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Thread: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

  1. #21
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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    I don't pretend to have any answers only three simple thoughts...

    1. on the whole I'd say there's not enough "walk a mile in their moccasins"
    2. if we all went back and learned how to merge properly the world would be a better place
    and finally
    3. i went to the 9/11 museum, it's extremely moving. I highly suggest going and spending some time.
    Randy Larrison
    My amazing friends call me Shoogs.

    Blog post -- I don't think the heavy stuff...

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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    Here is someone else who has been calling foul on the whole response to 9/11 since the beginning.
    The Day Nothing Changed
    Guy Washburn

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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    Quote Originally Posted by spopepro View Post
    Jorn,
    I think the dissonance for me here is when you say "But when we explained that to people, no one wanted to hear what we had to say. Everyone had given up on being advocates for rational thinking." and then you see our (decidedly biased, self selected sample) friends here all saying with likes and comments "Yeah, I totally felt that way too!!!" something doesn't add up. I don't doubt there were strong feelings of dread by some, but to read the narrative in this thread, it seems to attempt to tell the story of "well, smart people always really knew what was going on" which is not at all how I remember things. I also think it's odd that people seem to connect Sept 11th and Iraq way more than Afghanistan...

    And my memory could be significantly affected by my bias here. My wife (CA ANG) was deployed to PSAB outside of Riyadh in 2000, 4 years after the Khobar towers were bombed and during the attack on the USS Cole. It absolutely tore her up that all she could do was pack a bag and be ready for a call that would never come. And while the support from the sidelines of society may have been superficial, it sure felt different than before when it was essentially non-existent.

    As far as 2001/2002 being toxic for those who objected to government... I think people who have really been paying attention knew that the patriot act only slightly pushed forward and consolidated what was on the books for years. FISA created their secret courts in 1978. CALEA was 1994 (I have the t-shrit). AEDPA was 1996.
    People connect 9/11 and Iraq because one was the justification for the nation building experiment in the other.

    The Iraq Invasion was a disaster, the 2001 AUMF continues to be what its critics feared it would be -- blanket justification for never-ending war everywhere. Meanwhile Afghanistan has become the longest war in our country's history, and is going to end much like the last quagmire we were in overseas.
     

  4. #24
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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    Quote Originally Posted by spopepro View Post
    Jorn,
    I think the dissonance for me here is when you say "But when we explained that to people, no one wanted to hear what we had to say. Everyone had given up on being advocates for rational thinking." and then you see our (decidedly biased, self selected sample) friends here all saying with likes and comments "Yeah, I totally felt that way too!!!" something doesn't add up. I don't doubt there were strong feelings of dread by some, but to read the narrative in this thread, it seems to attempt to tell the story of "well, smart people always really knew what was going on" which is not at all how I remember things. I also think it's odd that people seem to connect Sept 11th and Iraq way more than Afghanistan...

    And my memory could be significantly affected by my bias here. My wife (CA ANG) was deployed to PSAB outside of Riyadh in 2000, 4 years after the Khobar towers were bombed and during the attack on the USS Cole. It absolutely tore her up that all she could do was pack a bag and be ready for a call that would never come. And while the support from the sidelines of society may have been superficial, it sure felt different than before when it was essentially non-existent.

    As far as 2001/2002 being toxic for those who objected to government... I think people who have really been paying attention knew that the patriot act only slightly pushed forward and consolidated what was on the books for years. FISA created their secret courts in 1978. CALEA was 1994 (I have the t-shrit). AEDPA was 1996.
    Actually my point was that smart people actually failed. A lot of people whose work and achievements I admired failed in the aftermath of 9-11 to hold to their beliefs. I guess I was naive, but it was a valuable lesson. I don't think I am particularly smart. I read a lot, because it takes me a while to sort things out. I just couldn't understand why the people who were reading the same things as I was were coming up with such different answers. But I wasn't the only one - I knew plenty of other people who felt troubled about what was happening -but my read of the facts certainly wasn't the unifying element that was bringing everyone together.

    I connect Irag with 9-11, because that was the preset target and 9-11 was the excuse. All the supportable evidence on 9-11 pointed to at least the financial involvement of Saudi Arabia (and the Emirates & Qatar) and Pakistan more than it pointed to Iraq, if it ever did actually factually point to Iraq. Iraq was part of a strategic plan to install democratic governments in at least two sovereign nations that had sizable oil reserves - Iraq and Venezuela. So far, neither has worked. And the Saudis are stronger than they ever were.

    I have always supported the idea of a military. I am not so naive that I think we don't need one. I feel the most important form of support for those who serve in that military is not wasting the lives of a bunch of highly committed and dedicated people unnecessarily on the basis of hazy evidence and alternate agendas that have nothing to do with the issues at hand. The willingness of politicians and other "smart people" who have always been resistant to armed conflict as a solution to send the military into battle on the basis of the information presented was a betrayal of those who fought. If I am truly to support the men and women in our military and honor their willingness to serve in life threatening conflict zones, I cannot support wasting their lives in conflicts that are not legitimate.

    The consolidation of all those secret powers was exactly what I objected to. Why would we just hand it to the government? You fight and fight against these things for years and then one day you just say okay, go ahead and make it all official? I just don't understand that.

    But we could debate all these things from now until the cows come home. All I am saying is that when 9-11 happened, this country moved away from me. Everyone kept talking about how the whole county came together. I felt like if that's so, then I must not be part of the country. Which was very disappointing, because I like this country and I like riding my bike around in it. My people have been here since the late 1700's. It would be a shame if I had somehow screwed up all that hard work.
    Jorn Ake
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  5. #25
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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    When it happened I was at work. This was a very serious workplace, that sold hours to make a living, and work stopped. We had a downtown location in an old building with huge windows. Our drafting department started printing E-size American flags, which we taped to all the windows.

    I printed a Gadsden flag (this was before the Tea Party adopted/perverted it) and put it in a corner window. I knew we would strike back, hard, and feared it would be at the wrong people.

    When we went into Afghanistan I feared that Iraq was really the objective. There was a lot out there that said we wanted to go back in, and this was a ready-made excuse. They made a bad case for it, and many of the lies (Condeleeza and Colin) were obvious. The stuff Rumsfeld and Cheney said are some of the low points in our history. Six days, six weeks, I doubt six months? Greeted as liberators?

    That last one, from Cheney, sticks in my craw. The first casualty in Afghanistan I knew was an Eagle Scout from my son's troop, who was at West Point. When he told the other scouts he was shipping out, he basically gave them that line.

    A low point in our history, or so I thought.
    Tödd Höllând

    Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate to buy shit we don't need. -- Tyler Durden

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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    When it happened I was at work. This was a very serious workplace, that sold hours to make a living, and work stopped. We had a downtown location in an old building with huge windows. Our drafting department started printing E-size American flags, which we taped to all the windows.

    I printed a Gadsden flag (this was before the Tea Party adopted/perverted it) and put it in a corner window. I knew we would strike back, hard, and feared it would be at the wrong people.

    When we went into Afghanistan I feared that Iraq was really the objective. There was a lot out there that said we wanted to go back in, and this was a ready-made excuse. They made a bad case for it, and many of the lies (Condeleeza and Colin) were obvious. The stuff Rumsfeld and Cheney said are some of the low points in our history. Six days, six weeks, I doubt six months? Greeted as liberators?

    That last one, from Cheney, sticks in my craw. The first casualty in Afghanistan I knew was an Eagle Scout from my son's troop, who was at West Point. When he told the other scouts he was shipping out, he basically gave them that line.

    A low point in our history, or so I thought.
    I did a year in Iraq as a result of the lies you mention here. For my families sake and the sake of the men I led, you have to fight the just fight, hard to do when you have doubt. Sat in a tent in Kuwait praying Saddam would let the inspectors do their thing.
     

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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Chad View Post
    I did a year in Iraq as a result of the lies you mention here. For my families sake and the sake of the men I led, you have to fight the just fight, hard to do when you have doubt. Sat in a tent in Kuwait praying Saddam would let the inspectors do their thing.
    For members of the services it must be incredibly hard to cope with being sent into what they understand to be the wrong war. This is why having real good wise leadership is so critical. And so frightening that we are lacking it again...
    Guy Washburn

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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    Quote Originally Posted by guido View Post
    For members of the services it must be incredibly hard to cope with being sent into what they understand to be the wrong war. This is why having real good wise leadership is so critical. And so frightening that we are lacking it again...
    You learn early on that "ours is not to wonder why" but it is easier said than done. I trust Mattis, one decision trump got right, ATMO.
     

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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    Lt Col Astor has a firm grasp of the fundamentals: Tomgram: William Astore, The Superpower That Fought Itself -- And Lost | TomDispatch

    So did Chalmers Johnson.

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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    wow, really great thread and good to know im not the only one who thinks we have simply become more shitty since that event.

    Politics aside, i blame the internet for making humans lazy as hell. or allowing them to be the lazy they always wanted i guess. In the day and age of easy fast communication, nobody returns my calls in a timely manner. Somewhere in that fact is a problem.
    I don;t know what the hell is wrong with people. i identify with the rare soul. it seems the vast majority are happy to trade comfort for critical thinking. Im not sure why. Maybe its easier for the average person to live that way. i miss the days when shit was harder and one had to actually memorize things sometimes. I miss the days when google did not level the playing field. it was never meant to be level.
     

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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    Quote Originally Posted by jclay View Post
    Lt Col Astor has a firm grasp of the fundamentals: Tomgram: William Astore, The Superpower That Fought Itself -- And Lost | TomDispatch

    So did Chalmers Johnson.
    As does Andrew Bacevich.

    Mathis has a good reputation, but I wonder when his team convinces Trump to send more forces into the Afghan theater.

    Stomach churning to watch the US repeating the same moves expecting to get a different outcome.
    Guy Washburn

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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    During the height of one of the ramp-ups in the conflict in Iraq, I was invited to read poetry from my latest book at the time, Boys Whistling Like Canaries, to an English class of midshipmen at Annapolis. Their professor thought it would be good for them to hear some contemporary work that had some historical and political aspects woven into it. They had been studying some of Walt Whitman's poetry that came out of his work as a nurse in a military hospital during the Civil War, and the curriculum at Annapolis is pretty heavy on history in the first place, so the midshipmen know their stuff. It was a great experience for me. I hope the midshipmen got something out of it too of course. If their questions were any indication - very good questions that showed they had been listening carefully to everything - they seemed to at least be interested. I guess midshipmen can actually choose to serve in the Marines upon graduation, and several of the midshipmen in the class had already made that choice, which meant that upon graduation, they were headed to training and then Iraq. About 50% of the professors at Annapolis are commissioned officers, and at the time I was there, there was evidently an officer shortage in Iraq, so the professors who were officers were getting called up. Already the department had lost one of their colleagues when the helicopter he was in went down in Iraq.

    But just to build on what Chad said, I went not really expecting blind allegiance, but I definitely didn't expect such clear-eyed awareness of the dynamic between the political process and the military process, the failures of both in history and all that lead to those failures. The midshipmen had studied wars nearly right up to the present moment, so the conversation we had was really interesting and refreshing. I left feeling that while I hated seeing young people going off to fight in a no-win situation, we had a lot of the right people going. Which made me proud and heartsick simultaneously. I just hope we have as many of them as possible come back and add their voices to the political process (and some already have.) I think they would be a very valuable addition.
    Last edited by j44ke; 1 Week Ago at 05:14 PM.
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  13. #33
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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    If I am truly to support the men and women in our military and honor their willingness to serve in life threatening conflict zones, I cannot support wasting their lives in conflicts that are not legitimate.
    I love you man.
     

  14. #34
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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    During the height of one of the ramp-ups in the conflict in Iraq, I was invited to read poetry from my latest book at the time, Boys Whistling Like Canaries, to an English class of midshipmen at Annapolis. Their professor thought it would be good for them to hear some contemporary work that had some historical and political aspects woven into it. They had been studying some of Walt Whitman's poetry that came out of his work as a nurse in a military hospital during the Civil War, and the curriculum at Annapolis is pretty heavy on history in the first place, so the midshipmen know their stuff. It was a great experience for me. I hope the midshipmen got something out of it too of course. If their questions were any indication - very good questions that showed they had been listening carefully to everything - they seemed to at least be interested. I guess midshipmen can actually choose to serve in the Marines upon graduation, and several of the midshipmen in the class had already made that choice, which meant that upon graduation, they were headed to training and then Iraq. About 50% of the professors at Annapolis are commissioned officers, and at the time I was there, there was evidently an officer shortage in Iraq, so the professors who were officers were getting called up. Already the department had lost one of their colleagues when the helicopter he was in went down in Iraq.

    But just to build on what Chad said, I went not really expecting blind allegiance, but I definitely didn't expect such clear-eyed awareness of the dynamic between the political process and the military process, the failures of both in history and all that lead to those failures. The midshipmen had studied wars nearly right up to the present moment, so the conversation we had was really interesting and refreshing. I left feeling that while I hated seeing young people going off to fight in a no-win situation, we had a lot of the right people going. Which made me proud and heartsick simultaneously. I just hope we have as many of them as possible come back and add their voices to the political process (and some already have.) I think they would be a very valuable addition.
    Ok, I don't think that falls within my trope-filled understanding of poetry, but it packed the same punch. Thanks.
     

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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    As does Andrew Bacevich.

    Absolutely. I read everything he wrote last year prior to the election.

    Reinstating the draft would be a step in the right direction for the country. Make service mandatory. Make people of all backgrounds responsible for watching each others' backs. Make the powers that be cough up a kid for the war effort.
     

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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    Quote Originally Posted by ides1056 View Post
    As does Andrew Bacevich.

    Absolutely. I read everything he wrote last year prior to the election.

    Reinstating the draft would be a step in the right direction for the country. Make service mandatory. Make people of all backgrounds responsible for watching each others' backs. Make the powers that be cough up a kid for the war effort.
    I like the idea of a year or two of service for all. Let folks choose what the sign up for. There are lots of ways to serve without a gun. But your point about the lack of diversity in the military is spot on.
     

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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    Service would level the playing field in a way, and make people of utterly different backgrounds have to live and work in concert, which would go a long way toward closing the gap between the current divisions in the country.
     

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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    From the outside perspective...you've learnt nothing.

    9/11 was a great excuse for the conservative factions pulling the strings of power to make buckets of money out of warfare, death and destruction. I truly feel sorry for the 3000 or so people who died to enable this situation to come to pass.

    The sad thing is the puppet president you had 16 years ago looks like a Rhodes scholar compared to the moron who occupies the role now. And we are on the verge of nuclear war in Asia. Great.

    There's money to made out of war. I hope the military industrial complex is happy.
     

  19. #39
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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    In response to the original posted question, 'what happened to us.....'. (Re-read the OP if you need to)

    Identity Politics happened. Convincing the people of America to align themselves on superficial attributes rather than shared values. For the sake of votes, the country has been purposely divided into 'us versus them' In every category imaginable. This doesn't make for a people to 'come together'
     

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    Default Re: What has happened to us? 9/11, sixteen years on...

    Quote Originally Posted by Daltex View Post
    Identity Politics happened.
    I am going to contest that one. I think identity politics have always happened...that's a big part of what politics is. Who for a second doesn't think Jackson wasn't trying to polarize Native and White communities? Wasn't Nixon fear mongering around issues of race? I know Bush played the race card against Dukakis, and Obama strongly and overtly involved identity politics. Shit, I don't study history, but I know every election includes elements of identity...how else do you pick Republican or Democrat?

    More importantly, the idea of people were convinced to align with superficial attributes reeks of "white washing." Race is not superficial all of the sudden after folks were killed, enslaved, oppressed by Jim Crow, and discriminated against in banking, housing, etc. It's just that white people managed to convince ourselves that it didn't matter. Women were legally oppressed for centuries and are statistically more likely to be beaten or killed by a partner than a man. Workplaces have policies that discriminate against reproduction for women and not for men. We like to think it doesn't matter, but that's because it doesn't fuck with our ability to do what we want. Being LGBT or Q meant (and means) risking physical violence...simply walking down the street.

    Rest assured that as soon as an identity group manages to shift policies such that a playing field is more level we rush in to complain about reverse-discrimination. One example would be affirmative action. It's tiny, but it's a rallying cry for white men.

    Identity politics is nothing more than the body politic incorporating the voices of people formerly so subjugated that they didn't even have a voice. And to say that race, gender, or sexuality is superficial doesn't do justice to the historical struggles or the present day risks.
    Jason Babcock

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