This is the morning that everyone talks about Superbowl ads… and, seeing the Leno/Oprah/Letterman ad, I found some real invention here.
HuffPo, however, did a piece this morning on Outrageous advertising… these are NOT Superbowl related… and one was for the French eco-group, Fondation Nicolas Houlot. It reads: “For Nature, Everyday is 9/11.”
This organization, which campaigns against actions which damage the earth and thus impinges on people’s human rights, provoked much controversy… and, frankly, I find it tasteless. Using an event that killed over 3000 friends and family members (my son Buddy’s youthful basketball coach for one) does not promote their cause as much as it makes us remember something totally awful.
The image? Here it is:
You may disagree with me. I’m interested in your opinion.
And just in case you are wondering, I agree with the Times’ editors.
Continuing onward with the start of the last hour of this BBC Documentary. We’ve been through a half century of events so far. And then came 9/11:
No kidding! Mary Matalin said so, and she said Bush inherited a recession from Clinton, too:
“We should call it what it is. We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term. I hope they’re not looking at this politically. I do think that we owe it to the American people to call it what it is.”
-Former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino commenting to Sean Hannity in discussing the Massacre at Fort Hood.
It is not certain what planet Ms. Perino was living on when 9/11 occurred.
By Greg Palast (for ZEEK.net)
Note from Bill: I received this article by Greg Palast in today’s e-mail… It came not from ZEEK, which is a progressive Jewish Magazine of Thought and Culture), but directly from Greg, so I am more than certain that republishing the whole thing here is well within Greg’s wishes to get this read.
As we are now getting ready to pull the kind of crap in Afghanistan that we spent the last eight years doing in Iraq, I think this SHOULD be read. It may convince you that we are about to do the wrong thing again.
On September 11, 2001, my office building, the World Trade Center, was attacked by al Qaeda, a murder cult of Saudi Arabians, funded by Saudi Arabians. And so, in response to the Saudis’ attack, America invaded … Afghanistan.
And here we go again. The New York Times (print edition) headline last Friday was: “Pakistani Army, In Its Campaign In Taliban Stronghold, Finds A Hint Of 9/11.”
Google it and you’ll find the Times report repeated and amplified 5,785 times more.
Taliban = 9/11. Taliban = 9/11. Taliban = 9/11.
Your eyelids are getting heavy. Taliban = 9/11. Taliban = 9/11.
It’s the latest hit from the same crew that brought you Saddam = 9/11 and its twin chant, Saddam = WMD, Dick Cheney’s chimerical tropes which the New York Times’ Judith Miller happily channeled to the paper’s front page.
And they’re at it again.
Every war begins with a lie. In addition to Saddam = WMD, I’m old enough to remember the Gulf of Tonkin resolution authorizing the war in Vietnam, based on a fictional Vietnamese gunboat attack on our Navy. (White House recordings have Lyndon Johnson gloating privately, “Hell, those damn stupid [US] sailors were just shooting at flying fish.”)
In the Glorious War against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the lie is thus: al Qaeda is “based” in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. If we don’t fight the wily Taliban, as the British once fought the wily Pathan, al Qaeda will attack America again from Talibanistan.
The latest Taliban=9/11 fantasy is a yarn spun wildly outward from the finding of a passport of an al Qaeda flunky who worked with suicide pilot Mohammed Atta in the same mountain area where, years later, a Taliban group operated. It’s a stretch, but when you want to sell a war, it will do.
But selling the re-invasion of Afghanistan requires a repetition of Lie #1: that the original attack on the World Trade towers and the Pentagon were planned from Afghanistan’s and Pakistan’s mountains with the connivance of the Taliban.
It’s not true, of course. The September 11 attack was neither organized nor directed from Afghanistan by the Taliban. In fact, as our BBC Report found, it was clear that the attack on my friends and co-workers was planned and carried out from Falls Church, Virginia; Paris, France; Sarasota, Florida; Hamburg, Germany;— and, I repeat, funded and manned from Saudi Arabia. Neither the Sunshine State nor the Aryan namesake of the original beef patty sandwich were, nor are they now, convenient targets for a revenge attack by the 101st Airborne.
And revenge was what it was and remains: on September 11 the skunks hit us and we, goddamnit, were going to HIT BACK. ANYONE. SOMEONE. So we hit the odious, and conveniently weak, Taliban, who’d, undeniably, given refuge to killer Osama bin Laden. Though let us not forget that Osama’s safe passage from the Sudan to Afghanistan was initially encouraged by the US government.
Today, we continue to throw our soldiers’ bodies into Afghanistan, and our drones’ rockets into Pakistan, to deny al Qaeda the supposed base from which to strike us again.
The media is eating it up and swallowing it whole. For example, CNN quotes a Pakistani from the Afghan border area, “Probably your next 9/11 is going to be from Swat.”
That’s not true either, of course: In the extraordinarily unlikely event Osama remains in the “caves of Tora Bora” (not where multi-millionaires with kidney disease tend to linger), any conceivable attack will be planned, funded and organized from comfy hotel rooms in Paris, Germany and Dubai as is the habit of these well-heeled hellions.
The truth is, we’re not in Afghanistan to stop al Qaeda’s US attackers, because they weren’t “based” there in the first place, and their leaders are not there now.
So, why are we now re-invading Afghanistan? Beats me. I just hope our President will give us a hint that doesn’t involve some cockamamie fairytale about 9/11 and al Qaeda.
Now, please don’t get me wrong: the Taliban are monsters. If you have any doubt, I suggest you read progressive journalist Michael Griffin’s masterful history of the Taliban, Reaping the Whirlwind. (Published in early 2001, Griffin presciently warned against the US policy of placating the Taliban.)
Undeniably, the Taliban gave sanctuary to the killer Osama, but that does not make the Taliban guilty of planning and participating in the 9/11 attack. However, the Taliban’s innocence in the 9/11 massacre does not wash their hands of the blood of Afghans, particularly Shia and Sufi Muslims, whom the Taliban have tortured, raped and murdered.
I can’t say I shed tears for the Taliban when, after my office towers fell, US troops ended their sharia dictatorship. And, honestly, there’s a case to be made that rocketing more Taliban, really nasty cutthroats that they are, is a laudable exercise. But let’s not pretend it has anything to do with preventing another 9/11.
And that’s the danger. As the poet T.S. Eliot warned,
"The last temptation is the greatest treason To do the right thing for the wrong reason."
Taliban = 9/11? Innocents, by the thousands and thousands, will pay in blood for this treasonous falsehood.
For BBC Television, Greg Palast reported on the US intelligence failures leading to the 9/11attack. Watch the BBC Newsnight episode. For the full story obtain a copy of the now classic BBC documentary, Bush Family Fortunes available on DVD or the now newly available download version. The author is donating all proceeds of the sale of the film, *Bush Family Fortunes, expanded from the BBC broadcast, to the Palast Investigative Fund, a not-for-profit foundation supporting investigative reporting. 100% of your donations for the film disc or download go to the fund and are tax-deductible.*
President Obama has declared today as a day of Public Service and Remembrance. That is an interesting concept. I serve by writing this blog and supporting candidates who make a positive change and, hopefully, will get us out of the wars we have entered. In terms of remembrance, I remember how the tragedy of 9/11 was used by the Bush Administration to go after Iraq… something we never had to do.
I read in Mother Jones this morning an article on how 9/11 should be remembered and I give you this extract:
After 9/11, it could all have been different, profoundly different. And if it had, there would have been no children imprisoned without charges or release dates in our gulag in Cuba; there would have been no unmanned drones slaughtering wedding parties in the rural backlands of Afghanistan or the Iraqi desert; there would have been no soldiers returning to the U.S. with two or three limbs missing or their heads and minds grievously damaged (there were already 320,000 traumatic brain injuries to soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan by early 2008, according to the RAND Corporation); there would not have been a next round of American deaths — 4,334 in Iraq, 786 in Afghanistan to date; there would have been no trillion dollars taken from constructive projects to fatten the corporations of war; no extreme corrosion of the Bill of Rights, no usurpation of powers by the executive branch. Perhaps.
It COULD have been different… but it wasn’t.
To really remember 9/11 now, and to provide the greatest of services, we could move as strongly as possible toward getting out of the military commitment to the civil wars of the Middle East and toward reestablishing the Rights and Freedoms for all classes that made America great.
Oh, how we could.
Elly and I, along with Linda and Cecil, attended the Opening Night performance of Steven Dietz’s Yankee Tavern, a two act play which starts out as a comedy and leaves you, by the end of the last scene of the second act, believing in all kinds of conspiracy theories relating to 9/11, the disappearance of Saudi princes, the mysteries of why Tower 7 imploded and who planned the attack and wrote a sealed and hidden plan three days before and put it….
Oh you can go on and on and it gets more and more caught up in the rantings of an old man, the mysteries of a quiet guy in sunglasses who sits silently and buys a beer for an invisible friend, a young bartender working on his PhD in International Studies who gets caught up in the conspiracy theories surrounding everyone and a young woman and fiancee to the young bartender who sees her upcoming wedding falling apart…
And all of that doesn’t explain what is REALLY happening, nor does it keep YOU from getting more and more involved in the mystery.
And it’s FUNNY!
We sat next to Steven Dietz, the author, who occasionally made some notes in a little book… dialogue changes, I guess… but he was laughing just as much as we were… especially in the first act (as I said, in the first act you think it is a straightforward comedy… it’s the second act that drags you into the mystery and conspiracy of the evening.)
The cast included Eric Sheffer Stevens, who played Adam, the young bartender; Anne Marie Nest (who we saw in Stick Fly last year, which was also directed by Liesl Tommy); John Lescault as Palmer, the mysterious man in sunglasses with the invisible pal; and, best of all, Anderson Matthews as Ray, who sees ghosts wandering the rooms of the hotel upstairs, believes all conspiracy theories (and makes sure you hear about all of them), and tries to keep the couple together.
Matthews is a hugely successful character actor… we saw him in a couple of things last year including the wonderful Pig Farm. He takes us from rumor to rumor with a belief in an unreal world that he HAS to share. I could watch him play this part all night long and NEVER get tired of the character,
Ms. Tommy, the Director, interpreted the author’s work in a distinctly clear way… but there is one thing she did that really stood out with me and made another aspect of Yankee Tavern even more real. Ray gives us ongoing descriptions of the “ghosts upstairs”, including Adam’s late father Vince and many others, who wander from room to room spending their time talking to, of all people, Ray. The second act has a couple of scene changes in the bar which indicate a passing of time and a change of characters present. Ms. Tommy has the props shifted and furniture moved by a set of interns dressed in black who are lit from below in a mostly darkened set so that they look like ghosts moving all around. Yes, we can see the scenic change and, yes it could have been done in complete blackout… they don’t take too long… but Tommy makes us SEE the GHOSTS that Ray has been talking about… if only for a second or two. Who cares if it’s a scene change? This is an inventive piece of directing.
OK, getting to the end of this… if you have a chance to get over to the CATF this month, I can flat out recommend that you see Yankee Tavern. It’s great.