September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document
Email Text:Stand Behind Me
Terrorism: Inheriting the Winds
Assigning Blame for the Attack on America on America*
The Plaintive Rantings of a Southern American Writer/Lawyer/Environmentalist
(*not a misprint)
Lets not forget that while the patriotic old men of Congress are getting involved in their jingoistic process of calculating the strategy and cost of declaring and waging war, its our sons and daughters , our committed warriors, wholl be paying the price. Our soldiers are like the bacon in Jr. Johnsons (race car driver) terse parable on the difference between involved and committed: He was having breakfast one morning with a friend (Bill France) who was trying to persuade Junior to keep racing , but Junior had gotten to the stage where age and discretion were overtaking his hunger for valor and fame and said: For instance, youre eating bacon and eggs this morning. Think about this: That chicken was involved, but that hog was committed. Im involved in racing , but Im not committed. Ive always suspected that if the ones who declared the wars were bound to wage them, thered be substantially fewer wars.
Im not, mind you, suggesting we shouldnt go for the head(s) of the terrorist snake(s) -whoever they are - and separate them from their bodies with all musterable haste. Not having done so in the case of Saddam Hussein may well account for why we are in the situation we find ourselves today. I am suggesting , however, that those involved in the declaration of war should first (1) study and decide (understand) both how and why we were attacked, not just by whom, (2) determine the best way to establish peace and not simply win a fight or destroy an enemy, (3) decide how best to accomplish (2) with minimal risk to our committed warriors , and (4) accomplish (1) through (3) with deliberation , discretion and, where called-for , stealth ( without telling CNN in advance every detail in our attack stratagem ) and without bankrupting our already teetering economy.
Yes - we are, in the larger picture, as Michael Moore (TVs Roger & Me, in a widely-circulated e-article) and others have suggested , responsible for what has happened. I can abhor, deplore and dream of launching vengeful war against the doers of the disastrous deeds and still confess that Im in part, a very substantial part, responsible. Moore cites some of the reasons. We are in a sense inheriting the winds of wars weve allowed our politicians to wage on our collective behalf. The Arab terrorists are as berserk as they are hypocritical sure; theres never been a true religion preaching war, at least one sanctioning the slaughter of innocent and non-military people. But . . . just how true is what I just said? You may have bought it for a moment, but just look at the current edition of the Old Testament - the archive of our moral history and our modern morality. Its the foundation of the Zionist conviction that there are in fact good enough reasons to wage wars of holy conversion and acquisition. Does capital-g God really have chosen ones? And, are they (the chosen ones) really just a few of us? Both the Muslim Koran and Judeo/Christian Bible say yes, yes.
The Arabs are righteously enraged over Americas being allied with the religious group (The Nation of Israel) with whom they have been feuding since Abrahams progeny split similarly-semitic siblings into warring tribes. Stop just for a minute and think about walking a mile in their sandals - What if Mexicans all of a sudden declared they were going to retake and migrate into Texas because their god had told them it was their promised land and they should never have given it up.(Yeah, I know it looks like thats already happening, but stay with me here ) And what if, while you and I are down there defending the land of the Alamo with our six-guns and bowie knives, a flock of Apache-type attack helicopters armed with smart rockets and Vulcan machine guns appears out of nowhere and rips us and our bowie knives to smithereens? And suppose further that we discover that these helicopters were given to the Mexicans by their allies, the Nation of Columbia, and we call up Columbia and ask them for some helicopters and they say sorry, we no understand Ingles . How long would we tolerate having the Mexicans ripping us apart with the Columbian war machines before we decide to pay the Columbians a little visit? George W is presently hinting that hes going to declare war against Afghanistan if it turns out they harbored Bin Laden - that is gave him a place to sleep and maybe preach to those future pilots of America. What would George W be threatening to do if it turned out Afghanistan gave Bin Laden the planes he used to take out the New York towers? Now take a second look at the way some Palestinians look at us.
How zealous a warrior would the U.S. have been in our desert storm if that storm had not put our oil supplies in harms way? Answer that while considering all the post-soviet Euro-Asian conflicts (and here were talking atrocities and wars of ethnic extinction) we have either stayed the hell away from or insulated ourselves from via our comfortable nest in NATO.
No, Im not saying the U.S. should be punished or that any one or nation has the right to attack any one of us. Im simply saying the West, to the rest of a backward and impoverished world - especially those countries Moore mentioned (Chile, Vietnam, Gaza, Salvador , etc.) is damned ugly. I think Moores cannons were a little loose with his juxtaposing the Twin Towers toppling with Bushs recent bull-in-the-china-shop blunders abroad regarding Kyoto, nuclear defense, etc . . . as its more than obvious that the terrorists plans to infarct Americas heart ante-dated Bushs idiotic actions by long months (or years).
No - Bush (I wince to concede) is not to blame for New Yorks suffering. America itself, in significant part, is. We more than any other nation are responsible for the big picture problems of global warming , with our coal-powered industry and our wasteful , power-hungry society ; by our driving our gas-guzzling SUVs to the polls to vote for any cretin wholl guarantee us that, to keep those SUVs and ACs roaring, hell sacrifice our last sacred frontiers of natural life - and anything else, albeit Communist or Arab, that stands in the way of our manifest , capitalistic destiny.
If we (simply and no more) follow the second Bush crusade into the desert to ferret out and destroy the enemy, and call the job done when we get Afghanistan to spit up Bin Laden, then well learn the French history lesson - Plus ca change, plus la meme chose (What goes around keeps coming around). The big - B I G PICTURE history is painting for us now is one of near perfect symmetry (I did not say justice or Morality). Our 911 event was, in effect, one of the end results of our own reckless and heedless consumption and environmental exploitation rearing up, coming around and biting us on our back side (or rather piercing our heart - the ground zero of our capitalistic core).
DC is only nominally our capitol. Our true capitol is Capital and the corporations that have made it and the power it wields the polar star of the guidance system for space ship earth. The ironies are staggering - and sobering. We are allies of Israel because we need a stronghold and point for military maneuvering in the Middle East to insure our continued control and ability to continue our course of killing our ecosystem through recklessly burning the earths fossil fuels - that energy from the sun, stored magically in those glistening benzene rings in the exchanging of which our nation and those of the middle east remain perpetually , if lovelessly engaged. And we need their (Israels) military intelligence and infrastructure for contingencies like desert storm and whatever George W is in the process of presently pursuing.
And now come these maniacal messengers - these un-wise men from the East. Did they come to us atop Arabian stallions? Hardly. They came aboard our own ships, with Trojan stealth- each ship laden with 16,000 gallons of fossil fuel, drilled and pumped by our diamond-studded machines and steely inventiveness from the heart of the planet we are poisoning by piercing the spleen of its own body.
This same fossil fuel, with a relatively modest assist from some relatively mediocre middle-eastern minds, was injected and ignited ironically in the soft belly of the animal who effectively unearthed it and set it at large.
The irony of the ultimate utilization of fossil fuel to destroy the prime headquarters of the capitalist machine that engineered (through financing) its extraction and refinement is surpassed only by a collateral ecological irony and symmetry of mythical proportions. Environmentalists and perhaps all informed and intelligent observers of western society, especially American, would agree that the most damaging dual manifestation of our ecologically aberrant behavior is one enabled by our fossil-fuel industry - urban hypertrophy and sprawl. We centralize and concentrate our business and industry in areas which become so crowded from greedy over development that skyscraping mega-structures are the only remedies available (excluding long-extinct human self-restraint).
We concentrate so much population and machination in urban areas that the resulting compression and waste production make living in the places we work impossibly expensive, unhealthy and aesthetically abhorrent. So New Yorkers build two twin towers 1300 feet high to house the offices of 45,000 people, who after work, get in their SUVs and trains and commute an average of 60 miles each way, converting in their progress a quarter million gallons of fuel a day into sky-smogging, lung clogging, acid-rain-making, and globe-warning greenhouse gas.
Urban sprawl - living in the burbs is American societys fondest dream. And the environments worst nightmare. Architecturally , there may have been nothing more perfect in form and function than Manhattans twin towers. Ecologically there could be nothing uglier and more universally malignant than these daggers in the sky. Was the parable in Genesis 11 simply mythical , or was it perhaps prophetic? Of course there is more than a language gap dividing the people who occupied and those who destroyed the World Trade Center, but a gap in understanding and communications there certainly was, and remains between the radical Muslims and us western infidels.
Wasnt the 911 event a little like the tale of Babels brazen tower? If there is, and I hope and pray its so, a kinship - if not identity - between creation (nature) and creator (God), then how could that creator not be as appalled at the arrogance and excessiveness of our late great towers as the God of the Old Testament was with the heavenly-heeped bricks of the Babylonians?
If a giant alien, with super-sensitive hearing had placed his titanic ear to the wall outside , say, 16 or so floors of either twin tower, with all the business and financial and cyber chatter of the computers and cell phones going on inside, would he have described the noise as anything but babble (thats the origin of the word by the way)?
Do we understand anything about Osama Bin Laden? Do he or his followers know or understand anything about the people in the skyscrapers? In the Old Testament story, the Lord just came down and scattered the people in the building to different parts of the world, since they no longer spoke the same language. Both we and the Arab terrorists have had access to the same story, but we didnt heed it. We all had e-mail, cell phones and FedEx to communicate with one other, but we were too busy . . . tending to business. Scattering the people apparently didnt fix things in the wake of Babels story, so this time, they scattered the building.
The remarkable irony and symmetry of these events are in the choice of buildings. What all agree was the single most malevolent and heinous act of terrorism in the history of human kind (unless it was Hiroshima) amounts to the most efficacious and expeditious act of environmental remediation yet accomplished in America. I realize how quickly most would describe this observation as cruel and callous. I view it nonetheless as positive and hopeful. New York cant unfortunately raise her fallen from the dead, but the City does have an opportunity now to change directions., to evolve.
(And for those WW II patriots who would scream foul at my passing mention of Hiroshima in the context of debating the fallout of terrorism, let me pause in passing that that venue on the way over Nagasaki towards NY and DC and mention some fairly embarrassing undeniable realities. The American patriots would contend that our dropping the holocaust bombs on Japanese civilian populations was an act morally calculated to save lives, by ending the war in the Pacific , which the Japanese were to stubborn to concede. Well, I concede some of the logic (if not the sentiment) in that line of rhetoric defending our offensive war conduct and ethics. What I would point out after that concession however is the hypocrisy in our presently righteous rage. The Arabs (mostly Muslim) have been at war with Israel (90 percent Hebrew) for a half century, and we have been Israels allies in that war for decades, and it doesnt help the Arabs in their attitude toward us to hear that the U.S. Congress hasnt formally declared war on the Arabs.
And while we are praising ourselves defensively for being Israels friends, loyal to them til the end in their struggle against their savage oppressors, lets take a second look there and apply the litmus strip for hypocritical national narcissism. America comes up hot pink. Israel is the national theocratic state of the Jews. These are the same people we watched in the late 30s and early 40s being politically oppressed , ultimately kidnapped and systematically murdered in Europe and Russia in numbers that 8 digits can scarcely embrace. Where were we then with our abiding love for and alliance with the Jewish people? No - we didnt declare our staunch support for the Jewish people until they fled from Europe to the desert and we found their Zionist dream coinciding with our capitalistic one . . which I suggest would never have occurred until the Jews set up an independent state in the midst of the Arabs who control an estimated 35 Percent of the globes oil reserves (our virtual lifes blood). As a personal anecdotal exclamation point to end this paragraph , Ill recall for your benefit the fact that in 1948, the year Israel declared its independent statehood, I was living in a typical American town with a population of about 60,000 (mainly Christian) souls. The town had one country club. Jews werent allowed.
The Arabs know we are on Israels side, know we furnish them deadly arms and cutting-edge military expertise and know we collaborate with them in their cause (is this starting to sound a little like Bushs caveat to Afghanistan about those supporting, harboring or giving aid to our terrorist enemies being our enemies?).
So far in the middle eastern war, how many Arabs do we suppose have been killed with American military planes and other weapons? Im no authority (at this point) but Id wager its a multiple of 6000. And for historic boot, the number of Japanese civilians who ultimately died in the original ground(s) zero and in their ten-year wake is in excess of 600,000 souls. Thats about 100 times our recent casualties combining air passengers and tenants of our Twin Towers and Pentagon.
And for one final irony, wasnt it amazingly naïve for New Yorkers and the American media to have adopted as their badge of red courage the moniker the American Eagle left (ground zero) to mark the spot it laid down the nuclear neonates it fondly named Little Boy and Fat Man? In that analogy, making New York ground zero likens us to Imperial Japan, and our terrorists to . . . (you got it) us. Wake up , America and smell the napalm. Where have all the flowers gone?
Before you answer, take this pop quiz (sorry, no million -dollar prize offered only our lives depend on our ability to answer): How many wars have been fought over Palestine in the past 50 years? How many middle eastern countries have attacked and been attacked by Israel in that time? What country built the bomber and manufactured the bombs used by Israel when it unilaterally bombed Iraq over 20 years ago (remember, Saddam, Bagdad, desert storm and all that Defense of Kuwait thing we did a while back ?) to prevent them from building a nuclear power plant ? Whats the main religion of Kuwait now? Howabout Iraq? What would happen to America if our supply of mideastern oil was cut off? What would Americans have to do to end our dependency on Arab oil? Would Americans be willing to do any of those things? If wed never become dependent on Arab oil, would 6,000 more Americans be living today? What are the differences in the teachings of Muhammad (the 600AD born prophet in the religion of Islam) and those of Jesus Christ? Is there any significant difference in the stories and lessons taught in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian people and those taught in the Muslims Koran? How many Americans could pass (with a score of 50 percent) this quiz? Two (2) percent? Maybe. Ill tell you what the Average American knows about these issues and our Islamic enemies: babble babble babble When will (we) ever learn?)
The World Trade Center for the most part today was archaic, even though the structure was only 29 years old. Computers and wireless communications have long ago enabled industry and business in general to decentralize, re-integrate and coordinate their collective activities in cyberspace. Contiguous walls and halls with paper trays and trails arent all that essential these days. Business must have some reception and conference rooms where physical objects and personalities can be touched and mingled. But the clocked-in , nine-to-five grind for all workers is just a vestigial habit in the cases of most corporate functioning, and the progressive and avante guarde are already paying their computer-equipped agents and employees to leave their SUVs in the garage awaiting the vacations they can now take . . . back in the big and exciting city, whose sun, moon and view of heaven need no longer be eclipsed by a row of megastructures. They do their working at home, where they can breathe the fresh air that millions of similarly-enlightened citizens didnt pollute with commuting to their employers urban centers.
Every machine we have created which had a purpose or tendency to exploit either the environment or the more humble creatures we share it with has wound up being turned in our direction. Russia, Red China, Pakistan and India, and probably a dozen more of our potential enemies have our E=MC sqd creations in their arsenals. Theyre working on delivery systems as I write. Think of what wed be facing today if it had occurred to Bin Laden to have his kamikazies carry briefcase nukes aboard our four luxury airlines instead of plastic knives. Are we going to restrict our remedial plans to hunting down all terrorists and destroying them by preemptive strike? We dont have that many C.I. Agents, and the As we have apparently dont have that much I.
So, now Ive joined Michael Moore and had my little purge. Its been a rant Ive needed to purge since the Arabs aborted my recent N.Y. trip (I had an appointment Wednesday, and was headed up there Tuesday morning when hell broke loose). Guess Allah spared me so I could burden other infidels with my own post-traumatic dis-ease.
In closing, let me urge us all, while were cheering George W and the C.I.A. on in their pursuit of the dread desert rats who converted our planes into guided missiles , and while were out there standing behind George W. whos out there standing behind Colin P.and Norman S., who are out there standing behind our children who are out there standing behind the tanks, missiles and smart bombs that will be killing the people who stood behind the ones who killed us with those planes, we need to remember : (1) They were our planes. (2) Each one of them (hundreds of times a day) was toting, and burning 16,000 gallons of 200 million-year-old vegetable oil we purloined from Arabian earth to feed our ugly addiction to forty-fold the world-average quanta of consumption and creature comforts. (3) The Arabs, these terrorists, quite rationally think and righteously feel that we and they have been at war since we became openly allied with Israel, which is openly at war with them (most of the time). Accordingly, they feel just as morally justified in bombing us in New York as we felt justified in bombing Japan in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. By our Presidents own 911 proclamation, those who aide and abet our enemies are at war with us. (4) Behind the heroics of great warriors there is apt to be great love - of country, family, freedom and self. Behind the mask of the suicidal terrorist there is apt to be great suffering. (Theres also, Ive recently heard, the promise that Muslim suicide/martyr-warriors get to take the people they kill (all of them) into the next world as their personal slaves - this for those of you who, as I, have wondered how terrorists incentivize Arab youth to attend flight school abroad for a year when for graduation they get a one-way ticket to oblivion. Turns out it aint oblivion - its more like Club Med al la Allah.) But the point is, the ones who killed us were not cowards, but rather a few among many zealots all willing to pay the ultimate price for their cause, all of which shows that (5) We Americans have a lot to learn about the rest of the world and its suffering - especially the suffering we may have a hand in, and finally (6) While were seeking and setting out to destroy the ones who carved the course of history culminating in the events of 9/11/01, we had better be prepared to spy among these villains ourselves.
Of course, this is just an opinion, and just like Michael Moore and Dennis Miller, I could be wrong. But while there a scintilla of a chance Im right , and while George W is out there searching for the road to what hes blithely hailing as the first war of the Twenty-first Century (is he promising us more?) , Im going to be out there searching for a road less traveled. So, now, as were treading in the darkness down the roads of our respective and collective choices in search of fugitive Peace, I invite - and beseech you - stand behind me , your friend ,
Dusty (Robert R. Schoch, Attorney/Writer/Environmentalist,
607 Overbrook Drive, High Point N.C. 27262
(336) 887-3119 e-mail : [private] )
Email Date:About a week after 9/11.
Email Subject:Stand Behind Me, America, and Take Responsibility