Let’s stomp and scream and shake our fists — while, once again, completely missing the point — as the battle rages over construction of the Ground Zero mosque.
Forget, for a moment, that members of the true Muslim faith have condemned terrorism, that those responsible for 9/11 were Islamic radicals with sick, twisted minds, same as “our” own Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh.
Set aside, for just a minute, the unassailable Bill of Rights. (Trust me: I’m as uncomfortable as you are with putting this powder keg atop what we consider hallowed land. But I also know that I can’t have my Constitution and ignore it, too. It’s a bitter pill, for sure.)
Instead, consider this:
We’re a few weeks shy of the ninth anniversary of Al Qaeda’s destruction of the World Trade Center. And the only plan to replace the hole in the ground that has gained any genuine traction is — of all things — a mosque.
And why is that?
Start with George Pataki, a shameless imbecile who should remain in obscurity, never daring to show his face again.
Consider the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, run by politicians and political operatives who — by virtue of the agency’s quasi-public status — answer to no one.
And admit that no one with actual administrative juice — from Bush to Bloomberg to Obama — heeded the will of the American people to step up, be a statesmen, and make something happen.
Would Abraham Lincoln let such a travesty go on for more than even a few months? How about FDR? Even that infamous whackjob, LBJ, would have theatened to send a passel of good ol’ boys to start piling bricks the day after the site was cleared unless someone came up with a better plan.
Can’t you just hear Ronald Reagan, firm but sonorous: “Governor Pataki: Put up a building.”
But no. They dithered. They jerked around — and got jerked around — as one Bozo idea after another was carefully built in miniature, the squinting architects getting every fraction of a line straight with their tiny paint brushes. Each model was then set on a table, just so we could scratch our heads and say, “Huh?”
Is anyone raising holy hell over what the people who represent us didn’t do? Or are we once again finding a more convenient target for our rage, as the clock ticks steadily toward an ignominious 10-year anniversary?
Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11. End of story on that question. So who did we literally stomp into the ground, paying for it in the lives of sons and daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers who fought valiantly for us?
If this is all beginning to feel like a sick joke, that’s cause it is.
As Richard L. Stein, former editor and publisher of The Riverdale Press , reminds us in the recent issue of The Jewish Star : It was 366 years ago that Peter Stuyvesant, governor of what was then New Netherland, wrote to the directors of the Dutch West India Company from his desk, barely a 10-minute walk from Ground Zero:
“The Jews who have arrived would nearly all like to remain here, but learning that they (with their customary usury and deceitful trading with the Christians) were very repugnant… we have… deemed it useful to require them in a friendly way to depart, praying… that the deceitful race – such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ – be not allowed to further infect and trouble this new colony…”
We start tolerating “them,” Stuyvesant warned, and before you know it, others looking to practice their personal faiths will double-time it to this great land of ours — a country founded by, if you’ll pardon the term, ex-pats themselves.
The directors, who wouldn’t have been in business without their Jewish investors, refused:
“The consent given to the Jews to go to New Netherland was extended with respect to civil and political liberties, without the said Jews becoming thereby entitled to a license to exercise and carry on their religion in synagogues or gatherings.”
The upshot: The First Amendment (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”)
So here we are, nine years removed from the worst attack on our own soil, and our “leaders” couldn’t come up with a plan that would have kept the mosque off that very dirt. Talk about irony: A friggin’ Wal-Mart would have done the trick, given what we have to deal with now. “Sorry, guys. All full up. Try Brooklyn.”
So think long and hard about it, my fellow Americans, as the war of wills escalates over replacing the Burlington Coat Factory with a $100 million religious center occupied by alleged heretics whose only genuine connection to the radicals who cleared that land for them — as far as we can see — is blood. Ask yourself: Where does the blame truly lie?
I say look no further than these haircuts draped in suits who, despite their collective clout, couldn’t even muster a cement pond.
Our country ‘tis of we. And she’s a bitch.
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