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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘9/11’

From 9/11 to 11/9 — Trump’s Victory Is How Western Civilization Regrouped

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

History lessons a few decades from today, assuming some people will still be interested in learning history, will probably compare the start of the 21st Century to the opening of its predecessor, the 20th. In both cases, it took about a decade and a half of very dramatic events to bring people in the West to realize that political reality on their planet had changed irreversibly and that they better come up with a solution and fast. The events leading up to WWI and then the war itself, the most devastating carnage known to mankind at the time, yanked Western people from whatever romantic delusions they may have entertained back in the 1800s, and forced them to retool for crueller, bloodier times.

Likewise, the era that began abruptly on September 11, 2001, with the unprovoked onslaught of blood thirsty Muslims on one of the cultural jewels of Western society, culminated in the West finally getting the message, about 15 years later, on November 9, 2016, realizing there were dangerous beasts out there that needed to be put down, and, seeing that the traditional political leadership was not prepared to carry out the mission, picked a leader.

Obviously, there are many holes and inconsistencies in this simplified explanation of President Elect Donald Trump’s victory this morning; but I expect in a few decades people won’t be interested in more complex explanations for the Trump win, coming as it did only a few months following the Brexit vote that yanked the UK from the European Union. And next year, when rightwing presidential candidate Marine Le Pen takes a serious stab at the leadership of the French Republic, simplified explanations could actually come in handy.

In fact, Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front party, congratulated Donald Trump on his victory, and her father announced, “Today, the United States, tomorrow, France. Bravo!” Then Le Pen’s deputy, Florian Philippot, tweeted: “Their world is collapsing. Ours is being built.”

There’s a second common aspect to the British, American and French rightwing campaigns: they all appeal to the men and women who used to belong to the middle class and now feel that they have been left behind. In a multinational world in which corporations serve only their shareholders, with zero loyalty to the rest of the people, societies have been split in half, into winners and losers. The winners reap all the benefits of a brave, new world, saturated with exciting, tantalizing, new technology, dream jobs and oodles of much publicized fun — relegating the other half to life on the wrong side of the train de grande vitesse tracks.

In all three countries, as is likely the case everywhere else in the civilized, Western world, the political class has been closely associated with the new winners, doing their bidding and largely ignoring the have-nots.

In that sense, there was nothing Conservative about the Donald Trump campaign — as has been pointed out numerous times by offended, true Conservatives. On many issues Trump and Hillary Clinton’s other great opponent, Bernie Sanders, represented an astonishingly similar message: the powers that be have abandoned you and it’s time to do something about it.

Filmmaker Michael Moore successfully described this as the forgotten middle class’ urge to throw a Molotov cocktail at the establishment, all of it, Democrats and Republicans alike. Which they did. The Brexit leaders, just like Donald Trump, did not have to offer well thought out alternative plans to gain a winning support. All they had to do was identify with and then personify the two-decade long rage of a people whose two most basic needs have been ignored by the likes of Hillary Clinton: their fear of a fanatical enemy scheming to destroy their countries for no apparent sane reason, and their fear of a life of deepening poverty and hopelessness.

The good news is that once the message has been delivered, both in the UK and the US, it will be received everywhere in the Western world, and local systems will come up with concrete, effective means of repairing the rift between the people and their traditional leaders. The Western lion has been awakened from its slumber at long last, and we all owe our gratitude to Donald Trump for the wake up call.

Now let us all pray that the medicine we, Americans, and the rest of the world, have swallowed won’t be too bitter. Someone on one of the dozens of shows I flipped through last night quipped that Trump’s opponents took his ideas literally but didn’t take him seriously, while his followers took him seriously but didn’t take his ideas literally. Judging by the President Elect’s words of reconciliation in his victory speech, there’s room for hope.

David Israel

Obama Unites Congressional Democrats, Republicans, in Overriding Veto Damaging 9/11 Families

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

State Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby was in the middle of his daily press briefing Wednesday when a reporter informed him that the House had just joined the Senate in overriding the presidential veto on a law permitting the families of 9/11 attacks victims to sue Saudi Arabia should it turn out that the Kingdom was involved in carrying out those attacks. The reporter wanted to know if the Obama Administration, as it had warned would happen, had been approached by any foreign government threatening to “pass legislation that could affect the sovereign immunity of the United States and U.S. officials abroad?”

As expected, Kirby admitted he was not aware “that any government has expressed an intention to do so since the President’s veto. Before the President’s veto, though,” he noted, “some of our European friends — who are less likely to have been affected by the intent of the law itself — have expressed concerns about the issue of sovereign immunity surrounding the law. … France being one of them.” But no country like, say, Saudi Arabia, has so far stated its intent to seek anti-American retribution.

Possibly because Saudi Arabia is not interested in alienating the American public even more at this stage of the game, when the Iranians are running roughshod along its borders and the only reliable protection for the Saudis comes from the US.

However, as Kirby pointed out, the new law, now officially on the books, is forcing the US’ European allies “to rethink the whole issue of sovereign immunity. We didn’t make that up. That was communicated to us by other countries.”

Is the State Dept. expecting diplomatic difficulty with Saudi Arabia as a result of the veto? In Kirby’s view, “it goes beyond just Saudi Arabia. It goes to a larger concern that we have had about this idea of sovereign immunity — not just for diplomats but for our troops, for US companies that operate overseas.”

Possibly. What was most poignant about this vote was the fact that Congressional Democrats clamored to support the veto override, signaling to their voters that they are not captives of an irrational White House on this and other issues. Congressman Jerry Nadler, a Manhattan Democrat whose 10th Congressional District actually includes Ground Zero, was adamant in attacking the president’s arguments.

“Despite the overblown rhetoric of some critics of this bill, JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act) will not pose a threat to American military personnel or diplomats,” Nadler told the house. Debunking Kirby’s fretting, he added, “They would be absolutely protected if another country passed legislation mirroring this bill because JASTA applies only to governments. To the extent that a foreign government might pass broader legislation that would make American personnel subject to liability, that country would not be reciprocating. It would be engaging in a transparent and unjustifiable act of aggression.”

Nadler also noted that, despite Obama’s exaggerated fears, “the economic, diplomatic, and military strength of the United States makes such action unlikely, and any rogue state inclined to target US interests can already do so. We must not hold justice for the 9/11 families hostage to imagined fears.”

Over at the Senate, Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) cast the only vote in favor of Obama’s veto. No Democrat argued in favor of Obama’s version of reality before the vote. The Senate voted 97-1 Wednesday to override the veto.

The White House was irate, obviously, and spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One following the Senate override, “I would venture to say that this is the single most embarrassing thing that the United States Senate has done, possibly, since 1983.”

For speculations as to what act of the Senate Earnest was referring to, check out this website, which tried to figure it out (White House Is Profoundly Wrong About the Most Embarrassing Thing Senate Has Done). We went to Wikipedia (so you won’t have to) and dug up possible embarrassing things Joe may have been thinking about, although, to be fair, most of them were attributed to the president, not the Senate:

On February 24, 1983, a special Congressional commission released a report critical of the practice of Japanese internment during World War II. That sure was embarrassing, but the shameful stuff didn’t happen in 1983, obviously.

On April 18, 1983, the US Embassy was bombed in Beirut, resulting in 63 dead. Then, on October 23, 1983, simultaneous suicide truck-bombings destroyed both the French and the US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, killing 241 US servicemen, 58 French paratroopers and 6 Lebanese civilians. That was horrifying and embarrassing, especially since at that point President Ronald Reagan decided to cut and run — a point not mentioned often enough in those stories glorifying him as a brave commander-in-chief.

Finally, on October 25, 1983, American troops invaded Grenada, possibly to show the US could still defeat somebody. Yes, that was pretty embarrassing.

Of course, Earnest was not referring to any of the above. He was merely responding to a reporter who had told him that Wednesday’s veto was the most overwhelming since a 1983 95-0 veto override. President Reagan vetoed a land bill that gave a few acres to six retired couples who had paid good money for it only to find out later that, due to a surveying error, it was still government property.

No Saudis were harmed in the commission of that other veto.

JNi.Media

Obama Vetoes Bill Letting 9/11 Families Sue Saudi Arabia

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

President Obama on Friday vetoed the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act,” which was passed unanimously by both the House and Senate, helping families of 9/11 victims sue Saudi Arabia. The bill enables the families to sue the Kingdom should it be shown to be legally liable, having supported the attack. Out of the 19 Sept. 11 terrorists, 15 were Saudi nationals.

Obama released a statement Friday, saying he bears “deep sympathy for the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, who have suffered grievously. I also have a deep appreciation of these families’ desire to pursue justice and am strongly committed to assisting them in their efforts.”

However, the president explained, the 9/11 bill is sure to “invite consequential decisions to be made based upon incomplete information and risk having different courts reaching different conclusions about the culpability of individual foreign governments and their role in terrorist activities directed against the United States — which is neither an effective nor a coordinated way for us to respond to indications that a foreign government might have been behind a terrorist attack.”

Yes, he actually used that as his argument: it’s going to cause a mess in the courts system.

A group named 9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism released a statement Friday saying it is “outraged and dismayed” over the president’s veto, arguing that his reasoning is “unconvincing and unsupportable.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she supports the bill. Her spokesman said in a statement that “Clinton continues to support the efforts by Senator Schumer and his colleagues in Congress to secure the ability of 9/11 families and other victims of terror to hold accountable those responsible. She would sign this legislation if it came to her desk.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Obama’s veto was “shameful,” adding in a statement: “That President Obama would deny the parents, spouses and children of those we lost on that horrific day the chance to close this painful chapter in their lives is a disgrace.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) said earlier last week that he believes ” the votes are there for the override.” Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), who co-sponsored the bill, is on the record as promising to help override a veto.

This is the 12th veto by President Obama in his eight years in the White House, and none of his first 11 have been overturned. His predecessor, President GW Bush, used his veto power 12 times and was overturned four times. Out of President Bill Clinton’s 36 vetoes, two were overridden; President GHW Bush had 29 vetoes (in one term) and lost only one.

JNi.Media

9/11 and Beyond: Dealing with Tragedy

Friday, September 16th, 2016

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

While in Southern California, Yishai spoke with renowned trauma and grieving expert Dr. Ken Druck about 9/11, about coping with terror in Israel, and about the death of Dr. Druck’s own daughter and his 5-point system of “honoring” the dead with a recipe for life.

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Moshe Herman

The Danger Zone – 9/11 With Rabbi Aryel Nachman [audio]

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

This episode of the Danger Zone was recorded on the 15th anniversary of 9/11 and we had the honor of having Rabbi Aryel Nachman Ben Chaim join us for an interview. Rabbi Nachman is the co-creator and artist of the Jewish comic strip, 4 Corners. He is also the author of “Zeyde and the Hidden Mine” which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He founded the world’s first interactive online synagogue, http://sevenbeggars.com/ and sat down for a candid discussion about terrorism, antisemitism and the world around us.

 

Israel News Talk Radio

Yishai Show: 9/11 and Beyond: Dealing with Tragedy [audio]

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

While in Southern California, Yishai spoke with renowned trauma and grieving expert Dr. Ken Druck about 9/11, about coping with terror in Israel, and about the death of Dr. Druck’s own daughter and his 5-point system of “honoring” the dead with a recipe for life.

The Land of Israel

Empowering 9/11 Families: The President Should Get Out Of The Way

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

As it now stands, President Obama intends to veto a bill passed unanimously by the Senate and House that would allow families of 9/11 victims to sue the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts based on its government’s alleged involvement in the attacks.

Despite evidence of such involvement, the Saudis have previously been immune from legal action in the United States pursuant to a 1976 American law recognizing the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which bars suits against foreign governments in U.S. courts.

While the previous law granted such immunity to foreign governments for terrorist attacks committed off American soil, the new law would carve out an exception for such acts carried out on American soil. The previous law was at the heart of a $655 million U.S. jury verdict against the PLO and the PA for terrorist acts committed In Israel, which was recently vacated by a federal appeals court. The court reasoned that the Constitution requires terrorist acts to have been committed in the U.S., or to have specifically targeted Americans overseas, for Americans to sue in U.S. courts.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday that he anticipates the president will veto the legislation but that it hasn’t been presented to him yet. Mr. Earnest went on to explain that the new law was “objectionable” because it “opens the United States to the risk of being hauled into courts in countries around the world.”

New York Senator Charles Schumer, one of the prime movers of the legislation, said he thinks there would be enough votes to override a presidential veto.

It is certainly not an idle concern that there could be adverse repercussions for the U.S. should the new law actually take effect, but that risk should be trumped by the prospect of justice for 9/11 class victims. Additionally we must not forget that the U.S. is still a major power with significant leverage around the world. Further, if in practice the cases brought in U.S. courts are based on compelling rather than circumstantial evidence, the chances of retaliation might be diminished.

There is also something buried in the law that should have some impact. A belatedly added provision would allow a president to bring about an indefinite halt in any case brought against a foreign government if the Department of Justice can demonstrate that the administration was engaged in good faith settlement negotiations with a defendant country.

To be sure, this provision could enable the executive branch to unilaterally render insignificant a piece of legislation unanimously passed by the Senate and the House. However, since many who voted for the law are said to have misgivings over the retaliation issue, the way the legislation now reads is probably the most realistic way forward.

Editorial Board

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