Sunday, September 11, 2011

Unhappy Anniversary

If you were old enough to comprehend what was unfolding, you are now observing the anniversary of one of the worst days of your life. Perhaps appropriately, I'm spending most of the day working on the update to The CIA's Greatest Hits (which will include a chapter on the CIA's strange relationships with some of the hijackers).

Meanwhile, Arthur Naiman, my editor and publisher on the original edition of CGH, has just written 9/11: The Simple Facts: Why the Official Story Can't Possibly Be True. I'd urge everybody to pick up or download a copy, and check out the online videos and other resources he offers to help with understanding his premise.

Over the past few days, a torrent of verbiage has been posted online (I don't watch any TV, so I've mostly escaped that torrent). Here are some notable highlights:

Glenn Smith's "The Fall to Earth" at FDL is one of the most poignant pieces I've seen. Also in that league is Mona Eltahawy's "I Stayed to Fight," a love letter from a Muslim immigrant to her adopted country. Rounding out the must-reads is the lead op-ed at, "Who Really Kept Us Safe After 9/11," by Steve Chapman. Word. also links up to Robert Jensen's excellent survey "Imperial Delusions: Ignoring the Lessons of 9/11." Along those same lines, Jim Lobe's piece is spot on, and the title tells the tale: "Al-Qaeda’s Project for Ending the American Century Largely Succeeded." Remember, the plan was to get us to overreact, get bogged down in land wars in Asia, alienate Muslims across the planet, and bankrupt our treasury. This wasn't exactly a secret, either.

Arun Gupta offers complementary insights on Alternet, in his "Empire of Chaos," subtitled "The neoconservative ideas that shaped the war on terror have evaporated as the United States is battered by an economic depression that shows no end." Hard to argue with.

Also on AlterNet, economist Joseph Stiglitz's Al-Jazeera article puts some data behind those opinions. Rinku Sen gives us an optimist's take on the anniversary, "The Story I Choose To Tell: We All Belong to Each Other." Adele Stan speaks for the pessimists. And over at Salon, the redoubtable Glenn Greenwald posts about some counterintuitive polling data about 9/11, ten years on.

The HuffPo has a full page of coverage, and there you can find a link to the videos of David Letterman's and Jon Stewart's return to the airwaves. Jesse Kornbluth offers his memories of hosting an online AOL chat room in the hours following the attacks. They also link to an LA Times story about how hard it is to teach about 9/11 to schoolchildren, Believe me, it is. Oh, and Earl Ofari Hutchinson tut-tuts about how sad it is that people still believe in conspiracy theories about 9/11. Yeah, damn shame.

So what's the best thing you've read about 9/11? Any recommendations?

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