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Re: 11 September 2010

Over dinner tonight, Quilly and Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba discussed this ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and the various commentaries we had seen in the press and on the Internet, ostensibly in commemoration of the anniversary.

We decided that the commentaries could best be summed up with a single word.


Breathing threats and murder, for most of the 9/11 related blog posts that we saw, seemed to be the order of the day.

And in the news, we read of rallies by the self-proclaimed “church-going majority” that called for the overthrow of the present Government of these Untied States (“Impeach Obama!”) and its replacement by (naturally) themselves.

Of course, this is not the first time in history in which an economic downturn has caused a society to turn against itself, and for a segment of that society to call for a radical change. Sometimes, those radical changes have even taken place, and been celebrated by those church-going folk who made them happen.

As I look back on the great work that has been done during the past four years you will understand quite well that my first feeling is simply one of thankfulness to our Almighty God for having allowed me to bring this work to success. He has blessed our labors and has enabled our people to come through all the obstacles which encompassed them on their way.

         – Adolf Hitler, Speech before the Reichstag, 30 January 1937.

We have met the enemy, and he is us.

Lest we forget.


  1. We are the enemy? As in Americans? If that’s the case then I don’t know where in the hell I’ve been. The enemy is Al Qaeda if you ask me.

    1. Thom, once upon a time there was a nation divided against itself. Most of its wealth was in the hands of its elites, and those elites were squabbling with each other and with the poorer classes, who either resisted or shrank into apathy and ‘doing their own things’. A farsighted man railed against this fragmented society and its leaders, and warned of a foreign enemy that would overwhelm it if it did not set its own house in order. He was thrown in a well for his trouble. And in due course, the foreign enemy appeared at the gates, the fragmented society could not rally its resources in time …

      and, just as the prophet Jeremiah predicted, Judah and Jerusalem fell to the NeoBabylonians.

      The wheel turns, and the same spoke keeps popping up.

      See also this famous quotation from Abe Lincoln

      At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? — Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! — All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.
      At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

  2. Yes, Quilly, that is essentially the point and when hate is combined with power hunger, the irrationality and horrific occurrences that result are beyond belief. As having thousands of ancestors who died at the hand of Hitler, I shudder. As one who lives 1/2 hour from the Pentagon, that day touched too close for me to write about those losses of life and the horror in our schools, in our region, in our personal lives, in lives of neighbors- the chain reached too far. Despite such, I remain firm in my belief in the general goodness of humankind to override the sadistic mutations.

    1. Gel, Ambrose Bierce once wrote “In each human heart are a tiger, a pig, an ass and a nightingale“. The purpose of civilization is to keep the tiger from eating the nightingale, the pig from wallowing in its nest, and the ass from consuming too many chips and sitting on it.

      1. Hi Amoeba,
        I love quotes and especially when they’re used in discussions. (I also adore your blog name, bio major that I almost was, but Bierce aptly didn’t choose an amoeba for his philosophizing here.) Yes, civilization requires work, order (as in hierarchy as you quoted), and responsibility to prevent atrocities and chaos.
        Have you decided to guest host, at times, on Quilly’s blog and not at your own digs?

        1. Yes, Gel, I will be happy to help Quilly out when she needs a post here now and again, but my days of keeping my own blog are done.

  3. Well, I’d argue with calling for the President’s impeachment being the same as overthrowing the government. The government is what the constitution describes and contains a provision for impeachment.

    But, I agree with the basic point. We’ve given up a lot more fretting about Al Queda than Al Queda is likely to take from us.

    I already said this on Cooper’s blog, but I think I’ve done about all the never forgetting I’m about to.

    1. Dawg, the NSDAP called for the removal (including, I believe, the equivalent of impeachment proceedings) of various officials during its campaigns. All perfectly legal. The government was very effectively overthrown all the same. And there’s Hermann Goering’s famous quote:

      “… the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

      Let us be wary, lest the true colors of our demagogues turn out to be, not red, white, and blue, but red, white, and black.

      Harry Turtledove’s “Timeline 191” alternate history novels do a pretty thorough job of exploring Remembrance, American Style. It ain’t pretty.

  4. Let’s hope the world never sees another Hitler, The last one was bad enough. 1933 to 1945 with Six years of war in Europe September 1939 to May 1945 {with the war in the Pacific ending in September}.

    1. Bill, the point is that many good people didn’t see Hitler coming. Including Charles Lindbergh and his “America First” organization – a worrying parallel to today’s Limbaugh / Beck consortium. Lindbergh was shouting “Impeach Obama Roosevelt!” and chanting the praises of Hitler and Hitler’s Germany right up to 7 December 1941. We hear a lot about WWII Hitler these days, but we don’t hear a lot about pre-WWII Hitler, or about “America First”. Maybe we should be hearing more.

  5. I read the same kinds of articles/posts you did. Statements were made about “those people” inciting a superiority that is filled with unthinking hate.

    Hitler was able to kill 11 – 17 million people by making anyone he disliked ‘an other.’ The rhetoric spewed by so called God-fearing Americans about Muslims all being terrorists sounds exactly like Hitler accusing all Jews of the problems in Germany before the war.

  6. .
    I’m with you, Amoeba, The beginnings of the Peace Party sounded of pure anarchism. I don’t keep up with them anymore, only with S a r a . P a l i n. And not because I like her.
    Changed my mind, I believe I will do a daily Yahoo Alert on the T.P. also, starting today.

    1. Jim? What do you get when you cross a fairy-tale midget with the former governor of Alaska? Imp-palin’ …

  7. Great post. It’s a sad thing that people can look back at what hate did that day, and then choose more hate as their response — and of course everyone’s completely convinced that God is on their side of it all.


    RIP to the 3000.

    1. Susan, I’m convinced that God metaphors each exist to embody the society that creates it, and symbolize that society’s unity in the face of threats and opportunities, external and internal. So how can your God not be on your side? Thanks. And yes.

  8. Beautifully said. I have been deeply saddened by the tone of “discourse” in this country, the veiled racism, the hate speech. It baffles me. It saddens me. It scares me.

  9. I think all of the hostility to the Islamic Community Center is really asinine and unenlightened. It’s being opened by moderate Muslims who hope to become a part of the fiber of New York City. They hope to show that they are American. Critics, get over it!

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