SIDE-STEPPING THE "S" WORD
By Andy Weddington
Friday, 03 September 2010
"The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.” John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States
Today an uncharacteristically short, direct Commentary without any attempt to address all the angles simply because all the angles do not matter. Eggheads, pinheads, and talking heads may take exception but such is their business. Agreeing to disagree is still a freedom in America. Here goes...
If one opposes erecting anything mosque-flavored near Ground Zero the name-calling begins. There's the not-too-offensive "not enlightened," "insensitive," "intolerant," "ignorant," "arrogant," "nativist," and "over-reactive" for starters.
The more-than-offensive "bigot," "racist," and "redneck" easily rolls from the tongues and pens of the less polished; despite their actual, declared, or imagined pedigree.
Not quite two weeks ago "fearful" appeared in a syndicated Opinion piece. Interesting. It caught my attention. The following pertains.
As to your piece, "'Ground zero mosque' debate soars to new level" (The Desert Sun, Sunday, August 22, 2010), you, of course, are entitled to your opinion; however skewed. I voluntarily served nearly 30 years in uniform to protect that right--and would do it all again. And my wife is still on duty. But your closing question, "Have we become so fearful that we can't recognize that?" to the preceding sentence, "And as Mayor Michael Bloomberg eloquently stated: "We do not honor (the 9/11 dead) by denying the very constitutional rights they died protecting." is the wrong question. It's not about "fearful" nor "constitutional rights." It's about a country awakened and rightfully on-guard because our way of life, achieved through generations of great sacrifice and blood, is under assault by an enemy--a political ideology operating under the protective garb of religion. Whether you realize it or not or like it or not, that, madam, is the perception of God-fearing America. And, like it or not, perception is reality. So, your "fearful" query is not only presumptuous and insulting but wrong-headed.
The proper objective question is a simple one, "What has changed in America?"
Politicians talk too damn much; especially Mr. Obama. And so out of touch with the everyday citizen none of them know what the hell is going on nor what they are talking about. Fools hear and succumb to eloquence. The 2008 Presidential Election proof enough. But thinking folk listen. And things are going to change. Count on it.
A mosque--with minaret or not, no matter how cleverly camouflaged with "community center" lipstick, at or anywhere near Ground Zero? Think again.
Americans, thank you kindly, need not a lecture on constitutional rights nor a reminder about our founding principles and values. The thinking folk know bullsh-t when they see and hear it--a trait that dates back to our Founding Fathers; thinkers.
God Bless America!
A. F. Weddington
Colonel, U. S. Marines (Retired)
Trudy Rubin's words were bothersome. Her opinion either cleverly, ignorantly, or unknowingly based on a false assumption. Considering the stature of the author, I opted for cleverly thus the reply with a Lincolnesque approach to stay pointed, unemotional, objective and gentlemanly as possible. Anything less and the message ignored; lost.
Americans may not be phobic but are understandably concerned and suspicious of Muslims. For Americans, though a welcoming and open-hearted lot, now know to discard word and watch deed. Need there be any more basis than Islam's history of conquest and erecting shrines? In light of attacks on our way of life by Muslims--however characterized, efforts to expand existing mosques and erect new ones around the country, and a plan to erect a mosque under the guise of a "community center" anywhere near Ground Zero has sounded some alarms.
The Ground Zero effort is especially insulting and offensive, defies decency, and frankly reeks of a taunt--a provocation. So where does loyalty rest? Religion over country? In principle, that is not the American way.
It's complicated when a "religion," tied to a political ideology (determined to destroy America), has a tenant known as "taqiyya"--the practice of misleading or concealing one's faith when under threat as to ensure survival and foster propogation.
Is taqiyya a Trojan Horse of sorts? America's moats (oceans) and gates (land borders) have been breached. Arrests of Muslims (on our soil and world-wide) thereby preempting attacks and a Muslim (U. S. Army major) killing innocents aboard a military base in Texas irrefutable examples. And those incidents beyond the couple of handfuls of Muslims who lived amongst us, plotted and trained, then flew commercial airliners into the World Trade Center twin towers, the Pentagon, and, thanks to some brave passengers, failed in their attempt to strike the Capitol.
Is anyone foolish enough to believe the two Yemeni characters, whose travel originated in the U. S. earlier this week, detained by Dutch authorities for irregularities (reported timepieces and a cellphone along with a knife and box cutter taped to a bottle(s)) with checked bags did not know one another and their bags not some sort of test/dry run for a terrorist attack? Is anyone foolish enough to believe these two, freed without charges, are nothing more than an innoent, isolated pair and the circumstances surrounding their detention coincidental?
Is a Muslim a Muslim a Muslim? Fair or not it's a moot question. For can concerns and suspicions merely be explained as America astutely reflecting back on the "trust but verify" axiom followed by President Ronald Reagan? Of course; a logical and certainly wise posture.
One man's "not enlightened," "insensitive," "intolerant," "ignorant," "arrogant," "nativist," "over-reactive," "bigot," "racist," "redneck," and "fearful" is another man's "confidence," "determination," and "commitment to principle and value"--a clear contrast between presidents Obama (who America does not understand--1 of 4 believe him to be a Muslim) and Reagan (who America understood).
America's historical fault is she's a land of creative, hard-working, generous, and welcoming people too trusting for her own good and therefore injury-prone. Naivete is her nature--it's genetic. Coupled with naivete is poor memory--short and long-term--also a genetic malady. Our national genes are what they are--though periodically and presently under great stress they've shown a tendency to resist mutation. Darwin offered some insight as to what happens to living things that fail to mutate--to adapt.
Did 9/11 (2001) happen because, though we vowed not to, we forgot 12/7 (1941)?
Today, we're eight days shy of nine years. And it's taken two wars and due diligence inside our borders and across the globe to get us here. Yet others around the globe have suffered significant attacks and that will continue. Will we make it 60 years? Doubtful. Then, is it time to flood the airways with horrific 9/11 images and voices of survivors and devastated families to stir memories and make an impression on those who, in the day, were too young to understand what happened? Why not? How is it possible to never forget if you're never reminded (or taught) of what it is you're not to ever forget?
So what's the next date/time group for a lethal attack on America? Some are surprised it has not already happened. It's not for want of trying--schemers here and abroad have been interrupted; sometimes on the brink of executing their plan. Not if but when successful will a city or cities be destroyed? Will deaths mount to the tens and hundreds of thousands and maybe millions? And casualities surpass those numbers? At the hands of what enemy(s)--state, country, ideology; of which there are and will always be?
Are we prepared? Operationally? Logistically? Defensively? Offensively? Psychologically? It's been five years and New Orleans and the Gulf Coast have yet to fully recover from the devastating attack of Mother Nature's Katrina. The reasons are many but does that matter? What are the lessons learned? Pardon the digression but it's relevant--massive destruction is massive destruction.
The New York City mosque issue aside, there are more than a handful of woes of concern to Americans. Hundreds of thousands turning out for Glenn Beck's peaceful "Restoring Honor" gathering at the Lincoln Memorial on the mall in Washington, D.C. last weekend testament that the folk are watching, listening, thinking, not happy, and attempting to right their country. It's a sure bet there were hundreds of thousands more, if not millions even tens of millions, who could not physically make the journey but were present in spirit.
These are tenuous times with more questions than answers, but America's awake. That's the good news. There's no point dwelling on the bad news.
And so back to the beginning...
Is Ms. Rubin's "fearful," like all other descriptors (and then some) in the opening sentences, nothing more than poor camouflage--easily cracked encryption--for blunt contemptuous sentiments? Is she and all tolerant of a mosque-flavored project anywhere near sacred real estate thinking those opposed are "stupid"--that insulting "S" word? It sure seems to fit.
What Ms. Rubin et. al. may not truly appreciate is that Americans may occasionally do dumb things but, by and large, they are not completely dopey and hopelessly stupid. Not by a long shot. The gene pool has not, could not, have been compromised that much; at least not yet. But, fact is, we'll know for sure in little more than 60 days--come 02 November--if America is thinking.
This hurricane season forecasters are predicting a tsunami--coast to coast. We'll see.
One link to Ms. Rubin's Opinion: http://www.whittierdailynews.com/ci_15850949 If so inclined, write her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.