As the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks approaches, President Obama is again pushing his “National Day of Service” in an effort to pervert the meaning of that terrible day for partisan political purposes.
In his weekly address on Aug. 27, Obama urged Americans to do volunteer work this Sept. 11, a day that the administration ought to officially call the “National Day of Ignoring Islamofascism.” The president said Americans should do something to serve their communities on that day “to honor the victims of 9/11 and to reaffirm the strength of our nation with acts of service and charity.”
In Minneapolis, volunteers will help restore a community center. In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, they’ll hammer shingles and lay floors to give families a new home. In Tallahassee, Florida, they’ll assemble care packages for our troops overseas and their families here at home. In Orange County, California, they’ll renovate homes for our veterans.
All this charitable behavior may be fine and good but at no time has anyone really explained why this National Day of Service has to be held – of all the 365 days in a year – on Sept. 11. There is already a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service every year run by the Corporation for National & Community Service, the same government agency responsible for coordinating the Sept. 11 day of service.
The way the new “National Day of Service and Remembrance” envisioned in the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act that the president signed into law on April 21, 2009 is being administered is all service and virtually no remembrance. This is deliberate.
At the signing ceremony, President Obama said nothing about 9/11, except in passing. He expressed hope that the generation of young people “that came of age amidst the horrors of 9/11 and [Hurricane] Katrina, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, an economic crisis without precedent,” would come forward and volunteer to work for “change.”
Obama urged volunteers to participate “in the work of remaking this nation.” He conflated his Saul Alinsky-inspired neo-communist agitation as a community organizer in Chicago more than 20 years earlier with actual community service that helps people.
All that’s required on your part is a willingness to make a difference. And that is, after all, the beauty of service. Anybody can do it. You don’t need to be a community organizer, or a senator, or a Kennedy or even a president to bring change to people’s lives.
So it’s official: 9/11 isn’t about the murder of 3,000 innocent Americans by Islamic fanatics. It’s about, in Obama’s words, “solving today’s most pressing challenges: clean energy, energy efficiency, health care, education, economic opportunity, veterans and military families.”
Obama’s desecration of 9/11 is part of an effort to dumb down the nation and turn the solemn annual commemoration of the Sept. 11, 2001 atrocities into a meaningless feel-good event that glosses over both the horrors of that day and the evil intentions of the Islamofascist barbarians who made them happen.
At the behest of his radical constituencies, the administration’s plans were outlined in an Aug. 11, 2009 White House-sponsored teleconference call run by Obama ally Rev. Lennox Yearwood, president of the Hip Hop Caucus.
As I reported two years ago in a three-partseries at American Spectator, on the call Yearwood and others said they wanted 9/11 to be used for something “positive,” “forward-leaning,” and “productive.” Their plan was to turn what they called a “day of fear” that they say helps Republicans into a day of activism that would help the Left.
A coalition of about 60 far-left, environmentalist, labor, and corporate shakedown groups participated in the call. Groups on the call included: ACORN, Color of Change, AFL-CIO, Apollo Alliance, Friends of the Earth, National Wildlife Federation, Jesse Jackson’s RainbowPUSH Coalition, Urban League, and Young Democrats of America.
“When you criticize them, they are prepared to say, ‘Did you want 9/11 to be another day of selling mattresses, like Presidents Day?’” the source said. “They are truly trying to change the American mindset.”
On Aug. 4, 2009, Obama’s then-green jobs “czar” Van Jones, a 9/11 “truther” and self-described “communist,” appeared in a 33-minute video posted on the official blog of the White House. The National Day of Service will be a great opportunity “for people to connect, to find other people in your peer group who are also passionate about repowering America but also greening up America and cleaning up America,” he said.
That same day Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan participated in a press conference with Yearwood. He said the National Day of Service will be “the first milestone” of a larger effort called Green the Block that “wants to see access and opportunity created for all Americans, to build prosperity and a healthier planet for future generations.” Yearwood has since been the subject of a fawning documentary, “Hip Hop Rev,” on Discovery Network’s Planet Green channel. (I was interviewed on camera for the movie but I must have been too critical of Yearwood because that footage didn’t make it into the final cut.)
For this upcoming Sept. 11 President Obama is going easy on the green propaganda, but he’s still hard at work trying to suck the meaning out of 9/11.
The White House has even ordered officials to “minimize references to Al Qaeda.” A set of talking points obtained by the New York Times instructs officials to emphasize that even though terrorists affiliated with the late Osama bin Laden’s network “still have the ability to inflict harm,” Al Qaeda and its followers “have become increasingly irrelevant.” This news will probably come as a bit of a surprise to our troops fighting in Afghanistan
In all this Obama is doing the bidding of the Left. For a decade leftists have seethed over the 9/11 attacks because they took place on the watch of a Republican president and in their view allowed the GOP to portray Democrats –quite correctly— as weak on national defense-related issues for the remainder of George W. Bush’s term of office. They view Sept. 11 as a “Republican” day because it focuses the public on supposedly “Republican” issues such as patriotism, national security, and terrorism.
Progressive bomb thrower Keith Olbermann summed up this ugly perspective the week after the Republican Party convention in 2008. He said “9/11 has become a brand name. A Republican campaign slogan. Propaganda of the lowest form.”
The Left still bitterly clings to this self-serving narrative. After being booted off MSNBC, a few days ago Olbermann-in-exile invited Markos Moulitsas onto his new show on Al Gore’s Current TV. Moulitsas, founder of the anti-American group blog Daily Kos, claimed that Republicans and President Bush cynically latched onto 9/11 for partisan purposes. “The fact that 3,000 people died is incidental to them. They don’t care about that. What was there was a political opportunity and he took it.”
In the eyes of the Left, President Obama would never do such a cynical thing.
Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative reporter and the author of the recently published book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."