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September 10, 2021 09:10 PM UTC

September 11, 2021 Weekend Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.”

–Albert Camus


55 thoughts on “September 11, 2021 Weekend Open Thread

    1. It will be interesting to see this play out.  The current SCOTUS pays lip service to precedent and is firmly ensconced in the delusion that originalism is actually a good approach to constitutional interpretation.  I would not be surprised to see SCOTUS reject certain measures as exceeding executive authority, either constitutionally or as overreaching statutory authority granted by Congress.  This is the legacy of Reagan and, more currently, Leonard Leo.  

  1. “He who dares not offend, cannot be honest”      Thomas Paine

    “Honesty is the best policy”. Sir Edwin Sandys..

    Ergo….I offend for the benefit of mankind.

    1. My being conflicted on this day is pretty well summed up by Krugman, in this article:

      Foreign Terrorists Have Never Been Our Biggest Threat

      It may seem like a terrible thing to say, but a fair number of people — especially in the news media — are nostalgic about the months that followed 9/11. Some pundits openly pine for the sense of national unity that, they imagine, prevailed in the aftermath of the terrorist attack. More subtly, my sense is that many long for the days when the big threat to America seemed to come from foreign fanatics, not homegrown political extremists.

      But that golden moment of unity never existed; it’s a myth, one that we need to stop perpetuating if we want to understand the dire current state of American democracy. The truth is that key parts of the American body politic saw 9/11, right from the beginning, not as a moment to seek national unity but as an opportunity to seize domestic political advantage.

      And this cynicism in the face of the horror tells us that even at a time when America truly was under external attack, the biggest dangers we faced were already internal.

      The Republican Party wasn’t yet full-on authoritarian, but it was willing to do whatever it took to get what it wanted, and disdainful of the legitimacy of its opposition. That is, we were well along on the road to the Jan. 6 putsch — and toward a G.O.P. that has, in effect, endorsed that putsch and seems all too likely to try one again.

      . . . that which America voluntarily surrendered of itself in the aftermath of those attacks, and in the response to them, is our own ongoing loss.

      (On a personal note, it was my disgust with the Democratic Party’s failures and collective willful feebleness in response to the Bush Administration’s disastrous lies and machinations that directly led me leave the Party and to reregister as “unaffiliated.”)

      1. "No Place to Hide" by Robert O'Harrow Jr. is very informative regarding the things we gave up after 9/11.

        It is a fairly old book, so I imagine what was scary then is terrifying now.

      2. We lost more than just innocent lives on that day.  We lost our liberty, our bravery, our democratic values, our credibility. We said never forget and then immediately forgot our American values. How quickly we forgot that President Bush failed us – and then rewarded him with imperial powers. We wandered into the unknowables with Rumsfeld and gave Cheney a blank check. 

        We took the tragedy of one day and stretched that tragedy across the globe over two decades.  

        I was a Republican when the planes hit the WTC and Pentagon. It wasn't a popular position to be 'anti-war / anti-Dubya'. In that twenty years our nation has wreaked havoc in the Middle East, we now shake down old ladies at airport screening stations. We taught ourselves to fear Muslims. Passed (and reauthorized) the Patriot Act (who could be against it!) We've allowed the slow erosion of our civil liberties, tortured and killed innocent people, killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan citizens, and left an environmental disaster in its wake.  

        We eventually found and assassinated Osama bin Laden, but then decided to stick around ten more years in a futile attempt to nation-build. 

        We've spit on our first responders, created a domestic army in our police force. We ignored the domestic terror threat from white nationalists next door.

        Sadly, this is not our best day. 

        1. I lived and worked in downtown Oklahoma City in 1995.  So 9/11 reminds me of very different things, like the fact that a white, catholic army veteran blew in my office windows.

          1. Unpopular opinion on the eve of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 – the terrorists won.

            I’d argue our decline began post-Vietnam and Reagan’s economic approach absolutely quickened our decline. But 9/11 and our subsequent response put us on the fast track to failure.

            9/11 was a test. The books of the last two decades show how America failed.

            Deep within the catalogue of regrets that is the 9/11 Commission report — long after readers learn of the origins and objectives of al-Qaeda, past the warnings ignored by consecutive administrations, through the litany of institutional failures that allowed terrorists to hijack four commercial airliners — the authors pause to make a rousing case for the power of the nation’s character.

            “The U.S. government must define what the message is, what it stands for,” the report asserts. “We should offer an example of moral leadership in the world, committed to treat people humanely, abide by the rule of law, and be generous and caring to our neighbors. . . . We need to defend our ideals abroad vigorously. America does stand up for its values.”

            This affirmation of American idealism is one of the document’s more opinionated moments. Looking back, it’s also among the most ignored.

            Rather than exemplify the nation’s highest values, the official response to 9/11 unleashed some of its worst qualities: deception, brutality, arrogance, ignorance, delusion, overreach and carelessness. This conclusion is laid bare in the sprawling literature to emerge from 9/11 over the past two decades — the works of investigation, memoir and narrative by journalists and former officials that have charted the path to that day, revealed the heroism and confusion of the early response, chronicled the battles in and about Afghanistan and Iraq, and uncovered the excesses of the war on terror. Reading or rereading a collection of such books today is like watching an old movie that feels more anguishing and frustrating than you remember. The anguish comes from knowing how the tale will unfold; the frustration from realizing that this was hardly the only possible outcome.

      1. Remember it well. Things haven’t changed much.  Same play, new actors. 

        The Dixie Chicks backlash begins

        Soon some of those same stations were calling for a boycott of the recent Chicks’ album and of their upcoming U.S. tour. Fellow country star Toby Keith famously joined the fray by performing in front of a backdrop that featured a gigantic image of Natalie Maines beside Saddam Hussein.

      1. I had Saudi Arabia on my mind given 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi, but your comment is a gentle reminder that terrorism comes in many forms and from a broad base of geographies. 

        1. Which made Trump's exception for Saudi Arabia to his "Muslim ban" all the more ironic.

          I'm sure his close relationship with MBS had nothing to do with carving out that exception.

  2. I still can’t stand to watch George W Bush mouth his pious hypocrisies. That’s where the commemmorations lost me.

    He and Cheney saw political advantage (“I’m a war president”.) and billions to be made. So they struck back at the wrong country, let the hunt for Bin Laden grow cold while the war raged, killed at least a million  non-combatants in various countries, legitimized torture as standard US practice, grew the surveillance state.

    The one positive thing Shrub did was refuse to stigmatize American Muslims. And that, too, was at least partly due to who was buttering his bread.

    Beschloss, the historian, asked on MSNBC this morning whether Trump would have had the grace and patriotism Al Gore showed, after 9/11, when Gore said, “George Bush is my Commander” and asked people to support him. Well, we don’t actually wonder about that too much.

  3. I can’t figure out how to post from my iPad, but check out Bush’s remarks today at the Pennsylvania memorial, in which he equates the Jan. 6 insurrectionists as the same terrorism as 9-11.


    1. The far righties on PJ Media are already lambasting Bush for daring to compare the 9/11 terrorists with the "patriotic tourists" at the Capitol on January 6.

  4. Heard the NPR broadcast this morning, "live" from PA.  Both before and after Pres. Bush's speech, the host (Inskeep, I think) kept wondering about how today will play politically. Whether Biden should be giving a speech instead of releasing a video.  If the end of the Afghanistan War made him look bad today and how that would impact the 2022 and 2024 elections. 

    I decided I could do without exposure to media comments.  I'll read speech texts and probably will watch video in the coming week.  But for today, I'm done with simplistic views and reactions.

  5. September 11, 2001 is the day Saudi Arabia attacked the USA and killed 3000+ people living here.

    The "Kingdom" has never suffered any consequences for its actions.

    We need to get to true energy independence and fuck OPEC.

    1. “f. OPEC…………” Hmmm. So you would prefer to turn over more of our public lands to the oil & gas industry? The energy industry is sitting today on several hundred thousand acres of undeveloped leases just in the Western U.S., as enhancements to the bottom lines. You want “energy independence,” then go after the energy barons.

    1. And what, pray tell, is so significant about a 63rd anniversary? If you are determined to continued your parade of inanities, at least pick a number like 50 or 75.

  6. I see that Klannie Oakley has decided to start screaming about Benghazi. In the year 2021, after Covid and Jan. 6 and everything that’s happened in the intervening years, this is what she chooses to try to make noise about.

    I would really love to see her try to name the men who died in Benghazi without Googling it. #NeverForget indeed, right?

    1. It’s apparently the newest ‘thing’. If one ever feels out of touch with reality all you have to do is scroll by one of these posts and be reminded you’re not as far gone as you sometimes think! 


    2. If a male politician made this their twitter profile pic, they’d be flayed and roasted.

      It’s essentially her Glock-wearing ass (OK, her hip).  What does it have to do with governance? representation? At least it’s her personal, not her official, account. Small mercies.

      Nebraska Senate candidate Jan Morgan decided that, since the gun porn schtick works so well for PewPew, she’ll do a full-body giant gun take on it.

      1. Holy crap!! It most resembles an ad where the WWE and the NRA had a baby…

        I was just recalling a video of our congresswoman giving a speech with no podium behind which she can hide. She cannot stand still, moving like an evangelist preacher from one applause line to the next with the sinuous motion of a cobra.

        It's like when you are a tiresome, off-key, singer, who doesn't really know all the words, but you gotta sell that song anyway…😉

        It is all in the presentation when the message is crap.

            1. She actually seems crazier than Trump. ..Or not…Wonder how much of that "Angels from Africa – Strike! " act she has to rehearse privately.

              The "towel guy" walking back and forth was genius.

        1. Someone didn’t get their Sarah Palin action doll as a child (current inspiration: Klannie Oakley) Jan has broad life experiences to qualify her for one of the most august political bodies ever known (and she’ll make a fine pairing with Cotton): 

          Jan Morgan, co-owner of Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range outside Hot Springs …

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