Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

9/11 … The Maddened Elephant

with 2 comments

Just a few more hours and the tenth anniversary of 9/11 will be history. Of course in a  sense 9/11 will never be over, we have entire institutions and wars devoted to the memory of 9/11, and they aren’t going to slip quietly into the night. In a way, and not a good way, 9/11 is becoming a cult. I’m sick of it. 9/11 was like a rat biting an elephant on the snout. Yeah, it hurt like hell, and yeah it pissed us off. And we should have squashed the rat and carried on. Instead, we have spent ten years trumpeting and snorting wildly, wreaking havoc around us and wearing ourselves into exhaustion in the process. And even though a few months back we finally trampled on the rat that bit us, there’s no sign of an end to the madness.

Sigh. I’ve avoided most of the news today, but I did catch that Obama said that 9/11 “made us stronger.” No surprise there, this is the guy who claimed that Navy Seals gunning down an unarmed old man in his PJs was one of the “greatest military operations in US history.” Obama’s ability to utter the most egregious nonsense while appearing sober and presidential is what got him elected, and he’s clearly not lost his touch.

No, 9/11 did not make us stronger. Or to be more accurate, our response to 9/11 did not make us stronger, it made us weaker. The Bush administration and a compliant media encouraged the USA to hysterically over-react to 9/1, and we paid and are still paying a terrible price for it. A price in both treasure and blood, a price vastly greater than our losses on that day ten years ago. And the horrors we have inflicted on other lands in the name of 9/11, are these the actions of a Christian nation?

Our costs though. In treasure, it’s been enormous. Three trillion dollars at least for the cost of our wars and increased homeland “security.” And even if we ended the War on Terror tomorrow, there would still be trillions more to go in terms of veteran’s care in decades to come. This is money we didn’t have, it was borrowed from our grandchildren, plain and simple. There’s not any question that we got almost no economic benefit from this spending, aside from obscenely enriching the arms and security industry. This added debt is a huge part of why our economy is on the ropes, how the hell does piles of debt make a nation stronger?

Then there’s the cost in blood. Several tens of thousands of Americans have been killed and maimed in our wars, the actual numbers are muddy because the Pentagon works very hard to conceal and obfuscate them. And hundreds of thousands more veterans will have permanent psychological issues and trauma from their service, about one in three combat veterans never really get over it in one sense or another. This is a terrible cost by any measure, and for what? Propping up two of the world’s most corrupt field states? Sending Americans to die on the other side of the planet doesn’t make us stronger, it makes us weaker.

And then there’s the psychological cost. The hysteria mongering after 9/11 was among the most intense in history. The government left no stone unturned telling Americans that terrible monsters lurked everywhere, and that we had to give the government a blank check, including suspending some of our own freedoms, to fight this new menace or surely a falling airliner or a dirty bomb or germ warfare would be coming soon to a neighbourhood near them. And Americans, traumatized by the endlessly repeated sights of 9/11, fell for this twaddle by the tens of millions and gave the Bush administration the green light to seize control of the world’s oil. And it continues to this day, tens of millions of Americans dutifully regurgitate “our troops are fighting for our freedom” while the administration continues to weave tales of terror and death. Letting fear of a trivial enemy guide our national policy does not make us a stronger nation, it makes us a nation of cowards and sheep.

Lastly, I’m saddened and disgusted by what a narcissistic spectacle 9/11 and the “War on Terror” has become. It’s like when Commodus, the Emperor of Rome, took to fighting naked gladiatorial contests in the Colosseum. And charging the city staggering sums of money for the privilege. All right thinking Romans were horrified. The survivors and heroes of 9/11 should be mourning quietly and privately, not being paraded through the streets of Rome for the glory of the Empire.

It’s really that weird.

(The above image is claimed as Public Domain under US copyright law as it was painted in 1526. It’s a Painting titled “The Fall of the Rebel Angels” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. It’s just another way to articulate the situation we find ourselves in: America went mad on 9/11, and its going to get worse before it gets better.)

Written by unitedcats

September 11, 2011 at 10:09 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I have to state that I do agree with you Doug, and your posts are always a good read that get me through the workday. Being that I am not an American, I really should not have the opinions I do about your governement. Everytime something horrible happens to the south of us I cringe and wonder what will happen. After the initial attack on Sept 11, 2001, as conspiracy theories started,I thought about one of my favorite quotes. “A Patriot must always be ready to defend his country against its government”–Edward Abbey. My only hope is that the masses of American people come out of their comas and realize what they have already lost. I just do not think you live in a free country anymore.

    Jennifer Goodyear

    September 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm

  2. Your country needs a revolution more than any Arab state. Sadly the ongoing tightened security is exactly for the purpose of making your people reject such ideas. And contrary to popular belief the extra security only has a cursory purpose in staving terror threats. It’s primary purpose is to quash internal unrest and revolution.
    I believe the only way your people can save the future for your children is to accept that you need to band together and revolt against the negative elements in your government. Also, accept that a genuine people’s revolution will suffer heavy losses and this is the main barrier to any revolt but if the cause is strongly felt in the minds and hearts of the participants then they will accept their fate. Sadly I don’t think you are there yet.
    The reason is something most thinking Americans haven’t yet addressed – that your people have engaged in corrupt behavior on a local social level, that is sadism, debauchery and vengeful acts against each other. Add a general psychosis and denial of the hard truths – your left with almost nothing to work with.
    Despite the odds against – I can see no other fix to your dilemma except a people’s revolution.

    Joe

    September 12, 2011 at 3:36 pm


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