9/11 and 9/12 … The Hangover
Well, it’s over. Another 9/11 anniversary is past, yes the most memorialized crime in history once again reared its ugly head. I wrote my own 9/11 post, but it was so filled with anger I decided to forgo it. And while I was reviewing what every other pundit on the planet had to say about 9/11, a whole bunch of Americans converged on Washington to insist that under no circumstances must America’s incredibly well paid health insurance industry death panels be hindered in their efforts. It’s been a strange weekend, but frankly, living in a country where many people think that the government actually helping sick people should be our lowest national priority is a little strange at the best of times. I mean, our goddamn prison population has access to better health care than tens of millions of Americans. Interesting national priorities.
I was asleep in a trailer in the Oregon woods during the 9/11 attacks. I was dreaming about huddling with some folks in the corner of a basement or some such from an explosion. And then I was walking along a road in an open area with a city on the skyline. On one side of the road was an endless pile of tan dust or sand. There was a rickety barbed wire fence and some brush between me and the dust, and I was looking for a way to get through it and look at the dust closer. Then I woke up from my dreams, went into the main house, and started watching cable TV true crime shows. The news of the attacks scrolled by, and that was that. For the first few moments I thought maybe it was some sort of War of the Worlds thing, like maybe a preview for a movie that had been mistaken for something real No such luck, 19 people had indeed hijacked airliners and used them as weapons.
And sadly within a few days the second hijacking took place and the real nightmare began. Within a week of 9/11 I knew that the “War on Terror” was going to make the “War on Drugs” look cheap and effective by comparison. What had been a terrible crime perpetrated by a tiny handful of religious extremists was parlayed into a terrifying existential threat to western civilization. The great terrorist witch hunt had begun, and while Americans were driven almost to hysteria watching out for terrorists jumping out of every corner and crying for the government to do anything to protect them from this threat … the rich and the military went on the greatest shopping spree in history. In fact they were so carried away with the thrill of having infinite credit cards, and a universal mandate, they even thought they could buy entire countries and reshape the world in their image! Yes, by God, good was finally going to triumph over evil!
Sadly, Iraq and Afghanistan, the first two countries in their heroic agenda have stuck in our craw, and despite never ending blood and money, don’t look like they will be transforming into the occupied post war Germany and Japan of our “greatest generation” anytime soon. Al Quaida is still around, even Bin Laden is still making the rounds, th0ugh he’s lost his edge. France is still around despite despite the fact that many of the proponents of the “War on Terror” had confidently written its epitaph. There’s no Islamic Caliphate in the Middle East, and just in general the Muslim hordes that were just over the horizon have failed to materialize. In fact except for a truly heroic pile of debt, some ungovernable occupied Muslim lands of our own, and a government/military/banker complex bloated beyond all reason like some great cancerous octopus … everything is pretty much the same as before the War on Terror. Yeah, Bin Laden wasn’t able to nuke New York, but there never was much chance he was going to do that anyhow. And yeah, terrorist attacks continue. As they have since the beginning of recorded history and will until human beings evolve past the shaved chimp stage.
Exit Bush, enter Obama, and we’re in a bizarre new land. Americans who for years stood by while Bush shovelled trillions out the door to bankers and the military are now up in arms because Obama wants to spend comparatively modest amounts on medical care for sick Americans? On one hand it’s nice that people are waking up to the fact that Washington has robbed us blind and that Washington’s credit cards need to be cancelled, on the other hand the anti-Obama and anti-liberal tone of it all was disturbing. Because I’m pretty sure most of these people were pro Bush, which hardly argues this is some national movement. And arguments on whether the march is spontaneous are pointless, because spontaneous or not they are benefiting the very efficient death panels we already have, the insurance companies who work so hard to make sure we have the most profitable and least effective health care system in the developed world.
And on top of this weirdness, boy, Obama is really blowing it. I suspected all along he was a clever politician with a silver tongue. Yeah, that’s an upgrade from a clever politician who only took the cowboy boot out of his mouth to change feet, but it wasn’t what we needed or were promised! Sadly it seems like Obama’s “strategy” so far has been to double down in Afghanistan and on the economy, and hopefully ram some sort of health care reform package through using the favours the former two generated. In fact for all practical purposes Obama has simply continued or even expanded on Bush’s policies, while liberals grow increasingly desperate to avoid acknowledging what the liberal intelligentsia knew from the beginning, Obama is no liberal. And as a last delicious icing to this giant cake of absurdity, Americans are having coniptions calling President Obama a socialist, a communist, and a fascist for doing exactly what Bush was doing!
So what’s really going on here? Beats the hell out of me. My current theory … I’m still dreaming in my trailer in the woods.
(The above image as proof that millions of people marched on Washington? Um, no, even though it was widely claimed as such. It’s a photo from some previous event, probably the Million Man March in 95. And an example of to what great lengths the partisans in this debate will go to, partisans on both sides I should add. I’ve seen credible estimates of 60,000 or more, up to hardly credible millions. I suspect the media is mostly ignoring it because even they aren’t really sure what is going on. In President Obama’s America, every day is Halloween I guess.)