September 11, 2010

We Are All Skyscrapers Now



planetowers.jpg
which photo can you see?


On September 11, 2001 I was nowhere doing nothing while 2000 people were dying almost simultaneously.

A week later we had the Anthrax attacks, which, like the 9/11 attacks, have never been solved.  Whoever the Antraxer was, he did manage to infect one of the 9/11 hijackers, and so he stands as the only person to have at least injured one of the terrorists.

That was also when we got the text scroll at the bottom of CNN and the definitive end of actionable information from CNN.

This is something I wrote a few weeks after 9/11.  It is what it is.
  A lot has happened since.



If the TV is any guide, 9/11 is a dramatic miniseries about two buildings collapsing on firefighters, with the premiere being brought to us commercial free.  Gotta build an audience.

There's enormous coverage, but no news.  None of this is news, it is drama, portraits of courage and sadness.  Last phone calls between loved ones, "the last time I saw him was when...",  "when I saw the first Tower fall I..."  

And firefighters.  Lots of firefighters.   America wants its real life heroes unarmed and unthreatening.

Lots of sadness, but no anger.  No one on TV is angry?  The Towers didn't fall, they were kicked in the face.  How many politicians do I have to watch cry on TV?  STOP CRYING.  I already know it's sad.   Don't tell me we are resilient, don't tell me we'll go on, are there people worried they won't go on?    Show me the country has some men in it, show me that we aren't five year olds.  

But we are.  Cry on TV and people will think you're sensitive, but bang a fist on the podium and you're unstable.  "He can't control his emotions."  What?

According to the TV, the real events of 9/11 happened not on the 95th floor, but on the ground floor.  I've been looking in the wrong place.

People tell me that this coverage isn't about the terrorists,  it's about the aftermath, the victims; that there are other shows about the terrorists. 

Separating shows this way fosters a separation between the cause and the effect; we are focusing only on the effect, because it is very hard for us to get our heads around the cause. In doing this we are repackaging this event into a natural disaster.  Something that we have no power over, no way to prevent, but something that must by necessity bring us together in our grief and our loss, and something that we must get past.  No sense in describing why earthquakes happen, so let's delve into the victims' stories.

Observe that the media has unilaterally decided that no American will ever again see the

images of the planes being slammed into the Towers.  "Come on, you've seen it enough times, nothing to be gained from that.  Here's a firefighter."


I'm told anger serves no useful purpose.  But sadness isn't going to prevent this from happening again, sadness isn't going to restructure the planet so that people don't want to do these things.  You might say anger won't either, but I'll take my chances.


They say the hijackers were armed only with box cutters.  If that's true, that tells me a lot about how they perceive Americans: they expected no resistance.  Not even from the pilots.  Would they have brought boxcutters to El-Al or Aeroflot hijacking?


When Timothy Mcveigh and Terry Nichols blew up the OK City Federal building, the media went right for the throat,it wasn't a natural disaster but an violent attack to which we immediately ascribed blame.  And they were free to speculate: right wingers, militias, neo-nazis.  But 9/11 is different, we don't know what to do with it so we do nothing with it.  Say "they attacked us" and then off to the victims.   You know the names of both OKC bombers, but you can't name one hijacker other than Mohammed Atta, who is the designated ringleader because his is the only name we can pronounce.


We don't even know what to call the attacks, so we call it by its date: "9/11."  Just another day that we'll remember where we were when.   "That was such a sad and scary day."  Yeah.


"We are all Americans now," announced Le Monde, with no understanding at all.  How can they sympathize with how we feel when we ourselves don't know what we feel?  This attack happened because we're not all Americans, not even us Americans.  Just a group of individuals now slowly distancing ourselves.  "I mean, I sort of knew him, I'd seen him around and all, but we weren't close or anything..."

"We are all Americans" means to the writer at Le Monde: "we could be next."  That's all he cares about.  He's right on that count, I guess, dead right-- the next attack has to happen in a different country if it is to have global impact.


If Le Monde wanted accuracy, it would have announced that we are all skyscrapers now, each of us standing mightily and individually, who is taller?  who is greater?  Living in proximity but not in connection.  Waiting to be knocked down.

And when it happens to someone, our explanations will really be about why it didn't happen to us:  well, that skyscraper wasn't built right and that skyscraper was too tall, too proud.  What happened to that skyscraper has nothing to do with me, I'm different, I'm better, and besides, why would anyone hate me? 


Because you're a skyscraper, dummy. 


When the towers fell and the pulverized remains of people who might have been your friends poured through the aerosolized into the streets of lower New York, what did you feel?  Which did you blame, America or Israel?  Oh, both.  When someone asks you now about 9/11, do you answer "I am sad" or "I am angry"?  Or do you externalize your answer and put it in the past tense, as if the emotion was something that came at you from the outside, "it was sad", or "I felt angry"?  Are you not sad or angry anymore?  How long did it take you to get over the worst attack on America in history?  A day, a week?   How long before "cooler heads prevailed"?    Do you know people who you think "overreacted" to the slaughter of 3000 Americans?  As others dance while the bodies are excavated in NYC, are you able to connect with the story?  How do you dialogue?   Maybe you should cope on this for a while, until your cooler heads prevail.  Go shopping.  Have a nap.


 

I don't want to cope.  I want to see the videos of the planes being flown into the Towers.  If we allow ourselves to choose the path of sadness, then nothing has been accomplished, everyone died for nothing.  It will have been nothing more than an earthquake.

I don't want to get past this.  Nor do I want it to get past me.




---

http://twitter.com/thelastpsych







Comments

Nine years later: the best ... (Below threshold)

September 11, 2010 5:44 PM | Posted by Frank: | Reply

Nine years later: the best piece I've ever read about 9/11 is still a post on "the war against silence":

http://www.furia.com/page.cgi?type=twas&id=twas0347

- a lot more unagitated and considerate than most other reactions at the time, the one from Alone above included.

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Nine years later: the best ... (Below threshold)

September 11, 2010 5:44 PM | Posted by Frank: | Reply

Nine years later: the best piece I've ever read about 9/11 is still a post on "the war against silence":

http://www.furia.com/page.cgi?type=twas&id=twas0347

- a lot more unagitated and considerate than most other reactions at that time, the one from Alone above included.

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I'm still angry. At the ce... (Below threshold)

September 11, 2010 5:57 PM | Posted by retriever: | Reply

I'm still angry. At the censorship of the news as if we were feeble children, at the focus on tears and our victimhood, instead of on the fact that we moved swiftly to seek out our enemies and destroy them.

I have lived much of my life in countries with terrorists (Latin America, England with the IRA) and so I was not afraid, just wanted us to crush those responsible.

I suppose I am also angry at the stupidity of isolationists who think one can avert one's gaze from the vileness going on in the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia and think that we can just ignore it here, never be affected by it.

My Christian friends say that I am a bad Christian for not forgiving the murderers.

No one close to me was killed. But a coworker's brother was incinerated, and she has still not got over it. I remember sitting with a sixty year old woman six months after 9/11 as she wept helplessly in a cafeteria showing me (a stranger) pictures of her son (a trader at Cantor, Fitzgerald) who was killed). And my best friend's cousin, a father of three, also incinerated. And on and on.

I don't want my country to be identified as a nation of victims, but as a nation of men and women who will fight evil when they have to. Who can build a city on a hill and defend it, if need be.

Sorry to rant...

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Aren't people getting tired... (Below threshold)

September 11, 2010 6:36 PM | Posted by Adrian: | Reply

Aren't people getting tired of this ritualized sadness that goes on (or so I've heard) every year around this date? I also thought that TV stations are very good at giving people what they want, do people really want to see endless stories about firemen? I don't watch TV, but if I did I would switch to another channel...

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I don't mind rituali... (Below threshold)

September 11, 2010 7:40 PM | Posted, in reply to Adrian's comment, by Caeia: | Reply


I don't mind ritualized sadness. Rituals serve a purpose in reminding us of the event that took place. Memorial day for example I think needs MORE ritual sadness just so that people slow down and think about what happened on 9/11 or what Veterans gave up. It's a way to remember the past.

What I don't get is that the event seems so disconected from other events. This wasn't an isolated thing perpetrated by random bored muslims. This was a part of a campaign, and unless we recognize that you can't make sense of it. The radicalization of Islam started long before 9/11 and will probably continue for quite some time. Yet most Americans don't connect 9/11 even to Afghanistan -- It's reported as though we just decided on Afghanistan. Along the way, every connection between 9/11 and anything else (when's the last time you heard the name Osama bin Laden) has just been dropped along the way. Anyone born between 2001 and 2010 must be horribly confused by what actually happened on that day. To them it would look like planes just randomly flew into skyscrapers, and Bush decided to invade two random muslim countries. That's not what happened, but that's what we're taught.

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I agree with most of what y... (Below threshold)

September 11, 2010 8:53 PM | Posted, in reply to Caeia's comment, by David: | Reply

I agree with most of what you said, but hate the phrase "radicalization of Islam." Belief systems are pliable things, and people use them to understand and respond to their material circumstances while at the same time adapting them to their circumstances. What's happened is the radicalization of people, and what we've been ignoring for decades (centuries?) is not the what but the why. I would argue that the problem is capitalism (or what TLP refers to as resurgent mercantilism--two sides of the same coin IMHO).

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Didn't that anthrax-hijacke... (Below threshold)

September 11, 2010 8:59 PM | Posted by nwt: | Reply

Didn't that anthrax-hijacker story turn out as an untrue rumor, or at least highly doubtful?

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Le Monde's We are all Ameri... (Below threshold)

September 11, 2010 9:03 PM | Posted by Charles Frith: | Reply

Le Monde's We are all Americans now had an ambiguity that you may have missed. It also communicated a sense of impending miserable backlash.

The elephant in the room is the lack of discussion that 911 was an inside job, with plenty of powerful Americans lying in the direction of cui bono?

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When Timothy Mcveigh and... (Below threshold)

September 11, 2010 9:52 PM | Posted by Mark: | Reply

When Timothy Mcveigh and Terry Nichols blew up the OK City Federal building, the media went right for the throat,it wasn't a natural disaster but an violent attack to which we immediately ascribed blame. And they were free to speculate: right wingers, militias, neo-nazis.

You forgot Arab terrorists. There was a great deal of speculation about that. Or does that not fit your rather ugly narrative? (By the way, 3000 people died on September 11th, but not 3000 Americans.)

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I appreciate your candor, i... (Below threshold)

September 11, 2010 10:52 PM | Posted by sjc: | Reply

I appreciate your candor, if nothing else.

Yet, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that for most of the people who lost their fucking minds when this happened, they saw it live on TV, that very same medium that you lambast routinely for (rightly) shaping a national narcissistic personality disorder. For most people, 9/11 wasn't a horrifying trauma that was occurring right in front of their eyes, like the horrified shrieks of the observers of that video clip; for almost everyone in the world, 9/11 was super-compelling television. I say this not to diminish the horror of that particular day, but to underscore that most people went insane over TV.

Did you ever see that interview Dubya had with that Irish TV journalist, when she pressed ol' Tin Cup about Iraq and the response and then Dubya said, "but we were attacked!" Besides having a strange warm fuzzy feeling (what can I say, I was addicted to liberal political blogs at the time or at least hungry for someone to call the asshole on SOMETHING), what occurred to me was that here was a U.S. president lecturing an Irishwoman about terrorism, for Christ's sake, I THINK THEY KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT THE TOPIC. Only later did I realize: 9/11 is our tragedy, forever and ever. "Where were you" &c &c &c. The narcissistic wound, which I think is what you are getting at with what you wrote in the aftermath.

And contra to what you envisioned, anger is what occurred, but anger warped for whatever pre-existing ends happened to be laying about. I mean, sure, Afghanistan was bombed and invaded and a football player was killed by friendly fire, but the Empire was practically dry-humping the mahogany desk for an excuse to go into Iraq and prevent China from cutting deals on oil with Saddam. All avenues of legitimate anger were warped, perverted, made to circle back on themselves or "fifth columnists," to quote brave blogger/former journalist Andrew Sullivan. Anger without clear moral intention is anger that is asking to be manipulated, spent on horror, mangled by horrible psyches.

There is sadness, but it's the sadness of a historical path not taken, of missed opportunities, of once more back into Vico's triangulation, the only routine most of these cretins are aware of.

There was that moment in the 2004 debates when Dubya was asked if he could come up with three mistakes in his presidency. Of course, W couldn't think of any. (Have you done your remote analysis of this uniquely stunted merkin? This avatar of the void? This undoer?) For months afterwards, I replayed the answer Kerry should have given:

"Your first mistake was that you had the entire world extending a hand to you, ready to cooperate in whatever you asked. Instead, you spurned it and went on a solo crusade into Iraq.

"Your second mistake was that you had Democrats, Republicans and independents, Americans of all stripes, at a unified moment. Instead, you dug your fingers into the wound and tore it further open, ensuring that there would be no reconcilliation, for your own petty personal political gain.

"But the biggest was this: you had every American looking to you, looking to their President, asking 'What can I do? What can I do, in this hour, to make things right, to help, to avenge the loss of so many Americans at the hands of such hatred?

"You told us to go shopping."

End of game right there. 'Course, he didn't, so here we are now. Eh, what can you say. I'm half in the bag and letting loose with thoughts that I'm not entirely certain anyone would sympathize with. And I think I've left the single-longest comment on your blog, ever. I'll just close with this: I sincerely look forward to the day when 9/11 isn't a remembrance of trauma, but a historical date, one that caused a whole lot of havoc but that future generations will simply know as you and I know Pearl Harbor or the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand: momentous in its import, but not a trigger for insanity.

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The elephant in the room... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 12:44 AM | Posted, in reply to Charles Frith's comment, by TheUnderwearBandit: | Reply

The elephant in the room is the lack of discussion that 911 was an inside job,

Not really an elephant, more like a Minotaur in the room.

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Well Mr Underwearbandit why... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 1:29 AM | Posted by Charles Frith: | Reply

Well Mr Underwearbandit why don't you elaborate on why my words need to be changing? Though that is my real name I'm using.

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I don't want to cope. I... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 4:13 AM | Posted by C.M.: | Reply

I don't want to cope. I want to see the videos of the planes being flown into the Towers. If we allow ourselves to choose the path of sadness, then nothing has been accomplished, everyone died for nothing. It will have been nothing more than an earthquake.

I don't want to get past this. Nor do I want it to get past me.

Agreed--sadness won't help--but how is anger going to get people to open up to the person next to them? Ok, it may unify them. But aren't you just making a bigger tower? What about the guy across the street? Isn't he a person?

...we are focusing only on the effect, because it is very hard for us to get our heads around the cause.

We're not idiots because we're towers, we're towers because we're idiots. We need knowledge and understanding first so we know where to direct the anger.

If we don't use our anger with intelligence, we might as well be in a blackout drunken rage--which is fun, unless when you wake up you're naked next to an ugly woman in the wrong country and you've punched out your friend.

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I think he means that minot... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 5:34 AM | Posted, in reply to Charles Frith's comment, by Kyle: | Reply

I think he means that minotaurs only exist in myth.

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You mean like the myth that... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 6:27 AM | Posted by Charles Frith: | Reply

You mean like the myth that a man in a cave brought a country down to its knees?

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Yeah, I want to add my voic... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 6:39 AM | Posted by karen: | Reply

Yeah, I want to add my voice to sjc & C.M.'s. Unchanneled anger is too open to manipulation & misdirection, but anger does have a strength - you can use it as a warning system or red flag for when you don't have the power or skills to handle something.

I handled my fears, anger & sadness related to the actual Sept. 11 attack within a few weeks of it. I'm not going to put my conclusions out here for evaluation, but I made observations & decisions that I'm comfortable with & can act on in my everyday life. I don't think I'm a skyscraper, though the metaphor seems good, since I often feel like The Little House". So, like Caeia, count me in for the day of ritualized sadness. And 364 days of addressing related and unrelated problems, past, present, future. But without the drama.

Anyway, back to the idea of channeling anger. I have a preschooler and a bad marriage so it is one of my pet projects. Acknowledging anger, obviously, can help one figure out if there's anything one can do, effectively, to gain the skills or power to deal with what frustrates you, or decide if you want to put in the time & energy even if you're ineffective. Expressing it lets people know you aren't dealing well. Which is good if they are people who you can trust, and are able to brainstorm or otherwise help you (or, conversely, if they are people who need to protect themselves...). But it's at best ineffective if they aren't willing or able to help you, and potentially bad if they are untrustworthy or use it against you.

Of course, I don't think I'm telling anyone something they don't already know.

In your posts, TLP, you regularly put your anger out there in as constructive a way as any blogger can. But which of the many anger-inducing problems surrounding the Sept. 11 attack do you want to address exactly? The roots, the results, the next time, the media coverage? Where do you think I (your audience), or you, have the skills & power to make a difference? Would you be content with just a change in the atmosphere (you might get that by just observing how many ppl in the world actually share your views & do what they can), or do you need to see actual quantifiable progress?

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I think it's called a <a hr... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 6:43 AM | Posted, in reply to Charles Frith's comment, by karen: | Reply

I think it's called a cognitive kill switch.

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a man in a cave with an inc... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 6:50 AM | Posted by Steve: | Reply

a man in a cave with an incredible network of terrorists at his disposal you idiot. Just kill yourself and spare us this discussion.

Anyway I remember feeling intense hatred after seeing the 9/11 attack. Felt a lot of hostility and hate towards the Muslims.

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Yeah the myth that a multi-... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 9:45 AM | Posted, in reply to Charles Frith's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Yeah the myth that a multi-millionaire, with a network of people ready to die at his disposal and the backing of a state, took advantage of a low-cost way to demolish building (using existing airplanes that were already flying in the area, that people were freely permitted to board, and that were vulnerable to violent takeover)

Maybe it is a conspiracy, but it's certainly possible to fly a hijacked plane into a skyscraper.

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Re: "I don't want to get... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 9:45 AM | Posted by hermitian operator: | Reply

Re: "I don't want to get past this. Nor do I want it to get past me.

Excerpt from a web overview of the WW I Battle of Verdun:

The attack finally began at 07:15 on 21 February, Crown Prince Wilhelm opening the battle with 1,400 guns packed along the eight-mile front, the guns well served by good nearby railway facilities. 100,000 shells poured into Verdun every hour, Wilhelm's intention being to kill the majority of the French defenders before the infantry even started their advance into the fortress.

French casualties during the battle were estimated at 550,000 with German losses set at 434,000, half of the total being fatalities. The only real effect of the battle was the irrevocable wounding of both armies. No tactical or strategic advantage had been gained by either side.

If TLP wants to engage in protracted maudlin ruminations of man's inhumanity to man, why stop at 9-11? He has hundreds of historic episodes on which to reflect over a bottle of rum.

Me? I have other things to think about than the pointless internal replay of insane nihilism...

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"Me?" Who the hell asked yo... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 10:04 AM | Posted by Steve: | Reply

"Me?" Who the hell asked you? I don't think anybody cares. Just say what you think and get over it, don't improvise dialogues between you and the imaginary crowd you image being extremely curious about your assholish opinions

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For actual reflection, I su... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 10:26 AM | Posted by nwt: | Reply

For actual reflection, I suggest reading Ward Churchill's essay "'Some People Push Back': On the Justice of Roosting Chickens".

http://www.kersplebedeb.com/mystuff/s11/churchill.html

That's the one which got him fired.

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"Go shopping. Have a nap."... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 10:34 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"Go shopping. Have a nap."

Heh, that's exactly what Bush told Americans to do - he even called Americans consumers and not citizens. That was a revealing "wow" moment that most people just glossed right over. That and the fact that a lot of the people who worked at the WTC weren't Americans, it being world trade and all. Narcissism is believing everyone hates you because you're beautiful or rich and not because you keep acting like a total dick with a gargantuan and out of proportion sense of entitlement. That's what happens when you're so unclear on what being a person is that you think an organization is one and someone's money/power making machine/organization is entitled to human rights (but the people their corporate machine crushes aren't). If "the enemy" didn't exist the US would have to invent one - if you need to see yourself as an idealized image than you require a scapegoat, an evil to your ultimate good to project all you deny and reject about yourself onto.


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Calumny and ad homimen argu... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 10:48 AM | Posted by Charles Frith: | Reply

Calumny and ad homimen arguments are entirely normal reactions, as indeed is my propensity to forgive. There's no need for me to mention the elephant in the room again.

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100% with you Charles.<br /... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 11:33 AM | Posted, in reply to Charles Frith's comment, by dave: | Reply

100% with you Charles.
Those who outright deny that 9/11 couldn't possibly be any sort of conspiracy (a crime people in the US go to prison for, every day, its not like its rare or something...)
have not spent *any* time looking into the WHY, not the how. How the twin towers came down and how it was accomplished means next to nothing. Research the why and you'll understand.

Why where there put options on US airlines stock the day before ?
Why was John O'Neil made head of security ? as punishment ?
Why did all the "terroists" get their visas from the US embassy in Saudi Arabia ? (expressed no less)
Why did building 7 come down, with all *existing* copies of financial records of several large companies under investigation by the SEC ?
Why did we attack Iraq in addition to Afghanistan (the "real war")
I'm sure it couldn't have anything to do with opening up their oil reserves, projected to produce 12mbpd by 2016.

For all of these things to happen you don't even need a conspiracy, our government and attitudes aid this kind of activity. Nobody has the full picture. These kinds of events are business as usual. If you don't think that our government would have looked the other way as a convenient false flag attack landed in their laps you're not paying attention.

The hard truth, the looking back and facing it, is why people scream it's not a conspiracy and would rather cry about it.

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That CNN ticker is propagan... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 11:50 AM | Posted by dave: | Reply

That CNN ticker is propagandized conditioning if I ever saw it.
And they don't even know they're doing it when it occurs, we are so fucking clueless.

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I couldn't agree more. When... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 12:22 PM | Posted, in reply to Mark's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I couldn't agree more. When the Oklahoma bombing happened it was obvious to anyone who thinks critically that it had to be an American - only an American would give a shit about "America's heartland" and bother to attack a not-that-important to the rest of the world government building. Of course, the first burst of news blamed it on Arab terrorists - you've got to wonder about a whole nation of journalists (and people) who jump to that conclusion. I saw that on the news and though, you've got to be kidding. Why did they wheel out that narrative and buy into it when it didn't fit the facts? Because, even then, it was the preconstructed narrative and a means to project all evil onto "them". It's a very childish way of seeing the world. And, yeah, the first real group blamed were "Arabs" - people I know who are Persian and Arabic in the US were having things thrown at their houses even after it came out that it was a white American that did it. I can only imagine what would have happened in the US if a Black American militant of some kind blew up a government building. Then the sky would really have fallen.

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You all enjoy this sadness ... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 1:06 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

You all enjoy this sadness shtick we do every year on 9/11?

How can you say that full well knowing 9/11 was allowed to happen by our government, and the emotional impact of the event was used to manipulate us into a war which was ENTIRELY POINTLESS and served no purpose but to further the economic interests of a few people who bought our government? Remember the bullshit parade we were told about WMDs and the axis of evil and shit and all you christian rednecks ate it up even though at the time any slightly rational person could see it was all a manipulation game?

And now we all can see it, but we pretend it didn't happen because its too fucking embarrassing to admit we were manipulated to easily. Well, I wasn't manipulated, but all of you were, and none of you will admit it. Alone included, judging by his rally cry to anger and war written here.


I think it is way more instructive and useful to remember how EASILY you retards were manipulated by emotional and religious sounding words into a war which was so obviously useful only to further the personal financial and power interests of an elite few.

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Oh and I have NO IDEA why a... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 1:15 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Oh and I have NO IDEA why alone is posting this as if he is some sort of prophet... he basically is revealing himself for the emotional fool he tries not to be. As if banging your fists is any more of a constructive response than crying? O rly, how?

One is a socially acceptable masculine response, I suppose that makes it better, but it is no less emotional and stupid than crying helpelessly. At least the latter response might reduce stress and not facilitate impulsive dumb bravado behavior you later regret (oh... wait... retroactive prophecy in motion). Beating someone/something up because something bad was done / happened doesn't accomplish anything unless your actions are informed and purposeful in the long run. And when we are talking about nations, it doesn't accomplish anything at all to impulsively lash out in anger. Maybe for a bunch of chimps in the wild if you attack some random chimp all the other chimps know not to fuck with you any more, but it sorta doesn't work like that in these kinds of situations.

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Anon sept 12 12:22... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 1:26 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Anon sept 12 12:22

The reason it is acceptable for fat redneck americans who love jesus with wide set eyes and low set ears to be prejudiced against arabic people is because our media is heavily jewish with interests in israel, who in turn are oppositional to the arabic world for obvious reasons. So the nature of our media will ALWAYS be reflexive knee jerk anti-arabic and anti-muslim. Our entertainment media will express similar sentiment.

All of this means that the horde of non-thinking fat rednecks, blacks, hispanic immigrants and pretty much anyone and everyone ends up finding it acceptable to throw shit at arabs and express irrational violent prejudices against them... which is beyond fucking ironic considering how just a few decades ago there was widespread institutionalized racism against blacks as well as numerous other ethnic groups. If you were an irish or italian immigrant you couldn't even get a damned job in new york.

But now we have forgotten all of this and now it's TOTALLY OKAY to give major side eye to any tan skinned person with a long skinny face, particularly if he's wearing some kind of rags for clothes and on his head. Indians accidentally get the ricochet effect of anti-arab sentiment.

I would say anti-semetic sentiment (since arabs are semites) but jews have co-opt that word all for themselves and invoking it describes a very very serious very dire very urgent call to correction and suppression of the thought.
So anti-arab will have to do.


Generally the idea in america is all races and ethnicities and religions are okay (why? mixed populations are easier to manipulate) ...except for arabs for some reason no one ever bothers to question except to go with it because ANGER IS FUNNN.

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Hey funny you should mentio... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 2:11 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Stephen: | Reply

Hey funny you should mention anti-semitism!

"..because our media is heavily jewish with interests in israel.."

I'd say that line demonstrates more than a tinge of dislike and suspicion towards Jews.

Other than that your post is a rant about how the stupid fat rednecks of America (which contains an extremely diverse population) shouldn't be unkind to Muslims. Basically "Fuck this set of people - they are unfairly discriminating against this other set of people"

I agree with the second part! But the first part is an example of the exact prejudicial thinking you are critical of.

Ironically, while you rail against the moronic angry rednecks of America you are also yourself an angry barely coherent dumbass.

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Perhaps because Verdun was ... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 2:40 PM | Posted, in reply to hermitian operator's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Perhaps because Verdun was where the European lesson really started, to be concluded with ww2. The world is filled with awful events, and yet you Americans feel that this tragedy of yours is the one beyond all the others. Whenever I see someone mentioning 911, I feel like there's an Oprah show going on in real life.

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well, the comments definite... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 3:58 PM | Posted by anonymous: | Reply

well, the comments definitely show how people have basically blamed themselves for the mass murder of 3000 americans by muslims. it is amazing how far political correctness will go. no, it wasn't muslims, because islam is the religion of peace. bullshit. it is the relgion of hatred and war and murder. anyone with eyes can see that. blame islam. blame arabs. and take revenge on those bastards before they do this again.

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Fact: The largest number of... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 5:37 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Fact: The largest number of hate-crimes in America are against Jews, not Muslims. So much for the hyped Islamophobia. I guess when Jews are attacked, it's just the normal course of events, as opposed to a phenomenon, or news story.

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"'Me?' Who the hell aske... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 6:15 PM | Posted, in reply to Steve's comment, by hermitian operator: | Reply

"'Me?' Who the hell asked you? I don't think anybody cares. Just say what you think and get over it, don't improvise dialogues between you and the imaginary crowd you image being extremely curious about your assholish opinions"

Hmm... I see some marginal intellect enjoys self-licking ice cream cones.

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Lowest Iraqi body count for... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 7:05 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Lowest Iraqi body count for the Iraq War is about 100 000. Is that enough remembering now?

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It's enough to instigate a ... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 9:27 PM | Posted by Charles Frith: | Reply

It's enough to instigate a war crimes investigation.

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It has nothing to do with r... (Below threshold)

September 12, 2010 10:05 PM | Posted, in reply to anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

It has nothing to do with religion really, that's just how it's sold to the masses, it's recruiting propaganda. It has to do with money/resources/power and global politics. Religion has always really just been a tool to rule and of empire. And the reason why America is responsible has nothing to do with religion (despite Bush calling it a crusade, apparently very apt really because the Christian crusades weren't really about religion either). It has to do with America's foreign policies and attempts to empire build (not so much for America but for powerful Americans), and getting corporate hands on global resources, and the relationships between the very few truly wealthy families in the world - like it always has been. The original crusades weren't really about religion either, they were about expanding empire. Oh, and banking and credit. And, no, that's not a conspiracy theory, it's just history.

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Hey anon retard:Di... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 2:42 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Hey anon retard:

Did you ever think that perhaps so called "hate crime" statistics are subject to reporting bias?

When someone burns a swastika in front of a synogage it's big news.

When someone throws a rock at a mosque, few people give a shit. Many of us are happy it happened.

When someone hurls antisemetic slurs at a jewish boy, it's significant.
When someone calls an arab boy a filthy towel head no one cares (as I observed EVERY FUCKING DAY in school, the arab children were always abused the jewish children very rarely were).

When a bunch of fat rednecks push an arab kid into a wall, while calling said kid a towel haid, it's considered pretty normal.
When a bunch of fat rednecks knock the yarmulke off a jewish kid's head, you better believe that might make the evning news.

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Over the pond here, one of ... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 6:07 AM | Posted by gentleeye: | Reply

Over the pond here, one of our best commentators says that, although, as TLP points out, much has happened since then, we have learned nothing.

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I liked this. A lot.<... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 6:26 AM | Posted by David Buchner: | Reply

I liked this. A lot.

You sure have a lot of wacky commenters, though. Golly.

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"We are all Americans" m... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 8:35 AM | Posted by Anonyme: | Reply

"We are all Americans" means to the writer at Le Monde: "we could be next." That's all he cares about. He's right on that count, I guess, dead right-- the next attack has to happen in a different country if it is to have global impact.

Good grief... no memory whatsoever. Or selective memory. Quite telling, really.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1995_bombings_in_France

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(in case I wasn't clear: I'... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 8:38 AM | Posted by Anonyme: | Reply

(in case I wasn't clear: I'm referring to TLP as the one with either no memory or selective memory. France has just as strong a memory of its terrorist attacks as the US of its own. Which was why the "Nous sommes tous américains" sentiment. But please, do go on feeling like USA stands for Center Of The World and thus terrorism didn't exist until 9/11.)

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I know another thing that w... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 9:16 AM | Posted by medsvstherapy: | Reply

I know another thing that we have not learned. I was performing my role as a mental health professional in the VA system on that day. Taught me a lot.

This VA had a decent chaplaincy service as well as well-appointed psychology/mental health accommoodations.

Each opened its doors and set up shop for the next couple of weeks to help anyone seeking a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to lean on, an uncritical empath.

We psychologists were puzzled that we were not overwhelmed with people seeking help for disturbed sleep or restlessness, or distractability, or guidleiens on what to tell their kids. We were quite frustrated to not be able to emply our relaxation-skills training, our ability to help people implement perspective-taking, or our ability to script a med that would tangentially affect some of these symptoms. Plus, we werwe really upset that we could not offer noble consoling statements about how the terrorists certainly were not representative of an entire nation or religion. Oh, how we love it when those words can flow off of our lips to a captive audience. Alas and alack, we had no one to which to minister our medicine.

The chaplaincy service was overwhelmed.

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Way to bring up non-sequito... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 11:47 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonyme's comment, by Troll Hunter: | Reply

Way to bring up non-sequitors. What does that have to do with anything? TLP's not saying France was never the victim in a terrorist attack, he's saying Le Monde only cares about itself as a victim. It doesn't give a hoot about the U.S. Which turned out to be pretty accurate.

And the rest of you bringing up Iraq, what does that have to do with this? No one had died in Iraq as of 9-11, so no, it wouldn't have made any sense to consider the body count.

40,000 people died from motor vehicle accidents, however, so should we ignore 9-11 and honor Highway Safety Day? Get out of your studio apartments and stop comparing scars with one another.

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9/11 created a great atmosp... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 12:01 PM | Posted, in reply to Troll Hunter's comment, by dave: | Reply

9/11 created a great atmosphere for fear of terrorists. We had WMD's flashed in front of us, puppets like Osama and that nasty old Saddam, we where whipped up into an anti Islamic frenzy.

Dick Cheney; former oilman, and studier of peak oil, crafted the Bush admin.s energy policy. It involved invading Iraq from day one. Opening up their oil supply was a key incentive for that war, as was the fact that Saddam planned to take oil trading in Euros beginning some time in 2003. If any other OPEC countries had followed suit, well, you can imagine. (look at what Iran is playing at now)

9/11 was very convenient to create just the right intensive to go around invading anywhere we liked on a whim. Iraq because it is predicted to rival Saudi oil output by 2016-2020, Afghanistan because "that's where Osama is" (and opium, and vast natural resources we're now standing off against China for.)

Once we realize that our religious, tribal sensibilities play right into the hands of those who craft conflicts for their own gain perhaps something different will happen. As has been for centuries though, its business as usual.

Many in the west find it a really hard topic to study, because after all, these wars DO keep us secure, they DO allow us to wreak economic and physical warfare on other nations to keep us top dog, it is an uncomfortable truth.

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The only thing I am mad at ... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 2:52 PM | Posted by corronchilejano: | Reply

The only thing I am mad at is the US thinking that getting attacked means they have a free ticket to attack whoever the hell they want. Like razing Iraq to the ground.

Other countries have suffered worse than you have.

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Only sees itself as a full ... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 4:32 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Only sees itself as a full person, regards other nations as supporting roles in its story, lashes out in order to preserve its self-image....

The US is a narcissist!

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The grand conspiracy readin... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 4:50 PM | Posted, in reply to dave's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

The grand conspiracy reading of history.

Without defending all or most of what was done by the US after 9/11 some elements did make sense. Invading Afghanistan did, because the country was sheltering the terrorist group that attacked the US.

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So Pakistan is next then. T... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 5:34 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by DAVE: | Reply

So Pakistan is next then. Then Yemen ?
We can just identify a group, identify acts we can class as terrorism, real or false flag, does it even matter ? and just rape their homeland for generations ?
It's not a conspiracy, its simply how shit gets done.
Empire building 2.0

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If Pakistan is sheltering A... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 5:53 PM | Posted, in reply to DAVE's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

If Pakistan is sheltering Al Qaeda members (not Al Qaeda members live in the country - but if Pakistan is actively and openly aiding them) then yes, Pakistan is next. If Yemen is doing the same, then yes Yemen comes after. Same for any other country all the way down the list.

The US absolutely had the right to target Al Qaeda after what happened. If the absurd premise that 9/11 was a false flag attack is true it's a different story of course, but do you really believe the morons behind Iraq could keep a secret of that magnitude secret? They couldn't keep the Guantanamo Bay operating manual off the internet, they couldn't keep their rendition program a secret, and they can't catch Osama Bin Laden.

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We're writing the book on 2... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 6:16 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Dave: | Reply

We're writing the book on 21st century war, I'm not sure you're going to like the ending. When we can chase an enemy across any countries' borders and give that enemy any number of elastic definitions you have to realize no good is going to come of it.

The CIA knows where Bin Laden is, you think they'd kill a valuable asset like that ? He's a puppet borne of the Mujahadeen era.

There is only one problem with "conspiracy theories" its not that they aren't true, it's that people refuse to listen, refuse to acknowledge the world is a much nastier place than they can imagine.
Go back to sleep.

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While the VA psychologists ... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 8:47 PM | Posted, in reply to medsvstherapy's comment, by Jack Coupal: | Reply

While the VA psychologists were seeking useful work immediately after 9/11, the chaplaincy service was overwhelmed.

The client base of the VA has people who had been in combat and have seen the worst that men can do to one another. The clent base knows war. The military chaplains in Iraq and Afghanistan today go to the front lines, while psychologists, psychiatrists, etc. are safely behind the lines.

Our active-duty chaplains are also overwhelmed and for the same reason. But, they know that their work is crucial to our nation in war.

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Well, if the enemy really i... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 8:49 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Well, if the enemy really is an enemy, and is dangerous we ought to chase them across other countries borders. If the world is mostly how it appears at face value.

I could imagine that Osama Bin Laden works for the CIA - I just don't see any good reason to believe it. He served the CIA at one point, I know this. Does this mean that his goals were temporarily aligned with those of the CIA? Maybe it does. Does it mean he was and is an agent who is above all loyal to the CIA? Maybe it does. I think the first possibility is more in line with what I know about the world, about people, about history. But I admit, maybe I'm wrong. I just would want to see some evidence for it.

If you want to understand how I see your conspiracy theories imagine I told you that reptilian aliens were behind everything. There ARE people who believe this. If I told you 'go back to sleep' after you ridiculed my theory, that is basically the same way I see your perspective. I'm awake, I'm just not credulous.

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Yeah, obviously I'm gullibl... (Below threshold)

September 13, 2010 10:44 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by dave: | Reply

Yeah, obviously I'm gullible.

The fact that there are people that belive both sides of any story is a testement to the credulity of people in general, that is how we get the wool over our eyes so many times and both sets of people can rant and rave about the truth while it will escape us every time. It is a sick and sad situation to be in. We can only look at our seperate data points;

I happen to lean towards the fact Osama is a puppet because A. his family has close ties with the Bush family; they where allowed to fly out of the US after 9/11 B. he was co-opted by elements in the Carter and Reagan administration C. There are rumours that fake videos of his threats where made by a CIA employee named Tim Osman, or perhaps this was a cover name, he looks pretty similar.
D. He recieved hospital treatment in Pakistan, another country who aided the Mujahadeen, under the eye of the CIA AFTER 9/11

These 4 data points when set on a scale with the only explanation I'm given otherwise: "He leads a terrorist network and is very dangerous, wherever he or his operatives are, we must take the war"

It just so happens that this network primarily operates in a part of the world which the west has had repeated tiffs with over centuries and lies smack near the largest oil reserves on earth. Convenient that this area is rife with terrorists so willing to attack us isn't it ?

In the long run even any debate on the wherabouts of Osama is an utter distraction, we'll never know, he won't ever be discussed again in our media unless its in conjunction with something that suits an agenda *hes a ghost*.

If you feel safer knowing we can goose-step into any country we want to, chasing a ghost and his associates then I'm obviously wasting our time.

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Ok, I'll start with the end... (Below threshold)

September 14, 2010 3:56 PM | Posted, in reply to dave's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Ok, I'll start with the end. I don't form my opinions on the basis of what mood I'm in, or what I would like to be true. Maybe you do, maybe you like to feel special, and like you've figured out a complicated world that all the other people are too stupid or naive to understand (or too evil - if they are in on the conspiracy) but I don't, and I didn't say you do.

Let's look at your four data points, and why there might be an alternative explanation for each of them.
A: The Bin Laden family is a large and influential one. They are wealthy, and also very closely connected with the Saudi royal family (a vital strategic ally to the US). There is a lot going on with the Bin Laden family that is unrelated to Osama. They certainly could have left as a group on their own, or under the direction of Saudi Arabia, facilitated by the US state department.
B: This is a historical fact. Your choice of language (co-opt) is somewhat misleading, but it is true that Bin Laden and Islamists temporarily had a common enemy. It does not follow from this that their alliance extended past fighting the Soviets.
C: Your statement that there are rumors to this effect is true. Does the fact there are rumors about something mean it IS true?
D: I don't know what you mean by this. The CIA actually knew this was happening and did nothing? That is pretty strange, I admit. I would want to know more details about this before I made up my mind about what it means.

Your 4 data points seem to me to be a collection of insinuations, not really credible evidence for anything.

Other than that I have to say, it's actually very INconvenient that there are so many hostile groups in an area that has a lot of oil. If they weren't there it would make oil cheaper and the price would be less vulnerable to terrorism related shocks. There are no imaginary terrorists in Canada

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You got me, I've got not a ... (Below threshold)

September 14, 2010 4:27 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Dave: | Reply

You got me, I've got not a shred of evidence. Did you google any of those ? theres plenty of stuff. Maybe its all half truths and rumours, its ALL we have from either side.

>>>There's no light sweet crude in Canada either, its all tough as nails hard to extract and refine crappy shale.

Think whatever the hell you want.
" I would want to know more details about this before I made up my mind about what it means"
Then do me and yourself a favor and LOOK.

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Oh yes there are too imagin... (Below threshold)

September 14, 2010 4:34 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Oh yes there are too imaginary terrorists in Canada! Some of them are cops dressed up as "violent anarchists" at demonstrations - you've got to be able to justify military spending.

Of course, the people most interested in creating terror are those who profit from it - and that would be the multinational companies that sell weapons. Wars and "the war on terror/drugs" are both just ways to funnel taxpayer money into the pockets of corporate cronies who are war profiteers.

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"make oil cheaper"... (Below threshold)

September 14, 2010 4:39 PM | Posted by Dave: | Reply

"make oil cheaper"

Have you lost the plot ? you think companies that produce oil want to make it CHEAPER ? what does OPEC do when the price of oil falls below $50 a barrel ? they tighten the spigot ! The only group that wants it cheap is us.

Llyods 360 Risk Assesment on sustainable energy security US Joint Forces Command, Joint Operating Environment Report 2010

Do me a favor and just look at the future of oil, yes many people do think they're smart and special because they've figured it out.
The fact that the US helped possibly secure 1/4 of the worlds oil invading Iraq means *everything* for the future shape of that region.

I know its a horrible cliche that many "conspiracy nuts" may spit out, but please look at the big picture.

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see comment above.... (Below threshold)

September 14, 2010 4:51 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by dave: | Reply

see comment above.

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"The hard truth, the lookin... (Below threshold)

September 15, 2010 6:59 AM | Posted, in reply to dave's comment, by Z. Constantine: | Reply

"The hard truth, the looking back and facing it, is why people scream it's not a conspiracy and would rather cry about it."

We all support a 9/11 conspiracy theory of one flavor or another - no one is claiming it was an *accident*.

Is the phrase "conspiracy theory" such an effective thought-killer that there is some question as to whether or not we're all in agreement here?

(Congratulations on completing your indoctrination, if you didn't pick this one up - please return to your regularly-scheduled programming)

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Yes, I do feel that if anyo... (Below threshold)

September 15, 2010 12:15 PM | Posted, in reply to Z. Constantine's comment, by Dave: | Reply

Yes, I do feel that if anyone utters that you're a conspiracy theorist it's an instant get out clause.

The crap about Osama probably is pure rumor, but when you do look at the big picture you'd be a fool to think we're in that region for any other reason than energy.
Sure we got attacked by some angry Islamic Saudis (some of which are * rumored* to still be alive, even Atta.)
so that gave us carte blanch to parade into the single most oil rich region on the planet. Like I listed earlier:

"Dick Cheney; former oilman, and studier of peak oil, crafted the Bush admin.s energy policy. It involved invading Iraq from day one. Opening up their oil supply was a key incentive for that war, as was the fact that Saddam planned to take oil trading in Euros beginning some time in 2003. If any other OPEC countries had followed suit, well, you can imagine. (look at what Iran is playing at now)

9/11 was very convenient to create just the right incentive to go around invading anywhere we liked on a whim. Iraq because it is predicted to rival Saudi oil output by 2016-2020..."

Well, I was a bit off, apparently Iraq was already trading oil in euros in 2002:
http://www.thinkandask.com/news/thedollar.html

Gee, I wonder why Goldman Sachs would want to completely bankrupt Greece?

There is a Reuters article that talks extensively about this but I can't find it...

A different perspective on why we're in Afghanistan, as the link mentions above Afghanistan is pretty key for getting oil from the caspian basin region to our allies Pakistan and India.

If you want to ensure access to oil through Iraq and the gulf ports you invade Iraq, if you want to ensure supply from the caspian basin isn't interrupted flowing south, you need some control over what happens in Afghanistan.
These are just observations.

The fact we can paint ourselves an enemy in that region to justify a war means we guarantee ourselves a nice chunk of the pie.

and BTW please read these:
Llyods 360 Risk Assesment on sustainable energy security
http://www.lloyds.com/News-and-Insight/360-Risk-Insight/Research-and-Reports/Energy-Security/Energy-Security

US Joint Forces Command, Joint Operating Environment Report 2010
http://www.jfcom.mil/newslink/storyarchive/2010/JOE_2010_o.pdf

And realize that Saudi Arabia will possibly be running short on production and hitting an export peak as their own economy grows and consumes more domestic oil.

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Dave, I don't understand an... (Below threshold)

September 17, 2010 9:50 AM | Posted, in reply to Dave's comment, by Jack Coupal: | Reply

Dave, I don't understand any of the other things you say, but..

The Greeks bankrupted Greece, before Goldman Sachs even got a chance to try. The Greeks got to the till first.

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<a href="http://www.spiegel... (Below threshold)

September 17, 2010 11:37 AM | Posted, in reply to Jack Coupal's comment, by dave: | Reply

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,676634,00.html

Yeah, they didn't exactly help though did they.

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Good point CoupalI... (Below threshold)

September 24, 2010 12:49 PM | Posted, in reply to Jack Coupal's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Good point Coupal

I would also point out to Mr Medsvstherapy that psychology is just as much a load of horse shit as religion. The point I believe he was making is that people would rather cling to "faith" which is unproductive and made up nonsense, than learn real valuable ways to cope with a bad event via psychology.
Problem is psychology is itself a lot like a religion (a bunch of people made up & continue to make up ideas about how the world & people works, with zero objective evidence, ZERO evidence their "interventions" will help, and often do a lot of damage to people by brainwashing them with their nonsense ideas).
And some people say psychology helps them... the same can be said of religion. People are highly gullible and there is a certain breed of human being - most human beings, actually - who are programmed from birth to not think, but rather to seek out like a magnet other human beings who are good at thinking. In other words, MOST people greatly desire and seek out authority and thinkers, and will align themselves with them and convince themselves they are being helped by them.

So you're upset that people prefer religion to psychology... I'm relieved. At least religion is OBVIOUSLY psychotic bullshit whereas psychology occupies that grey area between science and schizophrenic fantasies.

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I will recommend not to hol... (Below threshold)

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