Real people remember

Joe.My.God’s account of “That Day.”

Ian William’s memories of 9/11: “no one wept except the willow

3 Quarks Daily’s contributors all write about “Five Years Later.”

I’m so glad to read personal accounts because that was what struck me about the media coverage from that day — and for about a week or so after — the grand hype machine had stopped, and all we heard about were real people. No politicians, no celebrities, no pundits, just news anchors talking to and about real human beings living and dying in the real world. I’d much rather hear what New York residents have to say about September 11th than politicians who were in hiding, running like little girls away from the danger.

Continue ReadingReal people remember

September 11… The Image I Can’t Forget

What shocked and upset me most on September 11 and the days afterward was the photograph… everyone knows, probably, what one I’m talking about. The photograph of the falling man, the man who jumped to his death from the towers. It ran in the papers only once, and there was very brief video footage on one news channel that showed people jumping and falling from one of the towers. Watching that short film made me throw up; one of the few times I’ve ever vomited when I wasn’t sick or hung over. I immediately blocked the image from my mind. I was horrified that the picture was published in the paper.

Falling Man

Two years later, I can finally think about it. Those images made the tragedy real, and drove home the reality that it wasn’t just glass and steel but human bodies being destroyed. Human lives being lost. And at that time… It was unbearable to see.

Now I’m glad that that Richard Drew was able to take the photo of the falling man. Because it’s a record of what really happened. And it reminds me of what’s important and because it helps to honor his life, and honor the way he chose to die.

It’s also compelling that people are now, two years later, really able to examine the people who jumped from the towers, the one aspect of the tragedy that no one has really been able to face or talk about. Many people still won’t talk about them as “jumpers” but insist to themselves that they fell or were blown from the building. Because acknowledging that they jumped means to put oneself in their shoes, to imagine making that terrible choice. How horrible it must have been, whatever was happening up there, that they chose to die instead by jumping from a great height.

With all the lies the George Bush has told, with the way he has twisted the tragedy of September 11, 2001, used it to consolidate power and manipulate the world, seeing that image again reminded me of what’s true, what’s real, what’s important. It reminds me that these people, too, were Americans, the ones who jumped. And to them, we have some responsibility.

Continue ReadingSeptember 11… The Image I Can’t Forget

Bush’s September 11 “Clean Air” Lie


An investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general has found that White House officials instructed the agency to be less alarming and more reassuring to the public in the first few days after the Sept. 11 attacks, The New York Times reports in its Saturday editions.

The investigation specifically cites official statements about air quality after the collapse of the World Trade Center.

The agency “did not have sufficient data and analyses” to make a “blanket statement” when it announced seven days after the attack that the air around ground zero was safe to breathe, the Times quotes the report as saying.

“Competing considerations, such as national security concerns and the desire to reopen Wall Street, also played a role in E.P.A.’s air quality statements,” the report, which has not yet been made public, said.

Continue ReadingBush’s September 11 “Clean Air” Lie

What bin Laden was really attacking

This Salon article I found expresses well what I’ve been trying to figure out how to put into words over the last week. I don’t believe the terrorist attacks are something we brought on ourselves because of our foreign policy over the last three decades.

I think they’re an attack on modernity. They’re an attack on our contemporary way of life, and on our secular, consumer behavior. Furthermore, (this is going beyond what the article says) I don’t believe that Osama bin Laden is himself a devout or fanatical Muslim, or that he really wants to attack us because we’re decadent and irreligious. That may be true of his followers, but not of him. I think, for him personally, it’s about power. It’s about gaining control, and fanatical religion is just a tool that he’s using successfully, ala Machiavelli or Sun Tzu. If he were really as devout as he claims to be, he’d have flown the plane himself. And because of these things, we have no choice but to kill him.

I’ve been saying for years that the only legitimate reason to have nuclear weapons would be to defend against a direct attack on the US, and that I the only reason to have a military would be to protect against invasion or attack on our country, and if that every happened, I’d buy a gun and be ready to defend the country myself. I haven’t changed my mind. Frankly, I think we should drop a nuclear bomb on Afghanistan. We have every right to do so; they killed Americans on American soil. There’s no better reason than that to drop the bomb. In fact, it’s the only legitimate reason to do so, and if we don’t do it for this situation, why bother having them at all?

All this bullshit about not killing “innocent civilians”. Um, THEY killed OURS. If we can’t do so in turn, what’s the point? What’s the point of the “war on terrorism” at all? Why not just open the damned borders and let them in?

Continue ReadingWhat bin Laden was really attacking

I love America

American FlagI’ve said it before, but it bears repeating; I love my country very much. This is the best place in the world to live. It may not be perfect, and I may not always be happy with our government or with the way our corporations behave, but I have more freedom here than anywhere in the world, and I love everything our country stands for: Freedom, justice, compassion, self-reliance, determination and hard work. God Bless America.

Continue ReadingI love America