Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Reaksyon sa Fahrenheit 9/11

The Tragedy behind the Tragedy:
Re-examining 9/11

“You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
-Phineas Taylor Barnum


Chaos, fear and panic – these were the prevalent emotions during the September eleven attack on America. People jumping off the towers, people running to save their lives, people trapped inside the buildings –these were the horrific images this tragedy showed us. But there is more behind this disaster, more saddening facts that we can equate to the death of almost 3,000 lives. In the wake of this incident we see more than just an attack on America’s safety and liberty, we see the Bush Administration at its finest hour of authoritative manipulation and personalism, all in the name of greed.

You can only say that a film is good, if it has successfully challenged your perception. Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 challenges more than that, it even goes on to debunk your firmest beliefs and opinions on how a system works, basically the mechanisms that make America a supposedly great nation. We have been blind long enough. This documentary is an eye opener to anyone who has dismissed 9/11 as a mere terrorist attack, because in truth, it is not just about that. It is not enough that we know the actual assault, death statistics and the reaction of the American people, what we need to learn further is how and why it occurred plus the measures that the government did before and after this happened. This is precisely what this film is all about; Michael Moore’s depiction of the 9/11 blue print shows us each side of the equation backed up with facts and figures. It is true that in the beginning, audiences will not only be shocked but also appalled by the visuals he exhibited, as it is a grotesque reflection of their nation in terms of what people in power do, but at the end of the day, I think that it is quite comforting to know that there is at least one courageous man in the United States who is not afraid to bring forth and expose truth, unmindful of what could be done to him in the process of doing so.

Moore starts by a self commentary asking if everything that had happened was just a dream. During the year 2000 elections, it was Al Gore who was the projected winner. Surveys and polls showed that Gore was actually ahead by more than a thousand votes thrashing the allegation that this was indeed going to be a “close fight” in Florida. Suddenly, the Fox News Network announced that contrary to popular belief, it was George Bush who won and after that every other media network seemed to have followed. How could this have possibly happened? How did George Bush win over Al Gore when Florida was supposedly an “Al Gore county?” The answer is quite simple; Let’s go back to the network who first announced George Bush’s victory—Fox News Network. It just so happened that the person in charge of that telecast was Bush’s first cousin. Ironic isn’t it; that the person who is in-charge of broadcasting the winner of the presidential elections is one of the candidate’s relative. From this, how can we then say that this was a fair fight with no strings attached?

Moving on, to justify the election reports, a hearing with the House of Representatives was made where Al Gore presided. The ruling was that any congressman could present his petition but must have at least 1 signature of a senator for that request to be acted upon. A lot of congressmen complained that voters were disenfranchised at local voting centers. Even Florida’s representative raised the very same issue which implied the possible usage of cheating tactics by the Bush administration therefore making the results in Florida null and void. The problem though was that this complaints cannot be legitimized if not one senator signed, and guess what? – No senator did.

What followed now was a series of unfortunate events for Bush starting from his inauguration. During his induction, people rallied in the streets, shouting and chanting that Bush cheated to win. The citizenry prayed for the Lord’s help especially now that they are under this kind of administration. With all this commotion going on, the traditional walk was cancelled and the president stayed inside his limousine. More to this, 8 months at the beginning of his term, he lost republican control and his ratings dropped. Legislation didn’t get passed and he was labeled a “lame duck” president.

Seeing this collapse in his popularity, the only escape Bush saw was that he take a vacation to get away from all this negative attention he was getting. This would have been just fine if he just took a two weeks off from office but the thing is 42% of his whole term was spent on being on vacation; either being a cowboy in his Texas ranch or yachting along and playing golf at clubs.

Now going into September eleven itself, on this day the President was on his way to an elementary school in Florida for a photo opportunity. After more or less thirty minutes of his stay, one of his security staff whispered on his ear that a plane has crashed into one of the twin towers. As panic grew from his personnel, they awaited the answer of their president but it was to no avail. Instead of flying out of Florida right then and there to control the situation and to meet with his secretary of defense, Bush decided to continue with the photo shoot. Now what kind of president is that? Furthermore when the second plane hit and his chief of staff said that “the nation was under attack” he still continued reading to the students the story of my pet goat and did not even give orders as to what has to be done with this presently on going attacks on America. This is the kind of leader they have, someone who doesn’t even have the guts to face reality as well as handle his responsibilities as head of state and chief executor. How can one trust his fate at the hands of this person? How can a citizen of America or what ever country for that matter, believe that they can be headed and led by this type of man?

Prior to the 9/11 attack, the terrorism research funding by the CIA was cut down. On August 6, 2001 – CIA reported about a possible attack organized by Osama Bin Laden, but again they did not pay attention to it. Had they just stuck to getting more intelligence reports through the CIA and deciphering whether the purported assail was true or not, the Bush administration could have prevented all of this, but then again they didn’t. They let this tragedy slip through their noses only to be awakened on the day of reckoning. With this, America paid a huge price: 3,000 innocent lives for the errors of an incompetent administration.
Now what did they do after 9/11? They stopped all flights out of the country, which is a logical thing to do especially when you don’t want your possible suspects escaping their respective criminal charges. But the problem here was that although commercial flights were sent to a halt, Saudi families especially Bin Laden’s family and friends were given private chartered jet flights out of the USA. To be exact 22 members of Bin Laden’s family and 142 Saudis were allowed by the government to break away from their supposed security measures. I think that the next question here is that why was this done? Why did the Bush administration allowed this massive breach in security happen especially in a huge case like 9/11? –The answer here is again quite simple; “Business as usual.”

If we were to trace back the course of George W. Bush, we can see that clearly even from his humble beginnings the Bin Laden family already had a “say” in his mind frame. On George Bush’s 1972 military record, we will see that he has been dismissed because of his refusal to take a medical exam, although this information is not at all important, a name in that record –James Bath is. This friend of his happens to be the Texas financial manager of the Bin Laden family and more to that when Bush started his oil field businesses, Bath was always there to support him financially. To emphasize this even more, every time that one of Bush’s company suffered from major set backs, the Saudi investors seems to be always cushioning his fall. Politics again played a big role in this since George W. Bush happens to be the president’s son and with that kind of influence, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of this situation and immediately establish close ties with him?

Next in line is the Carlyle Group, a large defense equipment company in which the American government spent a staggering $ 237 Million in buying tanks and other machineries for combat during the first Bush’s administration. The funny thing here though is that the Bush family as well as the Bin Laden’s were both investors in this company and with this the question of prioritization comes about. I mean here is a president who listens to every CIA briefings and yet he is also a board member of a company whose interests runs along that same path. Aren’t we at least worried on how he carries out those duties? Just think that in one year he earns $ 400,000 as the President of the United States and on the oil business about $ 1.4 Billion, who do you think he’ll be more loyal to?

The Saudi investors own a 6-7% of the total economy of America and this is $ 860 Billion to be exact. If one day, they decided to withdraw all this money in shares and stocks, surely wallstreet would be highly affected. Fifteen out of nineteen hi-jackers were Saudi nationals and yet Bush did not go after them, now what do you think does that tell us? Prince Bandar of Saudi who’s supposed to be worried since the attackers came from the country he represents as an ambassador to the US, was not even questioned about the whole issue. Instead, Bush invited him to the White House to smoke cigars to plainly show that they wouldn’t be touched. This was how they applied the red tape to exempt these people from interrogations, this is how the president of the United States of America started on his campaign to instill in his citizens that the one at fault here is the Afghans, even if the evidence points out on the contrary.

On 1997, Unocal executives decided to consider the pipeline project from the Caspian Sea to the United States. This was headed by the governor of Texas, in which Afghanistan’s oil would flow from those pipes to America. From a business standpoint, wouldn’t it be motive enough for the Bush administration to attack Afghanistan since if they do, they wouldn’t have to pay for the oil anymore as well as the expenditures on the project. To add more, 5 months before the attack on the twin towers, Taliban envoys toured the important buildings of the state, and how come after the disaster they were even allowed to get out of the country, without any investigations for their possible part on the attack. With all of these facts surfacing, this conflict seems to have rooted out from just oil transactions and profits. Now we see that this is not about getting even or achieving justice for what was done, this is about a continuing patronage to a war economy as well getting richer by stealing another country’s oil.

From this standpoint, George W. Bush’s move was to put fear into every American’s heart so as to push them to the edge to agree with him on his retribution tactics, no matter how wrong they were and without basis. Everyday the news reported possible attacks on America and constant fear was in the air everywhere. With this kind of atmosphere, he got away with what he wanted and the attack on Afghanistan started with the deployment of 11,000 troops. One thing we can point out here is that if he really wanted to win this war earlier on, he wouldn’t have deployed only 11,000 because that number is actually less than what the police in Manhattan has. More to this, even if the special forces knew where Bin Laden was, for 2 months they didn’t even go there, giving him a lot of time to escape. What was this war really all about? --A chauvinistic display of power that could rival the old colonial days when one country could just go ahead and wage a war with any other country and whoever wins the onslaught takes everything? If so, this is quite disappointing for a country who’s supposed to be the cradle of democracy.


This madness did not stop at the fall of Afghanistan. Bush saw that his “War on Terrorism” was the only way he could gain control of both houses and at the same time practice autocratic control over the government without being questioned. He then went on his next target; Iraq. His reasons for going in to this war was because of the belief that Sadam has been keeping weapons of mass destruction and will possibly use it for either a nuclear/biological war against every other nation but most especially to invade the United States of America. Now where did Bush get this kind of reasoning? To start off, it was them (The U.S) who sold Sadam those weapons during the gulf war (even if they were on the side of Kuwait). Let us not forget that one of the major providers of war armaments and weaponry is the U.S (this is how they actually boost their economy; by venturing into war zones and developing the so called “War economy”). More to this, why destroy Iraq when it was actually North Korea who was openly threatening them because of the admitted nuclear weapons they had?

Sad to say, that all the destruction and death these wars had caused were because of plain greed in a sure way of making money out of the resources of those countries. In truth, this was not about liberating the Afghans from the Taliban government nor saving the citizens of Iraq from a mad dictator, this was for personal interest and gain, nothing more and nothing less than that. Innocent civilians were killed, families separated, buildings burned and lives wasted and this is due to one man’s conceited ambition and to add to this tragedy he tried to bring other nations by forcing them into joining the coalition of the willing.

Coalition of the willing? Or coalition of blind patronage? Let’s see now what happened after they won the war: Did they have concrete plans for Iraq? Do they even know how to run this country from the standpoint and context of the inhabitant’s culture? The answer to this is a big N-O. They said they will build Afghanistan and Iraq, force them to the side of democracy and better yet give these people better lives by installing new leaders in a new government. Sure they can do that, but what they can never repay even if they multiply their efforts by a thousand fold are the lives lost, the moral damages they have given plus the emotional trauma all these citizens have been through.

Albeit there is no new target due to the upcoming elections, I am afraid that if this very same person won the elections again, he will definitely continue with his tactics; destroy and conquer. For a long time the American citizens were duped into believing that their president was only leading them for the good of their nation, as what I have said earlier – they have been kept in the dark for so long. Bush can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but he can’t fool all of the people all of the time, and with this honest and moving documentary that presents reality as what it really is, they can now opt to open their eyes and see the tragedy behind the oval office.

With this, I end my reaction of Fahrenheit 9/11. I hope that the people who have watched this film have been awakened by the harsh truth behind the system that is eating them up. No more should they follow the shadow of a leader who has brought them nothing but suffering and devastation, No more should they believe what the media gives them without critically thinking about it, and finally No more should they vote for a person who is only out for his own interest and benefit. His time is up, and I know that Bush knows it.














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