Of course, today is the 14th anniversary of the World Trade Center horror — and the feelings of all Americans are caught up in that tidal wave of emotion on seeing via live TV the destruction and death right in our collective faces.
Life changed that day, we all were one way, then in a short space, we were another.
This morning in New York: ‘“We come every year. The crowds get smaller, but we want to be here. As long as I’m breathing, I’ll be here,” said Tom Acquaviva, 81, who lost his son, Paul Acquaviva, a systems analyst who died in the trade center’s north tower.’
And we all will never forget that day…
However, after that day and the few weeks afterwards, the whole process of history became totally fucked.
(Illustration found here).
One terrible aspect of that day and even the worst horror to follow is how in the shit did Osama bin Laden know George W, The Dick and all their arrogant, incompetent assholes would take a single incident, itself beyond tragic and horrible, and create something far worse, way-beyond the heart-rendering death of 2,977 Americans, and render an entire generation to pain and suffering?
A real pit of anger for the aftermath.
A good perspective of those enfolding years came Tuesday from Tom Engelhardt at TomDispatch and a look back.
Some key points:
Fourteen years of wars, interventions, assassinations, torture, kidnappings, black sites, the growth of the American national security state to monumental proportions, and the spread of Islamic extremism across much of the Greater Middle East and Africa.
Fourteen years of astronomical expense, bombing campaigns galore, and a military-first foreign policy of repeated defeats, disappointments, and disasters.
Fourteen years of a culture of fear in America, of endless alarms and warnings, as well as dire predictions of terrorist attacks.
Fourteen years of the burial of American democracy (or rather its recreation as a billionaire’s playground and a source of spectacle and entertainment but not governance).
Fourteen years of the spread of secrecy, the classification of every document in sight, the fierce prosecution of whistleblowers, and a faith-based urge to keep Americans “secure” by leaving them in the dark about what their government is doing.
Fourteen years of the demobilization of the citizenry.
Fourteen years of the rise of the warrior corporation, the transformation of war and intelligence gathering into profit-making activities, and the flocking of countless private contractors to the Pentagon, the NSA, the CIA, and too many other parts of the national security state to keep track of.
Fourteen years of our wars coming home in the form of PTSD, the militarization of the police, and the spread of war-zone technology like drones and stingrays to the “homeland.”
Fourteen years of that un-American word “homeland.”
Fourteen years of the expansion of surveillance of every kind and of the development of a global surveillance system whose reach — from foreign leaders to tribal groups in the backlands of the planet — would have stunned those running the totalitarian states of the twentieth century.
Fourteen years of the financial starvation of America’s infrastructure and still not a single mile of high-speed rail built anywhere in the country.
Fourteen years in which to launch Afghan War 2.0, Iraq Wars 2.0 and 3.0, and Syria War 1.0. Fourteen years, that is, of the improbable made probable.
And Engelhardt wonders as I do:
Fourteen years later, thanks a heap, Osama bin Laden.
With a small number of supporters, $400,000-$500,000, and 19 suicidal hijackers, most of them Saudis, you pulled off a geopolitical magic trick of the first order.
Think of it as wizardry from the theater of darkness.
In the process, you did “change everything” or at least enough of everything to matter.
Or rather, you goaded us into doing what you had neither the resources nor the ability to do.
So let’s give credit where it’s due.
Psychologically speaking, the 9/11 attacks represented precision targeting of a kind American leaders would only dream of in the years to follow.
I have no idea how, but you clearly understood us so much better than we understood you or, for that matter, ourselves.
You knew just which buttons of ours to push so that we would essentially carry out the rest of your plan for you.
While you sat back and waited in Abbottabad, we followed the blueprints for your dreams and desires as if you had planned it and, in the process, made the world a significantly different (and significantly grimmer) place.
Read the whole piece, really puts the ugly into a picture frame of shame. Eespecially since none of those Americans involved with the last 14 years have been brought to real justice — George W and The Dick ought to be sharing a damp, dark jail cell together.
Just to show — President Obama three years ago way-quietly continued the terror war by re-signing the Declaration of National Emergency, put in place by George Jr. on Sept. 14, 2001.
Said our august, supposedly peacemaker-scholar: “The terrorist threat that led to the declaration on September 14, 2001, of a national emergency continues,” wrote President Obama. “For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue in effect after September 14, 2013, the national emergency with respect to the terrorist threat.”
Fourteen loud chants, ‘Fuck you!’