It gives me no great joy to write this. Many ideologues will accuse me of taking advantage of the events of 911 for political purposes but those same people are the reason I am compelled to tell the truth. They have hijacked the memories and pain we all share, wrapped themselves up in the American flag, and proceeded to tear this country apart by pretending that dissent, is unpatriotic. These people do not love this country; they love their warped vision of it. They are brave to spill the blood of our children but as long as it is not their own. They are parasites feeding off of our communal sadness and advancing their own agenda while waving the American flag disguised as primal fear. They deserve nothing but our disdain. They deserve to hear the one thing they never speak of, the truth.
Five years later and where are we as a country? We have been lied to for five years. We have sold out our civil liberties for a false sense of security. We have our kids dying every day in Afghanistan, where the Taliban is back in the picture and things are not much better then they were before we invaded that country. Bin Laden is still at large, if not dead. The only time he pops up anymore is to put a new hit video designed to help the GOP. Iraq is in civil war and the Downing Street Memos have proven that our president decided to go to war and then "fit the intelligence" around that policy. Translation? He lied to get the war of choice he wanted. The Bush Administration purposefully outed a covert CIA operative, who happened to be in charge of WMD issues, for political payback. Education is a disaster and the economy is bobsledding to a recession. The president who is responsible for enforcing all of the laws of the land, has decided to ignore over 800 of them, including torturing people in our name and illegally wiretapping American citizens. It is clear that Saddam never had as much as a slingshot, let alone the laundry list of WMD that the administration scared us with way back when the reason for starting a war still mattered. It is also clear that Saddam had nothing to do with 911, or terrorism, back when Bush was trying to find a way to blow the country up. Reporters are being tasered on their own lawn in front of their children for doing their job by government goons and the only person the Department of Homeland Security seems to be concerned about is investigative journalist Greg Palast. Hurricane Katrina has proven that 911 taught this administration nothing about preparedness and leaves us assured that George Bush has a better plan for the infrastructure of Iraq then he has for New Orleans. Bush can tell a grieving mother who lost her child in Iraq that there is no sense discussing the rationale for war, ignores another mom who wants to ask why her son had to die, but embraces a photo op with a republican stooge dressed up as an ordinary American, who just happens to wish Bush can have another four years. Media is consolidated to the point that the only objective voices on television are a former sports broadcaster and a couple of guys on Comedy Central. Only in George Bush's America is John Mark Karr more important then everything else in the world. Corporations have written the bankruptcy laws to bury the average American and protect credit card companies' profits. Energy policy is designed by energy companies who all insist there is nothing wrong with the polar ice caps. Scientists are replaced by ideologues. Fact becomes pre-packaged opinions. ABC decides to recreate the facts of 911 to blame someone other than the man who was clearing brush while al Qaeda was determined to attack within the United States. Teen Screen is starting to take hold in America, as children are being hooked on drugs for the benefit of the pharmaceutical lobby. Autism rates clearly linked to mercury based vaccines are ignored by our government because the truth would shake the foundations of this country. Clear evidence of calculated election fraud in 2004 is being ignored by the corporate media that does the bidding of its masters. People are out here on the front lines of what is left of our democracy and they pause to remember this day, not only the tragedy that occurred on September the Eleventh 2001, but the ensuing tragedy that has occurred ever since.
Today George Bush gave a speech to the nation to commemorate the singular event that he consistently tries to capitalize on. I do not blame him, because he cannot speak to anything his administration has actually done. His only hope is to convince America to forget the past five years, dig back into their pain, and somehow, convince them that his conceived war on terror is not the glaring failure it actually is. His only hope is to link Iraq to it as well. He cannot withdraw. He tried for years to link Saddam to 911 but even his stacked 911 commission had to say that was untrue. He tried to rename his war on terror, on more then one occasion, only to have America continue to awaken from its fear-induced, media reinforced slumber. When faced with that frightening thought, the GOP emissaries convene focus groups to test market clever catch phrases like "islamo-fascism", which actually makes no sense when you break it down. Never mind, because the truth does not matter; only that the media repeats the term over and over again, so that it becomes engrained in our minds. So much was lost five years ago but the biggest casualty was the truth. It died in the alleged inferno that melted steel in New York City. More than half this country KNOWS we do not even still know the truth about what happened on 911, let alone that we would trust Bush to tell us anything more about it.
My intent was to respond to each point and debunk-retort the president's speech. I honestly do not think it is even necessary anymore. This country has awoken and is not swayed by the same tired old lines given by the same tired old dictator. I could point out the incredible convenience of today's warning from "al Qaeda", which magically made its way into the president's speech. I could point out the ridiculous call the president made tonight to "bring bin Laden to justice" when he admittedly gave up on him just months after the attacks and recently tried to eliminate the funding for the unit responsible for tracking him down. I could point out the inanity of the president saying tonight that we would not distinguish between the terrorists and those who harbor or support them, while we invaded a country that had nothing to do with terrorism and still do business with others that clearly do. I could point out the hypocrisy of Bush claiming to have driven the Taliban out of power when they are still very active in Afghanistan and the poppy crop is back to supporting the world with heroin. I could point out the brazen lie Bush purported when he said extremists from around the world have descended upon the Middle East to stop the rise of a free Iraq, when we all know that there are very few outsiders operating in Iraq. No, the people killing each other in Iraq, are Iraqis. I could laugh at his reference to the "coalition", which was never an accurate term, and now means even less as countries all over the world have lost their respect for America and have distanced themselves from the "war on terror." I could refute the silly notion that we are safer now, when terrorist activity has quadrupled in the past five years. I could remind everyone that the plot last month that Bush trumpeted as stopping has unraveled to laughable proportions and that the "terror cells" he claims to have broken up have resulted in ZERO successful prosecutions. I could point out the unseemly correlation Bush continues to make to World War II, insulting the memory of that war as well.
I can refute the obvious shill job Bush gave when he called for a unified country. The desperation in the call was staggering. Faced with the fact that America has had enough of a would-be-despot running their country, Bush had the unmitigated gall to use the specter and anniversary of 911, to call for unity. The man, who used 911 to divide this country against the world and against itself, now wants to use the deaths of 3,000 Americans five years ago to call for the support of continuing to kill American kids in his failed war. It is so sad it makes me weep to think about the enormity of the callousness of the call to unity from the man who has spent five years dividing us. George Bush said tonight that we are in the "early" hours of a struggle between tyranny and freedom. Besides the obvious intent to remind us that he intends to be at war perpetually, the sad truth is that struggle is more pronounced here at home.
No, I will not even get into all of this because America is painfully aware that not only does the emperor have no clothes, but he has no conscience as well. Tonight George Bush, the uniter, said that it was a perverted form of Islam we are fighting. He described this divisive analogy as, "a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent." George Bush has spent the last five years taking our freedoms and ignoring our laws. He has rejected tolerance of anyone who has a dissenting opinion. They are called "blame America firsters" and "cut and runners." Their patriotism is challenged because they do not agree with soaking the American flag in the blood of the innocents as a pre-requisite for wrapping yourself up in it. The GOP and George W. Bush will have you believe it is about right versus left. It is not. It is about right versus wrong.
Five years ago 3,000 people died in America. Since then over 65,000 people have died in a country that had nothing to do with it. Over 2,500 of those are American soldiers who asked only that they be sent to die as a last option, not to fit the intelligence around the policy. That should matter to us as citizens. It should matter to us as human beings. Unfortunately, for some there has not been enough loss of blood. More people have to die, so that theoretically we can feel safer and people can enjoy our freedoms. The freedom to watch as our liberties are stripped away. The freedom to watch as our economy is looted and our kids get to come home in a box. The freedom to watch your leader take to the television and exploit the memories of our collective moment of unity through pain, only to promote his vision of disunity through totalitarianism.
For the memory of those who have fallen, in New York City, in Pennsylvania, in Washington DC, in Afghanistan, in Iraq.
The truth still matters.