Thursday, May 20, 2004

9/11 Families, Inc.

OK. I'm ready to say it, I cannot hold it back any longer. I have had it up to here with the "9/11 Families." Not all of them mind you, I'm tired of the ones that have formed a consortium of grief and self-pity. The ones that never miss a chance to flaunt their victimization on TV as though their sorrow and their loss is unprecedented in the history of mankind.

I'm tired of their insistence upon lashing out at Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, the FBI, The CIA and every other governmental agency as though the 9/11 attacks were some sort of administration policy. We all know who is responsible, and in constantly attacking the administration as the villains, we lose focus on the real villains.

I am tired of their constant money grubbing and demands for increasing levels of compensation. People die tragically and needlessly every day and receive no compensation whatsoever. People are killed in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on a regular basis at the hands of Muslim terrorists and receive no seven figure settlements. Certainly, in the U.S., such a thing is not so regular an occurrence, but the lesson of 9/11 is that we are no longer immune. The Victims Compensation Fund was designed to help, not to make the victims' families wealthy. Argument as to the "valuation" of each victim in terms of compensation is tacky in the extreme.

I am tired of their attempts to use the compassion of the American people as a political tool. The fact that their loved ones died in this horrible attack does not necessarily give their views more weight. I resent my empathy being cynically used as the implement of an agenda. I am tired of this small group of people portraying themselves as "The Voice" of the victims' families. They are not. They are but a small group of activists who have chosen to use their "victim" status as a megaphone.

Yesterday, "The 9/11 Families" chose to heckle Rudy Giuliani during the 9/11 Commission hearing or, shall I say inquisition:

"My son was murdered because of your incompetence!" shouted Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son died in the trade center. Seated three rows behind Giuliani, she jabbed her finger at the former mayor and waved a sign that read "Fiction" as he gave the city's emergency response a glowing review.

I feel sorry for these people, I really do, but this sort of thing is beyond the pale. Grief does not give one carte blanch to make outrageous statements and accusations. Certainly, I believe that had the FDNY and NYPD been able to anticipate the unthinkable events of 9/11, they would have done many things differently. The benefit of 3 1/2 years of hindsight should suggest how things might be improved in the future, but to use it as a blanket indictment of everyone involved from President Bush to Mayor Giuliani to the Fire and Police Chiefs in New York is a counterproductive witch hunt.

This was the human cost of Muslim hatred so ingrained that it outweighed the instinct to survival. These victims are dead, not due to faulty building codes, but due to faulty "theology" on the part of Islam. Their deaths are not a result of incompetence of American leaders, but rather incompetence on the part of Islamic leaders. They are dead, not because of a failure of communication between the FBI and the CIA, or between the FDNY and the NYPD but the successful communication of hatred and violence between Islamic clerics and the Muslim faithful.

We have met the enemy and it is most certainly not us!

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