Fuck 9/11 Observances

COVID is killing more people than died on 9/11 (and after, from related illness)----but COVID is not a wound to our pride.

Americans, like citizens of many other nations, are encouraged to identify with both the symbols of the nation and with the idea of the nation as a whole. We’re Number 1!!! Best in the World!!! etc.

That national pride was shredded on September 11, and twenty years is not enough to make people stop feeling personally insulted.

COVID is much more complex. The far-more-numerous deaths can and are being blamed on a multitude of causes. It’s not a question of a few handfuls of foreign nationals ‘getting the drop on us’—an event that will create outrage and a need to display dominance for generations to come.

People are easily swayed by the emotions of shame and outrage into feeling it necessary to display “unity” and defiance at those who caused the shame. Most of those causal actors are dead, now, of course. But the need to project belligerence toward all who might contemplate a repeat insult against our national pride, will not die out for a very long time.

Well I hate to burst your bubble, but I agree with that. Hell, many of the prime movers had been part of PNAC, which had been pushing the idea for years before the 2000 election.

Where we differ is on the relative ease of persuading Congress and the American people into backing an invasion of Iraq, depending on whether or not 9/11 happened.

We’ve each made our case, so I won’t belabor mine further, other than to say that in the world where 9/11 happened, it sure didn’t seem to be all that difficult for them to get us into Iraq, and it’s hard for me to believe it would have been even easier in an alternate timeline where events on the order of shark attacks and Chandra Levy’s disappearance continued to top our news.

Well, that’s your bad. They really gave their lives so you could have a long weekend at the beach. Jeez. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I only read the first dozen or so responses to the thread, but I feel the need to respond to them and don’t want to read all 100 responses. Sorry if this has been brought up - if it has, well, this is my take.

Several people have mentioned how the death toll from 9/11 was happening every day, and people aren’t really apparently concerned about it. But 9/11 was more than the loss of a few thousand lives. It was the destruction of two very important buildings that not only were worth a great deal of money to the owners (did they have insurance against this type of damage?) but were also important historically and were a staple of the New York skyline.

I’m not sure what my point is, other than it seems people here near the beginning of the thread focused on the death toll and not on the property and symbolic loss.

The Pentagon was also hit by a hijacked plane, but that doesn’t seem to draw nearly as much interest. Not as many people died, not as much damage was done to the building.

Possibly because none of us thinks that the loss of valuable property is worth memorializing, and the symbolic loss has only what value we give it. For some of us that is nothing, for others it is easily outweighed by the loss of life, and even were we to set aside the loss of life, there’s a hell of a lot more symbolism to read into two far more destructive wars in the aftermath than a couple of buildings known best for having been represented in a middling episode of The Simpsons.

So it’s more about the buildings than the lives of the people who were killed? Cool.

One point made on the Twits was that the attacks struck at the heart of the two cities which make up the majority of the national political news media, and that it was how the press reacted which drove American reaction. The press felt under attack for the first time - unlike, say, Pearl Harbor, this was personal.

There is a fascinating Twitter thread re: this phenomenon, a guy posting selections from 2001 newspaper editorial cartoons:

The twin WTC towers were completed in 1973. They existed for only 28 years.

Good points. I’ll also add that the sight of the towers in flames and collapsing in a dramatic cloud of smoke and dust was, compared to COVID, much more graphic and provoked a more visceral reaction from the public.

COVID on the other hand is like slowly boiling a frog - it’s easier to keep out of sight, out of mind and because the volume of deaths have been so high and for so long, people become numb to it and they just normalize it as background noise.

Now if COVID was a disease that made people explode like that infected girl in the movie Cloverfield, maybe we’d be singing a different tune.

Yeah, thing was, on 9/12/01, opinion polls were showing W with an approval rating of between 80 and 90%, which is ridiculously high. Then the graph one sees on, say, fivethirtyeight shows that declining slowly toward the 50% neighborhood around '04. That he still had absurdly high approval around the time he was ginning up the Iraq war suggests to me that 9/11 worked to his advantage on that enterprise. In summer '01, W’s approval rating was in the fifty percent range, then 9/11 and it went through the roof. Around the time of the Iraq AUMF, it was still over 60%. Without 9/11 or something like it, he never would have reached a level that would have allowed him to get troops onto the sand.

I believe you’re confusing the twin towers with the empire state building. The twin towers are a blip in the skyline of New York.

Honestly, do you think we should have a national day (weekend this year) of mourning because so rich bastard lost money? How much money do they need to lose to make it over that bar?

9/11 saved the 2nd bush presidency otherwise he was going down in the same manner his father did although it would of made 2008 intresting becuase of the recession which some say they knew was coming …

I don’t think that’s such a bad way of looking at it. I keep thinking of how a ghostly version of myself would feel on Memorial Day if I were killed in a war. I keep thinking I wouldn’t want people to sit around fasting in their hair shirts, with a side of self-flagellation later in the day. I think I’d rather them have a big party and take advantage of whatever good things they have available in my stead.

As much as I disliked GWB, I don’t think it’s fair to say that it was already failing by 9/11 – just 8 months into his administration. And he wasn’t even running in 2008.

Exactly. People don’t think so much about the number of dead, but no one who was alive that day (grade school or older) will ever forget those images.

The United States and Americans are not exceptional. We do not have some unique power to make events happen. Other countries and people have their own independent agency and can make events happen just like we can.

The world you describe is one where one group of Americans want to have a war and another group of Americans don’t want to have a war. And the rest of the people in the world apparently sat on the sidelines waiting for Americans to decide what they should do. This is not an accurate vision of the world.

America didn’t make Japan attack Pearl Harbor. That was a decision made by Japan. Just as it had been Japan’s previous decisions to invade China and Southeast Asia. They did these things without needing America to tell them what to do.

You are also misreading the specific goals of American policy in the Pacific. Roosevelt had no desire to provoke a war with Japan. He was concerned about Germany and that was the country he was preparing for a war with. The last thing Roosevelt wanted was for America to get entangled in a different war on the other side of the world.

Technically true, but it kinda glosses over the hypocrisy of our having empires in Asia. Japan’s Meiji restoration and subsequent modernization (including that of its military) was inspired by a fear of Western colonial power. See “Treaty of Kanagawa”

What happens on D-Day? We might not commemorate Dec 7, but we certainly commemorate WWII.

9/11 led directly to 2 wars and multiple armed conflicts throughout the world. It led to the Patriot Act and Guantanamo Bay. It led to DHS. Of course it shaped the world they live in.

(I do agree that Bush was just looking for a reason to invade Iraq.)

I agree with the boiling a frog analogy. I hope we learn lessons from all of this, but, you’re right, it’s normalizing. 9/11 was a thunderbolt. COVID is slow-rising flood. The destruction is much worse, but it’s onset is gradual.

I also think that 9/11 was an attack on the US from exterior people. We responded outside of the country. COVID is an internal fight, by and large. We are focused, as a people, almost exclusively on domestic issues.

Sure, but you’re blaming the wrong Roosevelt for that if we’re talking about 1941.

By 1941, we had realized that imperialism was wrong and we were working against it. The United States had already established a plan to grant the Philippines independence in 1943.

“want to have a war”, “sitting on the sidelines” ? What? There already was a war underway. A major one. The fall of Paris had a major effect on public opinion. It was not a matter of having a war, it was a matter of becoming involved in what was already a world war that was impacting many US allies.

You do not know what was going on in FDR’s head in that time, but his actions are illuminating. There was non-zero opposition to his placement of the oil embargo on Japan. There was diplomatic intercourse between Japan and the US at the time. American provocation was evident.

The fact is that Japan really did not want to go up against the US because it was clearly not a fight in which they could prevail, but their alternatives were severely limited.