For me, the 11th of September is the eighth anniversary of the day when 2,996 innocent people were murdered by terrorists. For the White House, yesterday was not the eighth anniversary of the worst tragedy to befall America since the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, but rather was the First Annual National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Want more information? Visit the new Web site, www.serve.gov.
That’s right: SERVE-dot-GOV. Last time I checked, wasn’t the government there to serve the people?
Don’t get me wrong — I’m not dismissing the value of true service to the community. The 11th of September, however, should be a day where we remember those we lost, recall what happened that day, understand why it happened, and remind ourselves of the lessons learned so that it does not happen again. Painting houses, recycling bottles, delivering food and cleaning up beaches are all noble efforts (so long as they’re not government-mandated), but they have absolutely nothing to do with what happened eight years ago yesterday. If you really feel compelled to help, cook some dinner and bring it to your local firehouse, check in on the widow of a fallen police officer, or organize a care package to send to troops overseas. If you really feel compelled to do something more than just gather around a television and reflect, make sure you bring your family together.
At the very least, we need one day out of the year where we are dealing with and learning from reality, one day to sober up and realize that there is evil out there, that there are people who awaken each morning from dreams of our destruction.
Perhaps that’s why the president’s new September 11 service initiative rubs me the wrong way. Perhaps it’s because it is just the latest example in a pattern of conduct which whitewashes what happened on that fateful day, which downplays the fanaticism which led to the events, which ignores the still-present threat on our doorstep, and which refuses to differentiate between the September 11, 2001 attacks as an act of war, and terrorism as a criminal matter. By God, this president has ordered terrorists to be released from prison, and CIA officials who put their necks on the line protecting this nation to be investigated and possibly prosecuted — he doesn’t get any benefit of the doubt that, somehow, his push for community service is anything but an attempt to pick away at the one day out of the year when the detente-at-all-costs approach to foreign policy championed by the Democratic Party is exposed for the dangerous game of Russian Roulette it truly is.
Case in point, just yesterday evening, soon after remembrance events came to a close in New York City, Washington and Shanksville, the White House released information that it has fundamentally shifted its foreign policy with regard to nuclear North Korea, agreeing to abandon hope for renewed six-party talks and instead engage in a one-on-one dialogue with Pyongyang. In other words, we’re now bending over backward to give credibility to a regime which, several times over the past few months alone, has threatened America with nuclear attack and has been caught proliferating nuclear materials. Last year, North Koreans were spotted at a nuclear facility in Syria bombed by the Israelis. And we’re talking to them.
It’s the overall pattern I don’t like, and its why the White House gets no allowance for miscommunication with regard to the idea that September 11 should be spent in service to the State. To me, such an initiative is as innocuous as the president’s apologies for American arrogance overseas, as his bow to the King of Saud, as his comparison with six million Jews killed in the Holocaust to the plight of a Palestinian people forced–oh no!–to wander the desert for 60 years in search of a homeland.
Just as respect and trust have to be earned, with regard to the president and his attitude toward policies foreign and domestic, so does perceived motive. Right now, he comes off as a man who blames America first for everything, and wants nothing more than the extermination of American exceptionalism.