Eleven Years

It seems impossible to me that it was 11 years ago.

As always, the thing that always strikes me in my memory of the September attacks on this country in 2001 is what a pitch perfect, beautiful day it was in Washington D.C. How I noticed that and appreciated it before I walked to my office downtown, only to have to evacuate and walk home an hour later.

I don’t have much to comment about it today really, nothing I haven’t said before. Although, I will add this.

We have a President now who is intelligently and semi-covertly screwing up the global terrorist network like nobody’s business. Some of my political stripe are concerned about this, and I appreciate their concern. But. I would compare this President’s response to September Eleventh with the previous guy any day.

He’s keeping us safe, folks. Really.

America's Calling, Mazer Rackham…

I am fond of often saying that a terrorist attack the likes of The September The Eleventh will never happen again, and I say that to understand why, you should read a novel called Ender’s Game.

There is an enormous idea in Orson Scott Card’s masterpiece that leads me to believe this and that I think was borne out on Flight 253. You can defeat your opponent by developing a drastically innovative strategy. Once you do, though, you alter the game entirely, and the strategy will never be as effective again.

Consider the Fosbury Flop.

Before the 1968 Summer Olympics, high-jumpers accomplished their goal by jumping the bar straddle-style or some other similar method. Then along comes this fella Dick Fosbury, who started leaping over the damned thing backwards. They laughed at Dick’s goofy technique, but the man won the gold and set astonishing records with his goofy flop. Now, that’s just how it’s done. And now, the Flop isn’t some innovative new technique that completely shocks and routs the competition.

The September the Eleventh was the Fosbury Flop of international terrorism. Before The September The Eleventh, the average Homer had heard of hijackings but generally expected that hijackers just want to fly to Cuba or some shit. After the Flop, though, there’s not a soul in the world who doesn’t know what time it is and who isn’t willing to pull a Jasper Schuringa if it’s needed.

That’s my theory, anyways.

I’ve read a bit of analysis on the foiled plot by Umar Farouk Hubbadubbadingdong to blow an aeroplane out of the sky over Detroit. But I haven’t read the problem boiled down to its simplest parts yet: The USA can its down our domestic air traffic—remember, the planes on The September The Eleventh were domestic flights—all it likes. But Flight 253 was an international flight. What does that teach us?

It seems to suggest that international cooperation and globally accepted security standards are more essential than previously imagined. It seems to suggest that a severe reconsideration of the visa process is needed. It also seems to suggest that flashing your own legs and playing possum just doesn’t work anymore. Travelers are ready to roll.

I also think it suggests something else: Most terrorists are far from the well-organized conspiracy that turned the Pentagon into a square so many years ago. This attempt was incompetent at best. Why would blowing up an international flight over Detroit strike terror into the average American’s heart? Wouldn’t that plane be mostly depleted of its fuel? Wouldn’t you mostly just kill those on board and a few cows on the ground? And doesn’t this asshole feel stupid that he’s been dubbed “The Underpants Bomber?”

As PB points out, Darth Cheney and his mighty minions are all over this shit like rabid flies. It doesn’t surprise me that Republigoats continue to get crazier and crazier. Having to defend the administration that allowed The September The Eleventh to happen will certainly take its toll on one’s mental facility, and it forces you to have to contort into positions on issues that are unfathomable to most normal Americans.

Now. On to an administrative note. I have tried in vain for a while to maintain a mirror of this blog at kiav.blogspot.com, mainly to improve our visibility on the old blogosphere. However, until now, this has required too much copying and pasting on my part, so it often did not get done.

However, thanks to a plug-in called “CrossPress,” when PB or I post here, it gets posted there, too. So now, the Blogspot site is more of a true mirror. Just to let ya know. If you’re a Blogger blogger, feel free to follow us, and we will return the follow. Thanky.

Nostalgic for Horror

It was a perfect day.

Perfect. Flawless. The sun was out, but the clouds were out, so it wasn’t too hot. The air smelled good, with just a hint of the autumn that was just starting to approach. It was probably the most beautiful weather we’d had in Washington, like ever. It really was. I find that painfully ironic.

I first heard the news from a delivery man standing next to me at J’s deli just at my office. J’s was routinely my second stop, where I purchased a juice and a banana after purchasing my carrot muffin at the Au Bon Pan. The man told Jay, did you hear? A plane just hit the World Trade Center.

I still assumed it would be a normal day. Soon, though, they were reporting about the Pentagon. They were also reporting that The Mall was on fire and that car bombs were detonating all over town. It was horrifying to latch onto the realization that you, at that singular moment, are potential collateral damage in World War III.

Some masochistic opinion leaders (coughglennbeck) would have us be nostalgic for that. He’s begun what he calls the “9-12” movement. He says he wants to regain the sense of unity the country embraced. You know what else we embraced? Fear. Shit-your-pants, clutch the dashboard white-knuckled kind of fear. And, yes, we did rally around our President. It was the sensible, respectful thing to do at the time.

Now, it’s clear today that President Gorge Dubya Boosh got caught with his waistband around his ankles on September Eleventh. You want dots? I got three of them: Sandy Berger, who specifically told Condo Rice during the transition: “You’re going to spend more time during your four years on terrorism generally and al-Qaida specifically than any issue”; Richard Clarke; and the Presidential Daily Briefing of Aug. 6, 2001. The Boosh legacy is that of a President caught with his pants down on September Eleventh who spent the rest of his miserable eight years trying desperately to cover up.

Is that worth your nostalgia? O RLY?

The idea that we should somehow look back on that day, on that month, on that year, on that event at all and feel misty and long for any of it is just masochistic. It is sick. It is perverse. Those weren’t the good old days. THOSE DAYS SUCKED. They were tragic and horrifying. I wouldn’t wish them on anyone.

“Conservatives” do not own September Eleventh, though they behave as if they have it trademarked and incorporated and under lock and key. Hoping it to further serve a fringe political movement that paints the President of these Untied States as a fascist?

That’s disgusting.