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Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Not learning what you are not taught
Through Instapundit, I found this very concise review of the 9/11 report by Dr. Walid Phares. Dr. Phares is a professor of Middle East Studies and a Terrorism Analyst. He effectively attacks the "lack of imagination" finding recently leveled by the 9/11 Commission. Read it.
My point - He does not go far enough. It was not just a failure of US society to acknowledge the threat of Islamic Extremist. We further embraced the fallacy that we caused Islamic Jihadist to attack the US for a multitude of reasons. Three movies: A Few God Men, The Siege, and Collateral Damage.
In "A Few Good Men", what caused the death of Private Santiago? Was it the maniacal command of the colonel, the religious fundamentalism of the lieutenant, OR the medical incompetence of the Navy physician. Think carefully. The officers in the Marine Corp unit were acting on the knowledge that Private Santiago was healthy having been completely examined by the Navy physician. What focus does the movie take? Why are the officers acting to secure the military mission of the US taken to task for doing their jobs (although not in a above-board manner) while the Navy physician who missed a diagnosis due to incompetence is given a pass? Do we just not want to have a Marine Corps? OR, should we heed the words of the colonel (you sleep at night because I do my job)?
In "The Siege", Islamic Terrorist are blowing up Manhattan. Yet, an FBI agent arrests a general for torturing a captured member of the terrorist cell. And the CIA agent (who is being played by the terrorist) attempts to have us feel sympathy for the terrorist because of some bungled secret operation. And just for extra punch, we get a sideline lecture on the evils of racial profiling.
In "Collateral Damage", the film production team changed the story. The original story was that the wife was killed by Islamic terrorist. The production team changed the storyline to Central American rebels due to pressure about the sensitivity of world events.
Yes, it is just three movies. But quickly point out the three movies that counterbalance these examples made in the same time period?
We intentionally did not want to confront the idea that some groups were at war with us. We actually allowed propaganda of counterfactuals to proliferate. We could not learn what we were not taught is half way to a fuller realization. Some of us knew who the enemy was but did our best to cover it up.
Sunday, July 25, 2004
Party Affiliation and Race
I must be psychic.
On July 14-15, I posted some thoughts on the changing race dynamics in the US (see posts "America and Race", "More on variations in race", and Update on America and Race" below). Well, I was watching C-Span2 earlier and William Buckley, Jr, was being interviewed (date July 15) and the topic of President Bush's refusal to speak at the NAACP convention was covered. Mr. Buckley (one of the great men of letters) had similar thoughts on the subject. I guess I channeled him when I posted earlier.
Well, the omnipresent Instapundit has article dealing with President Bush going on the offensive when addressing the Urban League recently.
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