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Author Topic: September 11
Funean
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It's been five years today. Let's talk about it, and take a moment to remember the lives that were ended or permanently changed that morning.
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Redskullvw
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I hate this day. Watching re-broadcasts of the day's news.

It is still graphically horrible.

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canadian
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Then don't watch. I know I don't. Do people really need constant reminding of the horror of that day? Is there someone out there who is forgetting?
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Redskullvw
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canadian,

Yeah, alot of people, meaning not just 1 or 2 % of the population already shows a remarkable ignorance concerning 9-11 or even locating Afghanistan or Iraq on a map.

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rightleft22
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It bothers me that I feel so little.
I’m supposing to right???
The networks do their best to invoke the sorrow, shock, horror, fear of those first hours, but I feel nothing and turn the channel looking for a comedy or other such distraction.

Life - death - life, the horrible terrible beauty...

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msquared
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Forgetting may not be the right word.

My oldest son was 9 at the time and he has very little recollection of what actually happened. We did not let him watch the news casts at the time, for fear of how it would effect him. Now that he is a bit older and has heard some of the discussion about what happened we feel the time is right.

A few weeks ago he and I went to see WTC, the Oliver Stone movie. It moved him greatly. I am not a big Stone fan but I think he did a marvelous job with the subject.

msquared

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canadian
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quote:
Originally posted by Redskullvw:
canadian,

Yeah, alot of people, meaning not just 1 or 2 % of the population already shows a remarkable ignorance concerning 9-11 or even locating Afghanistan or Iraq on a map.

And this is surprising? Has there been any marked difference in those statistics over the past five years?

No one actually "forgets the Alamo!"

I doubt the majority will ever forget 9/11. My children don't need to know every facet of what happened on 9/11, but everyone else seems to think they do. I've had to sit down and explain it to them, as best as they could conceive, because teachers had brought it up at school.

I don't fault the teachers, but I remember being a kid during the Cold War, terrified of going to sleep every night because I worried I would never wake up, or if I did, it would be to the knowledge that we were all going to die of nuclear radiation.

Kids don't need that garbage.

There is time enough to be a grown-up, and while children certainly learn what that means along the way, I feel no need to hasten my sons along that path too quickly.

The yearly celebratory mourning of 9/11 is simply a cash cow and a political weapon. It's overwrought and overdone to the extent that it takes away from the true calamity and abhorrent motives of that day.

The heroes become myths, convenient puppets and icons, rather than the very real flesh and blood men and women they were, and are.

In essence, the strength, despair, horror and humilty of that day is diminished by a society that consumes it and tosses it like so much bruckheimer.

"Remember 9/11"

Brought to you most respectfully by Coke.

And McDonald's! God Bless America!

<cue images of multicultural faces, hard working men, mothers holding children, looking into the camera, amber waves of grain,students, liberty bell, bald eagle, etc>

[ September 11, 2006, 11:41 AM: Message edited by: canadian ]

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cperry
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I was rather saddened by the fact that I didn't feel it as fully as I thought I would this morning. I rather miss some of the unity it initially brought us in the face of such an unexpected, horrifying tragedy (that is, if there had to be a tragedy, at least we were nicer to each other for awhile after it happened; I would much rather there had been no tragedy at all).

I suppose I am sad that we cannot sustain that kind of empathy, yet I understand that we either grieve until we die too, or we move on.

[ September 11, 2006, 12:12 PM: Message edited by: cperry ]

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Redskullvw
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Canadian

I am not worried about making sure every grade schooler knows every facet. I am frankly more concerned that most adults over the age of 18 who aren't mentally incapacitated or afflicted with Alzheimers are essentially clueless as to the specifics, or even why we are at war.

For that matter, most don't even think we are or need to be at war.

Otherwise, I found your response flippant and in poor taste. But that is just my viewpoint.

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canadian
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Well, I didn't. We're on completely different pages, I guess.
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canadian
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I'm surprised that you're so frankly concerned with those people. Is it really a surprise that:

a) some people just couldn't be bothered
b) some people actually disagree with your take on things?

[ September 11, 2006, 12:49 PM: Message edited by: canadian ]

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Pete at Home
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It was the first birthday of my son Nate, and we'd planned a party for him. My wife woke me up after hearing the news on the Radio. We turned on the TV and saw the horror over and over again. I got online and found some Muslim groups that at least one Christian knew that this act had nothing to do with the teachings of Mohammed, and that I prayed for their safety in the days ahead. They said thanks, but no Muslim did this; it's another one of your McVeighs. I didn't argue. We neglected our kids, and forgot Nate's birthday. Our oldest son stared at the TV, not comprehending.
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Redskullvw
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Some people will always be clueless, and that does not bother me. P.T. Barnum made that a central point of his cash cow. And as to disagreement with my viewpoint, It neither surprises me nor bothers me. It has often been remarked by friends and family that I should have been born early enough to have fought in WW II because my temperment, clarity, and willingness to see things on global scales would have idealy suited me to participate in the elimination of Fascism, Imperialism, and Nazism.

That most Americans can't even find the Middle East on a map only confirms the judgement of those who know me best.

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canadian
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Well, aren't you a trooper!

[Wink]

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Adam Masterman
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At the time, I felt sadness but also a kind of morbid fascination. But that initial reaction was very quickly eclipsed.

I HATED the months after 9-11. To me all the nostalgia for the "national unity" we felt is incomprehensible. In my experience, it was a period of unbelievable aggression, a transparent attempt to armor over the deep sense of vulnerability that 9-11 revealed. I was literally afraid to express my views on the war, which were nothing more than a vague sense of unease and reservation. My brother layed into me over the phone for saying that I wouldn't personally fight in Afghanistan, and my dad followed suit after hearing me talk to him. I got my dad to back down, but really the amazing thing was how this event was able to disrupt the peace of the family, even one that had no direct connection to the event.

I do think that such circumstances are valuable, because they are so revealing. In Buddhist terms, it shows you your own mind, specifically where you are afraid and where you are vulnerable. Our world and our lives are fundamentally impermanent, however much we try to deny it. Tragedy reveals this truth to us, and so is always potentially liberating.

That said, my experience of the aftermath of 9-11 was one of living amongst extreme paranoia, rage, bigotry and aggression. I do not think it brought out the best in us, I think it brought out the worst. Or rather, I think that the worst in us followed quickly on the heels of the best, obscuring it within a matter of weeks. The first few days revealed some astonishing heroism and bravery. By October, we had descended into a hell of terror and fury. That, anyway, was my experience.

Adam

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DaveS
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But there are a great many lessons still unlearned. The further away from the event, the harder it will be to learn and apply them. Almost immediately after 9/11, the MSM tried mightily to "brand" their coverage. That was inevitable (but quick!), and reactions and responses to 9/11 have since become branded by the political parties, as well as by people with parochial "issues", like God's revenge on the US for condoning homosexuality.

All of that is pathetic and utterly regrettable, but some lessons have been learned by individuals, families and communities at levels far below where branding occurs. We can (, do and should) argue about how and why some people hate us or other peoples and why we might hate them, because it provokes us to learn more about them and ultimately ourselves. That sounds trite, but it is fundamental if we want to avoid creating Fortress America.

It is almost unbelievable to me that Germany and Japan could have been "forgiven" for WWII, and yet it happened within a generation. That was the right thing to do, of course. The people in those countries today did not themselves wage war against us. Despite the anger and even hatred many in the ME have toward the US and Israel, those people have not themselves waged terrorism against us. Someone in another thread (I forget who) said words to the effect that hatred is not a crime and doesn't deserve punishment all by itself.

I am deeply afraid for the "soul" of this country that we are on the verge of declaring that anyone who hates us is our enemy ("...Either you're with us or you're against us..."). That's not so. I'm not such a pacifist that if you shoot at me I won't shoot you back, but we singled out a whole country to shoot at because people (mainly) from another country shot at us.

Don't get me wrong, I had a niece and a nephew on their way to the Towers on the 11th, and I was on my way to the airport that morning to have an important meeting later that day in one of them. My family didn't lose lives, but we still lost a lot.

I'm not willing to forgive the people who caused such great harm to us (or in London, Madrid, etc.), but we have to find our way to a better relationship with countries for which we have a gut reaction to think we should hate.

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Pete at Home
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If you look more carefully at how this country reacted towards Germany and Japan, and compare it to how we reacted here, I think it's pretty clear that we've come a long way.

"...Either you're with us or you're against us..."

Applied to Afghanistan. Most of America's regular ill-wishers and enemies even acknowledged that the US had the right to attack Afghanistan when it committed aggression against the US by continuing to harbor Al Qaeda after 9/11. (and if you don't think that's aggression, then read the Nuremberg trial transcript, which is still the most accepted definition of Aggression).

Anyone who stood in the way of the US going after Al Qaeda *was* our enemy. Those on both sides of the aisle who mischaracterize what the president said to apply to a broader picture, rather than specifically to Afghanistan and Al Qaeda in 2001/2002, are part of the problem. (Not "our enemy," though!)

It's easy to forgive people who no longer pose a threat to you. It is foolish and futile to demand that people "forgive" an enemy that continues to commit atrocities against us and others, that continues to pose a clear and present danger to us and ours.

Anger is dangerous, but it serves a purpose. Fight or flight is the appropriate system to invoke while we're in a fight.

This is a time of war for us, and if you don't understand that, you simply cannot communicate about this with us.

We forgave the Germanse and the Japanese *after* they surrendered. After Nuremberg. (We didn't really have a Nuremberg for Japan, and because of that, they continue to glorify their butchers and deny their atrocities which were even more prolific than those of the Nazis.)


quote:
but we singled out a whole country to shoot at because people (mainly) from another country shot at us.
That's an imprecise description of the actual facts, since we avoid civillian casualties to an unprecedented degree. But that's the general concept of war, Dave.


One can moralize and look down on those who die to defend one rights to moralize and look down on them, but it doesn't make one more persuasive.

I'd rather live in your contempt than die in your esteem.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
I'm not willing to forgive the people who caused such great harm to us (or in London, Madrid, etc.),
I'm willing to forgive even them, once they no longer pose any threat.

If you know any means of erasing their threat, other than killing them and any person that gets in the way, then please disclose.

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canadian
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I'd like to buy the world a Coke.
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cperry
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
At the time, I felt sadness but also a kind of morbid fascination. But that initial reaction was very quickly eclipsed.

I HATED the months after 9-11. To me all the nostalgia for the "national unity" we felt is incomprehensible. In my experience, it was a period of unbelievable aggression, a transparent attempt to armor over the deep sense of vulnerability that 9-11 revealed. I was literally afraid to express my views on the war, which were nothing more than a vague sense of unease and reservation....I do think that such circumstances are valuable, because they are so revealing. In Buddhist terms, it shows you your own mind, specifically where you are afraid and where you are vulnerable. Our world and our lives are fundamentally impermanent, however much we try to deny it. Tragedy reveals this truth to us, and so is always potentially liberating.

That said, my experience of the aftermath of 9-11 was one of living amongst extreme paranoia, rage, bigotry and aggression. I do not think it brought out the best in us, I think it brought out the worst. Or rather, I think that the worst in us followed quickly on the heels of the best, obscuring it within a matter of weeks. The first few days revealed some astonishing heroism and bravery. By October, we had descended into a hell of terror and fury. That, anyway, was my experience.

Adam

Hi Adam,

Not sure if you were referencing my "unity" comment, but I truly meant unity and not nationalism or patriotism.

One of the things I remember clearly was how wonderful the people in NYC were when the power went out: Folks were handing out water and tennis shoes to others who had to walk blocks and blocks, or miles and miles home. I don't know where you live, but I don't remember much "let's go to war and get them back" rhetoric; what I remember was a gathering close of family and friends to make sure everyone was safe, an increased sense of caring for neighbors, and concern for people we didn't even know.

That's the post-9/11 atmosphere I miss. I think it was gone by the disaster wrought by Hurricane Katrina, although I know there were many, many individual acts of altruism.

[ September 11, 2006, 03:01 PM: Message edited by: cperry ]

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cperry
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quote:
Originally posted by canadian:
[QUOTE] The yearly celebratory mourning of 9/11 is simply a cash cow and a political weapon. It's overwrought and overdone to the extent that it takes away from the true calamity and abhorrent motives of that day.

The heroes become myths, convenient puppets and icons, rather than the very real flesh and blood men and women they were, and are.

In essence, the strength, despair, horror and humilty of that day is diminished by a society that consumes it and tosses it like so much bruckheimer.

"Remember 9/11"

Brought to you most respectfully by Coke.

And McDonald's! God Bless America!

<cue images of multicultural faces, hard working men, mothers holding children, looking into the camera, amber waves of grain,students, liberty bell, bald eagle, etc>

Unfortunately, the odds are that this is exactly what people 50 years from now will know about this event, nothing more.
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DaveS
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I thought this thread was for people to express their thoughts about what this anniversary brings to mind. I don't believe that I "look down on those who die to defend one rights to moralize and look down on them." I didn't say anything at all about our soldiers (who are dying on our behalf). I have extraordinary respect and sympathy for those who have put their lives on the line for others as a result of all this. Please don't do this.
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canadian
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I know what you mean, cperry, but that's the way of history. Eventually everything just becomes a story.
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0Megabyte
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For me, today is just another day at school.

I remember how I felt on 9/11. It was a rather unique feeling, really. I've seen one movie that causes me to emulate that feeling. God forbid, but yes, it was Dawn of the Dead (the 2004 version.)

Which is quite bizarre. But go figure.

It's the same feelign that I'm sure they felt when Pearl Harbor happened. The feeling that the peace, the regular everyday routine is gone, and that something momentous, whether good or bad, either way momentous, is happening.

Now, five years later, I think back. I watched it a lot of times. I... had stayed home that morning sick for some reason. I was in... eighth grade? Yes, eight grade. I watched it with my mother, and I woke up because I heard some talking in the other room.

In fact, I remember much more of those first moments, it's rather quite clear. It's one of those "you'll always remember" moments. Like when Kennedy was shot.

I wonder now what Gore would have done, and whether it would have been different or not.


On an unrelated note, when I heard Bush had won the '04 election, I for the first time felt a twinge of regret. I wanted to see what Kerry would have done. I still am curious about such things. Go figure.

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Omega M.
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I still wonder why we haven't had another 9/11-level or bigger attack yet. What are they waiting for?
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0Megabyte
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Didn't they try not too long ago with those airplanes in Britain?

If you count that, thjey DID try. But they failed.

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EDanaII
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On this day, 5 years ago, I knew then and there we were already in WWIII. I knew then that it was a war of ideologies and that, as a war, it would not be a "hot" war like exactly WWII, Korea or Vietnam, nor a "cold" war like the one we'd just fought, rather, I thought it would be something in between that would likely last generations. I knew then that Afghanistan was only the first chapter of that war, and fully expect the last chapter to end with a war against Iran, Saudi Arabia or, worse still, the entire Middle East.

Here's to hoping I'm wrong. [Frown]

Ed.

[ September 11, 2006, 04:44 PM: Message edited by: EDanaII ]

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canadian
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I knew people were going to react stupidly, and bravely. I also knew the sky was blue.
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KnightEnder
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I'm pissed that the media has turned OBL into a damn tv star. Instead of the nonentity living in a cave that he is. Anybody can kill. He's no master mind. He's a pathetic religious nut, (he doesn't even have the guts to risk his own life), who needs to be put out of his misery. Bush should be apologizing tonight for not having put two behind his ear by now.

Turn loose all of our special forces in Afganistan take off the leash and let them exterminate this bug.

Remember it? It pisses me off. We have let it have far to much significance in our lives.

God bless NY's Finest and Bravest. **** OBL. [Mad]

KE

[ September 11, 2006, 05:23 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Funean:
It's been five years today. Let's talk about it, and take a moment to remember the lives that were ended or permanently changed that morning.

I miss the pre-9/11 country.
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0Megabyte
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I wasn't very aware of the situation before 9/11.

Back in grade school, I wasn't exactly given an awesome view of the modern world. I got "Time Magazine for Kids" every week. Big deal. That didn't really tell me anything. Sure I knew about O.J., I'd heard about the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, but otherwise? Nah. I couldn't easily get informed. I was too busy trying to pass tests and watch anime.

I remember they cancelled Mobile Suit Gundam due to 9/11... a few episodes before they finished its run on Toonami. If anything pissed me off, THAT did.

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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by Omega M.:
I still wonder why we haven't had another 9/11-level or bigger attack yet. What are they waiting for?

Bush to stop foiling their plots
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canadian
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Good Old Bush...foiling those British bombers in England...
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Pete at Home
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Bad taste, c.

I don't recall anyone making Bush the world policeman. England is an ally, not a US territory. We don't police them.

[ September 11, 2006, 07:45 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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I don't think 911 marks the beginning of WWIII. I DO think it marks the beginning of an historically typical process of dishonest exploitation by most powers circling the questions of the 21st century, which in turn will bring us inevitably into WWIII.

We're full of ****; the Islamic jihadis are full of ****; the puppet governments in the Middle East are fos; the ME goverrnments that have torn free of their puppet strings (like Iran) are fos; the G7 & G8 players are fos... and we'll argue and lie and bomb and fight our way into a situation that will make us long for September 11, 2001.

The military bases and concessions we're currently establishing throughout the region, mostly with viciously corrupt governments whose association taints us, and whose acquisition sometimes involves the "liberation" of other countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, will serve us no better than our holdings in the Phillipines and the Indonesian archipelago did in WWII. (Corregidor comes to mind.)

The fighting will come into earnest within a generation, I suppose, and we'll likely be surprised by who will be whose allies when the bull-****ting gives way to genuine unmitigated conflict on a broad scale. Dear old Uncle Joe (Stalin) comes to mind. Gotta love those Coalitions of the Willing.

"I knew people were going to react stupidly, and bravely. I also knew the sky was blue."

Amen.

"The night was dark
The night was blue
Down the street
The ****wagon flew.
A shot was fired
A scream was heard
A man was killed
By a flying turd."
schoolyard doggerel circa 1963 Chicago, Illinois

[ September 11, 2006, 10:47 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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DaveS
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quote:
I knew people were going to react stupidly, and bravely. I also knew the sky was blue.
I missed this earlier. About the nicest bit of prose poetry I've ever seen around here.
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The Drake
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The Onion:

quote:
Begun only days after the 2001 attacks, the Hole covers almost the entire footprint of the original World Trade Center, contains over 16 acres of empty space, and is visible as far away as Hoboken, NJ. Over $175 million has been spent on the Hole's development, and thousands of pages of proposals and designs concerning the site in which the Hole was excavated were reviewed in over 2,800 hours of meetings. Work crews comprising more than 7,500 welders, equipment operators, excavators, and other construction specialists spent long, often unpaid shifts in its depths.

"These five years have been admittedly difficult," Pataki said. "Inevitably, we heard from the naysayers who said we would never accomplish anything on this site. To those people, I invite them to gaze down at this magnificent pit if they want proof of New Yorkers' dedication to this project."

The Hole contains several symbolic features: A massive reinforced-concrete foundation known before 9/11 as the "Bathtub" now serves as the renamed "Remembrance Facing." According to official memorial literature, a gently declining plane into the heart of the memorial stands for the gradual but steady passage of time, and permits construction vehicles to enter and exit the site. Chain-link fences symbolize the present but nonetheless scalable barriers between different cultures. Lastly, the "Eternal Puddle," perhaps the Hole's most notable and arresting, as well as bottommost, feature, allows visitors to reflect on the tragedy, while the rainwater-and-seepage-fed Puddle itself reflects muddy swirls and oil slicks.

Officials did not immediately explain the significance of the ubiquitous yellow "Keep Back" tape present at the site.


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Pete at Home
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9/11 doesn't mark the beginning of WWIII, any more than Pearl Harbor marked the beginning of WWII.

It's just the time that the USA dimly realized that the war was on, that we were invited, and that the enemy would not take "no thank you" for an answer.

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Liberal
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5 years after the attacks I take a look at our country and I see ourselves as being not only just as vulnerable, but we are even weaker due to our surrender to the terrorists (all the civil liberties we gave up without much return in the form of increased safety). We have had a huge string of good luck that none of the USSR's old nukes, or any new ones made by Khan when he was on the loose, have been trucked into one of our cities and blown up by now. It would be so easy: a large box, a vending machine, an A/C unit, etc.

5 years after going into Afghanistan with a clear objective and with clear purpose and justification, we have squandered all of the iternational sympathy we once had. We turned the hunt for the specific terrorists that committed 9-11 into a nebulous war on an abstract that, at first, was merely CALLED the "war on terror" but now can accurately be described as such since our state of "war" (loss of freedoms, condoned illegal government actions, a unique culture of lingering fear) did not end with Al Qaeda. It grows to encompass all "terrorists" and "extremists" even those that have not attacked Americans.

Even if you think we should be fighting this "war," can't everyone agree that our leaders are perpetuating the rationale for everything that goes along with this war to include new people constantly? Who here actually thinks the government will stop even if OBL is killed and AQ dismantled?
Bush made the statement today that this war will be "over" once either America or the 'Evil Extremists' win/lose. Does anyone else see how stupidly manichaen this view is? Does anyone believe this statement to be possible?

[ September 12, 2006, 02:58 AM: Message edited by: Liberal ]

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DaveS
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IMO, the US war will end with a whimper after a few more years, without even the drama of the last helicopter plucking the last soldier from a hotel roof. The words liberation, democracy and freedom that have been applied liberally to Iraq aren't heard much now** and eventually won't be heard at all. The local wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will go on for a long time, longer if we keep trying to "stabilize" those countries with our money and military support.

Our influence and prestige in the region has declined considerably over the past few years, so I wonder who/what will replace it. Given that an "Islamic identity" is on the rise in the area, it's hard to imagine Russia, China or India stepping in. The entire region will struggle to hold onto their territories and governments. Perhaps we will see some form of a regional consolidation or mutual defense "league" develop over the next decade.

** In Bush's speech, words based on "democracy" 3 times, "liberty" 1 time, "free" 11 times. Serious question: Can someone who saw the speech or read the transcript explain what he meant by "free" or "freedom"?

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