September 11, 2006

Time for reflection

I know exactly what I was doing 5 years ago this morning.

I'd been on the phone for some time with a friend in Brooklyn, NY and had CNN on in the background. When the first plane hit the north tower, we were laughing about something and I told her that a plane had just ran into the World Trade Center. I remember having a hard time getting it across to her the seriousness of what was happening.

As we spoke, she went outside and saw the massive thick smoke plume which was passing right over her building. I listened to her witness the second plane hit. She described seeing the collapse of the two towers with her own eyes as I watched it happen on television hundreds of miles away. We spoke in shock and amazement before she got had to get off the phone to check on friends in Manhattan.

I'd eaten dinner at Windows On The World, on the top floor of the north tower only a few years earlier, and now I was watching it and the rest of the building burn and then suddenly vanish before my eyes.

As we all endure the wall-to-wall wallow in 9-11 on its fifth anniversary, (including the blatant attempt of a major network to air an account of the events leading up to 9-11 that contains blatant lies and Republican spin), it may be an appropriate time as well to reflect on what this administration has done since that fateful day, and perhaps more important, what they did or did not do before hand.

The question which seems to be absolutely forbidden to be asked, and which none in the media will dare ask, is simply whether the government could have prevented this enormous tragedy.

There is ample evidence that is available to prove that they knew of the threat and had been warned repeatedly, yet did nothing about it, and even cut funding for anti-terrorism programs. And the documented response, or lack of response, by the Air Force and others while the planes were still in flight is still characterized by conflicting reports and destroyed evidence.

Yet almost no attention has been paid to these things. No serious investigation has been done, and the evidence hasn't been presented to the public by any major media. It's truly the question which must not be asked, so the chance that we will ever have any answers is slim.

But there is a very real chance that this attack could have been prevented, and fairly easily. Yet no one ever dares to suggest it.

How have they responded? Where have Bush & Co. taken our country? Are we better off? Is the Middle East better off? Has the world become more secure? Or have their actions of the past 5 years made the U.S. and the entire world less secure, more dangerous, and thrown it into more turmoil than ever before?

Is the U.S. safer and more secure? Were the benefits of invading Iraq, if any, worth the staggering and ongoing costs in lives, treasure, and the squandered support and sympathy of the world?

As we are treated to a massive spectacle of patriotism and emotional memories today, accompanied by the witless blather of pundits and others repeating now trite slogans and conventional wisdom, we must ask ourselves as well, has what our government has done in our name in response to this attack been appropriate or effective?

Have they honored the loss of all those who were killed 5 years ago today with effective efforts against those responsible? Or rather, have they lead us into a hopeless and ill-conceived muddle which has not accomplished anything other than the deaths of thousands and stirring ever more hatred towards us and spawning ever more terrorists?

They responded, by launching a military campaign in Afghanistan, with the goal to take apart the Taliban, deny al Queda a haven and to capture and/or kill Osama bin Laden and as many as his associates as possible. They did this with the unanimous support of liberal and conservative alike, with the backing of the rest of the world.

But they did a half hearted job, pulled up short, and diverted resources to prepare to launch an invasion of a country with no involvement with the terror attack of 9-11 whatsoever.

Afghanistan was like a head fake, an exercise to buy time. They even allowed Afghan warlords to be in charge of the area bin Laden was in, and allowed one of two escape routes into Pakistan to remain open, thus allowing bin Laden free passage out of the country. Now the killing and attacks in Afghanistan are increasing, the U.S. installed government controls perhaps 1/3 of the country, the Taliban are regaining power, and the opium crop is at record levels, funneling billions to the Taliban and Islamic militants and warlords. Is this mission accomplished?

To this day, bin Laden seems to be an after-though to Bush, who has stated that he just doesn't worry much about him anymore. See this post

Ignoring all but shaky and disputed intelligence which supported their case for war, the Bush regime then rushed to invade Iraq. Why? Only God knows. But the extremely pro-Israel neo-cons surrounding Bush have been advocating just such an invasion for many years, and saw 9-11 as their perfect chance to stampede the country into war.

It would be easy to deceive the public, especially if they could be kept scared, and if 9-11, Iraq, and Sadaam were always mentioned in the same breath. Sacrifice wouldn't be asked of us, just that we remain in fear of a constant threat. That would be the key, and they'd be sure to remind us often, even though it serves no one's purpose but their own.

And they didn't have a hard time convincing Bush Jr., who has a rather comic book view of war and history, and who has a personal hatred for Hussein because, as Bush put it, "He tried to kill my daddy." Of course, oil man Cheney got positively damp at the prospect of controlling all that oil and the billions of profits which would flow to his former company and those of his friends.

So they mounted a propaganda campaign which will live in infamy. They took all of us for idiots, capitalizing on and exploiting the deaths of thousands on 9-11 and the fear of the populace for their own political and financial gain, and stampeded the country into an unprecedented war of aggression.

(Continued here.)


At 9/11/2006 9:12 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

So I take it that you don't want to expand the war into Iran, eh?

I am curious, Dope, tell me: in the days and weeks after 9/11, long before the invasion of Iraq, was there ever a time where you actually DID rally around our president? Or did you always hate his guts? Or did you take a cautious "wait and see" approach? (now don't take that answer as an "easy out")

Actually, I do agree with a few things you said here, but I am too tired to discuss it now. Let me say that there are some people out there who voted to re-elect Bush based on Mayor Rudy Giuliani's recommendation. Now are you saying that Rudy is wrong? When leftists go on these tirades, I have noticed that Rudy has been spared their wrath and criticism. Interesting.

I am a McCain man myself and I get a kick out of liberals who like him (such as Kerry who despertately wanted him for a v.p.) because if McCain were president, he would have been even more hawkish.

All politics is local. My deacon, (probably the priests as well) my doctor, and my barber all supported Bush.

Maybe tomorrow I will post a little more. I have had a long day of reflection. Good night.

At 9/11/2006 11:48 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

As you can see, just touching on the basics of the events surrounding 9-11 and the Bush response is a more than enormous story. It went on way, way longer than I had hoped.

Obviously, I couldn't mention every single politician involved, much less Giuliani.

No disrepect to your deacon, your barber, and the others, but they're uninformed as well, or foolishly operating on some distorted stereotype fed them by right wing media, or equally foolish by choosing who to support based on one miniscule and relatively unimportant issue, such as guns, gays, or abortion. If people vote that way without stoping to see the 99.99% of the rest of things that this gang represents, then we're sunk.

They're utter dupes to get sucked into Bush and the right by falling for the little crumbs of social issues that they're tosseed, which in turn allows the right to accomplish their far more damaging and immoral economic policies.
In other words Nico, these people voting for Bush are like chickens voting for Col. Sanders.

On just one issue alone, 9-11, just go and try to find all the info out there which show the MANY warnings from both domestic and foreign sources that this administration had, which were amazingly specific, even to warning about the use of hijacked airliners to strike buildings.

Look at the way that 9-11 families have had to fight and stuggle to this day to try to get something which they shouldn't have even had to ask for, namely to get a legitimate and thorough investigation into what happened on that day. Look into the massive campaign by Bush/Cheney to DENY and block any sort of investigation and then when forced to agree, how they tried to appoint Henry Kissinger, for heaven's sake, as commisioner, and then finally ended up with a panel that refused to go into who was responsible for the failures, refused to look at the administration in their investigation and report.

Consider that the recomondations of that committee have not been followed or implemented AT ALL to this day.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

It's all there for anyone who wants to know.

But you won't get it by watching a half hour of crap on cable news or Fox or AM radio, that much is certain.

What you'll get there will make you STUPIDER... it will fill you with false notions and rank propaganda designed to distract you from asking any questions, or to inspire hatred or suspicion about anyone who does.

Just step back. Rise above the whole situation of the past 5 years. I dare any thinking person to not clearly see the massive effort to propagandize the people into,
A. Not asking any tough questions.
B. Not demanding accountibility for the massive failures of the government
C. Being and remaining scared to death of personal attack and harm.
D. To feel that they're in some sort of quasi-religious struggle defending freedom, liberty, their families, truth, beauty and the American way, and now, civiliztion itself.

It's transparent as hell, and stunningly insulting to all of our intelligences.

We're a country of smart people, people who don't get fooled easily, people who aren't afraid to stand up and call bullshit and who don't quake and lay down before our leaders, who, after all, are supposed to be OUR servents.

Yet we've all behaved like quivering little school girls and spineless chumps, swallowing all the bullshit we're fed like we can't get enough, and then in turn, willingly attacking or demeaning anyone who actually has the courage to question or demand answers to OBVIOUS questirons from OUR government or who dare to expect accountibility for what has been done in our names.

You don't have to be some left wing wacko to realize these things. It has nothing to do with ideology. But the Republicans have done a grave disservice to this country by constantly sheilding and refusing to investigate the many, many, many instances of corruption, incompetence, and plainly illegal actions of this administration.

McCain would have been even more hawkish? Think again Nico.

McCain knows war, unlike every single top member of this administration, NONE of which served in the military.

McCain would have waited to go in, and if he had, would have ensured that there were adequate numbers of troops to both take down Hussein AND secure the country afterwards, as well as ensure that our fighting men and women had adequate armor and equipment.

We would not be in this mess if McCain had been in charge. A person who has been in war does everything they can to avoid it. Bush instead was like a kid wanting a new bike who couldn't wait for Christmas. He jumped the gun, went in under utterly false assumptions about the force needed or what would happen after the invasion, and we are now paying the cost.

I avoid getting into such a broad subject for just this reason that it is such a huge matter that it leads to very very long pieces and comments, which as we've seen, at least Jim Mowen can't manage.

People need to find out for themselves and they will come to their own conclusions.

Perhaps rather than writing sermons, I could provide a few dozen links to things that perhaps readers don't even know, such as the events preceeding 9-11, and the numerous examples of sheer incompetence and neglect for national security of the Bush administation.
And of course, while they lie in our faces about why we're mired in Iraq, it's not hard to connect the dots and see who is benefitting from it, and I'll give you a clue. It's not you or I, or your neighbor, or 99.9999% of the country.
The brave service men and women are not having their lives taken for some glorious ideal of freedom or democracy. They're dying for the economic interests of a few multi-national and vastly large corporate interests. The people who will reap billions from the war are not only Americans, but Saudis and elites from around the globe. It's not for the US. It's not for freedom, it's damn sure not for the Iraqi people, or any of the hogwash we're expected to swallow.

I don't put any weight on what most politicians say. I think it's almost sad that so many people seem to think these people are so virtuous that they speak the truth and have all the knowledge and meekly accept what they say as gospel.

The don't believe a car salesman, yet seem to think what policians say is the Lord's truth? Give me a break!

Seriously, I can honestly say that I don't believe 80% or more of what comes out of their mouths, especially the right wing.

They've lost the right to respect with their relentless campaign of lies over the years.

They are all about self-preservation first, holding onto power second, defending the administration third, and peddling soothing and "acceptable" narratives fourth. The truth comes in far down the list.

Giuliani appeared to at least be competent in the period immediately after the attack, but there have been a lot of facts which have come out since then that tarnish that image.

If anyone voted for Bush based on what Republican Rudy Giuliani said, a person who obviously was dependent on Bush support for his own ambitions, they're absolutely stupid and gullible.

That's like voting for Blagojevich because Mike Jacobs said you should.

People need to WORK and find out the story, find the facts, find the stories that are often buried in the back pages or ignored by the major press.

You simply can't be fully informed, or even have a grasp of the full story if you rely only on cable or network news and watching politicians spout prepared and calculated statements on TV or in the papers.

That's simply not enough. You're not getting the whole picture.

Granted, most people have very busy lives and often don't feel like spending a lot of their time with their nose in books or searching the internet or even keeping their TVs tuned to C-Span, or reading magazines or watching news programs to try to find the tid-bits of truth which are available.

If they had, they'd see that what comes out of Bush and the rest simply doesn't make sense, or is directly contradicted by other factual reports.

The bottom line, and this is the truth, is that they are spouting a huge line to the American people. They are SELLING a story, and it's often directly at odds with the truth.

Bush's address tonight contained a line designed to scare the crap out of little old ladies and others who are gullible and easily frightened. He didn't just say that there is a threat of attack, which is true. He said that there was a liklihood of horrible unspeakable terror being brought "into our homes", or something like that.

It was specifically meant to scare people on a personal, gut level, no matter if they lived in Ypsilanti, MI, or Sparks, NM and have more chance of being hit by a meteor than being affected by terror.

He pumped the idea that this is a fight for civilization, when that's a laughable idea, yet many will swallow it.

And I heard again today the ridiculous suggestion, from Giuliani himself, that the memorials performed today show that we're different, that unlike us, our "enemies" have no regard for individual human life.

That's preposerous and irresponsible, as it will no doubt make more people think that dark skinned people, or Muslims in general, have no regard for individual life. Even the terrorists have regard for their lives, and to suggest otherwise is simply yet another attempt to dehumanize them.

This isn't to defend their actions, nor take anything away from the vicious crimes they have committed or the number of innocent human lives that they've senselessly taken.

But in our response, we've killed many times that number of utterly innocent lives. So does that give us the moral high ground? Hell no. Bush squandered that by his reckless, ill-conceived and half-cocked militaristic response in Iraq.

And of course I don't think we should start a war with Iran. The sad fact is that Bush's actions have increased Iran's power and influence in the region many times over.

If we hadn't blundered into Iraq due to Bush's idiotic ego, Iran wouldn't be in a position to start rattling it's nuclear sabres. We're now in no position to stop them, spread perilously thin around the globe with threats that were largely contained in the past now errupting into full blown crisis.

This administration's actions were criminal and massively destructive in countless ways, not the least that they gave no thought as to the ramifications or geo-political consequences.

But now they're going to leave the world a far, far worse place and hand it over to future generations and future leaders to try to deal with.

Stay the course? Hell no!

It's way past time for a change. We've been lead into a deep hole and we need to stop digging and elect someone who will at least start thinking about getting us out.


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