Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Posts Tagged ‘9/11

Burning consulates, dead Americans, it’s a real war scare dear readers, and it could get a lot worse

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I’m proud of how Americans responded to 9/11, especially New Yorkers and their first responders. They are true heroes. For the most I’m disgusted and ashamed of how our government and media and pundits responded to 9/11, they dishonoured the memory of those who died that day. It’s a distinction lost on some people I fear, but just clearing it up for those who can appreciate it. God bless!     —Doug Stych

One of the people being Steve, who blew a gasket over my 9/11 post. No offence was meant, I have friends in New York City, but apparently plenty was taken. I’m flattered in a way. His comment does reveal one thing global though, tensions are very high right now both in the USA abroad, especially the Middle East. And events of the past few days culminating in the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in the deaths of four Americans, has brought things to a very serious level.

So what the hell went down in Libya? The more or less “official” version in the mainstream western media is some variation of “those crazy Muslims rioting over an insult to their religion killed a bunch of Americans.” This does not really appear to be the case, even in the mainstream versions. Yes, there was anti-American demonstrations because a trailer of a mysterious anti-Muslim movie was translated into Arabic. In Egypt a handful of demonstrators climbed over the US embassy wall, tore down an American flag, and replaced it with an Islamic banner. Islamic slogans were painted on the walls of the embassy. It wasn’t really that big a deal, and we are only talking a few thousand demonstrators out of millions of Egyptians. In Libya, yes, there appear to have been demonstrators. However, at some point a group of professional fighters of unknown allegiance attacked the American consulate in Benghazi. It was a military style attack using RPGs and assault rifles, ten Libyan security troops died defending the consulate before they pulled back in the face of the superior attacking force. The attackers apparently attacked in two directed waves, one directed at the consulate, the second directed at the Americans trying to flee the consulate. Who were these attackers? We don’t know. The Libyan government’s response? They have vowed to bring the attackers to justice.

What the hell is going on here? Damned if I know. What I do know is that many people in the west are rushing to judgment and simply blaming Islam and or Libyans in general for the violence. All I can say is that clearly is what both the attackers, and the people who made the film intended. We can only wonder at the actual motivations of either, until further information comes out. Assuming us worms will ever know in the first place. It’s been suggested the attack was the work of Al Qaeda. Other armed factions in Libya could be responsible. Former Qaddafi loyalists could be responsible. What we do know is that leaders around the globe are now both telling their security people “Find out who is behind this attack NOW,” while simultaneously asking their most trusted advisers “Does this present a danger to us, can we take advantage of it, what can we do?” Some nations may skip the first step. Things like this in the past have led to much bigger wars, this one sure could.

It’s a war scare alright, maybe the biggest since the Russia/Georgia war. There’s things that have ratcheted up the tension, the US election campaign, the US’s current strained  relations with Israel, Israel’s almost strident calling for war with Iran, the mysterious “movie” that seems clearly designed to inflame tensions in the Islamic world, the as yet unsolved bombing of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, and the ongoing strife in Syria, and to a lesser extent in Libya, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Tensions were already running high when this Libya thing happened, and several of these factors seem to be deliberate attempts to stoke the flames by unknown agencies for unknown purpose. I am talking about the Bulgaria attack, the attack on the US Consulate, and the mysterious movie. It is safe to say that whoever is behind each is not trying to foster peace and understanding in the Middle East. This is why it’s a serious war scare, there’s some people trying to fan the flames of war.

I hope people don’t jump to conclusions, but they already are of course, seeing all sorts of Islamic hate speech on Facebook. The Drudge Report is outdoing itself. And demonstrations outside the American embassy in Egypt continue. I hope cooler heads prevail. I may update this post if the situation develops rapidly from here.  Feedback welcome.

(The above image is floating around Facebook, so I hope I’m using it legally. Not for profit, etc. Photograph credit: Chris Kotsiopoulos. For a larger version: It’s multiple lightning strikes over twenty minutes combined into a single ex posure. If I saw something like that, yeah, I’d worry. I’m a little worried.)


Written by unitedcats

September 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm

9/11, eleven years on, can we stop picking at the scab now?

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It’s the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 crime, when a tiny band of extremists flew airplanes into buildings in NY and Washington. Here we are eleven years later, still picking at the national scab. There is zero chance anyone alive that day is going to forget, so I for one am really really tired of the endless memorializing that still surrounds this event more than a decade later. Or look at it this way, if a family you knew was brutally murdered by criminals, would you and your friends relive the event every year on the anniversary of their deaths? Is that what they would have wanted? Of course not, they would have wanted their friends and family to mourn their deaths … and move on with their lives. We live our lives for the living, not for the dead.  Making 9/11 a part of our national identity is a victory for Al Qaeda and Bin Laden, they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams with the enthusiastic cooperation of our sensation obsessed media … encouraged by a interventionist war-profiteering cabal in Washington.

That’s the real crime of 9/11, a crime that dwarfs that of Bin Laden. Within hours the militarists and neocon interventionists in Washington were creaming in their pants, because 9/11 was the biggest blank check warmongers had ever been handed in the USA. If we had had real leadership in Washington, our leaders would have urged us to mourn and move on, and our only response to 9/11 would have been to harden cockpit doors and hunt down Bin Laden like the cockroach he was. And, God willing, maybe even look at ourselves and how our policies in the Middle East inspired Bin Laden to take up arms against America in the first place. Nope, just endless flag waving, endless demonizing of Muslims (99.999% of whom aren’t terrorists,) and  endless fear-mongering. To this day just as many Americans are afraid of terrorists as they were the day after 9/11, even though the intervening decade has shown that lightning and shark attack are far more likely to kill Americans in the USA than terrorist attacks. In fact most of the terror victims in the USA since 9/11 have been American Muslims and Sikhs killed by their vengeful American neighbours.

Yet eleven years later the spending goes on, the expansion of government and the military goes on, the erosion of our freedoms in the name of security goes on, and the endless wars inspired by 9/11 go on. The only war that didn’t go on was Iraq, because the Iraqis kicked us out. And every year we have annual tear jerking ceremonies to celebrate the day when we turned into a nation of cowards and let a madman from Saudi Arabia dictate our foreign policy and insinuate himself into our national  identity. To endlessly eulogize the dead of 9/11 is to make Bin Laden immortal and give comfort to our enemies, is this really what Americans want? How many Americans can remember the name of a single American killed that day? How many Americans will remember Bin  Laden’s name until the day they die?

I rest my case.

(The above image is from a  friend in Egypt, where, like most people in the Middle East, their view is a bit different than the typical American’s. They don’t hate us for our freedoms, the Arab Springs bears that out; they hate our wars and meddling in the Middle East. Note I didn’t say they hate us for our wars, they mourn our dead too as the above graphic shows. God rest the souls of all who died that day, but it’s time to move on.)

Written by unitedcats

September 11, 2012 at 11:28 am

Posted in History, Propaganda, Terrorism

Tagged with

9/11 Truthers Ride Again

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I see there have been a lot of comments on my previous two 9/11 Truther posts. I haven’t even been reading them to be honest, though I will at some point. Maybe. Primarily because I don’t want to get upset or cause hard feelings, people do seem to get emotional around 9/11 conspiracy theories. And since I am still experiencing blunted affect as a result of my stroke, anything involving emotion is a minefield for me. Also, I seriously doubt anyone is going to say anything I haven’t heard before. Lastly because I like to examine things from original principles, so I have been keeping my mind clear while I give 9/11 more thought. Or thoughts …

I’m still amazed at the conviction of 9/11 Truthers. Suspecting there is a conspiracy is one thing, being absolutely convinced that your explanation is the only possible explanation is something else entirely. This is another reason why I am not terribly inclined to debate with Truthers, debating with people who can’t imagine that they are wrong is generally not very productive, though sometimes it does lead to new lines of inquiry. I’ve made it very clear there is evidence that could convince me it was an inside job. Apparently, correct me if I’m wrong, there is no evidence that could convince a Truther that the buildings collapsed as a result of natural forces.

Speaking of natural forces, one of the arguments Truthers often make is that “it’s basic physics.” Um, no, it’s not. Not at all. These were very large buildings subject to unique events. Tons of structural details. All sorts of unknowns. It’s not like anyone has ever flown jet aircraft into buildings as part of any scientific study. This is not basic physics, it’s expert physics. Which means even the experts are going to have trouble parsing this event, and lay people have no chance. Even a cursory glance at any discussion between experts in the field bears this out. So, um, anyone who says that somehow “basic physics” proves their point in this debate is well, ignorant at best. Dishonest at worst.

Which, to be honest, I’ve been guilty of myself. For years Truthers have been telling me that the fact that these buildings “fell into their own footprints” is proof they were deliberately demolished. And I have rejoindered with some variation of  “basic physics says that is the only way these buildings could collapse.” Well, after reviewing the various collapse videos, I was wrong. These buildings, particularly the first tower that collapsed, most definitely did not collapse into their own footprints. The top part of it was almost perpendicular to the street when the rest of it started down. Yes, when the buildings ultimately completely failed, most of the motion was straight down as the huge masses involved would suggest, but all sorts of stuff happened first, and during. From some video angles, yes, the buildings came straight down. From others, all sorts of shit was going on. These collapses were much messier than the “collapsed into their own footprints” meme.

So, um, I’m less impressed by the Truther position than before I opened this can of worms. And eager to move along. Still, a commenter took the trouble to email me their answers to the questions I posed on my last 9/11 Truther post. I was hoping my skeptical commenters would field those, but alas I didn’t express that explicitly. So, gentle reader and commenter, I would be terribly remiss if I didn’t respond to your answers, and I will dedicate a post to that in the near future. Could be fun, and since I haven’t looked at your answers yet, maybe I will be blown away and have to review my thinking. It’s happened before.

(The above image of Tower Two “collapsing into its own footprint” speaks for itself.)

Written by unitedcats

January 25, 2012 at 6:08 am

9/11 … The Maddened Elephant

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Just a few more hours and the tenth anniversary of 9/11 will be history. Of course in a  sense 9/11 will never be over, we have entire institutions and wars devoted to the memory of 9/11, and they aren’t going to slip quietly into the night. In a way, and not a good way, 9/11 is becoming a cult. I’m sick of it. 9/11 was like a rat biting an elephant on the snout. Yeah, it hurt like hell, and yeah it pissed us off. And we should have squashed the rat and carried on. Instead, we have spent ten years trumpeting and snorting wildly, wreaking havoc around us and wearing ourselves into exhaustion in the process. And even though a few months back we finally trampled on the rat that bit us, there’s no sign of an end to the madness.

Sigh. I’ve avoided most of the news today, but I did catch that Obama said that 9/11 “made us stronger.” No surprise there, this is the guy who claimed that Navy Seals gunning down an unarmed old man in his PJs was one of the “greatest military operations in US history.” Obama’s ability to utter the most egregious nonsense while appearing sober and presidential is what got him elected, and he’s clearly not lost his touch.

No, 9/11 did not make us stronger. Or to be more accurate, our response to 9/11 did not make us stronger, it made us weaker. The Bush administration and a compliant media encouraged the USA to hysterically over-react to 9/1, and we paid and are still paying a terrible price for it. A price in both treasure and blood, a price vastly greater than our losses on that day ten years ago. And the horrors we have inflicted on other lands in the name of 9/11, are these the actions of a Christian nation?

Our costs though. In treasure, it’s been enormous. Three trillion dollars at least for the cost of our wars and increased homeland “security.” And even if we ended the War on Terror tomorrow, there would still be trillions more to go in terms of veteran’s care in decades to come. This is money we didn’t have, it was borrowed from our grandchildren, plain and simple. There’s not any question that we got almost no economic benefit from this spending, aside from obscenely enriching the arms and security industry. This added debt is a huge part of why our economy is on the ropes, how the hell does piles of debt make a nation stronger?

Then there’s the cost in blood. Several tens of thousands of Americans have been killed and maimed in our wars, the actual numbers are muddy because the Pentagon works very hard to conceal and obfuscate them. And hundreds of thousands more veterans will have permanent psychological issues and trauma from their service, about one in three combat veterans never really get over it in one sense or another. This is a terrible cost by any measure, and for what? Propping up two of the world’s most corrupt field states? Sending Americans to die on the other side of the planet doesn’t make us stronger, it makes us weaker.

And then there’s the psychological cost. The hysteria mongering after 9/11 was among the most intense in history. The government left no stone unturned telling Americans that terrible monsters lurked everywhere, and that we had to give the government a blank check, including suspending some of our own freedoms, to fight this new menace or surely a falling airliner or a dirty bomb or germ warfare would be coming soon to a neighbourhood near them. And Americans, traumatized by the endlessly repeated sights of 9/11, fell for this twaddle by the tens of millions and gave the Bush administration the green light to seize control of the world’s oil. And it continues to this day, tens of millions of Americans dutifully regurgitate “our troops are fighting for our freedom” while the administration continues to weave tales of terror and death. Letting fear of a trivial enemy guide our national policy does not make us a stronger nation, it makes us a nation of cowards and sheep.

Lastly, I’m saddened and disgusted by what a narcissistic spectacle 9/11 and the “War on Terror” has become. It’s like when Commodus, the Emperor of Rome, took to fighting naked gladiatorial contests in the Colosseum. And charging the city staggering sums of money for the privilege. All right thinking Romans were horrified. The survivors and heroes of 9/11 should be mourning quietly and privately, not being paraded through the streets of Rome for the glory of the Empire.

It’s really that weird.

(The above image is claimed as Public Domain under US copyright law as it was painted in 1526. It’s a Painting titled “The Fall of the Rebel Angels” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. It’s just another way to articulate the situation we find ourselves in: America went mad on 9/11, and its going to get worse before it gets better.)

Written by unitedcats

September 11, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Coundown to 9/11 … The Aftermath

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I’ve explained how 9/11 came to be, why they did it, and demolished all the conspiracy theories. OK, that was a joke. The main pint of the previous posts was to encourage discussion, and lead to the point I made in the last post … ultimately who caused 9/11 doesn’t matter. I mean, if irrefutable proof now showed up that Hitler himself lit the Reichstag Fire, what would it change? Nothing. If video now surfaced showing Cheney and co-conspirators laying explosives in the Twin Towers … would Obama go on TV the next day announcing an end to the War on Terror, withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq, an end to the Patriot Act, closing Guantanamo, slashing the defence budget, and disbanding Homeland Security?

Snort. Of course not. This is why I think the 9/11 truthers are at best wasting their time, and at worst making it all too easy for the real conspirators to get away with their conspiracy. A conspiracy that happened in plain sight, a conspiracy that is ongoing to this day, a conspiracy that has become part of our national identity even. A conspiracy that is still backed by millions of Americans. Yes, I am talking about the fact that the American government almost immediately seized upon 9/11 as a pretext to take over the world!

Granted, it’s a little bit more nuanced than that. Let me start over. 9/11 was a terrible crime. It was however, just that, a terrible crime committed by a tiny band of extremists. In point of fact it was a known enemy attacking a known target with a method of attack that had been suggested as early as 1970. It looked spectacular on TV, but it really wasn’t that big a deal. It was just a  terrible crime with a lot of victims. It wasn’t an act of war, it wasn’t a clash of civilizations, it was a sick thug murdering a bunch of people. And that’s how it should have been dealt with.

That’s not how we dealt with it. And this is the part where I start to get really sickened and angry. Within days, if not hours, of 9/11, a cabal of hawks in and out of the administration saw 9/11 as a God given chance to use America’s power and prestige to remake the world. The thinking was that since the USA had “won” the cold war, we should now use our advantage to bring about something called the “New American Century.” In a nutshell this was a world where everyone bowed before America’s might. Inconvenient governments like Saddam and the Taliban would be swept away, America’s corporations would have access to markets and resources everywhere, on their terms. And any conceivable threat to US military global or regional dominance would be pre-emptively destroyed. It was a wonderful vision, a vision that rivalled Rome at its greatest, a vast world wide empire with the USA as a new Rome, giants upon a great hill. We were the good guys, God’s chosen ones, and it was time to act on it.

And yeah, it would have been nice if freedom and democracy and prosperity had blossomed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, we have spent trillions of dollars, thousands of American lives, squandered our 9/11 global good will bonus … and achieved less than nothing. Iraq and Afghanistan are two of the world’s foremost failed states, with corruption and violence that puts mob era Chicago to shame. Attempts to bring Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, and Libya into the fold aren’t going very well. And let’s not forget that Americans enjoy less freedom than they did prior to 9/11. This is the legacy of 9/11. Smart intelligent people who should have known better confused being a superpower with having superpowers.

Compared to Rome or other great Empires, we suck. And we haven’t reconnected with reality yet. And that’s tomorrow’s post. Where do we go from here, and some more personal observations.

(The above image appears to be Pubic Domain under current Russian copyright law. It’s the aftermath of the Battle of Stalingrad. An event that dwarfed 9/11 in almost every particular. Except the hype.)

Written by unitedcats

September 10, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Countdown to 9/11 … Why?

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Now we start coming to the parts of the 9/11 saga that make me mad. Like any feeling person, I was horrified on 9/11. Unlike many people, I was more horrified by what this would unleash than by the actual event. Millions of people have died by government and terrorist violence since World War Two, in any cosmic sense 9/11 is just a drop in the bucket, it was spectacular, but the number of victims as very small in the greater scheme of things. I mourn for them, but I more mourn for what 9/11 has done to the psyche of the nation, encouraged by a political class only too willing to use 9/11 to further their own ideological agenda.

More on that tomorrow though, assuming Al Qaeda doesn’t kill us all in our sleep tonight. No, like some people, one of my thoughts after 9/11 was “Well, if this encourages a debate on the consequences of our waging wars in the Middle East, maybe some good will come of it.” I was sadly mistaken. Within days the administration had wholeheartedly endorsed “They attacked us for our freedoms” and the war of civilizations was on. Sigh.

OK, assuming that OBL and Al Qaeda are real, what are their motivations? I dunno, call me crazy, but maybe we should see what they say? And turns out OBL, murderous scoundrel he may have been, did in fact articulate his reasons for taking up arms against America:

  • 1. Our unequivocal and one sided support for Israel.
  • 2. Our support for despotic undemocratic regimes in the Middle East.
  • 3. Our sending troops into the Middle East to wage war. (Gulf War One.)

I don’t see anything in there about “hating us for our freedoms.” And if they really hate us for our freedoms, wouldn’t restricting American’s freedoms be giving them what they want? Sorry, I digress. In any event, my point here, is that if a nation chooses to wage war around the world, as the USA has constantly chosen to do since 1945, we are going to make enemies. Al Qaeda is one of those enemies.  The USA has killed huge numbers of peoples in foreign lands since World War Two, why should it be a surprise that someone chose to do the same to us?

In any event, and a point I have leading to, the motivations of the attackers don’t matter. The me repeat that, the motivations of the attackers don’t matter. What matters, is how the Bush administration reacted to it. This is what changed the world, not a terrible but actually pretty pedestrian crime in any global sense. 9/11 wasn’t analogous to Pearl Harbor in any global sense, in the first case a tiny extremist group got away with a terrible crime, in the later one of the world’s top ten nation states went to war with us. No comparison really.

This is where I think the 9/11 truthers are so misguided, by focusing on a theory that ultimately doesn’t matter, they are obscuring the true conspiracy. This is why the administration doesn’t case about the truthers. For one thing, they know they aren’t ever going to prove anything since they weren’t insane enough to actually blow up buildings. And secondly and more importantly, they are wasting energy and thus providing cover for the true conspiracy, the one that was hatched within days of 9/11.

And this is the one Americans are blind to. It doesn’t matter what Al Qaeda’s motivations were, it doesn’t matter who orchestrated 9/11, what matters is how we responded to it. And this is where the true horror begins. Within days it was obvious that the Bush Administration was going to gleefully seize on 9/11 and use it as a blank check to do anything they wanted. 9/11 was manna from heaven for an administration beholden to the military, the rich, Israel, and the oil companies. This is why I am insulted when 9/11 truthers accuse me of “believing administration lies.” I think the American government (and corporate fawning media) went into “all lies, all the time” mode within about ten minutes of 9/11.

I just don’t think the administration caused 9/11 or blew up any buildings, they just spat on the victims and their families and all decent Americans by using 9/11 to promote their colonial agenda. That however is tomorrow’s topic.

(The above image is claimed as Public Domain under US copyright law. The original copyright belonged to Germany’s Nazi Regime, and they aren’t around to contest it. It is of the Reichstag fire of 1933. Germany’s parliament building burned, Hitler’s Nazis blamed the communists and got them ousted from the government … and thus obtained a majority control of Germany’s government. Historians to this day don’t know if the fire was set by the Nazis or the communists. And it doesn’t fucking matter.)

Written by unitedcats

September 9, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Countdown to 9/11 … What Really Happened?

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I know, posting two days in a row, shocking. What can I say, I’ve always wished I had been blogging back when 9/11 happened, and now is my chance to catch up. I know a lot of what I am going to say in the next few days I’ve said before, but I have new readers now and this time it will all be in a single series of posts. And maybe I’ll even glean some insight that escaped me before, I changed my mind about the proposed 9/11 memorial statue, I could change my mind about something else.

So, people often say, have you got a better idea? Yes, yes I do. Here’s my theory. A radical extremist group hijacked four airliners and flew them into three buildings, the fourth attack being foiled by a passenger revolt. The impact of the huge fuel-laden airliners flying at 400 mph was way beyond what the Twin Towers had been designed for, and the impact combined with the fires caused the buildings to collapse. A third building, WTC 7, seriously damaged by the collapse of the towers burned for hours and then also collapsed. Pretty radical, eh? I base this theory on my observation that this is exactly what appears to have happened. Occam’s Razor is not always right, and I have a delicious counter-example I will blog about someday, but it’s an excellent place to start.

That being said though, there are some questions and problems. How could this ever have happened? How could the greatest nation on Earth be sucker punched like this? I mean, the idea of hijacked planes as weapons dates to at least 1970, it’s not like it was some sneaky new idea. Well, corruption, bureaucracy, and incompetence pretty much covers it. Airlines didn’t want hardened cockpit doors, since that would have added weight to airplanes and cut their profits. Our national defence structure was oriented towards defending ourselves from an intercontinental attack by an adversary that no longer existed. (Does it get any more incompetent than that?) And numerous intelligence agencies were jealously competing for money and political influence rather than actually concentrating on doing their job, IE defending the country. It’s really not too hard to imagine in this sea of sleaze and politics that no one was watching the horizon so to speak. Just like what happened to the HMS Glorious, but on a higher level.

Of course there are other possibilities. It’s entirely possible that some people in the administration got wind of the plot. And allowed it to proceed, pathologically calculating that the loss would be negligible and the casus belli gained would be worth it. This is vastly more consistent with human politics, psychology, and sociology than  any demolition theory. It’s far easier to just let evil happen than actually go out and do it yourself. Very few people would have to be in the conspiracy, and the risk of exposure was minimal. Just let the crazy Muslims kill a few people, and we can fix up the Middle East to our liking. That’s how sociopaths think.

Sound crazy and far fetched? Well, it’s almost certainly happened before. In 1941 the USA had already broken Japan’s diplomatic code, and there is every reason to believe they had broken their military code as well. In other words, higher ups in the US government and navy knew that Japan was going to attack Pearl Harbor … and allowed it to proceed knowing it would get them into a war they had been very much trying to join. There’s no question that Roosevelt was trying to provoke war with Japan and Germany, there’s no doubt we broke their diplomatic code, and the Navy to this day refuses to acknowledge or deny that they had broken Japan’s military code before the war.

But, one says, how could Americans have sat back and knowingly allowed Japan to destroy our battleship fleet and kill thousands of Americans? Easy. It never crossed their minds that a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor would be so devastating. Nothing like Pearl Harbor had every happened before, battleships were invincible from air attack, and the Japanese were sub-human barbarians incapable of fighting a modern American or European military. If you were transported back to December 6 1941 and tried to warn people that Japan would sink America’s battleship fleet in Pearl Harbor the next day … no one would have believed you, period. And by the very same token, when some knew 9/11 was coming, it never crossed their minds that the Twin Towers would collapse. When they did though, they had their casus belli in spades, and ample motivation to cover up the modest conspiracy that resulted in such a disaster.

Is this what happened? Beats me.  I know it’s historically, politically, and psychologically possible. And it would help explain one of the true mysteries of 9/11, why was there no investigation into 9/11? This is one of the points that the demolition conspiracy theorists get right, why was there no official investigation of 9/11? It’s a good point, however it has prosaic answers. They didn’t want the incredible incompetence of our nation’s defenders exposed for one. They didn’t want the fact that elements of our government let the attack proceed exposed. They knew that like the Warren Commission, it would generate more problems than it solved. They had what they wanted and didn’t want to rock the boat.

Yes, there are any number of mundane political reasons why no real investigation into 9/11 was ever conducted. And all that aside, there is one reason for avoiding such an investigation that trumps all others. There most definitely was something about 9/11 that the administration had to conceal. Something that the American public under no circumstances must ever be allowed to know, something so dangerous to the administration that it must be avoided at any cost. The one question that Americans must never be allowed to hear, let alone debate or think about:

Why did they attack us? That’s tomorrow’s topic.

(The above image of the HMS Glorious under fire and sinking is Public Domain under US copyright law, as the government that owned the copyright no longer exists. I used it to illustrate the point that people who should know better do get caught with their guard down. The British aircraft carrier Glorious was travelling through a war zone during a war with only two destroyers in escort. Their engines were running at 2/3rds capacity, they had no planes in the air, they had no planes ready to launch, they didn’t even have a lookout in their crow’s nest. How could they have been so stupid? Who knows, since by the time they spotted the two German battle-cruisers bearing down on them it was far to late to do anything but run and die.)

Written by unitedcats

September 8, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Posted in History, Terrorism

Tagged with ,

Countdown to 9/11 … Conspiracy Theories

with 16 comments

OK, countdown to the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Details, details. I know about a million columns and blog posts are going to be written as the tenth anniversary of the most overblown and hyped event in human history approaches, so it’s a topic that’s on my mind. And I’m already disgusted by some of the jingoistic tripe being bandied about, not to mention the lies, so I’m going to throw my two cents in. Here then is part one of a series of columns I plan to write as the great day approaches. Conspiracy theories, what really brought down the twin towers?

Gravity. See, that was easy. There is no other way for a building that size and weight to fall, it has to fall into its’ own footprint. It could only fall over sideways if there was some huge force pushing it sideways. So the fact that the buildings collapsed into their own footprints is meaningless, not proof that they were felled by deliberately laid explosives. But, but … didn’t people report hearing explosions before and during the collapses? Yes, they likely did. Take a concrete and steel column, put so much weight on top of it that it can no longer support the weight, what happens? It explodes. Any other questions?

Actually, I have a few questions. 9/11 demolition theory conspiracists generally avoid questions, but it’s my blog, and I’ll ask if I want to. How, exactly, does one recruit people into this kind of plot? I don’t doubt that there are people in power capable of murdering thousands of Americans for their own political ends, but getting henchmen to carry out acts like this historically requires very extreme settings like wars and massive internal unrest. IE Dick Cheney  didn’t secretly deploy tons of explosives  in his spare time, a large team of specialists would be required.  I find it hard to imagine circumstances where such people would agree to participate in the plot, and even less imagine how all of these people would keep quiet afterwards.

Which leads to another absurd aspect of the controlled demolition theory. The insane complexity of the plot. Let’s review, we start with a plot that involves hijacking four airliners and flying them into buildings … and preventing any of America’s defence and intelligence agencies from interfering!   Think about that, even at this point we are talking a vast conspiracy involving  controlling influence in dozens of agencies including things like the Air Force. There’s all sorts of ways this could go wrong already. And then add another layer to this mess, the secret deployment of explosives in two of the world’s largest buildings. Um, even in planned demolitions things sometimes don’t work, and there’s all sorts of ways a secret like this could be discovered either before or after. In other words, this plot may work in a Hollywood movie, in real life, no one is daft enough to try something this complicated,  and the likelihood of them pulling it all off is basically zero. I challenge anyone to find any successful conspiracy in history even remotely approaching the controlled demolition 9/11 theory in complexity.

And speaking of controlled demolitions, they always start at the bottom, not the top. And the twin towers were unique buildings in their construction details as well. Again, just more layers of complexity to a plot already insanely complex: The demolition of a type of building that had never been demolished before using a method of demolition that had never been used before, all based on the idea that the hijacked airliners would hit when and where required. What if one of the planes missed? Or hit the wrong place and wiped out key demolitions?

Like I said, twin tower demolition conspiracy theorists have far more unanswered questions than they propose. I think they are wrong, and I especially think they are, well, delusional when they try to claim that their case is proven.  I won’t try to argue that their case is impossible, just that there are far less complicated and more satisfying explanations for the events of 9/11. That however is a topic for tomorrow’s blog.

(The above is a contemporary image of the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. It is public domain under US copyright law. Most may have heard of Guy Fawkes, the conspirator caught guarding the explosives under the parliament building, where the plotters planned to blow up the King and the House of Lords. It’s one of the closest analogies to the 9/11 twin towers demolition conspiracy theory I can find, it involved a vastly simpler plan with far fewer plotters … and it was a complete failure.)

Written by unitedcats

September 7, 2011 at 9:39 pm

War, Religion, Terrorism, and Other Random Nonsense

with one comment

My last post generated a number of thoughtful comments, so I thought I’d write a follow up post. Not to mention that my life has gotten extremely busy, I’m between Internet connections, and my main computer got an ugly virus. So I won’t have the time or the means to write dedicated posts in the near future. Add it all up and it equals more random posts on various things … in this case several thoughts inspired by the comments people left on the last post.

First,  absolutely agree that the more people are certain they know what is going on in the world, the less they know. Most people couldn’t play a decent game of chess to save their lives, and they are going to tell me they have history and current events all figured out? Chess has 5 types of pieces and very simple rules, the world has millions of different pieces and people make up their own rules. This is why extremists of all ilks bore me, of course they are wrong. If there were simple answers, people and nations would all live in harmony and peace.

We don’t all live in harmony and peace, although times have been getting better in some respects. More on that later. Now, a pet peeve about atheists especially, but a lot of other people as well, including the religious. So so many atheists have cheesed me off by claiming that religion inspires a lot of violence, true … then claim that 9/11 was caused by religion, FAIL. Here in the USA we have been subjected to endlessly repeated propaganda about how the big bad Muslims hate us all because of their religion, but the reality is far more complicated.

Yes, jihadists and extremists like Osama Bin Laden aren’t nice people and they have done some very bad things, and no doubt their faith plays a big role in their motivations … as faith motivates people everywhere of all faiths. Their grievances though, the things that have inspired “Islamic” violence in the Middle East  since 1948 … are purely secular. The situation in Palestine, western support for dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, American actions in Iraq, all inspired and inspire entirely predictable and “rational” violent responses in some quarters.

I’m not justifying violence, I’m pointing out that violence in response to violence is entirely normal. And the USA and Israel have killed a large number of people in the Middle East, killing that goes on today. And as General McChrystal said, every civilian we kill makes the US ten new enemies. Or more scientifically, several studies have shown that Islamic suicide bombers are not motivated by religion or a desire to sleep with virgins in heaven, they tend to be educated people making the ultimate sacrifice to defend their homes and families and way of life. And often they are people who have lost loved ones to an enemy. One of the first suicide bombers in Iraqi history was a women whose husband was killed in the US invasion. She walked up to an American checkpoint and set off some grenades. Made a BIG impression on other Iraqis I might add. Would there be American Christians who might do the same thing if our country was invaded and occupied by a “benevolent” invader? I sure hope so.

Moving right along, I just read this article which makes the claim that major state sponsored killing is down dramatically since the nineteen eighties, IE there are far fewer big wars going on today. It also makes the claim that 9/11 was an extremely unusual event wildly outside the norm for terrorist attacks, true … and that governments murder vastly wildly more people than terrorists, also true, and that in the twentieth  century there have been fewer than twenty terrorist attacks that killed more than 100 people. I don’t believe that for  a moment, unless the author is only talking about terrorist attacks in the west I suppose.  The main point is that governments kill vastly more people than terrorists. And that here in the West, the threat of terrorism is trivial, and people shouldn’t buy into the permanent state of war and fear mongering that the US government in particular seems to be selling.

The article also makes the point that wars are down because outright conquest simply isn’t cost effective these days. And that I agree with, but it’s fodder for another day and anther post.

“Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous.”
George Bernard Shaw

(The above image, being a faithful reproduction of a work that has long been in the public domain, is claimed as Public Domain under US copyright law. It’s by the sixteenth century Dutch painter Pieter Bruegel, it’s titled: Massacre of the Innocents. It shows Spanish soldiers murdering a Dutch village. In the original painting the animals and packages being tossed about and killed were children, but the first owner found the images too disturbing and had them painted over. The Spanish slaughtered all sorts of Dutch people, and yes, they used religion as an excuse, whole villages would be declared “heretics” and executed. The motivation was the same one all conquerers have though, greed. I don’t think I need to spell out why I chose this image, but just in case some wonder, it’s to show that nothing has really changed much since then, the cycle of war and violence is eternal apparently.)


Written by unitedcats

January 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm