Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six years ago today...

So it's been six years since terrorism hit home in America, huh? The obligatory topic of the day, and I too have a story to tell. I didn't know anybody in any of the planes or buildings, but it still did change part of my life, in a kind of geeky way.

September 11, 2001, around... late morning, early afternoon - remember, I was on the west coast then, so the time was different. I remember waking up, I must have been the only one home (living with Mom then) because the phone was ringing and nobody would answer it. I thought about cutting the ringer off, but I figure I was up anyway, so I toss my robe on and shuffle out into the dining room to take the call.

It's my brother's then-fiance, who tells me that America just got attacked, some buildings in New York got blown up. I told her we were alright (she was calling everyone) and promised her I'd check the news. So I go to turn on the TV, and sure enough, every channel (and I do mean all of them, I think even the TV Guide channel had something about it) was talking about this attack on the Pentagon. What the hell, I'm thinking. Didn't she say New York? But not a one of them said anything about New York, for five minutes all the talk was about the Pentagon.

So I turn off the TV, go back into my room, and cut on the computer, go to Yahoo! News. Sure enough, wide coverage. I was able to find everything I needed all in one place. I remember pulling up an article and one article covered it all in maybe 5 paragraphs. Nothing repeated, just the facts. I couldn't really believe it. So I fire up this filesharing program I was running then - maybe Kazaa, maybe Morpheus - and key in "world trade center". Tons of video. I started clicking on them, and watching them as they rolled in.

So I guess you could say from that day I kinda lost faith in televised news. And more developments - after a word from our sponsor! Bull. Now I get most of my news, when I read the news, online. The Trade Center was hit before the Pentagon, so why weren't the TV news channels saying anything about the WTC?

And then it came out that Bush had some sort of guilty association with the whole thing, and the Republicans tried to suppress that movie, Fahrenheit 911, that implied Bush was part of it - even going so far as to threaten the lives of theater owners and managers who were going to show it. They really didn't want the people knowing some of that stuff. But that was all later, of course.

Stuff was suspicious, though. Like it took them 3 weeks to find out this Bin Laden guy did it, and they gave Afghanistan another 4 weeks to turn him over, giving him almost 2 months to get his stuff together and go into hiding. Then all of a sudden with no explanation it's no longer about Bin Laden and justice for 9/11, but finishing what Daddy started with Saddam Hussein. Hussein was no saint and I'm glad he's been taken care of, and I'm glad his sons were killed (they were some bad dudes, to say the least), but all this talk about democracy and weapons of mass destruction has done a wonderful job of clouding the issue that they still don't know where Bin Laden is.

I always suspected he was here in America somewhere. Guy's a billionaire and his family's in oil. Bush is a billionaire - guess what, oil as well. Our country trained this guy and his men (the Taliban) how to fight in the 80s, when we were still afraid Russia might nuke us. Russia was coming down to Afghanistan, and of course with Russia as the major enemy, Bin Laden was a friend to America, wanting to stand up to the Commies. Then there's this 2.1 billion dollars he's been paying Bush or the Bush family since the early 90s, which stopped a few months before the big attack. That was one point from the Fahrenheit 911 movie the Republicans really didn't try to hide - their hands were pretty red there and they got caught.

Now I don't really believe Bush was involved. It was mighty suspicious he wasn't in the White House that morning (Flight 93 was always suspected as being for the White House), maybe his old golfing buddy clued him in, maybe it was more discreet than that, but Dubya knew to be out of town. But I'd like to think that's as far as his involvment went. If you've ever seen him speak on TV, the guy's not all that bright. Or his speech writer isn't.

But then he got himself elected again in 2004, and it made me wonder, with all the 9/11 "We will never forget" fad stuff people bought up, just how long did it take for people to forget? Obviously not too long. Well, currently a President can only serve 2 terms, but there are other people who might be involved. I'm not saying every Republican politician is involved; I'm sure a lot of them are as good as any politician (and that's meant in the nicest way possible). Nor am I saying the Democrats are perfect or aren't in on it or something, either. No working man's been elected President in years, if ever. All these cats got money, loads of it. There's no way a man who works and pays bills can ever understand these guys, or us them.

So what should we do? I think there's a lesson to be learned from this. I think if 9/11 taught us anything, it's to keep our eyes open, to be better educated, at least about some basic stuff. And I don't mean pandering to every conspiracy theory, I mean like who's running this show up in DC. I think we owe it to ourselves to know a little bit about the candidates as they vie for your vote next year. We've pretty much wiped out a sovereign Islamic country to make way for our supposedly better Christian way of life, so maybe the people can show that we're not all so narrow, maybe we can elect a woman or a black man as President. Or at least somebody who's more human. We've had 8 years of a warmongering leadership, I think it's time for wounds to heal.

(Despite the obvious nods to Barack and Hilary, I'm not behind any candidates as of yet. Nor do I support the many conspiracy theories out there - no sooner than I expect some of the BS Fox News has spewed up to counter them.)

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