Wednesday, August 31, 2011

National Hair Shirt.


I can hear The Today Show faintly in the other room. It seems we are well and truly reaching the climax of our national month-long banquet of sackcloth and ashes commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Saudi Arabian radical Islamic terrorist attacks on American soil which murdered thousands of American citizens.

Except people being interviewed are saying things like "...and then 9/11 happened...", like it was an earthquake or blizzard, and "...my husband died...", like he'd just had a little myocardial infarction at his desk one fine autumn day.

Ten years after Pearl Harbor, we had reduced Japan to a glowing pile of radioactive cinders and then rebuilt it and were buying cheap Japanese consumer goods by the shipload. Ten years after New York City was attacked by foreign enemies, all I see as evidence around Indy are a maudlin memorial being erected downtown, TSA probulators and porn-O-scans at the airport, and the occasional young man with an empty sleeve or trouser leg.

Dude, where's my country?
.

53 comments:

TheMinuteman said...

If you find it Tam, please let me know. :'(

I think you just made quote of the day. I prefer it when it's for something happier, but it makes me somewhat happy to see I'm not alone on this side of the fence.

Discobobby said...

Dead. Solid. Perfect.

This truth hurts.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Maybe Muhlallah Omar and the Taliban can tell you. Oh wait, never mind, since we can't seem to find him 10 years after he helped Osama Bin Ladin. But hey, that TSA does a good job Strip Searching 90 year old ladies in Wheelchairs, now don't they?

staghounds said...

Look! Chaz Bono is on Dancing With The Stars!

Bram said...

Great question. Look at all the successful terrorist attacks during the 80's we basicly shrugged off.

We must have lost our collective balls and brains sometime in the 90's.

Or, we really needed the big bad USSR out there to keep our perspective. A few blown up airliners and discos is small stuff when we are planning for nuclear war or a 50 Division Armored battle in the Fulda Gap.

Stephen said...

Very good question, Tam. This is not the country in which I was born. Doubt it ever will be again, in my lifetime.

TXGunGeek said...

Where indeed?

Stretch said...

At least we have our coloring books.
Opps. Seems CAIR doesn't care for that either.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/aug/31/9-11-children-colouring-book-muslims

Montie said...

Tam, I couldn't have asked it better myself.

Marty said...

Tam,

Your country is under your feet and reaches as far as your voice will carry. The roof needs some work but we'll manage.

Anonymous said...

The fact is there are two Americas inhabiting the same geographic region even on 9/11.

Three jets had folks who followed the principle that the governments is here to protect them, that violence never solves anything and that they can find a common ground and understanding with anyone. Follow orders, sit down and behave and things will be all right because we are nice people.

One airliner was full of folks who looked the ugly truth right in the eye and thought this ends here and now no matter what the cost.

Politicos and the press pandered to the first group and are ill at ease with the second bunch. The majority is easily placated and lead. The latter asks too many questions with difficult answers.

Gerry

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

My feelings exactly. I figured at a minimum we'd have righteous vengence and finished new skyscraper by now.

Anonymous said...

Marty said...

"The roof needs some work but we'll manage."

If by roof you mean foundation, then yeah, we got us some termite damage.

WV: redicuts
...

Rob K said...

The way bits and pieces from the World Trade Center are treated as holy relics bugs me. Instead of really honoring those who died by getting the SOBs that did it, we set up a bunch of shrines.

My country is right here, but it's inhabited by strangers.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's a good thing we attacked IRAQ in the wake of 9/11. And signed the Patriot Act into law. Thank you Georgie Boy. I hope you enjoyed reading my email and listening to my phone calls.

Tam, you can't pin this terrorist attack to a particular country. They weren't wearing uniforms or carrying Saudi flags. We have greatly diminished Al Qaeda's capacity to inflict damage on our soil. How many terror attacks have taken place here in the US since?

Though instead of Iraq, Saudi would have been my target of choice.

NMM1AFan said...

I remember I shocked some friends by stating the mourning should wait until _after_ we had killed the bastards that did it.

Apparently victimhood has been elevated to the realm of saints.

WV: uncout

Damn right I'm uncout...

Tam said...

Anon 2:00,

"Yes, it's a good thing we attacked IRAQ in the wake of 9/11."

Is that how we spell "Afghanistan" now?


Gerry,

"Three jets had folks who followed the principle that the governments is here to protect them, that violence never solves anything and that they can find a common ground and understanding with anyone. Follow orders, sit down and behave and things will be all right because we are nice people."

Nothing personal, but I really, really hate this piece of modern American mythology.

The fact is that, prior to 9/11, everybody knew that when some dumb Middle Easterner hijacked your flight, it meant that you'd sit on the tarmac for a day or three in Miami, Beirut, Rome or someplace and eat cold pizza and wait for your release to get negotiated or Delta Force to storm the plane, and then you'd get some complimentary first-class tickets anywhere in the world by way of apology from the airline.

Only an idiot would have tussled with hijackers in the pre-9/11 world. Getting hijacked was only marginally more dangerous and uncomfortable than airline travel in general.

The reason that the passengers of Flight 93 reacted the way they did isn't because they had magic red-state superpowers, but because they got word over the Sky Phones that they weren't in the pre-9/11 world anymore.

Jeff said...

"The reason that the passengers of Flight 93 reacted the way they did isn't because they had magic red-state superpowers, but because they got word over the Sky Phones that they weren't in the pre-9/11 world anymore."

Thank-you for pointing that out.

Don M said...

The good news is everthing important, that means everything that isn't under the governments control, is working better and better.

After you get past the TSA, and before you get to the TSA flying is better than it ever has been. The planes are safer, schedules are kept better, and corrected for government caused inflation, flights are cheaper than ever before.

Kristopher said...

anon 2:00PM: I agree. Bush was way too soft.

I started this reply out as sarcasm ... but we may have been better off if Bush had responded to 9-11 with an ultimatum to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, followed by a war declaration and the liberal use of nuclear weapons.

I suppose I can retire the wookie suit now.

Kristopher said...

Oh, and you can pin this on a particular country. The hijackers were Saudis and Pakis. The three countries mentioned raised these assholes like vipers in their own yards, and did nothing about them as long as they directed their attention and the attention of young hotheads at the infidels and heathens.

Anonymous said...

raised these assholes like vipers in their own yards, and did nothing about them as long as they directed their attention and the attention of young hotheads at the infidels and heathens.

Just like Tim McVeigh! Eric Rudolph too!

Ed Rasimus said...

We often hear the term "changing paradigm" (well not at the local gin mill, but you get what I mean) and nowhere has it applied more than post-9/11. The shift in thoughts about sky-jackings is an example. But the other changes are more subtle. The non-national nature of conflict without uniforms, borders, or a force to negotiate with.

The inability of the liberal mind to deal with the shift, clinging to concepts of "just war" and "non-combatant civil rights" while not recognizing the need for pre-emptive action when mass destruction terrorist attack potential lurks. Obama, Holder, Napolitano, et.al.

I knew we were doomed when we didn't use a nuke on Tora Bora when it was very apparent that the core leadership of al-qaeda was there. We had an undeveloped, primitive area with little collateral damage potential, the sympathy of the world, the support of all the nuclear powers (including China, Russia, India and even Pakistan) and the capability to do it within an hour or two. That's when I knew we would whither away over time, gradually sub-contracting our defense to Visigoths or Hessians or whatever current force will fight on our behalf because we won't do it ourselves anymore.

Anonymous said...

There are FAR too many pictures of the Bush family shaking hands with Saudi royalty for us to have attacked them. Just sayin...

Does anyone actually think that if 9/11 hadn't taken place, we would still have attacked Iraq without provocation? I still can't shake the comic images of Colin Powell in front of the UN with artist renderings of what mobile nuke stations may look like. LOL.

Tam said...

Anon 3:43,

"Just like Tim McVeigh! Eric Rudolph too!"

No, you dumbass, that is not a parallel at all.

A parallel would be if the government had financed the training of McVeigh and Rudolf and ignored them as long as they went and set off bombs in Riyadh to divert radical American anger away from the U.S. government.

You must be at least as tall as my hand to make analogies.

Tam said...

Anon 3:47,

"Does anyone actually think that if 9/11 hadn't taken place, we would still have attacked Iraq without provocation? "

Considering that we had been attacking them on and off through the Clinton years and the actual attack plan was on the shelf while Bush was still governor of Texas, I'd put even money on us having done something along those lines by '04.

Nothing would make a sitting president look better than Regime-Changing some folks to freedom at the head of a glorious UN or NATO coalition. I mean, it's not like Al Gore's old boss was shy about using the military or anything.

What's our exit strategy for Bosnia, again? How many guys are still getting their mail at APO Camp Bondsteel?

Anonymous said...

How many terror attacks have taken place here in the US since?

If you don't limit it to spectacular incidents of massive carnage on the scale of 9/11, quite a few, actually. Not sure how many you can pin on Al Qaeda, but back in '01, I was under the impression we were at war with something bigger than just Al Qaeda. But I think that philosophy has changed since then.

Anonymous said...

Oops, forgot my anon sig there.

jf

DirtCrashr said...

Kevin Baker (and Mark Steyn) knows where y(our) country went...

Stuart the Viking said...

Anon 3:47,

There were plenty of valid reasons to go back into Iraq that had nothing to do with 9/11. So yes, I DO think Iraq part deaux would still have happened without 9/11. As a matter of fact, I don't think 9/11 had much of anything to do with it at all.

Oh, and that "without provocation" bit is pure BS. But then again, you seem to think that Iraq was all about 9/11, so its all probably a little over your head anyway.

s

Anonymous said...

Tam,

I do agree with you on what happened on the Flight 93. The folks were still ahead of the power curve of the US Goverment. I used to fly quite a bit and to the best of my knowledge it still DHS-TSA policy to sit down, shut up and wait for somebody from the government to help you.

As for the safety of being hijacked in the Middle East, I'm not so sure. A quick check showed 200 folks killed there by hijackers or officals trying to rescue them. Robert Stethem and a couple of USAID employees come to mind pre 9/11.

Gerry

GuardDuck said...

Dude, where's my country?

Well, the Greatest Generation made the final payment on the property first purchased by the Founding Fathers. They then bequeathed it to the Baby Boomers who, after paying the estate tax went on a drunken binge and took out a second mortgage.

GenX barely made the interest payments and didn't bother doing the maintenance.

Now GenY is stuck with a dilapidated property in the bad section of town whose glamour is a fading memory. The cost to refurbish may be just a bit too high and there is always that offer from the foreign investor to buy it, level it and build a strip mall.

Larry said...

I've looked in my belly button. There wasn't anything interesting in there.
It's constantly surprising/annoying to me the number of people who are intent on navel-gazing.

Joanna said...

Now GenY is stuck with a dilapidated property in the bad section of town whose glamour is a fading memory. The cost to refurbish may be just a bit too high and there is always that offer from the foreign investor to buy it, level it and build a strip mall.

And the Millennials (hi, that's me) will have no choice but to either a) squat in the resulting hovel eating beans; b) constantly party in order to avoid the reality of said hovel and said beans; or c) move and start over in a new neighborhood.

My personal preference is C, although the lack of options makes it less than likely to see follow-through.

Also worth noting: The constant party mentioned in B is meant literally. I know a lot of people my age and younger who are already there.

the pawnbroker said...

@GuardDuck: You took the words right out of my mouth in your first para, and then said them better than I might have...and I'm a mid-boomer.

There are excuses and justifications aplenty, but the net of it is, we as a generation have absolutely sucked at running and maintaining this country.

But don't be too quick to give a pass to X and Y; I see no evidence of either the will or the way for them to turn things around...quite the opposite in fact, as it's been all ahead full to run this hulk of a ship of state hard aground.

So it looks like it's all up to Z; we're all out of letters, which seems appropriate as I think we might also be all out of time.

Brad K. said...

Tam,

One disturbing difference between Pearl Harbor and 9/11, is affluence of the nation.

Back in 1940, the nation was recovering -- the people thought so, not just the government propaganda pundits -- from the Great Depression. People were building lives and possessions. They could afford to look past next week's paycheck. And they looked around, and took charge.

In these later years, involving so many Americans in consumer debt as a lifestyle has changed us. Ten years after 9/11, there has been relatively little real production of real wealth in terms of real products after debt, and discounting ephemeral debt and speculation gains. People are focused on next week paycheck, and hoping someone that is telling them they will protect the nation will actually do so.

After factoring the uncertainties of debt, falling pay scales as more and more people are bound into underemployment, and as the ongoing crisis singles out the young to exclude from productive work -- we don't have the wealth to support the sense of ownership of assets and nation that was prevalent in 1940.

We cannot escape the fact that our President doesn't care to lead us in the light of the US Constitution, and never intended to.

In 1940 the call was to defend the Constitution, the nation, and our people from foreign nations.

Since then we have stopped holding nations responsible for their unruly citizens.

It is tough to rally those that have been unfairly crapped on by the system to defend that unfair system. Uneven entitlement programs, affirmative action, abuse of offices -- there are a lot of incidents that drove good citizens to do look out for themselves, after their nation told them they were victims and not real people. Many are so busy "working" the system they don't have *time* to be citizens.

As for the politicians, they will, as always, lead in the direct the people are headed. Well, except for that socialist in the White House this term. Didn't I read someone suggesting Obama fake a serious illness, and let Biden limp through the rest of the term? From that writer's keyboard to that overarching ear.

Tam said...

GuardDuck,

"Well, the Greatest Generation made the final payment on the property first purchased by the Founding Fathers."

Sure they did. By voting Franklin Delano "New Deal" Roosevelt President-For-Life.

Screw that "Greatest Generation" nonsense. It's a product of Ted Brokaw's imagination.

the pawnbroker said...

"Last Great Generation" might be more apropos...

It may be true, and probably is, that the seeds of entitlement and dependence were sowed by them in a misguided and ironically destructive attempt to spare themselves and their offspring a repeat of the hopelessness and desperation these children of the depression had endured in their own youth...in other words, they spoiled us rotten.

But the individuals that fought and won that war, did that rebuilding, swaggered with that confidence of purpose and ability...for better or worse, saved the world.

They were undeniably -and likely unrepeatably- great. And "Ted" didn't have a damn thing to do with that.

GuardDuck said...

Well yeah, I guess any analogy has its flaws.

But it's pretty hard to yearn for a country when what I am pining for crossed its Rubicon somewhere around Bull Run - several greatest generations before I was born

An Ordinary American said...

I was in Iran in 1980, and Iraq in 1990/1991.

At the end of the day on 11 September 2001, I would've been fine if we'd sent C-5s and every cargo ship and cruiseliner we own to haul every Israeli citizen to the U.S.

I would've given them northern Idaho and then maps and satellite pictures of all the Aryan and skinhead wackjobs' camps.

Then I would've nuked the entire (expletive deleted) Middle East into the Jurassic Age.

--AOA

Spud said...

Folks are more concerned about their SUV and smart phones...
Our country lost it's soul after my war, southeast asia and truly has never recovered...
We have sold out to oil and luxury.
This is what I sacrificed my body for ?

ErnestThing said...

I agree with Joanna on the Millennials, of which I find myself sadly part. I have a lot of acquaintances who are in perma-party mode, acknowledging that the world will likely crash down on their shoulders, and planning to be as irresponsible as possible until it does. Because if you do the job badly enough the first time, you're usually not asked again.

I hate that when I meet like-minded people, they're usually of the sort that will be dead or useless in a decade or so. I keep imagining that there are a bunch of personal-responsibility-minded people my age waiting at a surprise party for me, but that glimmer of hope has dulled significantly in the last few years. Everywhere I look, it's "not my fault," "not my job," "somebody do something!" "why bother?" "who cares?" "what they did to us," "why should we have to?" Who is John Galt? It makes me ill.

I've befriended the few of my generation I've met that have their heads screwed on straight, but the more I look, the more I think we're nothing more than a statistical anomaly.

Spud,

This country's soul lives on in a small portion of people from the last few generations. People to whom the word "luxury" is libelous, and "hard worker" a great compliment. We are the people you fought for. But don't worry about our low numbers. Though they outnumber us severely, they are weak-willed, easily cowed, and will follow us (out of habit for absolution of responsibility). But only when all the other "leaders" that promised bread and circuses have vanished, pockets full, like snake oil salesmen always do when the money runs out, or the people get wise. When we're the only ones left willing to take up the burden of leading, and "civil service" stops being punchline, we will lead and they will follow. Not because we want to, or they want us to, but because there will be no other way.

Let the fact that I am an optimist color your view of the above. But please keep in mind that I'm an optimist with a loaded rifle.

Captcha, honest-to-god, "needu" Seriously. I took a screenshot. We need people like you Spud. Always will. You give us heart.
http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/4079/honesttogod.png

Anonymous said...

Then I would've nuked the entire (expletive deleted) Middle East into the Jurassic Age.

An example of why a single person should never have absolute power.

jf

Kristopher said...

jf"

We will wait until the jihadis manage to change voting demographics in the US by detonating a WMD on a major city. It's kinda hard to vote against nuclear war when you are dead, I guess. Might be tough on the hippies that used to live there, but what the hell ... they wanted to be defenseless.

Then the surviving red states will nuke the entire middle east into the Jurassic.

Happy?

Anonymous said...

Sure, OK, Kristopher. Whatever. But my brand of conservatism does not include genocide. Maybe I'm in the minority, but if I am, then I really can't consider myself a conservative anymore.

jf

Anonymous said...

Ummm...Eric Rudolph and McVeigh were BOTH trained by the US military...who is the dumbass?

Tam said...

Anon 3:11,

"Ummm...Eric Rudolph and McVeigh were BOTH trained by the US military...who is the dumbass? "

Wow, not such a good reader, either, are you?

I said:

"A parallel would be if the government had financed the training of McVeigh and Rudolf and ignored them as long as they went and set off bombs in Riyadh"

Now, where in Riyadh did McVeigh and Rudolf detonate their bombs? I can't remember...

staghounds said...

Don't see why you are all dissonant over this, considering where you once lived.

Go to any town square down South, or in France. Look at the big pretty thing from the late 19th century.

This is how we memorialize defeat.

Anonymous said...

Tam,

If you look around the Internet you can find some very detailed photos of Iraqi, Afghani, Pakistaki, etc children and women and old men who have been bombed, burned, maimed, killed, and otherwise brutally punished for the crimes of people they most likely never even passed on the street.

If that isn't enough (and can there ever been enough young Muslim women with faces covered in scar tissue?) to sate your barbarian thirst for innocent blood perhaps you can put your hypocrisy into action. Go hijack a Saudi plane, and do the exact same thing they did. Or do as the military does, and just go ahead bomb the heck out of people who can't touch you. Or maybe you can kidnap the nearest Arabic family and torture them for several years.

In other words, stop whining and get to the barbarism you think you want. If you personally aren't willing to kill and torture people for no good reason, do you really have grounds to criticize others for failing to do so for you?

Anonymous said...

"I do agree with you on what happened on the Flight 93. The folks were still ahead of the power curve of the US Goverment"

Did you ever wonder why that government per SOP scrambled jets 60 something times in the year before 9/11 because planes deviated from their course by two miles or more, and did the same thing 460+ times in the year after 9/11 for the same small deviations...yet on 9/11 they didn't scramble any jets when four planes were missing for hours and when they did they scrambled them from a far away air base?

I have. I also wonder about a government that would release such damning information, and about a populace that would ignore such damning information and instead complain that enough people haven't been murdered.

Anonymous said...

"Then I would've nuked the entire (expletive deleted) Middle East into the Jurassic Age."

That is barbaric but at least it is epic. Just think - if only you could kill hundreds of millions of men, women, children, infants, fetuses who pose no threat to you while you don't do a damn thing about the feds who shut down the four investigations (three FBI one Pentagon) that identified the 9/11 hijackers before 9/11?

Wouldn't it be so great to play into the hands of your masters and drink up all of that death and destruction as you sell your soul to the devil?

Too bad, you'll have to sell it one piece at a time. Might be a little slower but you'll get what you wish for in the end. I believe in you, ordinary American!

Tam said...

Anonymous Coward,

"I have. I also wonder about a government that would release such damning information, and about a populace that would ignore such damning information and instead complain that enough people haven't been murdered."

You don't really think the government participated in the murder of three thousand American citizens and then lied about it for ten years. If you really did, you would have shot somebody by now, so you're lying about believing your little conspiracy theory.

Either that, or you're a fucking coward and a disgrace to the memory of the men of Lexington and Concord and should suck-start your shotgun.

So, which is it? Are you lying, or are you a coward?

Brad K. said...

Tam,

I am *shocked*, shocked, I say, that you have so little feeling for the anonymous wacko trying to make a decent grade on his/her "political science" marxism/islam report.

When I wash my hands, I don't pay a lot of attention to the beneficial bacteria I destroy, I figure that enough will survive if I proceed with care. But I do continue to wash, until it at least appears and smells like I got all the sh--, er, gunk off.

Now, I am not saying that Islam or any other religion is anything like guck on my hands -- just waiting to injure my skin or eyes or nose, create an infection or rash, or whatever. But the thorns and globs that consistently cause injury and harm to others are like pirates. They might feed their family or not -- but most of the rest of civilization doesn't enjoy them.

After all, you wouldn't nuke America just to get rid of all the lawyers. I hope.

Brad (not a lawyer) K.