Thursday, September 11, 2008

The High Priests of the Cult of 9/11

Paul Campos:

Here are some basic truths, truths so basic that arguing for them is an insult to the reader’s intelligence:

*Terrorism, Islamic or otherwise, doesn’t pose anything like an existential threat to the United States of America.

*There isn’t a trace of an indigenous Islamic terror threat anywhere in America, or indeed a significant terror threat of any kind.

*With some notable exceptions – if for example you happen to be a poor, and/ or if you don't have health insurance, and/or if you belong to a demographic that makes up much of the world's largest prison population – contemporary America is about as low-risk a society as has ever existed on the face of the earth. In particular the contemporary American suburb, although full of often-terrified people, represents as close to a risk-free environment as human ingenuity has yet constructed.

*We’re all going to die one day, but the odds that any particular American will die in a terrorist attack can be estimated as essentially zero.

*The money being spent, and the nations being invaded, and the suspects being tortured, and the laws being broken, in the name of fighting the so-called global war on terror, represent a fantastically out of proportion response to the threat that terrorism actually poses to our nation.

Consider that for every American murdered by terrorists on September 11, 2001, fifty have been murdered by ordinary everyday made-in-America violence in the seven years since.

Consider that for every American murdered by terrorists, somewhere between 200 and 600 Iraqis have died as a direct consequence of our invasion of that country: a country which had nothing to do with 9/11, although perhaps 100 million Americans still don’t understand this -- a fact which itself is a direct and intended consequence of the Bush administration’s calculated lies.

Consider that the money spent, so far, on the invasion of a country that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks would be more than enough to pay off the entire mortgage of every foreclosed home in the United States.

You will hear nothing like this from any national politician today, because the Cult of 9/11 considers any criticism of its central principle to be a horrible heresy.

Instead we will get phony mourning and simulated grief, from our leaders and our media, as they continue to pretend that the events of that terrible day justify the money, and the invasions, and the torture, and the lawbreaking, and all the other very real transformations of our national life that have been undertaken in the name of our dread of a threat that, in all truth, might as well be as imaginary as the killer in a horror film.

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