For all the anticipation of the miserable fate of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, the greater outrage upon America of the neocon wars has to be that of the 9/11 first responders that America is turning its back on. Jon Stewart has made news giving an entire episode of the Daily Show to the outrage – whatever Stewart’s motivations, no one can watch this and not be outraged.
Add to this the Wikileaks revelation that Cuba banned Michael Moore’s Sicko on the grounds that its Potemkin portrayal of the Cuban health care system would provoke a popular backlash. It so happens that I know John Graham, the 9/11 first responder who Moore took on his stunt to Cuba. It also so happens that I am of that hardy band that can still, a generation after the end of the Cold War, be easily led to moral outrage about Communism. Which is exactly why it is not only appalling and outrageous that Moore could credibly pull off that stunt, but that no one else seems to find it outrageous that Communist Cuba can have a credible propaganda victory about how we treat those who were killed doing their job on 9/11.
Mind you, I am not trying to get on a nationalist hobby-horse here. Much as I was saddened by Pat getting on the bandwagon against the Lower Manhattan Mosque, he was absolutely right to upbraid Michael Bloomberg when he said:
And those firemen, police and rescue workers did not run into those burning buildings to defend constitutional rights, but, acting out of bravery and love, to save their fellow men.
And as our God, the one true God, said, “Greater love than this hath no man, than that he lay down his life for his friend.”
Let us hope that Jon Stewart and his guests did not lose sight of that truth.
On the contrary, the utter indifference of our political class to these men who acted out of that cardinal attribute they would never know if it stared them in the face – nobility – is the surest sign yet that the ruling class of our empire is in its late decadent stage. All the more so, indeed, as they are the actual heroes of the event which they have mythologized into the launching of the new dispensation that will save and renew Pax Americana. We must not forget.