atheists, Jews, Christians, and thousands of others in three separate states. Life cannot continue to be minimized to the point of being spoken and muted over by fussing noise under the guise as news. Even Jay-Z said that this can’t be life.

It doesn’t seem like it has been 9 years since 9/11. It doesn’t seem that all of my high school years are gone, my undergrad time is done, and now I am married. I am an old soul, as is MJ, so our life both together and individually is ahead of our generation in some ways. These years have gone by and I have seen and felt myself grow in quantum leaps. It may sound ironic or paradoxical but as I have grown in my interest in current events and politics over the past 2 years, I have grown less tied down by them. Call it a bit of desensitization but I have a feeling history will continue to repeat itself. It seems we are on a tear towards having our history books substituted (or hijacked) by demagogic personalities on TV and radio directed towards ad hominen stances laced with vitriolic discourse and placated beliefs. I see that as more fuel for me to be a history teacher. But I digress.

I read up on a bunch of neat articles, blog posts, and similar musings related to 9/11 and wanted to blog on them. Alas, I will cut it short and leave you with some short style cuts. David Dunlap describes the new World Trade center in an interactive style, Andrew Sullivan laments over warring religious fundamentalism while providing an uplifting Monty Python clip related to the other Terry Jones (the Florida wackjobs German mission from God here). Arjun

Appadurai delves into the suffix “ism” in relation to religious fundamentalism, Marc Ambinder describes the roots of militant ideology towards the USA, and Lisa Borden beautifully asks what would Jesus do on 9/11?

I feel that no amount of blog posts or commentary can fully wrap up this day. It is an ecumenical moment in our melting pots history. Let us embrace the stories surrounding this day as a way of learning, growing together, and extending love in all directions possible.

August 28, 2010

Hyperbole Watch

by Vince Giordano

Don’t you love when unknown demagogic groups make nonsensical statements for millions of viewers to be washed over by?

When will the white Right accept that they do actually have partial blame for 9/11?

August 25, 2010

Quote of the Week

by Vince Giordano

“There is a great Spanish proverb: olvidar la injuria es la mejor venganza: to forget an insult is the greatest revenge”, Stephen Budiansky as he compared Londoners moving on after its demolition by the Nazi’s to him suggesting the USA move on with the mosque near Ground Zero after 9/11.

August 24, 2010

Insensitivities and Religious Discourse

by Vince Giordano

Stephen M. Walt at ForeignPolicy brings up an ironic note within the “discourse” over erecting the Mosque (community center with multiple different facilities included in it) near Ground Zero:

Critics of the proposal are aware that their views contradict the principle of religious tolerance on which the United States was founded, so they have fallen back on the idea that building the community center here is “insensitive” to the families who lost loved ones back in 2001. (Presumably it’s not “insensitive” that the same neighborhood contains strip clubs, bars, and all sorts of less-than sacred institutions). And notice the sleight-of-hand here: first, demogogues raise an uproar about a “Mosque at Ground Zero,” thereby generating a lot of public outcry, and then defend this bigotry by saying that they’re just trying to be “sensitive” to the objections they have helped to stir up.

You throw this together with the straw man group known ambiguously as the families related to 9/11 victims and you have some fallible arguments. Look for a longer essay from me soon on the psychology behind our exaggerations within prejudicial views. It will surely tie in to demagogic comments related to this.

August 23, 2010

Ted Olson on the Ground Zero Mosque

by Vince Giordano

Here you have a real example of someone who had a family member die on 9/11 and is speaking about their views on building a mosque near Ground Zero. As one person noted, this “straw man” group known as the “families related to those who died on 9/11” is an arbitrary group that has not been polled on this issue and is automatically assumed to of taken the stand against the mosque proposition. Money quote by Olson:

And that we don’t want to turn an act of hate against us by extremists into an act of intolerance for people of religious faith. And I don’t think it should be a political issue.

August 23, 2010

Giving Dialogue a Chance

by Vince Giordano

Glenn Greenwald sees the building of the mosque near Ground Zero as an opportunity to dissect the our feelings surrounding this debate:

My argument is simple. This center may be intended as a bridge or a healing gesture but it will not be perceived that way unless a dialogue with a real attempt to understand each other happens. That means the builders have to be willing to go beyond what is their right and be willing to talk about feelings whether the feelings are “justified” or not. No doubt the Republic will survive if this center is built on its current site or not. But I think this is a missed opportunity to try to have an open discussion about why this is a big deal, because it is a big deal to a lot of Americans who are not just right-wing politicians pushing the hate button again. I think those people need to be heard respectfully, whether they are right or whether they are wrong.

Of course it will be brought up that this debate can happen without building this mosque and crossing the line for many 9/11 families, et al. I just don’t see the debate ever coming about if we look at it that way. This mosque can stand on it’s mission of being a real life example of cooperation and moderation just a few blocks from one of religion’s biggest inflictions on mankind.  If the mosque doesn’t go through, which wouldn’t ruin my day, it will continue to provide opportunities to delve into the annals of religious bloodshed.

July 23, 2010

The Ground Zero Mosque…and Strip Club?

by Vince Giordano

Conor Friedersdorf bounces back the arguments condemning a mosque being built near Ground Zero:

You’ve probably heard about “The Ground Zero Mosque,” an Islamic community center planned in Lower Manhattan. But I bet you haven’t heard of The Ground Zero Strip Club.

As yet, I haven’t heard anyone wonder why our political class is silent as the sex industry operates on sacred ground. It would be a bizarre complaint: It’s Manhattan, where you can find anything mere blocks from a given location. The closest strip club to Ground Zero happens to be two blocks away, a fact that has nothing to do with our reverence for the place where so many Americans were killed by terrorists. As you’ve probably noticed, it doesn’t even make sense to call it The Ground Zero Strip Club.

But it makes no less sense than naming an Islamic community center “The Ground Zero Mosque”–as much of the media have done–because it’s going to be located a couple blocks away.

As an American in good standing, I’d like to be heard–and to make sure that James Madison, a colleague of mine in citizenship, is heard too. The fourth president of the U.S. once wrote, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It’s a line that National Republican Trust neglects to remember. Perhaps “the political class” isn’t doing anything to stop the construction of an Islamic community center because the Constitution forbids it.

Although Conor’s argument on the strip club is debatable, he makes good points later in the Forbes post about the wording often included in this: “they” declared war against us. “They”?

June 7, 2010

“Stop the Islamicization of America”

by Vince Giordano

Says Pamella Geller’s conservative group, regarding the possibility of a Muslim mosque being built by Ground Zero.

Why as of late do I continue to hear Tea Party groups and now this group fudge their attendance numbers?

Geller said the NYPD and security at the rally told her about 5,000 demonstrators were there. But NYPD spokesman Sgt. Kevin Hayes said the police department’s policy is to not provide crowd estimates and that he could not confirm Geller’s number.

CNN iReporter Julio Ortiz-Teissonniere, who attended the rally and sent photos to CNN, said the number was closer to 200-300 while he was there for the first 45 minutes of the event. All three said the protest was peaceful.

Geller continues on, asking if a center to remember jihadi wars would be built instead of the mosque. Would she consider a Christian soldier/militia center being built anytime soon, dedicated to not only the killings of the past but the continual pains brought onto others today through misinterpreting Old Testament texts, John 14:6, 1 Timothy 2:9-15, the “Rapture texts” (Ezekiel, Daniel, the epistles of John, and Revelations), and many others?

A few other money quotes:

Marvin Bethea, who was a paramedic at ground zero, said it [building a mosque near ground zero] was “the right thing to do.”

“I lost 16 friends down there. But Muslims also got killed on 9/11. It would be a good sign of faith that we’re not condemning all Muslims and that the Muslims who did this happened to be extremists,” he said. “As a black man, I know what it’s like to be discriminated against when you haven’t done anything.”

You will always have people like this, right?

Mark Williams of the conservative Tea Party Express reportedly said the mosque was for “the worship of the terrorists’ monkey-god.”