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 (Sept. 11, 2007)

On this anniversary of 9/11, as the country wallows---er, commemorates the horrific murders of unsuspecting innocent persons, there will be solemn ceremonies in every city.  In many of these events, the names of the dead will be gravely recited, but I think it might make more sense to read a list of some other things.
            Things, oh, like these:
            *Of the 2,974 persons killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the two jetliners, 2902 (by most estimates) were from the United States. The rest came from somewhere between 90 and 115 other countries, depending on which stats you read. It’s not just our fight.
            *Iraq was falsely and flagrantly linked to the 9/11 attacks by Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld.
            *Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with the 9/11 attack.
            *The U.S. invasion of Iraq was predicated on weapons of mass destruction---including nuclear---that were, according to all inspections and authentic intelligence at the time, not there.
            *All the WMD “evidence” used by the Bush administration was trumped up and/or false. Ask Colin Powell.
            *The other purported purpose of invading Iraq was to topple that “bloody dictator,” Saddam Hussein, even though he posed no threat to this country. This was accomplished. Yet the U.S. remained.
            *Under Saddam, Iraq became the most westernized and secular of Arab nations, where women had more rights than anywhere in the Arab world.
            *The Iraq invasion was planned and urged long before 9/11 by the neocon warmongers of the Project for a New American Century, who essentially became the George W. Bush cabinet and foreign policy advisors.
            *Paul Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld were among the signators of the PNAC’s document calling for permanent occupation of the Middle East and “global pax Americana”---a perpetual war to militarily impose U.S. interests anywhere in the world, at whim.
            *Many of the PNAC neoconservatives were arch supporters of Israel, and in some cases---including Cheney and Wolfowitz---had actually worked for Israel’s right-wing Likud party. Funny, elected officials of our government working for another country.
            *When you point this out, whether you are former President Jimmy Carter, or Harvard professor Stephen Walt or University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer, the ADL and likes of Alan Dershowitz brand you anti-Semitic.
            *The PNAC expressed hope in a document entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” for a Pearl Harbor-like event that might galvanize the public into supporting “global pax Americana” and an invasion of the Middle East. The road to global pax American was bound to be rough, the PNAC wrote, “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event--like a new Pearl Harbor."  (Page 51 of “Rebuilding America’s Defenses.”)
            *The still-under-construction U.S. “embassy” in Iraq is about the size of 80 football fields. It will cost an estimated $592 million, with annual operating costs of $1.2 billion per year. Saddam never dreamed of such opulence.
            *The Iraq occupation was a permanent occupation from the get-go. You’ve been scammed, folks. Flim-flammed. Conned. Sold a bill of goods. The old switcheroo.
            *By any sane measure, the country is almost hopelessly bankrupt now—this country, not Iraq. Projected debt by 2010 is a trillion bucks. 
            *Have you noticed how Bush’s Iraq rhetoric recently switched from “insurgency” and “sectarian violence” (which he probably thinks has something to do with the Kentucky Derby) to. . .Al Qaeda? How it went from fighting “insurgents” to “outside agitators” to “making progress against Al Qaeda?” You’ve been scammed, folks. Flim-flammed. Conned. Sold a bill of goods. The old switcheroo.
            *Being a member of  “Al-Qaeda” is like being a Trekkie. All you have to do is say you are one.
            *"Al Qaeda is on the run. Right now, about half of all the top Al Qaeda operatives are either jailed or dead. In either case, they're not a problem anymore."---George W. Bush, May 5, 2003.
            *All the talk of benchmarks, surges, evaluations, Sunni-Shiite progress, possible troop withdrawals---it’s all a smokescreen to cover the permanent occupation of the Middle East. It means absolutely nothing. It is just fodder to keep the corporate media busy, and give American citizens the idea that this monumental disaster can be improved.
            *The country is not "at war." It invaded a defenseless country and occupies it, despite polls in Iraq and the U.S. which say citizens want the occupiers to leave. To say that we are "at war" sullies the memories of everyone who fought in World War II.
            *The soldiers in Iraq---many of whom are National Guard troops never meant to serve on foreign soil, and most of whom are in second and third tour of duty---are not "fighting a war." They are a glorified police force, sitting ducks, targets for booby-trap bombs that they are pretty much helpless against.
            *The 9/11 attacks were carried out mostly by Saudi nationals. Several of them entered the U.S. under a Bush administration policy called "Visa Express," which allowed Saudis to obtain U.S. visas without being photographed or having to apply in person. That's homeland security!
            *That “we” are fighting for the “freedom and democracy” of the Iraqis is the biggest lie of the whole con. Pity the poor soldiers who give arms, legs, parts of their brains for this lie.
             *In fact, the administration cares almost nothing about whether Iraq can ever function as a nation. This is all about permanent U.S. occupation of the Middle East---a beachhead for “global pax Americana"---on behalf of oil, Israel, and some delusion about "fighting terror." And really, the more unstable Iraq is, the more the U.S. has an excuse to stay there.
            *There are incalculably more would-be terrorists, and there is incalculably more hatred for this country, and western nations, because of the Iraq invasion and Bush’s dumbass cowboy bluster. 
            *There are about a million less living Iraqis since the Iraq invasion and Bush’s bellicose policies. A million. Wonder how that happened.
            *If all this doesn’t make you stop, scratch your hairy McDonald’s gut or taut personal-trainer-honed abs, and say, “Hmm. . .just who is committing terrorism here?”, then you’ve been watching too much CNN and Fox.
            *The apparent perpetrator of 9/11, Osama Bin-Laden, not only remains free, but free enough to go out and shop for fake beards and blank videocassettes.
            *The number of freedoms given up by U.S. citizens out of a positively embarrassing fear of terrorists is, well, put it this way: the government may now listen to your phone conversations, read your e-mail, watch you from U-2 spyplanes and satellites and videocameras, grab you off the street and hold you for the rest of your life without bringing charges in a secret prison, and destroy your mind with torture.
            *Countless terrorism experts were interviewed countless times during the decade or so before 9/11---in print, radio, and TV---in which they all said that an attack was coming. The catch-phrase was, “It’s not a question of if, but of when.”
            *After George W. Bush took office, outgoing Clinton presidential advisor Sandy Berger spent months warning Bush, Cheney, et. al that terrorism---specifically, Osama bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda---should be top priority, and that something big was in the works.
            *Bush counter-terrorism advisor Richard Clarke, who had performed the same task for Clinton, Bush 1, and Reagan, warned repeatedly of imminent Al-Qaeda attack and urged the Bush-Cheney administration to make this top priority.
            *Clarke was ignored. Berger was ignored. A presidential briefing memo warning, “Bin Laden determined to attack the United States” was ignored. The Bush-Cheney administration ignored all warnings of a coming terrorist attack. This is not conjecture or opinion, but documented fact, as the 9/11 Commission established.
            *At minimum, it is very apparent that the administration---led by the cynical, dying bag of hatred that is Dick Cheney---deliberately waited to withstand a terrorist strike on U.S. soil in order to have enough public support to implement its agenda: the invasion of Iraq (Rumsfeld pushed for it on 9/12) and start of “global pax Americana,” the employment of fear to stoke and control public opinion, the beginning of a vast spying network directed at U.S. citizens, the legal removal of any impediments to imposing martial law.
            *This administration does exactly what it pleases regardless of the lowest popularity of any administration since Nixon.
            *This includes the very likely forthcoming bombing of Iran.
            *People seem to have forgotten that all of the war-making and war-mongering elevates the prospects of world war, and nuclear war, exponentially.
            *Anyone who thinks that the B-52 full of nuclear missiles that flew over the U.S. last week did so by mistake, as the official story goes,  may now go back to reading “My Pet Goat.”
            *Bush-Cheney policy is a sort of revisiting of the Christian Crusades. The Bush administration was supported by---and infested with---evangelicals, fundamentalists who believe that a “showdown between east and west” is the prelude to Hay-soos coming back to earth to reward all the true believers with Twinkies forever and leave the rest of us to die horrible and permanent deaths.
            *Bush claims to be doing God’s work, and recently admitted to crying “on God’s shoulder.” It is not known where he and God get together for these sessions.
            * “You can't run a country/ By a book of religion/ Not by a heap/ Or a lump or a smidgeon/ Of foolish rules/ Of ancient date/ Designed to make/ You all feel great/ While you fold, spindle/ And mutilate/ Those unbelievers/ From a neighboring state. . .”---Frank Zappa.
            * “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”---Franklin D. Roosevelt.
            As I was saying, if at all the 9/11 ceremonies, these truths were solemnly recited instead of the list of the dead, and all those “this great nation” speeches, it might do the country some good. It would certainly better honor all the people killed in New York City and on those planes.

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