Slick product of an award-winning marketing campaign that he is, Obama couldn't resist coining a new phrase to mark our national day of celebratory paranoia. He calls those who serve in the military and homeland security "our extraordinary 9/11 generation."
That sounds even more patriotic-trendy than The Greatest Generation, who are dying off at alarming rates and are just so World War Two. And then there's the "Me Generation" of selfish draft dodging baby boomers who want to cut their own grandkids off at the knees in their gluttonous consumption of Medicare. Gen X is just too anonymous and conspiracy theory-sounding and let's face it, closing in on middle age. Millennials conjure up visions of unemployed slackers living in parental basements.... and the unemployment crisis in general. We can't have that during a re-election campaign, can we?
The 9/11 Generation of Obama's imagination is youthful, virile, bellicose and nationalistic. Maybe he and his PR flacks got the idea from the old "Pepsi Generation" ad campaigns, whose creator said:
"For us to name and claim a whole generation after our product was a rather courageous thing that we weren't sure would take off." The Pepsi Generation was one of the first and best known instances of what came to be known as "lifestyle marketing". It focused on portraying Pepsi drinkers as possessing desirable qualities such as youth, rather than on the characteristics of the product itself. ... "Pepsi was young, spirited, people doing active things—playing volleyball on the beach.... but younger we said in mind, in attitude, in feeling. Young in spirit. Young in heart."
And since Obama's own young, hip campaign logo bears some resemblance to the Pepsi symbol, the Nine Eleven Generation gizmo can't be far behind:
|Be All That You Can Be, Nine Eleveners!|
Here are a few choice excerpts from the president's remarks today, along with some totally gratuitous and and unpatriotic interpretations. ( His words speak volumes all by themselves, but who can resist this fish-in-a-barrel opportunity).
At the same time, even as we reflect on a difficult decade, we must look forward, to the future we will build together. That includes staying strong and confident in the face of any threat. And thanks to the tireless efforts of our military personnel and our intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security professionals—there should be no doubt. Today, America is stronger and al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.It's been a whole decade, yet all two dozen members of al Qaeda are merely "on the path to defeat." We are in Endless Wartimes and have spent ourselves into the ground in a Military Industrial Complex boondoggle. We look forward, not backward, by choosing not to prosecute the Bush War Crimes.
We’ve taken the fight to al Qaeda like never before. Over the past two and a half years, more senior al Qaeda leaders have been eliminated than at any time since 9/11. And thanks to the remarkable courage and precision of our forces, we finally delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.
I killed Osama, I killed Osama, I killed Osama. Justice is for courtrooms and Judge Judy.
We’ve strengthened the partnerships and tools we need to prevail in this war against al Qaeda—working closer with allies and partners; reforming intelligence to better detect and disrupt plots; investing in our Special Forces so terrorists have no safe haven.We poured billions into the coffers of defense contractors. I am best buddies and allied with my partners, the CEOs of G.E. and Honeywell. We redefined "intelligence" to mean mediocrity, and warrantless wiretapping, and spying on American citizens. The government definition of "reforming", as you all know, is slashing -- as in, "reforming" Medicare.
We have disrupted plots orchestrated by FBI operatives themselves in order to entrap citizens. Real plots have been thwarted by airplane passengers jumping the Underpants Bomber and a couple of street vendors spotting a smoking car in Times Square. But the system worked. Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano justified her job by saying so. A whole bunch of those Special Forces we invested in got shot down in a helicopter after they performed a "night raid" in an Afghan village. Their dog died too. No word on civilian casualties in that night raid.
We’re constantly working to improve the security of our homeland as well—at our airports, ports and borders; enhancing aviation security and screening; increasing support for our first responders; and working closer than ever with states, cities and communities.
We just ordered a few more million dollars' worth of rapi-scanners for Airport Security Theater. We will continue groping down nonagenarians and removing their Depends to make you safe. We are forcing cities to participate in our "Secure Communities " program, resulting in the deportation of more Dream Act candidates than in any previous administration. New York, Chicago and Boston may not opt out. Their police officers must ethnically profile and send information on all likely suspects and innocent bystanders directly to Homeland Security.
A decade after 9/11, it’s clear for all the world to see—the terrorists who attacked us that September morning are no match for the character of our people, the resilience of our nation, or the endurance of our values. They wanted to terrorize us, but, as Americans, we refuse to live in fear...... They wanted to draw us into endless wars, sapping out strength and confidence as a nation....And they pretty much succeeded. Actually, the ruling elites of America succeeded in capitalizing on an act of mass murder/blowback by drawing us into endless wars and making the Security State a very lucrative proposition. The strength and confidence of a nation has been sapped by the Wall Street psychopaths who still roam free. They are the real terrorists.
I feel like Matt Taibbi -- who, stuck in a Florida airport last weekend, had the choice between sitting before a blaring TV speech by the president, or joining a group of screaming, plastic weapon-wielding Disneyworld kids high on sugar in a crowded lounge. He chose the latter.