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Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11, 2001

Posted by on September 11 at 8:46 AM

I went to pieces when I watched this on 9/11. I went to pieces watching it again this morning.

Via Sullivan.

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My wife still can't stand to watch anything about 9/11, not even ficticious TV miniseries about it.

Mine either. Or me.

oh, how we've squandered international sympathy in the past five years. way to go, mr. president.

Me neither. It's as though sadness has to be mediated through fiction. We can't just let something be.

I was studying in england when 9/11 happened, and I have to say that the british people were absolutely wonderful. Nearly everyone that I spoke to expressed a very genuine concern about me and oddly my family, even after I explained that they were nowhere near any of the attacks.

It is a shame that friends that have visited since haven't always gotten such a warm reception.

I could care less about 9/11.

Since 3,000 people were killed at the World Trade Center:

1,500 people were killed in Lebanon;
1,900 people were killed in Hurricane Katrina;
At least 2,500 Americans and 50,000 have been killed to date in the Iraq war;
75,000 people died in the Kashmir earthquake;
275,000 people were killed in the 2004 tsunami.

Let's be honest with ourselves for once and admit that 9/11 was one more minor catastrophe in a world filled with tragedy and grief. All things considered, it's a small and insignificant event which has been turned into a major calamity by insular Americans. The bad TV and dumb movies advertising its "importance" only deepen my numbness. I'm ready to forget the whole thing.

I know this is chickenshit, but will someone post a brief summary of this clip before I press play? I realize it is the anniversary, but I'm trying to break with American tradition by not dwelling with obsession on our darkest hours.

Sure thing SB.
Clip summary: Bitter citizens of the last world empire shed crocodile tears over the impending death of the current world empire.

How's that?

Similar to what Charles was saying - I lived in Dublin on 9/11, and in the weeks after the attacks people were so amazing, caring, sympathetic and wonderful when they found out that I was from the US. I can't remember the last time I had an interaction like that with somebody over here. It really didn't last long.

Thanks, gurldoggie. I have decided, therefore, that I don't need to see it. Frankly, I don't think anyone needs to see it. Again, it's prudent never to forget 9/11, but is it really necessary to dwell? I believe our collective inability to move on is what helps George W. justify his "war" on terror as well as his constant and consistent violation of our Constitutional rights.

I pretty much concur with all of y'all. When I watched the clip, I imagined that those people were stuck in time and that they had no clue how long of a ride we would still be on today because of our misguided policies. The President and his Administration really fucked up and that is all.

Remember the Le Monde headline? "We are all Americans"

I, unwisely, decided to watch _United 93_ yesterday. It was done a little too well, and left me physically ill after.

Strange the details that really started to fill in the dread, like the quarter-full planes.

And, fwiw, I think liberals especially should talk and remind people about the attacks. Remember, the only real successes five years ago came from ordinary citizens rejecting authority and rules, and doing what they knew to be right. While the military and government sat impotent, flailing and cowering, it was random assortments of citizens who organized their floors, crawled down stairs, and started to fight back. Remind people that while Bush was flying to Nebraska, Rudy was wandering around Southern Manhattan, it was empowered citizens that made the real response.

That's why this clip IS important. It's a testament to what we've lost, what we've squandered. There was a moment when the world united against terrorism (real terrorism). We wasted that moment.

It makes little sense to me to ignore the anniversary. Sure it's over-hyped, but something happened, and it changed everything. Most of us don't like what's happened since, but that's no reason to close our eyes to what happened then. Real innocent people died, they can certainly be honored without cynicism.

It is prudent to remember, and to care, because it was us. I've been in the old World Trade Center; I've sipped cocktails and listened to Ana D spin discs at Windows On The World. I applied for a job at the World Financial Center. I had read books about the twin towers (which, contrary to mythology today, were universally reviled by New Yorkers; the one thing they were good for was as a directional marker if you were lost somewhere in lower or middle Manhattan.) One of the odder things about that day is the weird sense I had of the WTC being MINE, this was a tragedy for ME, and none of the people around us (we were in Montana) knew what this really, really meant. That's absurd, of course, but that's what I felt at the time.

But the question afterward was, and is, "what now?" And the answer given to that question was the wrong one.

We justifiably and correctly went after the Taliban in Afghanistan. But then, almost immediately, in classic USA short-attention-span fashion, we threw away that opportunity to go off and chase...what, exactly? New psychotic horrors. And as a result we have lost Afghanistan, and everything else we could at one time have hoped for in the middle east; and nothing is resolved, and nothing is fixed, and nothing is avenged, and nothing is created.

9/11 was a tragedy that HAPPENS to you, but what's happened to us since then is a far greater tragedy, because it was deliberately, out of sheer stupidity and bloody-mindedness. And all the work still needs to be done. Harder now.

FNARF, have you read Fiasco? I'm only a few chapters into it, but it has a lot of insights about the affect 9/11 had on policy both in afghanistan and later iraq. being only a small way in I can't speak to many details yet, but I've found it to be a really good read and it sounds like it would be right up your alley given the stuff you touched on @14.

It's on my list. I really don't think you can understand America without understanding mental illness; we're all just a big collection of pathologies.

speaking of collective mental states, has anyone been watching (online) CNN's rebroadcast of their 9/11 coverage? Its interesting to hear the anchors talking about the event in terms that seem so cliche to us now. Listening to them trying to comprehend the event as it unfolded is kind of an interesting perspective given all the static we've had to listen to ever since.

Seems Al Qaeda timed their attacks well - when the US leadership was composed of people willing to play the terrorists' game and begin destroying everything in pursuit of various special interests.

Al Qaeda's strategy is working perfectly for them. As the guy says, when you crash a plane, your target is not the people on the plane, or the people in the building. Your target is everyone else. And, as a trip to the airport now amply reveals, the terrorists are completely in control of large portions of our daily lives now. And they are bankrupting us.

Of course, Gurldoggie, all of those damned natural disasters -- hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes, oh my! Why not add the number killed by cancer? Or by being struck by lightning? Or by choking on a ham sandwich?

I will not rest until we track down every strom front and every overstuffed sandwich! The war on weather!! The war on deli meats!! Put another way: are you a moron?

Charles, I watched the CNN coverage rebroadcast last night. I never got to see how the news was being reported in real time, as the towers were both down by the time I woke up that day. Hearing the anchor ask again and again what kind of navigational system breakdown could have sent 2 planes into the towers was just eerie.

I actually still find this to be quite beautiful.

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