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Inside the Beltway

NOT OVER YET

Consider that the 9/11 attacks occurred 2,922 days ago. That's about 70,000 hours. Are memories less visceral? Among some people, perhaps. Among others, an intense vigilance remains.

"The Muslim Brotherhood is on record as wanting to destroy Western civilization from within. While this thought may seem paranoid or farfetched, we have to remember that these organizations take a long view of history. The destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11 is just one tool in their arsenal," Dr. Zuhdi Jasser tells Inside the Beltway.

The founder of the Arizona-based American Islamic Forum for Democracy cautions against militant threats - along with "soft cultural jihad ... Terrorism is just a tactic. This is a long war, a long 'contest of ideas' between political Islam and Western liberty-based societies."

Dr. Jasser adds, "Americans should mark this eighth anniversary of 9/11 by dedicating ourselves to being vigilant on all fronts - academia, government, media, business, and the interfaith community in the protection of our individual liberties and the founding principles of America. ... Until Muslims can lead a movement of reform which separates mosque and state the Islamist threat will only continue to increase."

LOST IN THE GREENWASH

Some young people reject the idea that the National Day of Service signed into law by President Obama five months ago is an appropriate response to 9/11.

"It's a disgrace that this administration is attempting to whitewash September 11," says Patrick Coyle, vice president of Young America's Foundation. "Let's not divert attention from the threat we still face. Al Qaeda and other barbaric terrorist cells haven't signed a truce. As the Left seeks to trivialize 9/11 with 'green' fanfare, let's remind President Obama that there is no number of windmills, solar panels, or compact fluorescent light bulbs would bring back those lost on 9/11 - and temper Osama bin Laden's hatred of the United States."

He recommends his organization's "9/11 Never Forget" project instead. On 214 college campuses - including the University of California at Berkeley - hundreds of college students will create memorial sites on their campuses using clusters of American flags.

"They will remain on silent vigil and pray at 9:11 a.m.," Mr. Coyle adds.

LIAR MIRE

It was the four-letter word heard 'round the world. Rep. Joe Wilson will have more than 15 minutes of fame for his "liar" eruption during President Obama's big speech Wednesday night. The South Carolina Republican now has fans, critics, buzz, notoriety. Gee, when will he get his own talk show?

No way, talk radio host Michael Smerconish tells Beltway.

"The guy is a knucklehead, and he harms his party. When he froths, middle America recoils. And lost in the process is a necessary, serious conversation about what to do with illegal immigrants," Mr. Smerconish says.

"That is a subject about which I questioned the president about last month. He told one of my listeners that illegal immigrants are not covered. I followed up by asking about the 1986 law that mandates ER treatment for all, and Mr. Obama acknowledged that will remain in effect. But see, that point now gets lost. Instead, we all appropriately spend our time condemning Wilson."

WHAT'S COMING

From LaDonna Hale Curzon, producer and co-host of the online broadcast "Sarah Palin Radio":

"A trucker on his way from Ohio to D.C. for the Tea Party March in Washington on Saturday. He reports at least 44 buses on the way with over 2,000 people, from just Ohio," she tells Beltway.

HEIGHTENED RESPONSE

Ground Zero in Manhattan remains an empty lot as politicians and developers dither over its destiny. The proposed "Freedom Tower" won't be ready until 2018, apparently - keep in mind that the Empire State Building took 14 months to build.

The Twin Towers Alliance has some advice: Build an identical set of World Trade Center towers, exactly as they were - and thus restore the "nation's skyline." The group has viable plans to build with existing funds, based on concepts from the late Herbert Belton, one of the original architects.

" 'Twin Towers II' was not created to oppose a design, but to uphold a uniquely American icon and the premier symbol of world peace through trade. Our project was never an act of protest, but an effort to promote healing. I have always thought of it as the inevitable result of a widespread national and, in fact, international longing to resurrect the Twin Towers," structural engineer Ken Gardner tells Beltway.

"What has been most inspiring about this effort is how it unites people who don't agree about much else. People frequently say that they don't know anyone who doesn't agree on the need for new Twin Towers," says Margaret Donovan, co-director of group.

POLL DU JOUR

• 2 percent of Americans say we should provide military aid to Iran if it was attacked.

• 13 percent said we should help China, Iran or North Korea defend themselves.

• 15 percent would help Russia, 59 percent would help Israel.

c 73 percent would help Britain, 78 percent would help Canada.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults conducted Sept. 3-4.

Hoots, hollers, scolds to jharper@washingtontimes .com or 202/636-3085.

About the Author
Jennifer Harper INSIDE THE BELTWAY

Jennifer Harper INSIDE THE BELTWAY

A graduate of Syracuse University, Jennifer Harper writes the daily Inside the Beltway column and provides additional coverage of breaking national news, plus long-term trends in politics, media issues, public opinion, popular culture, Hollywood foibles and “eureka” moments in health and science.

She has been a frequent broadcast commentator on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, Voice of America, Citadel Broadcasting, ...

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