Somebody Dial 911

…but we HAVE forgotten the most important part

As I commented on another forum, W. J. Astore’s powerful Bracing Views, the day the Twin Towers fell left me with memories of both horror and poignancy.  The horror part is self-explanatory.  The poignancy may seem surprising.  I was working in an office in downtown Cleveland on 9/11.  It happened to stand next to the Celebrezze Federal Building, which, in the moment, was thought to be another potential terrorist target.  Therefore, our building was evacuated along with the Federal Building.  It turned out, though, that most of downtown emptied out that morning.  Like my fellow workers, my only thought was to get home.  Naturally, the buses were packed.  I had to stand at first, but eventually snagged a seat.  Now, odd as it may sound, the prevailing atmosphere on city buses is silence.  Most people are riding by themselves, especially during rush hour.  That day was different.  With shell-shocked faces, people got on the bus and then looked out the windows, as if expecting fire to rain down from the sky.  Then….they talked to each other, in low voices, across the aisles and from front to back.  Many were tearful; all were afraid.  With each newcomer, the mass of riders willingly compressed more and more — there was an unspoken conviction that there was safety in numbers, we were stronger together.  We were ALL united that day.  At that early point, there was no anger, only devastating sorrow and an overwhelming, WHY?  We grieved as Americans had on December 7, 1941.  We felt the same sense of violation, of loss of innocence.  Even then, when the ripples were still fanning out, we somehow knew life would never be the same for us.  We felt an overarching sense of tenderness and concern for each other.  As we got outside downtown, and people started getting off the bus, it was as if each departure was somehow a loss to the rest of us; we didn’t want to see anyone leave.  It was almost personal — we were all in this together, and we were made smaller as each of our fellow travelers went out the door.  We responded as we would have when a friend or relative left us:  “Will you be OK going home?”  “Take care.”  “God bless,” patting arms and shoulders, then huddling back into ourselves.  It was extraordinary, a phenomenon I’ve only seen that one time in my life.  For once, everyone was accepted, each person was equal, all counted for something.  If there is such a thing as Grace, it embraced all of us that day. 

And now….seemingly in a blink, it’s 20 years later.  We’re not only NOT valued companions anymore, traversing the same road with shared concerns, we’re actively at each other’s throats.  Within a few weeks of 9/11, after the benefit concerts, after the Red Cross drives, after the memorials to heroes, the feeling of unity was gone, replaced by anger and lust for revenge on one hand, and by calls for peace and healing on the other.  Instead of looking at U.S. actions that served as a flashpoint for the attack, we backed a President who stoked the fires of rage, accompanied by a cabal who saw its chance to implement long-plotted schemes of dominance and control.  We know now that neither Iraq nor Afghanistan had anything to do with the attacks of 9/11 (15 of 19 hijackers were Saudis), but in the frantic rush to do something, anything, to satisfy the impulse for punishment, the country allowed itself to be caught up in the juggernaut of war.  Except, of course, for the lone voice of sanity, Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California.  She alone had the wisdom and the courage to vote against the authorization for what have become our endless wars.  Her prescience stands as a testament to rationality in the face of headlong, out-of-control warmongering disguised as justice.  Ms. Lee’s was the first voice raised in favor of reason and deliberation, but she was not alone.  Tens of thousands of people nationwide eventually protested the blatant opportunism and black desires of the Bush/Cheney cohort, to no avail.

So here we are, at another perilous juncture. Lincoln said it best at Gettysburg, in November, 1863:  “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation [the United States], or any nation so conceived and so dedicated [‘conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal’], can long endure.”  Though there has of course been no formal schism, no secession of states, no pitched physical battle across the nation, we are nevertheless collectively in a fight for our lives as we know them.  The compassion of 9/11 is only a distant memory, almost a myth by now.  Families are riven by the deep animosities of differing beliefs, neighborhoods are sundered by suspicion and violence.  Liberty is rapidly morphing into the implacable conviction that each person is entitled to do as he or she wishes, up to the point of being forced to stop.  It would appear that we’re heading for anarchy, except the bastardization of freedom is being carefully manipulated by the authoritarian puppeteers in government, the military, and corporate America.  The meltdown will only go so far; then the real powers-that-be will step in and exert control.  They don’t believe that all men are created equal, and they’ll make sure that their deserving selves end up on top.  The nation that Lincoln praised has already vanished.  Some argue that it never existed.  In essence, another civil war is being fought, and the 99% will be the losers.

What does the outcome of the modern civil war portend?  We’re getting a preview now, with the West on fire and the East under water.  The Big Oil segment of the 1% is clawing to extract and burn every last drop of oil, no matter the cost, because those in charge of BP, Dutch Shell, Exxon, et. al., won’t be around for the aftermath.  And besides, there’s money to be made from pretty much any kind of disaster.  Take the pandemic:  the handful at the very apex of the pyramid have profited obscenely in the last 18 months, and it’s a surety that every single one of them is vaccinated.  The frontline workers at the bottom of the pile are still making below-subsistence wages and have few or no benefits.  They are, in essence, the cannon fodder.

Literal war is also part of the undeclared civil war.  On one side are Raytheon, Lockheed, General Dynamics, and a host of other “defense” profiteers, along with their bought-and-paid-for military leaders, who spread destruction across the globe, exert U.S. hubris everywhere, prosecute conflicts with vague missions and no exit strategies, and still fail upward.  “Upward” being onto the boards of said contractors.  Meanwhile, we on the “other side” have doled out trillions and have only drudgery and a thoroughly inadequate safety net to show for our involuntary contributions. 

Our planet is wrecked, and nothing effective is being done about it.  The many are on the losing side of a war being covertly waged against them by the few, and not even the wisest among us has a strategy to turn the tables.  Freedom has become “freedumb,” and equality is a unicorn.  For a single instant in time, we the people were united in caring for each other; we were willing to donate our money and our lifeblood in support of those in need.  That instant was ephemeral, evaporating as quickly as it appeared.  Now we’re hopelessly divided, openly fighting each other as those behind the scenes are winning the battle for overall, permanent control.  We’re witnessing the most critical, profound emergency we’ve ever faced, and most of us don’t even know it.  If we call 911, is there anyone on the other end who can help?

17 thoughts on “Somebody Dial 911

  1. Such a heartfelt article, Denise. Thanks for sharing.

    One stat: 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi. So let’s invade Afghanistan and Iraq! And there were plans to go to Iran if the first two wars hadn’t cratered. Remember the “Axis of Evil”?

    Of course, no plans to call Saudi Arabia to account. The Saudis buy our weapons and support the dollar. End of story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I called my Federal Representative’s office after 9/11 to ask why the H– we were attacking Afghanistan when the plotters were from Saudi Arabia, that the Saudi brand of Islam was the toxic ideology that fueled global jihad and that Saudi money was funding it. The person who answered the phone understood my point, but that was not enough to change the Representative’s vote.

    Interestingly there is an article on Lawfare that has some interesting facts.

    First, al Queda was planning attacks in Israel to follow up on the 9/11 attacks. The funding for the plot came from a Saudi source, and if the plot was successful then more money was to follow. So clearly Saudi Arabia was, and probably still is, supporting terrorism, with no censure from our government.

    Second, the plot was discovered during the interrogation of an al Queda operative by an FBI agent who was fluent in Arabic. No torture was used. The story was classified because it gave the lie to the “need” for torture to gain useful information. Obscene. Buch-Cheney were a part of the “Axis of Evil” and their actions and those of subsequent administrations have trashed our country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course your representative didn’t change his or her vote, because it would have made him/her look weak on terror. No protest was enough to change the outcome there, no matter how many of us raised our voices.

      Regarding your points about Saudi financing and abetting, the failure of the CIA to share information about the Saudi hijackers with the FBI makes the Agency at least partly culpable in the attacks. Here’s a great article on exactly the background you mention, with many damning details.


      1. P.S. The lead actor described in your Lawfare reference, Ali Soufan, is also the centerpiece of the article I’ve linked. Twenty years later, we’re just finding out about the behind-the-scenes jockeying for position among our intelligence agencies. Disgraceful.


  3. Thanks for the article. It was a sad and tragic story. We owe such a debt to the immigrants who come here and serve our country. It infuriates me to observe the behavior of arrogant Americans who despise immigrants who are smarter and work harder then they ever will.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just so, JPA. The worst part is that we’re not just arrogant and condescending in our own country. We travel to other countries and look down upon the inhabitants because they’re not ‘Merrkins. I have a friend who’s been around the world, and she never admits that she’s from the U.S.

      We take advantage of immigrants, then belittle them while, as you say, they work immensely harder than those born here.


  4. may i offer a tendentiously different, perhaps biased perspective from that adumbrated by your poignant discursive, denise? having worked for many years in the middle east as a marine biologist [saudi, egypt, the hashemite kingdom of jordan, bahrain, oman, palestine], it is hardly prevenient that i hold the US wholly responsible for 9/11, and have no compunction about doing so. not the sunnis, not the shiites, not secular muslims, not al-qaeda, not ISIS, not the taliban, not the afghans, not even the jihadists or osama bin laden.

    US arrogance is unequivocally culpable for 9/11… due to its ‘ben trovato’ [undeserved] hubris, imperialism, unbridled support for israel and its unconscionable genocide against defenceless palestinians, most of whom had been cultivating eastern mediterranean lands for thousands of years quondam to the arrival of european zioniists who washed up on palestinian shores after WWII, and, most undeniably, the US’ resource-grabbing esurience for middle east oil repositories which were so easily and cheaply accessible under the sands of their benighted lands. western oil barons have been exploiting these oil repositories since the early 20th century.

    desert sheiks who resisted being nociceptively bought-off by western oil giants, [as the subreptitious saud family was and still is] had decided enough was enough of western countries’ exploitations of resources that belonged to the people of arabia, not to the US, not to the UK, not to the greedy saud family.

    osama bin laden sourced from one such outraged arabian family, as did the hashemite, saddam hussein, both of whom were determined to prevent western oil giants from purloining their oil resources in a way that was disadvantageous to their people.

    you are likely aware that the mendacious US has been indulging in outrageous fabrications and prevarications beyond the pale about hussein. he actually was a popular iraqi leader b/c during his seigneury iraq had a booming economy, w/ free schooling, libraries, clean water supplies, electricity, hospitals and medical care for every citizen. as well, hussein had brought the iraqi literacy rate during his tenure from 7% of the population to 97% of the iraqi population.

    i doubt the western press ever managed to convey this outstanding achievement to western eyes and ears. the MSM has long colluded in this mendacity. the dumbed-down, facilely manipulated, gullible, rah-rah US citizenry swallowed this CMIC-colluding MSM poison as if it were a tankard of coors beer.


  5. Obviously, I can’t argue with your on-the-scene experiences, Jeanie. I did make reference to U.S. culpability in 9/11—yes, there was provocation. And thinking people know about the U.S.’ greed in purloining resources everywhere. But none of that excuses flying planes into buildings and killing some 2,700 people just going about their work days.


    1. that’s war, denise. some live, some die, and most who die are innocent civilians w/ families and no axe to grind. those w/out the overkill war weapons of the US, the egregious technological advantages of the pentagon/political machinery and their “kill anything that moves” mentality are compelled to fight back w/ whatever ‘pis-aller’ solutions and devices they can find or can extract from the proverbial trash tip. and ever has it been so. the loss of innocents will persist until war ends.

      the loss of US innocents has been so exiguous as to be laughable compared to the loss of innocent lives for whom the US has been directly or indirectly responsible for snuffing out. 9/11 was a nugatory price to pay by the citizenry of a nation which uses its war machinery to murder millions of innocents indiscriminately, in dozens of countries across the globe, from their 1000+ military bases, floating or land-based, that garrison this beleaguered planet.

      to speak again from another frisson of personal experience, my khmer friend had her entire family wiped out by the US bombing of cambodia under the seigneury of kissinger and nixon in 1975… all 8 of her children, her husband, her siblings, her cousins, her elderly parents, her aunts and uncles, her home, her fields… everyone and everything gone in one US bombing strafe along the border w/ laos. my friend was away from the murder scene at the time, selling her fruits and vegetables in phnom penh, but she wishes she had not been, as her psyche was destroyed, demolished, deranged, and she never recovered. war is war, and we need to find a means by which we can end it. the so ‘exceptional’ and entitled US should lead the way. the irony is, the US declares itself to be the ‘leader of the free world’, but it is, in reality, the leader of the sanctioned-murder world.

      please view:

      Liked by 2 people

        1. after more than 8 decades of experiences and perpendings on those experiences, i’ve reached the conclusion that most issues are neither ‘right’ nor ‘wrong’, black or white. all lie swaddled in shades of grey, like gender and sexuality.

          w/ the exception of abusing children and torture, absolutes lie in the realm of fungible pluripotentcies, and that includes life and death. individual circumstances and perspectives are the defining dynamic, which is why one can kill but be exonerated by a court of law due to having been rendered insane, whether temporarily or permanently.

          the violent murder of everyone in my family by overhead bombs, especially my bantlings and bairns, would have dumped my brain into either a hi-speed, relentlessly spinning centrifuge or into a permanent fugue of blotto-idiocy. a releasing plunge into suicide would be a relief. if you had witnessed first-hand what i have, throughout the middle east, west africa, the caribbean, central america, the far east, oceana, the arctic, and southeast asia, you would understand.


  6. I subscribe to Bill’s Braving View Blog because I recognize he is committed to the same Cause I am.
    While here, I encountered Denise Donaldson, who shares that commitment in Common. Also, Denise has been the most supportive of my commentaries in discussion.

    Now Denise has her own Blog I subscribe to, and I didn’t know where I should post my comment 1st? What a wasted concern! I’ll post it on her Blog too.
    We are all of the One Spirit in our Common Cause. Now Denise will reach people Bill and I don’t reach, and that’s good!
    The Spirit is not limited by Borders and Walls.

    As for 9/11, a few readers shared their thoughts and emotions from their unique perspective of 9/11, the biggest shock to the world since WWII, and I could feel the passion and emotion in the experience and perspective in Denise’s words.

    I just came across the experience of Edward Snowden on 9/11, the Criminal Fugitive from US Injustice.
    He informed Americans and the World, the US Agency NSA, has the capability to store all the phone calls, email, text or Message anybody and everybody ever sent or received, and if anyone comes to their attention, they can call up the communications of that Person of Interest and anyone they communicated with.

    What could be read in how he describes the Psychological, Emotional and Spiritual effects 9/11 unleashed in him that Day, ant the Fugitive he is now.
    It’s a teaser, being only pages 9-12 in his Book, but there is no doubt it is inspired by the same Spirit that motivates me, and has Common Cause with all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s no doubt ‘Big Brother’ the movies portrayed as some dystopian Future decades ago, is already here.

      I stood up on the Sparks Street Mall in CanaDa’s Capital in 1977, after the US deported me as a Alien in 1976 because my Peaceful Public Activities came to the attention of the Authorities, to exercise my Democratic Right of Freedom of Speech.

      The Newspapers reported the Public who stopped to listen, told the Police to leave me alone. They wanted to hear.
      The 1st Time, I was arrested for “shouting, causing a disturbance.” I was convicted and put on probation with only 1 condition typed in at the bottom of the form, “not to attend on the Sparks Street Mall or any other Street in Ottawa for the purpose of SPEAKING or shouting.” SPEAKING! I was sent to jail for the 1st Time in my Life. I was locked up in Solitary confinement in Maximum Security for 5 Days before appearing in front of a Judge
      CanaDa still had a degree of Democracy, being aware I would have just been one of the disappeared happening in too many regimes in this World

      That experience in 1977 has led to this spirit rising in the US, and the NSA capability, when anyone resisting the Power and making waves becomes Public can be legally made to “disappear” like in Pinochet’s Chile the US supported.

      Personally, I don’t worry about the earthly Big Brother. I have a BIGGER Brother in the Spirit of Christ, who knows all my secret thoughts, desires and motivations!


      1. Yes, we saw it first when they made designated zones to sequester protesters at political conventions. Now….LEGAL protesting has become a dangerous activity. We know where it ends, and it isn’t pretty.


    2. It never ceases to amaze me, how prescient Orwell and Huxley were, among others. Big Brother indeed lives among us.

      Thanks for the link to Snowden’s chapters. Two things struck me, upon reading them. First, he WAS young, wasn’t he, to so completely buy into all the flag-waving BS?? I don’t think I was ever that trusting. Second, how extraordinary that, within the space of a day, the CIA, NSA, Cheney, Russell, et. al., could turn on a dime and totally subvert the attacks for their own purposes.


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