Denial on the Hudson: liberals and 9/11

The liberals now have a new cause: outrage that Republican voters and their President would consider that the 'Death of History' has risen from its grave. This coincides nicely with their previous sore point, outrage that voters in Jesusland believe one certain religious leader has done the same thing. How can intelligent people, they ask, believe that historical hatreds and Evil (with a capital "E," no less) could exist into the enlightened Twenty First Century? Surely President Bush is taking bad advice when he persists in believing that some problems can't be solved by having a multilateral summit meeting and starting a government program aid program.

My original reply was to ask how could liberals pretend that we weren't attacked on 9/11 or to ask if Europeans were so superior, then why did the great grandparents of liberals flee poverty and oppression in Europe, England, Ireland, etc., to come to the United States? Have they forgotten about the Gulags, the slaughter of millions of Ukrainian peasants, the Nazi slaughter of Jews and general death of over 22 million people in World War II?

I was going to make the central point of my argument things like my family's story. I speak as the son of Holocaust survivors who fled Communist Poland by hiking overnight thru the woods and faking an act as Greek refugees at the Soviet controlled border crossing, while only knowing 3 words of Greek. I was going to say how Arnold Schwartzenegger's speech at the Republican Convention of a young European's fears of Soviet oppression and his embracing of liberty as a young immigrant to the US spoke directly to me — and for me.

I was going to make the major supporting point a fact few in the press remember from the 1990s, how there was talk of a Homeport, a US Navy base on Staten Island — and people in New York were opposed to it greatly. How if a Navy ship with missiles had been on Staten Island on Sept. 11th, it could have shot down the first or at least second plane within a minute. How New York used to have an Air Force base at Westbury, L.I. and used to have missiles in either Floyd Bennett Field or Ft. Hamilton in Brooklyn to shoot down Soviet bombers, if they came. I was going to say how as a boy in New York, an older brother of a friend of mine worked at that missile installation as a US Army soldier. I was going to argue how New Yorkers thought they were too "sophisticated" to have a military base nearby like those "grubby Bible thumping rednecks" in Florida and South Carolina.

All of these are true. But they miss the central point of why liberals believe we must react as Europeans, albeit how Europeans reacted previous to the Van Gogh killing in Holland, something their press has called "Europe's 9/11."

The liberals want to believe, as John Kerry stated in his famous New York Times interview, that previous al Queda attacks in the 1990s were a mere "nuisance." That five people got killed in the 1993 World Trade Center attack, two embassies got blown up in Africa and seventeen sailors died on the USS Cole were not worthy of even a mention.

During the recent 2004 Presidential Campaign, someone parked a car in front of my house with a bumper sticker saying "Clinton Lied: Nobody Died." Yes, as in the phrase, "nobody who is anybody" is used in Manhattan. I'm not sure the surviving families of any of these previous attacks — or the families of the soldier dragged thru the streets of Mogadishu — would agree with that bumper sticker. But since those who actually did die are the people who would not get invited to a Tina Brown party, they are considered "nobodies" from the Bridge and Tunnel Crowd (people who commute to Manhattan to work) or Red State Rednecks who volunteered for the US military. You know, the type of people who would never be accepted by the co—op board selection committee of a New York Times editor's residence.

But the denial goes deeper, to middle class New Yorkers as well. I knew a liberal who had a close relative die in the Twin Towers who recently railed on about how Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, as if he didn't sponsor terrorism around the world. No connection, no strong feelings. Rubbish. Then again, I didn't follow them into the voting booth to see how they voted in their heart of hearts. Consider this: when people were called to jury duty in the case of Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, who was first charged in Queens County, New York City (where the plane landed), did the defendant's attorney ask if anyone lost loved ones on September 11, 2001? And, if so, did Reid's attorney dismiss them from the jury pool? Doesn't an intelligent attorney figure that people are moved by their emotions, not making such fine rational distinctions as one would make in writing a law school essay or New York Times op—ed piece? You bet he or she does. And it is based on their knowledge of human nature and years of court room experience.

I have been on jury duty and have seen people asked about and dismissed for having been victims of a crime in the past — and it was a New York judge who asked the perspective jurors this question to remove those with any partial feelings. How can judges (and defendants' attorneys) in New York courts assume every working day that a New York resident who is statistically 80% likely to have voted for John Kerry's position that Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack in New York City (and elsewhere) dismiss these people as being scarred by crimes they personally experienced? Is the judge and defense attorney merely protecting the defendant from the strong emotions of the 20% of New Yorkers who voted Republican — or are they both assuming that most normal people, including Democrat voters who were mugged in the past, will develop a negative attitude towards anyone with a similar charges against them? I strongly suspect they aren't just dismissing the likely Republicans and regular church attenders. So why is it that a person is assumed by New York City courts to make generalizations against all muggers if they were mugged but that same person generally refuses to make generalizations against all Arab regimes?

Wait a minute — I almost forgot. Before the US sent troops to Afghanistan, many New Yorker liberals were denouncing President Bush's plans to attack al Qaeda there as another Vietnam and "a racist attack." Then they are consistent. No, wait, again. That makes New York liberals consistent in their foreign policy views, but their foreign policy position is inconsistent with their views on domestic attacks, according to New York courts' juror dismissal practices. They were for generalizations in court cases before they were against them overseas.

Now I see why so many New Yorkers voted for John Kerry.

The author is not the former football star, Congressman, and Vice Presidential candidate of the same name.

The liberals now have a new cause: outrage that Republican voters and their President would consider that the 'Death of History' has risen from its grave. This coincides nicely with their previous sore point, outrage that voters in Jesusland believe one certain religious leader has done the same thing. How can intelligent people, they ask, believe that historical hatreds and Evil (with a capital "E," no less) could exist into the enlightened Twenty First Century? Surely President Bush is taking bad advice when he persists in believing that some problems can't be solved by having a multilateral summit meeting and starting a government program aid program.

My original reply was to ask how could liberals pretend that we weren't attacked on 9/11 or to ask if Europeans were so superior, then why did the great grandparents of liberals flee poverty and oppression in Europe, England, Ireland, etc., to come to the United States? Have they forgotten about the Gulags, the slaughter of millions of Ukrainian peasants, the Nazi slaughter of Jews and general death of over 22 million people in World War II?

I was going to make the central point of my argument things like my family's story. I speak as the son of Holocaust survivors who fled Communist Poland by hiking overnight thru the woods and faking an act as Greek refugees at the Soviet controlled border crossing, while only knowing 3 words of Greek. I was going to say how Arnold Schwartzenegger's speech at the Republican Convention of a young European's fears of Soviet oppression and his embracing of liberty as a young immigrant to the US spoke directly to me — and for me.

I was going to make the major supporting point a fact few in the press remember from the 1990s, how there was talk of a Homeport, a US Navy base on Staten Island — and people in New York were opposed to it greatly. How if a Navy ship with missiles had been on Staten Island on Sept. 11th, it could have shot down the first or at least second plane within a minute. How New York used to have an Air Force base at Westbury, L.I. and used to have missiles in either Floyd Bennett Field or Ft. Hamilton in Brooklyn to shoot down Soviet bombers, if they came. I was going to say how as a boy in New York, an older brother of a friend of mine worked at that missile installation as a US Army soldier. I was going to argue how New Yorkers thought they were too "sophisticated" to have a military base nearby like those "grubby Bible thumping rednecks" in Florida and South Carolina.

All of these are true. But they miss the central point of why liberals believe we must react as Europeans, albeit how Europeans reacted previous to the Van Gogh killing in Holland, something their press has called "Europe's 9/11."

The liberals want to believe, as John Kerry stated in his famous New York Times interview, that previous al Queda attacks in the 1990s were a mere "nuisance." That five people got killed in the 1993 World Trade Center attack, two embassies got blown up in Africa and seventeen sailors died on the USS Cole were not worthy of even a mention.

During the recent 2004 Presidential Campaign, someone parked a car in front of my house with a bumper sticker saying "Clinton Lied: Nobody Died." Yes, as in the phrase, "nobody who is anybody" is used in Manhattan. I'm not sure the surviving families of any of these previous attacks — or the families of the soldier dragged thru the streets of Mogadishu — would agree with that bumper sticker. But since those who actually did die are the people who would not get invited to a Tina Brown party, they are considered "nobodies" from the Bridge and Tunnel Crowd (people who commute to Manhattan to work) or Red State Rednecks who volunteered for the US military. You know, the type of people who would never be accepted by the co—op board selection committee of a New York Times editor's residence.

But the denial goes deeper, to middle class New Yorkers as well. I knew a liberal who had a close relative die in the Twin Towers who recently railed on about how Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, as if he didn't sponsor terrorism around the world. No connection, no strong feelings. Rubbish. Then again, I didn't follow them into the voting booth to see how they voted in their heart of hearts. Consider this: when people were called to jury duty in the case of Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, who was first charged in Queens County, New York City (where the plane landed), did the defendant's attorney ask if anyone lost loved ones on September 11, 2001? And, if so, did Reid's attorney dismiss them from the jury pool? Doesn't an intelligent attorney figure that people are moved by their emotions, not making such fine rational distinctions as one would make in writing a law school essay or New York Times op—ed piece? You bet he or she does. And it is based on their knowledge of human nature and years of court room experience.

I have been on jury duty and have seen people asked about and dismissed for having been victims of a crime in the past — and it was a New York judge who asked the perspective jurors this question to remove those with any partial feelings. How can judges (and defendants' attorneys) in New York courts assume every working day that a New York resident who is statistically 80% likely to have voted for John Kerry's position that Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack in New York City (and elsewhere) dismiss these people as being scarred by crimes they personally experienced? Is the judge and defense attorney merely protecting the defendant from the strong emotions of the 20% of New Yorkers who voted Republican — or are they both assuming that most normal people, including Democrat voters who were mugged in the past, will develop a negative attitude towards anyone with a similar charges against them? I strongly suspect they aren't just dismissing the likely Republicans and regular church attenders. So why is it that a person is assumed by New York City courts to make generalizations against all muggers if they were mugged but that same person generally refuses to make generalizations against all Arab regimes?

Wait a minute — I almost forgot. Before the US sent troops to Afghanistan, many New Yorker liberals were denouncing President Bush's plans to attack al Qaeda there as another Vietnam and "a racist attack." Then they are consistent. No, wait, again. That makes New York liberals consistent in their foreign policy views, but their foreign policy position is inconsistent with their views on domestic attacks, according to New York courts' juror dismissal practices. They were for generalizations in court cases before they were against them overseas.

Now I see why so many New Yorkers voted for John Kerry.

The author is not the former football star, Congressman, and Vice Presidential candidate of the same name.