This year on 9/11 I thought I would let others do the the talking. I spent enough time this year fighting with conspiracy lunatics to say much more than I've already said on the topic. So instead, I have a few speeches and excerpts here that I thought were pertinent reading for so solemn a day. I highly recommend spending time reading the entire Netanyahu statement - what he said was dead-on in 2001 and is still just as relevant (if not more so with the looming Iranian catastrophe) today. And if you're looking for some inspiration (and don't feel like being depressed) skip to the end and watch the video of Bush's speech from the rubble of Ground Zero from September 14th, 2001.
But before we get to all that, as always here are today's most-read stories from cnn.com...and for the first time, the top trending twitter topics:
1. ACORN staff allegedly advise on prostitution
2. Women face trial for plot over cheating hubby
3. IAAF cautious over Semenya intersex claims
4. September 11 victims remembered
5. Death penalty sought in Sandra Cantu's death
6. Jessica Seinfeld wins plagiarism case
7. School district turns away 'illegal' students
8. British PM apologizes to gay code-breaker
9. Commentary: Where's Osama bin Laden?
10. Yale student disappears, police say
Number 4 and number 9 on cnn.com...as usual our country is more concerned with dreck and nonsense than reality. They're still out there you know.
1. Follow Friday
2. Sept 11
3. God Bless America
4. Facebook Lite
5. Coast Guard
9. NEW YORK
10. Potomac River
Looks like on Twitter it's 4 out of 10 topics and 2 more are related to panic spawned by a Coast Guard training exercise in Washington, DC. Why in the world would they run a training exercise in DC, right outside the Pentagon on 9/11?? WHY??? It's only been 8 years! If our own leadership is so callous as to schedule training maneuvers where there are reports over radios of "shots fired" by Coast Guard ships on this day...they obviously are not recognizing the gravity of the day.
If they themselves don't recognize the gravity of the day, how can we expect them to prosecute the war to set it straight?
I miss you guys:
Ain't that the truth...
Onto the speeches...
(bold added by me for emphasis)
The Bin-Laden Fatwas:
Terrorizing you, while you are carrying arms on our land, is a legitimate and morally demanded duty. It is a legitimate right well known to all humans and other creatures. Your example and our example is like a snake which entered into a house of a man and got killed by him. The coward is the one who lets you walk, while carrying arms, freely on his land and provides you with peace and security.
Those youths are different from your soldiers. Your problem will be how to convince your troops to fight, while our problem will be how to restrain our youths to wait for their turn in fighting and in operations. These youths are commendation and praiseworthy.
Excerpt from Bin-Laden's 1996 fatwa against the United States and Saudi Arabian government
Full text can be found here
All these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on God, his messenger, and Muslims. And ulema have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries. This was revealed by Imam Bin-Qadamah in "Al- Mughni," Imam al-Kisa'i in "Al-Bada'i," al-Qurtubi in his interpretation, and the shaykh of al-Islam in his books, where he said: "As for the fighting to repulse [an enemy], it is aimed at defending sanctity and religion, and it is a duty as agreed [by the ulema]. Nothing is more sacred than belief except repulsing an enemy who is attacking religion and life." On that basis, and in compliance with God's order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims:
The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, "and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together," and "fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God."
This is in addition to the words of Almighty God: "And why should ye not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? -- women and children, whose cry is: 'Our Lord, rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will help!'"
We -- with God's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.
Excerpt from Bin-Laden's 1998 fatwa against the United States and Israel
February 23, 1998
Full text can be found here
Burn in hell forever for doing this to us, you insane, psychopathic, racist, misogynistic, murdering, half-baked, 2nd-rate-embarrassment-to-real-evil-geniuses, lunatic! God damn you for bringing us to this point Osama.
Words from President Bush on 9/11:
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a difficult moment for America. I unfortunately will be going back to Washington after my remarks. Secretary Rod Paige and the lieutenant governor will take the podium and discuss education. I do want to thank the folks here at Booker Elementary School for their hospitality.
Today, we've had a national tragedy. Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country. I have spoken to the vice president, to the governor of New York, to the director of the FBI, and I've ordered that the full resources of the federal government go to help the victims and their families and to conduct a full-scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act. Terrorism against our nation will not stand.
And now, if you'd join me in a moment of silence.
(Moment of silence.)
May God bless the victims, their families and America. Thank you very much.
President Bush At Emma Booker Elementary School
September 11th, 2001
Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge -- huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong.
A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil -- the very worst of human nature -- and we responded with the best of America. With the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.
Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it's prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington D.C. to help with local rescue efforts. Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks. The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well.
The search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.
I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance. America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.
Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me.
This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.
Thank you. Good night. And God bless America.
President George W. Bush
9/11 Address to the Nation
September 11th, 2001
Too bad your successor doesn't seem to understand it as you did Mr. President. Wish you were still here...
Netanyahu's speech to the US House of Representatives:
The first and most crucial thing to understand is this: There is no international terrorism without the support of sovereign states. International terrorism simply cannot be sustained for long without the regimes that aid and abet it. Terrorists are not suspended in mid-air. They train, arm, and indoctrinate their killers from within safe havens on territory provided by terrorist states. Often these regimes provide the terrorists with intelligence, money, and operational assistance, dispatching them to serve as deadly proxies to wage a hidden war against more powerful enemies.
Here is what Arafat’s government controlled newspaper, Al Hayat Al Jadida, said on September 11, the very day of the suicide bombing of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon:
The suicide bombers of today are the noble successors of the Lebanese suicide bombers, who taught the U.S. Marines a tough lesson in [Lebanon]. These suicide bombers are the salt of the earth, the engines of history They are the most honorable people among us.
A simple rule prevails here: The success of terrorists in one part of the terror network emboldens terrorists throughout the network. This then is the Who. Now for the Why.
Though its separate parts may have local objectives and take part in local conflicts, the main motivation driving the terror network is an anti-Western hostility that seeks to achieve nothing less than a reversal of history. It seeks to roll back the West and install an extremist form of Islam as the dominant power in the world. It seeks to do this not by means of its own advancement and progress, but by destroying the enemy. This hatred is the product of a seething resentment that has simmered for centuries in certain parts of the Arab and Islamic world.
For them the mission was clear: The West had to be first pushed out of these areas. Pro-western Middle Eastern regimes were toppled in rapid succession, including in Iran. And Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy and its purest manifestation of Western progress and freedom, must be wiped off the face of the earth. Thus, the soldiers of militant Islam do not hate the West because of Israel, they hate Israel because of the West -- because they see it is an island of Western democratic values in a Moslem-Arab sea of despotism.
We have received a wake up call from hell. Now the question is simple: Do we rally to defeat this evil, while there is still time, or do we press a collective snooze button and go back to business as usual? The time for action is now. Today the terrorists have the will to destroy us, but they do not have the power. There is no doubt that we have the power to crush them. Now we must also show that we have the will to do just that. Once any part of the terror network acquires nuclear weapons, this equation will fundamentally change, and with it the course of human affairs. This is the historical imperative that now confronts all of us.
And now the third point: What do we about it? First, as President Bush said, we must make no distinction between the terrorists and the states that support them. It is not enough to root out the terrorists who committed this horrific act of war. We must dismantle the entire terrorist network. If any part of it remains intact, it will rebuild itself, and the specter of terrorism will reemerge and strike again. Bin Laden, for example, has shuttled over the last decade from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan to the Sudan and back again. So we must not leave any base intact. To achieve this goal we must first have moral clarity. We must fight terror wherever and whenever it appears. We must make all states play by the same rules. We must declare terrorism a crime against humanity, and we must consider the terrorists enemies of mankind, to be given no quarter and no consideration for their purported grievances.
This is the great mission that now stands before the free world. That mission must not be watered down to allow certain states to participate in the coalition that is now being organized. Rather, the coalition must be built around this mission. It may be that some will shy away from adopting such an uncompromising stance against terrorism. If some free states choose to remain on the sidelines, America must be prepared to march forward without them -- for there is no substitute for moral and strategic clarity.
I believe that if the United States stands on principle, all the democracies will eventually join the war on terrorism. The easy route may be tempting, but it will not win the day. On September eleventh, I, like everyone else, was glued to a television set watching the savagery that struck America. Yet amid the smoking ruins of the Twin Towers one could make out the Statue of Liberty holding high the torch of freedom. It is freedom’s flame that the terrorists sought to extinguish. But it is that same torch, so proudly held by the United States, that can lead the free world to crush the forces of terror and secure our tomorrow. It is within our power. Let us now make sure that it is within our will.
Excerpts from his statement to the U.S. Government Reform Committee
Delivered September 20, 2001
Full text can be found here
Too bad we didn't listen to you then Benjy.
President Bush: Thank you all. I want you all to know -- it [bullhorn] can't go any louder -- I want you all to know that American today, American today is on bended knee, in prayer for the people whose lives were lost here, for the workers who work here, for the families who mourn. The nation stands with the good people of New York City and New Jersey and Connecticut as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens
Rescue Worker: I can't hear you!
President Bush: I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people -- and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!
Rescue Workers: [Chanting] U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
President Bush: The nation -- The nation sends its love and compassion --
Rescue Worker: God bless America!
President Bush: -- to everybody who is here. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for makin' the nation proud, and may God bless America.
Rescue Workers: [Chanting] U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
President George W. Bush
Bullhorn Address to Ground Zero Rescue Workers
September 14th, 2001
I remember how I felt when I saw this moment for the first time. I actually felt like we were going to win this thing. AND WE STILL CAN. We just need the resolve and the leadership to do it.
Til next year...