Thursday, September 29, 2005

Pataki: No International Freedom Center at Ground Zero

After much debate, New York Governor George Pataki, who may have been following Senator Hillary Clinton's lead, finally nixed the placement of the International Freedom Center on the same grounds as the 9/11 Memorial. (Story). I didn't think it was a good idea to begin with. (Also see here). As I said then, I see the historical value of such an institution as it will inevitably foster some interesting (and heated) debate, but I thought that it was unwise to include such a potentially controversial entity within the same, solemn space as the 9/11 memorial. I'm glad it won't be. Perhaps it can be built someday, and if it is, I hope it follows the mission and purpose some of it's defenders outlined when they came under fire and not the ideas and philosophy of some of it's proponents, who seem to think "Freedom" is good, so long as America isn't involved. Of course there are times when our nation has fallen down, and they should be presented and discussed, but the trips and stumbles should not be magnified at the expense of the large steps the U.S. has taken to help secure freedom throughout the world. The presumption should be that the U.S. is and has been, generally and (especially) relatively speaking, a force for effecting freedom in the world, regardless of whether the true motivations, realpolitik, pragmatism, etc. of U.S. policy were explicitly designed to accomplish such goals or not.

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