Because I hate myself, I decided to read Michelle Malkin’s latest column. This one’s got all the Malkin trademarks: absurd hyperbole, nasty invective and bogus claims. Basically, Michelle is claming that the World Trade Center Memorial that’s under construction in New York is a “Blame America Monument.”
We all know how stupid this is, but it’s something we should pay attention to, because I guarantee Michelle’s column will spark a blaze of manufactured right-wing OUTRAGE!!!!! on FOX News (which will inevitably spill over to CNN and MSNBC). In fact, I can hear O’Reilly right now: “Why are you tax dollars paying for a monument that blames America for September 11th? Michelle Malkin’s here give us the details.”
So, take a deep breath and make sure you don’t have any sharp objects nearby, because we’re about to… *shudder*… read Michelle’s column:
Most Americans have not been paying attention to the bureaucratic wrangling and political jockeying that has plagued the construction of the World Trade Center Memorial at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. But it’s not just New Yorkers and developers and 9/11 families who should care.
A good portion of the project is federally subsidized. All of us have not only a financial stake, but also a moral stake, in protecting the honor of the victims? and the dignity of our country.
Absolutely. And that’s why I’m glad they rejected Michelle’s proposed exhibit, “Defending Liberty by Rounding Up Brown People.”
A Blame America Monument is not what we need or deserve. But it looks like one is already in the works.
In a startling op-ed printed in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Debra Burlingame exposed the “Great Ground Zero Heist.” Burlingame is on the board of directors of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the sister of Charles F. “Chic” Burlingame III, pilot of American Airlines fight 77, which terrorists crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11.
So Debra Burlingame, whose brother was killed on September 11th, doesn’t like the monument. But Freedom Center Vice-Chairwoman Paula Grant-Berry, who lost her husband on 9/11, has a different opinion:
Paula Grant Berry, the widow of a Sept. 11 victim and the vice chairwoman of the Freedom Center, said the terrorist attacks would be a springboard for the center’s meditations on freedom in the United States and abroad. “It will look at 9/11 in the way 9/11 affected the world,” she said.
But of course, the only 9/11 victims whose opinions matter are those who agree with Michelle.
She reports that the World Trade Center memorial will encompass a “cultural complex” whose primary tenant will be something called the “International Freedom Center.”
“Cultural?” “International?” Those sounds like faggy liberal words to me! What do other cultures know about freedom? Nothing! No culture is free unless the USA Freedom Shlong makes them free!!
According to an IFC fact sheet, the project “will be an integral part of humanity’s response to September 11.” An educational and cultural center will host exhibits, lectures, debates, and films “that will nurture a global conversation on freedom in our world today.” Tellingly though, as Burlingame notes, early plans for the center that included a large mural of an Iraqi voter were scratched in favor of a photograph of Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson when the designs went public.
Oh no! Not Martin Luther King! What the hell does he have to do with freedom?
But seriously, there are two reasons not to include the mural of the Iraqi voter:
1.) We still have no idea what’s going to happen in Iraq, and the whole situation could very well blow up in our face.
2.) Despite what Michelle tells you, the Iraq war isn’t exactly popular. The IFC planners were probably trying to avoid the controversy surrounding this divisive war (a strategy that obviously failed).
The center’s “civic engagement network” will connect visitors to “service” opportunities. Translation: Left-wing activist recruitment center. As the fact sheet notes, “leading NGOs (non governmental organizations) will be offered outposts at the Center to reach out to its visitors.”
On its face, the project may seem fairly unobjectionable enough (putting aside how far afield it all seems from the task of remembering the victims and heroes of 9/11) until, that is, you take a closer look at the chief movers and shakers behind the project.
Tom Bernstein, a deep-pocketed Hollywood financier and real estate mogul, is the primary driver behind the IFC. Bernstein’s longtime friendship and business partnership with Yale classmate George W. Bush gives cover to his radical activism as president of Human Rights First.
Because we all know that human rights and freedom just don’t mix.
The group opposed Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez over the administration’s preventive detention policies and has joined with the ACLU in mau-mauing the Pentagon over alleged prisoner abuse.
My God! A human rights group opposed Alberto Gonzales, the man who helped undermine American support for the Geneva Conventions! What were they thinking?
Among the many supposedly respectable scholars consulted on the project is Eric Foner. He’s the unhinged Columbia University professor who reacted to 9/11 by griping: “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.” The IFC’s list of scholars and advisors also includes left-leaning elites such as Henry Louis Gates at Harvard University; Stephen B. Heintz, IFC secretary and president of the Rockefeller Bros. Fund; Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute; and Michael Posner, Executive Director of Human Rights First.
Burlingame also reports that Anthony Romero, ACLU executive director, “is pushing IFC organizers for exhibits that showcase how civil liberties in this country have been curtailed since September 11.” Then there’s billionaire Bush-basher George Soros, who Burlingame reports is an early funder and supporter of the IFC and whose spirit infuses this grievance-mongering enterprise.
And everyone who hates President Bush also hates freedom, and has no right to build a tribute to the World Trade Center.
Incidentally, has Michelle provided one example of how the 9/11 Memorial is a “Blame America Monument?” So far, her only evidence is that many of the people on the IFC Board of Directors are pro-human rights and/or liberal professors.
Do we really want Ground Zero to be the playground of anti-war financiers, moral equivalence peddlers, and Guantanamo Bay alarmists? As Burlingame told me yesterday, “Ground Zero belongs to all the American people. If Ground Zero is lost, whether through negligence or malfeasance, it will be a loss that is felt for generations to come.”
Richard Tofel, IFC president, is minimizing dissenters. In a statement, he told me that “we understand that a few do not” agree with the project’s stated mission of promoting the “cause of freedom.” The question is not whether most Americans support a monument to freedom, but whether they will stand by while saboteurs convert it into The Ultimate Guilt Complex.
Well, that’s the end of the column, and Michelle didn’t provide one goddamn example of how the WTC Memorial is a “Blame America Monument.”
Since Michelle apparently flunked Freshman English and never learned to back up her arguments with evidence, let’s look at Deborah Burlingame’s editorial in the Wall Street Journal for answers:
The organizers of its principal tenant, the International Freedom Center (IFC), have stated that they intend to take us on “a journey through the history of freedom”–but do not be fooled into thinking that their idea of freedom is the same as that of those Marines. To the IFC’s organizers, it is not only history’s triumphs that illuminate, but also its failures. The public will have 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. This is a history all should know and learn, but dispensing it over the ashes of Ground Zero is like creating a Museum of Tolerance over the sunken graves of the USS Arizona.
Holy shit, we have a specific complaint!
Here’s the thing: I can see why Burlingame wants the 9/11 memorial to be more about, well, 9/11. But I also think it’s good for us to be reminded of some of the crappy things our species has done over the last few thousand years. And if you’re going to have a “journey through the history of freedom,” you’re going to have to deal with a lot of ugly crap, because human history is pretty goddamn ugly. Freedom only triumphs by overcoming oppression.
And despite what Ms. Internment USA tells you, American history is not free of said ugly crap. The fight for freedom didn’t end with the Founding Fathers- it included the struggle to abolish slavery, and the fights for women’s suffrage, labor rights and civil rights.
Later in her piece, Burlingame makes a complaint that, if accurate, I agree with:
The public will be confused at first, and then feel hoodwinked and betrayed. Where, they will ask, do we go to see the September 11 Memorial? The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation will have erected a building whose only connection to September 11 is a strained, intellectual one. While the IFC is getting 300,000 square feet of space to teach us how to think about liberty, the actual Memorial Center on the opposite corner of the site will get a meager 50,000 square feet to exhibit its 9/11 artifacts, all out of sight and underground. Most of the cherished objects which were salvaged from Ground Zero in those first traumatic months will never return to the site. There is simply no room.
If this is true, she’s right: while the “tribute to freedom” is wonderful, the 9/11 memorial should be first and foremost about 9/11. But since I haven’t seen the specific plans for the memorial, I can’t say whether Burlingame is right or wrong.
But as always, I can definitively say that Michelle Malkin is full of shit.
Sondra K eloquently sums up the stupidity: “Fuck you, Hillary!”
Funny, I don’t think either Michelle or the WSJ op-ed mentioned Hillary… oh well, I guess we can blame her for kicks anyway.
UPDATE II: And the circle kept a-jerkin’ all night long!
Powerline: “Burlingame explains how, through the efforts of American leftists, the World Trade Center memorial is set to become a didactic lecture on the meaning of liberty in a post-9/11 world that will include a healthy dose of America bashing.”
Sisu: “Contemptuous of everyday Americans’ ability to decide what’s best for themselves — and afraid to admit what they’re really up to — fire-and-brimstone lay preachers of the anti-American left are working furiously behind the scenes to rob Ground Zero of its genus loci (spirit of the place).”
Little Green Footballs: “Now radical leftists have hijacked the Ground Zero Memorial at the World Trade Center, to install a self-hating lecture on America?s sins and human rights failings.”
It’s only a matter of time before this is picked up by Hannity…