When civil servants look to the heavens and utter falsehoods

September 11, 2011 | By | 6 Replies More

. . . The Lord of Hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come behold the works of the Lord
 who has made desolations in the Earth.
He makes wars cease
 to the ends of the Earth.
He breaks the bough
and cuts the spear in two.
He burns the chariot in fire.
Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations.
I will be exalted in the Earths.
The Lord of Hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.

These words of peace were uttered by a President who is currently waging wars in several countries.  These words of prayer , and many other words of prayer, were uttered by my elected representative, Barack Obama, who doesn’t care that his Constitution has a Separation clause and that he was elected to represent Buddhists and Hindus, in addition to many millions of Americans who do not believe in invisible sentient beings. Then again, it’s election season and Mr. Obama is hammering at America’s sweet spot: Judeo-Christian War Mongering.

This was a day when Mr. Obama, like most politicians who hogged the stage on this deservedly sad anniversary, deemed that everyone who died on 9/11 was a “hero,” even though most of the the people who died were victims rather than heroes–there being a huge difference between victims and heroes. But this is not a day that cares about stark distinctions or basic facts.

Contrary to the claim of Barack Obama, 9/11 was not a day when America was “thrust into war.”  Rather, America’s leaders decided to convince Americans that a narrowly-focused military mission against a small band of terrorists was somehow not appropriate.  Instead of keeping the focus following 9/11, America thrust itself into a $2 billion/week country-wide discretionary occupation of Afghanistan, a war that continues to bleed America of much-needed funds for schools, scientific research and infrastructure. And while Mr. Obama was claiming that America was “thrust into war,” he should have been reminding Americans that our equally expensive military adventure in Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.  But this is not the first time that America has resorted to fabrications to justify a lengthy war.

At the Kennedy Center, Mr. Obama said, “It will be said that we kept the faith, that we took a painful blow, and we emerged stronger than before.” I suppose this is the type of thing one is supposed to say on the anniversary of a horrible attack on America. Despite this rhetoric, America’s reckless response to 9/11 has brought America to the brink of financial ruin, with no end in sight. And the damage we’ve done to ourselves far exceeds the waste of tax resources.  Consider these figures offered by The Nation:

4,442 American soldiers dead in Iraq, 1,584 in Afghanistan. As of March, $1.25 trillion spent to destroy and then fail to rebuild and stabilize those countries, a cost that has crippled our capacity to respond to an economic crisis that has devastated the American working and middle classes and reverberated throughout the world. Weighing on our collective conscience, also, are hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, tens of thousands of dead Afghans, millions displaced—the overwhelming majority of whom had nothing to do with Al Qaeda’s heinous crimes on 9/11. To this, add a legacy of distrust, anger and grievance against the United States that will persist for years to come.

We are in trouble today because of the reckless way that we have been responding to the despicable attacks of 9/11. We have done much more damage to our own country than any terrorists could have ever imagined doing by themselves.

We are not honoring the dead when we utter falsehoods, even when these falsehoods are politically convenient.



Category: hypocrisy, Propaganda, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (6)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Chris Hedges, writing at Truthdig.com:

    We have still not woken up to whom we have become, to the fatal erosion of domestic and international law and the senseless waste of lives, resources and trillions of dollars to wage wars that ultimately we can never win. We do not see that our own faces have become as contorted as the faces of the demented hijackers who seized the three commercial jetliners a decade ago. We do not grasp that Osama bin Laden’s twisted vision of a world of indiscriminate violence and terror has triumphed. The attacks turned us into monsters, grotesque ghouls, sadists and killers who drop bombs on village children and waterboard those we kidnap, strip of their rights and hold for years without due process. We acted before we were able to think. And it is the satanic lust of violence that has us locked in its grip . . .

    We could have gone another route. We could have built on the profound sympathy and empathy that swept through the world following the attacks. The revulsion over the crimes that took place 10 years ago, including in the Muslim world, where I was working in the weeks and months after 9/11, was nearly universal. The attacks, if we had turned them over to intelligence agencies and diplomats, might have opened possibilities not of war and death but ultimately reconciliation and communication, of redressing the wrongs that we commit in the Middle East and that are committed by Israel with our blessing. It was a moment we squandered. Our brutality and triumphalism, the byproducts of nationalism and our infantile pride, revived the jihadist movement. We became the radical Islamist movement’s most effective recruiting tool. We descended to its barbarity. We became terrorists too. The sad legacy of 9/11 is that the assholes, on each side, won.


  2. Mike M. says:

    Again, more lies and propaganda. We are being deceived on a daily, if not hourly, basis by our “Representatives” in Government. Constant, relentless, crafted and targeted manipulation on a massive scale. Over and over, every day, year after year. A highly effective marketing campaign that continues to dupe citizens by the millions. You can see all the victims dutifully waiving their American flags, chanting “USA! USA! USA!” and repeating, with a glazed and fervent look in their eyes, USA Corp’s tag lines and ad slogans (“America is the Greatest Country in the World”, “Freedom Comes at a Price”, “We Must Support Our Troops”, “God Bless the United States of America”, etc, etc, etc..).

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    “Paul Krugman drew conservative outrage on Sunday when he wrote that the anniversary of 9/11 had become a marker of “shame” for the U.S.”


  4. Erich Vieth says:

    Glenn Greenwald provides the photos to show how the United States is being “converted into a paramilitarized Nation of Fear.” http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/09/12-2

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    “In the end, bin Laden got the carnage he had hoped to unleash. Nearly 3,000 Americans were killed on September 11th. Since then, 6,022 American servicemen and women have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more than 42,000 have been wounded. More than 3,000 allied soldiers have died, along with some 1,200 private contractors, aid workers and journalists. Most of the killing didn’t take place in battles — it was in the dirty metrics of suicide bombs, death squads, checkpoint killings, torture chambers and improvised explosive devices. Civilians on their way to work or soldiers driving around in circles, looking for an enemy they could seldom find. We may never know how many innocent civilians were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan, but estimates suggest that more than 160,000 have died so far. Al Qaeda, by contrast, has lost very few operatives in the worldwide conflagration — perhaps only “scores,” as President Obama said this month. In truth, Al Qaeda never had many members to begin with. Not since Gavrilo Princip assassinated the Archduke Ferdinand, setting off World War I, has a conspiracy undertaken by so few been felt by so many.”

    Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone. May, 2011. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/my-decade-of-bin-laden-20110508

Leave a Reply