The Obligatory 9/11 Post

It’s been a decade since the horror of 9/11/2001, and I am sure every Serious Person and every conspiracy theorist and every nut-job in America will emerge with something Significant to say today.

Not me. I still don’t find any Messages of Great Significance in the event. It was a huge, horrible, senseless criminal act, but it was exactly that: a criminal act. As the late great Molly Ivins pointed out, you can’t make war on a noun; the whole notion of a “war on terrorism” is absurd on its face. Given the number of Al Qaeda #2 men the United States has killed over the decade, there must be damned few lieutenants or even privates left in Al Qaeda… and if that is so, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. (Why does that sound so familiar?)

As to fear itself, we are certainly not lacking in that. And as with the War on Poverty, which was survived by greater poverty and probably worse poverty to come, and the War on Crime, which did little to slow crime until the economy improved and the crime demographic of young men of a certain age range passed out of that age range, and the War on Drugs… OK, stop giggling and have another brownie, the War on Terror(ism) is hardly unique other than its being the largest, grandest, most expensive, most ineffective and most damaging to America’s basic freedoms of any of the Wars on Nouns to date. If we end up perpetually at war, debt-ridden and in the ultimate surveillance state, blame the War on Terror. It probably will not spell the end of our nation, but it could very well portend the end of the dreams of our nation’s founders.

I leave you with a couple of worthwhile things to read about 9/11/2001 and other 9/11’s:

And last but most certainly not least…

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Comments

  • jams o donnell  On Sunday September 11, 2011 at 7:54 am

    A horrible day. A terrible loss of life

    • Steve  On Sunday September 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      jams, it’s like the Blitz in London, rolled up into one cataclysmic event instead of continuing night after night.

      One of my favorite living Texans, Jim Hightower, tells a story of his youth in which he enters the hen-house and encounters a chicken snake. Not knowing that snake from a rattler or water moccasin, he bolts promptly. Asked by his grandmother why he didn’t bring in the eggs, he led her to the hen-house. Grandma was dismayed: “That’s just an ol’ chicken snake; it can’t hurt you!” Jim looked at her and said, “But it sure can make you hurt yourself!”

      And so, says Hightower, are the consequences of 9/11: the event itself killed about 3,000 people, and with help from a president who had only his own political best interest at heart, we have killed hundreds of thousands more in a succession of probably useless wars and other people in unspeakable ways. 9/11 made us hurt ourselves.

  • MandT  On Sunday September 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Feel sick at heart today. We are losing the War on freedom.

    • Steve  On Sunday September 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm

      I’m afraid so, MandT. It’s enough to make us cry.

  • Madeleine Begun Kane  On Tuesday September 13, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Good post Steve! I couldn’t bring myself to write about 9/11 at all. If I had, I probably would have written: “The terrorists have won.”

    Thanks so much for mentioning my birthday. That was very sweet of you!

    • Steve  On Tuesday September 13, 2011 at 8:58 am

      Thanks, Mad! Some years I write about it; some years I just can’t. I confess I omitted watching all the hoopla on TV; it’s bad enough that it happened once, but it’s terrible to drag people… you, for instance… through the tragedy again and again, for what I perceive as entirely political purposes.

  • Madeleine Begun Kane  On Tuesday September 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I avoided as much as the coverage as I could manage to. 🙂

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