Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Lost Decade

I know it's unpopular to say, but one lesson of 9/11 is that it demonstrated we probably couldn't have handled another major terrorist attack.  It showed we  don't have the cool or resiliency or long view of the British. We panicked, & badly. We're still isolationists at heart. We spent  trillions of dollars & thousands of lives & put our Constitution at risk  because we thought 19 lunatics with a whack religious belief were capable of tearing down our civilization.  Our response was to start tearing it down ourselves. We became enamored of scientific & historical  ignorance. We worshiped  ideology even as we fought Islamic ideologues & let homegrown ideologues paralyze our government. We fought a bunch of  secretive, conspiratorial medievalists with the full brunt of our military power, cost no object,   as if they possessed armies & navies & air forces. We  were so frightened that we handed over our government to a cabal of international bankers & militarists & let them drain our treasury, kill our young people, & ruin our economy. Then we blamed it on Social Security, Medicare, teachers,  science, gays out of the closet,  the old standby of commies in the closet, anyone & anything  except following the money, which we should have done beginning 9/12/01. Meanwhile, Germany, China, India, Brazil, & a bunch of other powerhouse nations naturally took advantage of our obsession with Muslims & willingness to bankrupt ourselves & undermine our own Constitution. Our President  advised us ignore the wars as much as we could & shop our way out of crisis. Then millions of formerly middle class Americans couldn't afford to buy anything. There was no back up plan.

I don't think I've ever said anything more cynical than that anyone who supported the excessive measures we took & the endless war we've waged in response to 9/11 & failed to personally profit materially from them is an All-American sucker. Just ask the folks who turned the redevelopment of Ground Zero into a multi-billion dollar white collar criminal enterprise,  passed the outrageous costs on to everyone else as toll & transit fare increases - lying about why those hikes were necessary. Instead of going to jail they get  to stand on the podium on Sunday, weeping crocodile tears.  But a tiny slice of the 9/11 bonanza.

Nice post. I've not been able to focus on formulating my personal ten year thoughts. I do have a 9/11 New York memorial section in one of my bookshelves, with several books, two really cool snow globes, one very iconic crystal piece of the twin towers and the other little buildings, and two photograph albums of my pictures of New York. One of the books (the two are what you would call coffee table books) is called Portraits of 9/11, and it is a concise album of sorts with pictures and details and snippets about everyone who lost their life on 9/11. It's hard to read without crying. Ten years later, and I have to say, I am still not over it. Although, I don't have a bone in my body that blames Muslims. I would have preferred we took a shot at Saudi Arabia though, since most if not all of the hijackers were Saudis. But, of course, Bush's government flew out all of the Saudis, including members of Bin Laden's family, in the two to three days following 9/11 (despite the no fly order). Something to think about.
I'm not done venting. Need to get it out. I've been enraged all week since reading an expose of the downtown redevelopment, as well as mounting & rather obvious evidence that good international intelligence, drones (however one feels about them morally) & special ops teams accomplish more than thousands of regular ground troops trying to wage a conventional war. Which we sorta knew all along, We're also economically & constitutionally bankrupted. Which means, in a very real sense, we've lost.
"one very iconic crystal piece of the twin towers"...I gave you that piece for your 50th birthday in Las Vegas. I lost 2 high school classmates, 1 college classmate, 3 customers, and 1 neighbor that day. The next day I was at Ground Zero with the Clinton Milk truck handing out water, Tropicana, etc., to the rescue crew. At one point I was next to a large piece of the United fuselage. Large enough that United was legible and still had windows. What most stays with me is that image, and the horrendous odor. That is a smell I will never forget.
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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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