Collapsing America

All governments lie, kill and misuse public funds, but these calculated habits are amplified manifold during wars. We’re in two now, aiming for a third. Japan, whose land we’re still occupying 65 years after Hiroshima, has just announced sanctions against Iran beyond what the U.N. mandated. South Korea swiftly followed suit. It’s surprising to see these two countries so in sync, until one remembers that they have become American cheerleaders for decades. Rah, rah, bomb Tehran! A murderous chorus is rising, yet again. Countries that aren’t our client states can be counted with two hands, even those missing fingers from an exploding grenade.

Universal outrage has been drummed up over the case of an Iranian woman about to be stoned to death for adultery. She’s also implicated in the murder of her husband, for which she may be hanged. This second, more serious crime has been left out of many news stories. America also executes, but it doesn’t stone, especially for a bit of ticklish fun on the side. We inject, electrocute, gas, hang and shoot our condemned. We’re more humane that way. Forever bureaucratic, we pay attention to procedural niceties.

Our objection, then, is not to capital punishment, but to certain methods. Stoning is barbaric. We don’t stone, period, except during one of our serial wars, where we will stone entire communities back to the Stone Age. But that’s war, buddy. We also use phosphorous and cluster bombs, plant landmines that will last generations. To rectify and avenge the stoning of one woman, someone we don’t really care about, whose name we can’t even pronounce, we’ll flatten Iran, maybe by Thanksgiving.

The United States is concerned about women worldwide. It is touched and outraged by one Afghan woman, Aisha, whose nose was sliced off by her Taliban husband. To defend her honor, it has killed hundreds of thousands of her brothers and sisters. To protect her, it has destroyed her country. It’s the principle that matters. We care about the individual, at least those who are useful to our agendas. It’s the masses we don’t give a flying whoopee about. How can we not raise our voices, for example, when an imprisoned prostitute — hardly a criminal, really, even less so than adulterer — is left in a cage, to be baked to death for at least four hours in 107-degree heat? Her captors ignored her pleas for water. They wouldn’t even allow her to use the bathroom, so she soiled herself before passing out. She was still alive, however, when finally taken to the hospital, where doctors allowed her to die. Incredibly, no charges have been filed. Such barbarity and judicial callousness deserve our fullest condemnations, except that hardly anyone has heard of Marcia Powell, 48, who died in an Arizona prison in May of 2009. The mainstream media ignore her, because her abject death cannot be exploited for political purposes. We’re not trying to bomb Arizona.

Needing to kill, a government will lie before, during and after splattering blood. Eschewing subtlety, it prefers to speak in slogans and clipped, cartoonish sentences. They hate us for who we are. We must fight them over there, so we don’t have to fight them over here. We’re trying to root out the bad guys. Adopting this lingo, many Americans are dubbing the community center and mosque near Ground Zero a “jihad mosque” or a “victory mosque.” In Lower Manhattan last week, I saw a man carrying a sign, “EVERYTHING I EVER NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT ISLAM I LEARNED ON 9/11.” Another displayed a caricature of “IMAM OBAMA.” There was an effigy of a tied up Palestinian, complete with keffiyeh, with this placard, “OBAMA: With a name like HUSSAIN we understand. Bloomberg: what the f@&k is your excuse?”

Totalitarianism always breeds idiocy. Lies that go unchallenged lead to more preposterous lies. Idiocy is also the manure from which totalitarianism rises. On September 11, 2001, the entire world saw America symbolically imploded, but our actual collapse is ongoing. It is relatively gradual, unlike the three, yes, three, World Trade Center buildings that tumbled onto their own foot prints. For the last nine years, we have endured an unending stream of lies and idiocy, none more grotesque than the official explanation to what happened that tragic day.

Despite being lied to repeatedly, almost daily, Americans are strangely gullible to incoherent, even ridiculous narratives dished up by their government. Brainwashed by the bromide that their nation is always a force for good, anywhere, worldwide, Americans can’t imagine that Washington could be complicit in the murder of its own citizens. Ignored is the fact that it has done so many times before, and since, 9/11. Using false pretexts to invade Iraq, our government has caused the death of over four thousand Americans, more than the number who perished on 9/11.

I don’t know what happened that day, but it makes no sense to me that World Trade Center #7 fell down without being hit by anything. It makes no sense to me that it collapsed exactly the same way as the twin towers, as if imploding. It makes no sense that the passport of Satam al Suqami, one of the alleged hijackers, could be found on the ground, when entire skyscrapers were being pulverized. I also don’t understand how no military jets could intercept any of the three planes that hit their targets that day. The first tower was struck at 8:46AM, the Pentagon at 9:40AM, nearly an hour later, with no effective response from our vaunted military. I used to take buses to and from the Pentagon Transit Center. I knew the building wasn’t very tall, so it struck me as weird how an airliner could hit it from the side. Why fly parallel to the ground, nearly shaving it, to strike such a low target? Why not just dive into it? There are red flags all over this incident, yet many sane, reasonable people will become completely unhinged at the slightest suggestion that the official version doesn’t add up. Our government lies all the time, but when it comes to this one incident, we shouldn’t question anything? Even National Review, of all places, pointed out visa irregularities among the alleged hijackers, how they could enter the U.S. without the proper paperwork.

After Martin Luther King was killed in 1968, his family refused to believe the official explanation. They fought and fought until an assassination conspiracy trial was scheduled in 1999. Presented with extensive evidences, a jury concluded that, yes, the federal, state and local governments all had a hand in Dr. King’s murder, and that James Earl Ray was not the shooter. The King family did what any sane, loving family would do. Coretta Scott King explained, “We had to get involved because the system did not work. Those who are responsible for the assassination were not held to account for their involvement […] It has been a difficult and painful experience to revisit this tragedy, but we felt we had an obligation to do everything in our power to seek the truth.”

On September 11, 2001, someone stabbed America. She’s being murdered right now. As Americans, we need to get to the heart of this, because this madness and deceit are perpetuating themselves. If we don’t have the courage and clarity to confront this evil, we won’t regain our sanity or move forward. We might as well be dead. We’re dying. As with the King murder and so much else, you cannot expect the system to convict itself. It will lie and lie until the truth hardly matters.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate. He's tracking our deteriorating social scape through his frequently updated photo blog, Postcards from the End of America. Read other articles by Linh.

14 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on September 11th, 2010 at 8:39am #

    Well, life for uncle sam is not easy; he had already saved america dozen’s of times. And america needs saving today: from al kaida, taliban, pal’ns, etal.

    But savage people who hate america such as geronimos, sitting and running bulls, pal’ns, iraqis, pashtuns never learn.
    And then Germans of ’14-18, japs of ’41-45, soviets were and nicaraguans, cubans, venezuellans, and now even chinese are our now our enemies.

    Why are they our enemies, asks littel girl? Well, they just ARE, replies samuel!
    Once again, shit happens; nothing came before! In uncle’s mind, china IS his enemy— china never ever BECOMES uncle’s enemy.
    BECOMING an enemy elicits the questions such as since when, why, how, where, and that drives uncle mad.
    So, just IS my enemy and stop annoying me with stupid questions! tnx

  2. Don Hawkins said on September 11th, 2010 at 9:10am #

    Linh change is on the way and the few am sure have there ideas on the change part and the best laid plans of mice and men often……………

  3. Ismail Zayid said on September 11th, 2010 at 10:21am #

    American hypocrisy and bigotry are limitless. The imposed sanctions and planned war against Iran are claimed to be because Iran may be thinking about developing nuclear weapons. And who is waging this war? It is none other than the very country that is the only one that has ever used nuclear weapons killing hundreds of thousands in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is the same country that invaded Iraq, using manufactured lies of Iraq’s possession of WMD, then proceeded to use WMDs, including depleted uranium and chemical weapons, killing, and continuing to kill, hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children in Iraq and destroying the entire infrastructure of the entire country.

    The planned attack on Iran, on the basis of the claim that Iran may be considering making nuclear weapons, contrasts extraordinarly with the fact the Israel, the US ally, has hundreds of nuclear bombs, built with US assistance, and contiues to use phosphorus and cluster bombs against the people in Gaza, but there is a deafening silence from the US and its allies on this score.

    There is no limit to US hypocrisy and war crimes.

  4. teafoe2 said on September 11th, 2010 at 4:09pm #

    excellent article. illuminating examples. makes it all unavoidably clear. kudos.

  5. Deadbeat said on September 11th, 2010 at 6:42pm #

    This is an excellent article and raise a lot of valid questions about 911.

  6. catguy00 said on September 11th, 2010 at 7:39pm #

    I know Obama has been a disappointment but if McCain were President I’m certain bombs would be following on Tehran by now.

  7. hayate said on September 11th, 2010 at 9:18pm #

    catguy00 said on September 11th, 2010 at 7:39pm

    ” know Obama has been a disappointment but if McCain were President I’m certain bombs would be following on Tehran by now.”

    After reading that I’m wondering if the words falling and following are translated into the same word in Hebrew. ;D

  8. 3bancan said on September 11th, 2010 at 9:31pm #

    catguy00 said on September 11th, 2010 at 7:39pm #

    The intended meaning was that McCain would not be “a disappointment”, or at least a lesser one…

  9. catguy00 said on September 11th, 2010 at 10:12pm #

    How about Ron Paul?
    I’m not American so my main concern is US foreign policy as it greatly impacts the rest of the world. I know his domestic policies would be a concern but at this point I would prefer to see him in the white house over any other serious candidate.

    (with the exception of Kucinich of course)

  10. linhdinh99 said on September 11th, 2010 at 10:39pm #

    Ron Paul wants to withdraw all American troops from all foreign nations. He is also against the Federal Reserve. For these two reasons, he will never become an American President. You cannot oppose the military industrial complex and the banksters and become an American President!

  11. denk said on September 12th, 2010 at 3:05am #

    linhdinh99
    * You cannot oppose the military industrial complex and the banksters and become an American President!*

    william blum
    +The first day, I�ll apologize — publicly and sincerely — to all the widows and orphans, the impoverished and the tortured, to all the many millions of other victims of American imperialism. I would announce to the world that America�s global military interventions have come to an end. The second day, I would tell Israel that it is no longer the 51st state, but, oddly enough, a foreign country. On the third day I would reduce the military budget by at least 90% and use the savings to pay reparations to the victims and repair the damage from the many American bombings, invasions and sanctions. There would be more than enough money. One year�s US military budget is equal to more than $20,000 per hour for every hour since Jesus was born. On the fourth day, I�d be assassinated+
    tinyurl.com/cwlpnm

  12. bateleur said on September 12th, 2010 at 7:45am #

    There are too many inconsistencies and suspicious facts in the 9/11 narrative. Where is the gold bullion that was stored beneath the WTC site? What a strange coincidence that Marvin Bush (George Bush’s brother) was in charge of security at the WTC and Dulles Airport, among other 9/11 related sites. The implosion of the buildings, as mentioned in the article also seems hard to believe. As for the military-industrial complex, 59 % of this year’s fiscal budget was allocated to the military and roughly between 2 and 4 % each to education, health care and other important services. In addition billions have been spent on outsourcing to, and subcontracting of, corporations, such as, Haliburton, Blackwater and Lockheed Martin, to oversee the wars being perpetrated overseas. Israel with US backing has killed thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, using white phosphorous and cluster bombs, in the recent conflicts, in addition to bombing the oil refineries, on the Lebanese coast, the oil from which has never been cleaned up. People are rendered by the CIA, tortured, imprisoned and then released with no charges, or kept in confinement, without any legal recourse, meaning in essence that their rights are being totally abused. In the meantime the banks and Wall Street have been bailed out for their mistakes, using our money and they still continue to enjoy tax breaks, and other perks and have accepted none of the responsibility for their actions. All of this is symptomatic of the loss of liberty in this country and the wholesale theft of the country’s wealth by the corporates who now run the world. Iran is next because they stand to make money from the invasion of Iran, and further bilk the American people of their hard-earned money.

  13. denk said on September 12th, 2010 at 7:41pm #

    *Forever bureaucratic, we pay attention to procedural niceties*

    remember how the anglos stopped their carpet bombing in iraq on ramandan, so that the iraqis could “celebrate” [sic] their festival ?
    but they never extend such niceties to the serbs on their day of thanksgiving , during the 78 aerial vandalism of ex yugo
    now whats with all this talk about the anglos “islamophobia” ;-)

    now we’ve to endure the spectacle of all the warmongering hypocrites from clinton to obama so righteously condemning the koran burning pastor, they sound as if they’re willing to lay down their life if necessary to protect the holy script [sic], yet in the same breath they will tell us invading, raping and bombing another muslim country is always “on the table”

    lasys n gentlemen, aruna roy
    +”Exposing Western hypocrisy – how much more exposed can they be? Which decent human being on Earth harbours any illusions about it? These are people whose histories are spongy with the blood of others. Colonialism, apartheid, slavery, ethnic cleansing, germ warfare, chemical weapons – they virtually invented it all. They have plundered nations, snuffed out civilisations, exterminated entire populations. They stand on the world’s stage stark naked but entirely unembarrassed, because they know that they have more money, more food and bigger bombs than anybody else” +
    tinyurl.com/ytb86z

  14. newyorkerinlondon said on September 13th, 2010 at 2:32pm #

    What a well-articulated, brilliantly written essay (clever title, too. Just got the double meaning) and some pointed comments from the readers, too.
    When such an esteemed site as DV starts to focus on this very topic and backs it up with solid facts, then you know that the movement is gaining serious traction (although you are preaching to the converted). Thank you for having the balls and the brains to shine a light.