Please Stop Remembering 9/11

I got to work this morning, saw that the flag was at half-mast, realized why it was at half-mast, then had to check myself to avoid vomiting. The people that died in those attacks was one of the lesser tragedies of that day (and the number of deaths, as I’ve detailed sort of inadvertently in another post, was not that significant). The greater tragedies have all had to do with our remembering — and reacting to — the death of less than 3,000 people (in 2001, more people died from drowning than died from terrorist attacks).

As a result of this remembrance the United States has:

  • Created two wars.
  • Estranged itself from its allies (as a result of those wars).
  • Encouraged its enemies (as a result of those wars).
  • Significantly endangered the strength of its economy (government spending as a % of GDP is at its highest level since World War II and some day we’re going to have to pay for that — and, yeah, this is the *biggest* problem with those wars even though no one in the MSM has thought to talk about it (because it’s much more entertaining to “remember 9/11”)).
  • Forfeited formerly rightful claims to morality and ethical behavior (as it applies to prisoners and intelligence gathering).
  • Given the FBI sweeping powers of surveillance — does anyone else think it’s interesting that “police state” has a *negative* connotation?
  • Instituted the practice of warrantless searches (seems like maybe there should be something in the Constitution about that — oh wait, there is…).
  • Reduced the ability of the judicial branch to limit the powers of the state.
  • Reinforced unconstitutional power assertions of the executive branch.
  • Turned domestic air travel into a festival of harrassment (from having to disrobe at security to having to pass the “no fly list” test to having to get to the airport two hours early to not being able to park or stop a car near an airport terminal to…).
  • Infuriated foreign tourists by treating each of them as a would-be criminal at customs.
  • Accepted having a choice limited to one big-government party and another big-government party.
  • Etc.

The “remembrance” of 9/11 is a place where Idiot Planet — this would be Earth — really shows its true colors. We are screwing ourselves in return for screwing ourselves. Way to remember, guys!

Some time soon I’m going to post about the Hindenburg. You’ll see.



  • Game Dame

    Um. 9/11 being the “cause” of all these problems is like saying that being a little girl is the cause of her father’s sexual abuse. (Yes, that was inflammatory, but no I’m not sorry about it.) I understand what you’re saying but I believe that you put the blame on the wrong place. The REACTION to 9/11 is not the same as the event. I do think that the first skyscrapers ever to collapse and the largest terrorist attack in history are things that make 9/11 unique vs. the drownings and whatnot that you mentioned previously. Besides, your logic is kinda spurious. You could go back in time and point out any event and claim that nearly anything that came after it (negative OR positive) was to blame for that event.

    Having pissed all over your post, though, I will say that your bulleted list contains happenings which offends all my sense of what it meant to be an American before 9/11. So, for bringing awareness to that I applaud you. However, my nitpick here is that those things were going to happen anyway. 9/11 just gave the powers the be an excuse and a lever to make them happen.

  • bkdunn

    I’m not sure we actually disagree about anything here.

    I’m not actually asking that people selectively expunge memories. But the remembrance is being used as the excuse to do all the crap listed. All any politician has to do to get Orwellian government-growing, power-assuming legislation passed is bring up the specter of “9/11” and use the word “remember” and the sheep say “baa” and head off to the slaughterhouse.

    But, to your point, the human nature that allows this to happen is the real root problem. This nature focuses on sentimentality and is unable to view an emotional event in a rational light. This, coupled with ridiculous middle-of-the-bellcurve group dynamics, are at the heart of the problem. And if people *didn’t* remember 9/11 (in this way), then they would be exhibiting a better, more constructive nature than they actually seem to have.

    Uh, IMHO.

  • telkontar

    The symbolic half-mast flag really ruined your day. What other symbols can alter your frame of mind? Have you considered Stoicism seriously? Also, if it induces vomiting — (or was that hyperbole?)
    I agree with the general proposition that Americans care more about the symbolic now, than truth, justice, or the (formerly) American way. Then, I think, we diverge.

    Created 2 wars? The regime was overthrown long ago in Iraq. I think Kurds appreciate the lack of gas attacks. At least the assassinations lack the imprimatur of the former Iraqi state. Conflict with terrorism continues in certain locations. I prefer the armed forces to fight than for civilians to be assassinated by airliners or by other means. Is there a relationship? I think so. In retrospect, Iraq may not have been the wises tactical move, but it was smarter than Saddam not allowing WMD inspectors. He lost that game of chicken. Sometimes you have to call when you’re at the poker table. YMMV.

    When did we last have allies? When we helped Britain in the Falklands? You should remember Dietrich Bonhoeffer — Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility. There is a reason Liechenstein is accusing Deutschland of being a 4th Reich — they (and most of continental western Euro-trash) will allow evil to prosper. A little russion hydrocarbons can buy them off. Like High Noon, nobody wants the gunfighter around, but he is needed. YMMV.

    Encouraged enemies? You’re just wrong, Grasshopper. Read alQ’s thoughts following Mogadishu, USS Cole, & Beirut. Or Gen. Giap’s opinion regarding pricking the US to death in Nam. Some hate was increased among some segments of humanity. Heck, I was hated in Japan as an American due to the Vietnamese incident. Live with it.

    The criticism of MSM is understrength. Greed in the financial sector has been far more damaging to the US economy than the war . The military-industrial complex may be reasserting itself, (maybe, just maybe), but 9/11 only altered the timing. (Yes, the parenthetical inside commas is affectation, but it is conversational.)

    Morality and ethical behavior? Defending the defenseless is neither? Shirking defense in light of threats is moral? “War is all hell” (get to Atlanta on your jaunt). I spoke with an attorney who got releases from Git-mo. Some were the victims of mis-information provided by local enemies in Afghanistan. The USSC restored habeas rights. Justice delayed may be justice denied, but it’s mostly delayed. (More on legal, infra.) Who gets to define “moral” and “ethical?” Is there a bright-line test when life is on the line?

    The FBI’s “sweeping” powers cut about the same swath as prior to 9/11. Congress relaxed the standards on National Security Letters from records that pertain to terrorists or spies to records “deemed” relevant to a national security investigation. (Section 509 of the Patriot Act.) There were “exigent circumstances” exceptions prior to the Pat Act and this exception seems to have been asserted more often than warranted by agents intent on results more than on full statutory compliance. And they, (I choke as I type this)obtained (stay strong) some (how shall I say it?) — full credit reports. (Horrors!) Law enforcement never violated the constitution prior to 9/11 but (obviously) only began doing so on 9/12/01. There was a change in the status quo and an increase in press reports (darn that MSM!), but 2 branches of the constitutional government seemed to think the Pat Act was appropriate. Yes it was abused, but so was Dred Scott. Did you have any realistic expectation of privacy on international phone calls? You realize that a phone operator can listen to any phone conversation on his or her system, don’t you?

    Ahh, the judicial branch. Marbury v. Madison is a crock. The idea was to separate powers so that no single branch or person could interpret the constitution. (This also explains some of the reasoning behind a short, 4-year term for presidents.) Now, we have a nation ruled by 9 unelected and untouchable judges who serve as judge, jury, and legislature(s) as well as seek to impose on the executive branch. Remember, they’re the entity that thinks tomatoes are vegetables, wheat grown and consumed on your own property is involved in “interstate commerce,” and that abortion rights are clearly enumerated in the text of the Constitution (just one example of usurping the power of legislating). The experiment in representative democracy has been mostly ruined by the robed folks, who seem to enjoy the power. They now cite foreign countries’ laws in interpreting our Constitution. “We the People” seem to be irrlevant. If you want to complain, choose your enemies wisely.

    Is everything about the TSA with you?

    I see no reason to grant rights to foreigners. What’s the big deal with this? The bigger problem is the welcome we grant to those who enter illegally — a nation should attempt to be consistent, at least.

    Being limited to 2 “big government” parties did not result from 9/11 or its memorial services. See the New Deal Supreme Court & FDR about that one.

    You have now shared your daily angst with me.

  • bkdunn

    Sorry bro, that’s a little too all-over-the-place for me to comment back on. I kind of get the impression that you agree 85%, but you want to make an issue out of the 15%. I’d much rather we were mutually gratified over the 85. That seems like a rare enough thing in this world. Maybe your mileage is varying.