September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2001 02:40:18 EDT
Subject: Stories re: 9/11
I met you tonight in front of the Actors Fund building.
I am sending you the Emails I have rec'd -
hope this can help
I also have "personal" notes to friends/family - let me know...
I know you're probably tired of reading pieces like this, but give this one a
look. It's written by documentary filmmaker and political animal Michael
Moore ("ROGER AND ME"). Normally, I agree with his politics, but find him
smug and self-involved. (I sent him an e-mail saying just that.)
But what he is saying is so important this time.
If you think so too, pass it along. Otherwise, just hit delete.
Thanks and peace,
Lost in America, Closer to Home
We have made it to Columbus, Ohio for the night and are staying just a couple of blocks from the state capitol building where Governor Rhodes gave the order on May 4, 1970, to send the National Guard to Kent State. There
they opened fire on hundreds of unarmed students, killing four and wounding
many others. Few dared to call it a terrorist act committed by the state of
Ohio... but, there I go again. Off message!
Stay focused on the main themes, Mike: "AMERICA UNITED!" "SMOKE 'EM OUTTA THEIR HOLES, HUNT 'EM DOWN, AND GIT 'EM!" "THE SLEEPING GIANT HAS BEEN AROUSED!" and "REMEMBER THE POSTER IN THE OLD WEST: 'WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE!'"
I have a question to all the war hawks out there: When you listen and look at
our Commander-in-Chief, do you really think THIS is the guy who is going to
kick some major league ass? I'm just asking all you conservative drum
beaters out there -- man, you must be *embarrassed* that this is the best we have to offer.
I know we are all supposed to be supportive of Mr. Bush, at the moment, but
has it dawned on anyone that he is not, in fact, the "president?" I hate to
bring up a thorny subject, but this is the man who *lost* the election. He
got the *least* number of votes between the two major party candidates. His brother oversaw a rigged vote in Florida.
I am so, so sorry to bring this up now, but the tragedy of the past week is
EXACTLY the kind of horrible circumstance many Americans feared we'd find
ourselves in -- A NATIONAL CRISIS UNDER A LEADER WHO IS NOT THERE BY THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. It is a tribute to the goodwill of the American public that they have rallied behind George W. Bush as best they can, 'cause he and his fake flight jacket is all we got right now in the Oval Office.
Someone needs to get in charge and propose some real solutions to bringing
the perpetrators to justice and preventing this -- as best as possible --
from happening again. Instead, what we have is Bush speaking like a
wind-up doll, mouthing a bunch of nonsense clichés, repeating them over and
over and over. But occasionally his batteries run out -- and he goes off on
some unintelligible tangent. You can see his handlers desperately trying to
cut him off and whisk him away.
You watch in awe and you ask the question that none of us even wants to
contemplate right now, and that no one will dare to ask, so I might as well
take the hit and be the one: THIS is the Commander-in-Chief of the most
powerful country on earth? Who amongst you feels secure tonight? What enemy is going to be afraid of *this* guy?
Bush keeps calling what we are in "a war." Has anyone told him that the more
he keeps using this word, the more HE puts US in jeopardy? A "war" implies
that two sides are participating in an action to kill as many of the other
side as possible. Bush and the pundits use the word like it's a one-sided
deal, like we're going to be the only ones doing the bombing. War means we
bomb them, then they bomb us.
That's what war is. We strafe Afghanistan, the terrorists drop a canister of
chemical weapons in the New York subway. We send in a group of commandos and wipe out a camp of Muslims, they take out the Sears Tower.
All of you who are screaming for war: are you prepared to pay the price, to
take thousands of more casualties?
Because, my big, macho-talking friends,THAT is what this kind of war would be like. America is a complex and open society with a massive and intricate infrastructure that is fragile and vulnerable and susceptible to easy attack and disruption. IT CAN BE BROUGHT DOWN WITH A BOXCUTTER. Let me repeat that: IT CAN BE BROUGHT DOWN -- IT CAN BE BROUGHT TO A TOTAL STANDSTILL -- BY A BOXCUTTER!
Nearly a week with no stock market, no commercial television, no professional
sports, three days with no planes in the air (for the first time since 1911),
no airports open, the country essentially shut down. A week later and the
phone lines still don't all work. A boxcutter, folks!
Do not be misled into thinking he with the biggest missile is going to win
this "war." We will never be able to protect all of us from this kind of
terrorism. Back and forth, more buildings bombed, more planes downed, more innocent American lives lost. When does this end? After we have killed every terrorist? When exactly is THAT scheduled to happen? Or is it just when we kill Osama bin Laden, *then* we win the war? Are you serious? We couldn't assassinate Hitler during a massive World War that lasted 6 years!
Bush now says this is "a war against the evil people in the world." Oh,
really? THAT war! Yeah, we should be able to defeat "evil," oh, sometime in
the next millennium or two.
Get a grip. "War" is not going to get the justice we demand or make us more
safe. You know it and I know it. There is a different way to go, and I will lay it out in a later letter, but to simplify it and put it in a nutshell, it goes like this:
One billion people on this planet have no clean drinking water. Two billion
have no electricity. Three billion have never made a phone call from their home. We have the money and the people-power to alter ALL of this. We also have the moral imperative to stop supporting repressive regimes and corporations who exploit these people.
When we decide to help improve these billions of people's lives, we will pull
the rug out from under the terrorists who need those they send to their
deaths to be poor and exploited and angry at us. The multi-millionaire
bin Laden isn't going to give up HIS life! When all the people in the Middle East have food on the table, a decent home, a good job, and democratic control over their own lives, who among them is going to be convinced to sacrifice his life by crashing into a tall office building?
Sure, there will always be those who go insane and kill without reason. The
British saw that in a Dunblane schoolyard, we saw it in Oklahoma City. There
will always be religious fanatics willing to kill and be killed because they
believe God has so ordered them. Ask the families of the assassinated women's clinics' doctors in Buffalo and Florida about those willing to commit evil in the name of religion in America.
There IS a way to protect us from further attack, to lift the rest of the
world out of its misery, but it requires some smarts and some guts, two
things in short supply in Washington these days.
After arriving in Columbus, Kathleen and I met up with one of our best
friends from Flint, Al Hirvela. Al teaches at Ohio State. He was just the
shot in the arm I needed this week. He, Kathleen, I and a bunch of others all
used to put out an alternative newspaper in Flint many years ago and
we miss being around each other in times like these. We miss being able to
talk and try to figure out what it all means -- and what we should be doing
Al is a Quaker and a pacifist, and sitting in the Big Boy last night talking to him was the kind of grounding experience I needed after four days on the road.
My publisher called two nights ago to ask where I might end up for the
evening, as my editor wanted to ship me a copy of my new book, just off the
press. This was bittersweet news -- I have dedicated this book to Al,
and to think that I would be there when he opened it up and saw his name on that dedication page was indeed a lucky privilege, a cool moment I never
expected to have.
But the book publisher also gave me this news: They are "delaying" the
release of my book due to the events of the past week. No doubt, this book is going to ruffle some feathers, and in light of the attack in New York, the
book suddenly gave everyone connected to it (including me) the
heebie-jeebies. What a feeling to have in a free country!
In a way, though, I was relieved with their decision -- I have absolutely
ZERO interest in going out on a book tour this week. Even though I have much I would like to say -- opinions and thoughts that are NOT being heard in the media right now -- I just can't go out there and have my name attached to something that is "on sale" (I have asked our webmaster to remove anything from our site that leads one to purchase any of my films, TV shows or books).
I am very proud of this book, and I hoped it would stimulate a lot of
discussion on various topics. I don't know now when it will come out -- maybe
next month, maybe next year. In the meantime, I will continue to communicate on the Web and speak to any media outlet that will listen to --and report uncensored -- what I have to say about the tragic situation in which we are now immersed.
I can't believe all the incredible letters you are sending me -- over 41,000
letters in the last week. I am so sorry I cannot respond to each of you. I
have scrolled down through the subject headings and read a few of the letters and it is clear I am not alone in my sadness over this tragedy or in the
anger I have for what is being proposed by our leaders. I will print these
letters and let our elected officials see what the REST of America is
thinking about the idea of "war."
We are now driving across Ohio toward West Virginia and Pennsylvania. On the radio, NPR is running a history report on Osama bin Laden. We are told that he comes from a wealthy family and that they are the main builders for the Saudi royal family. They've remodeled palaces and built holy sites. Their
construction projects are everywhere.
Kathleen turns to me, and with one word sums up the kind of low-life we are
talking about here. "Contractors," she says. "Bin Laden is a contractor."
Indeed, it all made sense.
Someone at NPR tracked me down on the road and asked me to stop by the
nearest NPR station and read my letters over the air. I agreed, but I got
choked up reading them into the microphone. I wonder if they will even
broadcast them. I hope they do, as I felt that my reading of them conveyed
more of a real and human sense of what I am trying to say and what I am
seeing on this drive across America.
Later in the evening, my letters go out on an NPR program called "The
Connection" from WBUR in Boston. More mail pours in. On the Pennsylvania
Turnpike we pass through nearby Shanksville, PA, where the United flight wentdown. The girl at the newsstand counter in the rest stop says it was just three miles down the road." Close enough for all of them to hear it crash.
Her voice shakes as she tells me this. A car parked in front of the door has
a temporary "Cemetery Pass" sitting on its dash.
I think of Barbara Olson, the conservative commentator and wife of the man
who argued Bush's case for installation in front of the courts last year. I
have been on "Politically Incorrect" with her on a couple of occasions.
She was always a warm and friendly person. She was on that plane, on her way to do that show. Monday night, the program went on, and Bill Maher left a chair on the stage empty, in her honor. I agreed with her on nothing, and I cried when I saw that empty chair. She was a human being who deserved to live. She was an American who loved her country. Maybe I should have gotten to know her better, instead of just ignoring her because of her politics. She was a year younger than me...
We will make it home to New York, sometime tonight...
I got this response back from the Michael Moore letter you sent around few
Thought I would pass this back as it takes another slice of our history into
Moore's words affected me, I felt them somewhat disturbing in the wake of our national tragedy. But I also can understand our rights and freedoms so much more clearly. What our country stands for unitedly, is our ability and
constitutional right to say whatever we want, what ever our opinion and not
be condemned, imprisoned, shot, or burned at the stake. From Moore's
comments, it made me think hard on what I believe - and to ask some
questions, of myself, and of others who understand the rights of our great
Well, I think this is what I wanted to write...
Thought provoking is a good thing
Hoping this finds you well.
I am ok, bit shaken
SUBJECT: Response from M Moore's words by S P
Quite a scary outlook. However it still doesn't deal with the fact
that we can't do nothing. The terrorist outlook is not going to go away.
Right now the trend that seems to be coming from the military is to use
special-ops teams, sent to specific locations to deal with the Taliban.
Either directly or by targeting them for airstrikes. (One of the things that
was largely overlooked by the media following Desert Storm was how many of the so called "smart" bombs were actually guided bombs following a laser
track which was placed on target by a special ops team on the ground. (Yes,
these things do exist, you just have to pay attention). So maybe that's the
answer. Also, the author's explanation of Bin Laden's plans show Bin Laden to be a planner, willing to go any length to achieve his quest for an Islamic
world. (Something the Koran teaches, though most contemporary Muslims look at those teachings the way that most contemporary Jews look at the Kosher Dietary laws-out of date and unnecessary. However, that outlook is in the Koran for any fundamentalist Muslim to believe, which brings us back to the inescapable conclusion that Bin Laden will continue to up the ante until
either he and his kind win, or we do. In the Crusades of the middle ages, a corrupt and highly zealous Christianity attempted to wrest control of the mid east from Islam. It failed. Now it appears, the shoe is on the other foot. Some Muslims wish to control the West. I don't think you want us to surrender (do you want to wear a veil, be a second class person, be stoned to death for adultery). I don't think we have a great deal of choice. The "stomach" the author refers to is not, I think, for civilian casualties. Rather I think it will be for 10, 15, or more years of small groups hunting the terrorists and their succeeding generations, of ongoing reports of small groups of American soldiers being caught in ambushes and slaughtered, and of body counts of the terrorist dead. I do not make these comments with anticipation, or eagerness. I admit to making them with dread. We will see more strikes against us directly. The path has been chosen by Bin Laden and his ilk, we are merely stuck on it. This is not, I realize, a particularly pleasant outlook. I feel it is
an honest one. The authors of both pieces have something in commen-they both chose to ignore the obvious, stick their heads in the sand, and hope it will get better. It won't.
Real Estate up here is selling. People are talking of retiring early, moving
out the "Line of Fire" and just getting by in Vermont. Interesting huh?
S, another email I rec'd few days ago... after you note back to me re:Michael
Moore's view, I thought this would interest you. Peace, x
I found this extremely powerful.
In the spirit of peace, let me offer a statement
from xxx, an Afghani-American author
(primarily of childrens' books) who lives in the
Bay Area. Different words, very different
perspective: but ultimately much the same sentiment: a
search for world peace.
Dear Gary and whoever else is on this email
thread: I've been hearing a lot of talk about "bombing
Afghanistan back to the Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio
today, allowed that this would mean killing innocent people, people who
had nothing to do with this atrocity, but "we're at war, we have to
accept collateral damage. What else can we do?" Minutes later I heard
some TV pundit discussing whether we "have the belly to do what must be
And I thought about the issues being raised
especially hard because I am from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived
here for 35 years I've never lost track of what's going on there. So I
want to tell anyone who will listen how it all looks from where I'm
I speak as one who hates the Taliban and Osama
Bin Laden. There is no doubt in my mind that these people were
responsible for the atrocity in New York. I agree that something must be done about those monsters.
But the Taliban and Ben Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a politicalcriminal with a plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the
concentration camps." It's not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country.
Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and
overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt,
incapacitated, suffering. A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan--a country with no economy, no food. There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a few of the reasons why the Afghan people have not overthrown the Taliban.
We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone
Age. Trouble is, that's been done. The Soviets took care of it already. Make the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering. Level their houses? Done. Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done. Eradicate their hospitals? Done. Destroy their infrastructure? Cut them off from medicine and health care? Too late. Someone already did all that.
New bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at
least get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's Afghanistan, only the
Taliban eat, only they have the means to move around. They'd slip
away and hide. Maybe the bombs would get some of those disabled
orphans, they don't move too fast, they don't even have wheelchairs.
But flying over Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn't really be a strike
against the criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it would only be making common cause with the Taliban--by raping once again the
people they've been raping all this time
So what else is there? What can be done, then?
Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The only way to get
Bin Laden is to go in there with ground troops. When people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done" they're thinking in
terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any moral qualms about killing innocent people. Let's pull our
heads out of the sand. What's actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to Bin Laden's hideout. It's much bigger than that folks. Because to get and troops to Afghanistan, we'd have to go through Pakistan. Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first. Will
other Muslim nations just stand by? You see where I'm going. We're
flirting with a world war between Islam and the West.
And guess what: that's Bin Laden's program.
That's exactly what he wants. That's why he did this. Read his
speeches and statements. It's all right there. He really believes Islam
would beat the west. It might seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the west wreaks a holocaust in those lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose, that's even better from Bin Laden's point of view. He's probably wrong, in the end the west would win, whatever that would mean, but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours. Who has the belly for that? Bin Laden does. Anyone else?
Mailer: AOL 6.0 for Windows US sub 10536
PLEASE FORWARD TO ANY AND ALL NYC THEATER TYPES YOU HAVE E-MAIL FOR:
A friend of mine in Virginia is looking for her niece who moved here about a
year ago to pursue her dream of Musical Theater. They have not heard from
her yet. We are praying that family politics are the only reason they don't
know if she is fine. I am putting out a personal call to run through the
networks of Off-Off Broadway and see if we can find out her whereabouts.
xxx -22 years of age
Please get in touch with me if you know her. I am also trying to find where
may have worked/hung out/studied etc.
We get jokes to pass along all the time. Let's see how well we do when it is real. THIS IS SERIOUS and HERE IS YOUR CHANCE TO HELP.
Please help to pass the word, I beg of you.
Phone - xxx
Fax - xxx
9/12/01 SUBJECT: A Tribute to the United States
May this encourage Americans on a day like today.
TRIBUTE TO THE UNITED STATES
This, from a Canadian newspaper, is worth sharing.
America: The Good Neighbor.
Widespread but only partial news coverage was given
recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from
Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television
Commentator. What follows is the full text of his
trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional
"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the
Americans as the most generous and possibly the
least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany,
Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy
were lifted out of the debris of war by the
Americans who poured in billions of dollars and
forgave other billions in debts.
None of these countries is today paying even the
interest on its remaining debts to the United
States. When France was in danger of collapsing in
1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and
their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the
streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.
When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the
United States that hurries in to help. This spring,
59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes.
Nobody helped. The Marshall Plan and the Truman
Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged
countries. Now newspapers in those countries are
writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.
I'd like to see just one of those countries that is
gloating over the erosion of the United States
dollar build its own airplane. Does any other
country in the world have a plane to equal the
Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the
If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the
International lines except Russia fly American
Planes? Why does no other land on earth even
consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You
talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios.
You talk about German technocracy, and you get
automobiles. You talk about American technocracy,
and you find men on the moon - not once, but several
times - and safely home again.
You talk about scandals, and the Americans put
theirs right in the store window for everybody to
look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued
and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most
of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are
getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to
When the railways of France, Germany and India were
breaking down through age, it was the Americans who
rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the
New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an
old caboose. Both are still broke.
I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced
to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name
me even one time when someone else raced to the
Americans in trouble? I don't think there was
outside help even during the San Francisco
Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one
Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get
kicked around. They will come out of this thing
with their flag high. And when they do, they are
entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are
gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada
is not one of those."
Stand proud, America! Wear it proudly!!
This is one of the best editorials that I have ever
read regarding the United States. It is nice that
one man realizes it. I only wish that the rest of
the world would realize it. We are always blamed for
everything, and never even get a thank you for the
things we do.
I would hope that each of you would send this to as
many people as you can and emphasize that they
should send it to as many of their friends until
this letter is sent to every person on the web. I am
just a single American that has read this, TRIBUTE TO
THE UNITED STATES
Regardless of how you feel about gun laws you gotta
I was listening to the radio the other day, and I
heard one of the all-time best comeback lines in
my life. Note: This is an exact replication of
National Public Radio (NPR) interview between a
female broadcaster, and US Army General Reinwald
who was about to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop
visiting his military installation.
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: So, General Reinwald, what things
are you going to teach these young boys when they
visit your base?"
GENERAL REINWALD: We're going to teach them climbing,
canoeing, archery, and shooting."
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: "Shooting! That's a bit
irresponsible, isn't it?"
GENERAL REINWALD: "I don't see why, they'll be
properly supervised on the rifle range."
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: "Don't you admit that this is a
terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?"
GENERAL REINWALD: "I don't see how. We will be
teaching them proper rifle discipline before they
even touch a firearm. "
FEMALE INTERVIEWER: "But you're equipping them to
become violent killers."
GENERAL REINWALD: "Well, you're equipped to be a
prostitute, but you're not one, are you? "
The radio went silent and the interview ended. And all
I could think was, "Go Army!"
Email Date:Thu, 27 Sep 2001
Email Subject:Subject: Stories re: 9/11