9.11 Musings: Guest Post By Jeremiah

Sep 10, 2006 by

Jeremiah is a freelance Alchemist in the Peoples’ Republic of Madison, Wisconsin. His birthday is 9-11. Take heed.
COLI, or Corporate-owned Life Insurance are policies taken out on the lives of a company’s employees that, upon their death, benefit not their families, but the corporation itself. That’s right, if you die while working for Wal*Mart, Wal*Mart pockets a couple thousand. This is known as “Dead Peasants” insurance. I chose Wal*Mart (pronunced: Wal-asshole-mart) as they are  one of the companies that practice this. So this is what people like this think of us. They know, from their omniscient perpspective, that if you have 100,000 peasants, er, employees working for you, x number of them will die in a given span of time. Their cold logic sees a way to profit, tax-free, from their deaths as they happen.
The Bush Administration has been holding roughly 3,000 American hostage since late 2001. Of course, none of the 3,000 complain that loudly, they’re dead. They’re the people that died in the towers. In their names, wars are declared, people are held without trial, hearing or even a notice to their families in places beyond the prying eyes of inspectors, regulators and even our own judicial system. In their names, men are demonized for the kind of headgear they wear.
However, those 3,000 lives were intricately connected to thousands of others — families, friends, neighbors, coworkers. Disproportionately, those associates lived in New York. They’re mostly still alive. Being spared the death in the towers, they die slowly and painfully of diseases caused by the debris of the tower — the acrid smoke, the dust particles, asbestos, etc., etc.
Those people number in the scores of thousands, like Iraq’s “collateral damages.” They live diminished lives, aggrieving their families, they pant like dogs climbing out of the subway going about their lives. And while our government with the Bush Administration at the helm was and is willing to commit trillions to killing in the name of the dead and enriching former employers and investments, it has hardly contributed a nickel to the living and suffering.
Of course, we have collateral damages, too. In the days after the attack, people were urged to stay home, to clean up the mess, and to go to work. With fires that continued spewing toxins for months, they went to work every day. More and more of them got sick. More and more inhalers could be seen on the busses in the classroom and break rooms. People were sick.
In the days following the attacks, there were some tremors on wall street, in the abstract sense. Nevermind the corpses and toxins, what about the dow jones? In order to get the machine back up and humming, and to provide an inspiring, made-for-television story of the triumph of the will, er, human spirit, we see beleaguered new yorkers going back to work in diners, on trading floors, and of course, in fire trucks. Not since Backdraft have firemen looked so heroic and sexy.
The story the wasn’t in the news was the fact that, the people inspecting the air were hardly allowed in. In one case, scientists were snuck in by a low-level local politician to get access to the air itself to take samples. The federal agencies without jurisdiction said, “yes, it’s safe,” meanwhile, the federal agencies with jurisdiction sat around waiting for the phone to ring.
If George Bush stood before the american people with a baby on an altar, and an axe in his hand, saying, “God demands this child be sacrificed for our well being” we’d go apeshit. Only a handful of the annointed faithful would accept such a symbol. But when the Bush Administration, and mayor Giuliani keep the case closed on the air quality and send people back to work in toxic conditions in the name of economic stability and image — that is precisely what you have. A blood sacrifice. Collateral damages. Dead peasants to pay for the agenda.
Add to that the blood sacrifice of thousands of Iraqis. We’re not talking about the “insurgents,” “terrorists,” and “enemy combatants,” we’re talking about the scores of thousands of dead, maimed and devastated men, women, children, businesses, farms, homes… lives… sacrificed on the altar of “freedom.” Of course, they’re no freer now than they were under Saddam, which was freer than they would be under the US-appointed/annointed Shah in Iran. Those that are left are going to be simply too shell shocked to “appreciate” what we’ve done for them. In two or three generations, some of their intellectuals, perhaps educated in the west, will take a solution-neutral view of now as a precondition to whatever situation they have now. Most of them will just tell stories about how they were drinking tea, then one day their wall exploded, and only a mother and her now legless and armless son survived, only to bed and die on the streets of their torn city, one with disease and crime running rampant, no drinking water, and soldiers raping and pillaging.
In 1979, future Presidential candidate H. Ross Perot, a short Texan with chimpanzee ears counted two of his employees hostages in Iran. Unlike the other chimp-eared presidential candidate from texas: he got his men OUT. He started by sending them to the right place, of course. A handful of hired guns did what the federal government and its executive  administration could not or would not do: walk into Iran, get our guys, walk out. There’s your cowboy justice. There’s your short little chimp-eared man in a white hat getting things done for the downtrodden. Of course, Perot works for a living. He’s a successful businessman. He can look at a goal and figure out how to get there. His fellow statesman, our president, apparently cannot.
The fuzzy stories of people running from cave to cave in Iran chasing Osama bin Werewolf had me wondering: build your own ex-Special Forces unit. Give them a blank cheque to buy guns — a sort of sanctioned “A-Team.” Bring home Osama’s head on a platter — and Bush will pop and whimper himself into a flaccid shadow. He’s running out of bogeymen fast as it is, take away his favorite toy. The Emperor’s New WMDs failed to turn up in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.
I do not support the war, and I embrace an operationally pacifist point of view, however, If you want to go Osama-hunting, I’ll clean and load your gun. If everyone in America could put $3 in the kitty, we could buy an real army and go kick his ass, embarrass Bush, Rumsfeld and Darth Cheney, and take away their favorite hand puppet, but most importantly, raise a key question: why is that, billions of dollars and thousands of american and scores of thousands of Iraqi and Afghani lives later — why is that you don’t have Osama, and we do?

The “Fuck Bush Fund.”
It’s operationally very simple: Figure out your income taxes. Take no deductions, deferments or shelters. Take that amount of money, and cut it: 70/30. 30 percent goes to people overseas — Iraq, perhaps in south-east asia where they are STILL recovering from the forgotten tsunami — the rest goes here. To the panting people in new york, the beleaguered people of New Orleans and the gulf coast, the activists and organizations trying to bring peace, sanity and healing to this world. Hell, put some of it right into your town — into the schools, into the vocational rehab programs. If you run a small business, set aside a few weeks of pay for some poor schmuck and give him half a chance to prove himself before it runs out. Do something to improve the world.
And don’t give washington a nickel. They didn’t have shit for the people in New Orleans, not shit for the people in New York. Those people are US. We Are New York. We Are New Orleans — because whatever it is that can destroy your home — gas leaks, toxic chemical spills, locusts, nuclear plants, emissions from deregulated coal plants — they are going leave your ass to wither and die.
Mice and spiders will fight back against you — something 3,000 times their size –when they feel mortally threatened. If you don’t feel that we, as potential sufferers of various natural and man-made disasters are threatened by a government that demands our money, our unquestioning obedience and can’t so much as get a few tanks of water into a town, but can get a cruise missile right up a camel’s ass — then that mouse is a smarter creature than you are. That government is not your government. If they treat you like the enemy — at the airport, at the bank, at every check point, border crossing, voting station — then they might as well be foreign occupiers. They’re taking your money, and no only not giving you anything for it, but using it to hurt you and others. You are LESS SAFE because of the things they are doing, not because of the threats they purport to protect you from.
So fuck ’em. If enough people refuse to send their taxes in, they really can’t afford to continue the war, or to send anyone out to get them. They can’t really arrest all of us.  And even if they did, jail is a far better place than… a convention center in New Orleans, or even the swankest apartment in New York downwind of acrid toxic fumes.
America is not about leaders and foreign policy. It’s about people, and when someone shifts the focus away, they’re leading us down a dark path away from our purpose. Every time that has happened, America has wound up with a black eye, and tainted the name that, once upon a time, meant liberty and progress to people around the world. The thing is, this really is a government of the people — it’s up to you, right now, to stop it. Talk to your neighbors, have a few beers, and talk about this. Listen, and you will discover that you are not alone.