Sept. 11, 2001 -- The Short View

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I got a letter on Sept. 12, 2001, from my friend Bill Anderson who tended to take a cynical view of people and government and the human animal in general.

The following was the response I wrote to him that day:

 

I wish I could take the long view the way you do, Bill: look at the attack, and see it the way it probably is: President Bush seeing this as his way of putting a lock on his second term, Americans showing their true nature by making money on increased gas prices, Hollywood being angry because this will put the next Bruce Willis film on hold for 2 weeks. The long view: we're all self-serving crooks.

I'm not good at the long view. I'm more of a short view guy: One of my wife Linda's cousins saw the first tower go down from her office. Her name is Lisa. She was a wonderfully fat baby. One time her mom, Linda's Aunt Anne, dressed her in a tutu, and Linda's dad Tony laughed and laughed, and still 25 years later the family talks about the tutu and how much we all loved her in her tutu and laughed with joy at her beauty.

Lisa got out okay. She was evacuated, and finally found herself across the river at a phone booth in Hoboken, New Jersey. She called home to Aunt Anne and Uncle Buddy. He’s also a short view guy: He was with Patton's soldiers when they freed the first concentration camps. He still shakes and cries when he remembers the piles of corpses.

My niece is an emergency room nurse at NYU hospital (I think I saw her in the background on an NBC spot about the hospital--but I wasn't sure. She looked old and tired and gray with pain). Her dad, Linda's brother Bruce, was calling her and calling her to make sure she was okay. Finally she got through to him late in the afternoon on Tuesday. He begged her to leave the hospital, said he would drive down from Connecticut and get her. Cried and begged her. He said he was her father and she had to listen to him. (Bruce isn't much of a crier. He's a jokey, tough Brooklyn guy.) But she was his baby and he wanted her away from all of it. And she said she couldn't leave. He cried some more and pleaded, and she hung up on him. She had to get back to work.

And all those people looking for their relatives and friends, holding pictures up to the TV cameras and telling us about how some guy was a great friend, and he was a waiter in a restaurant at the top of the building. And I see this picture of this poor foreign looking schmuck with a big nose and a dopey NY baseball cap that's way too big, who probably came here with a paper suitcase and thought that working up at that restaurant was the greatest thing possible in the world. And the friend hoping to find this guy thinks this guy is alive someplace, maybe in a coma in some hospital.

And I know there's not a chance in hell this guy or any other guy or gal in any of these pictures is alive. They're dead, all dead, but I wouldn't tell this guy holding the picture.

Boy, these are stories that touch me so hard I can't think about the other stuff, the long view.

Comments

Tubularsock Added Sep 11, 2017 - 4:47pm
John, short view/long view is pretty much the same in Tubularsock’s opinion. With thousands of millions of people all over the world holding up pictures asking if you have seen this child or man or woman after another attack and another and another.
 
AND FOR WHAT?
 
Oil, power, land, control ...... AND FOR WHAT?
 
And we all let it happen! ...... AND FOR WHAT?
 
We’re better, stronger, more deserving?
 
If it is someone we know we’re outraged, confused, angry.
 
If it is someone we don’t know they are just unknowns. We may be generally concerned but that’s about it.
 
Or we may even believe they deserved it so as to close off our minds to it in some righteous stupor.
 
But we all continue to do it but we just pay others to do the killing for us.
 
And we go on with our lives until the day comes when we’re holding the picture in search of someone we love.
 
SO WHY DON’T WE STOP SUPPORTING IT?
 
SCARY? Sure, so get your pictures ready. It’s the road we have decided to travel.
 
THAT IS WHAT IS SCARY.
Donna Added Sep 11, 2017 - 4:57pm
Scary is correct!! 
Sad, another word i would use.
Are we not getting smarter?? Haven't we seen enough?
opher goodwin Added Sep 11, 2017 - 7:06pm
Terrorism is terrible. It is tragic to see the victims - all the ones affected. It is so hard to keep it in perspective and know that in the big scheme of things terrorism is a very minor player. Road deaths and war play a much bigger part.
john guzlowski Added Sep 11, 2017 - 8:42pm
We all forget the victims.  I'm not sure why but we do.  When we talk about WWII we talk about the brave heroic soldiers but we forget about the 50 million dead civilians.  Odd.
 
John G Added Sep 11, 2017 - 8:48pm
I thought this was going to be about all those short positions taken on airline shares before 11/9.
Autumn Cote Added Sep 11, 2017 - 9:04pm
Please note, the second best way to draw more attention to your work is to comment on the work of others. I know this to be true because if you do, I'll do everything in my power to draw more attention to your articles.
 
PS - There is a lot I can do and would like to do on your behalf.
john guzlowski Added Sep 11, 2017 - 9:19pm
Autumn, I'm commenting as fast as I can!
 
john guzlowski Added Sep 11, 2017 - 9:23pm
We die in many ways but a lot of times we feel that the deaths are somehow are choice.  I commit suicide or I take opioids or I play football and get a concussion or I drive like a maniac on the road, but terrorism is different, and war is different. 
 
It's like the choice factor is removed and we become the pawns in the hands of an angry force we'll never understand.
 
john guzlowski Added Sep 11, 2017 - 9:24pm
John G--I don't know a think about short positions.  Is that some kind of sex talk?
 
john guzlowski Added Sep 11, 2017 - 9:27pm
Tubularsock,
 
And it's just going to get worse.  More people.  More people more people.
 
Here's a poem of mine  regarding this:


 
Ode to 7 Billion Human Beings
 
MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER MOVE OVER
 
Excuse me, Madam, I think you're standing on my baby.
wsucram15 Added Sep 11, 2017 - 9:52pm
John;
I remember the pictures in my mind from that day..to this day the things that affected me most, bring ears to my eyes.
It was really strange to me to find that many of the things that left a huge imprint on me, especially regarding people, left a similar imprint on the children in NYC, their pictures shown in the media.
 
Later, I went to NJ/NYC for a series of conferences and then long weekend. I was on the subway and talking to someone not paying attention for my stop.  Then I saw the steel outside  the  windows opposite me, where the Trade centers used to be.   This was I guess shortly after they had begun to run service back down to the area.
 
Out of my window, I had a few second look at what was a huge hole and tons of materials still on the ground.  Just a big grave for thousands of people. Now with equipment in there, moving everything to I guess make NYC heal. I was really angry, then I had to remember I wasnt from NYC, I just spent my summers there.  Those werent my decisions to make, and somehow to me, there wasnt going to be a fix for that hole in the ground.  I was really upset because I had specifically not wanted to see what I guess our ignorance and arrogance bought.  I was so disgusted with our government for not acting on what they knew.
 
But I got off  the train and saw those kids pictures on the walls, I dont think I will ever forget that.  The kids who drew pictures of their dads going to work, or people jumping out of the tower, or the plane flying, or the smoke. That is the memory those kids will have to grow up with in this world.
 
I didnt have anyone I knew that died, but many that worked rescue and a longtime friend that worked on Wall Street.  My cousin used to live on the upper West Side but moved home shortly after that.
So all I could do was look at engraved names on a temporary wall, and say a prayer for the families, and their children.
 
john guzlowski Added Sep 11, 2017 - 10:43pm
Wsucram,  thank you for sharing your memories.  I was in NYC a month after 9/11 for a conference.  I remember the strange quiet, everywhere, and the dust.  
 
Everyone was grieving. 
Autumn Cote Added Sep 12, 2017 - 12:26am
I'm not talking about responsiveness to your commenters, I'm talking about the frequency at which you comment on the work of others.  Prior to my comment here, it had been a long time since you had offered someone else a comment.  
wsucram15 Added Sep 12, 2017 - 6:11am
John..two things find some articles and comment them, its important on here.
Second, I have to give you a commendation for that,  I dont think I could have done it.  I dont know why, but I was very angry for all those people and for a long time after.  Ive seen many things in my life that bothered me but, only one other that had an impact on me like 9/11.
 
The only thing I noticed in America where I went, for about a month, maybe a little longer, people seemed to stop arguing.  I had never seen that in my life, it was strange.
That is another observation I remember from 9/11.
 
john guzlowski Added Sep 12, 2017 - 6:21am
Autumn, I responded to Opher's socialized medicine essay on sept 5.  I responded to an essay on Emerson 3 times on the sept 7.  
 
This is the second time you knocked my rate of responding.  I don't like it.  You make me feel like I am your student.  If you don't like my response level just cut me out.
 
 
 
 
Dino Manalis Added Sep 12, 2017 - 9:13am
We will always remember September 11 and the people who were killed and injured horribly!
Dr. Rupert Green Added Sep 12, 2017 - 10:51am
While Americans sat in their living rooms and watch thousand killed in "precision strikes" on hospitals, and rejoice because the mayhem of war is sanitized through video game format, 9/11 made it real for us.
 
Those who found their loved ones thanked God for sparing them. What did those who lost theirs do with respect to God?
 
9/11 will  fade away to the foot note of history as more horrendous events occur in the US (watch the Internet), those who were at ground zero pass, and the money dries up. You can see the interest in America on 9/11/17 was more on the living who were experiencing imminent death in the path of the hurricane.
Bill H. Added Sep 12, 2017 - 10:56am
 
WSU - I also noticed the same thing.
Probably the best and most uniting thing that could happen to the entire human race would be an initial non-contact flyover visit from a large armada of alien spacecraft. This would certainly wakeup the millions of idle minds and unite people like they have never been united before.
I always had the thought that we were placed here by people from another galaxy as a test society on what they saw as a habitable planet. When I refer to "we", I am referring to the initial catalyst of life itself. Some people will refer to this as God, or whatever they may believe.
So be it.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Sep 12, 2017 - 11:11am
Yep on Bill. We had to sit our ass quiet in the trees as dinosaurs rule. I bet roaches are patiently waiting their time that could be soon made possible from a nuclear key happy former fool.
john guzlowski Added Sep 12, 2017 - 11:24am
Bill H, when the aliens come (the ones from outer space) you can bet some countries will cut deals with them and sell out their brother and sister humans.  
Dr. Rupert Green Added Sep 12, 2017 - 12:18pm
@John. lol. Selling out will be the main course.
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:20pm
John - too many people is the cause of most of our problems. Half the world's population and we solve things at a stroke.
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:21pm
Bill - there's more than one Sci-fi novel in there.
opher goodwin Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:23pm
DRG - what happens to other people is nowhere near as poignant as the reality of what happens to your own.
How many 9/11s have happened in Syria?
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:26pm
Tube
 
To the point.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:27pm
Opher
 
There's close to 500'000 people killed in Syria, Iraq and Libya. But those people don't count as much as Americans. As don't count Rwandans compared to Jews.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:37pm
BTW2:
 
Have you guys ever heard of what happens in Yemen, where the good friend of the US Saudia Arabia is genociding people ?
 
https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/yemen-situation-report/2017-yemen-crisis-situation-report-august-11
 
It is meanwhile known that the West is the creator of IS, former Al-Qaeda, beginning in Afghanistan in the late 70's (against a supposed threat from the Soviet Union, while people don't notice that Afghanistan is the backyard of Russia, and the Russians haven't forgotten Iran in the Fifties) and resulting in IS (or ISIS, if you will), Boko Haram, As-Shahab and Azawad.....a network that also spans from Mali to Somalia in between.
 
So who's to blame ? The West. Because of its hunger for resources which don't belong to it, it triggered all those problems.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:41pm
BTW: The Saud criminal monarchy was largely responsible for 9/11, in teamwork with US intelligence. None of those terrorists came from Iran, Iraq, Libya or Iran - but from Saudi Arabia mainly. Educated in Germany (the West) and carrying out the attacks in the US (in the West).
 
But let's not talk about 9/11, yawn.
 
But did anybody wonder why Saudi was spared of Trumpie's "immigration ban" ? Now you know. One doesn't ban friends and business partner which almost drown in oil ;-)
john guzlowski Added Sep 12, 2017 - 1:50pm
Stone-Eater, thanks for the link about Yemen.  The world is indeed full of terrible people doing terrible things -- and we are among them.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 2:03pm
John
 
Some will now say it's Iran behind it, but seen history it looks different. It appears to me as a defense strategy of some still somewhat independent states against the hegemonial West.
 
As seen in the countries I noted above - and - Venezuela being next ?
George N Romey Added Sep 12, 2017 - 3:22pm
Somehow our government had its hand in this tragedy or at least ignored evidence. 
john guzlowski Added Sep 12, 2017 - 3:28pm
George, ignored evidence?  Wouldn't be the first time.  FDR knew about the German death camps and ignored them.  Doesn't seem to bother anybody.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 6:16pm
Those death camps helped afterwards to justify the war and prepared Mashall Plan to boost US economy...let them develop first...as later the WMD of Bush for Iraq and Halliburton. Quite clear. It's all so easy: Every lie is accepted for the god of economy and profit. No news.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Sep 12, 2017 - 6:19pm
BTW: What I hate is that people look for reasons of conflict and war which have nothing to do with it: Poverty, pride, nationalism, religion, ideology...it's ONLY about profit and resources. Man, man....
John G Added Sep 12, 2017 - 6:25pm
I doubt that the Sauds knew the full 9/11 plan. They provided some patsies for a drill more likely.
There's no evidence that the 19 alleged 'hijackers' were even on the flights concerned.
 
Saint George Added Sep 12, 2017 - 6:29pm
There's no evidence that the 19 alleged 'hijackers' were even on the flights concerned.
 
There's no evidence that a man named "Karl Marx" actually ever existed.
 
The political left are truly a bunch of jerk-offs.
John G Added Sep 12, 2017 - 6:36pm
Give it a rest will you?
Saint George Added Sep 12, 2017 - 6:39pm
There's no evidence that a man named Saul Alinsky ever existed. You're welcome to prove otherwise, if you can.
Tubularsock Added Sep 12, 2017 - 6:53pm
Saint George, Tubularsock doesn't exist but trust Tubularsock that he can produce an actual photo showing the non-existent Tubularsock having lunch with the non-existent Karl Marx.
 
We had burgers, well done! We had nothing to lose but some change .....
Saint George Added Sep 12, 2017 - 6:59pm
 an actual photo
 
Photos are evidence that something exists or existed in real life? I think not.
 
Burgers might exist, though. They're real. And yummy.
John G Added Sep 13, 2017 - 4:12am
John G--I don't know a think about short positions.  Is that some kind of sex talk?
Hilarious. Yawn.
Saint George Added Sep 13, 2017 - 5:11am
This business of statists trying to signal to others how virtuous and morally concerned they are by calling themselves "radical socialists" — when in reality, they are nothing more than social control freaks, who despise people that pursue their own individual goals and happiness — is quite clearly a species of moral corruption combined with a mental illness.
 
It's been around a long time and is easy to recognize.
John Minehan Added Sep 13, 2017 - 11:41am
You have to love nurses and other health care professionals. They put everything into their work.