Posts Tagged ‘9/11 Anniversary’
“The illegals are trying to hijack the cockpit of America’s government! Let’s roll! —William Gheen and The ALIPAC Team”
Isn’t that just lovely? Let’s use the most terrible crime in American history to compare immigrants to mass murderers. Yes that’s the message of the anti-immigrant group ALIPAC. Lovely, just lovely. It’s bad enough that 9/11 has been used to whip up anti-Muslim sentiment, strip us of our rights, support overseas wars, and the creation of a vast mind-numbingly wasteful and counterproductive police and security state … now it’s being used to foment racism in the USA! Merika!
Sigh. This is an example of why I’m having trouble blogging lately. The Religious Right in the USA is going further off the rails every day. If you aren’t a white, Evangelical Christian, heterosexual, male American … you aren’t really an American. That’s the platform of the Religious Right now, it scares me, it should scare any decent person. I’d write more posts about it, but it would just upset me more. People who want to keep up on the brain-dead antics of this formerly fringe movement should follow Right Wing Watch. A lot of it is the usual crap, trying to get religious teachings back into school, etc. Some of it is a lot worse. Tell gay couples to die on their wedding day, gays wear special rings to infect non-gays with HIV, Obamacare is designed to kill conservatives. The sort of stuff that used to be limited to flyers stuck under windshields is now mainstream fare. Jesus wept.
What does this have to do with 9/11? A lot, 9/11 really seems to have pushed a lot of right wingers over the edge. A friend of mine was calling for the USA to blanket Afghanistan with neutron bombs after 9/11. He came back and later admitted it’s a good thing he wasn’t in charge of the country that day. Many kept right on going as evidenced by the Religious Right’s every widening gap between themselves and reality. The rest of the country is trying to move forward to an America with justice and fairness for all Americans, the Right wants to return to a day (that never existed) when American was synonymous with white Evangelical Christian. And I am most definitely talking about Republicans and the Tea Party, though there are plenty of conservatives who think it’s gone too far. They are being purged from the Republican party from what I can tell. This is the legacy of 9/11, Republicans have turned into a party of hatred and divisiveness.
Then there’s the whole war monger thing. Sigh. 9/11 was indeed blow-back from our murderous foreign policy, but few if Americans know that. The propaganda that 9/11 was purely caused by America hating religious nuts who only understand violence and can’t be negotiated with is pretty much stock-in-trade for most Americans. With the full and enthusiastic cooperation of most of America’s atheists too. Sigh. Again. Yes, 9/11 was a terrible thing. And we’ve used it to justify endless 9/11s against Muslim lands. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan as we set our military loose to “protect” America by murdering foreigners. And we wonder why foreigners hate our foreign policy, if “kill as you please” can even be described as a foreign policy.
The there’s the other 9/11, one that I didn’t even realize was a 9/11 event until recently. Yes, 40 years ago today with the full backing and aid of the CIA and USA government the democratically elected government of Chile was overthrown by a military coup, ushering in nearly two decades of repressive military dictatorship. I guess it’s only fitting that we used our own 9/11 to strip Americans of their rights and energize our efforts to overthrow governments overseas. It’s an American tradition now, like football, mom, and apple pie. And now due to Obama’s beneficent influence, even the Democrats are the party of foreign wars!
To me this is the greatest sadness and shame of 9/11. A terrible event that could have triggered a national debate and reflection on the role America plays in the world was hijacked by war mongers, war profiteers, and haters from the beginning; and we now have a country that wages war constantly abroad and spies on and restricts its citizens at home. We could have followed the Prince of Peace, instead we pledged our souls to Satan. To commemorate the loss of loved ones by killing foreigners and stripping Americans of their rights isn’t commemoration, it’s sick. America lost its way in 2001and went enthusiastically down the dark path Bin Laden wanted us to follow. Maybe someday we will wake up from the dystopian police state nightmare that has been evolving in the USA since then, but I’m not seeing many bright spots on the horizon.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, its use here in no conceivable way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image, and it is the best image I could find to illustrate my feelings about 9/11. I have no idea who to attribute it too. “Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.” —John Lennon)
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.)
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.)
OK, countdown to the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Details, details. I know about a million columns and blog posts are going to be written as the tenth anniversary of the most overblown and hyped event in human history approaches, so it’s a topic that’s on my mind. And I’m already disgusted by some of the jingoistic tripe being bandied about, not to mention the lies, so I’m going to throw my two cents in. Here then is part one of a series of columns I plan to write as the great day approaches. Conspiracy theories, what really brought down the twin towers?
Gravity. See, that was easy. There is no other way for a building that size and weight to fall, it has to fall into its’ own footprint. It could only fall over sideways if there was some huge force pushing it sideways. So the fact that the buildings collapsed into their own footprints is meaningless, not proof that they were felled by deliberately laid explosives. But, but … didn’t people report hearing explosions before and during the collapses? Yes, they likely did. Take a concrete and steel column, put so much weight on top of it that it can no longer support the weight, what happens? It explodes. Any other questions?
Actually, I have a few questions. 9/11 demolition theory conspiracists generally avoid questions, but it’s my blog, and I’ll ask if I want to. How, exactly, does one recruit people into this kind of plot? I don’t doubt that there are people in power capable of murdering thousands of Americans for their own political ends, but getting henchmen to carry out acts like this historically requires very extreme settings like wars and massive internal unrest. IE Dick Cheney didn’t secretly deploy tons of explosives in his spare time, a large team of specialists would be required. I find it hard to imagine circumstances where such people would agree to participate in the plot, and even less imagine how all of these people would keep quiet afterwards.
Which leads to another absurd aspect of the controlled demolition theory. The insane complexity of the plot. Let’s review, we start with a plot that involves hijacking four airliners and flying them into buildings … and preventing any of America’s defence and intelligence agencies from interfering! Think about that, even at this point we are talking a vast conspiracy involving controlling influence in dozens of agencies including things like the Air Force. There’s all sorts of ways this could go wrong already. And then add another layer to this mess, the secret deployment of explosives in two of the world’s largest buildings. Um, even in planned demolitions things sometimes don’t work, and there’s all sorts of ways a secret like this could be discovered either before or after. In other words, this plot may work in a Hollywood movie, in real life, no one is daft enough to try something this complicated, and the likelihood of them pulling it all off is basically zero. I challenge anyone to find any successful conspiracy in history even remotely approaching the controlled demolition 9/11 theory in complexity.
And speaking of controlled demolitions, they always start at the bottom, not the top. And the twin towers were unique buildings in their construction details as well. Again, just more layers of complexity to a plot already insanely complex: The demolition of a type of building that had never been demolished before using a method of demolition that had never been used before, all based on the idea that the hijacked airliners would hit when and where required. What if one of the planes missed? Or hit the wrong place and wiped out key demolitions?
Like I said, twin tower demolition conspiracy theorists have far more unanswered questions than they propose. I think they are wrong, and I especially think they are, well, delusional when they try to claim that their case is proven. I won’t try to argue that their case is impossible, just that there are far less complicated and more satisfying explanations for the events of 9/11. That however is a topic for tomorrow’s blog.
(The above is a contemporary image of the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. It is public domain under US copyright law. Most may have heard of Guy Fawkes, the conspirator caught guarding the explosives under the parliament building, where the plotters planned to blow up the King and the House of Lords. It’s one of the closest analogies to the 9/11 twin towers demolition conspiracy theory I can find, it involved a vastly simpler plan with far fewer plotters … and it was a complete failure.)