[[E V E N T S]] * Am I the only one who finds this distasteful and offensive? Even as the United States mourns the estimated 10,000 people who were killed just in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina’s ravaging of the Gulf Coast last week, and with the corpse count of U.S. soldiers and contractors having now surpassed the 2,000 level in Iraq, the Defense Department is apparently still planning to go ahead with its “America Supports You Freedom Walk” and Clint “Iraq and I Roll” Black concert to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The festivities, to be held in Washington, D.C., this coming Sunday, are intended as “a powerful expression of support for the men and women who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon, the Twin Towers, and Flight 93 over Pennsylvania--and their families,” though more than a few critics have labeled it a “war party.” Co-sponsored by the Moonie-owned Washington Times newspaper, after the more prestigious Washington Post withdrew its backing (amid criticism that this event would only promote the “long-discredited connection between the war on terror and the Iraq War”), along with companies such as Subway, AOL, and McDonald’s, the Freedom Walk will begin at the Pentagon and conclude near the National Mall and Reflecting Pool.
Following 9/11, the Emmy Awards ceremony was postponed twice--once because of the attacks themselves, the second time due to the U.S. military invasion of Afghanistan. Wouldn’t it be equally appropriate, in due respect for the Hurricane Katrina casualties as well as New Orleans’ continuing suffering, to cancel what James Wolcott calls Donald Rumsfeld’s “old-fashioned hoedown” in memory of the almost 3,000 people who were killed in the 9/11 assaults? Yes. But of course, that would require some honest compassion, for once, from the Bush White House, not merely the rhetorical kind.
READ MORE: “Hughes Launches 9/11 Anniversary Image Campaign,” by Robin Wright (The Washington Post).