The 20th anniversary of 9/11 recently arrived. I did not watch the news, nor read any official statements by government. Instead I scrolled through Reddit as usual and in doing so found very moving and powerful images, video and commentary. I had never heard of the last run of Ladder 118 nor seen graphic video taken by regular people on the street which showed a massive cloud of smoke and ash coming straight for them and enveloping everything in it. It is one thing to read about it in the news and see censored newspaper pictures, it is quite another to see uncensored video from regular people who experienced it.
Everyone remembers where they were that day. I had just arrived in Japan, on September 9th to be exact, for my first real job as an English teacher and saw it on my roommates TV. I shared an apartment with two guys, Eric and Brad. Me being the latest arrival I got the worst room and had nothing it it but a futon. Eric had been there the longest and had the main bedroom and a TV. He always had the door shut and we were never allowed in, except for September 11th. He called us in to watch what was happening and I remember us discussing if this was just a bad accident or something else. Then we saw the second plane hit in real time and realized America was under attack. It was the morning in New York but nighttime for us in Japan.
We were all shocked but with all of us working in the morning there was nothing to do but go to bed. I do not have any memories of the weeks after that as it would have just been going to training (the company was called NOVA). I do remember Japanese news replaying the videos and discussing the events for a long while but since it was in Japanese I couldn’t understand anything and my new life in Japan went on with minimal impact from 9/11. It wasn’t until I came back to the USA some months later did I realize how much things had changed. There were American flags everywhere, airports had tons of security with many visible large guns and everyone was talking about war.
It is very hard to believe that 9/11 was twenty years ago. Reading articles in the media 20 years ago seems almost like ancient history and it shocks me that in my mind, it wasn’t so long ago. It makes me think about a time visiting the nursing home some years ago. A few residents were gathered together in wheelchairs having a quiz session about movies, actors and actresses that I had never heard of since they were from many decades ago. Now here I am reading news articles written by young people who were too young to have actual memories of 9/11. The world moves on while those who share memories of significant historical events continually decrease. The past is discarded into old dusty history books that nobody reads and although the facts are there, the zeitgeist of the times are lost.
This is why my blogs, this one and my personal journal, are such treasures to me. I can simply click on any given time or date for the past thirty years and remember. Memory is a fragile thing and at 44 I’ve come to realize we may remember events but the thoughts and feelings of those times, the zeitgeist, are gone. Living through something is like watching it in full 4K color with Dolby surround sound. Over time that picture quality continually decreases until it is nothing more than a black and white snippet with fuzzy reception on a 1950s TV.
I looked back in my blogs to see what I had written about 9/11. This blog only goes back to 2004 but I have my personal journal which goes back much further. Back then it was just my journal and I didn’t discuss anything in the news or about politics. Being a young 24 year old recently arrived in Japan I only have one entry in September and another in October both talking about my experiences in Japan.
It was some years after 9/11 that I started paying attention to the news and part of the reason was due to the war in Iraq. Out of the USA I was hearing that America was now focused on Iraq so as to stop the threat from weapons of mass destruction as well as links to Al-Qaeda. However, outside of the USA a lot of countries, famously France, were against it. This was indeed strange as the war in Afghanistan was sold as stopping terrorism even though it was Saudi Arabia whose nationals were responsible for 9/11 and who were and continue to be major financiers of extreme forms of Islam.
So to clarify, Saudi nationals attack 9/11 but the USA blames Al-Qaeda and attack Afghanistan. Then in 2003, the USA had to attack Iraq due to not only terrorism but also WMD. Over time I realized the American government was lying and I was shocked to see how easily many Americans believed it all. The earliest post I have on this comes from 2005 and is below:
The American news was plastered with the hunt for WMD and you know what? Saddam didn’t have any WMD, it was an outright lie. I knew Bush and his team would lie but I was extremely disappointed in Colin Powell as he put on presentations “proving” WMD. I started to realize you could sell the public on anything, even a war. All a government had to do was get news organizations onboard and repeat the lies as frequently as possible and the public will follow. There were so many people I knew who became armchair analysts and believed these lies 100%. Some of them still do and will never admit it was all a sham.
Now here we are on the 20th anniversary and pulling out of the other war that started with 9/11 and that is Afghanistan. How much money, blood and lives were consumed during those 20 years? And as of September in 2021 there is absolutely nothing to show for it. Nothing. Well, those profiting from the military industrial complex made fortunes so there is that.
One aspect of 9/11 that never made much news is the extent to which Saudi Arabia was involved. Yes, most of the hijackers were Saudi nationals but the USA quickly diverted attention to Iraq and Afghanistan. If you wanted documentaries you’d know that the USA also actively helped Saudi nationals get out of the country quickly. Why would they do this? Just two weeks ago the Biden Administration declassified the Encore report which shows Saudi agents did help with the attacks. This was never mentioned in the 9/11 Commission report. Apparently the USA couldn’t risk angering Saudi Arabia let alone attack it due to the dependence on oil.
Therefore, if we are to summarize an entire nation was lied to and this lie persists even if factual evidence is available. It is this very phenomenon which has given rise to Trump. Obama was wrong, facts don’t matter. Trump has shown just how easily half of the population will swallow lie after lie and how easily they are willing to believe outright nonsense. I saw this while living abroad with how much support there was for the Iraq war. I said that you could tell the citizens of the USA that China had a fleet of dragons stationed above Canada and soon the Fox news anchors would be warning everyone about the threat of fire coming from the sky.
Absurd you say? Well, I’m now living in a world where we’re suffering through a pandemic which has killed 688,000 Americans yet the buffoons have now become anti-mask, anti-vaccine and anti-science. These people actually take horse dewormer over a vaccine because their leaders on Faux news told them to do so. Our democracy is in imminent danger of outright collapse and may in-fact do so if Trump is elected again which is a real possibility. Absurdity is alive and well!
Suddenly, lying to a nation about WMD or attacking a country other than where the terrorists actually came from seems less severe; the lies and absurdity can always get worse! We’ve got millions of Americans vigorously waving the flag saying how much they love the country while simultaneously passively killing their own countrymen as well as themselves! Their stupidity has become too much to even think about and so the only way I can keep my sanity is to limit intake of news and cut off those who have fallen down the Fox hole.
I’ve begun to focus on what I can control and have turned inward. I’ll read the news but not too much, and I’ve stopped using Facebook. I no longer need to keep tabs on what everyone I’ve ever met are up to. And I especially don’t need to hear their political opinions. I want to turn away from this Tik-Tok society where everything is no longer just about “me, me, me” but now “look at me, look at me, look at me.”
I prepare for what looks like it will be a very volatile future. I like the emerging trends of decentralization both in terms of money, information and personal property. I like the idea of taking my own data and information back. In other words I like the idea of regaining control of what is mine but not currently in my possession. My money is in a bank or brokerage, can be restricted at any time and to make matters worse it loses its value daily through inflation. My contacts, data and personal information are held by Facebook and Google. The freedom of thought for many is currently under the control of mass media. The freedom of movement is held in a passport.
I’ve begun to understand that I can no longer rely on various entities to look after my own best interest. One used to be able to put faith in government, in an employer, in a news source, a bank or personal service, hell even in friends, but this is no longer. A quote from Frodo Baggins comes to mind.
I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.Frodo Baggins
Mainstream news wants to control my information. The bank and government control my money. Religion wants control of the soul. Facebook wants control of my relationships and Google my personal data. Governments want to control where I can live. I believe the future is taking all of these things back. My entire being feels too stretched and exposed just like Frodo on Mt. Doom.
Cryptocurrency releases control of money from governments. Meditation helps free the spirit. My server will now control my contact information and data. Continued study of language helps loosen the vice of information. The final aspect is freedom to live in other countries and I’ll keep a pulse on that.
I hope for a future where the individual is smart enough and has the ability to control all of the things I have mentioned. Otherwise we will continue to respond poorly to major shocks such as terrorist attacks, viruses and whatever else, real or imagined the future may hold. 9/11 was mostly Saudi Nationals and we attacked Iraq. Coronavirus has killed 688K Americans yet many take steps to actively encourage the spread. These are very real events yet we see that facts do not matter. What happens when not even the event itself needs to be real anymore?
Fire breathing dragons ridden by The Squad under control of China are stationed above Canada awaiting imminent orders to attack Alabama. Send $100 to Trump right now and he will strengthen the Northern Red Forcefield by triple matching your contribution.
The world has gone insane. Time to focus on what I am able to control.