Doing it to themselves

There is perhaps no better evidence of the internal conflict in George Will’s mind than his review of *United 93* in today’s Washington Post. On the one hand, we have the person who wrote “The Case for Bush” back in 2000:

>Going to see “United 93” is a civic duty because Samuel Johnson was right: People more often need to be reminded than informed. After an astonishing 56 months without a second terrorist attack, this nation perhaps has become dangerously immune to astonishment. The movie may quicken our appreciation of the measures and successes — many of which must remain secret — that have kept would-be killers at bay.

Though it is not stated, Will clearly implies that there is some kind of causal link between “56 months without second attack” and the actions and policies of our government. Unless he’s willing to put on his tin hat and claim that “black ops” have Tom Clancily thwarted attack after attack, he’s going to have to admit that all evidence points to the contrary. And as evidence of that, he might just look at the inept leadership on display just this week at the hyper-politicized CIA. If you think such government behavior has produced anything other than more terrorists (Iraq anyone?), then we have special rocks that protect you from Islamist terrorists.

And on the other hand, the second item contradicts the first–and not in a good way. It fits nicely with Will’s evangelical but ridiculously selective freemarketism:

>The hinge on which the movie turns are 13 words that a passenger speaks, without histrionics, as he and others prepare to rush the cockpit, shortly before the plane plunges into a Pennsylvania field. The words are: “No one is going to help us. We’ve got to do it ourselves.” Those words not only summarize this nation’s situation in today’s war but also express a citizen’s general responsibilities in a free society.

And we were just told to believe that someone’s double secret government operation–which we shouldn’t even dare to talk about let alone subject to investigations in Congress–has protected us. If that’s the case, why should we bother doing it for ourselves?

One thought on “Doing it to themselves”

  1. is it any coincidence that on the eve of yet another managerial debacle at the house that is white, that the conservative commentariat decides that America needs to look backwards, not forwards? we need to be “reminded, not informed”!? is will for real with this crap?!don’t look at what’s going on in front of you, boys and girls, look back at what might happen again. this smacks of typical, you-don’t-need-to-know conservativism. hidden in high-minded and near-sighted ivory towers, these liars couch their claims of “civic duty” (does that term even have a meaning beyond Pericles’ oration?) in the broad strokes of enfuriating fearmongering. what does a film about september 11 remind us of, exactly? fear, terror, death? this is supposed ot be my civic duty?! how about rising up to resist the ever-tightening grip on my civil rights? don’t wave the falg in my face, mr. will, and then jam it up my ya-ha when i turn around to “be reminded.”

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