EARTH MEANDERS: 9/11/01 – The Day America Died
The 9/11 attacks were inhumane barbarity that brutally destroyed thousands. Yet America squandered the opportunity to unite the world against terrorism, instead going it alone to wage perma-war for a decade (permanent war, still on-going), causing tremendous lasting damage to life in America, our ideals, and world standing. In policies that can best be described as grotesque acts of revenge, hundreds of times the original victims of 9/11 were murdered by U.S. troops given illegal orders. Many if not most of the 300,000 to 1,000,000 killed were innocents – just as in the twin tower attacks. This is not the America where I was born and raised. If these militarist, fascist, morally and financially bankrupt policies and resultant collapse of ecology continue; the simpler, more honorable America has died, perhaps forever.
By Dr. Glen Barry, EcoInternet
Earth Meanders come from Earth's Newsdesk
On the tenth anniversary of 9/11 attacks upon America, I too mourn 3,000 victims of a monstrous criminal evil. Yet as a politically unaffiliated free thinker and global citizen, I am acutely aware that this was only the beginning of the decade's violent criminal atrocities. I will not and cannot forget America's dramatic and incautious over-reaction, as mostly decent countrymen and women lashed out with a murderous vengeance. Some 250,000 to one million have been killed in Iraq and about 50,000 in Afghanistan by America's illegal wars and military aggression (some estimates run much higher). Why bring this up today? Because those that write history control our future, and the true story of American war crimes has not been told.
Post-911, America's political leaders with vast public support, turned loose its vengeful legions and killing machines, in effect murdering – as occurs with all war deaths – at least 100 to 350 times as many innocents in Persia and Arabia as were lost in the twin towers. The vast majority of these casualties are innocent civilians that loved their children, worked, and prayed to their god just like their New York brethren. Given that several hundred thousand to a million innocent Middle East civilians have been murdered in a decade of American cold-blooded revenge for 9/11, this essay will ask whether this is enough and the wars of murderous vengeance can end now.
Post-911 bad American behavior shows how easily patriotism becomes nationalism, to justify militarism, leading easily to fascism's tyranny and mass killing. In addition to mass indiscriminate murder worthy of the 911 attack perpetrators, America's post-911 responses include torture, prisoner abuse, stripping civil liberties, arbitrary indefinite detentions, spying on citizens, and the rise of a fascist police state. This loss of tangible freedoms in a war proclaimed to be about freedom leads me to question whether America can be said to be the good guys in any real sense in the war on terror, when it uses terror tactics itself.
The Earth Meanders series of essays – which place global contemporary issues within an ecological framework – prides itself with providing alternative narratives from a different biocentric, human family centered viewpoint. I am told free speech still exists in America (albeit in tawdry remnants that is spied upon). Yet with cable news mythologizing 911 victims and troops 24/7, I must speak my mind and be heard. I would find the likely assaults on free-thinking, alternative narratives like this one presented here to be funny, if it weren't fascist censorship by the thought police. America is free, has freedom of speech, this is why we fight I am told. You do remember?
This essay explores the fact that state sponsored murder by U.S. troops – acting upon illegal orders in multiple unjust and undeclared wars – has killed hundreds of thousands if not millions, including many, many innocents, whose families mourn their deaths too. It asks whether we Yankees have exacted enough revenge and gotten even yet for 9/11?
If so, can we end the wars and bring the troops home, while remaining eternally vigilant regarding terrorism? Can some of the war trillions be redirected to address our shared collapsing economy, ecology, society, justice, jobs, equity and fairness? Can we adopt a little of the spirit of other victims of terrorism – shown recently in Spain, Norway and elsewhere – and not become terrorists ourselves, forgive our transgressors, and stop hating and murdering now?
Perma-War, War Crimes and Fascism
America has become a vicious fascist empire, whose legions steal resources, destroy ecosystems, and murder to maintain inequity and over-consumption for corporations and the ruling elite back home. In taking revenge upon poor, hapless villagers eking out a living that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, while being guided by oil geo-politics, the United States has shown clearly that it is unexceptional, and that in fact it is dangerous, greedy, and ecocidal (killing ecology). Patriotism DOES NOT mean silence as perma-war fever overtakes and kills the very moral fiber of your once great nation.
9/11 was blow-back from a long history of U.S. occupation and militarism, period. It brought home to the U.S. nationalistic militarism, crashed economies, and tawdry morals it has inflicted upon the world for over a century – with notable exceptions like the World Wars. In other words, when you act like the schoolyard bully, stealing and acting better than everyone else, eventually someone tries to take you down. Osama may be dead, and we may continue to fight the tactic of terrorism forever, yet we have already lost the war to avenge 9/11 justly and honorably, and a whole lot more.
9/11 unleashed America's dogs of war, leading to at least half a dozen ongoing wars (the ones we know about). U.S. troops have in effect waged genocide upon Iraqi and Afghanistan civilians for almost ten years through a brutal counter-insurgency campaign, reigning bombs and radioactive ordinance at will. The U.S. now spends $600 Billion a year on war, nearly doubling in 10 years, which is spent for hundreds of military bases around the world, used to police and occupy much of the world; and for illegal secret programs that overthrow leaders, carry out assassinations and torture, and eliminate freedoms and democracy overseas and here at home.
Post 911 America became THE evil empire – narcissistic, entitled, superstitious, uneducated, ecocidal, militaristic, unequal, unjust, and unfair. I have written at length of Bush and Cheney's war crimes, there is no doubt they occurred and have gone unpunished. Yet Obama – sold to us and elected as America's great black hope – has left these policies virtually untouched, in many instances strengthened, like with the Afghan surge and military adventurism into Pakistan, intensifying illegal perma-war against international law and norms.
Thus Bush, Cheney, Obama, their staffs, lines of command, officers, troops and acquiescing U.S. citizens are all war criminals. Their crimes include carrying out asymmetric ongoing revenge killings far beyond the original horrendous crime – morphing not so subtlety into wars of occupation and destabilization for oil. Their unimaginative, non-nuanced and plainly illegal actions in prosecuting illegal wars of aggression have also resulted in the loss of hard fought advances in international law, human rights, and civil liberties. It is unlikely things will ever be normalized soon or perhaps ever – particularly as the conflicts likely true $3.7 trillion dollar price tag – $2.5 trillion already and more to come when all is accounted for – has devastated the once great nation's economy, ecology, and society.
Much has been lost on the home front as questioning government militarism has been virtually outlawed by myth-making, virulent nationalist propaganda, and violent crowds. The door has been opened to dangerously right wing, fascist, bellicose and vicious, hard-talking politicians – each falling over themselves to be harder than the other on terrorism at the expense of preemptive killing and loss of liberties.
The Republicans and Tea Party (which has always been here as John Birch, McCarthyite fascists) are mostly superstitious, uneducated, bigoted fascists bent upon denying restraint upon military power, and observable scientific truths, in order to further enrich the ruling elite at the expense of workers, rights and ecology. Corporatists use the situation to dismantle hard fought and vital freedoms, regulations and protections, so society can be enslaved, resources over-consumed and ecology destroyed by the mega-rich in the name of “jobs”, “patriotism”, and stopping “gays”.
Americans are indoctrinated that they are exceptional, god's chosen people. Yet when the killing in our name with our tax-dollars commenced, we were told to shop, not conserve – something we did in earnest until war expenditures crashed the economy (as has happened with virtually every empire). There is no such thing as perfect security, particularly in a vibrant liberal democracy, and trying means limiting freedoms, rights, and a permanent state of war. America's 9/11 incautious militarization – at home and abroad – far exceeds the evil of one criminal act, however horrendous.
War Bad for Ecology
We have watched the war on terror morph into the war for oil and other resources, which we are stealing at the point of a gun from poor local inhabitants that live on the foreign land above our oil, and thus must be killed, removed or pacified. America's industrial, speculative capitalism has been shown to be deeply violent – routinely killing people, species and ecosystems with impunity. Human life and ecology are worth nothing if they block the ruling elite from growing richer.
Without diminishing what was lost on this fateful day 10 years ago, let's gain some perspective. Coincidentally, bad sources of drinking water kill 3,000 kids DAILY, and it is totally preventable globally with one-time $20 billion dollar expenditure, a tiny percentage of our military budget. This means some eleven million deaths of innocent children have resulted from bad water in 10 years. Where is the outrage? Why is nothing being done?
These kids and their families aren't bankers- yet internationally the 2.5 billion living on less than $2/day, one billion without adequate water, and another billion with not enough food, have dreams and hopes too. They love their children, work hard, and feel pain too. They are also routinely wracked by the consequences of American militarism, and deserve to be heard and share in Earth's bounty too. As deeply addicted Americans wail regarding gasoline prices, perhaps we could pay a bit more and share so these HUMANS that are our FAMILY can live a decent life too? Is that asking too much?
Anyone not deeply and profoundly outraged by the violence done daily by the U.S. military and ruling elite's economic growth machine – to the natural world and those living in abject poverty – is not fully human or actualized, has not overcome childhood indoctrination and superstition, and is no friend of truth, justice, equity, sustaining ecology and the human family.
Those who think we cannot afford to sustain ecology and share with the less fortunate, while running a war economy for decades, and only after everyone has a job and the economy is growing, do not understand how ecosystems work and our utter dependence upon ecology for EVERYTHING. They ensure a violent people's power revolution to aggrieve terrible, vicious global inequity in living conditions.
American's grotesquely wasteful and consumptive way of life – epitomized by foreign policy that takes resources at the point of a gun – is leading the world right to the brink of final ecosystem collapse. In fact, God's chosen exceptional people are totally ignoring climate change caused extreme weather which is trashing America all year right in our faces.
America is so self-absorbed, so cocooned in air-conditioned comfort, so unexceptional, and so ecocidal that it wouldn't notice abrupt climate change if it bit it in the ass – or crashed the economy, led to foreign militaristic resource adventurism, and destroyed the Yankee spirit of decency. Gee, I guess we should pray for rain.
Virtually every other grave ecological threat to humanity including ecosystem collapse, abrupt climate change, water scarcity, dying oceans, food shortages, over-population, inequitable and over-consumption, etc. has been put on hold as we cower in our beds, pissing ourselves with fright that today a terrorist may kill us, rather than going about our daily lives with pride and courage.
If there is no ecology, there can be no economy, no jobs, nothing! The U.S. and world economy – which have been based upon unlimited growth, resource use, and ecosystem destruction – will never “recover” to what it has been. Such grotesquely high levels of growth in inequitable consumption simply cannot be sustained in an over-populated world with all having ever higher aspirations. The human family commits to voluntary simplicity and sharing, or we will all die at each others' throats – in one or another perma-war – seeking ecosystems' last ill-gotten wealth.
The human family, plants and animals, and our shared Earth, are one, which some call Gaia, a living but dying organism. Our whole living Earth family is in ecosystem collapse together, and achieving global ecological sustainability must be where we focus our energy and resources, not warring over our religious differences and to further oil addiction. As America's gluttonous over-consumption comes to an end – largely as a result of poor governance post-911, ecosystem collapse, and the bills coming due for perma-war – American citizens must resist turning even more sullen, belligerent, self-righteous, thus showing clearly there is nothing exceptional here.
Truth and Reconciliation
The U.S. needs a truth and reconciliation commission investigation to fully and transparently investigate all U.S. war crimes after the attack, and to immediately commit to ending the post-911 wars. We need the true 911 history, not the Disneyfied glorification of unjust war, vengeance, and resource grabs by the corporate media, made holy because we are god's chosen people.
Only bringing those responsible to justice for all post-911 atrocities – while continuing to build the body of international law, courts and international police to punish and eliminate unjustified terror (remembering justified wars of liberation do exist) – can end the killing. Then together we can begin ending much worse crimes like ecocide, elite corporate rule, and rising fascism which threaten the entire human family's freedom, livelihoods and very existence.
It is well past time for Earth's human family to rise-up and shut down U.S. perma-wars, wage people power Earth revolution against ecocidalists and their industrial growth machine, and get back to the land and gardens to protect and restore ecology. I believe strongly it is better to go on lively freely and humanely, engaged with bettering the world, while being careful – yet perhaps suffering an occasional terrorist attack – than to live fortified, isolated and morally repugnant lives of aggression and resource thievery.
Haven't we all paid enough for Osama's lunacy? He's dead and this can all end if the corporations and military/industrial complex benefiting richly will allow it. Can we please stop the post-911 repudiation of everything for which America has ever stood? Let's use the peace dividend to transform the world.
I and EcoInternet fearlessly think freely and speak truthfully regarding global ecology and the human family's condition. Join us on the globally ecologically sustainable, genuinely peaceful, people's power, human rights filled, equitable and just side of history. Or we can allow continued fascist perma-war and ecocide, and wait for being to collapse into nothingness.
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