Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What Do We Want?

Preface: If you are an atheist, I'll remind you that 85% of the American population identifies itself as Christian, and millions more identify themselves as Jewish. If you are an atheist, you can look at the religious concepts in this essay metaphorically, as symbolic, and still look at the take-home message from a humanistic perspective of how best to help people and society.

Exposing the evidence which proves that 9/11 was an inside job is not enough. In fact, that is arguably the easy part.

Why? Because you can cite all the facts in the world, but unless the person you're talking with has some motivation to really listen, the facts will bounce off your listeners like bullets off a Kevlar vest.

Unless you offer something more attractive or something more reassuring, you can talk all you want, but your listeners really won't take anything in.

A Better World

Most importantly, if you provide a vision for a better world, people will listen to you. What do I mean?

The people who carried out 9/11 were obviously driven by greed -- 9/11 provided the "Pearl Harbor" like justification called for by the Project for a New American Century to oust Saddam Hussein and seize Iraq's oil, to fatten the coffers of defense contractors, and to consolidate power in America among a handful of executive branch people.

But they were also driven by fear. For example, as pointed out by 9/11 writer Michael Ruppert, people like Dick Cheney probably believed they were doing the right thing by carrying out a false flag operation in order to launch resource wars they thought were necessary to secure cheap oil to maintain the American "lifestyle".

Similarly, some of the perpetrators probably believed that China would become a huge threat to the U.S., and that we need to thwart China by denying it access to oil (with 9/11 providing the rationale, again, to seize the oil).

And some fundamentalist Christians and Jews authentically (although incorrectly) believe that Islam is an "evil" religion which must be annihilated, and that 9/11 was needed to justify the war on terror, just as Pearl Harbor was needed to justify America's entry into WWII.

Those are just the perpetrators of the attacks. In addition, millions of Americans are so driven by fear that they haven't been able to listen to any information challenging the official version of 9/11.

Core Issue

Indeed, Americans' fear stems from a larger historical context: we are afraid of losing what we have, and don't have a vision of where to go from here. For a long time, we've been the world's biggest economy. After WWII, we became not only a military but also an economic superpower. We had the number one market, the dollar was the world's currency, standards of living got better for many Americans, the middle class grew, and our goods were sold all over the world.

Now, with China turning into a military and economic superpower, with the destabilization of the world's climate, with the world's population heading towards 7 billion, and with the American standard of living falling (remember when there was only one working parent and most middle class people could buy a home?), Americans are drifting and rudderless, without a vision to unify and motivate us.

And without a shared set of values and priniciples, America is a house divided, with no common purpose to unify and motivate us in these tough times.

So what do we do?

View from the Left

Rabbi Michael Lerner, a prominent liberal Rabbi, recently said that we should turn 9/11 truth into a force for positive change. In an essay entitled “What If We Succeed in Exposing 9/11 as a Fraud...What Next?” (published in 9/11 and the American Empire: Jews, Christians and Muslims Speak Out -- Interlink, fall 2006), urges the 9/11 truth movement to develop a framework including:

“specific suggestions for how to repair the damage done by these crimes, or else risk the debate being defined by the media that are more concerned to prove the viability of the system than to change it.”

Rabbi Lerner worries that a 9/11 truth triumph could prove a hollow victory without a big picture, positive vision:

“We risk throwing one tyrant out of office only to find that the system of tyranny has actually survived and even been strengthened in the process. That is why the time is now, even as the courageous writers in this volume are still trying to obtain a forum for this important public discussion, for others of us to be developing a positive vision of what to do next once the details of what happened are exposed and those involved are being brought to trial.”

Lerner argues that prosecuting the American architects of the 9/11 attacks could provide an opportunity for positive social change:

“In fact, the kind of psychic trauma that would happen were the charges of intentional involvement in 9/11 by the president, vice president, and other high office holders or leaders of our security apparatus ever proved in a court of law would almost certainly open up political space for a serious discussion of
the kinds of radical changes I’m suggesting in the direction of our approach to foreign policy and homeland security.”

Similarly, the liberal Christian leader and activist William Sloane Coffin spoke similar words shortly before his death. Praising the research of the prominent theologian and 9/11 truth advocate David Ray Griffin, Coffin concluded his statement:


View From the Right

Conservatives like Paul Craig Roberts and Steven Jones stress that the current administration is betraying traditional American and religious values.

They -- and many others -- call for an abandonment of false labels of "Republican", "conservative" and "patriotism", and demand that we walk our talk, do what is authentically moral, and act with real principle.

True conservatives consider false flag terrorism, lying our way into imperial wars, and repealing our Constitution to be treasonous.

And true conservative leaders demand that our country be run using the compass of morality and principle. They point out that there are some values which never change, no matter how high-tech we become, how big the population grows, no matter what challenges we face, or what the latest fad or cultural flavor is.

Let's Try Democracy

I had an economics professor whose solution to environmental issues was brilliant. He argued that if someone wanted to build a new factory in a town, then everyone in the town and surrounding area should be polled.

People would be told very directly the number of new jobs which would be created by the factory, the effect on the local economy, the likely number of additional deaths per year from cancer, and the costs to clean up the water supply once it was polluted.

Then the people would vote, and make their decision.

That struck me as a very refreshing way to implement democracy on a direct level.

Similarly, we should engage in a very honest dialog. Let's get beyond this false left-right, democrat-republican, liberal-conservative dichotomy. Those terms, as they are used today, are completely meaningless.

Let's talk about what we want for America, and what we are willing to do to get that. What shared values can we agree upon? What shared vision can inspire us -- all of us?

And let's openly discuss what we are willing to do to reach that vision. Are we willing to commit false flag terrorism? To cook the intelligence? To torture innocent farmers who were at the wrong place at the wrong time (some of those tortured at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were innocent farmers caught up in sweeps or "sold" by others for a fee)? Are we willing to launch nuclear weapons which -- despite the propaganda -- will kill and injure alot of people?

Its time to openly and honestly debate these issues, and then decide for ourselves.

If we don't do this, America will be destroyed by people making decisions for us. Such people may think they are doing what's in our best interests. Or they may be horrible, greedy or even insane people.


Unless we learn to act like people living in a democracy, and taking responsibility for our country's decisions, then the people who are running things in our absence (in the vaccum created by our failure to participate) will destroy it.

From Siblings to Adults

It is time to stop living like a nation of brothers believing that the "unseen hand" of capitalism will make everything right. It is time to stop living like a nation of sisters who believe that the "divine father" will make sure that we all ride into the sunset and live the Hollywood, happy ending.

Remember the story of the guy who is in a flood? He prays to God to save him. Then a neighbor shouts from his rooftop "Here's a rope -- grab on!". The guy responds "no, God will save me". Then someone in a rowboat rows by shouting "get in!" The guy responds "no, God will save me". Finally a helicopter flies by, but the guy waives it away, saying "no, God will save me". The guy drowns and goes to Heaven. St. Peter says "why are you here?" The guy responds "I was waiting for God to save me!" St. Peter said "we sent you a rope, a rowboat and a helicopter ... what were you waiting for?!"

We can't be like this guy. God has given us free will, intelligence, imagination, a mouth and ears to communicate with, and hands to work with.

THESE are the tools which God has given us to solve our problems. If we don't solve them, we will be like the guy who drowns in the flood.

It is time to grow up and take responsibility for ourselves. WE have to figure out what we as a people and a nation want, and how we are going to get there.

If we do so, 9/11 will have a silver lining. The horrible nightmarish crime which finally wakes us up from our slumber as the governed children and allows us to take the reigns into our own hands.

If we do not, then 9/11 will be the first step towards the destruction of our nation, as the Reichstag fire was the first step towards the destruction of Germany.

Grow up or blow up: its our choice.

God has given us the tools to grow up. Indeed, God wants us to grow up. It is part of the Divine Plan.

God is a good parent: He does not want to keep us as helpless, frightened and confused children (only our abusive experience has led us towards the belief that God would want that).

God is unimaginably fierce and powerful, but also inconceivably loving. If we have not experienced both aspects of God, it is because of the shortcomings of our parents -- it has nothing to do with any lack in God.

Does a loving parent want us to remain helpless and dependent our whole lives? Of course not!

Similarly, God wants us to exercise our free will and -- while always remaining thankful, grateful and mindful of Him -- to make our own decisions and to use ethical, principled means to carry them out.

Just as God wants us to be his hands in the world to do justice, he wants us to be his construction manager in the world, to fill in and implement his Divine Plan. For God is the best "parent" in the universe -- one who lets his kids "help" so that they will learn for themselves. God is too generous to have filled in every line, every door and every window on the blueprints (even though He could have easily done so).

Bottom line: God purposely left his Plan unfinished so that we could fill in the details. God gave us free will so that we could fill in the blanks in His plan. He is loving enough to allow us to "help" complete the Plan.

In fact, when we look to God for all of the answers instead of finding some of them ourselves, we our disobeying God's Plan. Why? Because helplessness which is endearing in a 1-year old is dysfunctional in a 50-year old. If a 50-year old is still living at home without a job or romantic relationship, she hasn't followed her parents' instructions to figure out what she wants to do and do it herself.

Similarly, if we are still assuming that the "unseen hand", the heavenly Father will solve all of our problems, we aren't following the Divine Plan. Rather, we are still "living at home" in a childish stage of life.

It is time for us as individuals and as a nation to "move out of the house" and to move into the next phase of history. Indeed, we are literally now being called to flesh out HIS story (history) and to start writing our OWN story - one that incorporates the best of true conservatism and true liberalism, one which we -- as children of God with free will -- decide we want.

If we do that, 9/11 truth and justice will follow as a natural byproduct. If we do not, 9/11 truth and justice will have a very small chance of succeeding. Because without a better vision, people will not be willing to look at facts which challenge their world view.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is the key question. What would happen if this great crime were exposed and justice meted out to the many involved? How would the system be rebuilt and who would keep the broken pieces together during the healing process? Without some thought along these lines, many people will see exposing 9/11 as stepping into the abyss.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God has given us free will, intelligence, imagination, a mouth and ears to communicate with, and hands to work with.

Of course, if you believe in god then you have to believe in satan, and good & evil througout the universe, and punishment for rejecting god, and on and on....

Anyway, it's clear that for billions of people god did not give them any significant measure of free will, nor very much intelligence, nor anything except a hard, hard, short life of inequity, disease, exploitation, slavery, pain and injustice.

It's impossible for a rational person to take anyone seriously who can overlook all of this. If there were a god and if this god gave one good god damn about creation then there's no way that we would see the world that we see today, or at so many times in the past.

What we do see in the world, though, is completely consistent with a world filled with individuals who live their lives filled with delusions that the endless tragedies of the world we see is actually a 'plan' that a god is watching unfold, thus rendering them passively accepting of it.

I wish there was a place where we could go to get away from all these crazy god people. Their xenophobic view of life just doesn't work and they can't even see it. If there were a god then surely things would not be as they are. It is this god-view that allows people to justify all the hateful, anti-human behavior that we see throughout the world.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I spoke on these issues at the International Gift Economy Conference in a speech called "Facing the Shadow of 9/11"

Here is an excerpt:

Behind denial lies fear. Fear, “the mind killer” destroys rational thought; “war is “collective insanity.” Wars are not spontaneous; they are planned; they serve powerful interests. The most lucrative business is war.

The Millennium is witnessing the rise of transnational fascism, where imperial powers share in the looting of conquered nations. In the era of “globalization,” new alliances pit corporate interests against the vast majority.

Aung Sung Suu Kyi wrote: "It is not power that corrupts, but fear -- fear of losing power and fear of the scourge of those who wield it."
Behind the trappings of wealth are a frightened few who fear losing power and control. 9/11 was a desperate act by those, trying to cling to power, using traditional methods of war and terrorism.

Rachel Corrie’s father told a story about her (the young American woman killed by a bulldozer in Palestine). As a very small child, just age two, Rachel had posed a question to her father-

“Is being brave, part of growing up?”

Individually and collectively, Americans need to “be brave, to grow up,” to overcome fear, to think, to face the harsh realities that the rest of the world has witnessed.

Truth and courage are needed to overcome fear and recognize the problems we face, beyond left and right, beyond rich or poor, beyond gender or race.

Money has been the most powerful tool of empire. The antithesis of the gift, debt-based money relies on fear and scarcity to maintain its value and power.

We are grappling with The Big Lie versus Truth, Fear versus Courage, War versus Peace. Americans should grow up, reign in their government and lift the American boot off the throat of the world. Imagine redirecting the world’s resources away from killing and controlling the planet to healing.

We will also be addressing this at the upcoming International- 9/11 Revealing the Truth, Reclaiming the Future Education and Strategy Conference in Chicago, June 2-4th, 2006 http://www.911revealingthetruth.org I hope that you will be able to join us and talk about this in greater depth. I think what unites us all is a vision of hope for a better world.

1:00 PM  

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