Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Never forget that on 9/11, the country with the world’s largest military apparatus several times over with the world’s biggest intelligence gathering systems, failed to recognize or prevent an incoming attack on the American people by a previously ragtag group energized into international collusion by the U.S.’s massive sanctions program that killed roughly a million people in Iraq and motivated by the U.S.’s continued support for Israel’s apartheid settlements in Palestine. Never forget that no one was ever punished for this massive blunder, or that Richard Clark was the only one who ever even apologized to the victims for failing to protect their families. Never forget that families starved and people went without healthcare to pay for this military state that didn’t wind up making us any safer.

Never forget that the architect of the murders was partially radicalized and trained by the CIA to fight Soviets in an imperial tit-for-tat over an Afghanistan looking towards communism as one potential direction to go post-monarchy. Never forget that The Taliban offered to hand Bin Laden over but the Bush admin didn’t agree to their terms and had assumedly already cashed the checks paid to their defense contractor buddies so they proceeded to assault Afghani civilians. Never forget that because of the thirst for an assault, Bin Laden escaped over the Pakistan border and was able to evade capture for years.  Never forget that this war is still not over and it’s now in the hands of the world’s tallest infant who thinks he can privatize it. Never forget that Al Qaeda colluded with members of the Saudi Government and no interrogation or assault was ever conducted on what continues to be a strong US ally, currently busy carrying out their own atrocities in neighboring Yemen (a similar invasion into oil-rich Kuwait prompted the first Gulf War).

Never forget that the US launched a war under pretenses everybody knew were bullshit or specious or at best disputed at the time. Never forget that the major justification was an invented connection between Iraq and 9/11, based around what basically amounts to Infowars-style innuendo and rumor. Never forget that the fundamentalists in Al Queda and the secular Ba'athists in Iraq hated each other and never would have collaborated to carry out an attack as complicated as 9/11.  Never forget the Iraq war that killed at least a million people (a row of bodies that would stretch for NYC to Florida) had bipartisan support. Never forget that not one person was impeached or jailed over these massive war crimes. Never forget that Saddam Hussein had been cooperating with UN weapons inspectors and was actually reducing his weapons program prior to the invasion. 

Never forget that George Bush flippantly joked about not being able to find weapons of mass destruction at the White House Correspondents Dinner by displaying a picture of him looking under his desk, a line that got a major laugh from the fawning press. Never forget that Bush attempted to declare victory before the war had basically even begun by staging a media spectacle where Bush flew in and landed on an aircraft carrier and that propagandists would later stage the toppling of the Saddam statue.  Never forget that the Iraq war still isn't over.  Never forget that the administration used biological warfare including water and electricity deprivation, dirty bombs, and torture as regular tactics.  Never forget that the government hired mercenaries to carry out war crimes, and that the main mercenary boss now advises the president and his sister is in charge of the school system.

Never forget that the protests preempting the war were the biggest that had ever taken place in the entire world at the time, yet there was virtually no opposition to it within the legislature and there was virtual consensus of cheerleading approval across all the major news channels.  Never forget that anti-war voices were regularly silenced, cordoned off into free speech zones, and laughed off of the discourse as the bodies stacked.  Never forget the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war, which argued that the US was within its rights to attack a country that had not acted aggressively towards it if it simply thought that the country may do so in the future.  Never forget that while we were destroying a country, the actual criminals behind 9/11 eluded escape for nearly a decade.

Never forget that after the towers fell and the president told people to shop, and people shopped for merchandise with crying firefighters on it, the actual first responders quietly died from preventable ailments brought on by inhaling smoke and debris and it’s now thought that more first responders will die from the environmental effects of the attack than perished in the towers. Never forget that for years the Republican Party paraded around 9/11 as a totem of their own patriotism while never assuming responsibility for any of these horrible acts, doing everything in their power to slow/redact key elements of the 9/11 commission, ripping up the bill of rights for the PATRIOT ACT, building a national security state that just happened to be friendly to personally affiliated contractors like Bechtel and Haliburton, and in the case of ghouls like Guiliani charging exorbitant speaking fees for their 9/11-based expertise. Never forget that we stayed in Iraq for years before ISIS emerged when the country could have stabilized to make sure we would have a stake in their oil industry, and that we fought a shift towards renewable energy during this period because of our investment in the region, a move that may eventually wipe out life as we know it on this planet.

Never forget that while these wars weren't quite as deadly as past ones were for US troops, this was largely thanks to modern medicine, and many returned home severely disabled, limbless, and with massive mental health issues. Never forget that veterans came home to a dysfunctional VA system that eventually became so backlogged with benefits requests that it had to start warehousing them. Never forget that those who did die were frequently put in harm’s way for no reason. Never forget that veterans’ families who spoke out against the war(s), such as the Sheehan and Tillman families, were massively red-taped or sustained aggressive character assassinations in the press.

Never forget that in the wake of 9/11, the US set up an indefinite detention center that rounded up immigrant and domestic Muslims and courted them off to a prison island without trial, where they were tortured and in several cases killed.  Never forget that Guantanamo Bay is still open. Never forget that the bile directed against Arab populations began almost immediately after the towers fell, with racist, Orientalist perspectives spouted ad nauseum without rebuke in the national press and on TV, spurring an unending stream of discrimination and harassment toward families of Middle Eastern descent living in the country peacefully.

Never forget that as bad as 9/11 was, we did mini-9/11s repeatedly in Iraq and Afghanistans.  We bombed weddings, mosques, hospitals, roads, bridges, et al.  While it's clear our sorrow for the 9/11 victims runs deep, we've never quite come to terms with the suffering we caused in its wake or taken accountability for the devastation.  As Bush-era cronies cycle through history again as new Trump appointees or newly minted resistance heroes, it's clear that we've chosen to forget.  No matter how many times we repeat the mantra.  We keep forgetting, over and over like a Beckett play refrain.   Never forget. We’ll forget.  Never forget. We’ll forget.  Never forget.

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