NEW YORK—In a moving and beautiful ceremony held atop Lower Manhattan’s gleaming, 120-story-tall Freedom Tower, the nation commemorated the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by raising a glass to the stable democracy of Afghanistan and to a decade of unprecedented peace and prosperity across the globe.
As a brilliant cascade of red, white, and blue fireworks lit up the skyscraper’s observation deck, those in attendance reflected on the horrible tragedy that improbably, and stirringly, gave way to a harmonized Middle East and one of the most triumphant and fruitful eras in the history of the great American republic.
“A decade ago, 3,000 of our citizens perished in a senseless attack on American soil, and as I stand here today atop this magnificent edifice, celebrating the thriving republic of Afghanistan and all our allies in the now wholly stable Muslim world, it’s clear the U.S. has not only risen from the ashes, it has flourished,” said former U.S. president and master of ceremonies George W. Bush, who was widely applauded after 9/11 for respecting the rights of citizens at home and abroad while combating terrorism through largely peaceful means. “These last 10 years could have been divisive, turbulent, sad, hopeless, and grotesque. But instead, they were the exact opposite of those things. And for that we must all feel both blessed and truly proud.” …
As always, members of the multiple mosques nearby were welcomed to the ceremony with open arms, and Afghan foreign-exchange students arrived bearing gifts of flowers from their grateful nation, a reminder to many in attendance that the course of history after that crucial day could have taken a drastically different turn.
“It’s truly scary to think of all the myriad ways we, as a nation, could have gone astray in the months and years following 9/11,” said retired Gen. Tommy Franks, on hand to look back on his revered role in America’s successful half-year intervention in Afghanistan. “But fortunately, we concentrated our efforts not on swaggering aggression, fear-stoking, preemptive strikes, or an overinvestment in defense, but on restoring our reputation around the globe, fostering good relations with Muslims, and keeping our economy strong and robust.”
“Of course, the tragedy of 9/11 could have been avoided entirely if there had been any warnings whatsoever from the intelligence community that such a thing was going to happen,” Franks added. “Unfortunately, as we later learned, there were none.” …
Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who retired quietly from the political scene in 2002, was also on hand, opting as always not to give a speech, saying that such a gesture would be “a selfish exploitation of the events of that tragic day.” …
“To think, what could have been merely a grim, pathetic reminder of our own pain and subsequent failure has instead been reclaimed by this great nation as a reminder of our success, our resiliency, and our core American values of decency and love,” said Bush, who departed later that night for a climate change conference in China. “Thank God we had the courage, intelligence, and foresight to react the way we did after the worst day in American history.”
“And thank God we didn’t make a huge mistake by needlessly invading a country like Iraq,” Bush added. “If we had, I guarantee you none of us would be standing here today.
SALT LAKE CITY—With a recent Gallup poll indicating only 2 percent of his party supports his candidacy for president, Jon Huntsman confided to staffers Tuesday that he was secretly relieved to be faring so poorly among the die-hard GOP base. “When I saw the numbers and realized Republicans weren’t embracing my message, I breathed easily for the first time in months,” the former Utah governor and ambassador to China said. “They’re terrifying. We’re talking about people who blame the unemployed for their own predicament and literally applaud the idea of letting those who don’t have health insurance die. What would it say about me if they gravitated toward me personally or approved of my political principles?” Huntsman added that it was a huge weight off his shoulders when Herman Cain surged ahead of him in the polls, noting that it could easily have been him.
Gingrich Plummets in Polls as Voters Start Remembering Who He Is: Dawning Awareness Threatens Campaign
DES MOINES (The Borowitz Report) – In a development that has imperiled his front-runner status in the Republican presidential race, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has plunged in the polls as voters have begun to remember who he is.
Mr. Gingrich had been surging in recent weeks, but according to pollster Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research institute, “That was before people’s memories of who New Gingrich is started gradually kicking in.” …
“Newt Gingrich has got to do something fast to keep people from remembering who he is,” pollster Logsdon said. “He might try growing a moustache or wearing an eye patch, but that might be too little, too late.” …
In other political news, the Romney campaign unveiled a new slogan today: “You’re Out of Other Options.”
“Rick Perry told reporters this week that he has a permit to carry a concealed handgun. He also has a concealed vocabulary, concealed knowledge of the issues, concealed tolerance…” –Jay Leno
“The independent Super PAC supporting Mitt Romney announced it would suspend anti- Newt Gingrich ads during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. They said they’re doing it out of respect to Gingrich, his family, and his mistresses.” –Jay Leno
“The pro-adultery website ashleymadison.com – have you heard of this? It’s a website for married people that want to cheat. Anyway, they have come out and endorsed Newt Gingrich for president. I guess it’s their way of thanking him for all the years of business.” –Jay Leno