Saturday, September 11, 2010

On Unity

It's appropriate for leaders to call for 'unity' in times where there's not much. As another 9/11 anniversary arrives it's hard not to consider our progress, or lack thereof, since the attack.

We've learned that just the threat to burn Qurans coming from an unknown holy roller preacher in Florida brings more media flack to his front yard than the entire membership in his church. They clearly sense the potential ratings bonanza of such a recruitment bonanza along with the ability to promote their usual narrative--why, did you know the preacher hails from the same town as Rush Limbaugh?

Preacher Jones' constitutionally protected future act triggered worldwide Interpol warnings, outrage from noted international bodies and got him a friendly visit from the FBI (to remind him of what the otherwise peaceful folk might do to him--no beer summits for preachers). He even got some attention from the Secretary of Defense, possibly on behalf of the big guy himself.

Meanwhile a majority also think a mosque planned two blocks from ground zero is needlessly provocative and insensitive to the families of the victims, despite the right to do it. The minority in favor tend to point in lecture style to the constitution above all, leaving the insinuation that anyone opposed is also opposed to the American way itself, in effect letting the terrorists win (despite the imam's reluctance to call certain terrorists terrorists). Or at least it seemed that way after listening to the president's Iftar dinner speech. After all, the place will have a pool and a basketball court.

Some in the press have actually noticed the dichotomy between the two stories.

ABC's Blotter recently interviewed the mother of another unlikely enemy combatant (look at his picture) about her son, apparently a very high value target. Here's how she explained her son's passion:
"The intention is to alarm America," she said, "to recognize that America has forgot about God Almighty and he is the one in rule and control."
Yet she believes Bush was responsible for the 9/11 attack. But in actuality, wasn't the reverend Jones also trying to wake people up?

And that's the way it is, this Saturday September 11th, 2010--a nation and world of dis-unity. As we squabble the man who planned the attack is still at Gitmo. Gitmo is still there. The man who blessed and inspired the attack still hasn't been sent to hell or anywhere else we know of. The Taliban who facilitated him have been defeated once but continue to send zombie legions out of Pakistan, a country less accessible than the dark side of the moon. Iran gets closer to a nuke every day.

Oddly, the man previously blamed for dividing America and enraging the world is no longer president. His Iraq 'diversion' has been declared officially closed. America subsequently and proudly elected a man with Muslim heritage, a Muslim-sounding name, and one even assumed to actually be a Muslim by 1/5th of the respondents in a recent poll. In spite of all this the global division is perhaps wider than ever--the German chancellor just gave a press freedom award to the Mohammad cartoonist as Obama was compelling the Quran burner to stand down.

But maybe the solution for re-unification is is as simple as capturing the man who caused all the division in the first place. Perhaps his capture--alive--is the best closure the world could hope for to complete the bridge and put this horrible chapter in history behind us. Author Lawrence Wright envisions such a thing:

What better way to show the world we aren't at war with Islam? Bin Laden's fatwas and plots have resulted in the deaths of many more Muslims than infidels so surely an international tour of courtrooms would finally allow the moderates to stand up and disavow extremism on live TV. One might think the Islamic countries would be the most in favor of such a display since it would be a teachable moment to show ignorant hillbilly American preachers about the true nature of Islam.

In America all but the most rabid nuts agree that bin Laden was responsible for 9/11 so it's hard to believe we couldn't get together on such a thing. KSM and his cohorts could then be hung, or even tried in court, without much fanfare.

That is, unless such displays would produce a recruitment bonanza for extremists. We must avoid that at ALL COSTS. Perhaps if he's caught it would be better to extradite him to the the Hague for a seventeen year trial, including requisite formal condemnations of American policy and calls for wealth spreading and a one-state solution for Israel, etc, etc. Who knows, by then the Freedom Tower might be near completion.

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