Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th, 2001


What's left of the United States of America--Regardless of what you think about the hows and the whys of 9/11, one thing is certain: the GOP, the Bush administration, and the majority of the current Congress opportunistically used these attacks to rollback all of our rights.

But they had help--the cowardly and reactionary American public, afraid for their consumer goods and their petty privileges being taken-away. It's bizarre how, through hysteria and unwarranted fear, people bring about those worst fears, even going well beyond them. There are no words.

With Congress abrogating their own constitutional responsibilities under the rein of what is clearly the most criminal administration in our history, this just isn't America anymore. You see, without our basic constitutional rights, we're no longer Americans at all. We're something else, and it isn't good.

If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's not to panic so pathetically as the inhabitants of this era have done.

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, I received a call from a friend living in Chicago. His own sister worked at Merrill-Lynch at that time, practically next to the World Trade Center. He told me to turn on my television--an airliner had crashed into one of the WTC towers and another one was headed towards the other one. I honestly thought he was joking at that time, until the image came up exactly at the moment of the second-impact.

To say it was shocking would be an understatement, I couldn't believe it, even after watching it with my own eyes. I wondered if anyone would get out alive...and then the hysteria began, and it was everywhere, ubiquitous. At that point, I did what every American who didn't should have done at that time: I turned-off my television-set and didn't watch any coverage of the event and its aftermath for over six months.

After September 11th, 2001, I have generally continued this practice with very little variation. Television is perhaps the worst single way to receive news and information, and it is owned by corporations. This is all anyone should need to know about why television news coverage cannot be trusted.

I didn't need television to find-out that my friend's sister was alright. She'd missed her ferry across the river to Manhattan that day--an hour late for work. From her vantage-point, she could see directly across where the World Trade Center was as it was being hit, and she could see human beings falling to their deaths, and she could hear their screams.

Based on how reactionary and fearful Americans are, we knew then that things would never be the same and that the Republicans would seize-on this and run with it for as long as they could.

Whomever plotted the attacks knew this, and they have won, they have beaten us with our own fears and excesses. The results couldn't have been more predictable, and they're still playing-out. There is no war on terror, there is only America warring with itself. Eventually, everything unique about this nation will be gone unless we stop being so timid, submissive, and afraid. The time is now to stand and be counted among the brave, those willing to push-back at what is surely an emergent police state, a situation that we have created in our own fear and complacency.

For those of you who do not vote: you are all going to be held-responsible for your inaction no matter what, and there will be no escape when tyranny and economic chaos comes knocking at your door. If you want a better world, you must vote, and vote intelligently. This means understanding that the two party system has failed us. The majority of Americans understand this, and the time has come to act on this by voting for other parties.

No, they aren't going to win initially, but what's winning after eight years of George W. Bush? Winning means putting pressure on the major party candidates to meet our needs as a society, not the selfish wants of the few. That road leads to catastrophe and social chaos. Using your head means understanding that winning takes time, and that you don't win every battle. Life is not a football game and so-called lost-causes aren't just for gentlemen (and ladies) anymore. They're the only battles worth fighting.