Random Rants, by Thomas Andrew Olson

Thursday, September 14, 2006

9/11 Retrospective, Part 3

[This is the third in a series of retrospective articles originally posted to my personal website on Lycos/Tripod in 2001, concerning my thoughts on the events of five years ago, as they unfolded at the time]


Pathways

Marshalls Creek, PA, December 21st, 2001

If I didn't understand what it was like to be a minority before, I certainly do now.

I've been away for quite some time, looking at the world erupting around me and trying to make some sort of twisted sense of it all. The pace of events have precluded the kind of sober, rational intellectual exercise that is needed today - if what the professional pundits are spewing are any indication. As America seemed to dictate to Bush on 9/11, "do something...NOW!", the amassed punditry seem to be toiling under a similar dictum: "say something...anything...but say it NOW!" Never mind that what they're saying is utterly self serving, moronic, and only leads to more strife and unrest abroad and the crushing of civil liberties at home.

I haven't been totally absent from this page. I have contemplated - and even started upon - several articles over this time, but events seemed to get ahead of me, and the topics seemed passe before they could even be posted.

The first such I titled "America's Truth". It was a short treatise about how we, like Rome before us, repeated history by selling ourselves down the river from Republic to Empire; along with a running tally of all the civilian deaths our government - in your names and with your tax dollars - were responsible for: somewhere above 3 million over the last 100 years, from the Phillipines to Latin America to Japan to Korea, to VietNam, on and on and on.

Another I called "Conspiracies for Breakfast". It detailed the shady history of the political class when it comes to hegemony over critical resources, like oil. The Bush and Cheney families were paricular targets, as it is becoming common knowledge - at least in the foreign press - that our real agenda in Afghanistan was the construction of an oil and gas pipeline through there from Tajikistan. It would have been funded by China, built with aid from Iran, Pakistan and India, with American firms like Cheney's Haliburton pocketing the obscene consulting fees. The Taliban were standing in the way of all that "progress", so the US needed an excuse to get rid of them. Osama gave it one. Now - surprize, surprize - the Taliban have been deposed, we're mopping up the resistance, and everyone from Rumsfeld on down is claiming that "Osama wasn't the primary target", that we'll get him someday, but that wasn't the main reason we were in there. Soon you will see all these people lining up for the photo op as the new pipeline deal is announced, which will "bring undreamed of prosperity to the Afghan people" - the same people they wanted to screw over 4 years ago. Well, now that we've blasted their country to smithereens, I'm sure they'll be happy to accept any crumbs we'll toss their way. I may write these columns yet - in another format, someday. But suffice to say that for now, there have been plenty of others who have written the same things on these topics for those who wish to search for them - thus easing my "samizdat" conscience for the nonce.

Meantime, however, anyone - particularly those brave souls at LewRockwell.com - who dares to speak the ugly truths that surround us, or happen to disagree completely with government policy at this juncture, are dismissed by the official propagandists as the "blame America first crowd". What the hell does THAT mean?? Are we just supposed to go mindlessly along and live with the delusion that our own government, for the last 60+ years, in our names and with our tax dollars, has never performed ANY action against ANY nation that would incite some people to attack us? Are we supposed to act the role of the morally superior innocent? If so, it would seem that 90% of the public that engages in polls, at least, are sticking their collective heads in the sand.

It's depressing to think that every time since nine-one-one, when we reached a fork in the decision path, the Bush team took the wrong one - and again, if you believe the polls, a vast majority of Americans think his road is just fine, thanks.

Did we have to bomb Afghanistan, and forcibly remove the Taliban from power? No, we didn't, at least not if our goal was truly to get Bin Laden. As a "war against terror" is a conflict against an organized, well-financed and equipped underground network who know no single nation (and are accepted by few), our best chance at this would have been to keep the troops, ships, planes and choppers home, and, as I suggested in a previous article, do some good old fashioned espionage and police work, ferreting out the wrong-doers and bringing them to justice in a global forum. We didn't need to destroy a country - we only needed to render it irrelevant. We could have "bombed" the Afghani people with food, warm clothes, blankets, and small TVs with a satellite connection. Once the protein hit their brains they would have had the Taliban on the run all on their own.

Did we have to set fire to the Bill of Rights in order to achieve "security" at home? Of course not. In actual fact, the "problem" of airline passengers armed with boxcutters taking control of commercial airliners and crashing them into skyscrapers was solved within the first two hours of the initial occurence - by self-governing, concerned individuals, working with adequate information in a collaborative, open-source environment - I'm referring, of course, to Flight 93. Perhaps if they had even an extra hour or two of lead time, they could have found a way to save their own lives. Point being, all these extra "security" checks performed at airports, searching granny in Minnesota and confiscating her nail file are worse than useless. A "national ID card" is just another attempt to micromanage every aspect of American's lives, and those few Americans left who still have some cojones will resist it. I know I will.

Many of my wife's colleagues at work are natives of Britain, Ireland, or west Europe, and have suggested in casual conversation that "we'll just have to get used to it, and live like the rest of the world does". What utter drivel. We are Americans - we don't WANT to live like the rest of the world. That's why people all over "the rest of the world" are still clamoring to LEAVE there, come HERE, and build better lives for themselves. Of course, if the Constitution IS set ablaze, and Team Bush succeeds in turning America into a banana-republic-police-state (something the political class of BOTH parties have wanted for decades), it will end the immigration problem, as the desire to come here will virtually cease. If we allow ourselves to become "like everyone else" there will be no need to leave home, will there?

In the end, folks, "security" is an illusion, especially the way it's being handled right now by those who have the illusion of being "in charge". You want security? We need MORE freedom, not less of it. We need LESS government, not more of it. We need to reestablish a foreign policy that virtually guarantees terrorist attacks will cease - ironically, the same policy first expressed by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson: peace, and free trade with all, entangling alliances with none.

Every time we've taken a collective step in the last 3+ months, it has been the wrong one. We are talking about taking out Saddam again, when we should be lifting sanctions and getting our military out of Saudi Arabla. We are letting the Israelis get away with murder in the occupied territories when we should be cutting off the entire region without a cent, and divesting ourselves of all involvement, and letting all the players stand or fall on their own. We should be bringing ALL the troops home from all 106 countries where they are stationed and start truly playing the role of peacemaker, rather than being an interventionist global bully/cop trying to hang onto an empire at any cost. We are setting up secret star-chamber military tribunals when we should be trying accused terrorists in the Hague. We are allowing the federal cops to tap our phones and e-mails and do "black bag" jobs in our homes without a warrant or even notification, when we should all be marching on Washington, demanding that they not violate our Constitutionally-protected rights, rights millions of Americans have fought and bled and died to preserve.

When we allow these things to happen, they will continue. They will get worse, until no action is considered too extreme or egregious on the government's part. Will you wake up THEN? Will it be too late??

We could have done things so righteously, and instead we've done them all wrong. By taking the wrong path at every fork in the road, we will succeed only in engendering more insecurity, more hatred, more violence, more terrorist acts, more war, more loss of innocent life on all sides, and more loss of liberty, to name only a few. We can't say we weren't warned.

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