9/11 (911): A North-American Tragedy: The Loss of "Human Intelligence"
There are those who say that humans are made of mere flesh and bone.
Others would add that we are also people of ideas. On a day like September 11,
or 9/11, we must look to something greater than ourselves to see that we are
also people of conscience, heart and spirit.
An hour after sunrise on Tuesday, September 11th a tragedy of unprecedented proportions has taken over the conscience of North America.
At approximately 9:00a.m. a United Airlines flight #11 from Boston, Massachusetts en route to Los Angeles, California was apparently highjacked, by what the mass media are calling terrorists, and diverted to become a target against the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York. The plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center. A second plane, also coming from Boston to Los Angeles, Flight #175, with 56 passengers and seven crewmembers aboard is also believed to have crashed at the second tower of the World Trade Center. In just a matter of minutes the entire building would begin to collapse. Initial speculations from local news media agencies estimate that 50,000 workers come to the World Trade Center everyday, along with visitors, tourists and the fellow New York residents who do business, attend schools and reside in the area. Thus the actual number of victims could be in the thousands.
Within an hour a third crash took place in Washington, DC at the infamous Pentagon building where it is believed that American Airlines Flight #77, from Washington Dulles airport to Los Angeles with 58 passengers and six crewmembers, crashed on-site.
United States President George W. Bush in a statement made at Barksdale Air Force Base said, “The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.” The major networks ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC began to speculate as to the possible “terrorists” whom may have been responsible for the highjackings. A similar ditto head chorus began with all of the news anchors pointing the finger at Iraqis and Iranians. Needless to say that in the mid-90s during the Oklahoma City bombing of the federal bombing the exact same enemy was targeted by the national media, but as we all know the actual terrorist was a fellow White, Anglo-Saxon American male, named Timothy McVeigh. No one wanted to believe that an American could be capable of such a horrific act, but indeed that was the case.
Now, United States media is quick to point the finger at “outsiders.” But as many would argue, the United States need only close their eyes and point their finger in any which direction to find enemies. Is the United States righteous and perfect that as a country they are truly the victims here? Thousands of North Americans have just been affected and the vast majority are innocent human beings. But let us not be foolish to think that this is not in large part the fault of the United States government.
When U.S. President John F. Kennedy was killed in an assassination plot the country found itself in complete shock. However, there were lone voices of dissent like Malcolm X who clearly stated, that the “chickens had come home to roost.” The majority of North Americans quickly turned on Malcolm and deemed him a cold-blooded terrorist sympathizer and an enemy of the North American state. Many failed then to realize that the United States military was involved in Central America, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Africa, South America, the Philippines and various other parts of the world where people of color yearn to be free.. And in many ways we are repeating history as we continue to believe the lies of corporate media who seek to blame people of color, in this case Iraqis or Iranians, but neglect to analyze the role of the Pentagon in Central America, China, South America, Mexico, Vietnam, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and various other parts of the world where people of color yearn to be free.
These “terrorists” did not attack childcare centers they attacked one of the centers of the economic order, the World Trade Center. We need not be foolish to think that this was not a strategic hit on the economic order that is crippling the world over. Local reporters in New York stated that this is indeed a state of emergency, 911. They described New York and New Yorkers as strong and invincible, while describing the world trade center as one of the tallest buildings in the world. So how can the tallest, strongest people in the world be in a state of emergency? How could this happen?
Can we find any clues in the national and international protests against the World Trade Organization in Seattle, Washington, Washington, D.C and throughout the world? Can we find clues in the upheaval of the Zapatistas against the North American free trade agreement? Can we find clues in the bombing of the U.S. Olympics, which took place on North American soil in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996?
Hip-hop slang may be needed to summarize the corporate media’s take on this tragedy. The corporate media claims that these “terrorists are playa’ hating on the good old’ democracy of the u.s.a.?” Are they, these terrorists, jealous of this democracy that jails more people than any other country in the world? Are they, these terrorists, jealous of the monstrous disparities between the rich and the poor? Is that why this has taken place?
Former Secretary of State James Baker had the audacity of going on air on ABC news blaming the movement of the 1960s and 1970s against the COINTELPRO, or counter intelligence program, for beefing down the CIA’s “human intelligence” program in the middle east and throughout the world. As he stated, “We need more human intelligence in the C.I.A.” I couldn’t agree more, at least with his thoughts on human intelligence.
I want to know if dissent against this government must end when tragedy begins? Some have labeled this day the new Black Tuesday, although I find inherent racism in such a thought, rather we can deem it Green Tuesday for it seems that these terrorists are attacking the economic order of the north American society. They are also attacking the center of the military order that exists in North America and is centered at the Pentagon.
I do not advocate acts of terrorism. I do not advocate acts of terrorism that is why I do not advocate the numbers of death penalty killings in Texas. I do not advocate acts of terrorism that is why I do not advocate the number of people in U.S. jails. I do not advocate acts of terrorism and that is why I do not advocate a military presence in the Philippines, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, South East Asia, China, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and so many other parts of the world. I am not an advocate of north American terrorism, either physical, perpetrated by the Pentagon, or economic, perpetrated by the world trade center, multinational corporations, multinational banks like Chase Manhattan and the like. I am also not an advocate of death, genocide, murder or even these latest horrific acts. An eye for an eye is not an answer to our international ills. But I can see with my own eyes, and I can make up my own mind to say, it is fitting that the chickens are coming home to roost.
But as a person of conscience, heart and spirit, like you, I cry and ache for all those who have died, are afflicted, and are suffering, both from this tragedy, and also from all other tragedies that do not receive this coverage or this type of concern from the north American media. For fear of sounding foolish, and punning Ché Guevara, I will agree with the words of U.S. President George W. Bush, “Freedom itself was attacked.” The corporate media attacked freedom of thought as they continually fail to report the forms of international terrorism at the hands of the U.S. government. Freedom itself was attacked when we claim that the Pentagon and the World Trade Center are the soul of North America, as some news anchor had the audacity to claim. And tragically the freedom and lives of many north Americans were taken, and they are not collateral damage, no human beings ever are, but they are victims, like many people the world over, of the hate that hate made.
by César A. Cruz
Mr. Cruz is a graduate of the University of California, at Berkeley in History, and is currently a Healthy Start coordinator in Richmond, CA. at a local elementary school. Mr. Cruz is also a columnist for www.brownpride.com (Eternal Flame column) and a city of Berkeley employee with the Rent Stabilization Board. Mr. Cruz may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected] To print this or any other of Mr. Cruz’s articles please contact the writer directly.