I’ve tried my best to sit out each year’s 9/11 Defeat Celebration. The editorial cartoons have been predictably maudlin. I’ve seen a cartoon of a camera with tear in its lens. Also one of St. Peter saluting a soldier on his way in through the Pearly Gates; plus similar church/state death-cult mashups.
Since we no longer have Bin Laden to Three-Minutes-Hate anymore, it seems that the ritual annual scapegoat is now the 9/11 Truther. Every major media outlet, on or off line, must run at least one patronizing article explaining that treason and conspiracies don’t happen, even from an Administration provably guilty of both. (Note Plame and Enron.) We are told to believe the 9/11 Building Pancake-Collapse Theory, just as we were told to believe the JFK Magic Bullet Theory, even though both defy the laws of physics. And of course it is only polite to ignore the Bushian history of malign neglect before the attack, and crass exploitation afterwards.
It seems that you can assassinate a popular President, in broad daylight, with his head snapping towards his alleged lone shooter, in defiance of the law of conservation of momentum; and you can explain away this flaw in the narrative with a blatantly unphysical theory; and you can get away with it! And forty years later, tall office buildings full of workers and firefighters can fall at free-fall acceleration into their footprints; a feat achievable by controlled implosion and by no known other way; and you can explain this with another unphysical theory, which the people will accept.
Why? For what reason do people accept obvious nonsense?
Simple. The alternative is to believe that this is a country in which a President can be assassinated, or a gigabuck kilodeath atrocity can happen, with official sanction and/or complicity. And this in turn implies, as Che put it, that “the civil peace is already broken”. Who wants to face that unless they have to? Anything for civil peace! So we must look forward, not backwards, right? Pay no attention to the corruption behind the curtain!
But of course it doesn’t work. The new normal after Kennedy included the Vietnam defeat, and what we call the 60’s. So nobody got what they want; neither peace nor social stability. And the new normal after 9/11 included two failed wars, plus airline porno-scanners.
I see this as a recurring pattern. Once a generation, some big national trauma; a high crime with policy consequences. However, crass political exploitation of the atrocity meets resistance when physical evidence contradicts the narrative. Rather than reform the story to fit the evidence, the evidence is reformed to fit the story. The public is told a tale of a magic bullet reversing its trajectory in midair, or of I-beams melting in a fire fueled by kerosene and office furniture. And we are expected to accept these fantasies as real, for the sake of civil peace. But it doesn’t work; after the crime and the cover-up come war, chaos and ruin.
I say this is a pattern; so I predict that in 40 more years they’ll pull the same stunt again. Big photogenic crime, national trauma crassly exploited, poorly hidden high treason, shoddy cover story patched up with pseudo-physics. It worked twice, why not a third time?
I say; expect this. Plan around this. Tell your kids to be ready; Big Lies are coming. Tell them they’ll be told that a person can catch a computer virus, or that water is explosive, or that marijuana is fissile; something, anything other than the plain logic of Who Benefits?
For plain logic is what’s at stake here. I see the crimes involved as not merely crimes against the nation, but crimes against reason. I mean that in two senses; we are dealing with fanatics and crooks who would violate our very minds; and also that they sin at random. Their crimes target reason, and lack reason.
I don’t just want the Fourth Amendment back. I want the laws of physics back.