Since the Supreme Court Coup of 2000 I have become a progressive political junkie. I despise the Corporate Media. For me, the New York Times isn’t Dowd and Krugman, it is the Unholy Trinity of Judith Miller, Thomas Friedman and David Brooks. The CIA News Network? Just Say No to Nancy Grace and the Grave Robbers. Shove your fund drive National Pentagon Radio.
For me, politics is almost a contact sport. I have been banned from any political discussions at family holidays because I give no quarter on political hypocrisy. I’m sure my ‘no holds barred’ political discussions comes from a lifetime of watching NFL football.
I followed the lockout and didn’t see it as Billionaires versus Millionaires. I saw it as workers versus owners. I think it was only when it appeared that player solidarity was sincere, the owners showed a willingness for compromise. I also thought of the lost jobs from all the restaurants, bars, stadium workers etc that would only add to the misery of the post Hope & Change reality of economic decline.
But I won’t be watching the NFL tomorrow. The 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 Massacre.
My personal revulsion of first hearing about the attacks was hoping it was something homegrown and domestic. I called my friend and asked him, “Do you know if Randy Weaver or Timothy McVeigh’s birthday is Sept. 11?” I didn’t want to think it was Transcontinental Jihad. I knew what that meant: No post Cold War “Swords into Plow Shares”. We had just traded Hammer & Sickle for Turban & Beard.
About six weeks later, our local Multiplex was showing the Director’s Cut of Coppola’s Apocalypse Now; the Redux. As we waited for our showing, the theater was showing NFL Football on massive jumbotron TV screens. Sports gave way to news as Operation Grim Revenge (or whatever noble name they gave for the carpet bombing of Afganistan) showed the full weight of America’s airpower in its most turgid, phallic glory.
That juxtaposition between reality and cinema seemed like a bad omen that we certainly didn’t learn the real lesson from Vietnam’s failure: you can’t bomb foreign counties into Neoliberal Democracy.
Ten years on, no victory in sight. No glorious resolution. 9/11 has become a celebration of death. A constant reminder of America’s worst failure. A horrifying reality that our government is woefully clueless, sloppy and lazy.
I never understood how Bush became celebrated for his heroic response. Why wasn’t Bush impeached for gross negligence of duty? Why weren’t the heads of the multi hydra alphabet soup of domestic and foreign surveillance agencies fired and reprimanded for not seeing this on the “chatter lines”? Doing nothing to stop the attacks and a massive fail as the hijackings were under way. Instead, many of them got Medals of Honor for their unpreparedness.
Why do we reward failure in this country?
When I see the militarization of the commemoration of the victims of 9/11 at sporting events – the color guards, the jet flyovers, the solemnity – I get nervous. I feel like a private moment has been co opted for propagandistic reasons. Why do we militarize these sporting memorials? I feel a tad manipulated into a causal link between the dead on 9/11 as the reason for our perpetual participation in a Central Asian Civil War.
Can’t we dispense with the pomp and circumstance of public mourning and have a sincere, communal expression of private reflection? A prayer, a poem, something anything not connected to any militarized expression?
Look, I don’t see those murdered on 9/11 as an abstraction. I faced, then and now, anguish for the three thousand (including 300 plus American Muslims) killed that day. But I feel an equal sorrow for the tens of thousands of innocents killed in our response.
My personal sorrow also extends to the survivors who have to deal with the confusion and innuendo of how The Government failed so spectacularly that day. Not once, not twice, not three times but FOUR times! As suspicions arose over questions of complicity, not incompetence, terms like controlled demolition, thermite, 10 second free fall, Building 7 cast doubt on the official story. “They are ten miles out. Does the order still stand, Mr. Cheney?”
If you have read this far you have probably sized me up as one of those koo-koo 9/11 Conspiracy Nuts. But isn’t the Government’s story a Conspiracy Theory?
That 19 Arabs overwhelmed the CIA, the DIA, DARPA, the DOT, The FAA, FBI, NORAD and a bunch of other air and defense entities to get together in a giant orchestra of synchronized failure. Not once. Not twice. Not three times, but FOUR TIMES!
Arabs who had never actually taken off or landed passenger jets flown with military precision. One of these Arab hijackers was so bad he couldn’t get rated to fly a Cessna.
From simulator to flying into buildings is like saying because my ten year old nephew plays Indy 500 computer game, he could navigate traffic in a real Indy car.
But I take issue with the 9/11 Truthers too. If it was a missile that hit the Pentagon, where is the plane and its passengers? Are you saying there was a high level conspiracy to murder dozens of Americans to play out the hoax?
Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Rice? Sure, nothing is beyond the pale to those blackhearted vampires. But no way I believe Powell had knowledge of such a treasonous act. Nor do I believe Bush knew. The Black Baggers couldn’t trust Bush’s smirk wouldn’t give them all away.
Nor do I believe the Israelis had anything to do with it. Ariel Sharon was bragging that American Foreign Policy was crafted in Jerusalem. Israel had much more to lose than gain by playing the bagmen on that day.
There needs to be a full investigation into the failures of the Government that day. Not a government white wash but a non partisan scientific CSI style who dunnit. Let the healing begin by snuffing out the ghoulish theorizing. Name names, assess blame. Hold bureaucrats accountable.
When Obama announced his re-election campaign by giving the go ahead to kill Bin Laden, I was sickened by the chants of U! S! A! That boorish and sickening outpouring of cheers is goading dozens of dispossessed Muslims to take up arms in an eye for an eye, tit for tat retaliation.
Oh and don’t you dare call such jingoism and frat boy high fiving as boorish. NFL player Rashard Mendenhall called the troglodytes on their bullshit when he Tweeted about how sick it was to cheer for killing someone. But his true sin was doubting the Sacred Truth and scoffing at the event that has never happened before or since, planes hitting skyscrapers which caused a 10 second free fall. An old Vegas casino style implosion. YouTube any clip of them blowing up those old Ratpack era casinos. Looks familiar. They do that by igniting explosives placed in the basement of the hotel.
I thought it was better to see Bin Laden living as a hunted rat watching video porn and playing World of Warcraft. I didn’t think his obituaries properly credited the man most responsible for the bankruptcy of two venal and corrupt political systems: the Soviet Union and Neoliberal America.
A thousand words later, that is why I am going to see Contagion on Sunday instead of watching the NFL. I don’t want to see any gloating or vengeance displays. And keep the goddam military out of 9/11 Public Requiems. There is a whiff of fascism in the air that is picking up an odor.
PS – Easy for me to skip football tomorrow because I am a lifelong Packers fan and they played Thursday. I’m hoping for big wins coming out of Wisconsin this year. Aaron Rogers hoisting another Lombardi Trophy would be awesome. And I hope to see Scott Walker doing the Walk of Shame after he is recalled as Governor.