Saturday, September 11, 2021


For The Record: We should have built them back, on the exact spot, just like it had never happened. Not left a gurgling pit of remembrance, up the street from a mosque. Their precise restoration would have been a far more fitting memorial than would a hole in the ground. The twin holes should have been radioactive craters in Mecca and Medina. With a list of the next 20 locations to be forever expunged published and promulgated worldwide, pour encourager les autres. Ask Carthage how that worked.


Today, I remember and mourn the departed from that horrible day, as the last Americans to live their entire lives, until the last desperate hour or so, in something akin to freedom, never knowing or imagining the nannyist police state our homegrown terrorists in our own government would emplace in the aftermath of actual terrorism. And because many of the victims did what real Americans do: they ran into burning buildings, to help their fellow citizens. They took on serial killers with rolled up magazines and butter knives. They died as a sacrifice to a bloated bureaucracy that had grown stupid, fat, and complacent, and wholly abrogated its mission to preserve liberty, and then turned around and made it ten times worse in the aftermath for the free people, rather than the perpetrators.

And that's it.

The endless wars in service of the military industrialist complex, the serial rapes of the Bill of Rights, the demagoguery by an endless conga line of liars, cheats, and thieves, I give no thought of whatsoever.

It's another anniversary for me. That day, that very morning, twenty years ago today, was the first day I was employed to work in the Emergency Department. I'd been a nurse for six years, but spent most of that as the medic on motion pictures and television shows, but having decided that wasn't why I became a nurse, decided some weeks earlier to return to the hospital, and get into the game, get paid for what I was worth, and make an actual difference, instead of merely doing my best to make sure my services were never needed by watching over the pampered playthings of the studio industry.

I had finished all the b.s. HR classes the previous week, and was driving in to work from 5:30AM PDT that fateful Tuesday morning to begin my first shift in the world's busiest E.R. About halfway to my first day at work, the first plane crashed into the Towers. Bound to the limitations of radio, I assumed it might have been another overcast day, and some wandering pilot had clobbered the skyscraper, much like the lost pilot who had done the same thing to the Empire State Building decades before.

Shortly before arriving at work, the second plane hit.

I needed no one in officialdom to confirm for me that we were, at that point, being hit. Two collisions isn't a coincidence.

My fellow Southern Californians, many sitting at home and watching what transpired on a bright, crystal clear morning in the Big Apple on their televisions, had already reached that same conclusion.

I know this, because I was approaching the nexus of three of the busiest freeways in Los Angeles, at a quarter to 7AM local time on a weekday. And I was absolutely alone. It was like being Charlton Heston in The Omega Man: driving on deserted freeways and streets at what should have been the busiest part of the day.

I got to work in time to hear management tell the previous night's shift they were all being held over indefinitely, "because planes may start coming down into downtown Los Angeles any second. We just don't know, and we're Main Trauma receiving for the whole downtown."

And then, shortly afterwards, I watched the Towers collapse, live, on the waiting room TV.

First one. Then the other. Watching what appeared to be tens of thousands of people snuffed out in an instant left an overwhelming dread, and a numbing shock. It made for a pretty memorable first day on the job.

So I've spent most of my professional career with the entire nation at war. I helped train nurses and medics who later deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, again and again, because U.S. big-city trauma centers, at that time, were seeing more gunshot wounds in a month than the Marines saw in the first six months in Afghanistan, so such centers were the keepers of the keys to how to do trauma medicine right. Until endless tar-baby retarded slogfests over there turned into an orgy of maimed and shattered people, from IEDs from here to Hell.

I watched as liberty turned into a police state, rather than common sense precautions. We should have known how wrong and how badly this was going to go, when instead of depriving the terrorists over there of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we did it instead, Japanese Internment Camp levels of wrong, to our own free citizens here. And then doubled down, every single time. Our leaders never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

I watched another generation of vets become the new Vietnam vets, used and abused, for nothing, and discarded both en masse and one by one, in return for giving arms, legs, and souls to a pointless effort, because some jackass thought we could impart democracy to people who can't even read, and then twenty more thought that gender and perversion and whiteness were more important enemies to fight than people willing to fly airplanes into buildings in service of their 6th-century way of thinking.

I even had the chance, as a disaster turned into an endless and pointless meat-grinder, to rejoin the military. They moved the goalposts that far, out of sheer desperation, that guys formerly retirement-age were now inductee age, including me, if I'd wished it. I did the math on that: now single, combat arms, prior-service Marine NCO, trained trauma nurse. And realized I'd probably be shipped to the Baghdad ER after a cursory two-week indoc and OCS, and spend my entire career trying to turn meatsacks blown inside out back into the brave soldiers and Marines they were mere minutes earlier, while dodging incoming rockets and mortars myself. There's a reason I don't work the cancer or burn wards (it's spelled Kobayashi Maru), and the dotMil already had not one, but four bites at the apple for my services from my earliest youth, and managed to not need me for anything more hazardous than killing people off in Cold War "peacetime", with a tedious predictability. I have the multiple DD-214s to prove my readiness to offer my body for this country, but five times was a bridge I could not cross. I stayed where I was. And now, despite all our nationwide efforts, my wars, rather than being distant memories, are the nightmare future of my every waking day, stretching beyond any horizon of things to come that I can see. So don't worry, kids, if you couldn't get to SWAsia. The fallout from the first 9/11 means very soon, the war will be on your doorstep, and it's gonna be an all-skate boogalooapalooza. Guaran-damn-teed.

As one bitterly accurate brilliant wiseass put it this week, we spent two decades, trillions of dollars, and thousands of wasted lives, to replace the Taliban with...the Taliban.

Only government can fuck up something so simple in so colossal a way. It wasn't hubris, or anything so complex. It was purely and simply what happens when the stupidest, most evil, and most power-hungry incompetent and corrupt people in the room have been given the keys to the machines for 40 years, non-stop.

Looking at the America of today, twenty years onwards: if you told me terrorists wanted to destroy the biggest corporations we have, along with the Pentagon, the Capitol, and the White House, and then they did it, the average bystanding American would look at that act, and vote any such groups a perpetual monetary allotment in the high 10 figures per annum, make them our firmest allies, and send them our undying thanks. Because the kakistocracy who thinks they're running this fornication of the original intent have done a much better job of wiping their asses with the Constitution, and setting it on fire, than terrorists would have if they'd crashed into the National Archives with a 20MT nuclear weapon that detonated on impact.

Don't get me wrong, the terrorists of 9/11/01 are perpetrators of one of the vilest crimes in human history. Not for what they did, which was intrinsically horrific and evil enough. But for the avalanche of serial failures of our would-be overlords inflicted on a once-great nation since, from the inside, that have gotten us to where we are now:

So far past Totally Fucked, we can't even see Totally Fucked with a telescope pointed far behind us.

For unleashing that, there is no circle of Hell low enough, nor everlasting enough, nor flames hot enough, to provide suitable recompense for what they unleashed.

And the internal conflict upon which brink we're all teetering - make no mistake, it's going to tip into that abyss - is going to make this country's last Civil War look like a church picnic egg toss.

If you can't mourn that catastrophe, I don't know you, and I don't want to.

May God have mercy on the enemies of this great people. For I shall have none.


Paul M said...

Well said. Thank you for your service. Today we mourn the loss of then...and now, at the hands of the incompetent and evil.

Old NFO said...

Never forget, never forgive…

Capt Larry Getzfred, Capt Jack Punches (ret), AW1 Joe Pycior. Navy Watch Center, 9/11/01.

Cliffdweller said...

9/11/2001 - was very personal.

The aircraft was a Boeing 757-223, registration number N644AA, nose number 5BP. I flew this aircraft more than ten times (I always stopped my counting on a given a/c at 10). The route was from Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). I flew this route frequently. In fact I was flying that route that September, but it was a day off for me.

The Captain was Charles (Chic) Burlingame. Chic was a Captain in the Navy Reserve. He graduated from the Naval Academy and went on to fly F-4s for the Navy before joining American Airlines. Chic probably fought and died in his cockpit seat.

Co-pilot David Charlebois held an aeronautical sciences degree from Embry-Riddle and piloted corporate jets before flying for US Airways and later, American Airlines.

I flew with both of these excellent gents many times.

the #1 Flight attendant, Michele Heidenberger, had flown for AA for 25 years, and most likely fought hard to keep the hijackers from entering the plane cockpit.

Husband-and-wife couple Kenneth and Jennifer Lewis, who had met at an AA Christmas party in 1991, normally worked separate flights, but had chosen to work together in order to vacation in Los Angeles afterward.
Renee May, a 15-year veteran flight attendant, had just gotten engaged a month prior.

One could not ask for a better mix of cockpit and cabin crew. I believe this: no way would they surrender that aircraft to hijackers without a fight.

Very early in the morning, after becoming aware the US was under attack, the FAA Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC) made the decision to shut down the entire national airspace. It was a courageous decision given the cost such a system-wide disruption would cause. From 2010 to 2013, I served as a Systems Engineering Manager in Washington, D.C. Some of my clients were at ATCSCC. I met and thanked the senior supervisor who made the call to close the airspace. I told him I knew it was a gutsy call. He is a very understated and competent individual. It puts the lie to the fable that government workers are all incompetent.

I say it is good to remember the date. I try not to dwell on the horror. I think about the people.

Wikipedia article on AA-77:

AC47Spooky said...

"May God have mercy on the enemies of this great people. For I shall have none."

Nor will I. But Pray God will have mercy on us.

Anonymous said...

I expect that you're right about the US tipping into a civil war scenario.
Biden basically pushed the envelope on that to the point that Michael Yon said it started on 9/9/2021.
I'm not sure that he's right, Biden definitely tried to kick things off, and he enraged a lot of people. But I'm not sure he will succeed not yet. But it really doesn't matter, because I fear eventually we will see it.

But what it is going to look like, that I can't envision.
Matt Bracken has it looking like Bosnia times Rwanda times Cambodia, probably with some Spain circa 1937-9 tossed in.
Whatever it looks like it will be horrific, and it's all on the Democrats and their election fraud, justifiable because of mean tweets.
They will be begging for a world where the worst things they have to deal with is mean tweets.

MSG Grumpy said...

Twenty Years ago I was the Active Duty Manager for a Texas Air National Guard Special Operations Weather Flight.
– I had just gotten back to the office from our Ops Group weekly meeting. I heard on the radio that there had been an explosion at the World Trade Center. I remember the last explosion and wondered if it was another Terrorist bombing. I went down to storage and pulled out a small TV from one of the Team kits. I had it set up and tuned in just in time to see the second plane hit live on TV.
I called the Boss at his job and said “We are at war”
He had been watching as well and we started discussing plans for the next two weeks.
I hung up that call and started the Recall Roster…
I notified my unit members to tell their employers to prepare for their absence, and to pack their bags, triple check their gear, and prepare their families.
I then called AFSOC and notified them that all unit members are accounted for and prepared for 72 hour deployment as required.
My first team went out the door in December 2001, our unit had at least one person deployed in support of OEF and OIF from 2001 until I was medically retired in 2010.
While I was in Kabul in 2003 the backstabbing POS that I voted for in 2000 changed the ROE to handcuff the Heroes who won the war, and installed Islam as the government of Afghanistan,
AND started the purge of our military leadership to install the Pro-Islam brigade that runs it today.
I was NOT surprised when bush voted for Hillary or when he voted for biden.
We as a Nation have forgotten 911…
The proof is that we have actual Terrorist sympathizers elected to congress,
We have a Dictator that actually said for the record that he is losing patience with Law Abiding American Citizens,
And we haven’t Tarred and Feathered him and Strung up those who are controlling him.

We as a Nation HAVE FORGOTTEN 911

Just Imagine a World WITHOUT Islam.

Then and only then can we forget 911

The Freeholder said...

I remember telling the people I was with that day that, if we were not very careful, we would do more damage to ourselves than the terrorists could ever do. Obviously, we weren't careful enough. We're going to pay for that.

5stonegames said...

Simply not allowing people from certain regions of the US would have been fully effective without creating more than a billion enemies willing to die to see your culture destroyed.

JustinR said...

Afghanistan should have been turned into a radioactive glass spot on the map that would serve as a permanent reminder of what happens when you decide to go full jihad. Imagine the lives and billions of dollars we would have saved. I once thought democracy could be exported to these countries and it would be beneficial for them. But it's become obvious in the last 20 years that culturally Islam is incompatible with democracy, and the military-industrial complex is not only real, but profited billions from wasted taxpayer funds. Twenty years later and the TSA has caught a number of genuine terrorists close to zero. Meanwhile, we lose more and more of our rights. Twenty years later and I'm sorry to say we are most likely worse off. It hurts to say that, and think about all the brave souls we have lost trying to keep this country safe.

Stealth Spaniel said...

I was one of 2 employees in the Sacramento District to go to work that day. Out of our team of 1000. I lived up in the mountains, above Placerville. It would take me almost an hour to get to Placerville before I got on the freeway to Sac. I kept thinking, I hope we can hold them at the river. My Blessed Redneck Neighbors were locked and loaded at the one lane suspension bridge. My other coworker and I divided 26 offices into a grid, and we rolled to every one. We would search the skies for enemy aircraft before getting in the car for the next haul. It was nerve-racking, frightening, and was the first time I understood the real meaning of what war does. As Americans, we have never recovered because of the traitors in office.
Your story is very powerful, Aesop. Scary times indeed.

Robert Wood said...


You're correct in that the WTC should've been rebuilt as a momentous "up yours" to the terrorists who did this. And they should've named every floor with the name of one of their victims as a permanent shrine to who and what had been lost. This would've been a much better memorial to the people killed, instead of what was actually done.

BigCountryExpat said...

Well said. 10= years of deployments, a shattered family and very little sanity after the fact...

Asscanistan, when I did the -one- tour there.... maaaaan seeing 'bacha bazi' IRL? I -knew- somewhere, somehow, we -lost the whole fucking plot-. The Afghanis are NOT human by any normal standards... somewhere lost to the mists of time, humanity's rejects were cast off to the Hindu Kush to be isolated, and any and all interactions with said-mutants should be left at best, at guided-weapons lengths.

And yet now, our Overlords are importing hunnerds of thousands of them here?
Absolutely Goddamned Brilliant Aye...
Well writen, well done.

Robin Datta said...

Our world was changed.
In due course, by the decay of the proton or the heat death of the universe (whichever comes first) it will be curtains on a grander scale.

Lost_Dog said...

Aesop - mostly agree with you about rebuilding the towers vs. what they did with the site. One small modification I would suggest is that the new towers would be 10 stories taller than the originals.

Anonymous said...

Spot on about rebuilding them exactly and even more that we shoulda nuked Mecca and medina on 9/12/01.
Boat Guy

SWVAguy said...

We are nearing, not A reckoning, but THE RECKONING.

LSWCHP said...

I was far from home, working on the installation of some defensive technology at a major US military installation. We were having breakfast and heard about the first tower. Then we watched the second tower get hit as it happened.

We went to work, got stood down for a few days and then the head shed realised that our gear might be real useful, so they wanted the job done Real Soon.

It was damn unsettling working in a place fullnof heavily armed and angry men and anticipating imminent attack from any direction. Being a foreigner didn't help much either, and we were held up at gun point one time.

I'm never forgetting and I'm never forgiving.