11 September 2019

Eighteen Years Ago Today. 9/11/2001

As I see it, 9/11/2001 was a real turning point for the US and the world. 19 men with box cutters were able to hijack jetliners and fly them into the WTC and the Pentagon...these men were on Visas from Saudi Arabia, for the most part. Xenophobia raised its ugly head and Nationalism gained a strong foothold. At the time, the budget was in surplus for the second or third year, the CBO had stated that at that rate the entire national debt would be paid off by 2015. Instead, we took a war footing, following PNAC's stated ambitions of a few years earlier...they had been given their "new Pearl Harbor". We attacked Afghanistan, where we are still at war 18 years later (the longest war in our history), and then amped up a war against Iraq under some lies about their having Weapons of Mass Destruction. That government and those people are now ruled by their Shia majority, aligned more closely with Iran. Halliburton and Blackwater (Cheney and Prince) raked in our national treasures. Yes, we elected a black man as President, but about the same percentage of people who support Trump now felt his was an illegitimate presidency...fueled by birthers like Trump himself. Now look at the fine mess this country has gotten itself into. The 9/11 victims' compensation fund wasn't fully authorized until two months ago, after Jon Stewart and many attorneys gave testimony after testimony in Congress.
I am saddened for the missed opportunity we had...I'm in grief for my country which has taken a turn towards nationalism and has concentration camps set up along the border, with children separated from their families held in cages still to this day. We have Bahamians turned away at our coastline after their country was devastated by a category 5 hurricane which settled over them for days.
We, at least half of us, are better than this...I don't know how to get to the people who still support nationalism and white supremacy...but, we're all in this sinking boat together...please help bail, literally and figuratively.
Eighteen years ago, I interrupted Cheryl and her client at the strawbale studio...I brought a small 12 volt television over and plugged it in, adjusted the antenna and the three of us looked on in disbelief.
On Monday, August 6, 2001, GW Bush's Presidential Daily Brief warned, 36 days before the September 11 attacks, of terrorism threats from Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, including "patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for a hijacking" of US aircraft. This was ignored.
"At least a dozen Air Force and National Guard bases were within a few moments of flight time to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Why weren't fighter planes scrambled as soon as it became obvious that the airliners had been hijacked?"
The air traffic control system keeps track of all commercial flights and is in continuous radio contact with the pilots. All of these communications are recorded. It would have been immediately apparent to the controllers that something had gone wrong when the planes deviated from their course and radio contact ceased. Why were jet fighters not scrambled to intercept the hijacked planes? Why are transcripts of the pilots' communications with air traffic controllers not released to the public?
American Airlines Flight 77, the jet which U.S. officials say crashed into the Pentagon, was hijacked shortly before 9 a.m. -- approximately 15 minutes after the first plane crashed into the World Trade towers. Why were no jet fighters scrambled to intercept the flight?"
May all the victims Rest in Peace.

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