Tags: Barack Obama, Iraq War, Michael Moore, Navy SEALs, Osama bin Laden, Osama BinLaden, Timothy McVeigh, United State, United States Navy SEALs
An email from Michael Moore Thursday, May 12, 2011 8:19 AM is definitely worth reading. Moore makes some very good points.
Some Final Thoughts on the Death of Osama bin Laden …a letter from Michael Moore
“The Nazis killed tens of MILLIONS. They got a trial. Why? Because we’re not like them. We’re Americans. We roll different.” – Michael Moore in an interview last week
Thursday, May 12th, 2011
Last week, President Obama fulfilled a campaign promise and killed Osama bin Laden. Well he didn’t actually do the killing himself. It was carried out by a very brave and excellent team of Navy SEALs. Not only does Mr. Obama have the overwhelming support of the country, I think there are millions who gladly wish it could have been their finger on the gun that took out bin Laden.
When I heard the news a week ago Sunday, I immediately felt great. I felt relief. I thought of those who lost a loved one on 9/11. And I was glad we finally had a President who got something done. This is what I had to say on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet in that first hour or two:
I want to point out that Barack Obama took two years to do what Bush couldn’t do in over seven. That’s the difference between STUPID in charge and SMART in charge. STUPID pursues two reckless wars, lets OBL escape from Tora Bora, keeps looking for him in caves and invades the wrong country. He bankrupts us to the tune of $1.2 trillion for the Iraq War (it will eventually actually be over $3 trillion), and worse, he cost us the lives of almost 5,000 of our troops, not to mention hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan – and, after all that, he STILL couldn’t bring the perp to justice. In fact, in 2005, Bush closed down the CIA station that was devoted to looking for bin Laden! What does SMART do? He sends in a small elite strike force, no troops are killed, and the perpetrator is stopped for good.
I was thrilled that the Osama bin Laden era was over. There was now an end to the madness.
Being near Ground Zero that night, I decided to head over there and join with others who saw this event as a chance to have some closure. On 9/11, Bill Weems, a good and decent man I knew and worked with (we had just recently completed a shoot together in Boston), was on the plane that was flown into the Twin Towers. I dedicated ‘Fahrenheit 9/11,’ in part, to him.
But before leaving to go to the former World Trade Center site, I turned on the TV, and what I saw down at Ground Zero was not quiet relief and gratification that the culprit had been caught. Rather, I witnessed a frat boy-style party going on, complete with the shaking and spraying of champagne bottles over the crowd. I can completely understand people wanting to celebrate – like I said, I, too, was happy – but something didn’t feel right. It’s one thing to be happy that a criminal has been captured and dealt with. It’s another thing to throw a kegger celebrating his death at the site where the remains of his victims are still occasionally found. Is that who we are? Is that what Jesus would do? Is that what Jefferson would do? I was reminded of the tale told to me as a kid, of God’s angels singing with glee as the Red Sea came crashing back down on the Egyptians chasing the Israelites, drowning all of them. God rebuked them, saying, “The work of My hands is drowning in that sea – and you want to friggin’ sing?” (or something like that).
I remember my parents telling me how, on the day it was announced that Hitler was dead, there was no rejoicing in the streets, just private relief and satisfaction. The real celebration came six days later at the announcement that the war in Europe was over. THAT’S what the people wanted to hear – not just the demise of one evil madman, but the end to all the killing.
When the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, people didn’t pour into the streets to whoop it up. Yes, people were happy that it might help end the war, but there was not a public display of “Yippee! A hundred thousand Japs have been fried!” If they had done that, well, who could have blamed them after so many tens of thousands of their sons and fathers had been lost in the war (including my uncle, a paratrooper, killed by a sniper near Manila). But the sailor kissing the girl in Times Square was on August 14th, 1945, when the Japanese surrendered and the war was officially over. That’s when America went crazy with joy – not over a killing, but over an announcement of peace.
We are a different people now, aren’t we? Well, sorta. There was no bloodlust euphoria on the day Timothy McVeigh was executed. We were silent. The families of the Oklahoma City dead were silent, relieved. What is the difference between McVeigh and bin Laden, other than the number they slaughtered? I wonder. I think we know the answer.
Though bin Laden is dead, we are told that Orwell’s Permanent War – the “War on Terror” – must continue! Not allowed to have our V-J day and run into Times Square with exhilaration! No, there could be terrorists there. So all we’re left with is to cheer the death of one evil man, and that is supposed to make us feel powerful and good. There can be no celebration for the end of the Afghanistan War because the war isn’t ending. The war must continue! Even though our own CIA tells us there are no more than a few dozen al Qaeda left in Afghanistan. We still have 100,000 troops there fighting a few dozen crazies? We say we’re fighting the Taliban, too, but the Taliban are Afghan citizens, not an invading force, and, for better or worse, they seem to enjoy the support of many of the common people throughout Afghanistan. (If you don’t believe that, ask any soldier who has served there and seen it. Every day is like ‘Apocalypse Now.’ Poppies, anyone?)
Meanwhile, we – me, included – get lost in the weeds of how this one madman was killed. The official story from the Pentagon changed four times in the first four days! It went from OBL firing on the troops with one hand and using his wife as a human shield with the other, to, by the fourth day, not single person in the main house, including bin Laden, being armed when killed. Instantly, this created a lot of suspicion about what really happened, which itself was a distraction.
Here’s my take: I know a number of Navy SEALs. In fact (and this is something I don’t like to talk about publicly, for all the obvious reasons), I hire only ex-SEALs and ex-Special Forces guys to handle my own security (I’ll let you pause a moment to appreciate that irony). These SEALs are trained to follow orders. I don’t know what their orders were that night in Abbottabad, but it certainly looks like a job (and this is backed up in a piece in the Atlantic) where they were told to not bring bin Laden back alive. The SEALs are pros at what they do and they instantly took out every adult male (every potential threat) within a few minutes – but they also took care to not harm a single one of the nine children who were present. Pretty amazing. This wasn’t some Rambo-style operation where they just went in guns blazing, spraying bullets. They acted swiftly and with expert precision. I’m telling you, these guys are so smart and so lethal, they could take you out with a piece of dental floss. (And in fact, one of my ex-SEAL guys showed me how to do that one night. Whoa.)
In a perfect world (yes, I would like to reside there someday, or at least next door to it, in Slightly Imperfect World), I would like the evildoers to be forced to stand trial in front of that world. I know a lot of people see no need for a trial for these bad guys (just hang ’em from the nearest tree!), and think trials are for sissies. “They’re guilty, off with their heads!” Well, you see, that is the exact description of the Taliban/al Qaeda/Nazi justice system. I don’t like their system. I like ours. And I don’t want to be like them. In fact, the reason I like a good trial is that I like to show these bastards this is how it’s done in a free country that believes in civilized justice. It’s good for the rest of the world to see that, too. Sets a good example.
The other thing a trial does is, it establishes a very public and permanent historic record of the crimes against humanity. This is why we put the Nazis on trial in Nuremberg. We didn’t do it for them. We did it for ourselves and for our grandchildren so that they would never forget these horrors and how they were committed. And we did it for the German people so they could see the evidence of what their elected leaders had done. Very helpful. Very necessary. Very powerful.
And for those who wanted blood back then – well, the majority of the Nazis all hanged in the end. So, it doesn’t mean the bad guys get away – they still swing from the highest tree.
My own spiritual beliefs do not allow for capital punishment, and I was raised in the state (Michigan) that in the 1840s was the first government in the English-speaking world to outlaw it. So, I’m just not inclined that way. I don’t believe in “an eye for an eye.” I know the old book said that, but I like its sequel better (a rare case in which the sequel – like Godfather II, Star Trek II, Terminator II – is better than the original). If you don’t believe the way I believe (it’s also the official position of the Catholic Church, for whatever that’s worth these days), then that’s your right, and I understand.
Perhaps there was no way to bring him back alive – I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be in that dark house trying to make that snap decision. But if the execution was ordered in advance, then I say we should be told that now, and we can like it or not like it.
For nine years I wrote and I said that Osama bin Laden was not hiding in a cave. I’m not a cave expert, I was just using my common sense. He was a multimillionaire crime boss (using religion as his cover), and those guys just don’t live in caves. He had people killed under the guise of religion, and not many in the media bothered to explain that every time Osama referenced Islam, he wasn’t really quoting Islam. Just because Osama said he was a “Muslim” didn’t make it so. Yet he was called a Muslim by everyone. If a crazy person started running around mass-killing people, and he did so while wearing a Wal-Mart blazer and praising Wal-Mart, we wouldn’t automatically call him a Wal-Mart leader or say that Wal-Mart was the philosophy behind his killings, would we?
Yet, we began to fear Muslims and round them up. We profiled people from Muslim nations at airports. We didn’t profile multi-millionaires (in fact, they now have their own fast-track line to easily get through security, an oddity considering every murderer on 9/11 flew in first class). We didn’t run headlines that said “Multi-Millionaire Behind the Mass Murder of 3,000” (although every word in that headline is true). You can say his wealth had nothing to do with 9/11, but the truth is, there is no way he could have kept Al Qaeda in business without having the millions he had.
Some believe that this was a “war” we were in with al Qaeda – and you don’t do trials during war. It’s thinking like this that makes me fear that, while bin Laden may be dead, he may have “won” the bigger battle. Let’s be clear: There is no “war with al Qaeda.” Wars are between nations. Al Qaeda was an organization of fanatics who committed crimes. That we elevated them to nation status – they loved it! It was great for their recruiting drive.
We did exactly what bin Laden said he wanted us to do: Give up our freedoms (like the freedom to be assumed innocent until proven guilty), engage our military in Muslim countries so that we will be hated by Muslims, and wipe ourselves out financially in doing so. Done, done and done, Osama. You had our number. You somehow knew we would eagerly give up our constitutional rights and become more like the authoritarian state you dreamed of. You knew we would exhaust our military and willingly go into more debt in eight years than we had accumulated in the previous 200 years combined.
Maybe you knew us so well because you were once one of our mercenaries, funded and armed by us via our friends in Pakistan to fight the other Evil Empire in the last battle of the Cold War. Only, when the killing stopped, the trained killer, our “Frankenstein,” couldn’t. The monster, you, would soon turn on us.
If we really want to send bin Laden not just to his death, but also to his defeat, may I suggest that we reverse all of that right now. End the wars, bring the troops home, make the rich pay for this mess, and restore our privacy and due process rights that used to distinguish us from any other country. Right now, our democracy looks like Singapore and our economy has gone desperately Greek.
I know it will be hard to turn the clock back to before 9/11 when all we had to worry about were candidates stealing elections. A multi-billion dollar industry has grown up around “homeland security” and the terror wars. These war profiteers will not want to give up their booty so easily. They will want to keep us in fear so they can keep raking it in. We will have to stop them. But first we must stop believing them.
Hideki Tojo killed my uncle and millions of Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos and a hundred thousand other Americans. He was the head of Japan, the Emperor’s henchman, the man who was the architect of Pearl Harbor. When the American soldiers went to arrest him, he tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the chest. The soldiers immediately worked on stopping his bleeding and rushed him to an army hospital where he was saved by our army doctors. He then had his day in court. It was a powerful exercise for the world to see. And on December 23, 1948, after he was found guilty, we hanged him. A killer of millions was forced to stand trial. A killer of 4,000 (counting the African embassies and USS Cole bombings) got double-tapped in his pajamas. Assuming it was possible to take him alive, I think his victims, the future, and the restoration of the American Way deserved better. That’s all I’m saying.
Good riddance Osama.
Come back to your ways, my good ol’ USA.
Tags: Al-Qaeda, Central Intelligence Agency, Islam, Osama bin Laden, September 11 attacks, television news
I don’t know if, in other countries, the news media go as crazy as as they do in the U.S. but last night if I’d owned a gun I would have shot the TV, which would have amounted to shooting the messenger. If you haven’t figured out what I’m referring to or if you’ve been in a cave and haven’t heard; Osama bin Laden is dead, Osama bin Laden has been killed, Osama bin Laden is dead, the U.S. killed Osama bin Laden, Osama bin Laden is dead, Osama bin Laden is dead, Osama bin Laden is dead. Keep reading, I’ m about to tell you that Osama bin Laden is dead.
I watch about four or five hours of television a week, and last night I turned the set on, all set to veg out on the couch for one of those hours, to indulge in my guilty pleasure. Instead, there was news that Osama bin Laden had been killed. I gathered, from watching, that this special newscast had already been underway for awhile. It went on for hours, repeating in as many different ways as they could figure out how to tell us, bin Laden was dead. We were also informed that President Obama was going to be telling us that we got him, he’s dead. Why? We already knew at that point, the news people ruined the surprise for us. Damn you news people!
I don’t think anyone told Obama he didn’t get to be the first to break the news, that someone had already let the cat out of the bag, that we were way ahead of him. But, he delivered the news as if it were the first time we were hearing it and we, well some of us, politely pretended it was.
And, as expected, after Obama spoke we were returned to the news coverage where they told us what the President just said in as many different ways they knew how, and on and on and on…
At the end of the coverage the local news came on and you’ll never guess what that was about. As far as I’m concerned the story could have waited until the ten o’clock news; it’s not like bin Laden was going to get any deader.
When I first heard the news, I was skeptical, but they assured us it was, in fact bin Laden who was killed, verified by DNA. I’m sorry but that’s just not going to be enough, I’m going to need to see a birth certificate.
Several times there was mention that we were not involved in a war against Islam, but a war against terrorism. It’s too bad that point wasn’t driven home by the news media as much as some of their other coverage because an awful lot of Americans never got that message. There has been way too much anti-Muslim sentiment, and hatred expressed in the media and by the average man on the street since 9/11. Far too many Americans believe the war is about Islam and that all people of Islamic faith are terrorists and that all Islamic children are educated to hate Americans and become terrorists.
In response to the news of bin Laden’s demise, people took to the streets en masse, singing and chanting, USA, USA, USA… When the camera panned in on those chanting I realized, with the sound turned off, they looked very similar to the images we’ve seen of Muslims chanting in the streets. I imagined how we might have looked to those outside. I’m guessing our people chanting in the streets added fuel to an alreaedy pissed off (by bin Laden’s death) Al-Qaeda.
Far be it from me to defend religion, I think it’s all evil. Don’t even get me started on the atrocities committed in the name of christianity. But I am nothing, if not fair, so here is my version of the news: We are not at war with Islam. There are good and bad people of all religions. Not all Muslims are terrorists. Terrorist acts have been committed by people of all religions.
We are not at war with Islam.
We are not at war with Islam.
We are not at war with Islam.
We are not at war with Islam.
We are not at war with Islam.
We are not at war with Islam.
We are not at war with Islam.
We are not at war with Islam.
Coming soon, a guest writer to tell you that we are not at war with Islam and that Osama bin Laden is dead and we have the DNA to prove it. Now is they can just get us that birth certificate…
Tags: airport security, enhanced airport security, full body scanners, pat downs, radiation, Transportation Security Administration, travel, TSA
I’m afraid someone might break into my house and murder me so I put three very high quality locks and an expensive, state of the art, alarm system on my bedroom door. My front door is wide open so the bad guys will be lured, like a fly to a spider’s web, to my boudoir where they will be caught up in my high level security system. I know what you’re thinking; that Honjii is one smart cookie.
I love accolades as much as the next person but in all honesty I can’t take credit for my home security system, I copied the model from the TSA whose job it is to protect planeloads of people from being blown to smithereens. For those unfamiliar with how the system works; the airport is a huge building or series of buildings that anyone can enter without so much as a second look. But boy I have to tell you they have their act together when it comes to getting near one of the gates where planeloads of people wait to go through security; the area that keeps us from being turned into the aforementioned smithereens. Hypothetically speaking, say some evil terrorist came through the main entrance to the airport and wanted to blow up a bunch of people; they would be lured (like the above unsuspecting fly) to the area where the potential blow-upees are gathered like sardines. Said evil terrorist would need only to get into line behind hundreds of shoeless people waiting in lines, carrying items to be inspected while waiting to choose which form of humiliation they will suffer: being seen naked by, or groped by an unskilled low paid TSA worker who, by the luck of which job application struck pay dirt, is fondling your naughty bits instead of spitting on your burger at McDonalds. This system is keeping us safe.
Even as I’m writing this something doesn’t quite seem right, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. I’m going to go eat a muffin and give this some more thought.
The muffin was delicious. I’ve figured it out, it was so obvious that I completely missed the flaw in this system even as I described it above. We shouldn’t be guarding the bedroom door, but the front door.
If some evil terrorist wanted to blow up a planeload of people do you suppose the objective would be to ruin a perfectly good plane or to kill a bunch of people? If the objective is to kill a planeload of people it doesn’t really matter whether the people are on the plane or not, so why not just blow them up before they go through the magic door to safety?
When I had this epiphany, I pondered whether I should share, lest I give anyone any new ideas for ways to commit mayhem. Then I realized something: there are no new ideas. Every original thought you or I have had, or thought we had, was being thought by millions of others – probably sometimes at the very same moment.
I’m wondering why the front door to the airport isn’t the point of security. If they paid as much attention to who enters there as they do to how long you stop your damn car to drop someone off…you literally just get to slow down and your passenger has to grab their luggage and jump out… that might actually make us safer. I don’t understand why we don’t have highly trained security experts checking every person who enters the airport. It’s no guarantee, but it would be a hell of a lot better system than the lame ass one we have in place right now.
And another thing that bugs me. If you, or I, or anyone is caught looking at a naked kid on a computer, you’re going to jail. If the potential hamburger spit applicator looks at your kid naked on a computer while he or she is going through the full body scanner he’s making us all safer in the sky. If a stranger rubs their hands all over your child it’s called molestation, and that’s another crime. If the TSA screener does it, it makes us all safe and secure in the sky.
We can’t seem to get a straight answer as to how much radiation the scanners dose us with, the TSA claims it’s an insignificant amount. I was listening to a discussion with a radiologist that is concerned about the scanners because not all radiation is created equal and a low dose, depending on how and where it is administered could be worse than a high dose. This is the example that was given: The scanner radiation is aimed at your entire body’s largest organ, the skin. It’s a thin protective layer. The radiation also includes your eyes, neck, and head. According to the discussion this radiation, even at a small dose, is worse than a larger dose concentrated on one particular area of the body, such as an x-ray. We have no idea of the long term effects of these scanners, especially on those who travel often.
Just for shits and giggles, if you opt for the body scan, you should strike a very seductive pose. If you’re not sure how to do that just google seductive poses for ideas and you will see hundreds of pictures of Paris Hilton. If you opt for the pat down, during the procedure start out moaning softly, then step up your game a bit by saying YES, YES, THAT’S IT..HARDER, FASTER..NO DON’T STOP and end by faking an orgasm (if the screener is very good at their job you might not have to fake it).
A note on the shirts pictured in this post: No shirts were harmed during the writing of this post. I have purchased one of each and intend to wear them when I fly to see how amused the TSA screeners will be (hopefully my next post will not be from behind bars). Clicking on each shirt will take you to where it was purchased, should you want one for your very own.
Tags: burn a koran day, christian missionaries, Christianity, crusades, inquisition, Islam, jehovas witnesses, koran burning, mormons, Muslim, pastor Terry Jones, Qur'an, Religion, religious conflict in Ireland, Terry Jones, United States
Here we go again. Based on those most vocal among us (the idiot Americans) it would seem the perception of the Islamic faith is based solely on its most radical, violent members who commit heinous acts of terror, and that the goal of Islam is to continue to do so until the entire world is is populated with Muslims. Good christians (using those two words together is starting to feel like an oxymoron) would never engage in this sort of behavior…or would they?
To the christians out there let me ask you this: How would you feel if the non-christian world judged all of you based on the Florida pastor, Terry Jones, who plans to commemorate 9/11 by holding ‘Burn a Koran day’? What’s that you say, we shouldn’t judge a religion based on the actions of one nut job? OK I can’t argue with that, so how about I base my perception of all christians on the Crusades, or the Inquisitions, or the religious conflict in Northern Ireland. And let’s not forget the Salem witch trials. The above included forced conversion to christianity of Muslims and Jews as well as violence, torture, and acts of terrorism committed in the name of christianity. See now we’re not just talking about some lone misguided book burner so I believe we have enough information on which to form an educated opinion of christianity; violent terrorists who will stop at nothing until they convert every person on earth to christianity. Sound familiar?
I recently heard a passage from your bible that suggests you all go out and make everyone a disciple of Christ, or words to that effect. It occurs to me that not one Muslim has ever annoyingly invaded my privacy by knocking on my door to sell their religion to me. I have never walked a city street or attended a public event where I have been handed a religious tract extolling the virtues of Islam. I have never heard of Islāmic missionaries going uninvited and unwanted in order to save indigenous people around the globe by shoving their religion down said natives’ throats. And while saving these poor heathens with the gift of religion the very presence of the missionaries often results in not only the destruction of their culture but the introduction of previously unknown diseases carried by the missionaries leading, in many cases, to death. Christians, however, engage in all of these activities.
I am not defending Islam just as I would not defend any religion as I believe religion is nothing more than outdated superstition and that it is religion, not money, that is the root of all evil. That being said I am tired of all the fear mongering xenophobes spewing hateful, disgusting, vile, and potentially dangerous misinformation to an uninformed, ignorant, gullible group of sheep willing to buy just about anything if they hear it on television, radio, the internet, or in church.
Tags: anchor babies, anchor baby, illegal immigration, Rep. Louis Gohmert
A week or so ago I wrote a post that included video of Rep. Louis Gohmert proudly displaying his high degree of ignorance and/or insanity. One of my spies found this video response to Mr. Gohmert.
Tags: Dr. Laura, ground zero mosque, Islam, Islamic community center, Muslim community center, Park51
Why are people under the impression that the United States constitution is like a menu at the local Burger King whose motto is have it your way; where they can choose from a list of items and make alterations or substitutions so they can have it just the way they like it?
Our special this week is the 14th amendment. It comes with citizenship for anyone born in the United States and a side of protected rights for same. This hasn’t really been a big seller this week. For some reason many people want it off the menu completely while others want so many substitutions and changes that some of the wait staff has been reduced to tears and others have threatened to quit.
If you’re not sure what to order and want a recommendation, go with the 2nd amendment. That has been such a popular choice that we could take all the other amendments off the menu and hardly anyone would care.
Freedom of religion is a favorite of the christian crowd, so much so they want to keep it all for themselves. Another one they are marking their territory over is marriage. They don’t want anyone to have this menu item who isn’t like them, not gay. However, they have no trouble accepting and reaping the benefits of the tax money from those they would deny this choice.
This constitution ala carte mentality has manifested in a number of ways over the last several weeks and months. A big one is the proposed Mosque at ground zero, which isn’t actually a Mosque and isn’t actually at ground zero, but hey, why bother with actual facts. I really wish people could understand that when you deny any group of citizens or legal residents of our country the rights and freedoms you enjoy, you ultimately deny yourself of those rights. Why is this such a difficult concept?
Why bother fighting the christian right. If you can’t beat them join them, so I’m in. With my new found enlightenment I would like to offer a few suggestions. For starters I think all christian churches in Salem, Massachusetts should be razed because to have them stand as a constant reminder to the descendants of those burned as witches by the Puritanical christians is extremely insensitive of us, don’t you think? In fact I think any horrific act of violence or terrorism committed by a member or members (no matter how radical or fringe they may be) of a particular religious group should result in anything in the area of devastation that represents that religion being destroyed. It’s only fair, and as good christians don’t we say do unto others as you would have them do unto you? We do want to be fair, don’t we?
Recently Dr. Laura , conservative, holier than thou, radio talk show host ordered up freedom of speech, hold the consequences. Within days of her use of the N word and other offensive remarks, a video clip shows Dr. Laura explaining she is planning to quit radio because she wants to have her freedom of speech restored after the backlash of her racist tirade, including major sponsors jumping ship. What she fails to understand is that freedom of speech is also freedom to make an idiot of yourself, to express yourself in a way that shows your true colors (no pun intended). The right to freedom of speech, however, does not guarantee that if your speech is offensive there will not be repercussions.
Welcome to the U.S.A. may I take your order?