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Can the United States move beyond the narcissism of 9/11?

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posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 07:59 PM
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A lot has happened since 9/11. The 'war on terror' went global with the unilateral invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. The US military also conducts clandestine operations in many countries around the world in an effort to squash 'terror' and ensure the safety of it's citizens. If one thing is for sure it is that the US government used the events of 9/11 to their full advantage and have used the events to further an imperial agenda. The events of 9/11 are unique in the sense that the response to them was unprecedented. While people were outraged that such an attack could happen, the majority seemed more concerned that this could happen in America, to Americans. It was this element of narcissism that has pushed this 'war on terror' forward.



In the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks the then national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, called in her senior staff and asked them to think seriously about "how [to] capitalise on these opportunities". The primary opportunity came from a public united in anger, grief and fear which the Bush administration sought to leverage to maximum political effect. "I think September 11 was one of those great earthquakes that clarify and sharpen," Rice told the New Yorker six months afterwards. "Events are in much sharper relief."

Ten years later the US response to the terror attacks have clarified three things: the limits to what its enormous military power can achieve, its relative geopolitical decline and the intensity of its polarised political culture. It proved itself incapable of winning the wars it chose to fight and incapable of paying for them and incapable of coming to any consensus as to why. The combination of domestic repression at home and military aggression abroad kept no one safe, and endangered the lives of many. The execution of Osama bin Laden provoked such joy in part because almost every other American response to 9/11 is regarded as a partial or total failure.

But beyond mourning of the immediate victims' friends and families, there was an element of narcissism to this national grief that would play out in policy and remains evident in the tone of many of today's retrospectives. The problem, for some, was not that such a tragedy had happened but that it could have happened in America and to Americans. The ability to empathise with others who had suffered similar tragedies and the desire to prevent further such suffering proved elusive when set against the need to avenge the attacks. It was as though Americans were unique in their ability to feel pain and the deaths of civilians of other nations were worth less.

It's a narcissism best exemplified by former vice-president Dick Cheney's answer when asked just last week on what grounds he would object to Iran waterboarding Americans when he maintained his support for America's right to use waterboarding. "We have obligations towards our citizens," he said. "And we do everything to protect our citizens."

www.guardian.co.uk...


It seems like 9/11 gave the US a free hand to in regards to foreign policy and allowed many dubious activities to take place in a patriotic response to thwart an allusive enemy that lurked in every dark corner in every semi rogue nation on the planet. It gave the US the confidence to act unilaterally and to aggressively pursue an agenda they had been shaping for many years. Even at home it allowed them to introduce the patriot act, while abroad it permitted questionable operations and inhumane practices such as torture and the detainment of anyone vaguely considered a 'terror suspect' in Guantanamo bay.


True, Obama killed Bin Laden, and his administration plans to draw down troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and has retired the phrase "war on terror". But they have maintained many of the most problematic elements of that war, including Guantánamo Bay, extraordinary rendition and military commissions, while intensifying the war in Afghanistan. Meanwhile on the right, the hubris displayed by Rice that America could simply bend the world to its will and whim has since given way to denial and occasional bouts of impotent rage. Islamaphobia is on the rise, Muslim has become a slur and Iraq, apparently, was a success.

In 2004 a Bush aide (widely believed to be Karl Rove) chided a New York Times journalist for working in the "reality-based community", meaning people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality … That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do".
www.guardian.co.uk...


A very meaningful article. These are definitely things we need to think about as we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11. What have we learned?




posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 08:09 PM
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you mention narcissism, then explain the "never let a crises go to waste" idea

are you making a case the US should have simply stood by and done nothing ?

it's a rather confusing thread tbh



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 08:16 PM
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The real question is can 2/3rds of the users on the Narcissistic driven social network called "Facebook" delete their accounts for good to never return again?


If they can... then there is hope for your country... If not.... Enjoy the ride down...
there is still quite a bit of altitude of misery left in this free fall.



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 08:16 PM
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reply to post by syrinx high priest
 


Well I am making some comments in the context of the article. You see there is a big difference between an invasion or heavy military response and 'doing nothing'. The writer is suggesting that it is only the US that could/would have such a response to the events and use them to their advantage to the extent that they do.



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 09:53 PM
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Well technically we won Iraq very early on. *Mission Accomplished Banner Here*, and we juhst "won" Afghanistan after 'allegedly' killing Osama. But yes, the war on 'terror' is and will continue to be an on going campaign. If you ask me, it's all just downright silly at this point.

Who's next on America's hit list of terrorists who must go? By the way, that N word I do strongly dislike. Everyone is a narcissist.



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 10:04 PM
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i do see the consistent 'narcissist' element in the title and OP.

a parallel would be the most popular, decorated sheriff in the whole country who actually go there by framing innocent civilians for crimes/homicides/etc to fatten his track record of service to the people.

same false flagging.



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 10:24 PM
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reply to post by sir_slide
 


only the US ? really ? no other country is capable of bombing the taliban ? the guys who drive around in topless jeeps ? those guys ?

c'mon. the militaty response was not a learning moment and shed no light on the US or human nature

the playbook is the same for every nation, and is as old as dirt

push back harder

oldest play in the book



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 10:40 PM
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Originally posted by syrinx high priest
you mention narcissism, then explain the "never let a crises go to waste" idea

are you making a case the US should have simply stood by and done nothing ?

it's a rather confusing thread tbh


Well,

Condoleezza Rice, called in her senior staff and asked them to think seriously about "how [to] capitalize on these opportunities".

"Never let a crisis go to waste", just reworded.

I think that Americans for the most part, still think of themselves as the good guys since WW2, but the rest of the conflicts since then haven't gone too well.

I would say that the national psyche is taking a beating, and America is now divided into two camps.

Those who would wish we just stop fighting and those who wish we could win....but there is no actual nation that would surrender.

During and after WW2, there have been many books, TV shows and movies that showed Americans defying the odds and winning.

Since then, not so much, but I think the spirit lives on. Calling it narcissism is a bit much in my opinion. I just think that Americans imaging someone attacking them on their own soil is...uh...outrageous in their thoughts. Even unthinkable.

I don't agree with it but the need for revenge is strong.




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