2 3 Some
Thoughts on 9-11-2001 p.2
I am reminded a bit of
the campaign during the Nixon administration for people to wear
bracelets signifying their distress about MIA combatants in the
Vietnam War. If you wore one, you were subtly supporting the hateful
Nixon administration. If you didn't, you could be immediately identified
as a Nixon-hater and a callous person who didn't give a fig about
our poor MIAs. In both cases our normal human compassion for our
fellow man is subverted into public support for an administration
which is committing actions which may be against our principles
6. Some self-appointed
spokespeople have been calling the 9-11 attacks "another Pearl
Harbor" which only displays their lack of historical knowledge.
OK, both events took the nation by surprise, both had a shocking
toll of life. But in 1941 we knew immediately who did it. (They
had those circles on the bellies of their planes.) We still don't
know who the intellectual authors of 9-11 are. (And the operation
seems amazingly sophisticated and well-planned for a guy sitting
in a desert cave with a laptop.)
Other congruencies are
in the making: As part of the country's hysterical reaction to 12-7-41,
thousands of Japanese-Americans who lived on the West Coast (but
not those in Hawaii!) were interned in concentration camps for much
of the war. As part of the recently-passed emergency legislation
the country is holding 120 Middle Easterners and searching for another
190. The Justice Department says that non-citizens will be subject
to indefinite detention. How large will the final list be? Who will
ultimately be eligible for this incarceration? Maybe dissidents
as during World War I?
One clear difference
that no commentator has thought to mention: There were no tax cuts
or tax refunds in 1941. Rather, taxes were substantially increased
to pay for defense (and then war) with the rich bearing a large
share and not getting a special rebate. The Revenue Act of 1941
lowered the top income tax bracket from $5 million to $200,000 and
increased the rate from 81% to 88%.
Our intelligence-gathering capabilities are far better now than
in 1941, so how did 9-11 happen? Especially when there had been
warning from the French CIA and from Mossad? As for Pearl Harbor
the MAGIC code had been cracked in September, 1940 so the US was
privy to Japanese discussions of preparations for war. In late November,
1941 it was known that an attack was imminent with an "advance
into the Southern regions" and battleships were spotted sailing
toward Singapore. The first indication that Pearl Harbor could be
an additional target was the dispatch which told the Japanese Ambassador
the time he should call on the Secretary of State-- the last of
a series, which unfortunately was not received until the morning
of the attack.
7. I'm not going to
use the phrases "chickens coming home to roost" or "what
goes around, comes around" as people could infer that I think
this country deserved what happened on 9-11. No way! No country,
no group of people deserves that. But I do think we as a nation
must examine what we have done in the past to cause so many people
to hate us that much.
In Iran in the 1950s
we took out a progressive government and restored the Pahlavi regime.
Then we equipped the savage SAVAK secret police and turned our backs
on the Shah's repression of his people in order to have a military
base in the area and installations for eavesdropping on the Soviet
Union. Then in the 1970s we were surprised by the revolution and
indignant at the capture of our embassy!
We have supported and
financed Israel despite its terrible repression of the Palestinian
population and increasing Jewish settlements in the West Bank in
violation of the UN treaty.
Our sanctions against
Iraq since the Gulf War are responsible for the deaths of a million
Iraqi children. And our frequent follow-up bombings of Iraq are
seldom mentioned in our newspapers.