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Judgment Day

COPYRIGHT 2004, by


Imagine the mixed emotions as I watched the WTC Twin Towers burning.


After they had collapsed and the Pentagon was on fire, and the fourth plane was still missing, I went into work and said to the Claims Supervisor, Dean Sodos, that I had just witnessed both towers collapse. He looked up, oblivious, "Oh, yes," he said, "I heard about it." I explained that two jets had hit both towers. "Was it an accident?" he asked. I told him that the Pentagon had also been hit by a third plane. "Well they will figure out what happened," was his only comment, and returned his attention to his laptop.


As I look back over all that has happened I wonder, is it just me? I know it is not just me. I've been thinking about the men abandoned on Corregidor, of those left to die all over the globe: the U.S.S. Cole, Al Khobar Towers, the embassy bombings, not just the ones in Africa, but the two in Lebanon, the one in Kuwait also, the  abduction and torture and killing of Bill Buckley in Lebanon.


(Did anyone else hear the Director of the F.B.I. say he held his report so he could give it to President Bush because he did not trust Billy Clinton? (The Director of the F.B.I. could not trust the President of the United States.)) I have been thinking of all those betrayed and abandoned.


I now know that this is why Rome fell, too many betrayals, finally they just no longer cared to rebuild it.



But this week George Bush  wrote to Mr. Hussein:


  “Your country,” the letter runs, “will pay a terrible price if you order unconscionable acts.”

---------George Bush in a letter to Saddam Hussein , Prime Suspect, The Economist, 10-18-2001 (Shortly after the first anthrax attacks.)  (Photo credit The Enconomist)


After 9-11-2001 several evangelical preachers claimed it to be God's judgment on our wickedness. These preachers were roundly criticized. I don't know why.

It is a difficult thing to believe in God. Is it so much more difficult for you to believe in a wrathful or vengeful God? Indeed the vengeful God predates the merciful one which is now so popular, and this suggests that the former wrathful God was dreamed up first precisely because it is easier to imagine. The first Gods were animal, wholly other than man. Their cruelty was not man's cruelty but nature's. Early man trembled in his alienation. The development of God can be seen as stages of mental development and a lessening alienation.

Every child is told the story of Noah. The plot is God's destruction of all mankind is it not? Had you forgotten that part of the story? You tell this to your children but you do not yourselves understand it? Can you imagine a people so wicked that total destruction is a just punishment?


After 9-11 I recognized how complete was my own alienation from this society. Everyone else looked at the terrorists in anger. I accepted them as a given. I focused my attention on those who allowed the air liners to be taken over and flown into the buildings. Ms. Rice, the President's National Security Adviser, was heard to say "No one could have foreseen . . ."


She is wrong. Many foresaw. I recall that, thirty years ago, there were specific recommendations that the cockpit doors should not be opened precisely because of the danger the hijackers would fly the planes into office blocks. And I recall that the Air Line Pilots Association specifically rejected these recommendations because "Our lives are on the line." Yes, and how about the people in the WTC, were their lives not on the line?


And after the event, months later, I was still hearing the entertainment conservatives in the media claiming they would not accept two hour waits to board their air planes. Would not accept it. Would not accept positive means of identification either. What will they do when 3 day quarantines are required of all travelers?


Many terrorists have been interviewed and they all have expressed disgust with the liberty they were given in the West. They regard it as racism. As if they were being treated like children: "Yes, ok, go where you like, do what you like, learn to fly jets, fine, we don't care. . . there is nothing you can do." It was very exasperating for these hard-bitten terrorist to take, the condescension.


If we are to avoid the major catastrophe in the coming bio attacks it will be just blind luck. If 40 million Americans are not killed in the next few weeks it will not be because of our preparations. No quarantine zones have been established. No bio detectors have been installed in our public places. No limitations on travel. Import anything you like. No identification required.


Such a careless, foolish, self-centered society. You were so liberal. So very liberal. Utterly oblivious to the mounting dangers. This is how I understand the evangelical preachers. A society this careless . . .