Coundown to 9/11 … The Aftermath
I’ve explained how 9/11 came to be, why they did it, and demolished all the conspiracy theories. OK, that was a joke. The main pint of the previous posts was to encourage discussion, and lead to the point I made in the last post … ultimately who caused 9/11 doesn’t matter. I mean, if irrefutable proof now showed up that Hitler himself lit the Reichstag Fire, what would it change? Nothing. If video now surfaced showing Cheney and co-conspirators laying explosives in the Twin Towers … would Obama go on TV the next day announcing an end to the War on Terror, withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq, an end to the Patriot Act, closing Guantanamo, slashing the defence budget, and disbanding Homeland Security?
Snort. Of course not. This is why I think the 9/11 truthers are at best wasting their time, and at worst making it all too easy for the real conspirators to get away with their conspiracy. A conspiracy that happened in plain sight, a conspiracy that is ongoing to this day, a conspiracy that has become part of our national identity even. A conspiracy that is still backed by millions of Americans. Yes, I am talking about the fact that the American government almost immediately seized upon 9/11 as a pretext to take over the world!
Granted, it’s a little bit more nuanced than that. Let me start over. 9/11 was a terrible crime. It was however, just that, a terrible crime committed by a tiny band of extremists. In point of fact it was a known enemy attacking a known target with a method of attack that had been suggested as early as 1970. It looked spectacular on TV, but it really wasn’t that big a deal. It was just a terrible crime with a lot of victims. It wasn’t an act of war, it wasn’t a clash of civilizations, it was a sick thug murdering a bunch of people. And that’s how it should have been dealt with.
That’s not how we dealt with it. And this is the part where I start to get really sickened and angry. Within days, if not hours, of 9/11, a cabal of hawks in and out of the administration saw 9/11 as a God given chance to use America’s power and prestige to remake the world. The thinking was that since the USA had “won” the cold war, we should now use our advantage to bring about something called the “New American Century.” In a nutshell this was a world where everyone bowed before America’s might. Inconvenient governments like Saddam and the Taliban would be swept away, America’s corporations would have access to markets and resources everywhere, on their terms. And any conceivable threat to US military global or regional dominance would be pre-emptively destroyed. It was a wonderful vision, a vision that rivalled Rome at its greatest, a vast world wide empire with the USA as a new Rome, giants upon a great hill. We were the good guys, God’s chosen ones, and it was time to act on it.
And yeah, it would have been nice if freedom and democracy and prosperity had blossomed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, we have spent trillions of dollars, thousands of American lives, squandered our 9/11 global good will bonus … and achieved less than nothing. Iraq and Afghanistan are two of the world’s foremost failed states, with corruption and violence that puts mob era Chicago to shame. Attempts to bring Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, and Libya into the fold aren’t going very well. And let’s not forget that Americans enjoy less freedom than they did prior to 9/11. This is the legacy of 9/11. Smart intelligent people who should have known better confused being a superpower with having superpowers.
Compared to Rome or other great Empires, we suck. And we haven’t reconnected with reality yet. And that’s tomorrow’s post. Where do we go from here, and some more personal observations.
(The above image appears to be Pubic Domain under current Russian copyright law. It’s the aftermath of the Battle of Stalingrad. An event that dwarfed 9/11 in almost every particular. Except the hype.)