School children in the U.S. will be bathed in nostalgia today urging them to "remember" the events of September 11, 2001. In case you missed it, the president directed that all flags on public schools be flown at half mast, and that a moment of silence be observed at the time the first plane hit the World Trade Center. There is also a movement to have students sing the national anthem at 1pm. You know, the anthem that portrays "bombs bursting in air" as if that were a good thing and something to be proud of.
Attacks by the CIA-sponsored Osama bin Laden and his band of Saudi extremists created a media sensation that must be kept alive for each successive generation. Those attacks provided the pretext for ushering in decades of endless wars of empire on innocent Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and potentially Iran. The relative handful of non-innocent Muslims that form militias and fight the U.S. and NATO -- al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIL/ISIS among others -- receive funding and support from the U.S. to continue providing a plausible reason for funding endless wars. They, too, receive vast amounts of corporate media attention and hype to keep the U.S. population in fear and complacent.
But as the enormous refugee crisis these wars have engendered demonstrates, the chaos of endless wars reaches your shores eventually.
The Pentagon continues to get the lion's share of federal funding each year and to have the largest carbon bootprint of any organization on the planet. No corporate news outlet ever questions this or raises a concern about the climate change implications of a free pass for the military. Because... 9/11!
Our civil liberties guaranteed under the Constitution are in tatters even after years of a constitutional scholar in the White House, with no relief in sight. Because...9/11!
Torture is regularly practiced by our government, and attempts to examine its effectiveness or even its morality are feeble. The torture prison at Guantánamo continues to detain Muslim men, some who were cleared years ago of any wrongdoing, and some who were arrested before they were even adults. Because...9/11!
Hate crimes aimed at Muslim citizens and immigrants are a national epidemic and disgrace. But the hate speech spewing from media outlets and candidates aspiring to live at the White House roll on. Because...9/11!
The German people were told by the Nazi Party that they were under threat from Communists and Jews, and a state of emergency after the burning of the Reichstag shut down the press and jailed many candidates on the eve of an election. A sensational event to shock the populace into submission can be very, very handy for fascists. Who dares to question? Who dares to appear unpatriotic in such an atmosphere?
I do. Perhaps you will join me.