Sunday, September 03, 2006

A Message from Most of the World to America "Fuck you and stay away"


What we have learned since 9/11
POSTED: 3:26 a.m. EDT, September 3, 2006
By Nancy Gibbs, Time

Editor's note: The following is a summary of this week's Time magazine cover story.
( -- An American businessman, traveling in India when the planes struck the towers, made his way back to the U.S. the following week as quickly as he could. That meant hopscotching across the Middle East, stopping in Athens, Greece, overnight to change planes.

He spent the evening taking supper in a local taverna. No one in the restaurant spoke English, but when the owner realized he had an American in the house just two nights after 9/11, he asked his guest to stand up, face the other diners and listen to a toast.

And indeed, the entire room stood up, raised their glasses and said, as one, "Shoulder to shoulder, until justice is done."

Five years later, after an invasion of Afghanistan and an occupation of Iraq, and amid talk of war with Iran, it is fair to ask: Would they say it again tonight? Would we say it to each other?

This has become the loss with no grave, no chance for mourning, because we still live it every day: the loss of that transcendent unity, global goodwill, common purpose born of righteous anger that wrapped us like a bandage those first months after the attacks: a president with a 90 percent approval rating, a congress working as one, expressions of sympathy and offers of help from every corner of the planet.

We are all Americans, said Le Monde.

That unity was never going to last. The world more easily loves a superpower when it's wounded and weakened than when it rises and growls. But we have not merely returned to the messy family arguments of September 10. We are broken, divided at home, dreaded abroad, in need of a hard conversation about America's vital interests and abiding values -- but too bitter and suspicious to have it.

All wars, even the noblest, bring a reckoning of means and ends. The war on terrorism has long since lost its crisp moral lines. Who foresaw that the battle would require a national seminar about when it's OK for Americans to torture prisoners and whether near-drowning counts? Or a debate over which clauses of the Constitution might be expendable? We may agree that terrorism is wicked, but we're still unsure about how to answer it.

Presidents make their hard decisions and then abide forever with their mistakes and regrets.

"I guess not many presidents have been understood in their own time," Lyndon Johnson said, reflecting on all the good he'd tried to do for people, who despised him nonetheless.

George W. Bush swats away the judgments that anniversaries invite. "There's no such thing as short-term history, as far as I'm concerned," he said last week.

We can't know how the story ends; but we know that there was a time five years ago when every day was Memorial Day, when we never would have imagined that we'd care what Brad and Angelina's baby looked like or dread air travel more for its inconvenience than its dangers.

Is that good news, a return to normalcy, a mark of resilience?

Or does it too mark a kind of loss?

In the weeks after 9/11, out of the pain and the fear there arose also grace and gratitude, eruptions of intense kindness that occurred everywhere, a sharp resolve to just be better, bigger, to shed the nonsense, to rise to the occasion. And yet five years later, more than two-thirds of Americans say they are unhappy with how things are going -- exactly the opposite of the weeks after the attacks, when people were crushed but hopeful.

We saw back then what we were capable of at our best, and now find ourselves just moving on, willing to listen to our leaders but not necessarily believe them, supporting the troops but disputing their mission, waiting, more resigned than resolved, for the next twist in the plot.

No, we don't know how the story ends. The idea that history is written by the victors has been wrongly credited to Winston Churchill, but he did say that, "If you are going through hell, keep going."

But you wonder whether years from now -- five? 10? 50? -- there will come a day when the victors actually know that they've won, that the battle is over and they can set about the writing. And whether even then, they will be sure that they have got the story right.

Click here for the entire cover story on Time.

Copyright © 2006 Time Inc.

The above from CNN found here on the web

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Click here for my loss after 9-11. Freedom lost and America wrecked, we were all silent as what America stands for was taken away without a fight. We let an out of control American Government wreck freedom and piss off the world.

Hell, USA

- Blogger Vikingas, Steven G. Erickson, email:

The case that best describes Connecticut, click here

My letter to Bush that says it all, click here

This post accepts anonymous comments. To share this post with a friend, click on white envelope.


Blogger The Stark Raving Viking said...

I couldn't log into my blogger acct here to post this:

EDITORIALS (Hartford Courant)

Mr. Bush's Record Of Secrecy
September 4, 2006

News that the federal government has taken to reclassifying historical information about the number of strategic weapons in the United States' nuclear arsenal during the Cold War - information that was once made available even to the Soviet Union - is one more example of how the Bush administration is using security concerns to cloak an illogical and often self-serving penchant for secrecy.

The National Security Archive has reported that the Pentagon and the Department of Energy are reclassifying information once publicly available, blacking out information on the number of Minuteman, Titan II and other missiles held by the United States. The archive is a nonprofit research library housed at George Washington University.

As one example of federal tampering, archive officials cited records of a 1971 appearance by then-Defense Secretary Melvin Laird before the House Armed Services Committee. As part of his presentation, the defense secretary used a chart showing the United States with 30 strategic bomber squadrons, 54 Titan intercontinental ballistic missiles and 1,000 Minuteman missiles. Those numbers were redacted from a copy of that same chart obtained by the archive's researchers in January.

In another example, archive officials released two copies of a memo written by then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for President Gerald R. Ford in 1974. One copy, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request in 1999 (pre-Sept. 11, in other words), refers to "200 older B-52 bombers" and 240 Trident missiles. In the other copy, released by the Gerald R. Ford Library this spring, that information was blacked out.

Earlier this year, researchers at the archive discovered an ongoing secret effort by intelligence agencies to withdraw thousands of documents from the public sphere. Some documents contained historical information that was potentially embarrassing. One was a memo by the CIA assessing the likelihood of Chinese intervention in the Korea War as "not probable in 1950" (the Chinese entered Korea two weeks later). Another memo outlined a failed CIA attempt to use hot-air balloons to drop propaganda leaflets behind the Iron Curtain.

Such documents pose no threat to national security. Yet their value as historical material is real. Many have existed, uncensored and easily accessible, in the public sphere for years. To now withdraw such information from the public sphere is like trying to stuff spilled water back into the bottle.

But that hasn't stopped the Bush administration from trying. Using the guise of national security - and Wite-Out by the gallon - the administration has been engaged in a campaign to reshape the historic record through the use of omission.

In 2002, Mr. Bush signed an executive order that could keep presidential records permanently sealed. The White House has also withheld 4,000 pages of documents relating to pardons issued by Mr. Clinton, and declined to release almost 70,000 pages of records from President Ronald Reagan's administration. Many months before Sept. 11, the administration refused to release records about the deliberations of Vice President Dick Cheney's energy task force in shaping national policy.

There are many good reasons for classifying documents - national security being one of them. Yet the Bush administration's approach continues to be one of excessive secrecy with no clear or objective standards.

Mon Sep 04, 10:56:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Chris said...

Are you fully cognizant of the fact that you sound like a lunatic?

Sat Sep 09, 11:12:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was living in Athens at the time of the Iraq invasion.

There were anti American slogans and demonstations everywhere.
One day I had to cancel a trip into Athens centre to protect my American clients from getting caught up in it.

Most Greeks bore no malice towards the American people, but they hated President Bush with a fierce intensity.

They still do, but now they have two maniacs to hate - Bush AND Blair.

I sat and watched the invasion on Greek tv. As a race and as a country they would not support the invasion and so we viewed more open media coverage in Athens.

We saw the slaughtered innocents including children. Similiar scenes to those we have seen in Lebanon recently.

For the first time in my life I felt ashamed to be English.

When I visited England I realised that this footage was not being shown in the UK.

Our island nation was being fooled by smooth talking Blair again.

Bush and Blair underestimate the Greeks. Deep down they are still the same philosophers they were 4000 years ago. They immediately assessed the Iraq situation and the word in all tavernas was "petrelio" (oil).

If you want to read what the majority of the English now think of Bush and Blair read Adam Boulton and Jeremy Thompsons blog comments on the Sky News channel.

We want Blair out before Bush leads him by the hand into war again.

I can safely say that to the majority of Europeans George Bush is the "public enemy number one"

Many over here now believe that the twin towers was a scam arranged by Bush to give him an excuse to invade Iraq.

He is hated over here by the majority of us as is Blair.

The Greeks are good judges of character.

Sat Sep 09, 06:20:00 PM 2006  
Blogger The Stark Raving Viking said...

I have checked out your website:

I used to be somewhat of a conservative Republican myself.

I worked, paid taxes, and was an asset to my community. Tax dollars were paid to harass and wreck my life because I complained about lazy police, corrupt officials, and bogus courts.

I am not so flag waving now.

So, I guess any opinion that is not flag waving is just plain crazy, does that cover it Chris?

Sun Sep 10, 01:06:00 AM 2006  

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