May 6, 2003

American Dreams and Ruins

I took a sightseeing cruise around Manhattan tonight, one of the most amazing sights in the world. The tour director mentioned "the hole" where the Trade Center used to be. "I still see it," he said. It is still hard to think of the loss of that day without feeling that overwhelming grief well up inside. I saw it burn from my window. It was part of my daily life for 25 years. It was magnificent. Now Bush uses it as an excuse for the New World Order agenda, to attack countries that had nothing to do with it, to dismantle Constitutional freedoms.

Why aren't people pissed off at Bush for letting the attacks happen? He was president, supposedly, chief executive, commander in chief. Why does he get off with no responsibility for the immense series of failures of the US defense system that had to happen for such a plan to work?

How has he gotten away with opposing a full public investigation of the tragedy? Why has his behavior of that day -- saying he saw the first crash then went and read to children as the catastrophe unfolded, then disappearing and flying to Nebraska ("to get out of harm's way") -- escaped criticism? As Ted Rall recently pointed out so artistically, if Gore had been president when the catastrophe happened, he would have been disgraced. The media would still be railing him for it. (See " President Gore: A Look Back")

The boat also went close to "Liberty Enlightening the World," a gift from the French people (not the government). With the sunset behind it, it was a profoundly touching sight, a delicate creation like its namesake. It was built facing east because that was thought to be where the despots reign, so that would be where Liberty would shine her torch. How disgraced we are in the shadow of that beauty now that we are letting it all go down the drain. "Bring me your tired, huddled masses..." all seems so beside the point now.

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