Random Thoughts (Political Edition)

MacGuffin

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I remember the fall of the Berlin Wall. I was just a little kid but my parents woke me up to come out and watch the news because they knew that history was happening before our eyes.

The problem I have with 9/11 is that the attacks succeeded in their intended purpose: to attack the western way of life. The towers were the first dominoes to fall, but we made sure that the rest happened. I hate what happened on 9/11 and I hate the fact that so many people died, but what I hate even more is that their deaths have been used as political tools by politicians and bureaucrats ever since. How much more dishonor is there than that?

If I had a loved one die in the 9/11 attacks, at this point I would be more pissed off at our own government for how they have used those attacks to justify the destruction of our way of life, our stated values and our rights.

Ok, rant over for the time being. If I talk about this too long I just get more and more pissed off.
The terrorists achieved their goal: They spread fear and mistrust, entangled the USA into silly wars, that nearly drove the nation into bankruptcy, made them betray their own principles of freedom and human rights and alienated them from their friends in the world.

Mission accomplished, I'd say.

And the thing is, that I had a feeling exactly that might happen right on that very day ten years ago, as you can read in my chatlog above.
 
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GRtak

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I remember the fall of the Berlin Wall. I was just a little kid but my parents woke me up to come out and watch the news because they knew that history was happening before our eyes.

The problem I have with 9/11 is that the attacks succeeded in their intended purpose: to attack the western way of life. The towers were the first dominoes to fall, but we made sure that the rest happened. I hate what happened on 9/11 and I hate the fact that so many people died, but what I hate even more is that their deaths have been used as political tools by politicians and bureaucrats ever since. How much more dishonor is there than that?

If I had a loved one die in the 9/11 attacks, at this point I would be more pissed off at our own government for how they have used those attacks to justify the destruction of our way of life, our stated values and our rights.

Ok, rant over for the time being. If I talk about this too long I just get more and more pissed off.
I remember the wall coming down, and the evacuation of people from Vietnam (yes, I am that old :wheelchair:), helicopters crashing in the desert trying to save some hostages. There are a few things that really stand out in my mind that were historically significant, but nothing like September Eleventh. Maybe it was simply that I could understand it better, or what the event was used to do. Like Blind_Io, I really hate what the government have used this event to accomplish, the underminding of the Constitution and Liberty.
 

nomix

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I was 13 at 9/11-01. I can't, with complete honesty, say I remember my emotions, my reactions or what I thought. I know I was a very grown up 13 year old, so the next day at school, I was debating wether or not Al Quida or Iraq did it, and stuff like that. There's a reason I was never popular at school - I'm dull and interested in things no one's interested in. But I digress.

In many ways, I don't think I really understood the hurt and suffering of 9/11 before Ut?ya. Before Ut?ya, it was remote and hard to fathom. So I didn't bother.

Ut?ya changed that, that's for sure. I started to understand what national trauma terrorist acts of great proportions actually is. I've had a party tonight, and at 12.01, I played Star Spangled, with Hendrix. As it broke quite a lot with the dancing and mood of the moment, I got a couple of protests. Until the moment when I said "it's 9/11, it's ten years today, I'm sentimantal, bear with me". People sat down, got very quiet and solemn. And they understood my thinking. We started to talk about where we were on 9/11, and how we felt. And we started to talk about Ut?ya. Two people actually lost friends there.

What am I trying to say? Well. America, some 70 years ago, president Roosevelt said "look to Norway". Since then, there has been a very special relationship between our two countries. We feel your sorrow, we feel your loss, and at last, we're close to understanding you. We may disagree on things, but in this, we're brothers.

God bless, Rest in peace.
 

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The problem I have with 9/11 is that the attacks succeeded in their intended purpose: to attack the western way of life. The towers were the first dominoes to fall, but we made sure that the rest happened. I hate what happened on 9/11 and I hate the fact that so many people died, but what I hate even more is that their deaths have been used as political tools by politicians and bureaucrats ever since. How much more dishonor is there than that?

If I had a loved one die in the 9/11 attacks, at this point I would be more pissed off at our own government for how they have used those attacks to justify the destruction of our way of life, our stated values and our rights.

Ok, rant over for the time being. If I talk about this too long I just get more and more pissed off.
I feel the same way. Here we are, 10 years later and we're still jumping at every little noise, scared of every shadow, terrified when a stranger sits next to us on the bus or train, and willing to put up crap that would have been laughable 11 years ago.

We've accepted that we're either going to be either groped up or nuked at airports just so we can say we feel 'safe'. We no longer blink when we're asked to hand over nail clippers or an simple open water bottle and the like just to fly.

Utter paranoia, fear, distrust and an ever present almost overwhelming air of wanting to run home and hide under the bed is how we as a Nation have reacted to this terrible day. We seem to just want to close the borders, shoo away the neighbors and cancel the play dates so we can stay home and huddle under the blankets.

We as a country have changed in how we live our lives, and I think this more than anything is a terrible way to honor those people who died. I'm ashamed at so many things we've done since, and the direction in how we appear to be moving towards.

I know this sounds almost callous, but: Nothing in life is 100% without risks. Flying, driving, walking across town or just stopping in at the Post Office to mail a letter. Yes, I could get killed by a 'terrorist', but I could also get hit by a car, choke on my food, stub my toe, die from the flu, fall and break my neck or get hit on the head by a meteorite. Sometimes bad things happen.

We all need to realize that we have 2 main options. (oversimplified, I know) One, we can mourn those who died, and learn from our mistakes. Hopefully so we don't make them again. We can take reasonable steps to keep it from happening again with the understanding that life still has risks. And yes, there are people out there who really really don't like us.

Or two, we can demand that the 'government' do everything and anything to make our lives 100% safe. Expect to be wrapped in cotton wool and bubble wrap and told over and over that we're safe now, just all we have to do is give up our freedoms and liberties to do so. Give up control of our lives and how we live day to day over to the 'powers that be' in exchange for false promises that it's 'all going to be okay now'.

Agree to allow our fine men and women go out there and die every day so that we can make the bad bad men pay for what they did.


I know that not everyone will agree with me and will probably have different opinions. And I respect that. And yes, I know that there really are no simple, fast or 'happy warm and fuzzy feeling' ways to solve these issues.

But dangit..it does piss me off as well.
 
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LP

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I remember I was 14 when 9/11 happened. I was in 10th grade, and my first class was English. We skipped lecture that day and watched the news for the entire time, even though the teacher was quite a bitch, it was nice to see some humanity in her.

I wasn't sure what I was watching. I was shocked but not visibly so. I was confused, I didn't think it was real.

I found out how real it was when I had rocks thrown at me by freshmen calling me afghani and terrorist and for the next few years after that having people look at me and treat me weirdly/badly.
 

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I was 35 ten years ago on 9/11. The night before, I was excited because some friends of mine were having their first full-length studio album released on Columbia the next day. I woke up Tuesday morning to the news that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers. I turned on the TV for more news about this accident just in time to see the second plane hit the other tower. I knew then that it was no accident and I knew that nothing would ever be the same again.

When I was in the Navy studying Intelligence, we were told that we were at risk for a terrorist attack. The only reason why we hadn't had one at that time (1985) was not because of the FBI keeping an eye on potential terrorists. No. The thing that kept us safe was that a lot of groups got their funding from people in the US that were sympathetic to their cause. Most terrorist leaders realized that if an attack was done on US soil, deliberately targeting civilians (As opposed to the military, who were frequent targets - see Beirut, 1983.) that a significant portion of their funding would dry up. It was just a matter of time before somebody decided that it was worth the risk.

There was one good thing (Among many others.) that happened that day. When the order was given to seal off US airspace, there were 39 aircraft filled with passengers bound for the US crossing the North Atlantic. Their pilots were given the order to divert to Gander, Newfoundland and await further instructions. Gander is a small airport, and is generally used as a refueling stop or as an emergency airfield. Thus, there are not a great deal of hotels or restaurants to serve travellers.
But the people of Gander opened up their homes and gave these poor confused and frightened travellers a bed, a warm meal, and a chance to contact their family to let their loved ones know they were safe.
Night_Hawk, I salute you and your townsmen. Long may your big jib draw.
 

MacGuffin

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I was at work, when word got around, that an airplane crashed into the World Trade Center. Soon the whole office was buzzing with it, because back then not every work station had unlimited internet access. Then word of the 2nd plane got around and everybody knew, that this was not an accident.

On the way home I listened to the radio and I remember, that while waiting at a redlight, news came of one of the towers collapsing. It was so surreal. Like listening to a radio play. Almost immediately I had the feeling, that this terror act would change the world as we knew it. And I also knew from the beginning, that it wasn't for the better. With a USA under George W. Bush, I was quite sure, this would end badly. America would leash out like a wounded animal in retalitation. And nobody would be able to stop them. Those were my thoughts.

It wasn't until later, when I joined my online friends in the IRC chat I posted earlier, that the whole drama and the tragedy caught up with me. Probably because I hadn't seen any TV picture until then. My thoughts and mind were still clear until then but once I saw the pictures on TV, the emotions overwhelmed me and I felt anger, too. Maybe not as much as some of my friends in America but I also had some very serious violent fantasies about what to do with Bin Laden and his followers.

I went to bed rather late but couldn't find much sleep, to be honest. Driving to work the next morning felt strange. Everything was so calm and quiet. Like I was living in a parallel world, unharmed by the events across the Atlantic. But we noticed a clear drop in customer activity that day. And there was not a single unfriendly caller.
 
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nomix

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I'm betting on something in the lines of a sovreign state to be formed within the 1967 borders, with final status to be determined for East Jerusalem, and Gazas status depending on an agreement with Hamas. However, as they're pushing this now, I think Gaza is in the bank.

Edit: Oh, and I think that's just fair. Salam Fayyad's been doing good work, they're ready for it. They've got the instruments of state more or less ready, that's the difference from Oslo.
 
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MacGuffin

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At the moment it is much more interesting to follow the conflict between Israel and Turkey. That one could easily go out of control, with pig-headed politicians at the rudder on both sides.

Even a hot conflict is thinkable. And that one wouldn't end well for Israel.
 

nomix

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Nope. Unlike Hezbollah (and even Syria and Egypt in 73), Turkey is a modern, technologically very savvy nation. Turkey has a comparable navy, a relatively comparative airforce (but no F-15s, so Israel will probably maintain air superiority). Still, it's damned hard to actually fight against a modern nation's military.

Then again, the NATO treaty does protect Turkey. So I won't expect a shooting war, that just won't happen. Vietnam didn't, but if I'm not mistaken, acts of war inside Turkey does apply. So it would be moronic for Israel to start anything. Then again, Turkey might expect some real problems if they attack, EU membership is out of the question for decades for one thing, but the US will rip them apart, if not militarily, then politically.

Won't happen, but it's a scary scenario. And as it is, it does destabilize the region some.
 

nomix

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War would mean disaster for Israel, and it would be damned bad for Turkey as well. It's not something to hope for. The hypotethical threat of it might get Bibi to rethink some of his governments policies, and that's not entirely bad, but that might go both ways anyway.

What Israel is really experiencing from Turkey right now is a Turkish government that actually gives a shit about what people in Turkey think about a couple of issues.
 

MacGuffin

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Well, the same kind of government seems to be in Israel. Or how do you explain Israel's foreign minister Lieberman's threat to support the PKK?
 
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jedd_kenobi

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One of my biggest memories of 9/11 is actually something that occured a year later on the first anniversary. At this time i was working for a Logistics firm in a warehouse. I had always been known in the warehouse as having very pro-american views (at the time i had been watching the West Wing and it had made me appreciate american democracy even with all its faults. something i wish we had over here in the UK). When the first anniversary of 9/11 came along. I had wondered if there was going to be some kind of sign of respect to what happened. Only a couple of months earlier there had been a minute silence for the Queen Mother and i had basically figured that such a thing should happen again a year later on the first anniversary of 9-11.
When i approached the Section managers of the warehouse a few weeks before, i asked them if there had been any intention of doing a minute's silence across the warehouse for those killed in the attacks. I knew other places were going to be doing it across the UK and i had taken it for granted that we would be as well. The Section Managers just shrugged their shoulders and said that there would probably be something planned. Closer it gets to the date, the more i start asking because i'm not getting any response. Each time answered with "we'll look into it." with about a week to go i brought it up in the weekly briefing that we have where the Operations and Section Managers tell us the figures, results and pick rates of what we've done. I again ask, this time in front of a crowd of people "is there going to be a minutes silence for the anniversary of 9/11" the Operations Manager honestly said to me and the rest of us. "it depends on the workload for the day." (The Operations Manager has always been something of a dick. he viewed the workforce as being there to do a job and that since we were being paid a wage, we should all be doing it at 110%. thats what he kept saying "here's the pick rates for the day. i want us to do 110% more than that.).
Up until the day itself i kept going up to them, constantly reminding them and asking. If you want anything done in this warehouse. you simply don't ask for it. you have to kick, scream, annoy and pester every single person in management to do it. So on the day before. I'm in the office with the managers and again i ask them "will there be a minutes silence?" the Ops manager this time turns around and says "we're predicting a heavy picking day tomorrow. i doubt we'll have the time for it." to which is one of the few times i lost my temper. i told him "fine then, but i'll tell you this. i'll make sure to let your higher ups and the local papers know that on the first anniversary of a national tragedy. you saw it fit that a bunch of statistics and figures were more important." i never wavered on that and still to this day hold my ground to that. the day after, on the first anniversary of 9/11 the entire warehouse fell silent at the minute that the first plane struck the world trade towers.
i didn't do it because i wanted to cause trouble, i didn't do it because i wanted to get out of work for a minute nor did i do it because i felt it was the right thing. i did it because i knew too damn bloody well that if it had been us attacked. The americans would have done the same thing for us and as such it was only right that we did our part. The only part that annoyed me was that i had to fight and dig my feet into the ground for something that i felt should have been done anyway out of respect.
 

nomix

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I understand you.

Edit:
Well, the same kind of government seems to be in Israel. Or how do you explain Israel's foreign minister Lieberman's threat to support the PKK?
I think that's an empty threat. As a matter of fact, the PKK and it's political wing is relatively similar to the PLO and Fatah, at least during the late 80s and early to mid 90s. But Turkey view them more like an equal to Hamas or Hezbollah. Anyhow, that doesn't really make sense, but the world doesn't have to make sense, you know.

But Israel will never do that for the simple reason it opens the door to recognizing other seperatist movements, even terrorist organisations. Will they support the ETA as well? Would they have supported the IRA? Getting to know the ETA, at least, will piss of the Spanish and the French. And they don't want to piss off the French. More importantly, it opens the door for some retaliatory recognition or low level diplomatic talks with Hamas. As for Hezbollah, it'll be easier to do for the European countries, they're part of the Lebanese Government right now, if they haven't walked out yet. At least they're a big political party in Lebanon, while still being a bunch of crazy madmen outside parliament.

I think, though, that it speaks volumes for Israel's feeling of being segregated from some nations that used to be somewhat friendly. Taking Norway as an example, we've been very friendly to Israel for donkey years (and to some extent still is, we support their right to exist and we're even holding back on statehood), but these days, the friendship between us and them is chilly to say the least. Loosing the geopolitical stability of Turkey's friendship is even more catastrophic for Israel.

Thing is, Israel feels time running out. There's considerable international support for just declaring a Palestinian state in the General Assembly, completely bypassing Israeli stalling tactics (and I won't have anything said against that, they've stalled for half a decade) adding legitimacy to the PA. And even if the Security Council stops statehood (I expect a veto from a number of veto nations, US, UK, France, not sure about Russia and China), it will look very stale and bad indeed. The truth is, Israeli strategic foreign policy has failed to achieve their objectives; to halt the move towards a two state sollution. And that's devalued the policy itself, but it's also devalued mr. Netanyahu. And even if statehood is stopped, as it will be, there's no doubt that a declaration of statehood for the Palestinians will be an unmitigated foreign policy disaster for Israel.

Just my .2
 
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MacGuffin

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It would be a good start for a relaxation and would take a lot of tension out of the whole situation, if Israel would finally cut back on their ruthless settling policy. It's overdue.
 

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I didn't listen to much on the radio today, or watch much on television, but I did catch a snippet on NPR about the memorial towers that were put up in Paris for the 10th anniversary. The Parisian gentleman who spoke with NPR about the project actually made me tear up a bit.

I take back every French Surrender joke I've ever told, even though it was all in jest. You guys are awesome.
 
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