RUSH: I want to welcome Debra Burlingame to the program. Her brother, Chic Burlingame, was the pilot of Flight 77. She has some comments on the Flight 93 movie. Debra, thanks for calling. It’s nice to have you on the program.
BURLINGAME: Thanks for having me, Rush. My brother’s name was Chic. He was the pilot on Flight 77, and I wanted to say about this movie “United 93,” I won’t be able to see this. It’s going to be too brutal for me because it’s going to be a graphic depiction of the cockpit crews being butchered. I just can’t go there. However, I hope that people will go to this film. I think it’s going to be very important because I think the country has become complacent. I just heard a kid on the Internet saying, “Big deal 3,000 people. We lose more than that on the highways every year and we don’t have a war on highways.” The enemy is ruthless, brutal, determined and motivated, and I think the American people need to be reminded of that.
RUSH: You know, that argument that you heard on the — by the way, I totally agree, and I hope you keep saying this. I understand the difficulty you would have watching, but that argument that kid on the Internet made, “Hey, we have more than this on the highway. Why don’t we have a war on the wheel or something?” The real problem with that is I doubt that kid came up with that on his own. There is a political movement in the country to try to sabotage every effort that we are making to defeat this particular enemy, and what you heard on the Internet is symptomatic of it. Complacency has settled in.
BURLINGAME: Rush, and I’d also like to tell your listeners this, I wish that the public… I’m against cameras in the courtroom, but I sure wish they were there when Moussaoui testified last week and also when Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, when his testimony was read into the record. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed said they had no idea that the damage on that attack would be as catastrophic as it was, but they did not plan on the US responding to the attacks as fiercely as they did and that caused the second wave to be postponed. I suspect that, you know, the reporting of IEDs in Iraq notwithstanding, the military’s response has left Al-Qaeda reeling, and he even said that the prospects for a second attack were dismal,
RUSH: Yeah. It’s heroic and inspirational, and it ought to be seen for those reasons alone.
BURLINGAME: Yes. These people should be remembered for generations, for generations, their story. I have to say, because my brother’s plane was the third one that went down, they didn’t have enough information, obviously, to stop it, but the story of 93 I think kept me from losing my mind, frankly, because it was so inspirational. It really was, and that’s why, as hard as this film is, I hope a lot of people see it. Personally I just can’t go back into it. I can’t see the graphic depiction of the murder of the crews, but I hope people go, and I understand that it’s been shot very high production values, documentary style, and it should be. I hope it shakes people up.
RUSH: I do, too, because they need to be. Let me ask you a question, Debra. Aside from the movie, there still, when you just get up every day and inform yourself about what daily events in the country are politically and culturally as they relate to either Iraq or the war on terror and knowing full well what’s spawned all this, does the debate the country is having and the seemingly large number of people who don’t think it’s worth doing what we’re doing, does that disturb you at all? How do you deal with that on a daily basis?
BURLINGAME: It’s frustrating. But, you know, I think it’s sort of typical. Americans, with the exception of Pearl Harbor and then 60 years later on 9/11, we’re used to being safe. We’re spoiled. We live in a world which the rest of the world doesn’t get, which is affluence and prosperity, comfort, and we’d rather be there. So we don’t want to do the heavy lifting that I think this war requires — I shouldn’t say “we.” Some do not want to do the heavy lifting that this war requires, but make no mistake this is a war. So I feel very determined. I mean, we already lost my brother, so I feel that I’m doing whatever it takes in the effort to bring awareness. But it’s very frustrating, Rush. We’re in a war. We’re absolutely in a war.
RUSH: You know, it’s frustrating to me, too, that… We’re talking with Debra Burlingame, by the way, if you just joined us, whose brother Chic was piloting Flight 77 and died in the 9/11 attacks. You know, you look at what you described as a country of imminent prosperity and opportunity and so forth, and yet you’re absolutely right. We have people in this country who, if they want to put their head in the sand, they can do it. If they want to go on and do anything and ignore the reality of where we are, we still have — despite the prosperity and affluence in this country — we still have a significant number of people who will take the responsibility of defending the country at the time. Pearl Harbor, you mentioned that, the country was unified back then. That was a seminal moment in American history. There were pockets of opposition, but I mean we were pretty much unified in everything. Women going into the factories to work. We were rationing gasoline, everybody was oriented toward victory. It’s not the case today, but still we have enough people — and I take this as inspirational, and they’re young, young people who are willing to step up and do what it takes. They’re volunteering to do it in terms of the armed forces. So there’s a good side to this, too, even though it does appear that some of us in the country are not interested and would rather keep our heads in the sand over it.
BURLINGAME: Well, let me tell you. I raised my daughter, who’s 23 now, in New York City. She lived her whole life in New York City.
RUSH: Let me interrupt. Debra, I got a break coming up in 15 seconds and I know you can’t finish in 15 seconds and I want to hear the story. Can you hang on for a couple minutes after the break?
RUSH: Okay, good. Do that. We’ll come back and get more of this. I’m glad she called. I’m glad you called, Debra, because this is something I think people need to hear, and the controversy over the trailers of this movie, Flight 93, I think will pretty much ensure a lot of people go see the movie. It works almost every time it’s tried.
RUSH: We welcome back Debra Burlingame, again whose brother Chic was the pilot of Flight 77 on 9/11. You were going tell us a story about your daughter.
BURLINGAME: Yeah, my daughter, she’s 23 now, but when she was in high school and growing up in New York City and it came time for her to consider school, all of her friends were going to, you know, stick to the Ivy Leagues, East Coast, and she decided to get out of New York, and she ended up going to Indiana University. I was really happy that she looked at the Midwest and also schools in the South. She thought that she was going to be surrounded by a bunch of hicks, but she thought that that would be, I suppose, local color or something. But, you know what? She had an education that she wasn’t anticipating. She was exposed to these Midwest kids with a Midwest work ethic. She was away from the big city smart set and their definition of cool, and it’s changed her view of the world — and I think that’s one of the problems that, you know, the media culture is centered in New York City. They think they’re the smartest, most sophisticated people in the world and they speak for the entire country, and they don’t. They absolutely don’t. The editorial page of the New York Times is clueless, absolutely clueless.
RUSH: Totally clueless. The editorial page and the front page is one and the same. They would need a visa for their reporter to send them into Indiana, may as well be a foreign country to them.
BURLINGAME: Right. And these kids that you’re talking about that are, you know, showing up for us in Iraq, Afghanistan, and all over the world, that’s where they come from, or they come from Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
RUSH: And they’re being impugned, Debra, they’re being impugned by the likes of the left. Richard Belzer was on that waste-of-time Bill Maher show and basically said: Look, they’re hicks and they’re idiots they’re dumb. They don’t even know why they’re there. The only reason they’re there is they’ve got no hope for a future in this country, because there’s no jobs, and so they’ve been hoodwinked into thinking they have to join the Army to have a future with education and a job. That’s obviously not a correct description, but it’s interesting that that’s the elitist attitude the left has toward the military. Belzer I think was just publicizing it for all of those on the left who believe it. But just hypothetically, let’s stipulate that that were true. So why impugn them? They’re still volunteering to defend the country. They’re still volunteering to risk their lives to defend the country. Why impugn these people? I’m glad your daughter saw this. I’m glad she got to experience it.
BURLINGAME: They impugn it by the way, I’m convinced, because they don’t understand military culture. They’re very hostile towards the military in general, and so they have to put it down — and, by the way, you know, this isn’t like the Hollywood of the forties as you know. None of them would think of serving. Richard Belzer, by the way, picked up and moved his family to France. I don’t know if you’re aware of that, when he had that show that was filmed in Baltimore, he would have to fly in from France for filming. I don’t know if he still lives there, but he lived there for some time, raised his daughters there.
RUSH: Did not know that.
BURLINGAME: Yeah. That’s a fact. You can check it, but that’s a fact. So you know, I just think that, again, it’s the military culture that the media is completely hostile to, and they learn that hostility right in college, you know, the hostility towards ROTC on campuses and so on and so forth. I wish that Mr. Belzer and others like him could get a field trip to any one of the military installations that are training our troops, because they would make mincemeat of him there.
RUSH: I think he wouldn’t believe what he saw.
BURLINGAME: He’d also be incredibly impressed. I got a VIP tour at Centcom down in Tampa, and a tutorial from some of the officers there, intelligence officers, these guys are Ph.D.s.
RUSH: He’d think it’s propaganda, Debra, a set up for his visit.
BURLINGAME: Actually I think that he would be not only impressed but incredibly reassured at how forward thinking our military is. I mean, they’re thinking ahead 20 years. They’re worried about what the population of Yemen is going to look like 20 years down the line. I mean, these people are very, very smart, and we’re very lucky to have them, Rush.
RUSH: Tell me. I mean, I’m in your camp on this. I just think the anti-military culture goes beyond a lack of understanding. I think they’re fully informed, incorrectly, on what they think the military does. They are upset that the United States is the largest country and superpower in the world. They blame the US military as the focus of evil in the modern world. We cause these problems. You listen to Belzer and members of that gang, and you will eventually hear them say, well, you hear them say it now. “Bush is creating terrorists. We’re making terrorists. We are making these people mad by just being Americans, by just being who we are. Then we send these military personnel all over the world to colonize and nation-build.” They have a self-loathing, guilt-laden view of their own country, and the military is an easy target for them to focus on because they think it does all the things that they would never do, kill people, break things. When you couple that with their elitism and they have all the answers and so forth you’ve got an arrogant condescension that is what makes them see people from various parts of the country or military people the way they do.
BURLINGAME: Well, and in the end I think that with some exceptions, Rush, I don’t think that they really care, because, you know, when you really care about something you follow through, and you don’t really see them doing that. You don’t see them making any personal sacrifices whatsoever for the betterment of the country.
RUSH: No, that’s for everybody else to do.
RUSH: That’s for everybody else to do. No, they’re supposed to define the sacrifices and tell people what sacrifices to make. Their big sacrifice is tax increases. “How can we run a war without raising taxes?” That’s their idea of sacrifice, but not on them of course, on everybody else.
BURLINGAME: Yeah. That’s true.
RUSH: Do you happen to know when Flight 93 opens? Oh, I just saw. April 28th it comes out. So it’s this month.
BURLINGAME: That’s correct.
BURLINGAME: That’s correct — and, by the way, I anticipate, because, listen. I’ve been sitting there. I’ve been exposed to a lot of 9/11 family groups for, you know, audiotapes and so on and so forth also at the Moussaoui trial closed-circuit. They’re going to have a screening for families at their premiere, they’re going to have families there, and I anticipate, I’m not kidding, Rush, I think people will be — I don’t want to say hysterical but I think they’re going to have people noisily weeping, and ordinary audience members. I think this is going to be an emotional film, and I don’t think that means that’s necessarily a negative thing, but I think people need to be prepared to see something very shocking.
RUSH: Once again, let me ask you a question because as a member of the 9/11 families, I mean, you know that there is not unison of opinion there on what we’re doing right now. In any group of people you’re going to have political and cultural disagreements. What do you expect those who are let’s say think differently from you on this. What do you expect them to do when the movie comes out? Do you think they’ll try to convince people not to see it, will they suggest that this is not factually accurate, what will they do to try to suppress this movie or keep as many people from seeing it as possible?
BURLINGAME: I wouldn’t presume that they would want to suppress it. You’re talking about the peace-at-any-cost people?
RUSH: Yeah, the people that showed up at the 9/11 hearings and generally try to just turn this into a political charade to blame Bush for everything.
BURLINGAME: Well, I would anticipate that their position would be that, look at what happened on 9/11 and now because of Iraq, we have increased terrorists a thousandfold. In other words, Iraq was a recruiting poster for Al-Qaeda, and that will be their position. But, you know what? People react on a gut level to 9/11, Rush. They do a gut check on this stuff, and I do not believe that people will come out of that film thinking we have to lay down for the terrorists. I just don’t believe that.
BURLINGAME: They will be inspired.
RUSH: That’s exactly right. That’s why it needs to be seen.
BURLINGAME: That’s right.
RUSH: That’s precisely why it needs to be seen, instead of things like Fahrenheit 9/11. The same bunch of people that are telling movie theaters on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, “Don’t show me this. It’s too soon. It’s too soon,” they’re probably the same bunch who can’t wait to see Fahrenheit 9/11 two or three times
BURLINGAME: And they don’t like things that inspire feelings of patriotism. That makes them very nervous.
BURLINGAME: That makes them very, very nervous, because people who feel patriotic do crazy things in the name of country.
RUSH: Right. Irrational.
BURLINGAME: But people react to this on a gut level, and I don’t think they’ll buy any of that. I think they will see these heroes, and there’s no… I mean, that word gets bandied about a lot, Rush, but these people are the very definition of heroic, and when they see this pure unadulterated heroism they’re going to be inspired. They’re going to be inspired, and at the very least, the people who are glib on the subject of terrorism, maybe will get the smiles wiped off their faces for a little while.
RUSH: And there’s another group that will be reminded: the people with their heads in the sand who want to pretend that it didn’t happen so they don’t have to deal with the possibility of it happening again. This will be a reminder. I think it’s well timed, and I’m glad you called to recommend it, because you carry a lot of weight on this given your personal involvement, and I’m happy you called.
BURLINGAME: All right, thanks, Rush.
RUSH: Debra Burlingame. Again, her brother Chic, pilot of Flight 77 on 9/11.
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