Never Forget

Many remember where they were and what they were doing on September 11, 2001 as they watched and heard the morbid and horrific events of this day, eight years ago.

Today, I present this posting as a multmedia remembrance to all those who died as innocent bystanders of the sheer, unadulterated evil of Islamic terrorism against the United States of America.



ShanksvilleAndFlight93 (go see the page):

The September 11 Attack on the Pentagon (go see the page):


RovingPatrol (this blogger created the video to show the world’s reaction to 9/11): (hour-long YouTube video “[d]edicated to the memory, honor and dignity of the Falling Man”):

The following is a PowerPoint collection of pictures via Dr. Lyle Rapacki of the Arizona office of Infragard, the private investigative contractor for the FBI (he received permission from an associate to display the pics):



Via, “Project 2996: Remembering the lost of 9/11:”

Eight years ago today at this very moment, the first of four hijacked planes hit the World Trade Center, setting off  a day of death and destruction and awakening America to the real threat of radical Islamist terrorism.  The individual victims often get forgotten in the enormity of the loss of 2,996 men, women and children, and perhaps there’s a reason for that.  The horror of each individual loss would likely overwhelm us if we thought about it all of the time, if we think about the deaths each of them endured, simply because they lived in America and murderous nutcases hated them for it.

On the eighth anniversary of 9/11, we need to remember each of the victims as people, and Project 2996 helps us do that.  Bloggers will write memorials today for each of the people lost on that terrible day.   I have the honor of remembering Cesar Garcia, 36 years old, who worked for Marsh & McLennan on the 96th floor of North Tower, WTC 1.  In fact, Cesar worked in the impact zone, where American Flight 11 hit the North Tower, and Cesar may have been one of the first tower casualties in a bloody day.  Marsh & McLennan lost 295 people that day, second only to Cantor Fitzgerald, which lost 658 employees. …

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Passenger: Todd Beamer:”

Sunday, October 28, 2001

As an adolescent, Todd Beamer defined himself by athletics. He excelled at Wheaton, Ill., Christian High School in baseball, basketball and soccer. And when his family moved to California before his senior year, Beamer used sports to make new friends. He also made the honor society.

He attended Fresno State University to play baseball, with an eye toward a professional career, but he soon realized that was not in his future. He returned home to Illinois to attend Wheaton College, a coed Christian school just northwest of Chicago. It was there, during a senior seminar class, that he first met his future wife.

Lisa Beamer knew who Todd was — a jock. But, she told her roommate, “sometimes people aren’t what you think they are.”

Their first date was Nov. 2, 1991; they had planned to mark the 10th anniversary of that date this year.

After he earned a master’s in business administration from DePaul University in Chicago, the couple married in 1994 and moved to Princeton, N.J., where Beamer began his career with Oracle Corp. selling systems applications and database software.

The couple taught the senior high school Sunday school class at Princeton Alliance Church for six years, and Beamer was a stalwart on the church softball team. He did not shy away from bowling over another player if it meant winning.

Last year, the couple moved to Cranbury, N.J., 15 miles from Trenton, and Beamer made sure the game room was a shrine to his beloved Chicago Cubs, Bulls and Bears. The furnishings included a Cubs pinball game.

Their two sons, ages 4 and 2, competed with each other to meet their dad first when he came home from work. Beamer often pulled into the driveway and let the boys climb inside with him to “drive” into the garage.

Beamer’s work forced him to travel up to four times a month, sometimes for as long as a week. He was good at his job, and was on his cell phone constantly. This year, he earned a five-day trip to Italy with his wife for being a top sales performer.

They returned home on Monday, Sept. 10, at 5 p.m. While Beamer could have left that night for a Tuesday business meeting in California, he wanted to spend time with his sons and his wife, who is due in January with their third child.

He left home at 6:15 a.m. the next morning, planning to return on a red-eye flight that night.


Todd and other passengers had been in communication with people via in-plane and cell phones and learned that the World Trade Center had been attacked using hijacked airplanes. Beamer tried to place a credit card call through a phone located on the back of a plane seat but was routed to a customer-service representative instead, who passed him on to supervisor Lisa Jefferson. Beamer reported that one passenger was killed and, later, that a flight attendant had told him the pilot and co-pilot had been forced from the cockpit and may have been wounded. He was also on the phone when the plane made its turn in a southeasterly direction, a move that had him briefly panicking. Later, he told the operator that some of the plane’s passengers were planning “jump on” the hijackers. According to Jefferson, Beamer’s last audible words were “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.” This term would later become the war cry for those fighting Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Though it was a widely-held belief that the passengers crashed the airliner in an attempt to save the lives of others on the ground, the 9/11 Commission’s findings (based on the “black box” cockpit recording) were that the passengers on Flight 93 did not cause the plane to crash intentionally. They burst into the cockpit and fought with the terrorists over the controls for the plane.

A post office in Cranbury, New Jersey, was named after him. There is also a high school (Todd Beamer High School) in Federal Way, WA, named after Beamer. Wheaton College also has a building named after him (the Todd M. Beamer Student Center). Beamer attended Los Gatos High School, Wheaton Academy, DePaul University, California State University, Fresno and Wheaton College.

[Todd Beamer was an account manager at Oracle Corp., and was 32 in 2001. He is surived by wife, Lisa; sons, David, 4, Drew, 2, and daughter Morgan Kay, born four months later]



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11 thoughts on “Never Forget”

  1. Phil says:
    September 12, 2009 at 10:50 am
    Black Lion,

    Why else do you think that radical Islamic terrorists don’t like America or Israel, for that matter? It’s actually both theological and political, in that they do not believe in the concept of freedom, liberty and individual rights.

    Phil, I agree with you 100% on that. They hate us because we are the great success story. We show the world that people of all backgrounds and faiths can live together in freedom. They hate us for that. And that is what makes me love our country.

  2. “Obama means to erase the meaning of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks from the American psyche and convert September 11 into a day of leftist self-congratulation, the advance of government power, and Muslim pandering.”

    911: The Desecration
    By Pamela Geller

    Add another Obama insult to injury on 9-11. First, he desecrated the memory of 9-11 with his planned proclamation of his mandatory civilian service on 9-11, which he has designated a “National Day of Service.” And now 9-11 has yet another title: State Department personnel are supposed to pray with Muslims on the newly declared “Interfaith Day of Service,” whatever that means on 9-11.

    September 11, which should be a somber day of mourning and reflection (on how the hell we got here), will be a day when Obama — in a celebratory mode — makes his big announcement. The whole thing is depraved. And yes, it really is mandatory. The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act – the GIVE Act – calls for a commission to study “whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed.”

    Meanwhile, an unclassified State Department “action request” encourages State officials to “consider organizing an Interfaith Day of Service in their host countries as a way to commemorate the anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.”

    It links this to Obama’s statement during his Cairo speech to the Muslim world in June:

    “Indeed, faith should bring us together. And that’s why we’re forging service projects in America to bring together Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Around the world, we can turn dialogue into interfaith service, so bridges between peoples lead to action — whether it is combating malaria in Africa, or promoting relief after a natural disaster.”

    The action request says that State Department “posts are encouraged to plan an Interfaith Day of Service to commemorate 9-11 that would send a message of goodwill, cooperation, and shared interest to their host countries and their religious communities.” But some of these commemorations will not be on 9-11 itself:

    “To accommodate posts in countries where Muslims may be observing Ramadan until/about September 19, posts are requested to plan an Interfaith Day of Service between September 11 and October 18, 2009.”

    Although it refers to other “faith communities,” Islam is the focus of the entire initiative. The action request asks State personnel to support mosques: “Organize a food-drive for the end of Ramadan with religious leaders and citizens in Muslim communities to donate to a local mosque or community…” And it directs State personnel to a handy “list of Ramadan 2009 outreach materials for Muslim communities.”

    Not only is State indulging in more Muslim outreach garbage, but this also raises religion (Islam) and state issues. The State Department is organizing donation drives for mosques?

    For his part, Obama said at his White House Ramadan dinner: “Islam, as we know, is part of America. Together we have a responsibility to foster engagement grounded in mutual interest and mutual respect.” He said that this was one of his “fundamental commitments as president both at home and abroad. That is central to the new beginning that I’ve sought between the United States and Muslims around the world and that is a commitment that we can renew once again during this holy season.”

    Why does the State Department have such a focus on “outreach” to Muslims at all – especially on 9-11?

    Why does Obama have the same focus? Did the ummah (the worldwide Muslim community) ever apologize for 911? Did the ummah apologize for the Madrid train bombings, the London bombings, the Mumbai bombings, the Bali bombings, the many homicide bombings in Israel, the jihad in Thailand, the slow Hezbollah takeover of Lebanon, the Darfur genocide, the Beslan massacre, or for any other jihad activity?

    How striking it is that at the same time, Obama would be seeking to prosecute CIA agents for keeping this country safe after the most heinous attack on American soil in the history of the United States. He will begin criminal proceedings to jail great patriotic Americans who worked to stop the next wave of 9-11 attacks on the world’s greatest nation. Obama will appoint a special prosecutor; Attorney General Eric Holder, his hatchet man, is on it.

    Obama means to erase the meaning of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks from the American psyche and convert September 11 into a day of leftist self-congratulation, the advance of government power, and Muslim pandering.

    We don’t stop bending over backwards to reach out to and accommodate an ideology that is intent upon destroying us. It’s insanity.

  3. Change you can believe in…

    Barack Hussein Obama: “We are 5 days from FUNDAMENTALLY transforming America”

    Amerika by Early November

    By Nancy Matthis and Austin Davis | Sunday, September 6th, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Our free system of government will collapse by early November. So says Russian Professor Igor Panarin, Doctor of Political Sciences, and Professor of the Russian Diplomatic “Academy Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” The Russians should know. They are the ones that, some fifty years ago, outlined the strategy for gradual communist takeover of the United States.

    Check the list and see if you notice anything familiar.


    1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.

    Obama Submits to the Iranian Mullahs:

    “My administration is now committed to diplomacy [appeasement] that addresses the full range of issues before us and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran [Mullahs] , and the international community [57 Islamic States]. This process will not be advanced by threats [except to American infidels who oppose allah and my benevolent administration]. We seek engagement [submission to Islam] that is honest [deceptive] and grounded in mutual respect [deception]…”

    2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.

    3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament by the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.

    4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.

    5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.

    6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.

    7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.

    8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushehev’s promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free election under supervision of the U.N.

    9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.

    10. Allow all soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.

    11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)

    Obama to Preside at UN Security Council

    12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.

    13. Do away with all loyalty oaths [by just ignoring them].

    Article II, Section 1, Clause 5: No person except a natural born citizen …shall be eligible to the office of President.

    Article VI: The Senators and Representatives …shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support [DEFEND] this Constitution.

    Article II, Section 1, Clause 8: Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.

    15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.

    Obama: We are 5 days from FUNDAMENTALly transforming America

    16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.

    17. Get control of schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers, associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

    18. Gain control of all …newspapers.

    19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.

    20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.

    21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

    22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.”

    23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. “Our plan is to promote ugliness,repulsive, meaningless art.”

    NEA enlisting artists to create pro government propaganda

    24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.

    25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography [ACORN Subsidized Prostitution] and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio and TV.

    26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity, as “normal, natural, healthy.”

    27. Infiltrate the churches and replace repealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a “religious crutch.”

    Muslims to Pray in D.C. for ‘Soul of America’

    Tens of thousands of Muslims plan to pray “for the soul of America” outside the U.S. Capitol [on September 25th]…

    28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”

    29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.

    30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.”

    31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the “big picture.” Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.

    32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture-education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

    33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.

    34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

    35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.

    36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.

    37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.

    38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand or treat.

    Obama’s Civilian National Security Force

    Obama: “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded [as the military].”

    39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

    40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

    41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.

    42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition: that students and special interest groups should rise up and use united force to solve economic, political or social problems.

    43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.

    44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.

    It took American subversives a long time to accomplish the gradual changes they needed to have in place, following Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and The Cloward-Piven Strategy. As they neared the moment of readiness, Barack Hussein Obama was groomed by his mentor, the American communist Frank Marshall Davis, to be “The One.” One clue: how many men do we know who write their memoirs when they are still young and haven’t yet accomplished much?

    When Obama campaigned for president, he knew what the big shadow machine backing him expected. Hear him speak at the University of Missouri in Columbia on Thursday, October 30th, five days before the election:

    Obama: We are 5 days from FUNDAMENTALly transforming America

    Consider what has happened in just the last seven months.

    * Obama quickly removed the census from the Department of Commerce and placed it under Rahm Emanuel in the White House. He appropriated millions to the socialist advocacy group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) to man the operation.

    * He has appointed 45 czars to date (two have already departed), most unvetted and unconfirmed by Congress. These authoritarians parallel the cabinet functions, which must be vetted by Congress.

    * He frightened Congress into passing a ridiculous spending bill, aka stimulus bill, that has plunged the United States into a downward spiral of debt and made us beholden to communist China.

    * He nationalized financial institutions.

    * He took over automobile companies, restructured their financial operations, and replaced their executives at will.

    * The Democrats in Congress introduced legislation for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to begin developing central internment centers within the continental United States.

    * The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an official publication profiling returning vets and politcal conservatives, among others, as “terrorists.”

    * The military began training a unit for civilian population control.

    * The Democrats in Congress moved to control all the water in the United States, every drop of it.

    * The Democrats in Congress moved to control all the food in the United States, not only mandating what every farmer may or may not do, but also controlling the seeds.

    * Obama is seeking control of the Internet, including the authority to shut it down in time of crisis.

    * The Democrats in Congress are currently seeking federal control for delivery of health care in the United States, including creation of a panel of bureaucrats who will decide who gets treated.

    * Obama is encouraging American citizens to inform on their friends and neighbors who criticize his health care program to the White House.

    * Obama has arrogantly used taxpayer money to pursue partisan objectives [ACORN Subsidized Prostitution].

    * The Democrats in Congress are trying to legislate mandatory national service for all young people, which would exclude Christian expression for the duration.

    * Obama’s Federal Communications Commission operative, Mark Lloyd, is currently seeking to seize control of radio broadcasts in the United States, with an eye to shutting down conservative talk radio. Lloyd has openly expressed his admiration for Hugo Chavez, who shut down radio stations in Venezuela that expressed dissent about his socialist programs.

    *Most recently, Obama bypassed elected school boards and school district superintendents to schedule a speech to all of the country’s school children, and issued lesson plans. This action is a violation of existing law, but if allowed to go unchallenged it establishes a precedent for direct federal control of education content.

    Now take a look at what George Potts Thompson of the Canada Free Press has to say, and decide whether you think his dire predictions are hyperbole!

    * Obama is Monetizing the US Debt (printing money and devalueing the dollar). The FDIC is BROKE and cannot cover a large number of bank failures, and 400 banks are set to fail. Commercial real estate loans are the next shoe to drop…

    * The US Treasury is broke and cannot “Bail Out” anymore US banks.

    * Obama has appointed dozens of unvetted and unaccountable “czars” [Van Jones], most with openly Totalitarian and Marxist worldviews—and ambitions….

    * These people [Barack Hussein Obama/Van Jones] are tyrants. These people [Barack Hussein Obama/Van Jones] are totalitarians. They plan the destruction of American liberty and its replacement with a Totalitarian Marxist / Fascist State like China. The execution of this is already underway, and fairly far along in its destruction….

    * Half of American’s savings evaporated in eight short months, and THAT was no accident. The “U6” unemployment number is 16% not that phoney 9.5% Obama is shoveling. In some states closer to 25%.

    * In Nazi Germany they nationalized the banks, the auto manufacturers, and the Health Care System was then overseen by ardent Nazi Eugenicists. Any of this template sound familiar? Obama is now going after not only CIA Case Officers via his AG Eric Holder, but Congressman Gerald Nadler (D-NY) wants Cheney and Bush personally investigated now for possible “War Crimes.”

    * Obama’s czars are a Government alongside the existing one. A Commissariate like in Soviet Russia. After some “Crisis” the old system will be eradicated under THE PATRIOT ACT, Martial law will be declared, and Obama’s CHANGE will now be upon us….

    God save America, land that I love…

  4. Benaiah says:
    September 11, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Sowing Crises

    The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East

    By Rashid Khalidi [Friend of Barack Hussein Obama]

    It is amazing that on a day that we should be remembering the people who lost their lives we turn it into something political. Democrats and Republicans, liberal and conservative, people of all races and religions lost their lives against and insidious and evil group of individuals. It was an event that united America and Americans.

    Sadly it has turned now into something partisan, which is dissappointing. I work right next to the World Trade Center and every day I look and reflect on what happened there.

    I know you want to tie our President to the writings of this guy. Which is your right. But you may want to remember that John McCain also had a relationship with that individual. So he could also be called “an associate of the Republican John McCain”. When we play politics of guilt by association, sometime we can be surprised by the result.

    “During the 1990s, while he served as chairman of the International Republican Institute (IRI), McCain distributed several grants to the Palestinian research center co-founded by Khalidi, including one worth half a million dollars.

    A 1998 tax filing for the McCain-led group shows a $448,873 grant to Khalidi’s Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank. (See grant number 5180, “West Bank: CPRS” on page 14 of this PDF.)

    The relationship extends back as far as 1993, when John McCain joined IRI as chairman in January. Foreign Affairs noted in September of that year that IRI had helped fund several extensive studies in Palestine run by Khalidi’s group, including over 30 public opinion polls and a study of “sociopolitical attitudes.””

    1. Black Lion,

      It is amazing that on a day that we should be remembering the people who lost their lives we turn it into something political.

      Why else do you think that radical Islamic terrorists don’t like America or Israel, for that matter? It’s actually both theological and political, in that they do not believe in the concept of freedom, liberty and individual rights.


  5. Good points made above about why 9/11 happened and what we need to do to insulate our country from another attack. I just wrote “Never Forget” on my Facebook wall, but I realized that some have not ever comprehended what happened or what we need to do about it. On this day I do not like to be political, but the fact that someone named “Hussein” can be elected by the people of this nation to be president and commander-in-chief is unthinkable to me because of this day. How did America do this to itself?

    Now we have 50,000 Muslims planning on saying their prayer on the steps of the Capitol in DC on September 25. We have a “president” saying that Islam has been important to the building of America, which it has not. We have a “president” who says that America is a majority Muslim country, which is preposterous. Last November, why DIDN’T we remember?

    Now we have a Muslim acting as president, releasing the very terrorists who have wrought such destruction and agony upon us. How could we possibly have done this, thinking that someone brought up in Indonesia as a Muslim with two foreign-oriented parents who had no love for America would have our best interests at heart?

    After the thousands of lives that have been lost, how could we have handed 300,000,000 lives over to a Muslim usurper?

  6. Since 9/11 we have been bombarded with the pithy phrase,


    but we have forgotten, because we allowed someone into the Whitehouse without demanding he prove he was eligible or even a US citizen…

    what we need to say is


    we need to recognize the causes of 9/11

    1) lack of boarder security
    2) lack of proactive training to respond to emergencies (you don’t hand over any means of transport because someone threatens you with a paper cutter)
    3) lack of verification of identities
    4) strong arming other nations to release terrorists, who repay us with attacking us (e.g. leader of 9/11 cell, check out who demanded his release…)
    5) lack of sense in congress to listen to qualified informants (e.g. Ollie North’s testimony before Al Gore, that Osama needed to be taken out, years ago..)
    6) Preferential treatment to keep doors open to nations which harbor agendas to conquer America and impose Shaira Law (e.g. Saudia Arabia)
    7) Lack of common sense to profile potential terrorits, which profiling would save billions of dollars, and billions of hours of delay for law abiding American citizens…

  7. America, it’s your own fault

    Sowing Crises

    The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East

    By Rashid Khalidi [Friend of Barack Hussein Obama]

    Beacon Press

    308 pp.; $17.13

    In Sowing Crises Rashid Khalidi argues that the Middle East is almost entirely hostage to American foreign policy and that its problems are due to Cold War rivalry which stunted its growth into a flourishing region of progressive democracies. For Khalidi “the Arab states… are no longer an actor of force, and are no longer subjects of their own history.” But he [Obama’s friend, Rashid Khalidi] sees a flicker of hope in the “vacuum left by the decline of American influence and the irresponsibility and destructiveness of the actions of the US in this region over at least eight years.”

    Such a radical interpretation of the present state of the Middle East, which blames most of its problems on others and sees its 300 million or more people as unaccountable for anything, might be dismissed as mere conjecture were it not for the fact that Khalidi was once close to President Barack Obama.

    Khalidi was born in New York in 1950 to a Palestinian Muslim father with Saudi citizenship and an American-born Christian mother of Lebanese origin. As an assistant professor at the American University of Beirut he was quoted as a spokesman for the PLO, a relationship he has since denied. Today he is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University and director of the Middle East Institute of its School of International and Public Affairs.

    A frequent writer on the Palestinians, he has also published on the origins of Arab nationalism and the role of the American “empire” in the Middle East.

    In writing Sowing Crises, Khalidi sets up a straw man in which there is a “relative paucity of new scholarly work on this vital area.” He claims that there was an “unacknowledged importance of the Middle East in the strategic calculations of the US and Soviet Union.” That would be news to Henry Kissinger.

    The region has absorbed more scholarly ink than any other in recent times. Sowing Crises argues that there is a “long-standing American policy of placing advantage for the US in the Cold War struggle with the USSR at the top of the Middle East agenda.” Should the US have attempted to be at a disadvantage?

    The book argues that the USSR’s penetration of the region was “defensive” in nature because the Soviet Union had “vulnerability along its southern frontiers.” Thus the Soviet support of Azeri and Kurdish insurgencies was really a “desire to push its defensive perimeter as far south as possible.”

    Oddly Khalidi doesn’t seem to accept Israel’s desire to have a defensive perimeter in the Golan, West Bank and Sinai.

    The tome exhibits an uncanny ability to never describe the actual events that precipitated things it seeks to highlight. Thus the deaths of more than 3,000 Americans are described [by Obama’s friend, Rashid Khalidi] as “the events of September 11.” When describing the Sabra and Shatilla massacre though, descriptive words come back to him in noting the massacre of “over two thousand unarmed Palestinian and Lebanese civilians.” Yet Khalidi neglects to mention the assassination of Lebanese president-elect Bashir Gemayel (killed along with 26 others at the Phalange headquarters) which preceded the massacre. Khalidi is equally forgetful in mentioning how the Lebanese civil war broke out in 1975. He recalls the “massacre… of 27 Palestinians” by Maronite Christians but forgets that earlier that day Palestinians had attempted to murder the Maronite leader Pierre Gemayel while he was attending church, killing four of his followers.

    Selective memory clouds the entirety of Sowing Crises. For instance we learn that “American policy separated Saudi Arabia from Egypt, its erstwhile ally in inter-Arab politics.” Could it be American policy that strained relations between the Saudis and the Egyptians or the fact that Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt bombed Saudi Arabia in 1963?

    Khalidi’s central argument that Middle Eastern democracy has been stymied by US policy is also the greatest canard in this polemic.

    The author notes that “the Middle East… has been an almost universally bleak desert as far as development of vibrant, full-fledged democratic systems is concerned.” Those who ascribe this to Islam are accused of being “borderline racists.”

    Khalidi’s evidence for the role of the US in undermining democracy is the fact that “by contrast, many areas of Latin America, East Asia, Southeast Asia… some parts of Africa… are today characterized by new and often thriving democracies.” But were not these also battlegrounds of the Cold War? Vietnam. Korea. The Congo. Nicaragua. This false litmus test seems to prove the opposite, American involvement, even support for dictators from Pinochet to Suharto in all these regions, didn’t seem to destroy democratic development.

    For Khalidi, however, it is never the fault of the locals themselves but the “European great powers” who “very rarely” used their influence to create democracy. Didn’t the British bequeath Iraq with a constitutional monarchy only to have it destroy itself time and again? The Islamic-inspired Iranian revolution initially included democracy-minded liberals until the ayatollahs had them all shot and imprisoned. The truth is that the Middle East’s desultory situation is almost entirely the fault of its own dictatorial regimes and extremists from Ba’athism to Islamism.

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