Here in the PST, I was still in bed when the phone rang. My answering machine picked up because there was no way I was going to get up to answer the phone a few minutes before I’d have to get up for work anyway. My mom’s voice was loud on the machine. “A plane flew into the world trade center. They’re not sure what’s going on. They don’t know if it is terrorism or an accident, but it looks pretty awful.”
Not believing my ears, not positive I was just dreaming, I looked at my then-wife and asked, “Did she just say a plane flew into the World Trade Center?”
“I was just about to ask you the same thing,” she replied.
“Holy shit!” we exclaimed in unison as we hurried out to the living room to switch on the television.
We watched one tower billowing smoke in split screen, with the talking heads on the other side just trying to speculate as to what in the actual fuck had just happened. The scene was absolutely unbelievable. One of the voices on the side of the screen I wasn’t really focused on said that it was a large plane and that he couldn’t imagine how this could be an accident. And then the second plane hit. Live. We watched some people jump. We watched all the way through to the collapse. We watched them cutaway to the pentagon. We heard that the Dick had been taken to a secure location. We heard about another plane going down into a field, and saw early video of the huge crater and debris field left behind.
We were late for work.
We got ready in record time and drove through the empty streets to our job. I managed a Mail Boxes Etc. at the time, and she was one of my employees. We had the radio on the entire time. We knew the owners would be there today, so I wasn’t too worried about the opening of the store. Besides, the city was a ghost town. Nobody was out, everyone glued to their television screens. The psychological effects of this attack were already being strongly felt, all the way over here on the other side of the country. We all shut down.
Getting to work was surreal. The store’s radio on, no customers. Every employee, even those not scheduled that day eventually came in, along with the owners. We basically stood there crying. We were informed there would be no mail pick up. We had the morning’s mail to put away, but did not know yet it would be the last for a few days. Planes were grounded, so we knew we couldn’t offer the UPS/FedEx Next Day Air services, a staple of our business. The few people who trickled in came just to check the mail in their boxes, but really just seemed to be there to want to talk to someone. And so we did. We talked about the news we heard. We talked about the fast-moving investigation. We talked about what our response as a country should be. We talked about those poor people. We talked about why someone would do something so horrible. We talked about the failure of US foreign policy that may have helped lead to this. Our blind support for Israel, our military bases in every corner of the globe. And our propping up of a brutal dictatorship in Saudi Arabia. Not that those things could justify this act, simply that they may have led to it.
Some even postulated that this would be used as an excuse to attack Iraq. I feared we would give in to the temptation to go to war with the entire middle-east. I was tempted to join the armed forces, but had a feeling that our response would either be too little, or too much. I couldn’t have imagined then that it would be both. We talked about the NATO authorization to use nuclear weapons, and we talked about how we all hoped it wouldn’t come to that.
In the days that followed, the flights would remain grounded, the mail was stopped due to an anthrax attack, yet we would stay open. We were given instruction on handling the mail with gloves when it would start again, and reporting any suspicious pieces of mail before we could open them. People still needed to come into the store to check their boxes, in case they received mail before it stopped. People might still need us to carefully pack items for them, for when shipments resumed, or just if they wanted something packed away. People might just want to come in and talk. It was mostly just the last reason. We stayed open…because we had a job to do.
9/11 was no inside job. It was no job at all. It was an act of war. It was a suicide mission to place the population of the United States in complete and total fear. It was a mission designed to make us act in ways that would shatter our morals, give up our freedoms, and lash out and look like the aggressors in the world. It was extremely successful. But it was no job. It was an attack. It was psychological warfare at the cost of thousands of innocent lives. To call it a job, is an offense to anyone who goes to work to contribute to society.
Islam is not the reason for 9/11, but radical Islamist terrorists planned and carried it out. US protection of economic interests is not the reason for 9/11, yet it may have been one of the reasons the radicals felt justified. US blind support for Israel did not cause the 19 Saudis and one other terrorist to fly the hijacked planes into the buildings, but may have been one more additional factor. What is certain, is our continued policy of arming potential terrorists, in order to fight someone we see as a bigger threat to our interests has created terrorist groups which otherwise would not have existed.
We armed and trained Bin Laden to fight The Soviets, and they came after us later. The geniuses in the CIA taught them how to fight us. They gave them the weapons. We armed and trained Saddam Hussein and his armies to fight Iran. And then he used those weapons on the people in his own country and against Kuwait. We kicked Saddam out of Kuwait and then left him in power to continue his brutality against his people, using the weapons he had leftover from our support of him against Iran. We armed and trained radical Islamic fighters against the Assad regime in Syria. And then those fighters used those weapons and tactics, teaming up with radical Islamic fighters empowered by the vacuum we left in Iraq after removing Hussein and handing power to a weak, corrupt government, to become ISIS. And now they are coming after us here.
The only job involved with 9/11, is the failure of the CIA to do their job in protecting this country and acting with any intelligence. We arm the world’s extremists, to make it easier for our corporations to exert their economic power, and then act surprised when those extremists come after us. 9/11 was not an inside job, but there are plenty of people who need to lose their jobs over it and the other failures of policy and tactics that allowed it to happen.