Reflections on September 11
Within less than a week, a whole new cottage industry will arise from our otherwise screwed economy that will deny that Osama bin Laden has been killed; that the president manufactured this whole thing to bring his approval ratings up; that Osama was actually killed by the Bush administration four - five - whatever - years ago. I can just hear them now:
"SHOW ME THE DEATH CERTIFICATE!"
"THEY THREW HIS BODY INTO THE SEA? HOW CONVENIENT!!!"
Fasten your seat belts, boys and girls! Here come the Deathers!
As I looked upward at the World Trade Center through the car's sun roof, the bombing of it's parking garage in 1993 crossed my mind, and I related to Bob my fear of another terrorist attack. I speculated that two or three privately owned DC 10 air crafts, their aisles filled with 55 gallon drums of gasoline, would take one or both of those towers down in a matter of minutes (I never - for the life of me - even considered hijacked passenger planes). While Bob was open to the possibility of the means he was, for good reasons, skeptical as to the ends:
"Those buildings are pretty sturdy, Tom".
I dropped out of High School at the beginning of my Junior year. I'm just sayin'.
God smiles on the Cullen family.
I've always been against the death penalty. It is my belief that everyone - regardless of their sins - has the potential to become a saint. I took a waiver this time, though. Osama bin Laden was beyond redemption. I thought that the celebration which greeted the news of his demise was a bit over-the-top; more than anything it was a time for sorrowful reflection on what happened to this country on that awful day ten years ago. It makes me uncomfortable to see the execution of anyone greeted with cries of joy. But I guess the American people can be forgiven their jubilation. Good riddance to the murderous bastard.
As might be expected, the president's approval ratings shot up a full ten points the following day. The right wing media machine immediately went into overtime. They will be spending the next few weeks working furiously to to make damned sure that those same numbers go right back down again. They have already started to badger him for not releasing the photographs of bin Laden's body. Had he done so, they would now be badgering him for releasing them. He's danged it he does and danged if he don't. This is what they do - and they do it quite well, don't they?
I am of two minds about making these photos public. At first I thought they should be shown to the world for no other reason than to shut the conspiracy theorists up. On further reflection however, I have to concede that the prez did the right thing by keeping them hidden. As Chris Matthews pointed out on his program last night, the minute that photo is put out there, it goes viral. The last thing we need is Osama's base in a blind rage at the liberties the cyber-comedians out there would undoubtedly take with the photo-shopped image of his bloated and bloodied corpse. Bury it - and him - forever.
What is most amusing is watching the GOP spin machine trying to rewrite history. They're trying to give George W. Bush credit for this! Isn't that a scream? What they fail to mention is that three years after 9/11, Bush shut down the military unit which had been put together by Bill Clinton to kill or capture bin Laden. When he was asked to justify his actions, he made the following, jaw-dropping statement:
"To tell you the truth, I don't spend much time thinking about the guy."
Within a month of taking office President Obama put the unit back together. Bush deserves not an ounce of credit for this. Some people are surprised that the former president will not be showing up at the ceremony that will be taking place at ground zero this morning. I'm not surprised at all. In fact I can't say that I blame him in the least. If I were George W. Bush I'd be ashamed to show up, too. It's reassuring to find out that the guy has a conscience.
Another knee-slapping bit of revisionism on their part is with regard to "enhanced interrogations" (or "Torture", as defined by the Geneva Conventions). "SEE???", they gloat, "WATER BOARDING REALLY WORKS!!!"
It doesn't. The information which led to bin Laden's courier was obtained through "traditional" methods of interrogation. This has been established beyond a doubt. Donald Rumsfeld even admitted as much - early on. This was before the right wing propaganda machine handed him the new script. He changed his story within hours. Are you surprised?
This is a good time to be Barack Obama (or "Bareback Alabama" as Spell Check tells me his name should be spelled). Election Day 2012 is exactly a year-and-a-half from tomorrow. And while that may be a very long time in terms of politics, certain realities make it clear that the guy is in a very enviable position. Is there any hope for the Republican party at the dawn of this campaign season? Well, yeah. The ghost of Teddy Roosevelt could rise from the dead tonight and seize the mantle of standard bearer, leading the Grand Old Party to the political Candy Land - but other than that I don't think there is a hell-of-a-lot of room for optimism.
There is also a grand window of opportunity here for the president. We originally went into Afghanistan to "get" Osama bin Laden. He's been gotten. It's time to get out of there.
Obama is having his JFK/Cuban Missile Crisis moment. Will the momentum take him to the autumn of 2012? At this point the only thing that will prevent him from easily sailing back into the White House on January 20, 2013. will be a blunder of such monumental proportions it renders his administration crippled. Or perhaps a nasty scandal. It's always possible that the Republicans will "manufacture" one. They did it in 1998; what's to prevent them from doing it again? That party is firmly in the hands of crazy people. And to think - we're within hours of their first campaign debate of the season. That ought to be a riot.
This is the film about Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson. If you will recall, she was the covert CIA agent who was outted by the Bush Mob after husband Joe exposed the lie behind their invasion of Iraq. It stars Sean Penn and Naomi Watts. It's a great film and it's out now on DVD and Blue Ray discs. It might even be available on 8-Track tape. I'm not too sure.
by Naomi Klein.
I read this book. You ought to read it, too. In fact everyone should read it. Dr. Stephen L. Goldstein explains why far better than I could ever hope to. From CommonDreams.org:
They're trying to kill this country and we're letting them do it.
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