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11 September 2001 . Communiques








Go to Microsoft Word and type in capital letters: Q33 NY (Q33 was one of the planes that was hijacked). Highlight the text and change your font size to 26 or larger. With the text still highlighted change your font style to wingding.
25 sept

I don't understand this. The idea of pacifism is loathsome to me, nothing noble about it at all. There are some good points made in this statement below, but to not go to war and not take military action?! I want to go to war and kill the people responsible. I think it's important to be sure we know who we are attacking, and not just bomb the shit out of people not responsible, and I worry that we will end up doing that. I also don't like our policies in the middle east, I don't think we should support Israel and accept their atrocities and help them to commit atrocities on Palestinian people. I also understand that if we have large, indiscriminate attacks, then we play into terrorists hands by pissing everyone off.

But to just sit back and not fight after being attacked, thats something I can't accept, that is a mentality I cannot understand. I have seen people who believe in non violence, who don't want to defend themselves, who want to take away guns, who think its ok to let someone attack you and your wrong to defend yourself. This is twisted, you should defend yourself, and if your honest with yourself, you will want revenge. I think An eye for an eye is more honest, and more noble than pacifism. I think we need revenge, we need to go to war, we need to make anyone responsible in anyway pay dearly for this. I just hope we will be smart about it and not make more innocent people suffer. But with little Bushy in the white house talking like an old west movie cowboy, I have little hope for that.
21 sept

Subject: Be the first one on your block to have your boy to come home in a box
How is creating, signing and circulating a petition an act of treason? And since when does my ability to uphold "national security" concerns as they're being articulated by the current administration and media override my responsibility as a citizen of this planet to speak out in favor of peaceful means to conflict resolution at a time when world peace is being most critically jeopardized? I cannot engage in a dialogue with the Taliban; most Afghanis, most people, can't engage in any kind of discourse with their governments. If there's one thing I'm "proud" of or feel privileged about as a citizen of this country, it's my ability to exercise this ability, and I'll continue to do so precisely because the objective of non-violence is the only sensible solution. I'm not violating a constitutional amendment by yelling "Fire" in a building; I'm yelling "Let's not start any more fires!" in a tinderbox. The implications of war are traitorous; I don't want American blood (including that of some of my family members) spilled senselessly as was the case in South Korea, VietNam, Iraq.

6,500 corpses from last week were 6,500 corpses too many.
20 sept

Rumsfeld, with the snake mouth and darting eyes, is giving a press conference with big news at 11.30.
20 sept

Speaking of the demise of capitalism, here are a couple of thoughts on why we need a war.

Because we're entering the last lap of the petroleum era (, one of the more pressing issues for the elite is how to wind-down or eliminate the industrial economy without unduly disturbing the existing power relationships. That is, how do the Bushes, et al., maintain their power and privileges in a world without oil.

The priesthood, that is, economists, have been counting on consumers to continue propping up the market. It just won't work. Consumers have spent themselves into record levels of debt, and with the accelerating pace of layoffs coupled with increasing prices for everything that is touched by oil (which is to say everything), consumers are beginning to hunker down into a survival mode, to try and protect themselves and their families from the coming shit-storm.

Enter war.

A permanent war of the kind insisted upon by our unelected president is the best option for the ruling class. At once, it consolidates power in the hands of the military/political elite; shifts industrial production from consumer goods to useless military hardware; eliminates dissent (note the cave-in of opposition by environmental and anti-World Bank/IMF forces); and justifies an even larger military presence in the Middle East to keep the supply lines open so we can suck the oil wells dry over the next 20-30 years ... to keep our jets and HumVees operational.

Last week's attacks were convenient ... in the extreme. I don't think that the attackers had calculated the collapse of the towers in their plans, which was the greatest cause of the tragic loss of life. Barring that, we're looking at "acceptable losses" of 600 or so ... not unusual in a US bombing of Baghdad or the Sudan.

I'm really not trying to be callous; I deplore the senseless loss of life and mourn the victims. From an economic standpoint, the attacks eliminated some surplus capacity, and I'm sure will prove to be a macabre shot-in-the-arm for the NY commercial real estate business. As the saying goes, "War is Peace."
19 sept

Analysis of the Attack
  • Airplane success was 75%
  • The President (as a politcal symbol) should have been targeted with suicide bombers - at least 2, with the initial attempt either successful or disabling the opposition
  • Should have unleashed Internet-crippling viruses, so infiltrate on a personal, nationwide level (the counterpart to this in conventional warfare might be a chemical or biological attack in Topeka, striking at the heartland)
  • The terrorists can analyze our full new coverage (possible in a Western "free" society) and begin plotting their next round of strategy. the details of precisely how the key military and political figures and agencies responded is incredible.
  • The answer to 4 is not to stifle the best of what we have, but rather to re-direct our resources and energies toward addressing, in constructive fashion, the situations that have driven others toward this type of action
  • It is unlikely, given our levels of satiation, that we will alter our course of behavior (in constructive fashion) as a consequence of these events. We wil, in all likelihood, respond in a manner that will reinforce the emnity that much of the world already feels toward us.
  • If we respond in this manner, we will see an escalation of violence and retaliation and economic crises and loss of freedom. We may even be at the beginning of a longterm catastrophe, defined by jihad, use of nuclear weapons, irreparable loss of freedoms.
  • If terrorism is the counterpart of paramilitary units (in that it bypasses the normal constraints on behavior of Nation States by operating in more covert - yet state-sponsored action), what is a counterpart entity or action that can be used as a positive agent of change, both within the context of Nation States and without?
19 sept

its time to not be attached to our 7-11's and our cushy lives, it's time to really imagine new ways of living, more simply.
19 sept

What if this policy goes retroactive, the U.S. declaring war on states who harbor terrorists? Timothy McVeigh and some of his accomplices had attended meetings of the Michigan Militia, a network of people who feared and opposed the United States government. This network was allowed to operate for years before the OK City bombing, and for maybe a year or two after, until the MM all disagreed on which foreign culprits "really" bombed the Murrah building, and the Militia disintegrated into dozens of factions.

Why didn't John Engler or the State of Michigan put an end to the group? They allowed it to go on for years. Sure, the State of Michigan "claimed" they were not connected with the Militia, but can we really believe them?

Americans should not have to live in fear of terrorists such as these. I suggest ground forces be deployed in Lansing and Battle Creek (since those Militia dudes wouldn't be caught dead in Detroit anyhow), to preserve our way of life and to ensure the security of our great nation.

Anyone who claims that this war against Michigan would be unjust should quickly be shouted down for not supporting "Our Boys" up there. Tie a yellow ribbon around the old, rusty Taurus.
18 sept

Don't know if you saw it yet, but this really moved me a lot:
18 sept

Dear "Citizen"
Thank you for alerting us to your political views. As of next week, your new address will be: Proud Eagle Camp 147. All arrangements for your transport will be taken care of. Don't bother packing a toothbrush, as your teeth will be removed.

Thank you,
17 sept

There is no viable military solution to a situation such as this. Violence begets violence. Applying this concept backwards in time, one begins to comprehend the hatred that has made the current situation possible. As a friend suggested, perhpas we should institute a modern-day Marshall Plan in the areas of the world that are breeding grounds for shiny new schools for the children, establish reliable water and sanitation system, etc and then observe how the terrorist activities diminish. Do all this with contracts to the same military-industrial complex that builds airplanes and missiles, so that no jobs are lost. Treating terrorism as a symptom (rather than something on par with an extraterrestial monstrousity), one begins to address the causes of terrorism, and formulate diplomatic and social policy solutions that address the root causes. America should learn from its ineffectual "War on Drugs", its sanctions against Irag and Cuba, and its embrace of global capitalism that militaristic and violent solutions only provide fuel to the problems they are directed against.
15 sept

There could be about 5,000 deaths from the horrific events in NYC. If so, some relevant context is that the same level of human loss would have to happen in the U.S. once every month, all year long, for over fifteen years, for the death toll to match what U.S. policies have imposed on Iraq. This grisly accounting doesn't make the pain here any less, but it may help reveal that the pain elsewhere, induced by U.S policies, is even greater, perhaps opening the way to compassion and solidarity.

If there is a moral principle that ought to apply to bin Laden or the Taliban or to anyone who may commit or abet acts of terror, shouldn't that principle also apply to us? If so, a relevant bit of context is that to employ terror was our stated policy in Iraq and Yugoslavia, where in both cases we admitted and even bragged that we were attacking the population to collapse the governments. So who brings us to justice? And do we really think being brought to justice ought to mean suffering terror, in turn?

In my experience, sometimes using the kinds of information in ZNet's essays to make such connections opens avenues of understanding. On the other hand, I have to admit, sometimes it doesn't. Maybe others have better ideas about how to connect with people and if so, sharing those ideas and experiences in coming days may help. Changing minds is not easy or fast, but it is certainly necessary, and contrary to what many pundits are saying, I think the public is mostly confused, and not mostly lusting for blood.
14 sept

Your questions are not funny. They are right on. Keep asking them until sanity prevails.
14 sept

Swindle, you just don't get it. You exhibiting an appalling lack of empathy for the international victims of Tuesday tragedy. The authors and you are opportunists who are using this tragedy to push their political agenda. This puts you in league with Jerry Falwell, Donald Rumsfield and other of their ilk.
14 sept

I have an idea that would be better and cheaper than bombing Bananastan. Try the Marshall plan idea in the Middle East. Rebuild all the school systems, mosques, health care and commerical infrastructures. Young Afghani children who grow up going to shiny-new schools are much less likely to become terrorists. Wait a while and if they still hate us, bomb them. Then try to get the contracts to rebuild the schools after the bombing stops. Rinse. Repeat.
14 sept

Swindle, I think this type of article is meanspirited. I have long been a critic of US foreign policy in certain aspects. But this attack is not a result of US foreign policy. It is a result of people choosing bigotry, hatred and death over life and peace. You can't blame hundreds of years of British oppression for the decision of hatefilled protestants to harass a group of catholic school children. Those hate filled individuals chose hate. Ireland could be united tomorrow and the British could be gone from its shores and these same individuals would still be violent and hateful. The WTC terrorists are brotheres under the skin with those racist criminals who dragged Charlie Byrd behind their truck. Throughout the world, there are people who choose bigotry and hatred over peace and life.

Lastly there has been over a millenium of violence in the mid east. Our country is a little over 200 years old. I don't think we created all of the hate. If Israel and the US disappear from the middle east today, the taliban would still be oppressing the hindu, the extremist moslems would be trying to oppress the moderates and it would still be one of the most oppressive regions of the world.

Lastly, would the writer of this article go to the funeral of a friend's father and say "if he hadn't smoke those damn cigarettes, he wouldn't have died of lung cancer." The US is still trying to locate its dead. So a little decency.
13 sept

For some of you this is a repeat e-mail but I am at work now and have access to my address book so I am trying to get as many people as possible.

Jason Oswald, my roommate for the past 2 years and a friend to many of you, recently moved to New York (mid-June) to be closer to his friend Nancy Prentis, and to take a job at Cantor Fitzgerald. Cantor has offices on the 101st -104th floors of World Trade Center Tower 1. (the north tower and the first one hit.)

We know the following: Nancy saw Jason at a subway station at approximately 8:30 a.m. She said goodbye to him there. He was approximately 5-10 minutes from the World Trade Center. Security is always high at the WTC and it also takes awhile to get up the elevators. We are not sure where he was at the time of the first impact. It is possible he was in his office on the 101st floor, but more likely that he hadn't gotten up to his offices yet. The first impact hit his building at 8:45 a.m. and was at approximately the 90th floor. The South Tower (WTC Tower 2) was hit 18 minutes later at approximately the 60th floor. Most of the people in the second tower were able to evacuate during those 18 minutes.

Currently, we have had no word from Jason. He has not contacted any one and area hospitals have no record of him being admitted. His family is in Merrill, Wisconsin and his twin sister is in Thailand. Nancy is staying with friends in New York. We are in constant communication with everyone.

We are all hoping that Jason was in the process of evacuating and was one or more blocks from the towers when they collapsed. There are many people who are simply trapped by debris in the immediate area who made it out of the towers. We hope Jason is one of them.

People have been staying at my apartment and there will be someone there all afternoon and night. Please feel free to call if you would like more information or just need to talk.

I appreciate you keeping Jason, his family and friends, in your thoughts and prayers.

We will send out more information when it becomes available..
12 sept

For a while I got real angry about it and of course I still am but then I think of the countries we go to and drop bombs on. Not only military installations but comunications, power, and whatever else might best suit our mission. This is in large cities. What else do you think we are hitting? Who else do you think we are killing? It is not only the dropping of bombs but also our exploitaition of economic, natural, and human resources of other countries. We have a couple singular tragedies and the country shuts down. We call them terrorists. We call ourselves protectors of freedom. How strong is our conveiction compared to a terrorists. They, without a thought, go and give their lives for a cause they believe so strongly in. We send our pilots out loaded with ordinance and when they return they rejoice for having launched their missiles from a stand off position hundreds of miles away, not knowing what they hit for certain. If even that, the missiles may even be launched from ships even further away. These missiles are launched because politicians told them to, not because it is something they believe in balls to bones and want to do of their own volition. Many here would claim that they would give their lives to our country as quickly if they were asked to. But for what cause? Because we want our oil? Because the stability of Europe is threatened and the lives of white catholics are in Jeopordy? Where are we when some remote African country is in the throes of attempted genocide? Does it not matter to us if we are not directly or inderectly affected by it? In our outrage do we forget to consider the tragedy we have brought upon and are bringing upon other countries and millions of other people.

I just heard someone say "That will never kill the spirit of the American people" on the news. What? Do we actually have any conception of the hardship and trial in this day and age in this country? I just don't understand. Everyone say this is so different than when we go to a far-off country , drop thousands of bombs on remote cities and towns and kill tens of thousands of people. We claim it was humanitarian in motivation. We assure ouselves and the world that we fight tyrany and oppression. We are so shocked? I am suprised that we did not all at least 1/2 expect it. What are we to expect when we ride on the shoulders of the rest of the world like the little boy being carried on his father's shoulders, all the while pulling his fathers hair and straining his fathers back. His father only gets older, weaker, and more strained as the boy gets bigger and stronger drawing a greater cost on any one but himself all the while. The boy gets slapped on the leg by his father in a futile effort to stop the boy from pulling on his fathers hair. The little boy that is our country will strike back 10, 100, or 1000 fold. I know, it is not nearly so simple a situation, but I am just trying to convey a general idea. I believe we, as a country, do abuse this beautiful world and the diverse people who inhabit places other than this country, sometimes, if not often, enormously. I am certain that at some point, sooner or later we will get much more than a slap in retribution. When it happens I will not be the one to be shocked. We will continue to rape the world of its resouces and send out our war machine when any one tries to stop us or retaliate against us and all the while we will do it thinking we have divine right to do so. God bless America.

I mean not ot offend, only to paint out the situation as I feel it is.
11 sept