When In Doubt: 9/11
It'll haunt me to the day I die. I have only told a small handful of people this story for the obvious reason: I scarcely believed it myself; Why would I expect anyone else to? But since I do have one eyewitness, I'll relate it to you.
On the night of September 9, 2001, I gave my brother-in-law, Bob Borski, a ride from Goshen NY, where he was visiting his daughter, Olivia, to his apartment in Brooklyn. At exactly 10:30 PM, we drove right by the World Trade Center. I used to live in New York City in the eighties and had been down there many times since. But this was the first time I had been that far down town at night in well over ten years. I remember thinking that I had forgotten how beautiful it looked, up close, illuminating the Manhattan night. As I looked up at it through the sun roof, I related to Bob my fear of another terrorist attack. I speculated that two or three privately owned DC 10 air crafts, their aisles filled with 55 gallon drums of gasoline, would take one or both of those towers down in a matter of minutes (I never, for the life of me, even considered hijacked passenger planes). While Bob was open to the possibility of the means he was, for good reasons, skeptical as to the ends:
"Those buildings are pretty sturdy, Tom".
"I don't know, Bob", I said, "Enough fuel would melt that steel skeleton like butter".
Two days later, on the morning of September 11th, when my sister, Carol, woke me up out of a sound sleep with the news that a plane had crashed into the Twin Towers, I knew at that instant that it was terrorism.
"I don't think that anyone could have foreseen planes flying into these buildings".
Full disclosure: I dropped out of High School.
What can possibly be said of a politician cynical enough to exploit, for purely selfish, partisan reasons, what is undoubtedly the most devastating national trauma in almost a century and a half? George W. Bush's address tho the nation on the evening of the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks was the last, desperate attempt of a sick and desperate man who knows he's on his way down. As mind-bendingly stupid as the president of the United States is, he at least has the wit to know that if the democrats retake the House and the Senate in 2007, he will be remembered not only as the first chief executive in the history of the republic to be forcibly removed from office, but the first one to go to federal prison. Yeah, you'd be just a tad desperate too, wouldn't you?
Here is the challenge to all of us: In the next seven weeks Karl Rove's White House spin machine will do everything humanly possible to frighten the electorate into staying with the GOP. Count on it: In the days leading up to the elections, the "Terror Alert" will be sounded from all corners of the executive branch of your government. The big question is: Will the American people be foolish enough to fall for it? Given their past behavior (electing this moron to begin with, for instance) I'm not optimistic. And yet lately I've been seeing encouraging signs that enough of them to make the electoral difference are beginning to wake up.
They will try to tell you that those who refuse to support the atrocious policies of this corrupt administration are less than patriotic. They will try to make you believe that when you question the motives of the key players in the obscenity that we, as taxpayers, are now funding against the children of Iraq, you are, in effect, aiding and abetting the terrorists. They are exploiting the grief and fear many of us still feel, on a daily basis, five years later. We can't let them get away with it. I know it's almost too depressing to contemplate the fact that the democrats are our best hope but that is the ugly reality we have to face. 2006 and 2008 will not be years to foolishly experiment with third party candidacies - trust me on this one, kiddies! Don't come back with Ralph Nader's tired line that the two major parties are nothing more than Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dee (Sorry, Ralph. I think you're great but it's time for a little tough love here). Comparing the republicans and the democrats is like comparing cyanide with alcohol; While both may be poisonous, one form is definitely preferable to the other.
Which reminds me, I need a drink.
The November mid-term election will be the most important in our lifetime. If there ever was a time for an informed and and angry populace to rise up and take a stand on the deplorable mess their country has gotten itself into, this is that time. Heaven help the American people if they're stupid enough to fall for the GOP's propaganda blitz. They'll deserve everything that happens to them.
The line it is drawn
The torch it is passed
The slow one now will later be fast
As the present now will later be past
The order is rapidly fading
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a'changin'
Bob Dylan 1963
Pray for peace.