This is, of course, the week before the tenth anniversary of the day that “changed everything.” And enough was indeed changed that it’s easy to forget what that lost world was like. Here’s a little reminder of that moment just before September 11, 2001:
The “usually disengaged” president, as New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd labeled him, had just returned from a prolonged, brush-cutting Crawford vacation to much criticism and a nation in trouble. (One Republican congressman complained that “it was hard for Mr. Bush to get his message out if the White House lectern had a ‘Gone Fishing’ sign on it.”) Democrats were on the attack. Journalistic coverage seemed to grow ever bolder. Bush’s poll figures were dropping. A dozen prominent Republicans, fearful of a president out of touch with the national mood, gathered for a private dinner with Karl Rove to “offer an unvarnished critique of Mr. Bush’s style and strategy.” Next year’s congressional elections suddenly seemed up for grabs. The president’s aides were desperately scrambling to reposition him as a more “commanding” figure, while, according to the polls, a majority of Americans felt the country was headed in the wrong direction. At the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld had “cratered”; in the Middle East “violence was rising.”
That’s a taste of the lost world of September 6-10, 2001 — a moment when the news was dominated by nothing more catastrophic than shark attacks off the Florida and North Carolina coasts — in a passage from a piece (“Shark-Bit World”) I wrote back in 2005 when that world was already beyond recovery. A few days later, we would enter a very American hell, one from which we’ve never emerged, with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney leading the way. Almost a decade later, Osama bin Laden may be dead, but his American legacy lives on fiercely in Washington policy when it comes to surveillance, secrecy, war, and the national security state (as well as economic meltdown at home).
The Ongoing Costs of the Iraq War
By Fatima Al-zeheri , August 8, 2011
“When you destroy someone’s property, you usually have to pay compensation. The United States is responsible for much of the destruction that has taken place in Iraq since the 2003 invasion. But instead of offering compensation to the Iraqis, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) has demanded that the Iraqi government pay the United States compensation in dollars for the cost of U.S.-led war. The Iraqi response was to kick Rohrabacher out of Baghdad.”
Ralph Greggs, Jamestown:
“When someone makes the claim that the United States government is accountable to a god, what they are really saying is that the government is accountable to their god. And all too often, the demands of one’s personal god tend to correspond very well with the wishes of that person, do they not? When someone claims that our government is accountable to a god, could that accurately be rephrased as meaning that the government should answer to the beliefs and prejudices of that specific person? And is that not a repressive road to travel?
The reason that the United States of America has achieved the level of equality and freedom that is has today is because it is, in principle, a government accountable to the people. Because of this realization, we have overcome slavery, suppression of women voters, and many other divisive atrocities. And recently, in New York state, we used this same principle to overcome the inequality of marriage.”
By Ben Armbruster on Sep 9, 2011 at 10:19 am
President Bush sat down with USA Today to discuss the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and his role in shaping U.S. policy in their aftermath. During the interview, Bush thought he’d take the opportunity to pat himself on the backfor Osama bin Laden’s death:
Bush said the events that led to the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May began during his administration.
“The work that was done by intelligence communities during my presidency was part of putting together the puzzle that enabled us to see the full picture of how bin Laden was communicating and eventually where he was hiding,” he said. “It began the day after 9/11.”
The reality, of course, is that Bush’s attempts to capture or kill bin Laden were huge failures. While it’s been well documented that the Bush administration missed an opportunity to get bin Laden in Tora Bora in 2001, Bush himself subsequently stated publicly that he wasn’t spending much time thinking about getting him. “I truly am not that concerned about him. I am deeply concerned about Iraq,” Bush said in 2002, “I really just don’t spend that much time on him, to be honest with you.” Bush told reporters in 2006 that hunting the al Qaeda leader was “not a top priority use of American resources.”
Capitalist crisis deepens – no recovery in sight as economy head: “The world crisis of capitalism has entered a new stage. Rather than recover, several countries are showing features of a depression. This is an unprecedented situation and shows the deep malaise affecting the capitalist system, still reeling from the slump of 2008-9.”
Will AT&T bring you President Rick Perry?: “Texas Gov. Rick Perry has some extremist—and dangerous—ideas. He’s open to Texas seceding from the United States. He believes Social Security is “a Ponzi scheme.” He doesn’t believe in global warming, but believes in teaching “intelligent design” to kids. He’s anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage. And he opposes the federal income tax, which provides 45% of government revenue.
Then there are Perry’s friends. They include neo-Confederates who’ve proudly endorsed him in Texas elections, preachers like John Hagee, who believes the Holocaust was the fault of Jews, and ultra-right businessmen Harold Simmons and Bob J. Perry, funders of the deceptive Swift Boat ads in 2004, who gave $1.1 million and $2.5 million to Perry’s campaigns since 2000.
Speaking of the company he keeps, there’s AT&T, which has contributed $462,739 to him since 2000. What’s more, AT&T spent $18,349 to sponsor a lunch last December at a conservative summit and distribute 700 copies of Fed Up!, Perry’s book which contains some of his most extremist ideas. Why? Good question.
Israel banned the call to prayer from the Ibrahimi Mosque 47 times during Ramadan: “The Israeli occupation authorities in the West Bank prevented the call to prayer (Adhan) being made at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the city of Hebron 47 times during the holy month of Ramadan. The reason given for this curtailment of religious freedom was that the call “disturbed” illegal Israeli settlers in the city.”
Iran executes three men on homosexuality charges: “Convicts were sentenced to death ‘for acts against the Sharia law and bad deeds’…”It is not clear whether the three men were homosexuals or merely smeared with homosexuality, accused of being gay.”
Is Capitalism Working? Exploiting the Unemployed: “Unemployment doesn’t just affect workers without jobs–it’s being used to push down the living standards of the entire U.S. working class.”
Capitalism not so popular… especially in the United States: “A recent edition of The Economist (April 7, 2011) complained about “Capitalism’s waning popularity”. One does not have to be a genius to understand that thirty years or more of cuts in welfare, large scale privatizations and constant pressure on workers in the workplace was sooner or later going to end up with ordinary working peoplequestioning the system that is responsible for these policies, i.e. capitalism”
Keep Government Out of Worship Planning for 9/11 or Anytime: “Whether accurate or not, President George W. Bush and many other neoconservatives used to say frequently that one of the reasons for terrorist attacks like September 11, 2011 is that, “They hate us for our freedom.” The freedom of religion is enshrined in the First Amendment to our Constitution, but part of the freedom of religion is a freedom from religion for those who so choose. In turn, keeping government out of planning worship and choosing who prays publicly is a good call by Mayor Bloomberg.”
“One decade after the attacks of September 11, the U.S. government’s wars and occupations have spawned countless tragedies of their own.”
A tax law primer as Maryland churches are lobbied to oppose marriage equality: “If a church spends a large sum of money on a referendum campaign, it can begin to dip into violation territory”,…, “As The American Independent recently reported, Maryland groups against same-sex marriage legalization in the state are informing churches how to influence legislation without violating tax rules codified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).”
Deal to block land transfer to St. Joseph High School will likely not affect construction: “A public handout to a well-financed religious institution: The city is endorsing St. Joseph’s High School, the local Catholic community, or the Diocese that operates the school.”
Colo. cancer patient faces incarceration for medical marijuana: “Bob Crouse has leukemia. He used to have medical marijuana. Then the police came to his house and took it away. Today, he faces felony charges for cultivating marijuana with the intent to distribute.”
(Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 6, 2011)
“As the old joke goes, the Christian Right is neither “Christian” nor “Right.” This bumper sticker humor is not to say that the Christian Right is completely wrong. Rather, as Harris’ memoir testifies, life is more complicated than one, simplistic worldview can contain.”
“This is the home page for the Complete 911 Timeline investigative project, one of several grassroots investigations being hosted on the History Commons website. The data published as part of this investigation has been collected, organized, and published by members of the public who are registered users of this website.”
Throughout history people, most famously Hitler have used conservative Christianity in their evil movements.
To be a “conservative” you basically have to be an uncaring asshole, because unregulated capitalism is the most important thing..this = “profits before people” meaning, yes, u die when u get in the way of a profit, hence, the USA’s “American Way” is pure terrorism.
Then, mix conservatism with the “Calvinism”(1) and “Dominionism”(2) ideology and you get the scum of the earth who have caused more strife, oppression, rape, murder, abuse, wars, lynching, wiping out of whole cultures, and violence, than all other sub-cultures in the history of Human beings combined.
Throughout history people, most famously Hitler(3) have used conservative Christianity in their evil movements.
1. Calvinism (also called Reformed tradition, the Reformed faith, or Reformed theology) is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life…The system is often summarized in the Five Points of Calvinism and is best known for its doctrines of predestination and total depravity, stressing the absolute sovereignty of God. :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvinism
2. Dominionism: Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry’s Dangerous: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/08/14/dominionism-michele-bachmann-and-rick-perry-s-dangerous-religious-bond.html
3. Theologians Under Hitler:
- a. YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOJNGoJBot8
- b. DVD: The documentary film, ” Theologians Under Hitler ,” examines post-war Allied revisionism and the portrait of a German church unified, defiant against Nazism. Historical research uncovers a very different story: http://www.theocracywatch.org/theologians_hitler.htm
- c. BOOK: http://www.amazon.com/Theologians-Under-Hitler-Ericksen/dp/0300038895
The September 11, 2001, attacks by al-Qaeda were meant to harm the United States, and they did, but in ways that Osama bin Laden probably never imagined.
The September 11, 2001, attacks by al-Qaeda were meant to harm the United States, and they did, but in ways that Osama bin Laden probably never imagined. President George W Bush’s response to the attacks compromised the United States’ basic principles, undermined its economy, and weakened its security.
The attack on Afghanistan that followed the 9/11 attacks was understandable, but the subsequent invasion of Iraq was entirely unconnected to al-Qaeda – as much as Bush tried to establish a link. That war of choice quickly became very expensive – orders of magnitude beyond the $60bn claimed at the beginning – as colossal incompetence met dishonest misrepresentation.
Indeed, when Linda Bilmes and I calculated the United States’ war costs three years ago, the conservative tally was $3-5tn. Since then, the costs have mounted further. With almost 50 per cent of returning troops eligible to receive some level of disability payment, and more than 600,000 treated so far in veterans’ medical facilities, we now estimate that future disability payments and health-care costs will total $600-900bn. But the social costs, reflected in veteran suicides (which have topped 18 per day in recent years) and family breakups, are incalculable.
Even if Bush could be forgiven for taking the United States, and much of the rest of the world, to war on false pretenses, and for misrepresenting the cost of the venture, there is no excuse for how he chose to finance it. His was the first war in history paid for entirely on credit. As the US went into battle, with deficits already soaring from his 2001 tax cut, Bush decided to plunge ahead with yet another round of tax “relief” for the wealthy.
Today, the US is focused on unemployment and the deficit. Both threats to America’s future can, in no small measure, be traced to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Increased defense spending, together with the Bush tax cuts, is a key reason why the US went from a fiscal surplus of 2 per cent of GDP when Bush was elected to its parlous deficit and debt position today. Direct government spending on those wars so far amounts to roughly $2tn – $17,000 for every US household – with bills yet to be received increasing this amount by more than 50 per cent.