Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not Just About Us

The White House quietly reminded government agencies that the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks should include other countries that have also suffered from terror attacks. Via the New York Times:

The guidelines list what themes to underscore — and, just as important, what tone to set. Officials are instructed to memorialize those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and thank those in the military, law enforcement, intelligence or homeland security for their contributions since.

“A chief goal of our communications is to present a positive, forward-looking narrative,” the foreign guidelines state.

Copies of the internal documents were provided to The New York Times by officials in several agencies involved in planning the anniversary commemorations. “The important theme is to show the world how much we realize that 9/11 — the attacks themselves and violent extremism writ large — is not ‘just about us,’ ” said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal White House planning.

Cue the over-reaction by the Orcosphere. As Steve M wryly notes, “This is why we need to elect Republicans! Republicans would never say anything like this! The previous Republican administration certainly understood that!” And then he cites a memo from the Bush administration on the fourth anniversary of the attacks that notes that “this is not just about us.”

“I think it’s a very humble way, on the day of our national tragedy, to remember that other people have experienced horrible tragedies,” said Ms. Hughes, who started this month as the Bush administration’s overseer for “public diplomacy,” a job in which she has been charged with repairing the poor image of the United States overseas….

There must be somebody in the White House whose sole job is to come up with ways to just piss off the right wing… Oh, yeah; there is. His name is Barack Obama.