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Beyond contemptible

By Linda A. Prussen-Razzano
web posted September 13, 2001

Amongst the carnage that once was the World Trade Center, hundreds of stories are beginning to circulate about miraculous survivals, outstanding acts of bravery, and the tremendous generosity of spirit that can be New York City. Sources in New York have a hard time finding words to express their tremendous grief and suffering, their ever-increasing outrage, and how significantly this diabolical act of destruction has both shaken their foundation yet solidified their sense of purpose. Through stumbling conversations, broken snippets, and tears, the emotion flowing over the telephone lines is palpable.

Entrenched as I was for the last few days, waiting anxiously for phone calls from friends and family to confirm their survival, I paid scant attention to the talking heads and media pundits. While everyone within my immediate circle of concern is alive and accounted for, almost every single individual I talked to knows at least one person – or scores of people – who are not. The devastation is not limited to just a few cities, and just a few families of passengers hijacked on those four planes, it reaches the depth and breadth of the country.

There is no word monstrous enough to describe what the terrorists did; there is no word brutal enough to describe what I want America to do to them in return. In short, I want America to accurately identify the perpetrators, confirm which countries are aiding and abetting them, and then turn that country into a vast wasteland so immense and so desolate not even a cockroach can survive.

Interlaced with an almost overwhelming anger is a slowly bubbling feeling of contempt for many of America’s pundits. Within less than 24 hours, they were already taking pock-shots at our President and dancing on thousands of innocent graves for political talking points.

Chris Matthews, who can be witty and strikingly accurate, has sunk to a new low by continually questioning whether the President is ready for the task at hand. He actually had the complete lack of moral tact to call Tuesday’s crushing nightmare Bush’s "shot at greatness." Perhaps Matthews is mistaking the darkness around him for World Trade Center dust instead of the inside of his posterior. I will bet everything I own that President Bush would gladly trade his "shot at greatness" in exchange for a return of the lives and property so brutally taken from us 48 hours ago.

George W. BushEllis Henican of Newsday has the audacity to chastise President Bush for not immediately rushing back to the White House, even though Administration sources have now confirmed what many Americans suspected – the White House and the President, himself, were intended targets. Mr. Henican decries President Bush for "hiding" as the Secret Service jaunted him around the country, gathering facts aboard Air Force One; obviously Mr. Henican thought the President should simply paint a big red "X" on his chest and wait patiently like a sitting duck, instead of planning the actions of the country. H

Henican even criticized the President for not immediately rushing to New York, an incredulous complaint considering how the President’s mere presence there could have interrupted even a small portion of the desperately needed rescue efforts. As it is, his whining came a day too soon; carefully laid plans have been made for the President to view the destruction on Friday, without interrupting the rescue efforts.

What a dolt.

By all accounts, the award for the most despicable coverage goes to ABC’s Peter Jennings, whose sneering and demeaning attitude towards the President were overt enough to draw the ire of many viewers, Americans who were also listeners to WBAP’s talk radio. Numerous calls flooded the local talk shows, with angry listeners vowing never to watch Jennings again. The voices of contempt were loud and clear; average Americans will not tolerate indiscriminate bashing during a time of unbelievable crisis. I anticipate that ABC’s ratings will reflect this contempt, with even more viewers switching over to cable stations for their news.

The Wednesday morning quarterbacking is also a disgusting sideshow. People want to know why the hijacking victims didn’t so something against "idiots with box-cutters." Perhaps these self-proclaimed omnipotent souls should remember that the terrorists didn’t simply wield small blades - they killed people, injured people, and threatened passengers with bombs. Unless average citizens are trained to react in emergency situations or hostage situations, no one can say for sure how they would respond. They can only speculate, and such speculation has no place or time in the midst of such calamity.

Further, the heroes on United Airlines #93 made the choice to reclaim the plane after learning of the terrorists’ intent. This foreknowledge was gleaned from cell-phone calls to family members who conveyed the events preceding their hijacking. This foreknowledge was not available to the victims of the American Airlines planes. Had the American Airlines passengers conceived of such a horrific deed, instead of presuming they would be routed to some Arab country, they might have acted differently, too.

Finally, the almost cacophonic call for bombing to begin simply goes beyond the pale. The terrorists were firmly ensconced in America for almost two years before perpetrating the greatest terrorist attack in known history. There is a reason groups of people are suddenly being rounded up for "questioning," being detained for "interviews." The government may view these individuals as perceived, but unconfirmed, threats to the security of the United States. There is a reason Secretary Rumsfeld is calling for tighter controls on classified information. There is a reason why war has not been formally declared. We need to clamp down on the threats within our borders, secure the lines of communication for our enlisted personnel, lay our battle plans for sure and swift destruction, and prepare our troops for combat.

Do I want to nuke these monsters back to the Stone Age? Hell, yes. But I don’t want to start throwing our weight around and start spilling more American blood in a half-assed attack on the wrong nation. Further, while we are reducing them and everything they hold dear to rubble, I don’t want their operative cells running loose in our country, retaliating in kind.

Rage. Yes, I have rage to spare. I’m doing my level best to conserve it for those who deserve it most, but as idiocy like this begins to rise in both volume and presence, it’s hard to keep that goal in mind.

God bless the victims and their families, God bless the firefighters, policemen, doctors, emergency personnel, military personnel, and their families.

God bless America, please. In the days and weeks to come, we will surely need it. ESR

Linda Prussen-Razzano is an advisory board member and frequent contributor to Rightgrrl and a columnist for The American Partisan.

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