Biden ruins a perfectly decent 9/11 speech
Listening to Joe Biden give a speech always makes me feel a bit nauseated, so I try to read his speeches. The White House website, which does a good job of preserving his every official utterance, allowed me to read his remarks on Sunday at the Pentagon's ceremony observing the 21st anniversary of the day al-Qaeda terrorists attacked America. It was almost a decent speech, right up until the end, when he dragged in political correctness and partisan politics — and that spoiled the whole thing.
Biden's speechwriters lack talent, and he is no orator. Nevertheless, three quarters of the "Remarks by President Biden at 9/11 Memorial Ceremony" struck the correct tone. He acknowledged the thousands of lives lost, reminded us that remembrance matters, said gracefully that "grief is the price we pay for love," praised the enduring character of the American people, acknowledged the Flight 93 passengers and first responders who gave so much, lauded the people who enlisted in the military to fight against terrorism, applauded himself for ordering Zawahiri's death, and promised that the government continues to work to prevent another terrorist attack. I don't have much faith in that last promise, but I sure hope it's true.
Image: Joe Biden. YouTube screen grab.
As I said, it was not a great speech, but it was a decent speech, paying homage to the terrible blow America suffered on September 11, 2001, and the continuing fallout from that day. Had Biden stopped there, I would have had to admit that he handled this 21st anniversary in a presidential, even a statesmanlike, manner.
But Biden couldn't stop there. Those of us who remember 9/11 also remember that the American people did not go on a screaming rampage against the Muslims in their midst. While Palestinians were celebrating the attack by dancing in the streets (something even Snopes admits is true), most Americans kept their focus on the killers themselves and on al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization.
It's true that there was an increase in hostility to Muslims, but the total number of attacks on Muslims in a nation of 330 million people was de minimis: 481 hate crimes in 2001, up from 28 in 2000. I am not condoning attacks on Muslims for the crimes of their coreligionists, a behavior that is every bit as evil as anti-Semitic attacks. (Jews, incidentally, are still on the receiving end of most religiously motivated hate crimes — 60% in 2019 compared to 13.2% against Muslims.) I'm just noting that Americans did not engage in an orgy of hate.
What did increase after 9/11, of course, was Americans' awareness of the fact that Islam is not a religion that plays well with others. They couldn't help but notice that it motivated myriad terrorist attacks, both large and small, around the world — but Americans still did not go to war with the Muslims in their communities.
You wouldn't know that, though, from Biden's speech:
To me, that's the greatest lesson of September 11. Not that we will never again face a setback, but that in a moment of great unity we also had to face down the worst impulses, fear, violence, recrimination directed against Muslim Americans, as well as Americans of Middle Eastern and South Asian heritage.
Having accused Americans of barely controlled anti-Muslim bias, Biden then concluded his speech by again insisting that the only thing that will save America is to stand against attacks on "democracy."
We have an obligation, a duty, a responsibility to defend, preserve, and protect our democracy, the very democracy that guarantees the rights and freedom that those terrorists on 9/11 sought to bury in the burning fire and smoke and ash.
It's not enough to stand up for democracy once a year or every now and then. It's something we have to do every single day.
I have no doubt we will do this. We will meet this significant responsibility. We'll secure our democracy together as one America, the United States of America.
Biden seems to have forgotten that we are not a democracy in America. The Founders despised democracy, believing (correctly) that it is a recipe for mob rule. Instead, we are a republic. But Biden's misunderstanding of the Constitution he swore to defend isn't the point.
Anybody listening to Democrats since January 6, 2021 understands what it means when they speak obsessively about attacks on and the need to defend "democracy": they're asserting that the real terrorists in America are those people who have asked for more inquiry into the election results that put Biden in the White House.
When Democrats challenged both George W. Bush's and Donald Trump's election victories, that was "democracy." Meanwhile, when Biden's election victory is challenged, that's an attack on democracy (an "insurrection," if you will). We know, therefore, what Biden was saying. His speech went from decent to being an insult to Americans. How typical for that nasty old man.