Victimization and a Cultural Center

A Debate That Shows America’s Failures

The polarizing debate continues, gathering steam with political implications; mosque or no mosque on Park Place, two city blocks from ‘ground zero.’ Guided by emotions, all of which are not entirely clear, and by spurious concepts, which proceed from conditioned thought, the negative reactions to the construction of an Islamic complex in New York City disintegrate from the force of logic and analysis.

The antis to the project view the world more by slogans than by objectivity. They eagerly co-opt the 9/11 tragedy as a driving force in their lives and establish themselves as the victims, which simplifies their controversial decisions; after all victims cannot be perpetrators, and therefore cannot be wrong.

The terrorist attack on the Trade Center produced victimization, revenge, and efforts to re-establish a damaged national pride, all of which have been counterproductive. Victimization survives by having a protracted enemy of extensive size, preventing rational thought and producing hate. Revenge caused the U.S. to stumble into futile wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and disorient the Middle East. Re-establishing national pride has produced more terrorism and terrorist attacks, the latter only stopped by improved intelligence. Empty of Al-Qaeda allies before the U.S. invasion, Iraq is now a massive gathering field for Islamic extremists. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Somalia fight an expanded extremism, which succeeded the awkward U.S. response to the 9/11 attack.

American citizens matched their government’s careless reactions to the 9/11 tragedy.

They never reacted in a required manner to the gross intelligence failures; basic errors that resulted in an easily prevented terror attack – errors that originated in the intelligence departments, from minor officials to national security agencies, to the Executive Department, and to the President of the USA. Many of America’s leaders, who carelessly disregarded the trust and protection role given to them, played a part in allowing the killing of 3000 U.S. civilians, and should have been forced to answer to the public.

The seeking of financial compensation for the aggrieved descended into a greedy and mortifying contest. Is this what the response to the attack was all about – a means to gain cash? Certainly those who needed assistance should have been granted assistance, as occurs in all disasters. This disaster awarded funds in accord with class distinctions, lawyer ability and, in many cases, deceit – an insult to the deceased.

By getting the public to focus on victimization, national pride, heroics and monetary relief for relatives of survivors, the public ignored the damage due to intelligence failures and the carelessly prepared response, which hastened an already prepared Neocon agenda; an agenda of war against and hate for Islam.

Victimization is the principal reason for not allowing the Islamic Center, now named Park 51. Before examining the victimization role in the decision process, examine the more obviously spurious reasons given to reject Park 51.

This Islamic Center must prove it is neither funded nor will be inhabited by nefarious forces.

Does being close to ‘ground zero’ or hundreds of miles away make a difference? Conspiracies can originate anywhere – they don’t depend upon location. This demand reduces to: Islamic Centers cannot be constructed anywhere unless they pass special scrutiny. Actually, the principal membership of the Park Place Center will probably be FBI agents – what to worry?

The Center is too close to ‘Ground Zero.

This highly charged appeal seems to have emotional legs, but is contradictory.

The Maha Blog, who makes the world safe for liberalism, expressed it well.

Over the past several days here on this blog, I have documented that within a three block radius of the area called Ground Zero there are at least two strip clubs plus a number of bars. This morning through googling I found a lingerie and porn video shop about two blocks south of Ground Zero that a reviewer calls “grimy” and “sleazy.” Those establishments have existed in close proximity to Ground Zero lo these many years, and no one seemed to care.

Yet talk about putting up a cultural center within this same area, one that won’t even be visible from the Ground Zero site, and suddenly people start squawking about hallowed ground and sacrilege. Give me a break.

Victimization, use of the deaths of others to advance agendas and permit ‘victims’ to disregard the effects of the agendas on themselves and others, is the misplaced excuse for denying construction of Park 51. Its manifestation should not be lightly dismissed. Adoption of a victimized attitude demands a perpetrator. After ten years of victimization, Islam remains the perpetrator and victimization guides Americans to acceptance of destructive policies.

A CNN poll indicates that 68% of the American people are against the Islamic Center, which is about the same percentage of Americans who favored the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions. Can these be the same citizens who agreed to the military incursions that have brought more casualties to their fellow Americans than the 9/11 attacks? Where are the fervent protests against sending their husbands and children to unnecessary deaths or incapacitations? Haven’t they also ignored the casualties to innocent Afghans, the increased violence in Pakistan and the almost total destruction of Iraq; hundreds of thousands of casualties, two million displaced and a threatening civil war? Are they only concerned with ‘hallowed ground?’

Myriads of ‘ground zero’ sites exist all over the world, countless numbers from the World Wars and more localized conflagrations. The U.S. has produced many of these remembrance sites; at Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite the horrors of the U.S. attacks, the victims’ nations didn’t flag themselves with victimization nor maintain the American people responsible for the enormous tragedies.

Although ‘ground zero’ should and will always be a remembered site, victims die only once; victimization causes death forever. Post 9/11 corroborates this assumption.

Dan Lieberman publishes commentaries on foreign policy, economics, and politics at  He is author of the non-fiction books A Third Party Can Succeed in America, Not until They Were Gone, Think Tanks of DC, The Artistry of a Dog, and a novel: The Victory (under a pen name, David L. McWellan). Read other articles by Dan.

5 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Rehmat said on August 19th, 2010 at 2:24am #

    It’s another Zionist ploy by the war party to make sure that the American public don’t start believing the truth behind the official 9/11 story which is based on the covering the criminal neocon (mostly Jewish) and Israel who were really behind the 9/11 tragedy. The debate is helping to shore-up more American hatred towards Muslim world and especially the Middle East region – which is what Israel/Jewish Lobby needs to help Obama administration wage a new war against Islamic Republic. This is obvious considering the support for the Cordoba House coming from hardcore Israeli supporters like Ben Obama and NY Governor.

  2. danlan said on August 19th, 2010 at 6:24am #

    Although I am sure Rehmat means well, I disassociate myslf from his remarks. This comment is only the flip side of those against the Islamic center – using unsubstantiated rumors to express a hateful agenda against other people. Much of the comment only repeats some of what is said in the article and adds nothing to evaluate the content of the article. Rather than using the words of others, I suggest such commentators write their own articles. They certainly aren’t helping the authors of already written articles – just the opposite – by distorting the words and meanings of the articles they minimize the impact, which isn’t fair.

  3. Shashank said on August 19th, 2010 at 6:57am #

    It seems this guy has only one agenda that wherever Islamist Extremism come in picture, this guy starts talking about Zionist and Israel.
    The Islamic terrorism is a great danger to world. No doubt about that.
    There philosophy is kill the people from other religion and spread Islam everywhere.

  4. David Silver said on August 19th, 2010 at 7:10am #

    We do bear some responsibility for 9/11 by our imperialist policies
    just as te German peple bear some responibility for Naziism

  5. kalidas said on August 23rd, 2010 at 4:54pm #

    One present, one past?