Terrorism

United Against Liberty

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Excellent rant from Gene Healy:

I, like Rudy Giuliani, was a 9/11 survivor. And I use that term in the sense that Giuliani does, which means I was sort of near stuff that was going on—across the Potomac from the Pentagon(!)—and I didn't cry, so therefore you should think of me as an American Hero and elect me president.

Anyway, I remember what I thought and how I felt. I felt sick and I felt angry and I felt anxious. But I never for a second thought that anything good was going to come out of this, and the idea that this would be a great unifying moment, a clarifying moment, a moment that would allow us all to fight the Great Patriotic War Against Medieval Retards in Caves without which our lives were vacant and shallow–well, I have to say, that idea never once occurred to me. And though I am generally self-righteous only about my utter lack of self-righteousness, I feel pretty goddamned self righteous that it didn't.

[…]

It's the idea that we're all better off engaged in a grand ideological crusade, collecting ration cards, saving bacon grease and scrap metal, and dutifully attending War on Terror bond rallies. We're all called to different tasks in this crusade. Some of us take point in Sadr City. Some of us cheer them on in the Weekly Standard. But they also serve who only sit and write op-eds.

The notion that our lives lack meaning unless the collective unites us all in service of a higher calling and that mass murder can provide that happy occasion is as old and atavistic as the first cave painting. It's also as natural, human, and evil as all the faults to which flesh is heir.

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  1. Ok, I’ll say it: Gene Healy is a terrorist.

  2. Great post. I don’t need an eternal enemy for my life to have meaning.

  3. No, no, no… Gene Healy hates freedom. Learn the lingo. 🙂

  4. One thing that impressed me about the American people (who don’t impress me that often) was the surprisingly few hate crimes after 9/11 against muslims/arabs/anyone wearing a turban.
    That particular bit of unity hasn’t lasted all that well.

  5. I think it simply is that a lot of people are collectivist. They want to identify and subsume themselves within a group, for various reasons such as belonging, purpose, and identification. When everyone seemed united–especially in a patriotic fashion–these types who are on the right felt that belonging, that welcoming group identity, that shared purpose, and liked it.

    Some on the left, such as Hitchens, did also, because he felt united in a fight against many things he hates, personified in the religion of the perceived enemy.

    I don’t need an eternal enemy for my life to have meaning.

    Many people feel much more comfortable with an enemy. Perpetual partisans on both the right and left are exactly this way–it lets them know where they stand, who their friends are, and who their enemies are. No thinking necessary.

  6. Giuliani is a fucking pig. I know his type all too well. Unfortunately, I was raised by one. (Read under the “About Me” heading.)

  7. Nate,

    A number of Sihks were killed in the wake of 9/11 as I recall. Which ought to say something about their attackers.

  8. a sihk was attacked in ozone park, queens, by a bunch of guidos a few months afterwards.

    but i will say the numbers were *far* lower than i feared after 9/11.

  9. Guiliani is like a laxative….

    It’s ok to take it now and then…but everyday will cause a very very very bad strain.

    I worked on the 38th floor of One WTC…I ran for my life the same day that Guiliani did.

    We were all so scared.

    Guiliani (and many people — americans and jews alike) have this “Let’s get tough” on terrorist attitude

    This Tough Guy attitude doesn’t seem to be working. Unless there is a NEW HOLICAST against the Muslims world-wide (which i clearly don’t condone)…I don’t see the problem going away.

    It’s easy for dick cheney, gwb, and others to have a tough attitude when they don’t have to ride the NY Subway system.

  10. The notion that our lives lack meaning unless the collective unites us all in service of a higher calling and that mass murder can provide that happy occasion[…]

    Is this about Giuliani or Mussolini?

  11. For practical guide to the behavior of the American masses, see Idiocracy http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/

  12. Is this about Giuliani or Mussolini?

    Both.

  13. Nate,
    You remember things different than I do. I remember there being a small rash of unprovoked attacks and vandalism. I’m not saying anyone was lynched in daylight. Maybe that’s your point, that it could have been worse.

  14. My point was it could have been a lot worse, and its getting worse rather than better which I don’t understand.

  15. YOU PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THE RUDY GIULIANI THAT THE URKOBOLD KNOWS. WHEN THE URKOBOLD WAS TRAPPED ON THE 81ST FLOOR OF TOWER NUMBER ONE, FEARING FOR HIS TROLLISH EXISTENCE, IT WAS RUDY WHO GRABBED HIM AND CARRIED HIM OUT ON HIS STRONG, HERCULEAN SHOULDERS. WITHOUT RUDY, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND NEW YORKERS WOULD’VE DIED THAT DAY.

    WEIBSKOBOLD! BRING THE URKOBOLD MORE OF THAT SPECIAL MEDICINE. OH, YEAH.

  16. Both.

    I shouldn’t have been surprised to see Christopher Hitchens in there as well, that crazy collectivist power-worshipper.

  17. I really thought Hitchens biographies of Paine and Jefferson were quite good. Its sad that hes gone off the deep end of war-mongering. Maybe its the booze.

  18. I challenge anyone in this BLOG…or in the whole world (for that matter) to explain to me EXACTLY what Rudy did on (and after 911) to make him America’s Mayor.

    I’m not being cynical or trollish…I JUST REALLY want to know

  19. In another thread, Tom Walls referred to America’s Mayor of 9/11? as Ghouliani. That’s just great–hadn’t seen that one before.

  20. Alice,

    He “was there”, helping NY stay alive! I mean, without him, there would be no NY left at all!!

  21. Wheres Eric Dondero?

  22. If you want something done right, gotta do it yourself:

    DONDEROOOOOO!

  23. GO ‘WAY! BATIN!!!!!!

    To a pic of the exploding twin towers, no doubt.

  24. Very good, compromised only by the unfortunate and ignorant slur on cave paintings, which are works of high art.

  25. BOOM! MONEY SHOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. a sihk was attacked in ozone park, queens, by a bunch of guidos a few months afterwards

    9/11 just made them change their usual target from blacks to turban-y looking people–it’s not like they weren’t going to attack someone.

  27. the idea that this would be a great unifying moment, a clarifying moment, a moment that would allow us all to fight the Great Patriotic War Against Medieval Retards in Caves without which our lives were vacant and shallow–well, I have to say, that idea never once occurred to me

    Oh, I saw that happening right away, as I was fleeing the neighborhood. Not as a good thing, of course, and most certainly not in Iraq.

  28. BOOM! MONEY SHOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My dear Moose, “Money shot”? Have you forgotten what day it is? Bad show, old boy, bad show.

  29. Natch.

  30. The notion that our lives lack meaning unless the collective unites us all in service of a higher calling and that mass murder can provide that happy occasion is as old and atavistic as the first cave painting.

    Almost all policital stripes, except that of libertarianism seems to want national, collective unity. Whether it’s the war on terror, the war on poverty, healthcare acces/quality/care, political engagement, you name it.

    Christ, I’ve been subjected to editorial commentary on NPR about how much better the country was when we had just a couple of media companies– thus forcing us all to engage collectively in daily issues of our time– contributing to our “national civic education”.

    This, of course, immediately followed by an editorial excoriating our current media conglomeration, and why just a couple of big media companies are bad– all without any sense of irony, or intellectual connective tissue to the previous editorial.

    PS: I thought “national civic education” was a class on Honda repair.

  31. simply cannot, cannot, cannot post this picture
    http://www.sharknet.net/pics/monkey2.jpg

    too much, even for this moose. do not look. For the love of all that’s holy, DO NOT LOOK!!!

    ARGH!

    Instead: Monkey Shot glass.

  32. Goddamnit, moose. You made me freakin’ look. Never, ever tell a man of questionable repute to not look.

  33. Nate: My impression is the reverse of yours–Balbir Singh Sodhi, an Indian Sikh businessman, was murdered by Frank Silva Roque in Mesa, Arizona on September 16, 2001. I’m not aware of any similar cases in the area since. Roque was given the death penalty, which was overturned by the Arizona Supreme Court in favor of life imprisonment.

  34. Never look into VM’s posts. It’s bad.

  35. “””I challenge anyone in this BLOG…or in the whole world (for that matter) to explain to me EXACTLY what Rudy did on (and after 911) to make him America’s Mayor.”””

    He was Mayor and a victim.

  36. EXACTLY what Rudy did on (and after 911) to make him America’s Mayor.

    He did nothing. Which, in the eyes of any real libertarian, means he’s worth serious consideration.

    In my world, the Maytag Repairman would be president, congress, and the po-po.

  37. I predicted a dark era of 10 to 20 years where the Constitution wouldn’t be worth the paper on which it was printed. What has surprised me is people talking about pre-911 America as no good or something not to be like. The post 9/11 America is strong, the Pre-9/11 America was weak. What idiots.

  38. I’d love it if the pre-9/11 America returned. I freaking miss it.

  39. I’d love it if the pre-9/11 America returned. I freaking miss it.

    yeah…

    *looks wistfully out the window while phone rings off the hook…*

  40. In fairness to Giuliani, and the discussions on what he did positive on 9/11, and on the issue of post 9/11 “backlash” violence, here’s backhanded but sincere praise from a surprising source, and for surprising reasons. The late Palestinan professor Edward Said in Counterpunch less than a week after wrote:

    “New Yorkers have been fortunate that Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a normally rebarbative and unpleasantly combative, even retrograde figure, has rapidly attained Churchillian status. Calmly, unsentimentally, and with extraordinary compassion, he has marshalled the city’s heroic police, fire and emergency services to admirable effect and, alas, with huge loss of life. Giuliani’s was the first voice of caution against panic and jingoistic attacks on the city’s large Arab and Muslim communities, the first to express the commonsense of anguish, the first to press everyone to try to resume life after the shattering blows.”

  41. Despite that, I think Gene is right about today’s political interpretation of 9/11 as cause around which to make one;s meaning.

  42. fight the Great Patriotic War Against Medieval Retards

    Hey, somebody besides me used the word “retards”! Where is the Wine Commonsewer?

  43. GO ‘WAY! BATIN!!!!!!

    To a pic of the exploding twin towers, no doubt.

    http://www.churchofeuthanasia.org/

  44. Alice Bowie:

    We’ll never know if Giuliani did anything special. What we do know is that his administration didn’t crumble and throw its metaphorical arms up in the air. I don’t particularly like the guy for Prez, and we could always play what-ifs about a different administration, but Rudy’s administration dealt with the problems. Mistakes were made etc., but I honestly think the only thing he did to be America’s super #1 hero is not crumble. This is not meant to be a glowing endorsement…

  45. The tone and subject of political rhetoric aside, I would say post- and pre-9/11 America are indistinguishable (now that all the flags have rotted/peeled off of everyone’s car).

  46. Hmmm, it’s evil to want to oppose great evil. I see…

    So, is it too late, then, to surrender to the Nazis, Imperial Japanese, or Communists? I suddenly feel terribly sullied by how we pulled together against them.

    What a retarded rant.

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