I'm an old fart. I can actually remember the shot heard around the world which declared war against the United States and unleashed our god-given right to murder anyone we want in the name of Terror.
Yup, I was getting ready for work in the Golden State when all hell broke loose. I watched those planes into buildings and buildings into the ground hundreds of times (after I went to the office and told everyone to go home.) Hypnotic, mesmerizing, a once in a lifetime spectacle. Okay, I remember Kennedy too. And Bobby and Dr. King. Wallace. Lennon. Reagan. Diana. Okay, so maybe these public spectacles of terror happen more than once during a life lived.
But the only one I remember driving our country insane was 911.
Before the smoke cleared we were heading for war. 911 wasn't a crime but an act of war and Bush and Cheney had it figured out in minutes. They didn't even need to investigate. They knew. Like when Bush said God told him war was good. That kind of knowledge. That kind of faith. 911, the most sophisticated act of terrorism in history and one of the most successful military operations in modern warfare: a major surprise attack on the main financial and military centers in enemy territory. And while Bush and Cheney couldn't stop it, they knew right away who done it. Osama bin Laden had played right into their hands.
See, they knew before the gift of 911, war was their top priority to get going. Cheney and his Neo-Con club of Clash of Civilization crazies wrote in the Project for a New American Century that American Supremacy, Entitlement and Exceptional-ism was essential to the Project. This supremacy was insured through the might of the Military-Industrial-Complex. But the merry band of Neo-Cons knew they couldn't get Americans behind their Project because only crazy people in think-tanks and war colleges actually think in these impersonal geo-strategic terms, and the vast majority of people don't believe in War at all, except in self-defense; you don't war with someone unless they attack you first. The Cheneyteers stated boldly in their Project blueprint the need for a New Pearl Harbor because Americans would rather have a peace dividend than a war debt. Not to mention that the cruel desolation of war beyond the drawing board of a megalomaniac like the un-indicted war criminal, Richard Cheney, the former Vice President of the United States, is a horror to almost everyone else.
So, 911 was a gift to the Project.
And I'm not going outside the box here. Terrorists, in an act of well expected blowback organized an act of never-to-be-repeated evil genius and murdered thousands of innocent human beings. It was an act of war which left us no choice but to war right back and make sure no one ever attacks us again. Terrorists were everywhere. They had anthrax. Bombs in their shoes. Shampoo bottles. America was under attack. And we've been at war ever since and the war gets bigger every year. In direct correlation to the increase in money the military-industrial-complex gets, from the People of the United States (U.S. Treasury), through loans from the Federal Reserve for billions in government contracts each and every year. Americans bought the war on terror – hook, line and sinker. To the point War is bi-partisan policy. It is natural law. All because Cheney and the Neocons got their wish.
After eleven years of 'chasing the bad guys', does anyone know what all these wars are about anymore other than cynical geo-strategery? It's really all just revenge for 911?
We all know better. Or should.
Mayor Emanuel says no crisis should ever go to waste. Good luck with that Rahm.
He learned that from Bush and Cheney. They took 911 and ran with it as far and as fast as they could before the nation recovered from the pain and shock of what happened that day. And from the War on Terror came massive waves of corruption, incompetence, war profiteering, no-bid contracts, torture, rendition and the destruction of nations and peoples. Not to mention the destruction of centuries' old constitutional guarantees of privacy and due process. All of which continue unabated, like a snowball of evil. War is beyond politics. War is systemic.
It's somehow un-patriotic to be against these wars. The post-911 jingoistic flag waving, USA! USA! USA! struck at the heart and bone of Americanism, NASCAR and the NFL. And it's a good thing too. You see, the post-911 policy was to get us all riled up. After 911 we had a major pep-rally for war. We're going after Osama who is holed up – literally – in Afghanistan. Tora Bora here we come.
But then, Oops! he got away. Well, why we're here we might as well have a war anyway, we came all this way with all these bombs and planes and drones.
Because 911 was a pretext. Osama didn't matter and Bush said as much after he got away – he spent little time thinking about Osama. 911 was the crisis not to go to waste. It was a Neo-Con wet dream. It was their biggest wish come true. Like a fairytale. Like a kick-start to a New American Century.
But it wasn't luck.
It wasn't an accident.
It truly was the crime of the century.