It’s That Day Again

Jeez, twenty years. I’ve been wrestling with myself to write something about the 20th anniversary, and I didn’t really want to. Just as an experiment I finally did write something and published it on Medium, just to see how it works. No one will read it.

From the Maha archives:

August 1, 2006: Smart War

August 2, 2006: 9/11 Unanswered Questions

June 6, 2007: Little Lulu, People Live Here

September 11, 2009: 9/11: The Story, The Shrines, The Smell, The Scandal, The Meaning

September 11, 2015: Another 9/11

9 thoughts on “It’s That Day Again

  1. On Medium, "Likes" are "claps." You applaud an article by repeatedly tapping the hands at the end of the article. The point system they have is supposed to build up credit for writers based on the reader's response.

    Regarding the article, the attack of September 11 was real. Your description of what it was to people who were there, connects us to the reality of that moment. For most, invoking 9-11 is a magical chant designed to evoke something disconnected from reality. Blind loyalty to the supreme military state. That's even more evil than the attack of September 11. 

    So it's weird. I feel for the victims, in NYC, at the Pentagon, and on the plane that crashed in PA. Real people – real tragedy. And I have such contempt for what the Bush White House perpetrated on the world afterward. And they are STILL trying to manipulate a tragedy for financial gain and for crude manipulative control over citizens.

    • I went back and read the Medium thing today, and decided it works pretty well, after all. I had to force myself through a great big block to write it, and that usually doesn't work with me. I am not sure why it was so hard. Part of it is probably that I don't like dwelling on September 11, and part of it is that my sinus allergies have been going haywire and I'm stumbling around in a fog from musinex and benadryl. 

      • I used to subscribe to Medium, and read quite a few good articles there. I think it would work well for the essay form that you've done many times before.

  2. For a few days people in New York felt something of what I felt every day for a year in Vietnam from May 1967 thru May 1968.

    Civilians had not been subject to the draft for well over two decades, and forgot any obligation to stand up for their country, so you had the coward quivering on the subway because he never thought he could be personally hurt.

    The reaction to the attack was not that of patriots, but that of cowards who wanted to be left alone without having to risk their personal asses, so we wound up with 20 years of cowardly reaction.

    I applaud President Biden for putting an end to the insanity of prosecuting a war in Afghanistan with no exit strategy.

    All tactics; no strategy.

    • you had the coward quivering on the subway because he never thought he could be personally hurt.

      I didn't see him as a coward. He was genuinely traumatized. Who knows how many falling people he saw splatter themselves on the pavement, or how many bloody body parts he witnessed. I assume he'd had no training or preparation for such a thing. I was astonished he got himself on the subway. 

      My late brother was career army and a Vietnam veteran. In Vietnam he was officer in charge of a field hospital. He sometimes had to prepare the bodies of his friends for shipment. He volunteered to take helicopter flights into Cambodia to recover wounded and dead. The army gave him a bronze star and an air medal. For a lot of years after that he had to be sedated to take an airplane flight, because otherwise he had panic attacks. That didn't make him a coward. 

      • I apologize on behalf any possible insult to your brother, but cowardice in general by civilians, leading to fear of being killed, after two decades with no draft and thereby no exposure to military training, led to a general feeling of helplessness by civilians  that enabled Bush and Cheney to start their "war to terrorize the US population in general" to get them to buy their propaganda like Jim Jones did in Guyana; led us to 20 years of lost lives and lost financing that could easily have paid for the infrastructure that Manchin, beholden to oil and coal interests, is holding up.

        Your blog is extremely valuable, and I could only wish that you had the ears of the present administration.

  3. Michelle Goldberg wrote a 9/11 piece in the NYT incorporating some new information.  It seems that Nelly Lahoud has researched papers taken at the time of the raid on the Bin Laden compound.  It is good to have a window into the perspective of the other side of 9/11.  The picture painted to date casts America up against an international mastermind and a tight terrorist organization.  Nelly Lahoud's assessment of the documents suggests this is far from the case.  (link below)  One's perspective of 9/11 changes when faced with evidence as to Bin Laden's intended outcome of the attacks.  It seems he knew as little of us as we knew of him.  

    Goldberg cites an 8 Trillion dollar price tag for our response, which is about 24 Thousand Dollars for every man, woman, and child in America.  From the tone of Goldberg's article these figures should generate a huge case of buyer's remorse hanging over the heads of America like the constant haze created by our ongoing multiple forest fires. The following is a quote from the Goldberg piece:  

    The attacks, and our response to them, catalyzed a period of decline that helped turn the United States into the debased, half-crazed fading power we are today. America launched a bad-faith global crusade to instill democracy in the Muslim world and ended up with our own democracy in tatters.

    Opinion | How 9/11 Damaged America – The New York Times (

    Bin Laden’s Catastrophic Success | Foreign Affairs


    • Goldberg is right. So very right. Bush is five years older than I am, so he's even closer to the Greatest Generation than I am. People our age grew up soaking in the glorious victories of World War II and how the U.S. is the strongest and best and most powerful etc. nation ever, and IMO the urge to fall back on what became a kind of national mythology was just too strong for a lot of people. 

  4. Damn, Ma'am!

    For something you threw together in a hurry, that piece was fabulous!

    It's like at 11:30am I call and surprise you by telling you I miss you, and I'll be over for lunch as 12:30.

    I tell you, "Don't go to any trouble, maha, because I just wanted to see you and and shoot the tRUMP*, 

    And when I come over, in that hour, you a homemade 3-star MICHELIN worthy meal.


    * My new 5-letter word for " shit."

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