Home > Politics > 9/11: five years on

9/11: five years on

September 10, 2006

(This is last year’s post.  Nothing has changed.)

A prediction: it will happen again, possibly even worse.  Some pair of dots somewhere will go unconnected, and whoever is out of power, Republican or Democrat, will blame whoever is in power.  There will be years of recriminations as the nation polarizes over “what-if’s”.

Now a solemn plea: let’s remember who our enemies are.  I have many blog-friends on both sides of our supposed ideological gulf, who blame the other side almost as much as they blame our enemies.  You know the ad-hominem attacks: ‘Rethugnicans’, ‘Dimmocrats’, ‘Repugnicans’, ‘Moonbats’, and so forth. If it isn’t hatred of Americans for Americans, what is it?

Stop it.  Can’t you imagine our enemies slipping suitcases full of cash to the ‘Destroy America’ jihads, and laughing at us while we tear into each other and hand them truckloads of money in exchange for shiploads of oil?

Here’s what we need to do for victory:

  1. Separate in our minds opponents from enemies.  “In opposing one another, let us not become enemies one of another.”  We all love America.  Both Republicans and Democrats regularly give their lives defending America – not usually the children of politicians, but the rest of us anyway.  Search out what we have in common and begin from there.  Yes, it is true we disagree over the best way to proceed against a threat, which leads to the second point:

  2. Listen carefully to your opponents and try to understand them.  If upon understanding you still disagree, oppose their actual positions, not a talking-points caricature of what they aren’t really saying.  This is crucial.
  3. Listen carefully to our enemies, too.  Yes, Virginia, it is important to understand the root causes of terrorism.  If we fail to do so, we can bomb a million terrorists into the next life and turn around to face a million more.  While the making and delivery of bombs is sometimes necessary, it is only a means to an end.
  4. Recognizing that political polarization is a great opportunity to the overheated fringes of both parties, try to keep it real.  Does anyone really believe that George Bush orchestrated the 9/11 attacks?  Or that John Kerry would call up Osama and say; “OK, I got elected, the country is yours now!”?  Such exaggerations serve our enemies by dividing us across unrealistic lines.

Republicans and Democrats are not political opposites – they are together opposites of fascism.  Would Dwight Eisenhower recognize the Grand Old Party today, circling ranks and pitching for unlimited government power?  Would FDR see anything cohesive in the Democratic party? 

I learn the most when I read, with an open mind, the writings of my political opponents.  But in the effort I have had to wade through – and ignore – a lot of thoughtless hatred for Democrats.  And I can imagine my Republican counterparts having the same experience reading what my fellow Democrats have written about them.  Remember William Penn: “Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders, than from the arguments of its opposers.”  The anniversary of 9/11 is the perfect moment to pause, and think, and listen carefully to each other, and to our enemies.  And, to ponder the difference.

And to say to ourselves; “we are Americans,” and start from there.



Categories: Politics
  1. September 11, 2006 at 08:07 | #1

    I agree.

  2. September 11, 2006 at 18:52 | #2

    I agree with James! :cheese:

  3. September 11, 2006 at 19:27 | #3

    I have no enemies. I also have no problem with the use of deadly force to prevent the criminally insane from harming others. I have a big problem with collateral damage however.

  4. September 11, 2006 at 20:37 | #4

    I too am in agreement with James.  Wow.

  5. September 12, 2006 at 09:49 | #5

    This is why you are my favorite. :-D

  6. Tee
    September 14, 2006 at 13:38 | #6

    Excellent post. Sent over the Mrs.

  7. Enlightenment
    October 14, 2006 at 22:02 | #7

    One thing that struck me as odd in the days after 9/11 was Bush saying “We will not tolerate conspiracy theories [regarding 9/11]”. Sure enough there have been some wacky conspiracy theories surrounding the events of that day. The most far-fetched and patently ridiculous one that I’ve ever heard goes like this: Nineteen hijackers who claimed to be devout Muslims but yet were so un-Muslim as to be getting drunk all the time, doing cocaine and frequenting strip clubs decided to hijack four airliners and fly them into buildings in the northeastern U.S., the area of the country that is the most thick with fighter bases. After leaving a Koran on a barstool at a strip bar after getting shitfaced drunk on the night before, then writing a suicide note/inspirational letter that sounded like it was written by someone with next to no knowledge of Islam, they went to bed and got up the next morning hung over and carried out their devious plan. Nevermind the fact that of the four “pilots” among them there was not a one that could handle a Cessna or a Piper Cub let alone fly a jumbo jet, and the one assigned the most difficult task of all, Hani Hanjour, was so laughably incompetent that he was the worst fake “pilot” of the bunch. Nevermind the fact that they received very rudimentary flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station, making them more likely to have been C.I.A. assets than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. So on to the airports. These “hijackers” somehow managed to board all four airliners with their tickets, yet not even ONE got his name on any of the flight manifests. So they hijack all four airliners and at this time passengers on United 93 start making a bunch of cell phone calls from 35,000 feet in the air to tell people what was going on. Nevermind the fact that cell phones wouldn’t work very well above 4,000 feet, and wouldn’t work at ALL above 8,000 feet. But the conspiracy theorists won’t let that fact get in the way of a good fantasy. That is one of the little things you “aren’t supposed to think about”. Nevermind that one of the callers called his mom and said his first and last name, more like he was reading from a list than calling his own mom. Anyway, when these airliners each deviated from their flight plan and didn’t respond to ground control, NORAD would any other time have followed standard operating procedure (and did NOT have to be told by F.A.A. that there were hijackings because they were watching the same events unfold on their own radar) which means fighter jets would be scrambled from the nearest base where they were available on standby within a few minutes, just like every other time when airliners stray off course. But of course on 9/11 this didn’t happen, not even close. Somehow these “hijackers” must have used magical powers to cause NORAD to stand down, as ridiculous as this sounds because total inaction from the most high-tech and professional Air Force in the world would be necessary to carry out their tasks. So on the most important day in its history the Air Force was totally worthless. Then they had to make one of the airliners look like a smaller plane, because unknown to them the Naudet brothers had a videocamera to capture the only known footage of the North Tower crash, and this footage shows something that is not at all like a jumbo jet, but didn’t have to bother with the South Tower jet disguising itself because that was the one we were “supposed to see”. Anyway, as for the Pentagon they had to have Hani Hanjour fly his airliner like it was a fighter plane, making a high G-force corkscrew turn that no real airliner can do, in making its descent to strike the Pentagon. But these “hijackers” wanted to make sure Rumsfeld survived so they went out of their way to hit the farthest point in the building from where Rumsfeld and the top brass are located. And this worked out rather well for the military personnel in the Pentagon, since the side that was hit was the part that was under renovation at the time with few military personnel present compared to construction workers. Still more fortuitous for the Pentagon, the side that was hit had just before 9/11 been structurally reinforced to prevent a large fire there from spreading elsewhere in the building. Awful nice of them to pick that part to hit, huh? Then the airliner vaporized itself into nothing but tiny unidentifiable pieces no bigger than a fist, unlike the crash of a real airliner when you will be able to see at least some identifiable parts, like crumpled wings, broken tail section etc. Why, Hani Hanjour the terrible pilot flew that airliner so good that even though he hit the Pentagon on the ground floor the engines didn’t even drag the ground!! Imagine that!! Though the airliner vaporized itself on impact it only made a tiny 16 foot hole in the building. Amazing.</small>

  8. Enlightenment
    October 14, 2006 at 22:03 | #8

    Meanwhile, though the planes hitting the Twin Towers caused fires small enough for the firefighters to be heard on their radios saying “We just need 2 hoses and we can knock this fire down” attesting to the small size of it, somehow they must have used magical powers from beyond the grave to make this morph into a raging inferno capable of making the steel on all forty-seven main support columns (not to mention the over 100 smaller support columns) soften and buckle, then all fail at once. Hmmm. Then still more magic was used to make the building totally defy physics as well as common sense in having the uppermost floors pass through the remainder of the building as quickly, meaning as effortlessly, as falling through air, a feat that without magic could only be done with explosives. Then exactly 30 minutes later the North Tower collapses in precisely the same freefall physics-defying manner. Incredible. Not to mention the fact that both collapsed at a uniform rate too, not slowing down, which also defies physics because as the uppermost floors crash into and through each successive floor beneath them they would shed more and more energy each time, thus slowing itself down. Common sense tells you this is not possible without either the hijackers’ magical powers or explosives. To emphasize their telekinetic prowess, later in the day they made a third building, WTC # 7, collapse also at freefall rate though no plane or any major debris hit it. Amazing guys these magical hijackers. But we know it had to be “Muslim hijackers” the conspiracy theorist will tell you because (now don’t laugh) one of their passports was “found” a couple days later near Ground Zero, miraculously “surviving” the fire that we were told incinerated planes, passengers and black boxes, and also “survived” the collapse of the building it was in. When common sense tells you if that were true then they should start making buildings and airliners out of heavy paper and plastic so as to be “indestructable” like that magic passport. The hijackers even used their magical powers to bring at least seven of their number back to life, to appear at american embassies outraged at being blamed for 9/11!! BBC reported on that and it is still online. Nevertheless, they also used magical powers to make the american government look like it was covering something up in the aftermath of this, what with the hasty removal of the steel debris and having it driven to ports in trucks with GPS locators on them, to be shipped overseas to China and India to be melted down. When common sense again tells you that this is paradoxical in that if the steel was so unimportant that they didn’t bother saving some for analysis but so important as to require GPS locators on the trucks with one driver losing his job because he stopped to get lunch. Hmmmm. Yes, this whole story smacks of the utmost idiocy and fantastical far-fetched lying, but it is amazingly enough what some people believe. Even now, five years later, the provably false fairy tale of the “nineteen hijackers” is heard repeated again and again, and is accepted without question by so many Americans. Which is itself a testament to the innate psychological cowardice of the American sheeple, i mean people, and their abject willingness to believe something, ANYTHING, no matter how ridiculous in order to avoid facing a scary uncomfortable truth. Time to wake up America.

  9. October 14, 2006 at 22:08 | #9

    And there you have it.  :-/

    (I will delete further comments of that nature)

  10. October 15, 2006 at 13:02 | #10

    I got one word for you “Enlightenment”: brevity.  Seriously man reading your posts, which I admit I hardly did at all, would have been worse than having a drunk dentist pull my teeth.

    Learn how to construct a well reasoned and typed out response.  Separate your ideas into paragraphs.  Especially if you want any kind of a response other than, “Wow 8-/ .”

    But you are a conpsiracist, so I guess you are used to the reaction by now huh.  If you want my advice stop wasting your time on the 9/11 conspiracy BS.  It will get you no where and you will end up wasting a lot of energy and time for no good reason.  Use the time you have spent looking into the mindless s*** that is the conspiracy theory and devote it to something more useful.  Life will be more enjoyable that way I guarantee it.

  11. September 11, 2007 at 20:24 | #11

    You’re right. Nothing’s changed.

  12. September 12, 2007 at 00:20 | #12

    No, nothing has changed.  And that includes that your advice is just as spot on this year as it was last year.  That hasn’t changed either.

  13. September 16, 2007 at 15:28 | #13

    Paul’s right, this is still very relevant, and thoughtfully composed. I wish more of those in power would read this and listen.

  14. Susie
    September 16, 2008 at 18:56 | #14

    After wandering the byways of blogworld and reading the outrageous hyperbole about how the devastation of our country will be so profound if “they” are elected, that we will never recover, I came back to read this again.  Sense.  I am sometimes momentarily disheartened by the willingness of so many to become “enemies of one another.”  Sometimes even more than momentarily.
    I get emails in my mailbox every day from both Obama and McCain.  I wish both would attach this post as required reading for their supporters.  It’s getting crazy out there.

  15. Kcinnova
    September 17, 2008 at 14:58 | #15

    Came here via Susie (comment above) and I agree with what both of you have said. 
    A little common sense and courtesy is much appreciated and sorely lacking, esp. amid the “them vs. us” mentality. 
    Thank you for your voice of reason.

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