Turning 9/11 into State Worship
The 9/11 attacks are being corrupted into ideological propaganda to serve the nationalistic fervor so cherished by those who want to crowd out dissent and sober thinking. There are lots of reasons for it, but one of the consequences is that people are not able to have an accurate understanding of what happened that day.
Senator Chuck Schumer – among the most rabid, seething fiends in Congress – was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today grumbling self-righteously about how we lost the unity and brotherhood in Washington that prevailed after the attacks. We [Congress] “forged a solidarity and resolve within our government,” he wrote in Politico, that was “pragmatic and nonideological.” Now partisanship reigns, we a more divided than ever, and “too many in Congress think that paralysis will actually lead to success for them.” Congress “can’t get anything done.” Where is the unity, he asks?
The unity he so dramatically yearns for is actually called fear and conformity. The fear and conformity was almost fundamentalist in its deference to authority, its unquestioning obedience, its chest-beating rally cries for war. It was the basis for the swift passing of the PATRIOT Act, an assault on the first and fourth amendments. It was grounded in the authorization for the use of force in Iraq – a deadly war of aggression. “People came together in a whole lot of different ways”, Schumer said, “and in ways that, you know, made the country stronger and better.”
Chuck actually mentions these himself. He transparently pretends that he discarded his reservations for both actions for the sake of unity and togetherness. “During the Iraq war [he voted for it], many of us came to be very much opposed,” he said, “but we rooted for American to win.” This would translate, if his little story were true, which it isn’t, into abandoning your principles and beliefs to serve the directors of an unjust, criminal war. Oh, praise unity.
“Despite wishing the PATRIOT Act erred more on the side of civil liberties,” Chuck writes, “most Democrats pledged to improve the law over time, rather than scuttling it.” Again, same principle (or lack thereof). This is what we’re supposed to be longing for in government? Consensus for the sake of it? Jettisoning debate and dissent in favor of goose-stepping along towards tyranny?
There are two fundamental fallacies in what this jerk and his MSNBC sycophants moaned about this morning. First, that, as Chuck said, “it’s hard to imagine a time that our political system has been more dysfunctional.” Please. The history of American politics from Independence has bee one of shooting political foes, beating fellow representatives with canes inside the Chamber of Congress, libelous name-calling, etc. The second fallacy is that unity is at all a good thing.
This is a political ploy by Schumer to single out his war party colleagues and push through legislation his party wants with a guilt trip. Using the tragedy of 3,000 dead souls from 9/11 to do that is pathetic and serves only to perpetuate the lie that Americans somehow transcended the natural tendencies of mankind to join together and overcome blah, blah, blah. And then it gets taught in our schools.
These poor kids, too young to know what happened that day, too innocent to have already had their minds poisoned by the nationalistic Chuck-Schumer-BS about unity and patriotism, are being indoctrinated by our government-run schools to respond to a terrorist attack by rallying around the flag, singing the national anthem, country pride, and idolizing the rescuers instead of criticizing the imperial policies that motivated the attacks. 9/11 is fast becoming another historical event treated with thoughtless, uncritical nation-worship, instead of an opportunity to learn the truth about the horrors of our own governing authorities.
The kids are already forced to pledge allegiance to the flag. Which seems mundane to most Americans, until they see the original intended ritual for honoring the flag during the pledge, which was written by Francis Bellamy.
Yeah, it’s like that.
Update: The Washing Post’s Dana Priest was on NPR today talking about her Top Secret America series, which is a Frontline documentary and now a book. Her very first sentence illustrates perfectly the kind of trouble Schumer’s unity gets us into. Do listen.