Friday, September 9, 2011
What has America learned since 9/11?
At the risk of subjecting myself to the ridicule of dozens of people who will say my post here is "anti-American" or suggest I am "using the hallowed anniversary of an attack on our soil for political purposes", I feel the need to say this upfront: I am very proud to be an American.
I am a dying breed of patriot, one who still believes in the power of democracy and who believes the American people are strong enough to rise from the stupor of this long national nightmare and reclaim the power that was vested in them by our Constitution. We are a hard working people with core values of honesty, goodness and decency that will sustain us.
I humbly suggest it is the responsibility of all citizens to question the authority of our leaders and of reporters to hold people in power accountable for the things they say and do. That's what I am trying to do here.
I love my country, in no small part because I am free to criticize it when I feel criticism is warranted. Criticism has been warranted for a very long time. The thoughts expressed here are not just mine, but they are thoughts rarely seen or heard by the public.
The media will not allow these kind of ideas to be heard on the airwaves or read on its pages because they're too "radical" or "liberal" to be granted airspace or ink. These opinions run contrary to the prevailing wisdom of our time. They might provoke some Americans to think for their own about the events of 9/11.
The mainstream media, which has morphed into an overbearing Ministry of Propaganda in the last 10 years, would never countenance the position I am advocating.
Without an ounce of cynicism, I believe we have not learned much in the 10 years since that fateful day. We remain as scared of terrorism as we ever were, despite spending untold, unaccountable billions of dollars chasing rumors and phantoms.
I believe a large majority of Americans are fed-up with fighting a never-ending war but that their voices are never acknowledged in the media because the media has become part of the national problem. The media no longer serves the public or the search for truth. It placates the masses with pablum and serves only the needs of its corporate masters, who care only about the bottom line.
The media are now linked, thanks to the decision by President Reagan to allow large corporations to own media outlets, to larger corporations that are part and parcel of the military industrial complex. The nation was warned about the increasing power of such corporations by a Republican president, Dwight Eisenhower, more than 50 years ago. But the mainstream media has done such an effective job of scaring the people about terrorists that Eisenhower's warnings have fallen on deaf ears.
I believe the war on terror was drummed up by the Bush administration because it knew such a war would be highly profitable to some of the administration's most important "clients", the same arms manufacturers, weapons developers and armed forces service companies who make meals and sew uniforms for men and women in the armed forces. They are the same corporate entities who contribute millions of dollars into Republican campaign coffers to keep them in office and who also work hard to manipulate the mainstream media to spin the war on terror in a way that keeps their profits rolling in.
Never-ending war is good for business, but bad for the people who have to fight it. When will Americans finally learn our corporate masters don't care about people? They care not about the people who are defending American economic interests overseas nor the tens of thousands of foreign peoples who are killed in our never ending wars. They care only about profit.
Americans still don't know the reasons behind 9/11. We have been told on numerous occasions by both the terrorists themselves and by some of our own policy makers who risked telling the truth after 9/11. Our military presence around the world is offensive to many foreign people, especially those who live in the Middle East. They don't trust us; they don't trust our desire for and our reliance on a non-renewable energy source that is becoming increasingly rare, oil.
But their voices were ignored. They were ignored because their opinions didn't serve the purposes of the corporate mainstream media or of the arms manufacturers and multi-national corporations that own the media. Their opinions were stilled, kept quiet, so as not to rock the boat or distract listeners from the drumbeat of war. George Orwell predicted this would happen in his classic novel of totalitarianism, 1984. We have ignominiously achieved his vision.
How many Americans know our defense budget is more than six times larger than what the Chinese spend defending their nation?
How many Americans know that the nation has more than 700 military bases around the world? That the bases located in Saudi Arabia were the primary reason why Osama bin Laden, who is a Saudi, planned the 9/11 attacks on America in the first place?
What percentage of Americans know that 15 of the 19 terrorists who flew planes into the World Trade center and the Pentagon were citizens of our closest allie, Saudi Arabia? Why are Americans unable to connect the dots and understand those Arabian youth were easily manipulated and drawn to the message of jihad hatred because of the oppressive American military presence on their homeland?
How many Americans know that many people around the world -- even many of our own allies -- regard the imperial power of the United States as a very dangerous threat to world peace or that they fear us because of the way we have acted since 9/11?
Why don't Americans know these things? When have you read anything even remotely "liberal" that raises these issues in a newspaper, or on television or heard them on a radio talk show? We are forced into a lockstep of patriotism by our media. We are not encouraged to question the prevaling wisdom espoused by our media.
It is time to ask ourselves why and to do something about it.
What have we learned in the 10 years since 9/11?
You tell me.
But before you answer that question ask yourself another one: How would you feel if the Arabs had military bases in America? What would you do to an imperial power who was occupying your homeland?
Answer that question and then tell me: what have we learned?
For more information on this subject, watch this George Pappas documentary, "Orwell Rolls In His Grave" here: