texshelters

Posts Tagged ‘9/11’

The misuses of 9/11

In History, Human Rights and the Constitution on September 9, 2011 at 02:40

For many, the ten year anniversary of 9/11 is an emotionally charged time. People lost friends and loved ones on Sept. 11, 2001, and those who didn’t, know people who did.  President George W. Bush had a great opportunity, as did the American people, to use the events of 9/11 to unite us and work together to make the world a better, safer place for all people. Instead, Bush and his White House team used the 9/11 attacks to make money, create disunity among the people, to break international law, to attack our fundamental freedoms and to increase their political power. Here are some of the ways 9/11 was misused by those in power and the people in general and how the events of 9/11 are being misused to this day.

1. We have used the attacks to censor dissenting voices.  The terrorist attacks pushed us to censor our media and toward a war footing. Those that disagreed with the wars were not heard from and war friendly voices at the New York Times helped sell the Iraq war for the administration. Meanwhile, the millions of people who protested Bush’s saber rattling were not heard from. Anti-war protests get far less media coverage today than the much smaller Tea Party rallies.

2. The attacks were an excuse to create an unprecedented surveillance regime. The United States government has a history of spying on the American people under the guise of security and during a time of perceived national threat. The events of 9/11 are no exception. The U.S.A. Patriotic Act, United and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism, was signed by President Bush on October 26, 2001, barely a month after the 9/11 attacks. This law allows the government to act unconstitutionally in the name of freedom. Constitutional Amendments can be circumvented through the Patriot Act. The protection against unlawful searches and seizures (Amendment IV) is violated by Title III in the Patriot Act. The right to a speedy trial (Amendment VI) is circumvented by the act’s provision for indefinite detentions if a person is deemed a “national security threat”. In fact, all provisions of the Amendment VI can be deemed null and void for security purposes according to the Patriot Act. And the law also eliminates the need for the signing of warrants by judges and almost entirely eliminates the judiciary from decisions in criminal cases regarding terrorism.

3. The Bush Doctrine of preemptive war and unilateralism was justified due to the 9/11 attacks. It has been since WWII that a president got congressional authorization for war. But President Bush took his war power one step further. He decided it was okay to attack nations because of the perceived threat they pose, the possibility that Iraq might have WMDs, and that was enough for most members in Congress. It was also enough for many Americans who supported the war in high numbers when it began. Although many people no longer supports the wars, the wars continue with some signs of a draw down in the near future.

4. Our post 9/11 national security regimen has legitimized torture. Because we were and are angry and wanted revenge, we (Bush and Obama along with Congress) have approved the torture of terrorist suspects even when there is little or no evidence that torture garners reliable intelligence.  The American people supported this torture, even when they learned that it does not work.

5. We used 9/11 to justify the rendition terrorist suspects. Rendition means taking a terrorist suspect from the United States, where we will be judicially banned from torturing them, to a nation such as Syria. Syria is the home of President Assad, known war criminal. And in Syria, they have no qualms about using torture for us on those who may, or may not, be terrorists.

6. People used 9/11 to justify their Xenophobia and Islamophobia. Attacks on Muslims rose in the United States after 9/11 as did the hateful rhetoric. People will argue that this type of behavior is “unAmerican”. I would say that it is very American, and European, and African, and Asian. It’s human. The more we fight the tendency to stereotype a whole community based on the actions of a handful of people, people unrelated but easily tied culturally to the Islamic terrorists, the better.

7. The terrorist attacks were used to increase military budgets and expand our mercenary army. We have spent $208 billion on private contractors for the war effort. There has also been at least $30 billion in waste to contractors. People say we can’t afford food stamps, but they look away when it comes to war spending. The misuse of our capital due to the 9/11 attacks is staggering. This spending has lead to larger deficits and is one of the major causes of our economic collapse.

8. We used these attacks and the wars to reelect of George W Bush. George W. Bush was both reviled, and reelected, because of his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and his reaction to 9/11. Ironically, the president who failed to heed national security warnings about a 9/11 type plane attack was praised for “protecting us since 9/11” and reelected. That not only lead to further war spending and huge tax cuts to the top 1%, but it lead to further deregulation of the banking industry and the current recession.

The 9/11 attacks have been used to justify the heinous behavior by a handful of our troops overseas and continuous attacks on civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The 9/11 attacks have brought out our racism and xenophobia and shown our worst character. Instead of a nationalistic ceremony of puffery followed by hatred and fear, the anniversary of 9/11 can be somber occasion to remember those lost. It can also be a time to rebuff those that have taken advantage of the attacks for personal gain.

Peace,
Tex Shelters

Enough, again, about 9/11

In Current Events, History, World Affairs on June 27, 2011 at 02:32

This is a repost and update in honor of President Obama’s invoking of 9/11 in his latest speech to justify the Afghan war. “On September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women, and children without regard to their faith or race or station. Were it not for the heroic actions of the passengers on board one of those flights, they could have also struck at one of the great symbols of our democracy in Washington, and killed many more.

As we know, these men belonged to al Qaeda – a group of extremists who have distorted and defiled Islam, one of the world’s great religions, to justify the slaughter of innocents. Al Qaeda’s base of operations was in Afghanistan, where they were harbored by the Taliban – a ruthless, repressive and radical movement that seized control of that country after it was ravaged by years of Soviet occupation and civil war, and after the attention of America and our friends had turned elsewhere.

Just days after 9/11, Congress authorized the use of force against al Qaeda and those who harbored them – an authorization that continues to this day. The vote in the Senate was 98 to 0. The vote in the House was 420 to 1.”  (link)

Shut up already about 9/11

The United States is using 9/11 as an excuse to be the world’s police force and to attack Muslim dominated nations. In that spirit, I have performed the following actions:

I kicked an Englishman in the balls today in remembrance of Bloody Sunday and the atrocities in Ireland. I burnt Oxford editions of the collected works of Shakespeare, the British playwright of terror, for good measure.

Throwing bricks through the window of a sushi restaurant satisfied my lust to get back at the Japanese for Pearl Harbor. I do that every December 7. I also like to smash big snouted Romans in the nose for their besting my Celtic Queen, Queen Boudicca, back in the first century. I stabbed a priest for all the pedophilia and betrayal by other Catholic priests for good measure.

Then I gathered some patriots to spit on some Christians as they left their holy church of terrorist training for bombing Oklahoma City’s Federal Building. We also spray painted “Jesus Freaks” on the side of several Christian terrorist training centers. It was the Protestants that killed my Irish ancestors, so we had to go on and burn a few Christian churches (and their terrorist training manual, the Bible) in the process. That will show those Prods that we are right and they are wrong.

Honor the dead, but don’t use their deaths as an excuse to hate, discriminate and hurt and kill others. (link)

Self proclaimed super patriot’s scream, “We must never forget.” Forget what? Forget that you irrationally fear and hate all Muslims based on the actions of a tiny group of fundamentalists?

Shut up about 9/11 already. How about using the historical tragedy as a call to promote peace. Or is that too close to the original message of Jesus?

The article “The United States of Fear” states well how we have sold out our freedoms in the name of fear. (link)

Enjoy, and happy endless wars. And as President Obama said to end his speech justifying continued war, “Thank you, God Bless you, God Bless our troops, and may God Bless the United States of America.” No, God bless you President Obama.

See the text of his speech.

For fun, compare President’s Obama misinformation and lies about Afghanistan with those in Lyndon Johnson’s speech about Vietnam.

Addendum: I am not asking or expecting anyone to stop grieving or remembering the loss, especially personal losses, from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. What I hope is that we stop allowing politicians and others to use 9/11 to justify torture, wars against innocent nations and people, civilian bombing, rendition, assassination and other atrocities.

Yours,
Tex Shelters

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