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A Decade After 9/11: We Are What We Loathe

Posted on Sep 10, 2011
AP / Richard Drew

A person falls from the north tower of New York’s World Trade Center after terrorists crashed two hijacked airliners into the 110-story twin buildings on Sept. 11, 2001.

By Chris Hedges

I arrived in Times Square around 9:30 on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. A large crowd was transfixed by the huge Jumbotron screens. Billows of smoke could be seen on the screens above us, pouring out of the two World Trade towers. Two planes, I was told by people in the crowd, had plowed into the towers. I walked quickly into the New York Times newsroom at 229 W. 43rd St., grabbed a handful of reporter’s notebooks, slipped my NYPD press card, which would let me through police roadblocks, around my neck, and started down the West Side Highway to the World Trade Center. The highway was closed to traffic. I walked through knots of emergency workers, police and firemen. Fire trucks, emergency vehicles, ambulances, police cars and rescue trucks idled on the asphalt.

The south tower went down around 10 a.m. with a guttural roar. Huge rolling gray clouds of noxious smoke, dust, gas, pulverized concrete, gypsum and the grit of human remains enveloped lower Manhattan. The sun was obscured. The north tower collapsed about 30 minutes later. The dust hung like a shroud over Manhattan. 

I headed toward the spot where the towers once stood, passing dazed, ashen and speechless groups of police officers and firefighters. I would pull out a notebook to ask questions and no sounds would come out of their mouths. They forlornly shook their heads and warded me away gently with their hands. By the time I arrived at Ground Zero it was a moonscape; whole floors of the towers had collapsed like an accordion. I pulled out pieces of paper from one floor, and a few feet below were papers from 30 floors away. Small bits of human bodies—a foot in a woman’s shoe, a bit of a leg, part of a torso—lay scattered amid the wreckage. 

Scores of people, perhaps more than 200, pushed through the smoke and heat to jump to their deaths from windows that had broken or they had smashed. Sometimes they did this alone, sometimes in pairs. But it seems they took turns, one body cascading downward followed by another. The last acts of individuality. They fell for about 10 seconds, many flailing or replicating the motion of swimmers, reaching 150 miles an hour. Their clothes and, in a few cases, their improvised parachutes made from drapes or tablecloths shredded. They smashed into the pavement with unnerving, sickening thuds. Thump. Thump. Thump. Those who witnessed it were particularly shaken by the sounds the bodies made on impact. 

The images of the “jumpers” proved too gruesome for the TV networks. Even before the towers collapsed, the falling men and women were censored from live broadcasts. Isolated pictures appeared the next day in papers, including The New York Times, and then were banished. The mass suicide, one of the most pivotal and important elements in the narrative of 9/11, was expunged. It remains expunged from public consciousness.


Square, Site wide
The “jumpers” did not fit into the myth the nation demanded. The fate of the “jumpers” said something so profound, so disturbing, about our own fate, smallness in the universe and fragility that it had to be banned. The “jumpers” illustrated that there are thresholds of suffering that elicit a willing embrace of death. The “jumpers” reminded us that there will come, to all of us, final moments when the only choice will be, at best, how we will choose to die, not how we are going to live.  And we can die before we physically expire.

The shock of 9/11, however, demanded images and stories of resilience, redemption, heroism, courage, self-sacrifice and generosity, not collective suicide in the face of overwhelming hopelessness and despair. 

Reporters in moments of crisis become clinicians. They collect data, facts, descriptions, basic information, and carry out interviews as swiftly as possible. We make these facts fit into familiar narratives. We do not create facts but we manipulate them. We make facts conform to our perceptions of ourselves as Americans and human beings. We work within the confines of national myth. We make journalism and history a refuge from memory. The pretense that mass murder and suicide can be transformed into a tribute to the victory of the human spirit was the lie we all told to the public that day and have been telling ever since. We make sense of the present only through the lens of the past, as the French philosopher Maurice Halbwachs pointed out, recognizing that “our conceptions of the past are affected by the mental images we employ to solve present problems, so that collective memory is essentially a reconstruction of the past in the light of the present. … Memory needs continuous feeding from collective sources and is sustained by social and moral props.” 

I returned that night to the newsroom hacking from the fumes released by the burning asbestos, jet fuel, lead, mercury, cellulose and construction debris. I sat at my computer, my thin paper mask still hanging from my neck, trying to write and catch my breath. All who had been at the site that day were noticeable in the newsroom because they were struggling for air. Most of us were convulsed by shock and grief. 

There would soon, however, be another reaction. Those of us who were close to the epicenters of the 9/11 attacks would primarily grieve and mourn. Those who had some distance would indulge in the growing nationalist cant and calls for blood that would soon triumph over reason and sanity. Nationalism was a disease I knew intimately as a war correspondent. It is anti-thought. It is primarily about self-exaltation. The flip side of nationalism is always racism, the dehumanization of the enemy and all who appear to question the cause. The plague of nationalism began almost immediately. My son, who was 11, asked me what the difference was between cars flying small American flags and cars flying large American flags.

“The people with the really big flags are the really big assholes,” I told him.

Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt, By Chris Hedges, Truthdig Columnist and Winner of the Pulitzer Prize -- Get Your Autographed Copy Today Also Available! Truthdig Exclusive DVD of Chris Hedges' Wages of Rebellion Lecture The World As It Is: 
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By sdemetri, September 12, 2011 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

Jumpers hit the ground after about ten seconds because that was the amount of time an object falling at free fall from that particular height takes to reach the ground.

The two towers disintegrated at nearly the SAME rate: roughly 10 to 15s. It is a physical impossibility for aircraft, fire, and gravity to have reduced those towers to finely powered dust and a tangle of steel in a couple of short seconds above free fall acceleration.

The INTACT floors would have each contributed resistance and time, a lot of time, to the downward motion of debris. They didn’t. Both buildings disintegrated as if the intact floors below were not even in the way. The intact floors were pushed aside by something other than gravity pulling on the debris above.

Jumpers died avoiding fiery deaths, but also to avoid the explosions, bombs, secondary devices, synchronized blasts 118 NY firefighters said they saw, heard, experienced when they entered the towers. They said this in the Oral History of the NYFD, the collection of memories gathered between Oct 2001 and Jan 2002, before a “collective memory” set in.

Fundamental properties of physics, such as free fall acceleration of a body in air, do not lie. Something else brought those towers down besides aircraft and fire damage. The time it took for the disintegration of the towers, as close to free fall as they were, proves it.

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By moonraven, September 12, 2011 at 11:33 am Link to this comment


You have never been anywhere near Iraqi people.  I have—a good percentage of them were my graduate students when I was teaching in the Middle East in 2005-07.  Not a single one of them believed that things had improved with the gringo goons galloping through Nineveh.

No other folks from the Middle East countries believe anything except that things were so much better under Saddam Hussein.

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By moonraven, September 12, 2011 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

RayLan:  Obviously, you cannot tell a whimperer from a whistle-blower.

Go back and dedicate a day to reading through Hedge’s paeans to impotence and engage me again.

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By Lafayette, September 12, 2011 at 11:20 am Link to this comment


CC: No, I’m not talking about gassing the Kurds with the gas furnished to Hussein by the United States.

This is unsubstantiated nonsense.

The BBC differs from your rendition of the story. WikiP says this:

On December 23, 2005, a Dutch court sentenced Frans van Anraat, a businessman who bought chemicals on the world market and sold them to Saddam’s regime, to 15 years in prison. The Dutch court ruled that Saddam committed genocide against the people of Halabja.

There were all sorts of shenanigans going on that no one should be proud of in the MiddleEast. It was/is a nest of vipers.

Armchair political scientists of the Looney Left adore underlining ONLY the underhandedness of the US, when duplicity was common throughout the Middle East.


My point, which you fail to recognize, is that Hussein was a butcher tyrant. Key word “was” - and the Iraqis are better off for his riddance.

The only fact that matters, finally, to the Iraqi people is that had the US not invaded, no one would have and Hussein would still be in power.

The UN has no balls unless the US, France and the UK kicks it in the ass and, by means of the Security Council, move it to take action.


And your kind sit on the sidelines like a holier-than-thou referee pointing out all the game fouls. Get a life.

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By RayLan, September 12, 2011 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

“Because, under his sob-sister pieces of maudlin nostalgia for a noble US past “

!!??? where do you read that in Chris’ writings? - He considers the problems to be inherent from the inception of so-called American capitalistic democracy.

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By RayLan, September 12, 2011 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

Einstein said
“Nationalism is a childhood disease. It is the measles of mankind”
When it enters into an unholy union with the fanatical religious right (in the religion of one’s choice) however, it becomes a virulent plague, an imperialist pandemic.
The most terrifying words in the English language are “God and country” used in the same sentence.

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By moonraven, September 12, 2011 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

I have for some time become increasingly convinced that Chris Hedges is on the payroll of the US government.


Because, under his sob-sister pieces of maudlin nostalgia for a noble US past that never existed, he always supports the US government’s “official story”—and even though he apparently criticizes US foreign and domestic policy he never fails to point out that the folks in the power are just too big and tough and savage for US citizens to have even a snowball in hell’s chance of taking down the system.

Chris, do consider chaining yourself to the door of a restroom at the Pentagon next time—or to a parking meter close to Ground Zero.  I am sick of your powerless whining.

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By RenZo, September 12, 2011 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

@ A Citizen, Sept12at7:13 am (Unregistered commenter)

«...It was so HOT that anyone would have done anything to escape the immediacy of broiling alive and being unable to breathe from smoke. I see jumping as an instinct, not a conscious decision on choosing how they wanted to die.»

Suicide seems to be moralistic term used for religious and legal purposes. In effect, all suicides are, by self evident (upon inspection) motive, instinctual choices to avoid the abysmal choices before one (or behind one).

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By RenZo, September 12, 2011 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

@ Red Headed Stranger, September 12 at 10:19 am

Kudos for clearsightedness. Although perhaps even you would admit that arabs (and/or moslems) might be involved from the standpoint of creating business opportunities for themselves (like the bin Ladans).

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By Red Headed Stranger, September 12, 2011 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

As Thomas Paine wrote in The Rights of Man about the British empire, “In reviewing the history of the English Government, its wars and its taxes, a bystander, not blinded by prejudice nor warped by interest, would declare that taxes were not raised to carry on wars, but that wars were raised to carry on taxes.”

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By Marcel Kincaid, September 12, 2011 at 10:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Speaking of blindness to the truth, Hedges himself appears to be swallowing the official line about who did what and where on 911. “

Ah, so you have direct access to the truth, that you can proclaim Chris Hedges blind to it?

It’s also “the official line” that the Earth is round and orbits around the sun, that germs cause disease, that human industrial activity is causing global warming, that humans and monkeys have a common ancestor ... just because something is “the official line” doesn’t mean it’s false, and employing such an argument suggests that you are not very skilled in determining and detecting the truth.

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By drbhelthi, September 12, 2011 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

Spot on and most excellent comment. I couldn’t agree more.  HelenWheels, September 12 at 9:05 Link to comment by Inherit The Wind, September 12 at 3:44 am:

Spot on, except for the omission of a few pertinent facts.
The FBI could not establish that Osama bin Laden had any part in 9/11.

During the occurrence of 9/11, George H. W. Bush Sr., representing the Carlyle Group, was
conducting business inside the White House, with members of the bin Laden family. Even
though air traffic in the US was shut down on 12 September 2001, the same members of the bin Laden family were flown out of the U.S., with USAF fighter escort. The Carlyle
Group/GHWBushSr have a history of arms dealing with members of the bin Laden family, other than Osama bin Laden.

Additionally, flight 93 was reported to have landed in Cleveland. While this info was later
refuted, the official report has also been refuted by some commission participants, who say that the report is a lie.

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By Red Headed Stranger, September 12, 2011 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

You have it all wrong.  There is only one group of assholes, not two.  This article is parroting a whole slew of lies.

9/11 was done by the military/intelligence industry to benefit the military/intelligence industry.
9/11 had nothing to do with Muslims, Arabs, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Palestinians, Gulf War in Iraq, etc., etc.  “Islamic fundamentalists” had nothing to do with 9/11.

War is waged for its own sake:  For the simple reason of using the equipment (planes, bombs, missiles, bullets, tanks, etc.) so that more can be ordered, so that the factories can keep humming, so that the banks can keep lending.

Those who benefit from war (banks, military equipment manufacturers, intelligence contractors, energy companies, big government, police state infrastructure, etc.) will do whatever it takes to keep war going—wherever, to whomever.  Believe it.  Their greed knows no bounds.

War is the health of the State.

Any other explanation/analysis about “blowback” from intervention in Muslim lands is a straight-up distraction from the real truth.

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By HelenWheels, September 12, 2011 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, September 12 at 3:44 am:

Spot on and most excellent comment. I couldn’t agree more.

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By SarcastiCanuck, September 12, 2011 at 7:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bravo Chris,as always you show mankind for what we truly are.You also showcase one of my main beliefs about most of us,and that is that hate is stronger than love.Love may wane and die,but hate can last forever…

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By A Citizen, September 12, 2011 at 7:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m so surprised that everyone is characterizing those who jumped from the burning towers as suicidal. It was so HOT that anyone would have done anything to escape the immediacy of broiling alive and being unable to breathe from smoke. I see jumping as an instinct, not a conscious decision on choosing how they wanted to die.

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By David J. Cyr, September 12, 2011 at 7:12 am Link to this comment

America’s growth industry is the manufacture of terrorists, to have terrorists to first employ… and then destroy.

Terrorist Production for Bomb Destruction:

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By Gary Brumback, September 12, 2011 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

Thank you Chris for this fine piece of writing.

I have a name for the American assholes, the
Corpocracy, the devil’s marriage between powerful
corporate interests and their political and judicial

The corpocracy is slowly turning America into a
third-world country and will eventually destroy it if
we do not muster up unified opposition and carry out
a grand scheme to reform our political, judicial, and
economic systems that all cater to those corporate

A way to unify the opposition and a grand scheme
exist. See

Gary Brumback

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By Leefeller, September 12, 2011 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

Individual to blind cause Fanatic

Causes develop and perpetuate with much ado over real or perceived disenfranchisement. Otherwise people who feel themselves holding the short end of the stick, as feeling disenfranchised for one reason or another decided to do something about it. All movements or causes work this way!

So the disenfranchised individual becomes emotionally motivated though whining, flag waving, praying or marching. The unhappy individual looses individuality by moving into a collective team cause or spirit, a groupie, a church, a political movement, off to war, for the most noble cause. No longer an individual, the now follower finds his noble cause with company, this cause is absolute in its merits, this is the classic evolution of the fanatic.

So the noble cause becomes a teem a pack a covey or flock of fanatics and truth shall never or need be allowed in the room with the portrayed noble cause.

The evolution of the fantastic seems always the same!


Disenfranchisement perceived or real motivates an individual in joining a cause loosing individuality, joining the noble cause the blinder the cause the better. Truth has no place in a blind cause, this is the fanatic.

Yes,... the bigger the flag (cause) the bigger the ass hole or as I prefer the fanatic.

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By katsteevns, September 12, 2011 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

Speaking of blindness to the truth, Hedges himself appears to be swallowing the official line about who did what and where on 911. But, I presume his book sales would wane if he hinted otherwise. Maybe he fears he could wind up sharing the fate of Barry Jennings.
    ...Utilizing the tools of capitalism with his right hand and condemning them with his left. These guys are a dime a dozen.

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By mbuch65, September 12, 2011 at 6:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes we could have gone another route. However, the more peaceful and sane route simply did not appear profitable enough for the powers that be.
War is the ultimate Ponzi Scheme.

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By Paul Krik, September 12, 2011 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

bravo for a well written piece. thanks for sharing the reporters perspective on the
national lie. it’s amazing that we all go along. the chant for blood is too great.—
but i think that’s what was expected from the perpetrators, no ? 

well, we gave up on caring who is actually responsible it seems. there is no will for
that because it goes against the nationalistic sentiment.  while we’re at it, where’s
the outrage for burnt books ? i’m referring to the 2010 purchase and burning of
the books by the Pentagon of the entire first run of books by a member of Able

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By xraymike79, September 12, 2011 at 5:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Inherit The Wind said:
“What Hedges misses most of all is that in the immediate aftermath there was a HUGE opportunity for the US to heal much of its internal AND external relationships.  Bush and the Neocons squandered that opportunity.  They stole it to further their false vision of Empire in the “New American Century”.  That damage is unforgivable.”

Did you not read Chis Hedges entire essay??? He addressed that point at the end of his essay:

“We could have gone another route. We could have built on the profound sympathy and empathy that swept through the world following the attacks. The revulsion over the crimes that took place 10 years ago, including in the Muslim world, where I was working in the weeks and months after 9/11, was nearly universal. The attacks, if we had turned them over to intelligence agencies and diplomats, might have opened possibilities not of war and death but ultimately reconciliation and communication, of redressing the wrongs that we commit in the Middle East and that are committed by Israel with our blessing. It was a moment we squandered. Our brutality and triumphalism, the byproducts of nationalism and our infantile pride, revived the jihadist movement. We became the radical Islamist movement’s most effective recruiting tool. We descended to its barbarity. We became terrorists too. The sad legacy of 9/11 is that the assholes, on each side, won.”

Another great essay about 9-11 here:
“The story of 9/11, the grand fiction we constructed as a culture in the days and months and years afterward, ran something like this:

A band of religious psychopaths, acting without rational motive, murdered the innocence of a proud and blameless nation. Slowly, heroically, that brave nation dug out from the rubble and exacted revenge.

It was a story bled dry of doubt or nuance, a piece of propaganda. It divided the world along the fault-line of the zealot. America had been wronged and therefore could do no wrong.


Nobody stood up – in Congress, in the bright studios of our corporate media, in city hall – to make the obvious point that millions of people in other parts of the world live in a state of perpetual danger. And that the events of 9/11 might therefore require of us a greater empathy for those suffering elsewhere, might even nudge us toward a more serious consideration of our own imperial luxuries and abuses, and how these might relate to the deprivations suffered in less fortunate precincts.

That’s not what we talked about. No, we talked about our feelings. Americans were bloated with empathy in the weeks after 9/11. But something fatal was happening: as a nation, we were consenting to pursue vengeance over mercy. We were deciding – with the help of all that deeply feeling propaganda on our television sets – that the only human suffering that mattered was American.”

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By theway, September 12, 2011 at 5:04 am Link to this comment

It is very refreshing to read Chris Hedges assessment and also to read about 90% of sensible and useful comments. They are still some of those who comment in need of insight infusion.
It is good to know that there are still a lot of intelligent people who refuse to be “the sheeps”.

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By bdk4, September 12, 2011 at 4:57 am Link to this comment

Great article - bare bones in your face truth

But why all the remarks about Twain, I read Wordsworth?

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By Marilyn Mullens, September 12, 2011 at 4:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I like the article.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 12, 2011 at 3:44 am Link to this comment

While this is one of Hedges’ best articles in a while it still is filled with glaring omissions, such as why most of the Middle East, including our supposed enemy, Iran, were actively willing to aid us in rooting out Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and in shattering their enabler, the Taliban.

Hedges puts the Palestinian/Israeli conflict first on his list of causes, yet first on Osama Bin Laden’s list were “infidel” troops and bases on the Holy Land: Saudi Arabia.  Had we withdrawn from Saudi Arabia after 1991, Al Qaeda may well have NOT targeted us as they did from then to today.

Of course, had we simply finished the job in Afghanistan in 2003, when we could, and pulled out, the world STILL would be a different place.

And, of course there was the pointless war in Iraq.

But a different message is also missed:  The Neocons with their non-fact-based visions of America and the world, visions that were always inevitably and completely wrong, became the mantra of the Republican Party. It became the ground-breaker that led to the even greater degree of insanity: The Tea Party.  After all, their vision of America is even more insane than the Neocons.  Karl Rove hasn’t changed one iota, yet now he appears sane when contrasted with Perry, Bachmann, Palin and Paul.

Hedges misses yet another point: In the days and weeks immediately following, domestic racism and bigotry DECREASED in the USA, particularly America.  Even Bush loudly spoke out that 9/11 was NOT Islam anymore than Oklahoma City was Christianity.  In fact, the Islamic community in the US was MORE than willing to do their share.

And, in the Middle East there was even the bizarre image of Yassir Arafat donating blood for the victims of 9/11.

What Hedges misses most of all is that in the immediate aftermath there was a HUGE opportunity for the US to heal much of its internal AND external relationships.  Bush and the Neocons squandered that opportunity.  They stole it to further their false vision of Empire in the “New American Century”.  That damage is unforgivable.

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By racetoinfinity, September 12, 2011 at 3:21 am Link to this comment

The wars and security state creation here were not the product of “cold rationality” but cold power-lust and egoic elitism planned long before 9/11 by the neocons (led by Cheney) following their Straussian uebermann philosophy of elite power over the “idiotic” plebs/sheep here and worldwide.  (Not that this will be a surprise to many readers here) - link -

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By kwaailight, September 12, 2011 at 2:11 am Link to this comment

BRILLIANT and very brave article! I am from South
Africa and have some friends in the States. Their
stunned silence and look of incomprehension when I
suggested that the Bush administration missed a
golden opportunity to start on a different path
against radicalism, was noticable.

They could have pulled the carpet from under the
radical terror-mongers and would’ve starved them of
the ‘oxygen of sympathetic community’ if they did

Instead they have played midwife to the birth of
thousands of people angry and bitter enough to
sacrifice their lives in senseless suicide attacks.

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By Psychobabbler, September 12, 2011 at 2:05 am Link to this comment

“The people with the really big flags are the really big assholes,” I love that quote. At that time though, I was the asshole. (I carry loads of guilt from it) Never again. My town had the biggest flag on display today:,0,3095179.story

I don’t know if it is a town really. Tons of disenfranchised and Marginalized (segregated) people.
We are not representing ourselves politically because we are not really a place as understood by anyone else as so far as the tourism industry is perpetrating (as according to someone somewhere for whatever reason).

Can we get an increase in the cost of living?

Can we do that?

Maybe we should for our own sake.


Who cares about us really though?

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By PilgrimSoul, September 12, 2011 at 1:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Was particularly glad, Chris, that you specifically mentioned the long night of the Palestinians. It’s still going on, and it’s about to get worse. The Israeli political class is giving training to the settlers in anticipation of the demonstrations that are bound to occur throughout the Palestinian Occupied Territories when the UN considers the nationhood proposal of the Palestinian Authority this month.

  The Israelis are also putting it out that they anticipate Palestinians shooting from within nonviolent demonstrations. The Israelis are training sharp-shooters to take them out. Translation: There will be massacres sometime in the next two weeks of nonviolent demonstrations, men, women and kids, the whole thing. Israeli sharpshooters killed fifteen last April during Naqba demonstrations, and the US newspapers said nothing.

    But of course not. They’re only Arabs.

    A favorite slogan in Israel among the young, who are the most racist of all: “No Palestinians, no problems.” The Israelis will try another round of ethnic cleansing, and then genocide with their nuclear weapons as soon as the brave young people of the Arab Spring start fighting back. The Likudniks and their neo-con proxies will never stop until they pull us into their loathsome religious war.

    But I hope that with the rise of A Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine, people are starting to see through the moral bankruptcy of the Israeli political class and their arrogant proxies in the US, and to understand the threat of the religious fascism the Palestinians are facing in the Occupied Territories. The neo-cons and their corporate sponsors would love to impose the same fascism on the rest of us in the US.

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By JayN, September 12, 2011 at 1:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If beautifully written articles automatically penetrated the minds of it’s readers, this one would have a profound impact on the world.  Sadly, for many, the important points raised about dehumanization will be missed.

We will never comprehend the tragedy of 9/11 you can not make sense of insanity.  For that reason, we will never “avenge” it, but with policy makers are hell bent on trying, we have lowered ourselves, our nations, to the lowest possible level.  The level of those who flew those planes.

The resounding message here is that we consider ourselves “better” than those responsible for this atrocity, when in fact, we are worse.

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By PatRedstone, September 12, 2011 at 1:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sad, pathetic and true. Good article.

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By redslider, September 12, 2011 at 12:16 am Link to this comment

There is no such thing as a ‘minor war’.

I was born into the warlight of the world. There were beds in the corridor of the hospital and blackout curtains on all the windows. My unwrapped consciousness was already marked by the in-utero war rations and the pump of a daily cocktail of war-anxiety rippled through the soup of hormones in which I bathed. For the next three-quarters of a century it would remain so.

There are big wars and small wars, fat ones and thin ones; wars that only kill ‘them’, ones that kill us, too. In the beginning, there was supposed to be just one; the one to end all the other ones. It didn’t. The script went on, the Theater of Pain kept producing new ones. I expect I will also die in the warlight of the world.

I set about selecting a few anti-war pieces suitable for the annual get together of Poets Against War. I should not have been surprised that nearly all my work had some mark of war on it; on the surface or etched deep into the layers of the palimpsest of my life. Nothing, it would appear, can escape being marred by the years of reciting the same script, over and over. My mind simply cannot divorce itself from the scratches of war. Having some pure, peace-bent thought within a national consciousness that makes war the very centerpiece of its own ego is impossible. Everything we say or do is tainted by the fact that war is in the very air we breathe, the language we use and the thought we think. We cannot avoid the fact that we, too, are an occupied and preoccupied nation.

No matter that we say we will fashion ‘peace’ – we are so tilted by war that the very path to that wish only circumnavigates a globe of horror. We write, we cry out, we dance, we sing under the lamp of warlight. “Six big ones,” I said, but the reality is that the countless ‘little ones’, the ones that only spend a few days in the news, are not really any smaller. They all survive and metastasize and go right on re-enforcing our grand delusion that they are somehow “necessary steps” on the road to peace – “peacemaking’” or “peacekeeping” we dub them as we bomb the daylights out of someone or something.

Truth is, there has only been one war – and it is huge. Iraq, Afganistan, Pakistan, India – one war: Vietnam, Lebanon, Indonesia, E. Timor, Chile, One war. WWI, WWII, the next war; they are all the same war, and they are all MAJOR WARS. From the very beginning, those who wage them and those who suffer them – soldier and civilian alike – are war’s victims. For our species and our planet, there has never been and never will be such thing as a ‘minor war’.

November 2010 - rs

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By theway, September 11, 2011 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment

To BeReal

Thank you so much for The War Prayer by Mark Twain.
It says it all. Keep writing.

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By Awi, September 11, 2011 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment

We are today confronted with the moral blowback from our immoral response to 9/11.  It cannot be ducked.

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By David K. Sutton, September 11, 2011 at 11:43 pm Link to this comment

I DO NOT object to the photo chosen for this article.
It is a part of the record of that too long
suppressed in many cases due to religious beliefs. It
is not for us to judge the decision of anyone that
chose to go out with their own final action instead
of being consumed by the situation they found
themselves in. As for the article itself, I agree
with the overall message and I will admit to being
part of the nationalism in the aftermath of 9/11. I
admit to being part of an ugly side of human nature
in response to attacks on an in-group, in this case
the United States. The problem in this case was that
the out-group was not as easily defined as the enemy
was defined in past wars and conflicts. Hence the
need for our president at the time to state that we
would make no distinction between the terrorists and
those who harbor them, or in other words, part of the
Bush Doctrine. I’m happy to say I’ve learned a lot
about myself and my country in the 10 years that have
passed. My political views have evolved greatly over
that time. I see the error of our decisions in the
aftermath of 9/11. We can only hope that the children
that grew up during this past decade and future
generations will learn from these mistakes.

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By El_Pinguino, September 11, 2011 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment

From the 1970 Moody Blues song The Balance:

And he thought of those he angered,
For he was not a violent man,
And he thought of those he hurt
For he was not a cruel man
And he thought of those he frightened
For he was not an evil man,
And he understood.
He understood himself.

Upon this he saw that when he was of anger or knew hurt or felt fear,
It was because he was not understanding,
And he learned, compassion.

And with his eye of compassion.
He saw his enemies like unto himself,
And he learned love.
Then, he was answered.

And by the way… if anyone ever tells you America is taking the moral high ground, don’t believe a word you hear.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, September 11, 2011 at 11:33 pm Link to this comment

Cliff Carlson:

They call it ‘depleted uranium’ because it has had the radioactive U235 removed ... thus ‘depleted’. I should know having been to the Oak Ridge Diffusion plant several times and spent hours talking with the operators about just this subject. Uranium is a heavy metal and highly toxic. The amount of radiation it emits is negligible. Hell, they have thousands of casks with depleted uranium sitting all over the Oak Ridge site. And, believe it or not, inside the diffusion plant, where the natural uranium is fed into the system for processing, all the operators walk around the plant in normal clothes. The illnesses seen in these kids is probably due to ingesting the depleted uranium and being poisoned by it.

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By BeReal, September 11, 2011 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment

The War Prayer by Mark Twain continued:

During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

“I come from the Throne—bearing a message from Almighty God!” The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. “He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import—that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of—except he pause and think.

“God’s servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two—one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this—keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor’s crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

“You have heard your servant’s prayer—the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it—that part which the pastor—and also you in your hearts—fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: ‘Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!’ That is sufficient. the *whole* of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory—*must* follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

“O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle—be Thou near them! With them—in spirit—we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it—for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(*After a pause.*) “Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!”

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.
Twain apparently dictated it around 1904-05; it was rejected by his publisher, and was found after his death among his unpublished manuscripts. It was first published in 1923 in Albert Bigelow Paine’s anthology, Europe and Elsewhere.

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By BeReal, September 11, 2011 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment

Excellent article! Reminds me of this:

The War Prayer
by Mark Twain

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety’s sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came—next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams—visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! Then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation

*God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest! Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!*

Then came the “long” prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory—

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued with his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, “Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside—which the startled minister did—and took his place.

Continued next post

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By smartnsweet1, September 11, 2011 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment

Beautifully written, and can’t argue at all with the thesis that we chose the wrong path post 9-11 as a perpetrator of imperial wars and purveyor of racist nationalism.  But why, Chris, do you, and so many of the otherwise progressive journalists refuse to seriously consider or support the quite plausible idea that the above outcomes were the intention of the perpetrators of this event?  The oligarchs, imperialists, and corporatists you appropriately decry as regards the devolution of our domestic economy and civil rights were the qui bonos of the post-9-11 actions of the US and its allies.  It’s not a farfetched thesis to propose that these stakeholders in the US and the Middle East were more likely to orchestrate a false flag event to achieve these goals than some ragged former CIA assets who needed to bypass a firewall of US infrastructure to succeed in a spurious mission.  And achieve them they have—ten years later, Iraq is a smoldering ruin whose resources continue to be looted even as its political strength has been sapped by conquering dividers; Afghanistan is both a foothold and an oil bridge under fields of lucrative poppies, the owner of the WTC has been well reimbursed by an insurance company to cover the costs of demolishing asbestos-filled buildings and replacing them with lucrative office structures; almost $3 trillion dollars in missing Pentagon funds have been forgotten; investors in the know made a windfall from put options, etc,...  Please, Chris (and Bob), can’t you be among the first of the “left” to put conscience before blog funding and job security to entertain the thesis that this errant path antedated the actual 9-11 event?

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By rumblingspire, September 11, 2011 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Love your article but otherwise it is a boring Sunday.

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By Anthony Samsel, September 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The infamous day of 9/11 was a despicable act of Taliban revenge for the
deaths of Taliban tribal leaders in Afghanistan years earlier. A previous attempt
to take down the World Trade Center with a truck load of explosives failed.

The conflict still waging in Afghanistan is just one of many examples of military
intervention for the Industy, for the Industrial Military Complex. It’s beginning
for the USA was during the Clinton Administration. For those of you not well
acquainted with why the USA is there:The war is with the Taliban who are
obstructing efforts to build the TAPI Pipeline. The TAPI pipeline is a high
pressure natural gas pipeline which is being built from the Caspian Sea to India.

The efforts in Afghanistan began in the 1990s under the Clinton administration.
UNOCAL purchased the development rights for natural gas in the Caspian Sea.
One-third of the planets natural gas is under the Caspian Sea. UNOCAL had no
way to exploit these riches and get them to markets because the Taliban
reneged on a deal to allow a gas pipeline through their country.
John P. Maresca, VP of UNOCAL appeared before a congressional sub-
committee seeking US Military intervention so that this US company could build
their pipeline like it or not.

The gas pipeline was supposed to go to the Gulf of Oman to load ships for gas
transport to SE Asia. The only other route south to Oman for the pipeline was
through Iran. This was not an option because of US sanctions.
The World Bank and other international lenders would not fund the pipeline
project unless safety was guaranteed. The US sent in Special OP’s forces to kill
members of the Taliban opposing the pipeline.

Then came 911 !

The US then invaded Afghanistan to kill all who would obstruct the Natural Gas
Pipeline through their land. It was after this that UNOCAL sold it’s interests in
the Caspian Sea to a Consortium to hide their involvement but they still remain
a player behind the scenes.

Condoleeza Rice negotiated a deal with Pakistan and India for a new route for
the pipeline. This eliminated the need to load Natural Gas tankers in the Gulf of
Oman for transport to SE Asia.
TAPI stands for Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The pipeline is
being built along the side of the ancient trade route to India

The Bush administration through Cheney’s efforts declared ENERGY POLICY a
matter of National Security so that not even the Congress can discuss this
agenda openly.
Afghanistan is the key for the connected to make trillions of dollars ! Natural
gas is needed in SE Asia for raw material used in plastics manufacturing.
Endless supplies from the Caspian Sea, the World Bank and other Big Bankers
online with the project, and the Industrial Military Complex making it happen !

Recently Engineering firms have found sources of Lithium in Afghanistan along
with oil and other needed metals. Batteries are Big Money !

They cloak themselves under the banner of patriotism and declare that they are
christians bringing good will to the rest of the world. They have hidden their
true agenda and deceived the masses for dishonest gain. The blood of the
innocent continues to be shed but does not go unnoticed. Presidents come and
go, but those who control the Industrial Military Complex are the ones with the
real power.

Strategy and policy are all well thought out and planned often using ‘Think
Tanks’. Afghanistan is just one of many examples of Industrial Military control.

It is shameful of those in power to have continued “the lie” for a select group
who place no value on human life. These are people drunk with power, blinded
by their agenda and thirst for monetary gain. They are an evil bunch who’s
greed and lust for riches have brought much pain and suffering to all of

Presidents come and go, but those who control the Industrial Military Complex
are the ones with the real power.

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By Silence is Complicity, September 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

By truedigger3, September 11 at 4:47 pm

Re:By Lafayette, September 11 at 11:34 am
Thank you truthdiggr3 for your response to Lafayette, who often comes as very arrogant pretentious who stupidly claims that he knows it all; even more than the Iraqis themselves.

Someone needed to draw attention to his ignorant pretensions in light of the facts that you eloquently raised in your post.

Actually, I was tempted to respond to him and present precisely the points you raised in your post. So, thank you again for saving me the agony of having to explode his ignorance and misguidance!

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By Dave Benjamin, September 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You lose credibility and display a shocking level of
ignorance with your comment ” long night of humiliation
and suffering inflicted by Israel on the

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By Cliff Carson, September 11, 2011 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

Thanks Truthdigger3

You are absolutely right about what you said about the conditions in Iraq after the invasion.

One thing I wold like to add is that the U S use of Depleted Uranium Warheads will leave lethal “dust” that can be blown around by the wind.

Ingesting the DU can cause all manner of health problems already being manifested in a tripling of the number of babies born with grotesque birth defects.

This DU will be lethal for longer than humanity will have memory of what it is.  The Half life of this radioactive substance is in excess of one billion years.

Some day Iraq may become a desolate wasteland.

There was no need to use these radioactive weapons.  I think they were used to see if they worked.  What matter is it that Arabs are killed?  The demonetization of these people has been so saturated that many people don’t look on them as humans.

I have said on here before that I have family members that are Arabic.  So I am defensive of denigrating Arabs.

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By truedigger3, September 11, 2011 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

Re:By Lafayette, September 11 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

Lafayette wrote:
“Not many in Iraq miss the butcher who was Saddam Hussein. I suggest you go ask them to see for yourself because, apparently, your education in the matter is incomplete.

Yes, America should not be the world’s policeman. But neither should dictators be able to reign with impunity. The innocent but impotent should have their protector. “

But I guess the Iraquis love their completely destroyed infrastructure and destroyed water and sewage treatment plants and destroyed electric generation and distribution grid resulting in few hours of electricity each day after the invasion.
I guess the Iraquis love their currently crippled hospitals and schools.
I guess the Iraquis don’t miss the the one million who died and the four million who are displaced and living as refugees both inernally and in neighbouring countries after the invasion.
I guess the Iraquis loved the roaming religious/political death squads tha terrorised the populations and killed many intellectuals and college professors after the invasion.
All that happened to Iraq which was one of the most advanced and secular countries in the Middle East before the invasion!

I knew it when I read your previous two posts that you are paving the way to going back to your usual TROLL role spouting war-mongering justifications and defense for Wall St. fraudsters and thieves.
You are NOT bullshitting me. I know you are a TROLL!!
But I admit, you are a clever TROLL.

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By Ray Duray, September 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

Hey ChavistaKing,

It’s good to have your input here. I’ve never before seen Bill Van Auken on a TV screen, though I’ve been reading and agreeing with much of his viewpoint for years now.

Here’s Van Auken’s main site:

Some here might consider receiving the WSWS newsletter via email:

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By politicky, September 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

I don’t always agree with Hedges’ columns, but this one I do.

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By glider, September 11, 2011 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

I object to those that object to the article’s stark photo. It frankly is the face of reality and as such is more informative than any of the propaganda narratives we are bombarded with everyday. As for the narrative that these were “brave people” I say bullshit.  As a result of Bin Laden and “our” governments action these victims were faced with a choice of being barbequed or jumping. I am quite sure there was not a lot of thought that went into that decision.  If we were intelligent this photo would give us enough reason to examine both sides of the coin.  Which would include stop our more than equally heinous acts that precipitated this event.

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By rose robin, September 11, 2011 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chriss,  i am often impressed with your understanding of government..  I am offended at the words you spoke to your son. We all, especially children deserve better than that… with all the words you have, it is disrespectful to make such a poor choice…  and even if you did not know many words, it is an ugy way to be spoken to….

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By Grant Bacon, September 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris, I like the person you’ve become but I just keep remembering you saying on TV (meet the press maybe?) that you were “sure” Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.  I like how you’ve done a 180 these days, but please put some disclaimers about yourself in your narrative when you write about all the “idiots” who rushed to war. 

Some of us remember quite well that you were one of the idiots at one point.  A well respected journalist who was on board with the warped reasoning the Bush admin used for war.  So please, admit your own role in this , every time you write, as any attempt to rewrite your own history will just eat at your credibility.

Keep up the great work, and again, I agree with everything you are now about, but know that I and many others remember who you were.

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By omop, September 11, 2011 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

Cliff Carson guys like Lafayette have an unusual facility in selective
memory. And always equate a pro-israeli narrative to what Americans
easily understand…words like democracy, freedom, security and PEACE.

Hopefully the below will jog his memory as to who are the ones that
promoted the Iraq invasion and at the present the nuking of Iran.

Back in 1996, a group of leading neoconservatives led by Richard Perle
drafted a memorandum for then (as now) Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu, recommending that Israel adopt a more
aggressive and assertive policy towards its neighbors.

They called it a “Clean Break” to suggest that it would be a major shift
in policy.  Today, as American foreign policy looks more like a
shipwreck than a victory lap, there is perhaps a need for a Clean Break
by Washington.  As the relationship with Tel Aviv has an impact far
beyond Israel’s size and importance it should, ironically, be the first
element in the foreign policy disaster that is examined.

The reason to invade Iraq was part of a report of a Study Group on a
New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000, for Bibi Nethanyahu.

Former United States Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle was
the “Study Group Leader”, but the final report included ideas from James
Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Robert Loewenberg, Douglas Feith, David
Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser.

The plan proposed new policies:
1. Rather than pursuing a “comprehensive peace” with the entire Arab
world, Israel should work to “contain, destabilize, and roll-back” those
entities that are threats.

2. Changing the nature of relations with the Palestinians, specifically
reserving the right of “hot pursuit” anywhere within Palestinian territory.

“SYRIA challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and
one with which American can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the
strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah,
Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon.

That Israel can shape its strategic environment, by focusing on
removing Saddam Hussein from power in IRAQ.— an important Israeli
strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s
regional ambitions.

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By ChaviztaKing, September 11, 2011 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

Anybody here has noticed how narcissist and megalomaniac Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are, compared with the humility of Eisenhower and JFK?

Well megalomania and narcissism are normal behaviour patterns in the general american population, being altruist, cooperative and loving other human beings is as weird as an UFO in America.  Not because americans are naturally evil, but because of the neoliberal economic model introduced in America by Margaret Thatcher, The Chicago Boys School of economics, The Washington Consensus and other neoliberalism think tanks.

Neoliberalism is not only an economic model, its a fascistic evil philosophy of life of anti-social, social-phobic lifestyle that most people have had in this country since the late 1980s and it leads to those kinds of narcissistic traits that Obama, Bush and Christian Bale in the movie “American Psycho” have.

And Obama is indeed just like Christian Bale in the movie “American Psycho”, well most americans citizens one way or another are a little bit psychopath, psychopathy is as normal as apple pie, hamburgers and pizzas in this country, because they are mind-manipulated into following the neoliberalism lifestyle

The whole society needs to destroy neoliberalism way of life, and change toward born-again individuals, being born again into loving, altruist, peaceful, rational, book-readers and patient, tolerant people.


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By culheath, September 11, 2011 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

re: use of the falling man picture

The is a line from the Tennessee Williams play “Suddenly Last Summer” spoken by the poet who has taken his mother to the Galapagos Islands to witness the mad scramble of the freshly hatched baby turtles to the waves, and during that beautiful survival scramble dark shadows appear over that race and hungry, screeching gulls begin picking off the babies one by one as the poet points to it and yells, “There, Mother, there is the face of God!”

I say, live with it…because the picture, like Hedges essay, is telling you the truth of it…and many of us sadly cannot bear to watch or see it.

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By ChaviztaKing, September 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment <—Dear friends, watch this very important interview with Bill Van Auken, a leader of The Socialist Equality Party of USA, who says that 9-11 was an inside-job fake-terrorism as a pretext for Imperialist Wars and Police-Fascism at home.  And this is very true !! Probably without the fake-terrorism of 9-11, The Oil Corporations, Israel and Oligarchs of the US capitalist fascist government wouldn’t be able to get richer, to prevent a socialist revolution within USA, to prevent americans from having more cultural and psychologic freedom, and to prevent The Green Party or any other Democratic Party to rise to US government, beause you know how dumb are the pathetic 300 million mind-controlled slaves that live in USA who believe in any thing CNN, Jay Leno, Oprah Winfrey says and who have never read a philosophy and science book

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By Silence is Complicity, September 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

If you listened to the speeches given by American presidents, ex-presidents, vice presidents and other American officials on the occasion of commemorating the 9 /11, you will be astonished how many times they invoked the name of God and said “God Bless America!”

If I wasn’t aware that all I heard was spoken by American officials and dignitaries, I would have thought that it was some Afghan Mullahs speaking. I am sure that if a true God does exist, He would be very offended listening to His Name hypocritically invoked by people who belong to the party of Satan!

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By ChaviztaKing, September 11, 2011 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment <—Dear friends, go to this link for lots of good full books, and articles written by great philosophers.  Philosophy is one of the best weapons to overthrow the capitalist system and to destroys all forms of evil and wrong behaviours in our society.  You can read them straight from your computer monitor, just increase the size of your fonts

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By kerryrose, September 11, 2011 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

A pleasant surprise.  People are not stupid.  A recent poll shows 42% of people polled believe that 9-11 was caused by the actions of US in the Middle East.  What a shock that many believe this to be true without ever hearing or reading any such opinion in the MS media.

My son’s High School teacher describes the last few days of news coverage ‘9-11 porn’ to his students. He can say this without fear of retribution from parents, I assume, or he wouldn’t say it.

These things are good news.

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By ChaviztaKing, September 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

DEAR FRIENDS, we must step inside the shoes, inside the brains of the 100 million US voters who will vote for Obama and for Rick Perry in the 2012 elections. And i have come to the conclusion, that the real reason of why most voters in the USA vote for Democrats and Republicans every 4 years without questions asked, is that they don’t have high expectations, high goals for their personal lives, to be leaders and achievers such as to be a pilot, astronaut, lawyers, doctors, or to have a perfect celebrity physiology. It seems to me that the 100 million loyal Democrats and loyal Republicans have a very simplistic life, an very small goals of just food and basic needs.  But if most US voters had higher greater goals for their lives to be achievers, leaders, great individuals like pilots, lawyers, astronauts, politicians etc. They wouldn’t vote for Democrats and Republicans,  because with Democrats and Republicans in power it is literally impossible to pay for a whole University Degree to study medical science, law, philosophy or any other high endeavor and profession. Because we all know that University professions are too damn expensive as long as we have this profit-based education system and this oligarchic economic model along with an economic model of printing fake inogarnic dollars, not backed by gold, silver, cars, agro-industry or any other wealth. Dollar devaluations is another cause of why most people in USA can’t afford a whole university bachelors degree Thanks

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By David, September 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In the end, sanity, intelligence, factual knowledge and rational thought prevail:
The Twin Towers: Fire Melting Steel

Filed under Conspiracies

(Also see: World Trade Center 7: The Lies Come Crashing Down, Skeptoid #85
Skeptoid #54 - July 10, 2007

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By ControlledDemolition, September 11, 2011 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

Chris!  Chris!  The shock and national suicide and all the evils that transpired thereafter and befell us do not contradict the fact that 911 was a false flag operation!  Hello-o-o-o-o!

OK, you were there but did not hear the explosions, but others did.  How come you don’t talk about Bldg 7, the Toronto Hearings and all the evidence from Architects and Engineers?  So many anomalies you just ignore.  But I’m positive:  bringing the real culprits of 911 to justice will be more effective than your “civil disobedience” campaign—even the Dems might get a spine.

(OT: can anyone confirm that this list always shows in bold font??? Or is it just me?)

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By JeffC, September 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

This morning - in remembrance of the terrible events of 9/11, I listened to a sermon delivered by a Presbyterian minister in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Implicit in his message of peace, love, hope and healing was an admonition that - in our response to acts of terrorism - we do not, ourselves, become terrorists.

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By Ray Duray, September 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

Live coverage of The Toronto Hearings on 9/11:

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By Bob, September 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A gift that I can’t fully describe,  Mr. Hedges.  It’s everything I’ve thought and felt and said in the past ten years brought into sharper and larger focus. 

That was one of the most extraordinary essays I’ve ever read.  Ever. 


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By BruceP, September 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The following passage quotes from a 1948 issue of in-house State Department publication. The passage forms part of an essay written by George F. Kennan and it illuminates the thrust of much of post-WW II U.S. foreign policy. (Kennan was a major foreign policy figure, best known as the primary author of the policy of containment with respect to the U.S.S.R.)

“We have about 50% of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3% of its population . . . our real task . . . is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security . . . We should cease to talk about unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization . . . [W]e are going to have to deal in straight power concepts.”  ~ George F. Kennan, U.S. State Department Policy Planning Committee, Policy Planning Study 23, February 1948, p509-529.

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By Ray Duray, September 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment


Here’s the article from 1987 discussing martial law aka “Continuity of Government” and why this matters to the future of the nation:

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By factfinder, September 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

Goytoy wanted to know if the references to Christopher Hitchens were based on his being drunk or sober.

There is no difference.

Hitchens is always drunk on the nectar of his own hubris (as are all Atheists). He confuses the fact that he can have ideas with those ideas being true. Not only are his Atheistic ideas not true,they are not even logical.

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By Ray Duray, September 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Evidence for Informed Trading on the Attacks of September 11 by Kevin Ryan

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By Cliff Carson, September 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment


Your ignorance is blossoming.

No, I’m not talking about gassing the Kurds with the gas furnished to Hussein by the United States.  By the way you need to polish up on your research ability.  Lafayette, the very first Government to come to Saddam’s aid over that gassing incident was the United States. 

Those 500,000 children that I spoke to Uncle Glenn about died as the result of the 10 years of daily bombing of Iraq by the United States and the Sanctions - get the stuff out of your ears now - before 9/11.

Lafayette you just don’t seem to have a clue: 

Context of ‘March 1988: US Helicopters Aid in Iraqi Gassing of Kurds; US Helps Iraq Pin Blame on Iran’

According to several accounts, Iraq uses US-supplied Bell helicopters to deploy chemical weapons during its campaign to recapture lost territories in its war with Iran. One of the towns that is within the conflict zone is the Kurdish village of Halabja, with a population of about 70,000. Between 3,200 and 5,000 Halabja civilians are reportedly killed by poison gas.  Other accounts, however, suggest that Iranian gas is responsible for the attack on Halabja, a version that is promoted by the Reagan administration in order to divert the blame away from Iraq. Some believe the US version of the Halabja massacre is “cooked up in the Pentagon.” A declassified State Department document “demonstrate[s] that US diplomats received instructions to press this line with US allies, and to decline to discuss the details.

And Lafayette, I don’t know how old you are but I remember this well.  The U S sent a Representative to the UN to claim Iraq was innocent.

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By Ray Duray, September 11, 2011 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

Author, professor emeritus and former diplomat Peter Dale Scott?: “I do know for a certainty that there has been a cover-up of 9/11”

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By Anthonyhenrysmith, September 11, 2011 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

Once again, we are confronted by Barbara Tuchman’s question, still unanswered.

Tuchman’s Question:

“ Why do holders of high office so often act contrary to the way reason points and enlightened self-interest suggests? Why do intelligent mental processes seem so often to fail to function? … Why does American business insist on “growth” when it is demonstrably using up the three basics of life on our planet - land, water and unpolluted air? (While unions and business are not strictly government in the political sense, they represent governing situations.)”  ( Tuchman, 1984, 4)

Tuchman, Barbara W., 1984, The March of Folly From Troy to Vietnam, New York, Alfred A. Knopf

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By eric1071517, September 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

There are at least two important questions that have
been missed by the masses in terms of where do we go
now. Is it correct for a society to dumb itself down in
order for all citizens to participate in the said society, or is it the individual that must rise up to
meet the standards of society.
The second question is can there truly be an American
Muslim? Americans are the product of Western
Civilization and influenced by personal experiences and
environment. This can not be changed no more than a
fingerprint. Someone who is developed in a Western
Civilization, such as America, can read the Qu’ran, but
they can never adopt that particular point of view
because that point of view is contrary to their
developed Western world view. An American Muslim is a
contradiction and those who claim to be American or
Western Muslims are only playing at a role they can
never assume in life. This theory even applies to
Western Buddhists and Western Hindus. These things only exist outwardly not internally.

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By Sahila, September 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

what people seem to forget… in this ultimate pyramid-ponzi capitalist oligarchy, we NEED 9/11s, for many reasons…

and this is how it plays itself out: ....

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By gerard, September 11, 2011 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

Cheer up, Chris.  Maybe, with a little bit of luck, we are also gradually becoming disgusted with ourselves as the self-centered bullies we have become, crashing about in the world’s china shop, leaving mayhem behind. A little more help from Wiki- Leaks and we might even regain our sanity.

As Powell so wisely noted:  “You break it, and you own it.”

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By Ray Duray, September 11, 2011 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

Cliff Carson asks: “Can anyone on this thread tell me what motivated the attack and who planned that attack?

Who can you trust to speak the truth?”

In any standard crime investigation, the prosecutors and detectives normally look to motivation to find the culprit. The old Roman expression was “he who benefits by treachery had perpetrated it.”

Clearly the rag-tag bunch of 12th Century religious nuts collectively known as “al Qaeda” have not benefited from the events of 9/11. A great swath of the Muslim world is now under direct occupation of the “Infidel”. Ironically Fidel’s Cuba is not. But only because the oil wells haven’t been developed so far.

But who did benefit from 9/11? Clearly the war machine has had a banner decade. Promotions and profits have been soaring as in no period since the irrational urge to attack Southeast Asia struck that crowd. I’d look to them to be the ones creating “A New Pearl Harbor”.

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By Basoflakes, September 11, 2011 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

Thank you for pointing out that Bin Laden did have reasons, good reasons for some kind of action, though the plane bombs was the wrong kind of action.

It was reported that if the US continued with it’s Afghan attacks, which were very successful and productive and way before the Iraq invasion, we would have got Bin Laden for a total US cost of $1 Billion, instead of the $3-4 Trillion that the wars costs.  So, you have to conclude that the powers to be knew that, stopped increasing Afghanistan activity and started a war of aggression on Iraq for other reasons.

The US is an embarassment across the world, and now that our economic magic wand is fading, our influence is becoming less and less.  Turkey and the new Arab Spring regimes will pay attention to what the US says, but not much.  That is the price that we will pay in the long run.

Americans don’t even know yet how much they loathe what America has done - yet.

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By gerard, September 11, 2011 at 11:50 am Link to this comment

Bringing soldiers home and stopping the production and sale of weapons may end a war or two, but it doesn’t do anything to prevent future wars.

Prevention requires facing facts about what causes wars, and systematically purging national policy of those causes, regardless of economic losses or changes required in antiquated policies of exploitation and revenge.

A Department of Peace (or an Anti-War Department) could be established the moment a sizeable number of citizens admitted the need for it, and called for its foundation.  Many institutions have already done preparatory work that could be vastly enlarged and given more power to influence public opinion.

The first way NOT get rid of war is to do nothing and thus permit war to continue as legitimate national policy. The second way is to say that “wars are inevitable,” “peace is impossible” etc. etc. and the third way is to keep people scared of “potential enemies.”

It isn’t rocket science.

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By David, September 11, 2011 at 11:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When considering the motives of those who carried out the horrendous 9/11 terror attacks (as declared by Bin Laden, the U.S. Senate 9/11 Commission and the Pentagon), we should not forget that in 1982 (following its July 1981 bombing of multi-story apartment buildings in Beirut that killed 300 civilians), Israel launched an unprovoked (i.e., the PLO had scrupulously adhered to the 1981 cease-fire negotiated by the Reagan administration) invasion of Lebanon with the objective of destroying the morale of Palestinians in the occupied territories by obliterating the PLO, gaining control of Lebanon’s Litani River (to divert its waters into northern Israel) and to install a “friendly” Phalangist (i.e., fascist) government in Beirut.  As the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee declared at the time, well over 20,000 Lebanese nationals and Palestinian refugees were killed and half a million turned into refugees by Israel during its invasion.

Also, during Israel’s 1982 invasion, as orchestrated by then Defence Minister Ariel Sharon, at least 2,000 Palestinian children, women and old men were massacred in Lebanon’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by Israel’s Phalangist allies while Israel’s occupation forces looked on from observation towers.  With Sharon’s full approval, Israeli soldiers provided the Phalangists with night time illumination and bulldozers to dispose of the bodies, served them tea, cookies, and cokes during breaks from their murderous rampage, and prevented the Palestinians from escaping. Sharon paid no meaningful price for his monstrous crime even though Israel’s Kahan Report found that he “bears personal responsibility” for the massacres at Sabra and Shatila ((only one of many documented unspeakable atrocities Sharon has instigated and/or directly participated in).

The list of Israel’s well documented atrocities from 1948 to the present is too lengthy for this posting.  It is important to note, however, that due primarily to US support, i.e., complicity, Israel has managed thus far, to carry them out with impunity.

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By tony_opmoc, September 11, 2011 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

Fascinating comments from a Right Wing blog which is mainly about finance.

“How do you defeat a religion? You kill every last one of them. Anyone got the stomach for that?”

“As for anything about building 7 - I don’t know. I don’t care. After watching a plane fly into the second tower I was pretty convinced it was Islamic terrorists and I’ll never change my mind. Since mid morning 9/11/01 I’ve been convinced it was Islamic terrorists. Ain’t changing my mind any time soon.”

The fact that this guy would quite happily kill them all - Billions? in a mass genocide, and immediately “knew” who was responsible on the day it happenned with absolutely zero evidence, and doesn’t want to know about any REAL evidence, says an aweful lot about ordinary Right Wing Americans - even those with a relatively high IQ who participate in finance blogs.

However, people views ARE changing. I have been following this blog - though do not contribute - for about 4 years. 4 years ago, EVERYONE believed the Official 9/11 story.

Now around 50% are convinced that it is not true.

Thats a startling turnaround for an American Right wing finance forum.

These guys must have been looking at the evidence such as this

“Architects & Engineers - Solving the Mystery of WTC 7 -”


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By morristhewise, September 11, 2011 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

The media echo`s one solemn voice. Terrorists shake and shiver knowing that a
bullet sent in the direction of the US will have a million returned. Those that
imagine America is divided must listen to the airwaves on 9/11 and they will
change their mind. Even the unemployed or homeless stand at attention when the
bugle is played in memory of the victims of that terrorist attack.

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By Lafayette, September 11, 2011 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

CC: Let me offer an excerpt from an article I published “The Immorality of the Iraqi War” a few years ago concerning the dead children of Iraq

Surely you mean the Halabja genocide gas attack by Hussein on the Kurdish population of a defenseless village - where between 3200 and 5000 people died immediately and more later?

In total, there were two such attacks.

Not many in Iraq miss the butcher who was Saddam Hussein. I suggest you go ask them to see for yourself because, apparently, your education in the matter is incomplete.

Yes, America should not be the world’s policeman. But neither should dictators be able to reign with impunity. The innocent but impotent should have their protector.

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By Lee Oates, September 11, 2011 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

Excellent article Chris.  I came to the same conclusions shortly after 9/11.  Its refreshing to see someone sum it up so well. I am impressed with the number of commenters here who are becoming aware of the realities of the 9/11 attacks and our inappropriate responses. I am sure that the security team assigned to monitor your articles will soon arrive on here waving the American flag, attempting to undermine your comments, and taking notes on your unpatriotic statements.  Keep writing.

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By Sahila, September 11, 2011 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

the result of 9/11 is that the oligarchy has us all exactly where it wants us… complete implementation of Orwell’s 1984 vision

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By Bisbonian, September 11, 2011 at 11:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lafayette said: “Enough of this “kick-ass mentality” that seems to have pervaded
our society.”

Hear, hear.

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By Michael Shaw, September 11, 2011 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

As for Israel, sadly their government is on the same mad path ours is and their own people victims of this obsession to war. Like here, they are suffering massive cuts and neglect in the public sector while the war contractors in the private sector rake in more profits than they could have possibly imagined.

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By Sahila, September 11, 2011 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

Whatever the history that culminated in the events of 9/11:

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By Michael Shaw, September 11, 2011 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

After watching a rehash of the 2008 ceremony on ABC this morning, which was essentially a photo opt for the Bush administration, the very guys who destroyed our civil liberties, gave the rich massive tax breaks in war time, lied us into a war in Iraq and with that creating a bottomless pit of our tax dollars disappearing to the Pentagon “as rainfall does into Iraq’s desert sands,” noting particularly Donald Rumsfeld waving a tiny American flag, I came to the realization that sometimes the biggest assholes wave tiny flags too.

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By lizrdeb, September 11, 2011 at 11:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you for talking about the jumpers. They have haunted me for years. Also,
thank you for suggesting what I think we all knew in the backs of our minds, that
we needed to slow down and ask more questions about why this happened before
rushing into two ten year wars.

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By omygodnotagain, September 11, 2011 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

Thomas Hobbes got it right the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, September 11, 2011 at 11:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

They keep telling us from Washington that we have defeated Al-Qaeda.  As usual they have it ass backwards.  Al-Qaeda defeated us on day one.  We will never get back to 9/10.  Not ever.

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By walterbard, September 11, 2011 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

During operation Cast Lead Hedges railed against Israel in his a Truthdig article, decrying the alleged death of civilians, most of whom by Hamas’s own admission were in fact combatants.
Israel had the military strength to utterly obliterate Gaza if that were Israel’s intention,
instead it put its own troops at risk trying to target combatants and spare noncombatants.
Some civilians were killed by collateral damage,
mainly because the rockets were fired close to civilian areas In that article he did not mention those thousands of rockets deliberately launched against Israel’s population. According
to Hedges it was entirely evil for Israel to defend its civilian population against attack.
In this article Hedges has the gall to try to mitigate a DELIBERATE massacre of thousands
of American citizens. He even tries to hold Israel responsible attributing the demented, callous, coldblooded actions of the terrorists as a reaction to the supposed humiliation of “Palestinians”
This so called humiliation by Israel was also in defense against Palestinian terrorist atrocities
such as blowing up busses and shopping malls filled with women and children.
Hedges double standard is obvious. It was Islamic terrorists who attacked the United States,
Hedges so called Jeremiad is utterly hypocritical.

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By HelenWheels, September 11, 2011 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

Shane, you just proved his point.

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By Cliff Carson, September 11, 2011 at 10:44 am Link to this comment


I didn’t overlook it on purpose, it is that there is so much evil done by the Empire Group that one just can’t cover it in one setting.

Let me offer an excerpt from an article I published “The Immorality of the Iraqi War” a few years ago concerning the dead children of Iraq:

“.....Just to illustrate what has happened to this innocent people, consider the following:  My Uncle Glynn, who at 94 is still very mentally alert, and I, late one cold moonless night this past winter were at a family gathering and stepped outside to admire the brilliant night sky.  What a celestial display of God’s handiwork was before us.  “Uncle Glynn, I asked, do you know how many stars the eye can see and perceive?  No, he admitted, but Glynn opined that it had to run into at least a couple of hundred thousand.  Close to Half a million I stated, and Uncle Glynn, if you let each star you observe tonight represent one Iraqi child who has died because of the immorality of Bush and his profiteering minions, and the uninformed enablers, you will not be able to see enough stars this night to represent all the dead children of Iraq.  And Uncle Glynn, how do we represent those that will die later of the depleted Uranium munitions that we have rained upon Iraq?  This Uranium has a lethal life of thousands of years!”  I do believe that at that dark moment I could discern an emerging tear in Glynn’s eye as this man who had served in combat thru World War II and saw that carnage was moved by the useless slaughter of innocents.”

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By HelenWheels, September 11, 2011 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

Thank you, Chris Hedges, for your continued voice of reason. Watching all this overhyped bullcrap coverage for the past week has made me feel ill. While they hold jingoistic ceremonies talking about our “heroes” they refuse to pay for their medical bills or help them get the help they need. The official story is still a load of crap as well. We should be comemmorating the end of any semblence of freedom in this country, because 9/11 and any future attack here will just further tighten the police state we’re sinking into. I agree - the bigger the flag, the bigger the asshole.

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By Lafayette, September 11, 2011 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

Renzo: This should be a day of shame for US who made others hate US so much that suicide was reasonable to them.

Indeed. There is a lot to be said for “armed neutrality”.

We should not be messing about with other people’s lives on this planet. We were not asked to “bring them democracy”.

We need a global presence, but it should be benign. As Teddy R. once said, “Speak softly but carry a big stick”.

Enough of this “kick-ass mentality” that seems to have pervaded our society.

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By MK Ultra, September 11, 2011 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

“The people with the really big flags are the really big assholes,” I told him.

Ha ha ha!  True, so true.  They are also the biggest cowards and the most ignorant and racist ones but such is the case with everything.

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By John Darling, September 11, 2011 at 10:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is it me or is there something not right with that picture?  I think that if someone falls or throws himself off a 100+ story in fear and desperation, he wouldn’t just glide down as if it were a calculated and stylish dive.  I imagine someone in that situation swinging his arms and legs all about and screaming in terror.  There is just something about that picture that doesn’t jive.  It’s as if the subject were posing, knowing that all eyes are on him while there is a safety net waiting for him at the bottom.

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By felicity, September 11, 2011 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

Silence is Complicity - The deafening ‘silence’ during
this weekend of reliving 9/11 actually ‘speaks’ volumes
on America’s refusal to recognize herself as a rogue
military state on an at least 50-year imperialistic
binge yet completely brain-dead as to the negative
consequences bound to ensue - call it blow-back.

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