A friend of mine just emailed me with an interesting piece by Michael Moore. Despite his obvious political stance and general cynicism I think this information is important to consider. I wonder, what would Nietsche say?
From Michael Moore:
I was supposed to fly today on the 4:30 PM American Airlines flight
from LAX to JFK. But tonight I find myself stuck in L.A. with an
incredible range of emotions over what has happened on the island
where I work and live in New York City.
My wife and I spent the first hours of the day -- after being
awakened by phone calls from our parents at 6:40am PT -- trying to
contact our daughter at school in New York and our friend JoAnn who works
near the World Trade Center.
I called JoAnn at her office. As someone picked up, the first tower
imploded, and the person answering the phone screamed and ran out,
leaving me no clue as to whether or not she or JoAnn would live.
It was a sick, horrible, frightening day.
On December 27, 1985 I found myself caught in the middle of a
terrorist incident at the Vienna airport -- which left 30 people
dead, both there and at the Rome airport. (The machine-gunning of
passengers in each city was timed to occur at the same moment.)
I do not feel like discussing that event tonight because it still
brings up too much despair and confusion as to how and why I got to
live. a fluke, a mistake, a few feet on the tarmac, and I am still
here, there but for the grace of.
Safe. Secure. I'm an American, living in America. I like my
illusions. I walk through a metal detector, I put my carry-ons
through an x-ray machine, and I know all will be well.
Here's a short list of my experiences lately with airport security:
* At the Newark Airport, the plane is late at boarding everyone. The
counter can't find my seat. So I am told to just "go ahead and get
on" -- without a ticket!
* At Detroit Metro Airport, I don't want to put the lunch I just
bought at the deli through the x-ray machine so, as I pass through
the metal detector, I hand the sack to the guard through the space
between the detector and the x-ray machine. I tell him "It's just a
sandwich." He believes me and doesn't bother to check. The sack has
gone through neither security device.
* At LaGuardia in New York, I check a piece of luggage, but decide
to catch a later plane. The first plane leaves without me, but with
my bag -- no one knowing what is in it.
* Back in Detroit, I take my time getting off the commuter plane. By
the time I have come down its stairs, the bus that takes the
passengers to the terminal has left -- without me. I am alone on the
tarmac, free to wander wherever I want. So I do. Eventually, I flag
down a pick-up truck and an airplane mechanic gives me a ride the
rest of the way to the terminal.
* I have brought knives, razors; and once, my traveling companion
brought a hammer and chisel. No one stopped us.
Of course, I have gotten away with all of this because the airlines
consider my safety SO important, they pay rent-a-cops $5.75 an hour
to make sure the bad guys don't get on my plane. That is what my
life is worth -- less than the cost of an oil change.
Too harsh, you say? Well, chew on this: a first-year pilot on
American Eagle (the commuter arm of American Airlines) receives
around $15,000 a year in annual pay.
That's right -- $15,000 for the person who has your life in his
hands. Until recently, Continental Express paid a little over
$13,000 a year. There was one guy, an American Eagle pilot, who had four
kids so he went down to the welfare office and applied for food stamps --
and he was eligible!
Someone on welfare is flying my plane? Is this for real? Yes, it is.
So spare me the talk about all the precautions the airlines and the
FAA is taking. They, like all businesses, are concerned about one
thing -- the bottom line and the profit margin.
Four teams of 3-5 people were all able to penetrate airport security
on the same morning at 3 different airports and pull off this
heinous act? My only response is -- that's all?
Well, the pundits are in full diarrhea mode, gushing on about the
"terrorist threat" and today's scariest dude on planet earth --
Osama bin Laden. Hey, who knows, maybe he did it. But, something
just doesn't add up.
Am I being asked to believe that this guy who sleeps in a tent in a
desert has been training pilots to fly our most modern,
sophisticated jumbo jets with such pinpoint accuracy that they are
able to hit these three targets without anyone wondering why these
planes were so far off path?
Or am I being asked to believe that there were four
religious/political fanatics who JUST HAPPENED to be skilled airline pilots
who JUST HAPPENED to want to kill themselves today?
Maybe you can find one jumbo jet pilot willing to die for the cause
-- but FOUR? Ok, maybe you can -- I don't know.
What I do know is that all day long I have heard everything about
this bin Laden guy except this one fact -- WE created the monster
known as Osama bin Laden!
Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA!
Don't take my word for it -- I saw a piece on MSNBC last year that
laid it all out. When the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, the CIA
trained him and his buddies in how to commits acts of terrorism
against the Soviet forces. It worked! The Soviets turned and ran.
Bin Laden was grateful for what we taught him and thought it might
be fun to use those same techniques against us.
We abhor terrorism -- unless we're the ones doing the terrorizing.
We paid and trained and armed a group of terrorists in Nicaragua in
the 1980s who killed over 30,000 civilians. That was OUR work. You and me.
Thirty thousand murdered civilians and who the hell even
We fund a lot of oppressive regimes that have killed a lot of
innocent people, and we never let the human suffering THAT causes to
interrupt our day one single bit.
We have orphaned so many children, tens of thousands around the
world, with our taxpayer-funded terrorism (in Chile, in Vietnam, in
Gaza, in Salvador) that I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised when
those orphans grow up and are a little whacked in the head from the
horror we have helped cause.
Yet, our recent domestic terrorism bombings have not been conducted
by a guy from the desert but rather by our own citizens: a couple of
ex-military guys who hated the federal government.
From the first minutes of today's events, I never heard that
possibility suggested. Why is that?
Maybe it's because the A-rabs are much better foils. A key
ingredient in getting Americans whipped into a frenzy against a new
enemy is the all-important race card. It's much easier to get us to
hate when the object of our hatred doesn't look like us.
Congressmen and Senators spent the day calling for more money for
the military; one Senator on CNN even said he didn't want to hear
any more talk about more money for education or health care -- we
should have only one priority: our self-defense.
Will we ever get to the point that we realize we will be more secure
when the rest of the world isn't living in poverty so we can have
nice running shoes?
In just 8 months, Bush gets the whole world back to hating us again.
He withdraws from the Kyoto agreement, walks us out of the Durban
conference on racism, insists on restarting the arms race -- you
name it, and Baby Bush has blown it all.
The Senators and Congressmen tonight broke out in a spontaneous
version of "God Bless America." They're not a bad group of singers!
Yes, God, please do bless us.
Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right.
They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at
Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT
VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of
California -- these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!
Why kill them? Why kill anyone? Such insanity.
Let's mourn, let's grieve, and when it's appropriate let's examine
our contribution to the unsafe world we live in.
It doesn't have to be like this.
Despite the information that (as Mr. Moore puts it) "WE created the monster", this is a tragic event, but serves to remind us of Nietsche's famous words and the truth behind them : "He who fights monsters should look to it that he does not become a monster...if you stare long enough into the abyss, the abyss stares back into you." Thats all I have to say about that.This comment was edited on Sep 12, 17:30.
"Laugh while you can Monkey Boy!" - John Lithgow in Buckaroo Bonzai