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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Wednesday, September 13 2006

 

Neighbors

Let's examine this for a moment, shall we? Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is in Iran on a "Let's be friends" mission with the Iranians and their leaders. After years of war between the two neighboring nations, they are looking toward each other as bussom buddies. The removal of Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, has led to the majority Iraqi Shi'ite population taking control over Iraq and getting comfy with the Iranian Shi'ite led government. al-Maliki is also looking for advice from the nation on its eastern border regarding how to quell the violence that is manifesting itself in a bloody civil war. More than 1500 Iraqis have lost their lives at the hands of their countrymen over the past month and al-Qaeda has taken a stronghold in the violent and anarchic Anbar Province.

Supreme Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei advised al-Maliki to get the US troops to withdraw, and that will stop the violence.

We "consider it an obligation to support the Iraqi government in practical ways,"
-Khamenei

Funny... I thought that's what we were doing. One wonders if Iran will support Iraq in much the same way that they support Hezbollah in Lebanon. One wonders if the Shi'ite-led government death squads aren't already getting the Iranians' "support".

"Iraq is Iran's natural ally,"
--Ali Larijani, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, to al-Maliki

Iraq and Iran are even talking about drilling for oil in border territories together, with the crude being processed in Iran. After all, what are neighbors for?

So the next time a Republican friend of yours repeats the oft-mentioned GOP line that Iran is behind the Iraqi insurgence, make sure to ask them if the
United States is better off now, with a Shi'ite-led, Iranian-backed government in office or when Saddam Hussein was in charge.

Iraq was a terrible place to be a citizen when Hussein ruled. Does anyone think it's better now?


-Noah Greenberg



Two Sisters & Two Lights

My sister and I had avoided going to Ground Zero in the past for two main reasons: (1) We didn't want to be part of a group of gawkers and (2) we didn't feel ready to deal with the overwhelming sorrow caused by the event. However, this year, we found ourselves there because we had an appointment to share experiences at a Story Corps booth located in the PATH station by Ground Zero.

In the booth we shared our own experiences of 9/11. While we did not have anywhere near the devastation experienced by the people who lost loved ones, we did have our own feelings and, while expressing them, allowed ourselves to cry in the booth at times as we told our stories and expressed our hopes for future generations who will access the Story Corps archives.

When we emerged from the booth and got out to street level, well, there was Ground Zero--there was no avoiding it. But we saw many people and we saw flowers, signs, and many other lovely tributes. We did not see gawkers but rather people who were passing the site quietly and respectfully. We also saw people who wanted to promote peace and shore up support against the war in Iraq. No-one hassled these people!!! As the sky darkened, suddenly, I noticed two bright lights in the clouds. I looked for their source and I saw that the beautiful blue twin lights were on. My sister took a photo of an American flag against the lights. Both of us felt comforted by what we experienced down there--so much so that when we hailed a cab and the passenger who was leaving it wore a turban, we did not feel hate. Instead, we felt proud to be in New York city with its diverse population.

This is not to say that we have not had our own moments of far and hate. We have! But the experience of gathering together with so many people--including some dressed in Muslim religious clothing--helped us not to feel that hate.

I enclose a picture of the lights. It's not the greatest photograph in the world but it expresses how we two sisters were uplifted by our experience. Let these lights be a beacon for all of us to look upward with love when we remember 9/11. Yes we must be on guard--against both the terrorists and against the hate that sometimes wells up from us. But most of all, let us remember to love as we try to heal our national wound.


-Billie M. Spaight



And Another 9/11 Story

After dropping my two youngest daughters off at my older daughter's place in NC, I was headed North for work, (electrician) for a company on the east side of Orange County, September 10, 2001.

I planned to drive through to Orange County, from the east coast, and having my first gander at New York City that night, but at the fork in the road, the car went west, even though my head was going east.

Realizing I'd not taken the right road, 30 miles further, I shrugged it off, thinking I would drive into the city another time.

By 2 am I was too tired to drive further and stopped at a motel about 60 miles west of what would become ground zero the following morning. And slept, thinking I would call the company I had contracted to work for, whenever I woke. They knew I had traveled from the coast of Oregon to take the job, so timing would be a case of whenver, within two days, the 11th and 12th.

I woke up just in time to flip on the TV and see the first tower strike and subsequent flames. I ran outside and saw a column of smoke rising in the east, looked back and saw the second hit.

My first thought was that someone was making a movie. Being from the west coast, that is understandable. An instant later however, I thought 'no scraggly bunch of terrorists could possibly have pulled this off.'

My father is retired from the FAA (GS15, accident investigation) and had been an Air Force pilot in WWII. He knew the same thing, from an aeronautical standpoint. I know iron, steel, melting temps, the flash point of fuel and the nature of controlled blast technique, having worked with explosives, as well as industrial/commercial construction.

The third building that collapsed into it's own footprint was a telling clue that 'no bunch of foreign terrorists' had pulled this off alone.

The color of the smoke, the billions of tons of ash, the absence of file cabinets, phones, computer cases and other such debris, and the millions of intact papers, floating like big feathers in the winds, (which should have been hot enough to incinerate them) indicates scalar wave weapon activity, during a dynamite blast buried deep in the core infrastructure in both buildings, big enough to blow the foundations.

The quick removal without scrutiny of the material, to dumps, the lack of treatment of ground zero as a crime scene, all are indicators that 9/11 is not what it is reported to be.

The impact on my own life was almost immediate. The job went away. All construction contracts were delayed or canceled till further notice. My fiancÚ called and gave the the only order he ever has, and that was to leave New York immediately, even if I had to rob a bank. In actuality, I found a union co. willing to let me run some pipe for a week. They were happy to pay me enough cash for that to leave town.

My fiancÚ was called up to active duty within two weeks and within two weeks after that, was put on stop loss, dead drops arranged for mail, and given leave to classified locations only, since.

As I headed west, after picking up my daughters, construction folded behind me in another blast. This was the one that rippled through the construction industry as financing gave way. I was able to work for about eight weeks in AZ, and then it hit here.

By the time work was opening up again, illegals from Mexico had flooded the job market in AZ. After the 30 days of dead silence on the border after 9/11, they realized the Americans were not going to start shooting foreigners on site, and they literally invaded by the millions.

Many of the men bullied their way into construction with minority status and the fact that they would work for almost nothing. Contractors quickly adapted building schedules around them, utilitizing one bilingual foreman, with a cell phone, who would run hordes of them on crews. They organized very small teams of two or three skilled persons to fix whatever they messed up and left the rest.

The quality of work suffered, and still suffers, and some contractors have learned that skilled employees at higher pay are actually a better deal than illegals, but wages have been depressed by about 40% overall, by this huge ball that was dropped, border security, in the aftermath of 9/11.

I have not seen my fiancÚ since. He was ordered to report to Rumsfeld, and, because of his special ops/bilingual status and experience with seven other foreign missions, was enslaved in what Rummy likes to call 'continual deployment.'

Our fifth anniversary of his high-jacked status is coming up. I wonder how to celebrate/mourn/grieve/or plot revenge depending on the mood of the day, which can be anything from murderous, to resigned, to hopeful. There are less and less hopeful days, and more and more murderous ones, the longer he is gone.

I'm sure other women in my situation know exactly what I am talking about when I say murderous. There are plenty, and know this, the US has been more destablilized by the Bush/Cheney reaction to 9/11 and enactment of subsequent policies, than it ever was by the tragedy of 9/11 itself.

Personally, I had to start from scratch. Stay with a relative till I made enough for rent, rent a condo with two paychecks, ride a bike or take cabs till I got a car, (fiance got a car to me but it took him four months, as he was not supposed to exist in Rummy's very secret cadre). The first month in our condo, we sat on blow-up fishing chairs, and slept for over a year on blow up mattresses.

The hired hands that blew the foundations out from under the towers and struck the pentagon, are now trying to blow the foundatoins out from under the United States, with the silent weapons available to the world bank, a partner, the senseless deployment and deaths in the military, hapless in the face of the Bush administration, and blow the body of laws called the Constitution away in the winds. Who called it just a piece of paper? Who said 'this would be a lot easier if I were a dictator'

I would sign off with my name, but tonight, am not sure who I am.
It happens.
God, )expletive deleted) Rummy, please.
Will I go to hell for praying in this manner?

'. . . . . that when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing the same object, shall reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide them all, for their future security. . . . .Bill of Rights

-Rhian



In response to, "This is a first for me. The White House actually admitting that they used 9/11 for political purposes. I guess they really do need to 'catapult the propaganda' as GW has urged all of his minions to do," David W. writes:

But never forget that the legions of slack jawed, mouth breathing, Monkey supporters will still read this and have no problem whatsoever continuing to support Der Monkey.

Makes you wonder about that hard core 33% that will support the Smirking Chimp no matter what... It's enough to give the children of first-cousins-who-marry a bad name.


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-Noah Greenberg