Progressive Politics Research and Commentary by Janette Rainwater
 
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page 1 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 and beliefs.

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%.

Another difference: 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.

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This site was last changed November 28, 2001. It was created on March 20, 1997.

© Janette Rainwater 1997-2001

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