One Has To Wonder…

Ken AshfordRight Wing Punditry/IdiocyLeave a Comment

…why the enraged right is so, er, enraged about the construction of an International Freedom Center (or “IFC") at the site of the former World Trade Center.  As stated in this fact sheet (PDF format), the mission of the IFC is to “strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance, and intolerance”.

Now please tell me.  Which of those things—preserving freedom, ending hatred, ending ignorance, and ending intolerance—does the right despise so much?  And why?

Perhaps it is because the 9/11 site, rather than someplace else, is being used for such a purpose.  But isn’t our war in Iraq, which is a response to 9/11 itself, ostensibly to preserve freedom, etc.?  If there is no discontinuity between the events of 9/11 and giving Iraqis their freedom, then how can their be a discontinuity between the WTC site and a center devoted to international freedom?

Or maybe it is because wingers feel that the WTC site ought to memorialize those who lost their lives on that tragic day.  Well, they’re right.  Unfortunately, the IFC will be a building which will serve as a “gateway” to the actual World Trade Center memorial, depicted and described here (and if you think this tranquil and beautiful memorial lacks the respect for the WTC victims as well as their rescuers, then you have a heart of stone).

So what is the winger complaint?  Why do they call the IFC a “desecration” of the site?

Well, they just like to complain, I guess.

But if you ask them, they will tell you it is because some of the people behind the IFC are liberals.  Read Malkin’s uninformed whine.

She notes that the brainchild of the IFC is Thomas Bernstein who she describes as “a deep-pocketed Hollywood financier and real estate mogul”.  She also mentions that he is a friend of Dubya, but this is to “cover to his radical activism as president of Human Rights First”.  That’s right—he believes in human rights—what a radical.  She also fails to mention the fact that also has some expertise in memorials dedicated to human rights—like that radical liberal thing in D.C. called the Holocaust Museum. (Bernstein serves on the Board of Directors).

Malkin then lists a bunch of so-called “left-leaning elites”, including academicians from universities like Harvard and Yale.  Oh, and George Soros kicked in some money, too.  Therefore—according to some brand of right-wing paranoid logic—the IFC will effectively become the “The Ultimate Guilt Complex”.  It’s the old rightwing scare tactic, although it just makes them all look silly.

Interestingly, she closes her article with a quote from Richard Tofel, IFC president, who (understandably) minimizes the outrage of Malkin, the LGFers, and the wild-eyed Freepers.  And who is this Tofel guy, you ask, who serves as the President of the dreaded IFC?  Oh, only the assistant publisher of the radical liberal rag known as the Wall Street Journal, as well as the Vice-President of Dow Jones & Co. 

Michelle Magagagalot neglects to mention that.

She also neglects to mention that, serving with the “radical liberal” Thomas Bernstein on the Board of Directors (there are four on the board), is Paula Berry whose husband was killed at WTC on 9/11.  Indeed, she also fails to mention the hundreds of people and organization of various political and apolitical stripes who serve on various committees pertaining to the IFC (again, see here) as well as within the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (see here) which oversees the ENTIRE WTC redevelopment.

So again, why the gripes, simply because—out of the efforts of the hundreds involved—some people can arguably be branded with the label “liberal”? 

Because that’s what wingers do—whine, complain, selectively cherry-pick “evidence” and politicize issues that need not be politicized.  Even in sistuations like this, where the end result is a building devoted to “preserving freedom”, something which wingers CLAIM they are in favor of.