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

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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.

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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.


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By ides1056, September 11, 2011 at 10:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I waited eight years, holding my breath, finger in the wind waiting for it to change.
Thought I voted for it, but the difference between Bush and Obama is the
difference between Coke and Pepsi.

We have the best armed emerging proletariat in the world.

I know the man that took the photo, fairly well. He was standing behind Bobby
Kennedy when he was shot. I haven’t seen this picture before. Only knew of it by
description, and his telling of the day’s events one time.

I am reading your current book with great interest. Thanks, more than I can tell,
for the truth.

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By bobglob, September 11, 2011 at 10:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Once again Chris has served up a well crafted literary entrée. It’s just hard to maintain an appetite with the steaming pile of shit that comes with it.
10 years after 9/11, anyone of obvious intelligence who continues to add to the myth of Islamic terrorists bringing down those buildings, who doesn’t acknowledge that those buildings were brought down by controlled demolition, that the only people that could have pulled it off must have been at the highest levels of the military and government, MUST be viewed as COMPLICIT.
Thank you Chris, for making it clear. Now I can stop thinking of anything that you have ever written or said. Now I can remove the intellectual chaff that you and others (Chomsky, Scheer) have brought to the table.
Good luck with your ‘enclave’. Don’t forget the sand pit. This is how I will be thinking of you from this point on. Head in the sand, ass in the air - ready ready to do what you do best.

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By Cliff Carson, September 11, 2011 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Tony_opmoc

“The attack was planned and executed by humans
The only way to prove who was responsible is to thoroughly investigate the crime and bring the suspected criminals to justice.

I am convinced that many of these criminals are controlling our governments at a very high level, but the only way to determine exactly who they are is through the normal processes of criminal investigation.

There is an obvious reason why this hasn’t happened, and that is the Criminals are in Control of the Very Processes that Normally investigate Crime and produce Justice.”

I couldn’t agree more Tony.

And this proves that any human can claim the High road of Morality but it is their actions that count.

See how determined we are to bring “Justice” to those that we don’t like but totally ignore “Justice” that is due our own murderers.  And we have the World’s biggest supply.

An acquaintance of mine, a Baptist Deacon, is always calling for all “Rag-Heads” to be nuked.

And he can tell dirty jokes with the best of them.

So by observing him, I can say Religion is not the standard of a good man.  The real standard is to be your brothers keeper.  If you accept that burden and live it, then you are a true disciple.

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By DigThis, September 11, 2011 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

Excellent insight into the post-911 American psyche.

Self inflicted wounds are always the worst.

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By Sylvain Despretz, September 11, 2011 at 9:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Chris Hedges, for this.
And thanks for the many responses here today, which frankly, restore hope that there are wonderful, deep, thoughtful, intelligent Americans who see straight, and who are awake.

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By TMR, September 11, 2011 at 9:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you for your columns. It’s greatly appreciated. 

“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.”—Martin Luther King, Jr

“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”—Mohandas Gandhi

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”—Mohandas Gandhi

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompentent” Asimov

“At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.

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By omop, September 11, 2011 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

Cliff Carson overlooked the desire of Madeleine Allbright to kill over
500,000 Iraqi children as justification to accomplish “regime change”.

Our invsaion of Iraq has resulted in over one million dead Iraqis several
thousand US military dead and or cippled for life and a couple of trillion
dollars according to Dr. Stiglitz.

At the present US military are in over 130 countries. Miltary operations
are on going in Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan men, women and children
die daily in those countries and will continue to be.

Mr. Hedges and Truthdig deserve kudos for their dedication to adding
to our appreciation of what we have become sad to admit.

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By RenZo, September 11, 2011 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Nationalism is a fundamentalist religion also.
It is shockingly naive to believe that “religion” is in any way ‘responsible’ for criminal behavior. Criminal behavior is a human activity, just as fundamentalism is a human belief system. The disease is seeing others as others and justifying it as scriptural.
What kind of prayers was the man in the picture mumbling as he fell?

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By Silence is Complicity, September 11, 2011 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

In my recollection of the worst terrorist attacks in all human history, I cannot think of one more savage and destructive than the US dropping nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

My question is this: Why anniversaries of such terrible events come and go, and no public crocodile tears are shed in commemoration!

My point is that the overblown commemoration of
9 /11 smacks of hypocritical false righteousness that speaks volumes about the evil crooked nature of those who are running the USA.

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By Leefeller, September 11, 2011 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

Cliff Carson nice post,... I remember one person who suggested the reasons for the attack on the Towers and his show got kicked off air,... but he is now on HBO!

Hedges envy fetish over Hitchens is becoming amusingly apparent.

As for diplomacy and peace, there is so much more money to be made in wars as compared to diplomacy’s.

Halliburton anyone!

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By Cliff Carson, September 11, 2011 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

So many good and useful comments on here, but one I especially want to agree with wholeheartedly is the September 11, 7:04 AM by Factfinder:

There are 4 reasons:
1. To get the U.S. out of Saudi Arabia. Mission accomplished.
If I may comment here Factfinder
This reason is so true.  It is the one reason that caused OBM to declare War on the United States.  And he publicly stated before the War that if the US placed a Military base on Saudi soil, he was going to war against America.  Don’t forget that until that time he had been a fighter in Afghanistan fighting as an ally of the U S.

2.  The U.S. support of Israel’s creeping takeover of lands assigned to Palestinian by the UN in 1948. This will come to a head when Palestine gains statehood.    So true, but:
Unfortunately Palestine won’t gain full statehood.  You may have noticed that the Obama Administration has stated that they will absolutely veto any resolution for Palestinian Statehood that is presented to the Security Council.  This is the only means to get UN Sanctioned full Statehood.
If you really dig deep in your research you will find that the new Nation Israel did not agree to borders for their new state because since their initial plan written in 1909, they planned to occupy the “Biblical” Israel which has much more far reaching borders than those laid out by the UN. The plan was to get Political control and then dispossess the Palestinians finally from all of “Biblical” Isreal.

3. U.S. creation of the Gulf War to liberate Kuwait from Iraq.
Yes.  Those that have done some research know that the United States sandbagged ( Lied) to Iraq on this issue.  The reason to invade Kuwait (Stealing Oil from the Iraqi RAMALLAH oil field by Kuwait) had been brought to the US attention by Saddam a full two years before the invasion.  Iraq asked the U S Government before the Invasion what would be their reaction if they invaded Kuwait in the event that Kuwait failed to stop the theft.  Saddam was told by April Glaspie, the United States Spokesperson given a message from Daddy Bush to deliver to Saddam, that the United States would stay out of the war.
It would be good to remember that the Oil Company doing the slant drilling to steal the Oil was an American Company.

4. The U.S. recruited of thousands of Mujaedeen to fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1979-91, after which the U.S. dropped its support for the Mujahedeen which allowed those thousands of trained and armed men to vent their anger against U.S. intervention in the Muslim world.

Yes and when the Taliban took over they eradicated the production of Opium Poppies depriving the Drug Lords of their International Drug Business.  Those that profit from the slow murder of human beings by providing illicit drugs have kinship with those who profit from wars.

It was a marriage of convenience.

Thank you Factfinder for your service.

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By David, September 11, 2011 at 8:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The 2004 U.S. Senate 9/11 Commission concluded that
the “animus” of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (the mastermind
of the 9/11 attacks) “toward the United States stemmed
not from his experiences there as a student, but
rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign
policy favoring Israel.”

In the same year the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board
released a report declaring that “Muslims do not hate
our freedom, but rather they hate our policies. The
overwhelming majority voice their objections to what
they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and
against Palestinian rights, and the long-standing,
even increasing, support for what Muslims collectively
see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia,
Jordan, Pakistan and the Gulf states.”

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By GoyToy, September 11, 2011 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

Regarding the references to Christopher Hitchens, are we talking about Hitches drunk or (seldom) sober? Just wondering…but a clarification would be nice.

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By James M. Martin, September 11, 2011 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

“The U.S. support of Israel’s creeping takeover of lands assigned to Palestinian by the UN in 1948. This will come to a head when Palestine gains statehood.” —factfinder

This will never happen, and wishing that it would will get you nowhere.  When I saw Mr. Hayes’ title, I assumed he would be announcing that religion is responsible for 99% of the evil in this world, and the other 1% don’t pay any taxes and make millions each year.  It is religion that drives Muslim terrorists, and it is religion that drives Christian terrorists: the abortion doctor killers and gay bashers and bullies of all sorts in the name of the Booble. Evangelicals are working to prevent peace in Palestine.  It does not harmonize with their fantasies about the Rupture.  I mean, rapture. One of the greatest ironies of the 9/11 celebrated on the Jersey Shore was a young singer sweetly singing John Lennon’s “Imagine.”  The whole point of that song is that some of us dream of a world where people do the right thing because they no longer believe in myth, superstition, and “God.”

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By prisnersdilema, September 11, 2011 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges correctly understands that our response to 911 was to commit national suicide.

Suddenly faced with a situation in which the delusions we live by could not be used adapt, we simply chose oblivion.

Yes, the elite would like to nationalize our feelings. To keep us looking outwardly instead of within.

Using, that pretext to destroy, this country by turning it into a flag waving police state. While advancing the corporate destruction of the lives of every American citizen.

They do not have the ability to fix this country, because it cannot be fixed as long as their evil selves are in charge, they are the problem.

We are ruled by madness, and madmen. Look what they have done to us. There can be only one result as long as they remain in control.

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By french man, September 11, 2011 at 7:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To raja1031: Some of the Atheists are as fundamentalists as some flavours of
Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians or Jews. As it is not about religion but about a
human attitude of being narrow minded. If you see the world in black and white,
you are one of those fundamentalists. If you have developed the eyesight to see the
huge spectrum in between the black and the white, then you have come to see what
it means to be Human. Then you realize that God is what you make of it. It is in you.
If you can’t find God in the Human spirit then you will never find the God I am
referring to.
God as understood by the fundamentalists of ANY denominations does NOT exist.
First figure out what it is you are looking for before you start your search.

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By lawrence fitton, September 11, 2011 at 7:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

imagine a 9/11 everyday. big cheese over here in the shining city on the hill.
a 9/11 day in afpak is common.
millions dead and millions suffering horribly from the bull-in-a-china-shop approached by the big brains in the pentagon and cia.
america has not destroyed two buildings but whole cultures. killed more of it’s own citizens than two airplanes did - more than double.
so today is a great day to celebrate our governments spectacular incompetence. it makes a body proud that the same incompetence is still running the show.
your money and blood for their wars.
that seems fair, no?

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By factfinder, September 11, 2011 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

It is incredible that some of the posters here are unaware of the reasons for the attacks against the U.S.

There are 4 reasons:
1. To get the U.S. out of Saudi Arabia. Mission accomplished.
2.  The U.S. support of Israel’s creeping takeover of lands assigned to Palestinian by the UN in 1948. This will come to a head when Palestine gains statehood.
3. U.S. creation of the Gulf War to liberate Kuwait from Iraq.
4. The U.S. recruited of thousands of Mujaedeen to fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1979-91, after which the U.S. dropped its support for the Mujahedeen which allowed those thousands of trained and armed men to vent their anger against U.S. intervention in the Muslim world.

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By traynorjf, September 11, 2011 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

I did not want to see that man falling through space. There were other,similar
pictures that morning on television. I stood with my wife in our living room in
North Carolina watching and it was this that jarred us into reality. But then it is
what I always see when I allow myself to think about it.

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By Ken Prazak, September 11, 2011 at 6:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: the youtube where Hitchens supposedly leaves Hedges speechless. Garbage. Hedges answers have been edited out. Obviously. Not even a good edit.

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By colin2626262, September 11, 2011 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges writes that the violence on 9/11 was “senseless and random”, but he also says it was American support for Israel and US bases in the Middle East and support for Arab dictators that caused the attacks.  So which one is it?  By the way, what an awful thing to say to one’s eleven-year-old son, teaching him how to curse others, teaching him how to hate. 

I agree with his critique of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, using 9/11 as a justification.  Those who started those wars are just as guilty, if not more so, than the terrorists.  The problem with Hedges is that he thinks he lives in a world in which God doesn’t care about us.  He thinks it’s a “morally neutral universe”.  This is what’s truly sad.

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By tony_opmoc, September 11, 2011 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

Cliff Carson,

Great post.

“Can anyone on this thread tell me what motivated the attack and who planned that attack?”

The attack was planned and executed by humans. You ask a great question that is very difficult to answer, unless you understand how the minds of psycopaths actually work, because the people who did this were almost certainly psycopaths who are devoid of any conscience.

The only way to prove who was responsible is to thoroughly investigate the crime and bring the suspected criminals to justice.

I am convinced that many of these criminals are controlling our governments at a very high level, but the only way to determine exactly who they are is through the normal processes of criminal investigation.

There is an obvious reason why this hasn’t happenned, and that is the Criminals are in Control of the Very Processes that Normally investigate Crime and produce Justice. It is entirely possible that this has happenned through a long period of Infiltration from evil forces completely opposed to traditional American culture and values.

Tony

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By Silence is Complicity, September 11, 2011 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

In my attempt to formulate a concise comment on Chris Hedges’ article, I could not find more suitable words than repeating Hedges own words in the title:

          “We are what we loathe!”

In other words, this is the ultimate hypocrisy and the worst type of moral failure!

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By french man, September 11, 2011 at 6:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges, helps us understand what media chooses to publish and why. Media
is an integral part of the power centre that want to consolidate control of the US. If
Americans are to be successful in keeping their Republic they must completely
disengage with the mass media and struggle to become aware of the reality of our
little planet.

Sure, there will come a time when there will be no earth let alone humans, but as
MLK said, “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still
plant my apple tree”. Do what is right, what comes after is none of our business.

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By Charles H. Green, September 11, 2011 at 6:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Back in 2006 I wrote about the corrosive effect on our trust of the media
generated by the refusal to acknowledge the jumpers.

http://trustedadvisor.com/trustmatters/trust-betrayal-and-the-9-11-jumpers-2

Chris is quite right.  We need to see the truth.

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By Cliff Carson, September 11, 2011 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

A most thought provoking commentary

When the planes hit my wife called her foot doctor and told her she would like to reschedule.

My wife’s doctor had a Teen Age son that was a very high achiever looking over a multitude of Scholarship offers.  His future was extremely promising.

Her boy decided that he was duty bound to answer the Bush call for Patriots to protect the United States from those who would destroy America.

My Grandson born of an Iraqi mother and my son asked me what I felt needed to be done.  I told them that before we started a war of revenge against unknown collaborators we surely needed to find out if this was an attack by a Country or if it was an attack by a small group not tied to any country.  I said we need to find out what motivated such an attack and seek to fix it if at all possible.

In the meantime, on September 12, 2001, the Bush crowd seized on the opportunity to implement the Project for a New American Century Plan, a Conservative think tank plot drawn up in the early 90’s to find reason to invade seven Mid-East Countries.  The missing ingredient was a “Patriotic Cause” to sell the public as the necessity to go to war.

The Doctor’s son would not listen to his mother, who began to smell a rat when Bush started blaming Iraq.  On the 12th of September, 2001 the Bush bunch formed the Office of Special Plans to interdict data from the CIA,FBI, Special Forces, etc. to route the data past the Pentagon and its normal channels, straight to the OSP for “filtering”.  The result was cherry picked bits of data that could be molded into a “documented cause” that could be used to propagandize the people of the United States into accepting Iraq as the perpetrator of the destruction of the towers.

The boy’s doctor was a friend of my wife and I, and we were dismayed that her son wouldn’t listen to reason, he immediately enlisted to march off and defend his country.

He was the first casualty from my state.  When he was brought back for burial, people lined both sides of the road, abreast, from the Funeral Home to his final resting place, a distance of four miles.  Most of them carried American flags.

Later our Doctor began a protest against the War and was with Cindy Sheehan many times at protest rallies.  Her defiance of the war, her insistence that it was a travesty, a manufactured war that was causing thousands and thousands of innocents to die, the morality of the United States to be cast aside, and demotion of the ordinary citizen rights, all for the profit of the few, caused her to become - not the mother of a son who’s life was surrendered in defense of his country, but a focus symbol to be reviled by the Conservative Faction of this country.

His death and thousands like him did help fatten the wallets of the Empire builders.  And she and Cindy Sheehan and those like her and Cindy became “traitors” in the eyes of the “Kill the Bastards” revenge herd.

During this time the Bush Propaganda team were able to convince about 70% of the American people that it was Iraq that brought terror to the United States.

Only the few sought the real reason behind the attack that September 11, 2001.

Can anyone on this thread tell me what motivated the attack and who planned that attack?

Who can you trust to speak the truth?

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Billy Pilgrim's avatar

By Billy Pilgrim, September 11, 2011 at 6:24 am Link to this comment

Hitchens is a hypocrite. He recently lauded Libyan
suicide bombers who attacked a military base. I guess
I’m just another moral relativist Hitchens despises.
Hitchens has created a new political type: the neo-
liberal chicken hawk. Hitchens is a better debater than
Hedges; it doesn’t mean Hitchens’ ideas are correct,
however. Truthdig posters should get over the picture.
Would you be happier if the web site posted pictures of
dead Iraqi children?

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By tony_opmoc, September 11, 2011 at 6:19 am Link to this comment

factfinder,

I studied physics and maths to a high level at a UK university 40 years ago.

Congratulations on your studies of Hindu sages and what they have known for the last 5,000 years. I have also travelled extensively through India.

But the fundamental laws of physics and maths were established long before you and I were born.

Now go off and perform the Indian Rope Trick and believe whatever nonsense you wish.

Tony

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By ma77hew, September 11, 2011 at 6:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh oh don’t break my snow globe view of 9/11, don’t make me read why this mind
expanding photo is used. Just let me hold on to my preconceived notions and
emotions so I can make split second judgements from my ignorance…

TIme to grow up folks and really look at reality and challenge your view of HIstory
the Empire.

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By Ray Duray, September 11, 2011 at 6:10 am Link to this comment

I’m feeling really bummed out that Chris Hedges apparently has not read this useful and well documented discussion:

http://911truth.org/article.php?story=20041221155307646

Article Title: THE TOP 40 REASONS TO DOUBT THE OFFICIAL STORY OF SEPTEMBER 11th, 2001

... An outline in simple talking points ...

Now this document has been around since 2006 and there just isn’t any excuse for Chris Hedges to not know and understand these facts.

Based on these facts, it is very hard for an intelligent person to not reach the conclusion that millions of people already have that the people who have benefited in the billions of dollars from the Global War on Terror are the prime suspects for being the perpetrators of the heinous acts of 9/11/01.

Yet Mr. Hedges seems completely oblivious to this rather obvious line of inquiry. Why is that, Mr. Hedges?

I’m reminded of one of Winston Churchill’s favorite quips, “most people, sometime in their lives, stumble across truth. Most jump up, brush themselves off, and hurry on about their business as if nothing had happened.”

The simple truth is that 9/11 was an inside job and that our society is having none of it.

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RenZo's avatar

By RenZo, September 11, 2011 at 6:04 am Link to this comment

Bravo, bravissimo
All true. I emphasize that all the crimes that lead desperate men to suicide bomb the Towers, as well as all the crimes committed against ‘the others’ since then, in revenge, all of them, all of them, were done in OUR NAME.
Not done by us in the US, but by our electeds who did them in OUR NAME. We will bear the guilt and suffer the consequences.
Hedges points out that suicide-jumping from the building has much in common with suicide bombing; both are the acts of desperation and powerlessness. How can this be left out of the narrative? How can we suborn the self perjury as we celebrate this day as “Patriot’s Day”?
The heroes were Emergency Responders, not the soldiers who exacted revenge. This should be a day of shame for US who made others hate US so much that suicide was reasonable to them.

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By JohannG, September 11, 2011 at 6:02 am Link to this comment

“The sad legacy of 9/11 is that the assholes, on each
side, won.”
You won’t find that inscription at the 9/11 Memorial in
NYC, but it is an accurate summary of what transpired
during the last 10 years.

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By David J. Cyr, September 11, 2011 at 5:45 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, Chris Hedges:

“We do not grasp that Osama bin Laden’s twisted vision of a world of indiscriminate violence and terror has triumphed. The attacks turned us into monsters, grotesque ghouls, sadists and killers who drop bombs on village children and waterboard those we kidnap, strip of their rights and hold for years without due process.”
_____________________

Hedges joins Cheney, in giving so much undeserved credit to bin Laden.

Was it bin Laden who performed human experiments upon cities full of defenseless civilians, by dropping atomic bombs to see if it might be true that only the shadows of some victims would remain, and to study how great the suffering would be for those too far away from Ground Zero to have been instantly evaporated?

Was it bin Laden who established JFK’s university, The School of the America’s, to provide advanced degrees of education for the military officers of foreign dictatorships — a school still today ever perfecting the methods of exterminating democratic insurgencies? Is bin Laden responsible for liberal America’s export of state-sponsored terror, torture, and murderous political repression, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, for decades upon decades before 9/11?

Was it bin Laden’s “Best and the Brightest” idea to use the industrial scale slaughter of millions of Southeast Asian peasants to provide higher wage jobs for American factory workers — thereby purchasing their life-long (D) dedication to the corporate party?

The American people were regularly and reliably providing the corporate (R) & (D) party with popular mandates for American monstrosities to be routinely committed in their name, long before Americans ever heard of Bin Laden.

Osama bin Laden is not responsible for liberal America being loathsome.

http://www.chenangogreens.org

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By factfinder, September 11, 2011 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

All you people who are complaining about the picture used with the article are deliberately avoiding the crux of the story. You are attempting to create a red herring counter argument to avoid having to acknowledge (or even deal with) the story’s main points.

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By factfinder, September 11, 2011 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

Tony_opmoc said, “If some story contradicts the fundamental laws of physics and maths then it didn’t happen that way.

This, of course, is nonsense.

Scientists are still in the process of discovering what those “fundamental laws of physics and maths” are. New laws are being added and old ones discarded daily, especially in the astrophysics world.

Tony, have you heard of black holes? They are at the edge of space/time where space/time laws don’t apply. This is the main reason they are still a mystery to people like you. They have been, however, well-known to Hindu sages for the last 5,000 years who use methods that go beyond the limits of space/time.

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By myna lee johnstone, September 11, 2011 at 5:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Falling Man photograph is now a classic.
I see it as the best of the photos on 9/11
@ Darth Miffy has commented nicely on it.
There is grace and beauty and even dignity here.
Yes, we don’t really think of the thump at the end
We are captivated by the free fall and the reminder of what has happened
I saw a film called the Falling Man, featuring this.
The photo links us to our human journey in all its aspects, the way no other does.
Also, it shows a brave choice, given the situation.
You end with the assholes on each side won, yeah, i guess they did for awhile but either we are with them or we are with all the goodness humanity is capable of expressing,

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By factfinder, September 11, 2011 at 5:28 am Link to this comment

It is an annual surprise to me that Americans have not figured out that the so-called 9/11 incidents are only examples of the consequences of the war(s) that the U.S. has perpetrated on the world. It is unrealistic for the U.S. to kill, traumatize, dislocate, and otherwise interfere in the lives of millions of people around the world and not expect a reaction in kind, which is what the 9/11 incidents were.

When the U.S. population gets around to appreciating that the  9/11 incidents were consequences of their country’s meddling in the lives of others and that the traumas of 9/11 are only a tiny fraction of  the traumas suffered by many hundreds of thousands of victims of U.S. hubris and greed, then action might be taken to make their country a cooperative, peaceful, and interactive piece of the global mosaic.

Currently, the U.S. is a failed country going through its death throes and a world pariah. Not a good image.

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By tony_opmoc, September 11, 2011 at 5:27 am Link to this comment

Great article as far as it went, and I do have a lot of respect for Chris Hedges. Yes I did Macbeth too, but I also did physics and maths.

Shakespeare is great, and part of its beauty is that it is open to interpretation.

Fundamental physics and maths just are. They are not open to interpretation. If some story contradicts the fundamental laws of physics and maths then it didn’t happen that way.

The Official Story of 9/11 is impossible.

Chris Hedges should have stayed awake in class and worked hard at the difficult stuff.

I don’t doubt his courage. He is simply wrong to believe the impossible story.

Try this one instead

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/09/10/911-cover-and-deception-the-phony-hijackers/

Its stronger and more horrific than Macbeth

Tony

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By ardee, September 11, 2011 at 5:25 am Link to this comment

I add my voice to those who express regret that TD posted that picture.

I express my puzzlement at those who criticize this articles author for ideological reasons, especially today, the tenth anniversary of this enormous expression of rage against the US empire. The big picture is forever being lost by some it seems.

I express hope that future generations will end the reasons that some do what these nineteen were driven to do ten years ago today.

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By factfinder, September 11, 2011 at 5:22 am Link to this comment

It is an annual surprise to me that Americans have not figured out that the so-called 9/11 incidents are only examples of the consequences of the war(s) that the U.S. has perpetrated on the world. It is unrealistic for the U.S. to kill, traumatize, dislocate, and otherwise interfere in the lives of millions of people around the world and not expect a reaction in kind, which is what the 9/11 incidents were.

When the U.S. population gets around to appreciating that the  9/11 incidents were consequences of their country’s meddling in the lives of others and that the traumas of 9/11 are only a tiny fraction of  the traumas suffered by many hundreds of thousands of victims of U.S. hubris and greed, then action might be taken to make their country a cooperative, peaceful, and interactive piece of the global mosaic.

Right now, the U.S. is a failed country and a world pariah.

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Ronald Thomas West's avatar

By Ronald Thomas West, September 11, 2011 at 5:19 am Link to this comment

“The attacks, if we had turned them over to intelligence agencies and diplomats,
might have opened possibilities..”

Chris, ‘intelligence agencies’ are the problem, not the solution (another case of
truthdig needs to dig deeper, WAY deeper)

“When the evidence is there, it is conspiracy fact, not theory”

http://www.scribd.com/doc/58874314/When-the-Evidence-is-There-it-s-
Conspiracy-Fact-not-Theory

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, September 11, 2011 at 5:18 am Link to this comment

DarthMiffy:

Couldn’t have said it any better. Hijacked we are and flying our national plane toward a horrible disaster if we don’t do what those brave men and women did on United 93. The hijackers sit smugly in their protected palaces and laugh about how they have won the war (Warren Buffet). Isn’t it time we proved them wrong and took back our country, our heritage? The longer we wait, the harder it will be to succeed. Now is the time to act.

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By bogi666, September 11, 2011 at 5:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just as the Yiddish proverb advises “choose your enemies well for you will become just like them”. That’s all that needs to be said,the USG has become just like “them” those we loath.

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By DarthMiffy, September 11, 2011 at 4:59 am Link to this comment

Finishing the thought…
“We” were hijacked as thoroughly as the victims in the planes of 9/11.

Some had no knowledge and crashed into the targets. One plane had
knowledge of the situation (which we all do, today, ten years later), and
have the option of taking action.
So, what’s it going to be, people?

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By DarthMiffy, September 11, 2011 at 4:43 am Link to this comment

This photo was in another article (forget where) written by people who
knew the man falling. They praised him for taking what was, to their
knowledge of him, a characteristically graceful acceptance, a strong
personal statement, of his final moments. They loved him for his courage
and presence of mind. This is not a disgraceful photo. We could all wish to
have his courage. It’s a great photo, and a favorite of mine.

Wish we had chosen the road in the final paragraph of CH’s article. “We”,
however, were hijacked.

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kerryrose's avatar

By kerryrose, September 11, 2011 at 4:14 am Link to this comment

I completely agree that TruthDig should never have used the picture of a man falling to his death as an accompaniment to an article.

Someone knows that man.  That man chose quick death over horrible suffering.  This man’s flight toward death does not, in any way, illustrate a journalist’s article about 9-11, and to use him in this way is exploitative and disgusting.

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By Lafayette, September 11, 2011 at 4:05 am Link to this comment

THE ARAB SPRING

{Kana: I have often wondered, during these 10 years, when would Americans get around to asking the hard questions as to why this happened in the first place.

Americans need to search out, understand, and then take a fair portion of the responsibility for 9/11 as a result of their country’s crazy and prejudiced foreign policy in the Middle East.}

In a sense, I must agree. What motivated the 911 Yemenite and Saudi hijackers was Uncle Sam’s undivided support of Israel, come what may. Fortunately, the EU has undertaken to support the Palestinians, which means at least that they are not alone.

Still, Americans should not misunderstand how easily, to the simple minds of those youths who are recruited as kamikaze bombers, it is to link the desperation of Palestinians to America by means of Israel – and thus justify their actions against the American Devil.

POST SCRIPTUM

With the Arab Spring, the tables have turned in many nations that surround Israel. For which, Israeli leadership is finding that its options are considerably reduced and most of them unfavorable in one manner or another. One might hope that this consternation of the Israeli Leadership (which is on the Nationalist Right) will prompt the “Peace with Palestine” contingent in Israel to sue for peace.

Land for and recognition of a Palestinian Nation against the guaranty of peace for Israelis. (This is actually a win-win situation, since Israel has a real need for a low-cost Palestinian workforce to which it can subcontract some production processes.)

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By Dr Bones, September 11, 2011 at 3:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I posted some key words on other websites and was censored for poor taste….

Project for New American Century, Curve Ball, sexed up intelligence, yellow cake, Joe Wilson & Valerie Plame, mushroom clouds & smoking guns, aluminum tubes, Necons, Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive strike, Pat Tillman, water-boarding, torture, enhanced interrogation methods, Abu Grihab, secret renditions, secret prisons, black sites, Black Water, Fallujah, yellow pete, depleted uranium, impeachment is off the table, time to Look Forward – Not Back, War is Peace, Mission Accomplished.

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By Lafayette, September 11, 2011 at 3:51 am Link to this comment

CH: 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.

Well done, CH.

I had not realized the enormity of the mass-suicide. Suicide, methinks, is a final act of desperate courage. I am not sure I could demonstrate such bravery in those circumstances.

Two French brothers were filming the crew of the one fire-station near Ground Zero on 911 that suffered no causalities. (What a miracle, though many have since died.) The footage of one of the planes that entered the second tower is quite by chance.

Jules Nardet was filming the tower when the plane crashed into it. It is impossible to imagine how this was “staged” as some web-sites claim. Yet again Conspiracy Kooks are fomenting their tiresome nonsense.

I am sure Nardet also filmed the jumpers but here too in France that footage is not being shown.

POST SCRIPTUM

And let’s not forget that the Bush Administration gave Ground Zero a clean bill of health, when in fact, the area should have been evacuated and the clean-up effort undertaken only under very tight processes protecting the workers.

Firemen to this day are still dieing from the aftereffects of the toxic waste at Ground Zero. No wonder BushII does not dare ever go there.

Once again, his Administration demonstrates the callous negligence that pervaded its operations. Katrina was a sad sequel to Leadhead’s governmental ineptitude.

And we, the sheeple, should vote this party back into the White House next year? Well, surprisingly and stupidly, maybe “Yes, we can!”

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By mvonballmo, September 11, 2011 at 3:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

> who seized the three commercial jetliners a decade ago

It’s been ten years, but weren’t there *four* jetliners?

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By Marian Griffith, September 11, 2011 at 2:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Kanamachi
—I have often wondered, during these 10 years, when would Americans get around to asking the hard questions as to why this happened in the first place.—

This kind of introspection into your own failures and how, while they by no means justify what is done, might have inspired crimes commited against you requires a certain maturity and, for lack of better word, grandness of spirit.
But the USA has a culture in place that promotes narrowmindedness and self-righteousness. Far from showing what is needed the representatives behave like children bickering on the playground over whose turn it is to play with the ball, who see being elected as a means to gather personal wealth rather as the obligation to serve the country as a whole (and not just those who funded their campaigns).
The media promote the same self-centered world view, the ‘us versus them’ mentality. And the dehumanising of all disagreement has become so much of a norm that we are not even really aware of it anymore.

For a country to look deep into itself, its motivations and its actions without flinching you need somebody to lead it there, a person of unquestioned moral authority who can confront us with the harsh truths about ourselves without triggering the mental self defenses we all erect around ourselves to function in the dichotomy of a morally grey reality and a black and white ideal of it.
Sadly such people are very rare, and in a country that is so culturally scattered as the USA is nowadays it may well be impossible to find one that appeals to a population so steeped in the habit of dividing the country in an angelic us and a demonic them. Just look at the hatred that is shown even in these comments at anybody who voices a differing opinion. It seems that no disagreement can be written without resorting to insults and casting asperity on the motives of those who are not ‘us’,

And I think that while that state lasts there will be no introspection, and no escape from being easily manipulated by those who know to say the right words to make the population not just do, but fanatically -believe-. I can only hope it will not take world war 3 to get us all out of this state of mindless frenzy.

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By diamond, September 11, 2011 at 2:17 am Link to this comment

Hitchens is loud but he’s rarely if ever right - about anything. He was wrong about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan he was wrong to defend and support two of the biggest war criminals that ever lived -Bush and Cheney. 9/11 sent him off the deep end and he’s never recovered. Even volunteering to be waterboarded didn’t bring him to his senses but at least he admitted it was torture. Of course being the way he is, he couldn’t go the final step and admit that the war on terror is a disaster and morally indefensible.

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THX 1133 is not in the movie...'s avatar

By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., September 11, 2011 at 2:07 am Link to this comment

Bin Laden was successful beyond his wildest dreams; the
U.S. was indeed destroyed on that day; not just two symbols of western criminal capitalism.
Blow-back is indeed a bitch…

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By MikeB, September 11, 2011 at 1:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Why does Hedges ALWAYS manage to get a shot in about Hitchens or atheists?”

Because he can’t get over the ass-whupping Hitchens gave him during a debate:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_t64qS-GH8&feature=related

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Kanamachi's avatar

By Kanamachi, September 11, 2011 at 1:05 am Link to this comment

Amid all the retelling of the many horrific stories of those who were affected by
events on 9/11 ten years on, Chris Hedges reminds us here that there is more
to the story.

I have often wondered, during these 10 years, when would Americans get
around to asking the hard questions as to why this happened in the first place.

Bush’s wasteful and murderous war in Iraq and the pointless venture in
Afghanistan — both of which have killed thousands more then died on 9/11 in
New York — have diverted American’s attention and has contributed to not only
unbridled nationalism but the kind of fanatic conservatism we see in the land
today.

Americans need to search out, understand, and then take a fair portion of the
responsibility for 9/11 as a result of their country’s crazy and prejudiced
foreign policy in the Middle East.

A policy that supports a nuclear power that has forgotten its own down trodden
and humble roots and with America’s tacit approval violates human rights and
international law at will.

A policy that treats the other side as totally responsible for just about
everything wrong in the area; a state of affairs that many other nations, finding
enough blame on all sides to go around, take a more balanced view toward and
perhaps as a result have never drawn the ire of these so-called terrorist groups.

The United States allows these people to be treated worse then dogs, then
howls when the dog bites back.

A recent trip to the US confirmed to me just how far out of touch the American
people are regarding 9/11.

Now with the economy down the drain, one would be excused from thinking
that the day when American’s takes this hard look at themselves, instead of
focussing only on what happened to them, is indeed a long ways off.

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By Konundrum, September 11, 2011 at 12:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“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.”

This is right on point, we threw away our chance at diplomacy in the Muslim world, to really make those deaths promote human progress.

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By Marshall, September 11, 2011 at 12:54 am Link to this comment

One-note Hedges writes the same article again and again - about how the world’s
ills are caused by the loathsome country that infests the north american continent
like a hideous virus.  This is Janeane Garofalo if she had writing skills.  But it’s old
and its boring and I’m so done with hedges.

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By xraymike79, September 11, 2011 at 12:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is the best essay for the 10th anniversary of 9-11 I have read. Still to this day the MSM paints this tragic event as Hedges describes it—a tool to stoke nationalism and justify our global war on terror.
If you’re a fan of Donnie Darko, you’ll love this video mix which shows the hypocrisy of one particular Nobel peace price recipient and the bloodlust for war that is our nation’s unwavering and unreflective rule:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVuh4AiZ-VY

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DieDaily's avatar

By DieDaily, September 11, 2011 at 12:07 am Link to this comment

What a beautiful, thoughtful, accurate and unsettling
article.

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By Robespierre115, September 11, 2011 at 12:00 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges is once again a voice of wisdom in a society going insane.

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By raja1031, September 10, 2011 at 11:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why does Hedges ALWAYS manage to get a shot in about Hitchens or atheists?  It’s like he has an itch that just won’t go away no matter how hard he scratches.

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By Shane, September 10, 2011 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yer an ass for posting this picture.

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