The 9/11 Cloud


Obscuring the view of Iraq.

Great timing by the White House for the so-called Petraeus report, which Bush regime staffers are busily writing as we speak: Remembrance of the horrific day six years ago is clouding our view of the Iraq debacle, where more U.S. troops have been killed than the total number of civilians on 9-11.

The Petraeus report won’t compete with 9/11 for news space. The report’s being released just as rational mourning and irrational jingoism are at their highest, so it’ll just be part of it. One person you’re not likely to see on TV or in the mainstream press in the next two days is former Reagan DOD official Lawrence Korb, who actually has a plan for withdrawing troops from Iraq. Korb is reduced to peddling on op-ed pages his sane and detailed plan for realistically pulling troops out of Iraq within a year. Over at BTC News, Weldon Berger wonders: “Why isn’t Lawrence Korb on CNN non-stop?” Good question. Berger describes Joe Biden‘s plan as “hallucinatory” and Salon‘s Glenn Greenwald already cut through the bullshit of Ken Pollack and others who the press now call “critics of the war.” Good points.

God help us if there’s another attack on this 9/11, and no offense to the people who lost relatives and friends in the infamous attack in 2001 or will lose them because of the toxic cloud, but we still have to step back from that event and look at the present and future. No peacenik, Korb talks rationally about the here and now.

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, brilliant U.S. Navy Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Jim Watson captured Ground Zero as a cathedral. Six years later, 9/11 has become sacralized, a piece of state religion, more so in the rest of the country than here in New York City. And that religiosity is only natural after such an unnatural event.

As always, though, religious feeling becomes a power tool in the hands of schnooks, especially those craftsmen in the Bush-Cheney regime. The Petraeus report could have been prepared and released a month ago or two months ago. But the 9/11 anniversary, with ceremonies at all sporting events and speechifying by all elected or wannabe-elected officials throughout the country, will obscure the current tragedy of Iraq, where at least 80,000 people have been killed by our troops and now mostly by terror attacks.

Of course 9/11 should be remembered, and its victims mourned. Should it obscure everything else and should the ceremonies be used to justify the unwarranted invasion of Iraq and continue the “war on terror”? No and no.

While we’re deluged with 9/11 stuff over here, this is what’s going on over in Iraq, as portrayed in recent IRIN headlines:

Iraq’s food rationing system failing as Ramadan approaches, specialists warn

Blood sellers find market niche in Baghdad

Violence, poverty, unemployment fuel rising alcoholism

Hospitals under pressure as doctors move abroad

Hospitals in north struggle to contain cholera outbreak

Translators forced to quit jobs after being targeted by insurgents

People flee Baghdad district as gunmen impose Shariah law

Power cuts getting worse, affecting lives