September 11th, 2001 Thoughts…

September 11th – and I’m awakened by my Mom calling me at 7:30 to tell me “they’ve crashed a plane into the World Trade Center” – and I went to the TV and it was true…

Spent most of the next couple of days watching the TV (they had them set up at work, too). Saw the Center collapse at least a hundred times during those days. Spent those days trying to get “are you okay?” messages through to people in New York.

We had a number of links to the events back East: Both Dee Dee and I have friends that live in New York City. Dee Dee, in fact, has a friend that worked at the World Trade Center (on alternate days – and, fortunately, the 11th wasn’t one of those days). Dee Dee’s sister works for United* and actually knew some of the crews of the flights (they were based out of L.A.).

(*Mimnette is a Stewarde…er…Airline Hostess…er… Flight Attendant at United. She actually went on vacation September 10th! Now, due to events, she’s on “leave.” She’s worked there long enough they just can’t fire her, but Attendants don’t get paid if they don’t fly either – and they don’t fly if United doesn’t call them. She could be on “leave” a very long time until things settle – assuming there’ll still be a United!)

Now it’s nearly two months later and we’re busy bombing chunks out of Afghanistan. I suspect that the Taliban – as rulers of Afghanistan – will probably be out by year’s end. Quite frankly, they deserved to be bombed for destroying the “Buddhas of Bamiyan,”IMHO (or just for how they treat their own!), but that’s neither here nor there. On the whole, even absent September 11th, I wouldn’t suspect they’d have remained in control for more than another decade anyway.

Which is good. Multiculturalism be damned: Some cultural memes deserve to die.

Other observations:

By the time I first turned on the TV – which was less than two hours after the attack – news programs already had a logo for it! Life imitates The Daily Show… Sheesh!

I have never seen so many U.S. flags in my entire life. Even people who were, at best, uncomplimentary about the U.S. government and such are flying them. In its own way, it’s almost as scary as the terrorism itself, for it shows how easy it is for a country to slip into a nationalism frenzy – and it’s at least as easy to use that frenzy for “evil” (to use a Bush term…) as good.

99% of all the “security measures” I’ve seem suggested, put in place, demanded, etc., wouldn’t have done a thing to stop the terrorists in the first place. What will, however (at least, from a hijacking standpoint), is the fact that “don’t tick the terrorists off in a hijacking” is no longer going to be a viable strategy – even if the hijacker(s) really are just “going to Cuba!”

Interestingly enough, I suspect the recession we’re drifting into would have happened anyway – heck, all the signs were leading that way even if Washington kept trying to ignore them (the airlines were already having a losing year, fer instance. Now they’re having a bad losing year – but with a bailout…). Mind, the recession hit faster because of the 11th – and may hit a bit harder

But OTOH, I suspect it’ll be over faster too, if for no other reason than folks in Washington can put some massive effort into recovery while “blaming” the recession on the terrorists (which, politically, is much, much safer than either blaming it on your own policies, or admitting that your policies couldn’t stop it – three-hundred dollar tax “break” my foot!).

In spite of all the pronouncements on how “the World Changed after September 11th,” it really didn’t – at least, no more than usual. We think it did (which some may say is the same thing), but it’s still basically the same world it was before.

Originally in POD 31 – November 14th, 2001

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