Spitting On Your Grave
The controversial International Freedom Center (IFC), a facility dedicated to articulating a particular view of multiculturalism, was removed from site which it wanted to occupy at the World Trade Center Memorial. According to the Washington Post:
Bowing to pressure from Sept. 11 families, Gov. George Pataki on Wednesday removed a proposed freedom center from the space reserved for it near the planned World Trade Center memorial, saying the museum project had aroused "too much opposition, too much controversy." ... International Freedom Center officials said in a statement that they did not believe there was a viable location for their museum elsewhere at the site. "We consider our work, therefore, to have been brought to an end," they said.
The New York Times was not happy with the outcome, casting it as unreasonable capriciousness on the part of Governor Pataki.
But the notion of a freedom museum was one of the earliest elements considered for ground zero. And it was one the governor endorsed. In an April 2002 blueprint for downtown, the development corporation said one possibility was "a new museum dedicated to American freedom, tolerance and the values that the World Trade Center represented," referring to a proposal by Tom A. Bernstein, the president of Chelsea Piers, and Peter W. Kunhardt, a documentary filmmaker. ...
Now the question is what else in the master plan is open for revision. If ground zero is too hallowed for a freedom museum, how much longer will a performing arts center be considered appropriate? Or a million square feet of retail space? Or four office towers? Especially if one of them is named Freedom.
Nowhere in the article does the NYT say why the September 11 families clamored for revision; it happened after Debra Burlingame, sister of the pilot of one of the hijacked planes and a director of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation
drew attention to behind-the-scenes plans to host exhibitions at the complex devoted to such issues as the genocide of native Americans, the fight against slavery, the Holocaust and the Gulag, instead of the bravery and dignity of nearly 3,000 victims of the Al-Qaeda suicide squads. It will also be the site of academic symposiums on the foundations of freedom, providing a “magnet” to activists and academics to debate the US “domestic and foreign policy they despise”, she said. An early design for the cultural centre included a large mural of an Iraqi voter. But in a sign of things to come, said Burlingame, this was replaced by a photograph of Martin Luther King, the murdered civil rights leader, with President Lyndon Johnson.
According to Michelle Malkin, the moving spirits behind the IFC were Michael Posner, Anthony Romero, Eric Foner and George Soros. If the International Freedom Center had been built it would have been the companion to the Crescent of Embrace, the proposed memorial to the Flight 93 victims in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The effort illustrates the extraordinary importance that the Left places on the control of symbols. By preference, a good Marxist symbol should represent the very opposite of its counterpart in reality because its foremost goal, in common with unscrupulous Mesmerists, is to emasculate the mind. It was no accident that in Orwell's 1984, that the Ministries of War, Rationing, Propaganda and Repression were called the Ministries of Peace, Plenty, Truth and Love by the Party. Christopher Hitchens, who wrote a book on Orwell, has not forgotten the penchant for inversion. In Anti-War, My Foot, featured in Slate, Hitchens criticized the NYT's characterization of Ramsey Clark and his adherents as "anti-war". If they were anything, they were its opposite.
The name of the reporter on this story was Michael Janofsky. I suppose that it is possible that he has never before come across "International ANSWER," the group run by the "Worker's World" party and fronted by Ramsey Clark, which openly supports Kim Jong-il, Fidel Castro, Slobodan Milosevic, and the "resistance" in Afghanistan and Iraq, with Clark himself finding extra time to volunteer as attorney for the génocidaires in Rwanda. ...
To be against war and militarism, in the tradition of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, is one thing. But to have a record of consistent support for war and militarism, from the Red Army in Eastern Europe to the [Serb] ethnic cleansers and the Taliban, is quite another. It is really a disgrace that the liberal press refers to such enemies of liberalism as "antiwar" when in reality they are straight-out pro-war, but on the other side. Was there a single placard saying, "No to Jihad"? Of course not. Or a single placard saying, "Yes to Kurdish self-determination" or "We support Afghan women's struggle"? Don't make me laugh.
But that's Hitchens. To the newspaper reader who gets no further than the first paragraph of any story, the recent demonstrations in Washington will forever be about high minded advocates of peace fighting the dark forces of war. Yet it makes one wonder: if inversions are the rule, what then did the International Freedom Center truly wish to memorialize at Ground Zero? Don't make me laugh.