That’s the title of a Ralph Nader piece that ran in Counterpunch last week, and on this 10th Anniversary of 9/11 Weekend, with sovereign nations joining the “TBTF” club, stock markets careening every which way but loose and formerly robust economies grinding to, if not a halt, at least a noticeable slowdown, it’s as apt a description of the current state of affairs as I can imagine.
The collapse of the iconic Twin Towers may have been the end of the World Trade Center, and some would say life as we knew it, but it was just the start of many far-reaching consequences that spun out as the US, and to a lesser extent, the world, was swept into a vortex of paranoid hysteria. We struggled to come to grips with the obvious fact that Daddy Government wasn’t looking after us like he said he was — instead he was out getting drunk on dollars, bar-hopping from the Big Oil Brewery to the Wall Street Cafe to Rick’s American Big Bank Bar. When mayhem struck we were home alone, and it was hard to face.
Instead we took the path of least resistance, rewarding Big Daddy’s dishonesty and ineptitude by allowing him to run even further amok. In the intervening years between 9/11 and now, a lot of things were allowed to happen that in “normal” times would be unthinkable. Civil liberties took a back seat to “safety”. Former “Bastions of Freedom” were degraded to the status of shit-hole failed states where torture, kidnapping and “black sites” are acceptable, even routine. We stared into the abyss. In our fevered imaginations, The Enemy was among us. We became like the starving plane crash survivors who, in the absence of nourishment, began looking hungrily at each other, forks and knives flashing in our bulging, bloodshot eyes.
But that’s history and maybe it can be put behind us. Nader’s article looks to the future, and asks how we can move forward by fixing some of our post-9/11 mistakes:
But many Americans might also want to pause to recognize — or unlearn — those reactions and overreactions to 9/11 that have harmed our country. How, in this forward-looking manner, can we respect the day of 9/11?
Read the whole thing.
(Image from the Arab-American Institute)