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A ‘National Day of Service’? Or a Political Hijacking of 9/11?

The White House pulls a crass political move that damages the non-partisan spirit of remembrance on September 11.

by
Donald Kent Douglas

Bio

August 26, 2009 - 12:09 am
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HR 1388 is, of course, the legislative tracking number for the Kennedy Serve America Act. The GIVE provisions authorize a “National Civilian Community Corps” that has been described as “a paramilitary force of volunteer brown shirts.” Plus, the homepage for the Hip Hop Caucus has posted an August 4 press release, “Obama Administration Officials Discuss Educating Communities On Emerging Opportunities in the Clean-Energy Economy”:

Members of President Obama’s Green Cabinet and the community engagement campaign, Green the Block, met in Washington today to discuss ways to ensure that opportunities from the new green economy are available to a broad cross section of the American people. In response to the president’s call to service through the United We Serve campaign, Green the Block also presented a birthday gift to President Obama in the form of a call to action for green community service projects in undeserved communities on September 11th, the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

One of those in attendance at the White House was none other than the “Reverend” Lennox Yearwood.

And note this: The chair of the Hip Hop Caucus Advisory Board is Representative Barbara Lee, who serves California’s 9th District (Oakland, Piedmont, and Berkeley, the most hard-line leftist congressional district in the United States). Ms. Lee currently chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, and she holds the notorious distinction of being the only member of Congress to vote against the Bush administration’s authorization of force following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001. Thus, it’d be hard to find a better advocate to “desecrate 9/11 for political advantage and flush 9/11 down the memory hole” than Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

At this point we need to recall the connection between the Obama-Democrats’ push to flush 9/11 and the decade-long campaign of applauding the 2001 attacks by standard-bearers of America’s anti-American left.

In 2003, a week after the start of the U.S. campaign to topple Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, Columbia University’s Nicholas DeGenova called for “a million Mogadishus” on American troops. Eric Foner, a nationally-renowned history professor at Columbia, claimed to repudiate DeGenova’s remarks, but in an essay following the September 11 attacks in 2001, Foner wrote, “I’m not sure which is more frightening: the horror that engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the White House.” And recall the disgraced Ward Churchill of the University of Colorado, who one day after the September 11 attacks said “the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers” deserved to die.

In 2005, Debra Burlingame wrote of the radical left’s takeover of the World Trade Center Memorial that had been scheduled for construction at Ground Zero. Burlingame, whose brother was piloting American Airlines fight 77 on 9/11, argued that visitors to the World Trade Center Memorial Cultural Complex will “come to see 9/11 but will be given a high-tech, multimedia tutorial about man’s inhumanity to man, from Native American genocide to the lynchings and cross-burnings of the Jim Crow South, from the Third Reich’s Final Solution to the Soviet gulags and beyond.” Burlingame argued that the organizers getting the keys to the memorial were “the very same people who consider the post-9/11 provisions of the Patriot Act more dangerous than the terrorists that they were enacted to apprehend.”

When placed in this context, it’s easy to see why the official organizers of the Obama administration’s National Day of Service view September 11 as a “Republican” day. The attacks of 9/11 clarified for all to see the battle lines of contemporary ideological polarization in the United States. For a brief time following September 11, the nation was energized in a moment of national purpose and common resolve. Polls found unprecedented majorities in favor of bringing America’s enemies to justice.

But within a year of the carnage, the platform of the Democratic Party emerged in near-complete opposition to GOP policies seeking to keep the country safe. From the Iraq war, to Guantanamo, to warrantless wiretapping, today’s left evinces no seriousness on the question of American national security. And in the election of Barack Obama in 2008 — a man who for years attended Sunday sermons with a pastor exhorting “God damn America” — the Democrats are now on the verge of deleting the historical memory of the nearly 3,000 who died on that bright, sunny morning.

That’s not a noble national service. It’s a cold, calculating national disgrace.

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Donald Kent Douglas is an associate professor of Political Science teaching in Southern California.
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