9/11 +5

I’ve been dreading tomorrow, but not because of painful memories–my personal connection to the events is insulated through others, unlike my cousins in New Jersey who went through multiple funerals of multiple friends, who surely could see the cloud of smoke and dust from their homes.

I’ve been dreading it for entirely other reasons–mainly, the fear expectation that Dumbass and his evil clique will go out of their way to use the fifth anniversary politically. We know now they will, with ABC-TV as their witting ally, spewing hateful lies and slanders about President Clinton and his team, and spewing gilding lies and falsely burnishing the record of The Liar-in-Chief himself and his team, whom we know ignored the warnings given him by Clinton and his team about bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

I remember driving to Tim Hortons that morning and switching on NPR, hearing about the first plane hitting, and thinking, Wow, that’s really odd, I wonder how such a terrible mistake happened? I thought about the time in the 1940s that a plane hit the Empire State Building… and honestly, didn’t think a whole lot more about it. I thought there might be a few dozen casualties, which was sad, and I made a mental note to check the NWS to see if it was raining in New York City.

By the time I got back into my car from Timmy’s, it was clear it was no accident.

Cable was being connected that day but the tech hadn’t shown up yet, so I watched a while on open-air TV. Since I was still a practicing Pagan then, I cast a circle, prayed a while, and wondered just what the raging hell was going on, who had done this, and why, and in a shockingly selfish moment, wondering just how royally fucked I was job-wise, since I was unemployed at the time (as it turns out, I was extremely fucked–the job I have now is the first permanent job I’ve had since leaving IBM in April 2001–so maybe I was being more realistic than selfish).

I wasn’t surprised when came home early, since he worked for the state. He looked shell-shocked; I suppose I did too. Sometime around when he came home, the cable guy showed up and connected our service so we could watch in horrific clarity. I don’t recall whether the towers fell before or after he got home.

I talked to my folks on the phone; they came through town a couple days later on their way somewhere else and everyone got a very badly needed hug.

What was creepiest was this: I live not far from an incoming/outgoing flight lane for Port Columbus airport. I thought that having lived in the area for eight years, I had learned to tune out the sound of jets overhead.

I hadn’t at all.

I had learned to ignore them.

The difference is vast, and in the absolute absence of commercial air traffic, more than a little scary. When air service started up a few days later, the first time I heard a jet overhead, my heart about stopped.

In the immediate aftermath, I was proud of our government and of our leadership. They did the right things. I supported the invasion of Afghanistan. And I put up a memorial page which included what seems now a prophetic choice of links: one to a copy of Mark Twain’s War Prayer (the link in the original document is now broken).

But it wasn’t long before something felt hinky.

Very hinky.

By the time we reached the eve of a false war of aggression against Iraq, it seemed pretty clear to me what was going on. I still stand by a lot of that, but I know now that I aimed low, not fully realizing the depths of evil that The Liar and his clique were capable of.

The Liar claims this is about freedom and the American way of life, and has gone out of his way to make us less free and less American.

So take back the memorializations. Make them truly about freedom: speak your mind. Denounce the lies and the liars. Spread the truth, in the name of those innocent victims in whose name we are lied to daily.

Because they deserve a far better memorial than being used to justify the unjustifiable and further the political careers of hacks and liars and bigots and fascists.


7 comments so far

  1. surakofb5 on

    I heard about the first plane on NPR, too. I was getting to work just before 9pm and they just had an early report, no details. Then I disappeared into a lab with no Internet access and forgot about it. I had a deadline and no time to think about something that sounded minor at the time.

    I emerged around noon for lunch, and someone told me the twin towers had collapsed. I just stared at him blankly, not able to comprehend. I literally could not wrap my brain around it. Then they closed work and sent us home because they were afraid terrorists might be planning to park a truck bomb in front of the building.

    The next few days, I noticed the lack of planes mostly when I was driving down I-71, because the approach path cuts straight across the highway. It was weird not seeing them.

    • The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester on

      And then came the anthrax scare, which had to be really weird where you work.

      The collapse, I couldn’t believe. At no point did it ever occur to me that the towers could fall, much less that they might.

      Now… now I believe a lot of ugly things about my own government that I wish I didn’t.

      I believe that Rumsfeld’s “slip” about Flight 93 being shot down wasn’t a slip, it was one of the few times he spoke the truth. For the record–I think that a jet that is going to be used as a weapon against the White House or Congress (or, for that matter the WTC or Pentagon) should be shot down, if rescue or otherwise stopping it isn’t possible.

      We know that The Liar and company ignored the warnings given by President Clinton and his team as they left–which makes them guilty not so much of “allowing the attacks to happen” as of creating an environment where the 9/11 attacks could happen, through incompetence and/or indifference. They were warned, and they did nothing except start seeking a way to use 3000 American dead to justify a war of choice.

      What bothers me most are the occasional slips of honesty that get out, the little turns of phrase like “catapult the propaganda” (stunningly, this is still on the whitehouse.gov website), or opining not once or twice, but thrice, the third time while actually in office, that a dictatorship wouldn’t be all that bad for him.

      • surakofb5 on

        Ironically, the anthrax scare didn’t phase me. The media attention bothered me, but not the scare itself. Maybe I was just numb by then.

        I’m not sure how much I believe of the media reports, but it sounded like the building should *NOT* have collapsed if the construction had been up to code. Can’t do much to prove it after the fact, though.

  2. dragonscholar on

    The thing for me is I didn’t notice the planes not being there – I noticed people noticing they weren’t there. That was odd for me.

    • The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester on

      Yes, but you didn’t live right under the flight lane. Port Columbus is no LAX or O’Hare, but it’s busy enough.

  3. bass_o_matic on

    Memories from someone outside the US…

    I had just gone to bed. Ash woke me up and said that it appeared that a light plane had crashed into the WTC. I didn’t think much of it (I was half asleep) but something at the back of my mind murmured “how could a light plane get so far off course as to crash into a building in NY?”.

    I got out of bed and trudged into the living room, and watched some of the replayed footage and said to Ash, “That’s no light plane, that’s a jet”. I was thinking 757 or something approaching that size. What really struck me was how useless the media were in the reporting – there was so much conjecture about the first plane, the second plane really caught them off guard.

    As it all unfolded, I watched in disbelief and astonishment. I also though t to myself that this is going to change a lot of things – being a regular international traveller, this is going to make travelling to the US a lot harder.

    We lost a few Cisco people, but being an outsider it really didn’t impact that deeply – until I actually went to NY and saw the scale of the destruction and loss of life.

    But I agree with everything you have said apres 9/11. The “intelligence” reporting, the debunking of all the premises for the “wars”, the discrediting off every member of the administration… How are they all still there?

    • The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester on

      Couple reasons.

      One, most Americans are cowardly sheep who respond well to being bullied–and The Liar and company are bullies, make no doubt about it. My fellow Americans have forgotten the simplest of schoolyard lessons: the vast, vast majority of times, bullies back down when you stand up to them.

      Two, most Americans are lazy and stupid, and would rather just let the idiot box tell them what to think rather than contemplate it for themselves and try to learn what’s really going on. One wonders if Republican cuts to education funding have anything to do with this… and how deliberate that is, because the last thing these guys need is an intelligent and informed electorate.

      Three, these guys cheat. They did it in Florida in 2000 and here in Ohio in 2004 (and the dirty sonovabitch who did it here is now running for governor).

      Four, the media backs them and no one with access to a large audience is asking the hard questions. No one wants to be the next Woodward and Bernstein–they want instead to be invited to White House functions and play nice with the Powers That Be.

      Personally, I’m disgusted with my country, with what passes for government and reportage and populace. Evil and incompetent men, supported by sycophants and businessmen, rule over sheep.

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