How 9/11 Bred a “War on Terror” on Steroids

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Yves here. This article by Norman Solomon on how the US ramped up its belligerence after 9/11 and never looked back is sadly consistent with what I saw in New York City right after the two towers fell. I cannot tell how strong war-mongering sentiments were among the public at large, but they were appalling on display from too many people in authority, particularly in Christian churches, when one of Christ’s major precepts was “Turn the other cheek.” Instead, in his speech at the National Cathedral, instead of mourning the deaths in the 9/11 attacks and the honoring the heroic efforts of the rescuers, President Bush committed the US to retaliation….when he could have easily done so beforehand if he felt the need to signal the intent to hit back hard.

Similarly, I was very proud of myself for not having a drink until Thursday after the Monday attacks. I took the out of character step of going to the Unitarian Universalist church around the corner to hear the sermon. The church was packed so I had to sit on the floor way in the front, which was unfortunate because I could not escape.

I was shocked to hear the pastor at some length contradict the Unitarian core value of pacifism1 and outdo Bush in calling for a martial response.

By Norman Solomon Originally published at TomDispatch

[Today’s piece is adapted from the introduction to Norman Solomon’s book War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine (The New Press, 2023).]

The day after the U.S. government began routinely bombing faraway places, the lead editorial in the New York Times expressed some gratification. Nearly four weeks had passed since 9/11, the newspaper noted, and America had finally stepped up its “counterattack against terrorism” by launching airstrikes on al-Qaeda training camps and Taliban military targets in Afghanistan. “It was a moment we have expected ever since September 11,” the editorial said. “The American people, despite their grief and anger, have been patient as they waited for action. Now that it has begun, they will support whatever efforts it takes to carry out this mission properly.”

As the United States continued to drop bombs in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s daily briefings catapulted him into a stratosphere of national adulation. As the Washington Post’s media reporter put it: “Everyone is genuflecting before the Pentagon powerhouse… America’s new rock star.” That winter, the host of NBC’s Meet the Press, Tim Russert, told Rumsfeld: “Sixty-nine years old and you’re America’s stud.”

The televised briefings that brought such adoration included claims of deep-seated decency in what was by then already known as the Global War on Terror. “The targeting capabilities, and the care that goes into targeting, to see that the precise targets are struck, and that other targets are not struck, is as impressive as anything anyone could see,” Rumsfeld asserted. And he added, “The weapons that are being used today have a degree of precision that no one ever dreamt of.”

Whatever their degree of precision, American weapons were, in fact, killing a lot of Afghan civilians. The Project on Defense Alternatives concluded that American air strikes had killed more than 1,000 civilians during the last three months of 2001. By mid-spring 2002, the Guardian reported, “as many as 20,000 Afghans may have lost their lives as an indirect consequence of the U.S. intervention.”

Eight weeks after the intensive bombing had begun, however, Rumsfeld dismissed any concerns about casualties: “We did not start this war. So understand, responsibility for every single casualty in this war, whether they’re innocent Afghans or innocent Americans, rests at the feet of al-Qaeda and the Taliban.” In the aftermath of 9/11, the process was fueling a kind of perpetual emotion machine without an off switch.

Under the “war on terror” rubric, open-ended warfare was well underway — “as if terror were a state and not a technique,” as Joan Didion wrote in 2003 (two months before the U.S. invasion of Iraq). “We had seen, most importantly, the insistent use of September 11 to justify the reconception of America’s correct role in the world as one of initiating and waging virtually perpetual war.”

In a single sentence, Didion had captured the essence of a quickly calcified set of assumptions that few mainstream journalists were willing to question. Those assumptions were catnip for the lions of the military-industrial-intelligence complex. After all, the budgets at “national security” agencies (both long-standing and newly created) had begun to soar with similar vast outlays going to military contractors. Worse yet, there was no end in sight as mission creep accelerated into a dash for cash.

For the White House, the Pentagon, and Congress, the war on terror offered a political license to kill and displace people on a large scale in at least eight countries. The resulting carnage often included civilians. The dead and maimed had no names or faces that reached those who signed the orders and appropriated the funds. And as the years went by, the point seemed to be not winning that multicontinental war but continuing to wage it, a means with no plausible end. Stopping, in fact, became essentially unthinkable. No wonder Americans couldn’t be heard wondering aloud when the “war on terror” would end. It wasn’t supposed to.

“I Mourn the Death of My Uncle…”

The first days after 9/11 foreshadowed what was to come. Media outlets kept amplifying rationales for an aggressive military response, while the traumatic events of September 11th were assumed to be just cause. When the voices of shock and anguish from those who had lost loved ones endorsed going to war, the message could be moving and motivating.

Meanwhile, President George W. Bush — with only a single congressional negative vote — fervently drove that war train, using religious symbolism to grease its wheels. On September 14th, declaring that “we come before God to pray for the missing and the dead, and for those who love them,” Bush delivered a speech at the Washington National Cathedral, claiming that “our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil. War has been waged against us by stealth and deceit and murder. This nation is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to anger. This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others. It will end in a way, and at an hour, of our choosing.”

President Bush cited a story exemplifying “our national character”: “Inside the World Trade Center, one man who could have saved himself stayed until the end at the side of his quadriplegic friend.”

That man was Abe Zelmanowitz. Later that month, his nephew, Matthew Lasar, responded to the president’s tribute in a prophetic way:

“I mourn the death of my uncle, and I want his murderers brought to justice. But I am not making this statement to demand bloody vengeance… Afghanistan has more than a million homeless refugees. A U.S. military intervention could result in the starvation of tens of thousands of people. What I see coming are actions and policies that will cost many more innocent lives, and breed more terrorism, not less. I do not feel that my uncle’s compassionate, heroic sacrifice will be honored by what the U.S. appears poised to do.”

The president’s announced grandiose objectives were overwhelmingly backed by the media, elected officials, and the bulk of the public. Typical was this pledge Bush made to a joint session of Congress six days after his sermon at the National Cathedral: “Our war on terror begins with al-Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.”

Yet by late September, as the Pentagon’s assault plans became public knowledge, a few bereaved Americans began speaking out in opposition. Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez, whose son Greg had died in the World Trade Center, offered this public appeal:

“We read enough of the news to sense that our government is heading in the direction of violent revenge, with the prospect of sons, daughters, parents, friends in distant lands dying, suffering, and nursing further grievances against us. It is not the way to go. It will not avenge our son’s death. Not in our son’s name. Our son died a victim of an inhuman ideology. Our actions should not serve the same purpose.”

Judy Keane, who lost her husband Richard at the World Trade Center, similarly told an interviewer: “Bombing Afghanistan is just going to create more widows, more homeless, fatherless children.”

And Iraq Came Next

While indescribable pain, rage, and fear set the U.S. cauldron to boil, national leaders promised that their alchemy would bring unalloyed security via a global war effort. It would become unceasing, one in which the deaths and bereavement of equally innocent people, thanks to U.S. military actions, would be utterly devalued.

In tandem with Washington’s top political leaders, the fourth estate was integral to sustaining the grief-fueled adrenaline rush that made launching a global war against terrorism seem like the only decent option, with Afghanistan initially in the country’s gunsights and news outlets filled with calls for retribution. Bush administration officials, however, didn’t encourage any focus whatsoever on U.S. petro-ally Saudi Arabia, the country from which 15 of the 19 September 11th hijackers came. (None were Afghans.)

By the time the United States began its invasion of Afghanistan, 26 days after 9/11, the assault could easily appear to be a fitting response to popular demand. Hours after the Pentagon’s missiles began to explode in that country, a Gallup poll found that “90 percent of Americans approve of the United States taking such military action, while just 5 percent are opposed, and another 5 percent are unsure.”

Such lopsided approval was a testament to how thoroughly the messaging for a “war on terror” had taken hold. It would have then been little short of heretical to predict that such retribution would cause many more innocent people to die than in the 9/11 mass murder. During the years to come, the foreseeable deaths of Afghan civilians would be downplayed, discounted, or simply ignored as incidental “collateral damage” (a term that Time magazine defined as “meaning dead or wounded civilians who should have picked a safer neighborhood”).

What had occurred on September 11th remained front and center. What began happening to Afghans that October 7th would be relegated to, at most, peripheral vision. Amid the righteous grief that had swallowed up the United States, few words would have been less welcome or more relevant than these from a poem by W.H. Auden: “Those to whom evil is done / Do evil in return.”

Even then, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was already in the Pentagon’s crosshairs. Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee in September 2002, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld didn’t miss a beat when Senator Mark Dayton questioned the need to attack Iraq, asking, “What is compelling us to now make a precipitous decision and take precipitous actions?”

Rumsfeld replied: “What’s different? What’s different is 3,000 people were killed.”

In other words, the humanity of those who died on 9/11 would loom so large that the fate of Iraqis would be rendered invisible.

In reality, Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Official claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction would similarly prove to be fabrications, part of a post-9/11 pattern of falsehoods used to justify aggression that made those who actually lived in Iraq distinctly beside the point. As I shuttled between San Francisco and Baghdad three times in the four months that preceded the March 2003 invasion, I felt I was traveling between two far-flung planets, one increasingly abuzz with debates about a coming war and the other just hoping to survive.

When the Bush administration and the American military machine finally launched that war, it would cause the deaths of perhaps 200,000 Iraqi civilians, while “several times as many more have been killed as a reverberating effect” of that conflict, according to the meticulous estimates of the Costs of War Project at Brown University. Unlike those killed on 9/11, the Iraqi dead were routinely off the American media radar screen, as were the psychological traumas suffered by Iraqis and the decimation of their country’s infrastructure. For U.S. soldiers and civilians on contractor payrolls, that war’s death toll would climb to 8,250, while back home, media attention to the ordeals of combat veterans and their families would turn out to be fleeting at best.

Still, for the industrial part of the military-industrial-congressional complex, the Iraq War would prove all too successful. That long conflagration gave huge boosts to profits for Pentagon contractors while, propelled by the normalization of endless war, Defense Department budgets kept spiking upward. And Iraq’s vast oil reserves, nationalized and off-limits to Western companies before the invasion, would end up in mega-corporate hands like those of Shell, BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil. Several years after the invasion, some prominent Americans acknowledged that the war in Iraq was largely for oil, including the former head of U.S. Central Command in Iraq, General John Abizaid, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, and then-senator and future Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

The Never-Ending War on Terror

The “war on terror” spread to far corners of the globe. In September 2021, when President Biden told the U.N. General Assembly, “I stand here today, for the first time in 20 years, with the United States not at war,” the Costs of War Project reported that U.S. “counterterrorism operations” were still underway in 85 countries — including “air and drone strikes” and “on-the-ground combat,” as well as “so-called ‘Section 127e’ programs in which U.S. special operations forces plan and control partner force missions, military exercises in preparation for or as part of counterterrorism missions, and operations to train and assist foreign forces.”

Many of those expansive activities have been in Africa. As early as 2014, pathbreaking journalist Nick Turse reported for TomDispatch that the U.S. military was already averaging “far more than a mission a day on the continent, conducting operations with almost every African military force, in almost every African country, while building or building up camps, compounds, and ‘contingency security locations.’”

Since then, the U.S. government has expanded its often-secretive interventions on that continent. In late August 2023, Turse wrote that “at least 15 U.S.-supported officers have been involved in 12 coups in West Africa and the greater Sahel during the war on terror.” Despite claiming that it seeks to “promote regional security, stability, and prosperity,” the U.S. Africa Command is often focused on such destabilizing missions.

With far fewer troops on the ground in combat and more reliance on air power, the “war on terror” has evolved and diversified while rarely sparking discord in American media echo chambers or on Capitol Hill. What remains is the standard Manichean autopilot of American thought, operating in sync with the structural affinity for war that’s built into the military-industrial complex.

A pattern of regret — distinct from remorse — for the venture militarism that failed to triumph in Afghanistan and Iraq does exist, but there is little evidence that the underlying repetition-compulsion disorder has been exorcised from the country’s foreign-policy leadership or mass media, let alone its political economy. On the contrary, 22 years after 9/11, the forces that have dragged the United States into war in so many countries still retain enormous sway over foreign and military affairs. The warfare state continues to rule.


1 For instance:

Unitarian Universalists have always affirmed peace as among our most basic values. We have always worked to create the kinds of just communities out of which peace emerges, and we have long supported the use of nonviolent methods of conflict resolution. This is the legacy we share with pacifism.

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  1. Adam Eran

    Solomon’s book is pretty good. I’d also recommend Malcolm Harris’ Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism and the World to see how deeply rooted is the American commitment to (class) warfare. The US is thugs to its own people…and to the rest of the world.

    1. Reply

      Credibility Gap, that 60s phrase from the LBJ regime era, seems woefully inadequate to describe so much of public life in the US, some 50+ years on. Some progress :/

  2. Louis Fyne

    (maybe this point is mentioned later in the book….) But I see that “Obama” literally has zero mentions in this intro.

    Clinton-Bush policies drove the bus in the ditch, Obama slashed all four tires and walked away.

    Just like in the economic realm, the Obama administration solidified the pre-2009 status quo instead of working to undo it—-which literally was his mandate and why even “Bubba” was willing to vote for him versus Hillary Clinton or McCain.

  3. Alex Cox

    The US and UK were being prepped for war well befote 9/11. The destruction of Yugoslavia, and the cluster bombing and depleted ursnium attack on Serbia were applauded by the liberal media and movies like Welcome to Sarajevo.

    9/11 just helped the project along.

  4. Susan the other

    What does it take to change a war mentality to a peace mentality? A double negative? Like a War on War? Because “war” is a verb and “peace” is a noun and humans are too psychologically kinetic to be peaceful? We humans are so grotesque it makes you wonder how evolution allowed us to thrive. Probably, irony of ironies, because we always killed each other to achieve the advantage of survival. And so it was a no-brainer. Is that how we came to believe in “god” – because when god was on our side we were victorious? If we started worshipping luck, either good luck for me or bad luck for thee, we could at least dispense with all our sticky, illogical self righteousness. At which point, bereft of our delusions and justifications, we might be able to curb our enthusiasm for bloody murder and face reality. Or maybe create a new one that isn’t so malignantly paranoid.

    1. Starry Gordon

      I imagine only objective conditions will “curb our enthusiasm for bloody murder.” If you read modern history you will notice that, among modern states (the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, and so on) imperial projects have inevitably led to defeat, financial and moral bankruptcy, economic ruin, and often enough to revolution and civil war. Those conditions are the logical consequences of imperialism. They will come. It is too bad those who know better do not prevail, but they don’t.

  5. digi_owl

    I can’t stop wondering if the WoT kicked off something else as well, by once more putting the “warrior” on a pedestal after having collecting dust in a corner since the wall came down. And then it got amped by the one two punch of consumer smartphones and social media.

  6. lyman alpha blob

    Not everyone was feeling belligerent after the bombings.

    On that Tuesday evening while everyone was still trying to make sense of what happened, I was at a local watering hole and ran into my friend Don. He was a big bear of a man who worked in demolition, but he was also a poet and a gentle soul. He asked me to step outside to tell me something that he didn’t want anyone else to hear for fear they wouldn’t understand.

    We went out and sat on the sidewalk, and Don turned to me and said “We had it coming.”

    RIP Big Don. Green grass and blue skies.

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      my staff and i listened to the events of that morning on the radio in the cafe.
      i remember saying much the same thing…”of course someone would eventually strike back”
      confusion all around the table…so i shut the hell up.
      that afternoon, after a tiny lunch run(i did a bunch of foreign food…that day was “chicken modo mio” w resotto)…me and my right hand were sitting by the front windows, waiting for closing time(2pm), and watching the entire county line up at the big new gas station across the road…like everybody was going to the deer lease…every gas can and milk jug was filled, jugs of water, cases of beer, pallets of frelling chips and slim jims.
      i walked over there to get me and her a sixpack, and spoke to people i knew.
      fear was palpable…eyes on the sky…wary glances around…the reaction was scarier than the events.
      so i loaded up dry goods from the cafe in my truck and took them home, just in case.
      also loaded up on beer and cigs…town was out of gas by then.
      i alone in this county spoke out against vengeful warmongering from day one…and i paid a price for it…911 killed my cafe…freedom fries vs my weird menu…but also my resolute antiimperialism and anti foreign adventurism…for the very reasons stated by those widows: this will just make more terrists…because this is what made this bunch…and by that friday night, i was already wondering about the CIA, et alia…and what hand they had played in it all.
      I remembered…;again, alone in this county…that OBL had been one of ours, long ago…

      1. Starry Gordon

        I was very depressed by 9/11 because I knew what they would do with it. That many, many more than the 3000 were going to be killed and that heroes and gods would be rampant and glorified. I sat on a disused pier overlooking New York harbor where I could catch sight of the buildings burning in the six-mile distance and told them to stop. They didn’t stop.

        Not long after that I joined about 150 people near the UN demonstrating against the invasion of Afghanistan then ongoing. We were in front of an Irish bar and a group of big guys came out and I thought, “Uh-oh, they’re going to patriotically beat us up.” I was wrong; not a bit of it. They hung around and discussed the attack and the war with us. They seemed pretty well informed for civilians. There was some difference of opinion as to what to do about it, but none of them thought “Afghanistan” or the people that lived there were responsible. One said, “Bush has to show he’s a tough guy after making an ass of himself.” Another was philosophical: “We bomb them, they bomb us.” For him I guess it was a natural force like gravity.

        Some weeks later I joined another demonstration, this one of 500,000 people which you may have heard about. It had the same effect as the one with 150 people.

        But let me say a word about those demonstrations anyway.

        If you read modern history you will notice that, among modern states (the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Sweden, Poland, Russia, Japan, and so on) imperial projects have inevitably led to defeat, financial and moral bankruptcy, economic ruin, and often enough to revolution and civil war. Those developments are the logical consequences of imperialism. And they will come, regardless of demonstrations for and against. It is too bad those who know better do not prevail, but they don’t.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          aye, Starry.
          i’ve been Cassandra in a Coal Mine for a long , long time.
          or in a walmart.
          “Doom!”, as i’m dragged away.
          no credit will be given for such prescience, either…bet on it.
          full bore blame cannons are more likely.

      2. BeliTsari

        I was monitoring a VERY right wing fluoroscope operator at a API 5L pipe mill in Napa. His “hippy” wife calling on her CB, giving play-by-play (we couldn’t leave the booth, except to smoke 1/3rd a ciggy). Bet’ya, “bin Laden’s pissed off at KBR, stealing the morphine trade, to Europe,” was his remark. I ran to a phone, after she’d mentioned Flight 93, as my mom climbed down to her scary basement (figuring, Greenbrier, WV?)

      3. Hepativore

        This is why I roll my eyes over all of the hyperbolic statements in the media as well as the PMC from all of the people suffering from Trump-Derangement Syndrome. There is no denying that Trump was/will be a bad president, but the stuff that Trump as well as Obama did was small potatoes compared to what Bush Jr. and his administration pulled during his two terms in office, and Trump and Obama were mostly taking advantage of the sweeping surveillance and executive powers that were granted to the Bush administration through the Patriot Act and other expansions of the deep state during Dubya’s time in office. Yet nobody seems to remember how bad and ridiculous the W. Bush years were, especially now that the Democrats have largely lionized Shrub in retrospect.

        Thanks to Bush Jr. I think we are technically still in the “War on Terror” and still mucking about in all of the forever wars that Bush started in the Midde-East and Africa and have not done anything to punish the people involved in setting up the global torture regime that Bush started and is still going on.

        Also, Dick Cheney is still one of the most evil men in our political system who Biden has showered lavish praise on without people batting an eye.

        If our political system really worked the way that civics classes would have you believe Shrub and his cronies would be spending serious time in prison to say nothing of other presidents.

        1. ChrisPacific

          Yeah. This brought back bad memories. I’m not sure what was worse – watching everyone cheer the Bush administration on as they committed ever more and greater war crimes, or gradually realizing over time that not only was this the real America, but it always had been.

          The worst part was he got reelected. Sure, he launched an unprovoked war on a country unrelated to 9/11 and lied to the American public and the world about why, but stopping gays from getting married is more important.

  7. JBird4049

    Edward Bernays would be so f***ing proud of the use of his ideas and techniques. I find bitter amusement that this War on Terror, or really a war on a technique, along with the strengthen and improved America Security State was going to happen whenever something sufficient as in the Towers happened; I am still not convinced that the United States government had anything to do with the actual terrorism, but the response? That was very much preplanned, and the planners were just waiting for an excuse.

    The First World War with its Creel Committee, AKA the Committee on Public Information, the Cold War and all the operations of both the FBI and the CIA, especially during the 1960s and 70s, and finally, the current Identity Politics with its corruption of the concept of intersectionality, the substitution of equity for equality, and then there is the current extreme corruption of transgenderism. All this and much more. At least we do not see anything currently like the Jakarta Method or Operation Condor.

    But make no mistake, the Jakarta Method, Operation Condor, Operation Mockingbird, and so much else are the ancestors of today’s fun including this supposed War on Terror. Really, 9/11 is just the fall guy for it.

  8. Left212

    The weekend after the attack my partner and I attended a small dinner party in Potrero Hill in SF with two other couples who were all medical professionals. I was shocked at the level of rancor and “Imperialist Privilege” to quote Ajamu Baraka that was one display that night. One stated arrogantly that we needed to the desert “into glass” with nuclear weapons with the other three nodding along vigorously. Since IDGAF I went off on them at length about America’s own Exceptional Terrorism from the 1890s Monroe Doctrine to the post WWII CIA coup-a-ramas/dirty little secret wars. Needless to say my bf and I were never invited back.

    1. Eclair

      “Imperialist Privilege.” A prevalent state of mind, Left212. Apparently, OBL detailed his reasons for the attack, a classic example of asymmetric warfare, in a public statement, which was ‘overlooked.’
      I am going from memory here, but I believe he mentioned, the occupation of Palestine which was fostered by western nations, the death of thousands of children in Iraq caused by US sanctions, the creation of US military bases in Saudi Arabia which is the holy land of Mecca, the extraction of oil wealth by western nations.

      On 9/11, I was on the opposite bank of the Hudson River, helping our daughter with her newborn. I listened in on the call with her neighbor, whose husband was incinerated in one of the Towers. We watched lines of sweaty, dust-covered workers, marching zombie-like, down to the train station. We ducked at every sound of a plane or helicopter. But, I could understand why it happened. And, like you, became contrarian. Until I learned to shut up.

      I feel the same atmosphere today. In February 2022, I was sharing a John Mearsheimer video talk (probably linked here on NC) on the decades long US and NATO encirclement of Russia, and, after a few weeks, just shut up, because the reactions were so hostile. Russia/Putin were Evil. Period.

      Some days I just wish I could go along with the crowd. It would be so much easier.

  9. mrsyk


    What a timeline. Would we be in a different place now if the order was changed?
    One could argue Trump’s was the least destructive foreign policy.

    1. GramSci


      It’s all been downhill since the Notsies assassinated FDR.

      1. mrsyk

        Not much a surprise to the realities of our surroundings.
        Edit. One of these days I will be able to spell.

  10. dave -- just dave

    The warfare state continues to rule. Yes – and it goes way, way back. The population displacement by my ancestors of the previous inhabitants was the work of a couple of centuries.

    And now might be a time to recall Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer” – said to be a response to both the Spanish-American War and the subsequent Philippine-American War.

  11. Alice X

    >a Gallup poll found that “90 percent of Americans approve of the United States taking such military action, while just 5 percent are opposed, and another 5 percent are unsure.”

    I was opposed but didn’t have a platform except for a few friends. Mostly they agreed.

    I always thought that whoever was behind 9/11 should have their day in court and not years at war. I still thought that when Obama went after OBL.

  12. Savita

    One Spring afternoon, in my Australian town, I finish work and walk through the door of my share-house. The TV is on and I have my first exposure to the events of 11-9 (as the rest of the world refer to it :-)
    It probably wasn’t live TV but the first thing I saw was footage of an aeroplane flying into a New York skyscraper.

    Just as, very few Australians knew who or what the name Donald Trump was prior to the election – the World Trade towers were not known to most of us, either.
    Anyway, the footage of the event itself is the first thing I see and my first exposure to the news.

    My immediate reaction, as a comment to myself;

    ‘Oh look, the US Government is deliberately flying its own planes into its own building’.

    Years later I had a friend from London who said to me, one or two days before the incident he had a premonition certain parts of the market were about to crash and that he had 24 hours to beg or borrow GBP100,000 in order to master it. He didn’t work in any such related industry either.

    In the few weeks after the incident an artist working in metal I worked with, told me the US troops had been primed and on standby ready for immediate deployment – was it Afghanistan? – for 6 weeks prior to the incident.

    1. SocalJimObjects

      It still has not ended. Even now, America still has the temerity to go to Vietnam and asks them for their help to contain China. Americans might have short memories, but I can assure you that East Asians know how to carry a grudge.

  13. carbpow

    I am of the very unpopular opinion that unless there is some tangible shared sacrifice these unnamed forever wars will continue and the best way to curb it is a universal draft. The Pentagon is completely against this as are most citizens. But there is no reason draftees couldn’t replace many of the roles of the private contractors. The Pentagon says they cannot get enough educated people? Well, draft them upon college graduation. As it is now a very small percentage of citizens are directly affected by this forever war on terror that is unknown to most of the citizenry. Additionally it seems to me that as the number of congress critters with military experience has decreased the propensity for involving the country in military conflicts has increased.

    1. BillC

      Agreed 100% — especially WRT congress critters! (Caveat: easy for me to say — I “lost” the Vietnam draft lottery by the skin of my teeth and I’m now well into retirement age.)

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