Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Observations on September 11th.

Normally on September 11th, I usually post several heart-felt quotes said about that tragic day and just leave it at that. But due to a few stories I saw on the news today, they made me wonder if perhaps I should break with that tradition this year.

For one, because of where I am in the world these days, I wasn't even finished getting ready for work this morning when the Moment of Silence traditionally tolled at 8:46 am so sadly I missed out on that. Also because of my "job", I didn't get a chance to watch any of the television coverage on the anniversary. My only access to the news during the day was during my lunch break on my computer and what exactly did I find on the net? Plenty, and that's not really a good thing.

First off, I find myself honestly missing the days when most of the articles on the news sites on this day were just talking about and generally memorializing that infamous day and instead the news sites are fully of the usual back-and-forth political crap and even some rather heated pieces; everything from pieces claiming President Bush had even more warning ahead of the 9/11 attacks than publicly known to articles seemingly pinning the deaths of many of the Seal Team 6 heroes a few months after taking out Osama bin Laden on President Obama's public praise of them. Now I am not saying these various articles don't have merit, just that on such a solemn day, I prefer a little piece and quiet from the media when it comes to politics you know?

On that same note, I read a rather disgusting bit of news that involves NBC news. Apparently for some strange reason that decided instead of breaking from their regularly scheduled program and observing a moment of silence, they instead continued an interview with a "star" of some idiotic reality show that half of America couldn't give have a rat's ass about...And then defended their decision by saying that they were having coverage of 9/11 all day which apparently, makes ignoring that very moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center perfectly O.K...Absolutely disgraceful.

Finally, there was the shocking (sort of) and disturbing news out of North African this afternoon. If you haven't seen the news, I'll give you the short version. Apparently, there is a movies being produced in California by an extreme anti-Muslim Egyptian christian, who is also promoting it on YouTube. In reaction to this, angry protesters marched on the US Embassy in Cairo, Egypt and managed to breach the walls, take down the American flags and raise black flags in their stead. Thankfully no one was hurt because the majority of the embassy staff was evacuated before hand because of possible threats (apparently well justified). Sadly, that was not necessarily the case at the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya where at least one American was shot dead and another wounded. Both actions were supposedly spawned by the two minute trailer for this anti-Muslim film on YouTube...(1)

And to top it off, the official reaction from the US Embassy in Cairo was as follows:

"The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others." - US Embassy Cairo, Egypt (2)

Now I don't really knock them for making the statements about religious tolerance but what is so shocking is the complete lack of mention about the actions of the "protesters". To some degree is understandable because the State Department runs all the embassies of the U.S. and as such they normally act as diplomatic as possible but they are also well within their rights to give Egypt's government hell for not protecting the embassy as is their responsibility under international law. Overall, their response was weak sounding and misguided.

So some 11th Anniversary of the attacks of 9/11 we had this year. Full of political discourse, idiotic media planning, and deadly attacks on US interests in North Africa. The only sense I can make of it all is this, there are some days that it's just best to turn off the television and leave the computer alone. On days like today, it's simply best to take a moment out of your day and say a prayer for all those who perished that faithful day and for the family/friends they left behind. Today should be a day when folks can put aside the political tribulations of the day and remember where they were that terrible day and never forget the sacrifices so many made that day.

I will however leave with one quote today so as to not completely break with tradition:

“Now, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend–even a friend whose name it never knew. “
- President George W. Bush, December 11, 2001

1.) http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/09/11/egyptian-protesters-scale-us-embassy-wall-in-cairo/
2.) http://egypt.usembassy.gov/pr091112.html

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