I posted this the afternoon of the catastrophe. Subsequently I read a
number of posts of similar nature, but with not quite this perspective.
So I think this is still useful. It has been modified very slightly to
be totally in accord with the facts of the event as we now know them.
> William Mandel
> Oakland, California
> 9/11/01 5:36 PM
> The attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center
> are the most important event in world history since the collapse of the
> Soviet Union.
> The disappearance of the USSR ended a half century in
> which two powers dominated the world. The casualties in New York,
> Washington, and in the skies made an end to the belief that the United
> States could continue waging wars costing us no blood, whether in no-fly
> zones over Iraq, in Kosovo, or anywhere else on any continent.
> For fifty-six years Washington has successfully conducted
> mass murders of noncombatant civilians from the air with no fear of
> retaliation. In 1945, when Japan could no longer strike back, there was
> Hiroshima, 75,000 killed. Then Nagasaki, 40,000 killed. The Korean War
> cost that country, with no possible means of harming the United
> States, 4,000,000 dead [Encyclopedia Brittanica] versus 34,000
> Americans, or moe than 100 Koreans per American. Most of the Korean deaths
> were caused by American carpet bombing (white phosphorus, napalm,
> explosives)to break the will to resist, and therefore
> were predominantly civilian.
> The numbers in the Vietnam War were of the same orders of
> magnitude. "Desert Storm" has slaughtered some 5,000 Iraqi children since
the end of the fighting, due to the embargo against necessities.
> Until now the vast majority of Americans have clucked
> their tongues over these things and gone about their business. No more.
> The deaths in the collapsed New York towers equals one month's losses of Iraqi children.
> The super-expensive space and information age
> espionage technology of the National Security Agency, as well as the
> more conventional activities of the CIA and FBI are now the
> laughing stock of the world. As to the Defense Intelligence Agency in
> the Pentagon, I wonder if it was accidental that the plane striking that
> building hit exactly the section where that agency was housed.
> There is simply nothing Washington can do to restore the
> situation existing before this morning. Even if it decides to blame
> Saddam Hussein, and nukes Baghdad off the face of the earth, it will
> accomplish nothing in a world of suicide bombers and underground
> organizations capable of working in complete secrecy and with perfect
> coordination. Undoubtedly U.S."intelligence"(?!)operations will be
multiplied. That guarantees absolutely nothing.
> The Korean War was accompanied by the rise of
> McCarthyism. It is possible that today's events may bring similar
> hysteria and suppression of civil liberties. Not only would that further diminish the
> civil liberties that are one of this country's proudest achievements,
> but by so doing it would reduce the ability of the citizenry to ask the
> necessary questions about the policies responsible for the hatred of the
> United State expressed in this catastrophe.
> The time has come to realize that the motivation that
> brought about our Revolutionary War in 1776 is the strongest single
> force active in the world today. Peoples will be independent, no matter what
> Washington, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley want to do with and in their
> The United States must either adapt to that or suffer the
> fate of ancient Rome.
> William Mandel, Oakland, California
> (37 years [1958-1995] on Pacifica Radio stations
Do you teach in the social sciences? Consider my SAYING NO TO POWER
(Creative Arts, Berkeley, 1999), for course use. It was written as a
social history of the U.S. for the past three-quarters of a century
through the eyes of a participant observer in most progressive social
movements (I'm 84), and of the USSR from the
standpoint of a Sovietologist (five earlier books) knowing that country
longer than any other in the profession. Therefore it is also a history
of the Cold War. Positive reviews in The Black Scholar, American
Studies in Scandinavia, San Francisco Chronicle, forthcoming in Tikkun,
etc. Chapters are up at http://www.billmandel.net
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