The shame of it is that Osama bin Laden was counting on America to react in a disastrously foolish way to the 9/11 attacks, and no one in government was clever or cool-headed enough to disappoint him. In fact, the Bush administration thought it was a good idea — good for business, that is — to stoke fear and loathing to the point where most citizens would applaud our entry into two unfunded but enormously expensive wars.
Here’s Chris Hedges on the aftermath of the event that arguably started America’s downward spiral:
Because few cared to examine our activities in the Muslim world, the attacks became certified as incomprehensible by the state and its lap dogs, the press. Those who carried out the attacks were branded as rising out of a culture and religion that was at best primitive and probably evil…
What was played out in the weeks after the attacks was the old, familiar battle between force and human imagination, between the crude instruments of violence and the capacity for empathy and understanding. Human imagination lost… We began to speak and think in the empty, mindless nationalist clichés about terror that the state handed to us. We became what we abhorred. The deaths were used to justify pre-emptive war, invasion, Shock and Awe, prolonged occupation, targeted assassinations, torture, offshore penal colonies, gunning down families at checkpoints, massive aerial bombardments, drone attacks, missile strikes and the killing of dozens and soon hundreds and then thousands and later tens of thousands and finally hundreds of thousands of innocent people.