9/11: Had enough?

world trade center World Trade Center, 9/11/2001


The long, national orgy of symbolic wallowing in grief is over. Now the pre-election cultivation of terror can continue without even a pretense of subtlety.

The Bush administration and the GOP have inveighed righteously against "politicizing 9/11" while politicizing 9/11 at every opportunity. For days, George W strutted around the country trying to convince us that Iraq is "the central front" in the war on terror, a proposition that the American public no longer buys, now that we know Saddam Hussein wasn't in cahoots with bin Laden, that Iraq didn't have stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, that Iraq wasn't reconstituting its nuclear program, that the "insurgency" in Iraq isn't a bunch of Baathist dead-enders trying to restore the glories of Baath rule but is, instead, a sectarian (that is, "religious") civil war pitting Shiites against Sunnis.

While things were spinning out of control in Afghanistan and Iraq, W shuttled around the US trying to convince us it was a good idea to reform Social Security by "privatizing" it or, in plain language, dumping all the risk back onto individuals.

The more he talked, the less people believed him, and the exact same thing is happening on Iraq/war on terror.

W told us six months after the attacks that he wasn't all that concerned about Osama bin Laden and studiously avoided mentioning his name since, but now W mentions OBL at every opportunity and even quotes him in speeches!

This is all designed to ratchet up our level of fear so we'll be sure to vote Republican in November. The strategy for winning is "all fear all the time," and only Republicans can keep you safe, not those girly-man Democrats. House majority leader John Boehner (R-OH) blatantly followed the strategy when he said to reporters, "I wonder if they're [Democrats] more interested in protecting the terrorists than protecting the American people. They certainly don't want to take the terrorists on and defeat them."

Rummy set play in motion a while back by raising the spectre of Hitler and Stalin and the White House PR machine began transforming "the enemy" into "Islamic fascists." Anyone who disagrees with how or what is being done in our name became an "appeaser" in the same category as Neville Chamberlin.

Cheney on Meet the Press

The Prince of Darkness himself, Vice President Dick Cheney, went on Meet the Press (transcript)to obfuscate and tell us how absolutely right he was when he told us the US would be greeted as liberators, not occupiers, and how the insurgency really was in its last throes when he proclaimed it to be, hundreds of US and thousands of Iraqi deaths ago. After being asked to account for a damning series of misjudgments and assertions, Cheney went on to insist that black is white, up is down, and invading Iraq "was the right thing to do and if we had it to do over again, wed do exactly the same thing" — even knowing all the things we know now!

On the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks itself, CNN got into the fearmongering act by rebroadcasting its coverage of the attacks from five years ago. What, they think living through the attacks wasn't traumatic enough the first time?

Not to be out-sleazed by the cable channels, ABC broadcast a two-part made-for-TV "docu-drama" purporting to show us what led up to the attacks. It was far more drama than docu, making up events that didn't happen and leaving out things that inconveniently did happen.

W commandeered free airtime to give a speech to the nation on 9/11/2006, in which he spoke of a cataclysmic "struggle for civilization" that he dubbed "the calling of our generation." He painted a picture of the US — yea, all of Western civilization — fighting against Evil itself. Once again he tried to weave together the war in Iraq with the "war on terror." He told us that we are leading the world to "a shining age of human liberty."

The man lives on a different planet.

I don't know about anybody else, but every time I watch TV these days, I feel the need to take a bath and disinfect myself.