Friday, September 11, 2015

Thanks a Heap Osama Bin Laden - Part Two

by Tom Englehart

    Fourteen years later, let me remind you of just how totally improbable 9-11 was and how ragingly clueless we all were on that day. 
    George W. Bush and cohorts couldn't even take it in when, on on August 6, 2001, the president was given a daily intelligence briefing titled Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S. The NS, the CIA, and the FBI, which had many pieces of the Bin Laden puzzle in their hands still couldn't imagine it.
    And believe me, even when it was happening, I could hardly grasp it. Terrorists bringing down the World Trade Center? Please. Al-Quaeda? You must be kidding.
      Fourteen years later, don't you still find it improbable that George W. Bush and company used these murderous acts and the nearly 3,000 deaths as an excuse to make the world theirs? It took them no time at all to launch a Global War on Terror in up to 60 countries. It to0k them next to no time at all to begin dreaming of a Pax Americana in the Middle East, followed by a sort og global imperium that previously had been conjured up by cackling bad guys in James Bond films.
     Don't you find it strange, looking back, just how quickly 9-11 set their brains aflame? Don't you find it off that the Bush administration's top officials were quite so infatuated by the U>S. military? Doesn't it still strike you as odd that they had such blind faith in the military's supposedly limitless powers to do essentially anything (as) the greatest force for human liberation the world has ever known"? Don't you still find it eerie that, amid the wreckage of the Pentagon, the initial orders our Secretary of Defense gave his aids were to come up with plans for striking Iraq, even though he was already convinced hat Al Qaeda had launched the attack? 
   Don't you find it curious that, in the rubble of those towers, plans .. to turn Afghanistan, Iraq, and possibly Iran ... into American problkuntedtectorates were already being imagined?
   Fourteen years later, don't you find it improbably that the US military has been unable to extricate itself from Iraq and Afghanistan?
    Don't you find it improbable that our "war on terror" has so regularly devolved into a war of and for terror; that our methods, including the targeted killings of numerous leaders and "lieutenants" of militant groups have visibly promoted, not blunted, the spread of Islamic extremism?
     Fourteen years later, isn't it possible to think of 9-11 as a mass grave into which significant aspects of  American life as we knew it have been shoveled? 
      No act - - not of torture, nor murder, nor the illegal imprisonment of innocent people, nor death delivered from the air or on the ground, nor the slaughter of wedding parties, nor the killing of children -- has blunted the sense among Americans that we live in an "exceptional" and "indispensable" country of staggering goodness and innocence.


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