Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembering 9/11

We've all got our 9/11 stories.  To me, it's this generation's equivalent of a JFK moment - I remember so much of that night and morning (Australian time), waiting for news of my sister-in-law who was in New York that day, watching it all unfold on live tv like some kind of sick Dantean reality show.  Like so many other people around the globe I was, of course, filled with terror and rage about the act itself, but I was also deeply affected by what the attacks meant in terms of the potential US (and by obsequious proxy, the Australian) response.  I remember saying to my wife just after the second plane hit, "Everything is different now.  This is going to be an excuse for a lot of change to how we live."  I do not qualify as a prophet for simply stating the bleeding obvious.

One event that sticks in my mind from the day is the footage of George W. Bush at the kindergarten.  Booker Elementary School.  Before I continue, let me say this:  I am certainly no Bush apologist.  As far as presidents go, I consider him to be about as inept and loathsome as they come.  That is why I feel so angry about being made to feel so sorry for the man.  And the reason is:  Andrew Card.  At the time of the air attacks on New York and Washington he was the White House Chief of Staff, the President's number one man on all things to do with the organisation and running of day-to-day presidential operations.  That guy was the prick that came out and whispered in the C-in-C's ear that yes indeed, a second plane had hit the WTC, and that now the  South Tower was ablaze, and that it was indeed looking like a deliberate attack on the US.  And then he walked away.  That fucker just left his boss hanging, in shock, with his ass blowing in the wind.

Andrew Card.  Fuckwit.
This week I saw the documentary Remembering 9/11, an excellent account of the day's events with interviews with such people as Barbara Bush, the most evil Dick Cheney, the revolting Don Rumsfeld (who was at the Pentagon and personally assisted in helping some of the casualties after the building was hit by AA Flight 77), the most excellent Rudy Giulinani, and other military and civil personnel directly involved with the events of the day.  And there was an interview with the illustrious Mr Card.  He explained that he retreated from Mr Bush after giving him the news so that he had time to digest the information, that he could come up with a response.  In front of the news cameras of the world and a classroom full of Booker Elementary five year olds (and, I must add, a very lovely and understanding teacher).  You can see by the look in Bush's face as he nods along to the rhythm of the story the kids are being read that he is shocked beyond compare.  At the very time when his staffers should have said, "Sir, there's a situation.  You must come with us now," the president of the United States is abandoned.  In front of a room full of kids and news cameras, for chissakes!!!  It was this scene that demonstrated not just to me, but to the world, the United States had no real idea what was going on and had no idea how to react to such an immediate and lethal threat.  And Andrew Card...  Jesus, what a dickhead.  Bush should have fired him on the spot once he was taken from the classroom and into a back room for updates.  I have read some unfortunate and pathetic conspiracy reports about prior knowlege of the attacks, and I will not flatter such rubbish with recounting their poison and stupidity here - what is certain about the day is that Andrew Card fucked up big time, and it amazes me that the man was in the job (a job that he was clearly woefully inadequate for and inept at) a further five years after the attacks!  A further damning testament, perhaps, of Bush's flawed government.

Regardless of Card's inhuman stupidity, regardless of the subsequent errors made in policy and action by the Bush administration, we remember those that died for no good reason, nearly three thousand people from ninety different nations, and we must pause to honour their memory and mourn for a future that is now darker without them.

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