Remembering 9/11

Every year I write about 9/11 on the anniversary. It's my way of remembering that day.

I like what Michael Roth, President of Wesleyan University, has to say about the value of remembering:

But on this 10th anniversary of 9/11 let us also simply acknowledge the claim that our painful memories still have on us. Let us recognize with piety that we still carry the traces of those traumatic events with us, and that we acknowledge their importance to us without trying to use them.

I'm watching the television coverage of the 9/11 services at the World Trade Memorial as I write this. Seeing the young men and women talking about the parents they lost that day reminds me that a decade is a long time. Like them, our kids were children on 9/11 and they are young adults now. The Gotham Gal wrote this today:

Going on the subway the day after the towers came down because I thought it was important that we didn't let this event change the way we live in our city.  There were tons of cops down there.  Josh went up to one of them and asked if they caught the bad guys yet.  He answered, not yet son but we will, we will.

Josh was five then. He's fifteen now. And the policeman in the subway was right. We did "catch the bad guys." For me, that fact is a bit of necessary closure.

And the beautiful memorial at ground zero is also a bit of necessary closure. The hole in the ground lasted a decade. And now it is filled and will be a memorial forever more.

I'm feeling less pain and a more closure this day. Time heals all wounds it seems. But it should not fade the memories and remembering is one way to make sure it doesn't.


Comments (Archived):

  1. gregorylent

    imagine how often these traumatic feelings have been experienced in bagdhad, kabul, and so many other places … 

    1. Donna Brewington White

      I can’t imagine.  But to some very small degree I can better empathize after 9/11.  The realization was brought closer to home — literally — that in some other places acts of terrorism and/or brutality are a daily reality.  I can’t imagine being a mother in those places. I will also support whatever it takes for America NOT to be a place where that sort of trauma is experienced.And while certainly not on the scale of 9/11, pockets of our country have had a taste of brutality and terrorism. I’m thinking about what American blacks experienced earlier in our nation’s history at the hands of groups like the KKK. Never again on this soil.  Whatever it takes.

      1. Erol

        Gregory was referring to the brutality of war caused by American soldiers, as has been going on for decades abroad. If you don’t want that to happen in American, you should speak against war abroad. Because as many Americans learned on 9/11, war is not a one-way street.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Did American soldiers bring violence and brutality to these regions? Did it not exist there before, unfortunately?Don’t get me wrong. I’m not callous to the atrocities of war.And I hate it when innocent people suffer. Anywhere. Especially children.

  2. William Mougayar

    I’m watching the TV coverage as well, and yesterday’s Pennsylvania memorial was also very touching. As painful as this was on the relatives of those whose lives were lost, that event also hurt a whole lot of people around the world indirectly by erecting barriers of hate and prejudice. The real closure will be when there aren’t people anymore around the world that want to hurt the US or other Western nations. I remember the world I grew up in didn’t have as much global conflict as this one has today. 9/11 was a local event as far as most US people see it, but it was a global event in its meaning and impact. We must deal with the international threats around us because it is not acceptable that groups of terrorists, thugs or other militias keep threatening peace around the world.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Yes, 10 years ago was a very bad day.But what about having several such a day for several months, e.g., the WWII Blitz? And even that’s not the worst case of such tragedy we can list.Most people eventually lose a loved one — grandparents, parents, sibling, spouse, child, but we have to keep going. All of us will have instances of facing death; a large fraction of us will live through some of the instances, but eventually all of us will lose. So, “gather ye rosebuds while ye may” and “go not gentle into that good night”.More specifically, for some hundreds of years Europe had religion, government, and military tied closely together. There was “absolute power” that “corrupted absolutely”; so there were divisions and wars. The rivers of Europe ran red with the blood for hundreds of years.Finally Europe mostly learned its lesson: Separate religion from the military absolutely. Separate religion from government at least quite strongly. Still, as we saw in the Balkans, where several religions meet, there are old hostilities leading to violence and attempts at genocide.The lesson is, all major religions want to run both the state and the military and then use both for tyrannical dictatorship, enforced with violence, and the only solution known is for the populations just to insist, nearly daily, that religion be fully separated from the military and strongly separated from the state.In the US, we just started off with the lesson, instituted freedom of religion, but separated church and state. And, strongly, there is not a chance that religion can send our military into a war. Still occasionally we have to push back against religion trying to get more influence over state.Still, much of the Islamic world still has religion connected to both state and military and in some cases running both. It can be that, really, Islam is the only strong ‘institution’ in the country and basically runs everything as a tyrannical dictatorship. Then, yes, the religion in that state wants to make war.Yes it appears that at times US foreign policy has concluded that in such Islamic countries a constitutional, parliamentary democracy was too much to hope for so has preferred a secular dictatorship to a religious one!As Islamic religious leaders engage in violence, there stand to be some rivers running red until the Islamic countries separate their religion from both their state and military.Sadly, compared with the progress in military technology, Islam is coming late to this separation, and if the separation does not start to go better and if Islam continues to make war, then there stand to be some number of Islamic cities converted into lakes with glass lined, hemispherical bottoms that glow in the dark. To paraphrase, “We don’t like violence. We like business. Blood is a BIG expense”! :-)!Separating religion can be bloody; not separating religion stands to be bloodier.The separation can be accomplished the voluntary, domestic, easier way or the external, imposed, harder way, but it has to happen eventually.Net, sorry Islam: You are welcome to be a religion, but you will not be permitted to use violence, at least not very often against the US. Be peaceful, and we will be friends. Attack us and your whole country can become lakes joined by a parking lot, all glass lined and glowing in the dark with molds and cockroaches as the only life.People in Islamic countries: It is strongly in your interest to separate your religion from both your government and especially your military. Yes, that means that your young women may be wearing short skirts. The upside is that you may be looking for a girlfriend; maybe a downside is that your sister or daughter will wearing such skirts! And your young women may want to go to school, drive cars, have good jobs, and drink beer. Whatever, handle it and don’t go to war over it. War is much worse than short skirts, etc.; trust me on this one.Advice to Islam: Want your women at home having babies? Okay, concentrate on writing software! Software is a crucial part of automation which is now the main path to more economic productivity. So, you can make enough money with software to pay for house, dog, cat, babies, and wife or even wives! Besides, nearly all women just hate writing software so will be more willing to be your wife and have babies! Net, make love, babies, and software and not war!Gee, late last night just found the Microsoft .NET class System.Uri which will check if a string, say, of user input, meets the syntax of a URL (URI) and, if so, parse the string into its various pieces. Nice! Much better than some regular expression of a few thousand gibberish characters! And saw how in Visual Basic .NET to use DNS to check if the domain name part of a URL is actually of a site on the Internet and how to check if a Web page or file of a URL actually exists at a Web site without actually downloading! Progress in checking user input! Once again .NET has the routine code already written, and my challenge is to find the code and documentation and, then, just ‘glue in’ the usage of the .NET code. So, even on 9/11, work can go on! Back to it!

      1. William Mougayar

        I don’t see the relationship between your response and my comment. Was it directed at me or the room? 

        1. sigmaalgebra

          I was responding partly to what Fred wrote but mostly to just what you wrote.E.g., you wrote: “I’m watching the TV coverage as well, and yesterday’s Pennsylvania memorial was also very touching.”and I wrote: “Yes, 10 years ago was a very bad day.”.I wouldn’t be able to do what you did, watch the TV.Your “touching” is much more sympathetic and evocative than my mere agreeing assertion. I was suggesting that, and acquiescing to, reality demands some simplistic, realistic ‘assertions’ and is a bit too severe and ugly for much in evocative sympathy.Then I tried to add some ‘realistic perspective’, as cruel as that is to do, with: “But what about having several such a day for several months, e.g., the WWII Blitz? And even that’s not the worst case of such tragedy we can list.” and also a remark about the unavoidable familiarity we all must have with death.You had: “As painful as this was on the relatives of those whose lives were lost, that event also hurt a whole lot of people around the world indirectly by erecting barriers of hate and prejudice.”The real closure will be when there aren’t people anymore around the world that want to hurt the US or other Western nations.”So you gave us some ‘global perspective’. Responding to that, I tried to explain that history shows that it is a standard part of progress for a society to pass through a period of religion dominating both state and military and causing bloody wars, that Europe was doing this 500 years ago but mostly, except for the Balkans, learned their lesson and got past such history, that the US founders avoided this threat from history, and that now some Islamic countries, 500 years behind history, are repeating it.For your “closure”, I mentioned that it took a lot of blood for Europe to learn the lesson and get past the history. So, we have to guess that maybe some Islamic countries will have a bloody time learning. So, parts of Islam will try to continue such attacks, and history would suggest that it may take rivers of blood to stop the attacks. That may have to be the path to “closure”.I gave Islam some advice for an easy resolution: Learn from history and separate religion from state and especially government. In particular, worrying about short skirts is no reason to go to bloody war.Finally I illustrated that even on a 9/11, even in the face of ugly reality, work should, and really can, go on.

          1. William Mougayar

            Thanks for clarifying, but you had lost me on your Islam rant  which was half the commentary, and was a subject I didn’t mention. It seemed you extrapolated your example a bit too creatively, as I think you may be confusing Islam the religion with the extremism and despotism that exist in parts of the world and that is birthing terrorism and exporting it. Bad governments, failed states and antiquated monarchies in the middle-east are not helping to put order to the anarchy that is breeding international terror, and we know that. The solution starts by dismantling these governments and the state/religion separation will take care of itself as a by-product of that. You sounded arrogant by saying “Advice to Islam”. Could have been Advice to Bad Governments… 

          2. sigmaalgebra

            Interesting difference of opinion; I hope you are correct and I am wrong:I claim that your “bad government” is inevitable given that a religion, in this case Islam, is running both the state and military, and you claim that the role of religion is just from “bad government”.Lacking much more information, we will have to disagree.To be more clear, and as I tried to make clear from several hundred years of European history with all powerful religion although nearly no role for Islam, the problem is not Islam itself. Or, in Afghanistan, the Roman Catholic church as of 500 years ago could have had comparable results.So, my conclusion is that the problem is that some Islamic countries let the religion run everything. Indeed, I claimed that in Afghanistan, Islam is the only strong institution in the area so that, given the nearly universal propensity of a religion to try to run everything, it is inevitable that Islam is running everything among the Pashtuns.So, for the problem of 9/11, my “rant” was against the role of a religion, in this case, Islam, and not just “bad government”. And to get good government, I claimed that have to separate religion from the state and military.My reading is, in a country like Afghanistan, in the competition for power between a good government or, indeed, any secular government and Islam, Islam will win effortlessly.Put a good government in Kabul and leave, and Islam will take over and put the Taliban back in power right away. Put the Taliban in power, and good government will never grow up for another 500 years.In this chicken and egg question, the problem is the role of religion, not the lack of how to have a good government.This difference is relevant: Apparently the US is trying to build good government in Afghanistan. My claim is that this effort is hopeless, that as soon as we leave Islam and the Pashtuns will take over the government and put the Taliban back in power again with another Mullah Omar running the place, hating the US, and, and as a ‘jihad’, trying to attack the US again. That’s just how I see it.

  3. awaldstein

    I’m watching the reading of names of the passed as well Fred. So painfully sad and so immensely powerful.I’m a believer in memorials as bridges to the future and shared connections from local events to global memories.This one is much needed.

    1. leigh

      If you are interested in this – you should read The Texture of Memory – AMAZING book…

      1. awaldstein

        Thanks Leigh, checking this out now. Love the title alone.

  4. awaldstein

    Email from Scott Heiferman on how 9/11 inspired him to create Meetup @

  5. Matt Straz

    I agree, Fred.My son was six months old when we moved to New York following 9/11 after I sold my startup. This is my recollection of that time:

  6. JLM

    We Americans are a good people, the best characteristics of the immigrant polyglot that is our collective DNA.Slow to anger as a Nation.Fearsome and fearless when finally aroused.Unable to hold a grudge.Forgiving when victorious.Now we must be ever vigilant for evil forces want to kill us solely for our goodness and out of envy for our freedom. For being what we are.God bless and Godspeed to our countrymen who protect us and those who have given their full measure in our defense.We are free and strong because of YOU!Thank you.

    1. Raj

      “Slow to anger as a Nation.  Fearsome and fearless when finally aroused.  Unable to hold a grudge.  Forgiving when victorious.”None of this is really true though with the exception perhaps of the second statement.  It’s all part of the American fallacy that we tend to believe as being true.  

      1. JLM

        We rebuilt the countries who were our enemies in WWII when we could have rightfully held them as conquered lands.America is the most remarkable and exceptional nation on earth.I for one am not afraid to note and celebrate its exceptionalism including your right to be a critic, nihilist and naysayer.God has blessed America and may it always be so. God bless you on this day of tragic remembrance.

        1. Guest

          seriously, america conquered those all on its own? There is a reason you didn’t get to hold those lands and it’s because you didn’t do all the work yourselves. Your allies were the ones who didn’t let you keep them.The countries you did conquer on your own, Iraq and Afghanistan, you have kept for yourself as occupied territories. Going on a decade now. 

          1. JLM

            Don’t really get your point, Friend. Of course we had allies — America came to the rescue of Europe. You may recall that the Germans had a bit of initial success against France and England.We were the arsenal of democracy and provided the essential troop strength, leadership and materiel for victory.The Marshall Plan and the rebuilding of Japan which we had nuked into defeat were purely American efforts.Absent American intervention and Europe is likely dreaming in German.God bless America!

          2. markslater

            oh the irony. your typing in English.

          3. JLM

            @ susterOkaaaay, I’m sure I could understand that if you explained it slowly.Don’t quite see the irony at first blush. Sorry

          4. Dave Pinsen

            If we had kept Iraq for ourselves as an occupied territory, we’d be pumping all of its oil for the dirt-cheap extraction costs there (~$5 per barrel) and pocketing the profits. As it happens, though, not only aren’t we doing that, but nearly all the oil field contracts went to non-US companies.Now watch what happens in Libya after the Anglo-French orchestrated fall of Gaddafi. I bet the British and French will have no similar compunction about making sure their oil companies get the Libyan contracts.

          5. JLM

            Yes, we blew it in Iraq and will do the same in Libya.

        2. Raj

          It’s that sort of fanatical nationalism and belief that we could or should hold conquered lands that gets us into trouble in the first place.  Imperialism and missionaries are the scourge of civilization.  They are the reason that wars are started and that Americans die.  Our conflicting actions and policies in the Middle East for the better part of the last century resulted in 9/11.  We and our other Western tag-alongs are to blame for most of the world’s current ills.  That’s fact.  No nauseating nationalism can contradict that.  “America is the most remarkable and exceptional nation on earth.”I throw up in my mouth a little when people say such nonsense.  

          1. JLM

            Raj, friend, what sheer nonsense.You must have a reading disability as everything I have written celebrates the reality that America has not conquered and held any lands — even those arguably which would have benefited from a bit of seasoning in American hands.No American is responsible because a handful of shitheads decided to conduct a terrorist war against America.  And then flew planes into the World Trade Center killing themselves in the process of killing 3,000 Americans.  They are twisted, wrong and pathetic.America has been the bulwark against a myriad of evil forces — Communism perhaps being the most obvious one — that would seek to enslave and kill not just Americans but also their own people.Eastern Europe slept easier last night because of American steadfastness in the face of Communism threats.  For half a century.America continues to be the most successful democracy on Earth and will always continue to be so.I celebrate that nationalism and if it makes you ill, then I wish you a speedy recovery.America is the most remarkable and exceptional nation on earth.  God bless America.

          2. Raj

            And you, friend, must be the type that chants “USA, USA, USA” at Sarah Palin rallies.  I never said that the American people were responsible, but there’s no denying that our government and its actions towards the Muslim world have largely been “twisted, wrong, and pathetic” through the years.  What part of what I said was nonsense?  You think our foreign policy towards the Middle East where we propped up dictators such as the Shah so they could torture their own people is something to celebrate?That’s not an outlier either.  Our irrational and unwavering support for Israel in the face of Palestinian human suffering, our policy towards Mubarak, the Saudis, and a slew of other hypocrisies form the bedrock of why we were attacked.  I celebrate the ability to be critical of ourselves at every turn and learn from our mistakes of the past, but there’s no amount of nationalistic veneer that can be applied to our history to hide the facts.  And btw, I’m not nihilistic.  

          3. JLM

            @raj. No, I have never been to or chanted at a Sarah Palin rally.I have donned our Nation’s uniform and sworn allegiance to the Constitution and gone in harm’s way. I have lived my patriotism at home and abroad — not hectored those who purchase your basic freedoms, Raj!I have told Mothers their sons are dead in the cause of liberty — tougher duty than being a critic. It forces one to reflect on the reality of life.The Middle East, chaotic a world of despotic tribes long before oil was discovered or the US had a vital interest there, needs to look its own intelligence for its own self determination.Stop scapegoating the home grown thug-ocracies who are enslaving their own people. America is not to blame because wealthy despots act like wealthy despots!

          4. JLM

            America was not responsible for either Hitler or Osama bin Laden.Both got what they deserved.Sic semper tyrannis!

          5. sigmaalgebra

            “Imperialism and missionaries are the scourge of civilization.”The missionary part is way out of date and even then exaggerated, especially for the US. Net, US missionaries have had at most meager effects on any significant land area of the world except possibly for Africa where it would be tough to make things worse.For “imperialism”, well, the US has never had an ’empire’ anything like was long the case and like Japan tried to do in the 1930s. Look, the main point of an ’empire’ is economic, that is, buy cheap and sell dear: So, go to some third world country with a lot of natural resources and cheap labor, have them export simple products to the home country at low prices and buy more advanced products from the home country at high prices, and use tariffs, etc., and the home country military to enforce the arrangement.The US has done very little of that, and where we have maybe done some such things, say, at times in parts of Central America, we have gotten back what? Right, a lot of bananas and maybe some sugar? Big deal. But, for the Philippines, it was Japan that wanted their rice at low prices, not the US. Heck, the US can produce rice and wheat, export it at world market prices, and show a profit. Pakistan really likes certain US wheat varieties!Or, why have Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea done so well, because of US “imperialism”? Closer to the opposite: The US welcomed products from all three, at world prices, into the US market. Why? US foreign policy in the hope of getting US national security and avoiding WWIII by having strong democracies around the world.That is, the US helped Japan and Germany rebuild to make them strong democracies so that they would NOT try to attack the US again; the US did NOT try to exploit Japan and Germany as colonies in an imperialistic empire.Yes, the US has the military strength to be an imperialistic empire, but it has a foreign policy to be the opposite of both imperialist and an empire.Or if we really wanted to act like a home country in an empire, then we would be buying oil from Mexico and Venezuela for $5 a barrel instead of letting them sell oil at the world market price.Especially since WWII, and more from 1950 to 1975 or so, the US tried to be an international puppet master pulling strings, but the main reasons were the Cold War and, then, trying to block Communism from trying to take over the world like The Axis had just tried to do.The US puppet master effort was a total loss economically but was somewhat successful as foreign policy: First, the Soviet Union fell apart and quit trying to execute ‘world Communist revolution’.Second, in Europe, NATO ran all the militaries and, thus, with astronomically high irony, solidly kept Europe from attacking Russia again! Right! NATO didn’t so much keep Russia from attacking Western Europe as it kept a lid on Europe’s military and, thus, kept Europe from attacking Russia! Or after Napoleon, WWI, and WWII, Russia might be concerned about Europe, but not with NATO in place! When the Eastern Bloc countries left the Soviet Union, the best thing for Russia was that they joined NATO! Russia certainly shouldn’t have wanted those little unstable places independent!Again, with all those little countries in Europe, NATO kept down the military consequences of the inevitable economic instabilities.So, the US helped keep the peace in Europe AND for Russia. This effort was large and expensive but was nothing like usual “imperialism”.Let’s see: Net present value of the total cost of US efforts in Iraq may be $2 trillion. So, at $100 a barrel, that would be 20 billion barrels. Even for Iraq, that’s a LOT of oil. But the US is not in line for hardly a drop of that oil at anything except world market prices.How did Kuwait pay back the US for saving Kuwait in Gulf War I? Kuwait took out an ad in the paper saying “Thank you” and continued to sell its oil at world prices.Gulf War I also saved Saudi Arabia. US payback? We ask the Saudis to be reliable suppliers and help keep the world oil market stable. Otherwise, nearly all the payback was nearly all the 9/11 attackers being from Saudi Arabia. My understanding is that now anyone in the kingdom thinking about terrorism gets some ‘counseling’ with offers they can’t refuse.Net, your “Imperialism and missionaries are the scourge of civilization.” has nothing significant to do with the US.

          6. kidmercury

            wanted to chime in on this beef here between raj and sigmaalgebra. i’m going to cast my vote for raj as the winner of this beef. rationale:1. sigma’s comments are too long. this is a severe penalty and is the primary reason for his defeat. 2. 9/11 was an inside jobgood beefing, fredlanders. keep it up!

          7. Dale Allyn

            Haha, interesting rationale, Kid (point #1). Welcome back to Fredland. You were conspicuous by your absence.

          8. Aaron J. Ruckman

            Congratulations!  Your views are squarely in the mainstream of the modern Democrat party. 

          9. Raj

            Congratulations!  You have no clue what all my views are thus have no idea the party to which I may be affiliated.

          10. sigmaalgebra

            “And you, friend, must be the type that chants ‘USA, USA, USA’ at Sarah Palin rallies.”Sarah Palin is a DISH, and at her age, with five children, that’s REALLY something! Her smile is beyond belief. And she apparently totally effortlessly avoids the too common high anxiety reactions of many women to important questions. She does better with clothes from a consignment shop than the Republican party and several tens of thousands of dollars could do with Neyman-Marcus! She often has short, frank, perceptive, accurate remarks on reality; for this, she has to be remarkably bright. Due to such remarks and her ‘stability’, she has some potential in political leadership. Generally DC politics is really low level stuff; so, at times Palin can look better.It’s easy to understand people at a Palin rally shouting something, even “USA, USA, USA”! You don’t like the US Olympic teams, either?Maybe you like the shouting in several Islamic countries: “Death to America”?McCain seemed to conclude, if women felt as put down as the Blacks and, thus, were going for outsider Obama, then McCain would select Palin and get back the women. McCain still lost. McCain is a dedicated patriot, but he’s not always the brightest bulb on the tree.”I never said that the American people were responsible, but there’s no denying that our government and its actions towards the Muslim world have largely been ‘twisted, wrong, and pathetic’ through the years. What part of what I said was nonsense? You think our foreign policy towards the Middle East where we propped up dictators such as the Shah so they could torture their own people is something to celebrate?”Working with the Shah, Saddam, and the rest in the Middle East was often dirty business not always well executed. Getting anything good working with the Shah, Saddam, etc. would be tough.The main reason the US did those efforts in the Middle East was just the Cold War, and the main point there was just to stop another effort to take over the world such as the US had just defeated in WWII. Remember WWII? I happened. Tyranny came darned close to taking over the world. WWII was, what, 100 million people killed? Trivial times they weren’t.Those US efforts during the Cold War in the Middle East were not much about the Middle East but about the Soviet Union. E.g., the US wanted bases on the border of the Soviet Union to use at least for missiles, reconnaissance aircraft, and signals intelligence. Sorry ’bout the Cold War. The good news about the Cold War is that the US won. Also good news is that now Russia is better off, too.”Our irrational and unwavering support for Israel in the face of Palestinian human suffering, …”After the Holocaust, the US will support Israel as a homeland for the Jews and will not let Israel be pushed into the sea. Just what about this policy you would change?For the Palestinians, there is a simple remark: “If Israel lays down its arms, then they will be pushed into the sea. If the Palestinians lay down their arms, then there will be peace.”. Basically it’s true.The main problem of the Palestinians is that they let themselves be led by people who want to use Israel as an effort to stir up trouble and to use the Palestinians as pawns in that effort. Anytime the Palestinians want to live in peace side by side with Israel, about all they have to do is quit listening to ‘advice’ from Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and domestic terrorists and decide to live in peace.For Mubarak, are you sure you like the present alternative better? Mubarak kept peace with Israel. If Egypt now attacks Israel again, then Egypt will lose and suffer again. Also Egypt will likely lose the $1-2 billion a year the US pays Egypt to keep the peace.If your claims about US “imperialism” were at all true, then the Shah would not have been pushed out of Iran, Mubarak, Syria and Lebanon would not be pawns of Iran, Mubarak would still be in power in Egypt, and the US would have 25 cent a gallon gasoline.As the US has overwhelmingly demonstrated with astounding determination in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US wants such countries to have constitutional, parliamentary, secular democracies. But, wishing is not getting, and at times the US has to settle for less. So, there was Mubarak; are you sure there was a better alternative?If you don’t like the US, just what country would you like better?

          11. Raj

            Dude, how do you make the leap to me not liking the US?  Because I don’t like how our government behaves?  And because I find mindless nationalism to be distasteful?  Prefer “Death to America?”  That’s nuts to even suggest.  Thinly veiled racism if I didn’t know better.

          12. Mark Essel

            if !Palin then terrorist?Missed some alternate options here Sir Sigma

          13. sigmaalgebra

            “Dude, how do you make the leap to me not liking the US?  Because I don’t like how our government behaves?”Well, let’s see:(1) You objected to people at a Sarah Palin, a DISH, rally shouting “USA, USA, USA”.  But such shouting is harmless and much the same as cheering for, say, a high school football team or the US Olympic Team.  The shouting is not “mindless nationalism”.Patriotism is important and never far from nationalism.  Yes, some nationalism has been “mindless” and dangerous, e.g., from the important Nazi slogan “‘Ein Folk.  Ein Reich.  Ein Führer'”.  More is in the Riefenstahl ‘Triumph des Willens’.  The Nazi rallies in Nuremberg went on for days.  There was plenty of nationalistic, ‘jingoistic’, shouting.  That you confuse a Palin rally with dangerous nationalism is not rational and shows bias against the US.Sarah Palin is an amazing mother of five children from a tiny town in Alaska, but there was an effort to use wildly unfair nonsense to demonize her.  E.g., “I can see Alaska from my house” was from Saturday Night Live and never from Palin yet has been attributed to her.  It’s really easy to like “Miss Congeniality” Palin.  To dislike her, as you indicated, indicates that you fell for the demonetization which is not good for your credibility of rationalism and fairness.(2) You accused the US of “imperialism”, of being a “scourge of civilization.”  That’s a nasty accusation and very unfair:  If we were ‘imperialistic’, then we would have dirt cheap gasoline from oil from Mexico, Venezuela, Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.  In addition we would not have helped Japan and Germany after WWII and since then have welcomed imports from those two and Taiwan and South Korea.  Further, we would not have helped China enter the WTO and welcomed Chinese products into the US.Our foreign policy objective has been to build US and world security via world trade and democracies.  Our objective has been so strong that we helped Chinese trade even though China is not much of a democracy.  China?  Sure:  They have maybe 100 million workers building for export so that if China pursues some ‘military adventures’, then we can slow the trade and leave Beijing with 100 million angry workers.  That’s our approach to “imperialism”.(3) You wrote “Our conflicting actions and policies in the Middle East for the better part of the last century resulted in 9/11.”  So, why did the same terrorist organization also attack Australia, Canada, Spain, England, India, Russia, and Indonesia?  The US is definitely not to blame for 9/11.  You are showing that you are not being rational and are biased against the US.(4) You wrote “You think our foreign policy towards the Middle East where we propped up dictators such as the Shah so they could torture their own people is something to celebrate?”.  We propped up the Shah so that during the Cold War we could have bases near the Soviet Union.  The Shah tortured his own people, and so did many other dictators around the world including Stalin in the Soviet Union.  We didn’t like the Shah’s torture, but we needed the bases.The US appropriately wanted bases around the Soviet Union, and got them, from the Far East, South Asia, the Middle East, Turkey, Italy, central Europe, England, likely some of the Scandinavian countries, Greenland, northern Canada, and Alaska.  We monitored the seas, especially the ‘Greenland, Iceland, England’ gap (look at a map and imagine how a Soviet ship from northern Russia might get to the open ocean).  Net, it was not just the Middle East where we wanted bases.  The Cold War forced the US to get involved in the Middle East; that governments in the Middle East were not nearly as good for their people as those in the other countries where we had bases was definitely not the fault of the US but of the countries in the Middle East.That you interpret our support of the Shah as for torture instead of part of the Cold War shows that you are not being rational and are biased against the US.(4) For the countries where you are accusing the US of being “imperialistic”, it has been common for crowds not to shout for their own country, as you criticized for a US Sarah Palin rally, but “Death to the US”.Here you are not being rational and are showing bias against the US.(5) You interpreted the US 10 years in Iraq and Afghanistan as evidence of long imperialism where the truth is that we have been patient, for 10 long years, trying to build democracies in those two countries where Iraq worked hard to look like a threat to the US and where Afghanistan actually attacked the US.  Here you have our long, astounding patience changed to long, ugly “imperialism”.Here you are not being rational and are showing bias against the US.Want a failure of the US?  Okay:  Apparently by international agreement, when country A occupies country B, it is the responsibility of country A to provide basic functions of a government for country B including ordinary police protection.  Before Gulf War II, some US government officials making financial and/or troop estimates for such an occupation got fired for making estimates others in the US government regarded as too high.  For some months, the US just did not provide such basic functions.  The US was wrong, and one result was many lives lost, US, yes, but many times that Iraqi.  The W statement that Iraq is quite capable of governing itself was superficial, irresponsible, and costly.  While the US was very slow to see this mistake, many thugs, criminals, violent Muslim leaders, terrorists, former Saddam military, and Iran saw the mistake quickly.  Net, on this point, the US blew it.You are not pointing to actual failures of the US and not proceeding rationally but are just criticizing the US wrongly and with bias.So you look angry at the US that shouts “USA, USA, USA” and sympathetic with countries that shout “Death to the US”.That’s enough. 

          14. Raj

            One need not be a vocal rah-rah, armband wearing drone to be patriotic.  Holding ourselves accountable to the values that we declare as self-defining is patriotic to me.I’m not sympathetic to countries that shout “Death to America,” but I understand why they do.Our way of life and our way of government is not the only way.  It’s not the best way and to impose that on other countries is part of the issue.”Sarah Palin is an amazing mother of five children…”Good gravy.  I must end this conversation now. 

        3. markslater

          why do you have to bring GOD in to it? so he blessed america and cursed japan? do you know how absolutely absurd that sounds? 

          1. JLM

            God is in everything.The freakin’ US currency says: In God We Trust — it’s not an alien concept. We do not believe in a state sponsored religion but we believe in God and you get to pick your own religion or none at all.Even the crazy Fools who are trying to kill us invoke Allah.I never said anything about God cursing the Japanese. I personally would have no qualms about cursing the little bastards who started WWII at Pearl Harbor and nearly destroyed civilization in the process.To suggest that the US has not been blessed is silly.

          2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          3. JLM

            @grim.Lucky v blessed?All the oil, coal, minerals, timber, naval stores — luck v blessed?The first pick of the litter on people, adventurers, doers who risked life and limb — blessed v luck?Separated from most of the world by two oceans — lucky v blessed.First to the atom bomb — blessed v lucky?I can live w either explanation and both. Me, I think both.

          4. markslater

            last i checked God pays no mind to race, creed or other. To suggest that the US is more ‘blessed’ than others is absolutely absurd.

          5. Raj

            If you agree that God can’t improve our economy I’ll agree that the government can’t either. I put my faith in the will of American entrepreneurs to get us out of this mess. 

          6. JLM

            @susterWhere is this “more” blessed coming from?The US is blessed — my words. We are.More blessed — sure if the comparison is apt — not what I said but it could be true.Really not the point at all of what I was saying.

          7. markslater

            i’m not suster – that would be the VC in LA.

      2. sigmaalgebra

        “The countries you did conquer on your own, Iraq and Afghanistan, you have kept for yourself as occupied territories. Going on a decade now.”This whole situation is a study in wild extremes: First there are some violent, Muslim wackos who want to talk some lost Muslim idiots into getting a magic carpet ride to Allah from attacking the US. These Muslims are have a super tough time passing International Relations 101 — Don’t Attack the US. Second, there is the US acting like saints from the movie ‘The Mouse that Roared’ spending 10 years and trillions of dollars and sacrificing thousands of US lives and tens of thousands of US casualties trying to build constitutional, parliamentary, secular democracies in countries up to their knees in cultural sewage and 500 years behind history. Third there is the real ability of the US military to level such countries attacking the US for zero US casualties and trivial dollars in a few hours just by pushing a few buttons in a nice air conditioned room anywhere in the US. These extremes will NOT long continue to coexist.Your history is flawed: On Iraq, as part of the second extreme, at the end of Gulf War I we could have taken Baghdad within a few days but deliberately did not. And we did not want to “conquer” or occupy Iraq ‘for ourselves’. If we had wanted to have occupied Iraq ‘for ourselves’, then by now we would have 25 cent a gallon gasoline instead of $4 a gallon. Instead, we wanted OUT of Iraq. And we got OUT. We did not keep Kuwait and, instead, restored the king and had US soldiers cleaning up the messes in his bathrooms with solid gold faucets. The Kuwaiti Ambassador to the US asked how Kuwait might pay back the US and was told “Say ‘Thank you'”, and Kuwait took out a full page ad saying just that. Finally we got fully out of Saudi Arabia. All together we wanted OUT and did not want to “conquer” or occupy ‘for ourselves’.Net, for Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, the US has been their very friendly policeman in a very bad neighborhood. Now Iraq has asked the US not to leave quite so soon.Finally, Saddam was trying to scare people that he had WMDs, rockets to deliver them, and more desire to send the rockets. He scared the US, and we invaded again. He was weaker the second time, and we charged to Baghdad about as fast as M1 tanks can move. In a dark alley, a loud thug who pulls even a harmless, toy, plastic gun in full view of a really powerful police force might get shot.But as you can clearly see from the history, General Franks, who led the invasion, wanted OUT within a few months. Secretary Rumsfeld was willing to accept that Iraq’s freedom might be “messy” and wanted OUT, QUICKLY. W stated, if only wishful thinking, that Iraq was fully capable of governing itself. The first day in Baghdad, we started to set up an Iraqi government of Iraqis and get ready to LEAVE. The US wanted OUT of Iraq. We certainly did not want to ‘take it for ourselves’, not even for the maybe 20 billion barrels of oil.But the US did not really occupy all of Iraq, and, instead of governing itself, Iraq quickly turned into a country of criminals, gangs, religious battles, terrorism, and an ‘insurgency’. So, the US did the ‘surge’ to calm down Iraq again. Now slowly, after 10 years, the US has given Iraq a golden chance at a constitutional, parliamentary, secular democracy. And again the US wants OUT.For the oil contracts, the US has not dominated them, and they have gone to companies from several countries.All Iraq has had to do was calm down, lean back, sign some oil contracts, and live a life of total luxury; instead Iraq has wanted to fight. Dumb.The Iraqis have been their own worst enemies, and the US has been the best friend Iraq, or any country, ever had.And, for the 10 years, as Saddam showed after Gulf War I, it is possible to bring ‘peace’ to a country like Iraq QUICKLY, all within a few weeks. E.g., Saddam put down the Shiite uprising within about six weeks. The US could have done brought ‘peace’, at any time, for all of Iraq, much faster than six weeks if we had been willing to use the best US versions of ‘traditional Iraqi techniques’. Remember: In Gulf War I, the US defeated the world’s fourth largest military in just 100 hours of land battle and, net, with more casualties from recreational sports than from the enemy.Look, take just Fallujah: It was a major source of the insurgency. We tried to clean it out but backed down when the effort got bloody. Later we tried again: We went house to house, at high cost to the US. In the end, Fallujah was essentially leveled. But consider the really easy US alternative: (1) Put a fence around Fallujah. (2) Offer a way out to anyone who wants to leave. (3) Level Fallujah from the air and then bounce the rubble and then bounce the bouncing rubble until cockroaches are the only life left. We could have done it all in from a day to less than an hour. But to be ‘humane’, we did not.E.g., compare with how the US got off the beaches at Normandy: We had the US Eighth Air Force from England ‘carpet bomb’, that is, plow from the air, a path of many square miles through the French countryside, killing dogs, cats, horses, cows, sheep, chickens, rabbits, and no doubt French citizens. Then Patton raced through. We have not forgotten how to do such things, and we are MUCH better at it now than in 1944.Think of Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr and his battle: He had his forces fighting from a mosque. So, we cleaned out his forces and at the same time were careful not to shoot at the mosque. The easy approach would have been just to level the area, forces and mosque, from the air within a few minutes. To be humane, we didn’t.Consider Afghanistan: The Taliban provided space and a base for the attack on the US just 10 years ago today. The Taliban still want to take over Afghanistan and use techniques much more ugly than the US. But there is an easy way to defeat a force like the Taliban, techniques at various times used with great success in wars going way back: When there is violence in a town or village, then level it, and the US can easily level any town or village in Afghanistan within a few minutes. But, to be humane we don’t. We defeated the Taliban government within, what, two weeks? We could have totally eliminated the Taliban as a significant force from Afghanistan and Pakistan within a few weeks, all from the air. To be humane, we did not.There have been outdoor meetings in the Wackozerostan part of Pukistan with hundreds screaming “Death to the US”. Sounds like a declaration of war to me, and we could easily have leveled the meeting but to be humane did not.So, we have not wanted to “conquer” or occupy Afghanistan. Instead we have tried HARD for 10 years to turn Afghanistan into a constitutional, parliamentary democracy. Maybe we are being foolish, but, given that they attacked us, we are the nicest thing ever to happen to Afghanistan back to the Silk Road and before.And we never wanted to “conquer” Iraq. Instead, at great cost to us, we wanted to make Iraq a good and successful country. Maybe we were foolish, but we were saints.For Iraq, when we leave, I don’t know what will happen. Hopefully they will keep their democracy, lean back, sign oil contacts, and live lives of luxury. I fear, however, that the Shiite religious leaders in the SE will split off and move closer with Iran or even merge; the Sunnis will split off and maybe merge with Saudi Arabia; and the Turks will make the Kurds an offer they can’t refuse. During the change, the rivers of Iraq will run red. To defend against Iran, Saudi Arabia may ask the US to position nukes in their country.My view is that we will leave Afghanistan too soon and the Taliban will take over again and mount another attack on the US. Why? Islam is the only significant institution in the area, and the Taliban, as the main political arm of the Pashtuns, have Islam on their side. For whatever reason, and now more than 10 years ago, the Islamic Pashtuns really HATE the US.Then from Diego Garcia, the Arabian Sea, or just from the US, the US will level major parts of Afghanistan from the air. Good riddance. We won’t conquer or occupy it; we will just destroy it. In simple terms, the Islamic Pashtuns will just keep attacking the US as long as they can. Then the US will arrange that they no longer can, and that will mean killing off a major fraction of all the Islamic Pashtuns. The easy way or the hard way, they WILL quit attacking the US. Next time, just one car bomb in the US, and the US may kill two million Pashtuns in less than a day. No more nice guy. They believe they want to make war; they have no idea what war can be. After a second car bomb, it will be tough to find a Pashtun anywhere.Finally the US will give up on trying to build democracies in Islamic countries 500 years behind history and just level the ones that try to attack the US. If they want their magic carpet ride to Allah, then we will provide the means. The easy way or the hard way, they WILL quit attacking the US.None of this is new; all this was envisioned no later than 9/12/2001 with the US policy that we will not differentiate between the terrorists and the countries that harbor them. Hence, each country has to stamp out the terrorists in their own country. Otherwise, if a terrorist attacks the US, then the US may just level the country the terrorists came from. No more nice guy. The next time we won’t take 10 years and sacrifice thousands of US lives and tens of thousands of US casualties and some trillions of dollars; instead, we will be done in less than 10 days at zero casualties or lives and trivial dollars. We can do it all in less than 24 hours from a video console in a nice, air conditioned room anywhere in the US.Just what is it about “Don’t attack the US” that some Muslims have such a tough time understanding? If they don’t learn soon, then they are in line for some especially effective teaching they won’t be able to forget.

        1. JLM

          Excellent analysis. We have been guilty of felonious restraint but then we would be just like them!

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Yes, we would like to have a third option.Curiously, China is trying to make the old Silk Road a modern transportation link from Beijing to Paris and London.  We will see how they handle terrorism!

        2. markslater

          excellent writing. 

        3. raycote

          Your frustration at a world full of political and religious nut case entanglements is both palpable and understandable.BUT STILLDesecration is the better part of valour !

          1. sigmaalgebra


    2. Donna Brewington White

      One of the things I love about AVC is that both you and @kidmercury:disqus are Top 10 commenters.  Something poetic about this.I do believe that those who ardently love this country must also be her most strident critics.  Yet, I must admit that sometimes it feels good to hear someone sing America’s praises — good and loud.  Thank you for your unapologetic patriotism.  We are far from perfect, but still it does not get much better — at least on this planet.

      1. Dale Allyn

        Well said, Donna. 

      2. fredwilson

        we got the kid back today at least for the day

        1. Fernando Gutierrez

          He tries to retire, but then he always comes back. It’s called addiction!

          1. fredwilson

            or friendship

          2. Dale Allyn

            …which allows for difference of opinion or point of view. 😉

  7. JMoyal

    thank you for this post. 

  8. Tim Davis

    Fred,Here’s my perspective all the way from Melbourne, Australia.I was 18 on the day that September 11 happened in 2001. My father works in banking and his phone rang late on the night of September 11 around 10:50pm, He had to get up because his boss stated “Phil, something’s happening in New York. You’ve got to come in for an emergency meeting now”.He ran and got my brother and I up as we had just gone to sleep – “Boys, something shocking has just happened – get up and watch this – it’s important you see this.” At this point, we had absolutely no idea what was going on – all the free-to-air televisions stations in Australia were just broadcasting CNN direct and that never happens so we didn’t really know what was going on.My Mum, Brother and I sat there completely confused, shocked … really unsure what was unfolding to be honest. I starting calling some of my friends to get them up and told them something’s happened in New York but at the moment no one’s got really got any idea what’s going on. It was really an odd feeling in retrospect half a world-away – you feel helpless and quickly learn the power that television provides – our knowledge was as good as that being broadcast through CNN.Dad didn’t have any more information than we did at that early stage and he had to leave so we just sat there hoping, and at first really thinking, that a plane had gone down by mistake. It wasn’t until we saw the second plane hit – we knew the enormity of what we were watching. Mum just started hugging my brother and I – 18 and 20 – and we just sat there, in silence – horror, sadness, shock and complete misunderstanding as to what was unfolding. It just couldn’t be real. CNN didn’t shed any light on what was happening – what, why, who – none of these were answered for us.Then we started hearing that a plane had hit the Pentagon and all sorts of crazy reports were coming through – even the world ‘nuclear’ was mentioned I recall. It was totally surreal for us – there wasn’t social media – so all my friends just started SMS’ing like crazy about what was unfolding. The Radio was actually a better source of information than the television broadcast at that point – seemed to deliver more poignant information than the TV.I guess the real enormity of the situation hit when the South Tower collapsed and the images etched into my mind remain of the TV showing people jumping from the top of the building. My Mum became really upset at this point and we just didn’t know what to do or say. We said it was going to be OK – but we knew that it wasn’t – the world had changed in that split second – with those images we were seeing. When the South Tower went down and then the North – CNN was reporting upwards of 100,000 people could be killed. It was a number that just seemed surreal – it really did – and I don’t think my mum, brother or I really registered that – it just wasn’t possible. That really hit home hard.Dad called when he was in the city and was given a lot more reliable information – that it was a terrorist attack, the severity of it and tried to calm mum down a bit and wanted us to get spare cash out, ensure we had enough food and the like. I vividly remember that Dad’s feeling was there was going to be huge run on funds – that banks would collapse and there could be total mayhem the next morning in Australia which ended up being not far wrong really – there was a real fear here.The image I remember most was the person who took the footage from the ground which showed the plane just disappearing into one of the towers and  …. for a second it just seemed like a movie – it must have been fake for sure – then the world exploded above. That, combined with the poor souls that jumped and the – worst, absolute worst – was the images of the sheer and utter sadness of people screaming for their loved ones and posting images on those ‘Missing’ boards. It was just shocking – and all the way in Australia no-one really knew what to do or how we could help. That was equally as bad.One of our friends was in New York at the time – he was one of those ‘could have been me’ as his family were scheduled to have breakfast in the world trade center that morning. We couldn’t get in touch with him and we all had a real fear that he was there. It wasn’t until about 18 hours later he managed to get an email out telling us he was OK. It affected me very much personally and everyone I’ve grown up with changed a little as a result. As a young adult at the time, our world was going to be completely different as we just finished high school and were going to University. Terrorism was an oft and uncommon word that had just become uncharacteristically part of our lives and everything since has changed the pattern of life we would have lived had those planes never hit. Sometimes it makes you question the saying “things happen for a reason”.I can’t begin to imagine what it would have been like in New York, let alone America. Frankly, it’s the worst atrocity I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime and it shows the utter destruction and disappear that war brings. No one wins in the end – hate solves nothing and brings only tragedy it seems. Perhaps, and I say this laced with sadness, despite everything we do in our lives – family matters most, matters always and at the end – the words uttered by so many people that day – ‘know that I love you’ – are all that counts. That’s all people have to hold onto.Rest in peace.

    1. JLM

      Damn good comment. Thanks.

    2. fredwilson

      i am always amazed at how many people who live far away from NYC were affected. thanks for sharing that.

    3. Mark Essel

      A sobering but well worded recollection. I shared a similar TV experience to many others in the world that day, 60 miles east of the World Trade Center.We all watched helplessly as the indestructible city we grew up with bled.The winds blew east, and days later all you could smell was concrete in the air. Impossible to forget.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        “if !Palin then terrorist?”Of course not.  Not even close.”Missed some alternate options here Sir Sigma”No.  For an ‘option’, I didn’t conclude that Raj was a terrorist, just that he was not being rational about the US and was biased against the US. 

        1. Raj

          I am not a terrorist.

  9. ShanaC

    I don’t feel like I have closure from that period.  I see a lot of last bits of anger.  I don’t like the fact that this is now “Patriots Day” I want to take a plane in peace.  I want to have dinner discussions that don’t sound racist….(not from me)…

    1. kidmercury

      hahhaha patriot day that’s my favorite part. actually the $10 sept 11 fee you pay every time you fly is my favorite part. hahahaha us americans getting suckered on that one big time!

  10. Tom Labus

    It’s just as brutal as it was that beautiful morning.I was out in Tuscon at InfoWeek,   The conference imploded and everyone retreated to brood and figure a way out of there. On Saturday, I got on the first plane out of there.  The pilot stood by the entrance to the plane and looked everyone in the eye.  We delayed in Dallas for 8 hrs finally landing in Newark 2 or 3 Sunday morning.As we were making our approach to Newark, the pilot told us to hold on and he made a dip over lower NYC.  What a sight with the lights and still lots of smoke but you knew guys were down there there starting the rebuilding process because that America.

  11. kidmercury

    happy 9/11, fredlanders! i know many of you are still living in denial of the truth. look at the world around you, though, and you will see the world is on the wrong path — a path towards greater war, greater economic disparity, and greater environmental turmoil. try if you must, but ignorance is futile. only the truth can end the destruction and usher in the widely prophecied golden age.9/11 was an inside job,kid mercury

    1. fredwilson

      I was just saying that I miss you around these parts. Welcome back. I’m not surprised about the topic that brought you back

      1. jer979

        not sure about the “happy 9/11” part on this one.

        1. kidmercury

          for those that realize 3,000 people didn’t just die in vain, but that their deaths served as the catalyst for an awakening, 9/11 is a holy day meant to be celebrated. for those who do not see the opportunity than 9/11 is a day where we keep feeling sorry for ourselves. 

      2. kidmercury

        always gotta come home for the holidays!

        1. raycote

          NEWSTRIKE CAPITAL INC.What you think ?

          1. kidmercury

            i think eventually money will flood into mining shares so almost all of them will rise. tanzanian royalty exploration (TRX on NYSE) is my favorite and the one i’m betting the most on.

    2. JLM

      Welcome back! We have all missed your wit and wisdom.I remember your perfect prediction on the price of gold!Well played.

      1. kidmercury

        thanks! still long gold and silver. i’m really excited about gold mining stocks too, i think some of them could end up being like internet stocks from bubble 1.0.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          Why gold longs ought to consider hedging.

          1. kidmercury

            the only form of hedging i do is trading the gold/silver ratio or exiting into dollars if bearish trendlines form. other than that, just sitting back and enjoying the ride to $5,000 and beyond! (although bearish trendlines probably will form at some point between now and grand finale, so i’ll trade it a bit if so)mining stocks though are where the real bubble will be, probably even bigger than bubble 1.0 assuming we don’t have a complete breakdown in exchanges…..i think i might be able to get rich off those without having to risk too much

    3. Donna Brewington White

      Missed you, Kid.

    4. Jim Peterson

      Only in America can one speak such nonsense and still receive a hearty “welcome back”!

      1. Donna Brewington White

        He’s family, Jim.That “Top 10” next to his name didn’t happen overnight.



      3. kidmercury

        we’re not in america, we’re in fredland. america died 10 years ago today. 

      4. fredwilson

        not many people who hang out here at AVC agree with Kid about 9/11 but his views are strongly held and often voiced. we are a tolerant community and appreciate everyone’s right to speak their mind

  12. jer979

    Thank you for sharing and once again demonstrating the SOCIAL part of social media.I was living in NYC at the time. I had jury duty that day which took me downtown (I lived on the UWS).  The 1/9 train stopped and I had to get out at Varick/Houston St. I ended up walking over to 6th and Bleecker. Ended up watching the Tower fall with others.Like you, I’m a blogger, too (just not as good as you are!) and captured my thoughts there…. It’s one of those things that I feel compelled to share…even if no one reads it.  Here’s my post from that day.

    1. fredwilson

      i think disqus must have eaten the link

  13. Fernando Gutierrez

    I’m not American and in 2001 I only had a bunch of people I knew in NYC. But that day I felt terrible, I was shocked and wanted to go back to the day before.Two and a half years after that we had some massive bombings in Madrid in several trains. In this case it was my city, I knew people around and I had that it-could-have-been-me feling. But the sensations were pretty similar.No matter where it is, when evil happens good people everywhere feel the pain.Heroes, rest in peace.

    1. fredwilson

      how does Madrid remember that event and that day?

      1. Fernando Gutierrez

        Seven years have passed and it’s still a day full of controversy. The events around those bombings divided the country and we haven’t completely recovered. There are a few events and a monument, but nothing really sound to remember those 200 dead people.The bombings happened two days before elections. Nobody can know for sure, but all polls said that the conservative party (already in government, but with a new candidate) was gonna have an easy win. But the socialist party won by a wide margin.A lot of people blamed the conservative government of the attack. They said that it had happened because we had gone to Iraq with the US (majority of population opposed to that). They also accused them of having lied during those two days trying to convince the population that the responsible was a local terrorist group (they had been very tough on them).For the next years both parties, conservative and socialist, have been fighting about the official version. An important newspaper has been finding some inconsistencies in that version. A victims association tried to judge the former President for war crimes in Iraq… It’s been politicized so much that I want to vomit. Recently we talk less about it because of the economic crisis, but it’s still a difficult thing.I can only hope that we will get over it, and will be able to remember it with respect and grief some day in the near future.(edited to introduce some line breaks that were lost when posting)

        1. fredwilson

          this story you just told is very interesting in the context of what Michael Roth wrote and I linked to in the post

          1. Fernando Gutierrez

            Yes, it makes me think that we are all very similar in our reactions to attacks: some blame the attacker, some blame ourselves and some find a conspiracy.

          2. Guest

            And there it is, short and simple and all too true. Nice post.

        2. EduardoF

          I am also from Madrid and was living there when the train bombing happened. Now I live in NY, and have lived in the US for the last 3 years. I find that I feel some sort of special connection to Americans and 9/11.For the most part, I agree with Fernando. However, I think it’s important to mention that many Spaniards, especially voters of the Populist Party, feel that the current socialist government took advantage of the bombing to win the elections, which took place just 3 days after the attack. Many people think that the elections should have been postponed. One of the things that makes me envy Americans and their government is their unwavering unity in the days and months after 9/11. I wished the response in Spain had been similar.

          1. Fernando Gutierrez

            Yes, our attack was smaller, but in the last couple of years I’ve been in the US around 20-25% of my time and also feel that connection. I envy that unity of Americans after the attacks too, but I wonder what would have happened if the attacks had been three days before elections.Our two main parties went crazy during those days.Conservative party, in the government, tried to deny any islamic authorship beyond reasonable because they knew that would be bad for their results.On the other hand, socialist party pushed very hard. They suddenly realized they could win (very unlikely before the attacks) and started criticizing the government when the corpses were still warm.In my opinion, it can’t be denied that the attacks changed the outcome of the elections. But a big part of that change happened because the government managed the crisis quite badly. And the socialists didn’t help and took advantage of the situation. Shame on both.

  14. Erol

    Did you really catch the bad guys? Who are the bad guys? Except, there’s no such thing as “bad guys”.

    1. Dave Pinsen

      KSM was a pretty bad guy. He was caught in Pakistan years ago. And OBL was fairly bad too, and he was killed earlier this year. 

      1. Erol

        Yes. So are the generals and countless others in the government who run the show, waging war for the profit of the rich and powerful.The attacks didn’t happen in a vacuum, it’s a long and complicated history that lead up to the 9/11 attacks. All those who created the situation that allowed 9/11 to happen are partly responsible, and may very well be considered bad in that sense.My intention was to show how simplified and downright childish the concept of “bad guys” are.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          What’s “simplified and childish” is your moral relativism. 

    2. JLM

      Hmmmm, soulless dipshits who behead Americans — bad guys in my book.Perhaps a different book?We have probably killed thousands who are not enumerated because of opsec.The way it should be.To American Special Ops personnel — very well played!  Keep up the great work.  Keep killing shitheads.Thank you.

      1. Erol

        According to that logic, those on the other side of the war (innocents like you) should be allowed to think the same of you, a worthless shithead that the world would be better without.That is saying yes to more war, killing more innocents abroad, meaning more retributions on USA, killing more innocents just like yourself.Well played, Sir.

        1. JLM

          Without denying the sobriquet of, in fact, being a worthless shithead (though I much prefer a “dipshit”), I am just a bit different having never sought to behead any innocent civilians.Small difference, but meaningful nonetheless.No innocent person in this world has anything to fear from me.As to terrorists, yes, kill every one of those MFers who have taken up arms against America and Americans.”All enemies foreign and domestic…”

    3. kidmercury

      bush jr still doing book signings, chilling at facebook, going to world series games…..looks like bad guys still roaming freely in the land of the free

    4. raycote

      Come on now!Its not that black and white!The world is full of genuine bad guys.The problem, the world is so complex and opaque its hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys with out a secret double dog decoder ring.

      1. Erol

        You said it, it’s not that black and white.Simplifying something as complicated as this situation (war over power and resources, actions with reactions, the long history of US warfare in the middle east) into “good guys” (us) versus “bad guys” (them) doesn’t help at all to understand the situation.On the other hand, it’s a very powerful instrument to bring support for a continued war abroad, with all the dollars and resources it brings to the pockets of the rich and powerful, always hungry for more.There are reactions to every action, and the ongoing wars abroad only increases the likelyhood of another 9/11.The attacks were truly gruesome and can’t in any way be defended. But it wasn’t completely out of the blue or unexpected. The harsh reality is that the 9/11 attacks were the price your government had to pay for conducting war in other parts of the world for decades. War isn’t a one-way street.

        1. Erol

          Unfortunately, it’s always the innocent who are killed in war. The politicians and generals responsible always get away.

  15. Carl J. Mistlebauer

    My connections to NYC are almost non existent, outside of the 2000 Westminister Kennel Club show but I remember 9/11….I was overseas and by chance I was actually up watching television when the first news came on and once I realized that it was actually happening I found myself feeling the anquish of watching my own home being destroyed and the utter helplessness….From that day forward, NY became home, and NYer’s became family.I finally paid a visit to the location of the WTC just this July and the closer I got the more I found myself looking up to figure out how close I was.

  16. andyswan

    “This is terrible.””What?  What’s going on?””Turn on the TV.””OK…what channel?””Doesn’t matter.”

    1. Cam MacRae

      Yep. I watched it live from 10,000 miles away. My wife watched it live from 5 miles away. Each as helpless as the other.

  17. William Mougayar

    That’s a great essay by Roth, “Remembering without an agenda”. That seems to be the spirit of the ceremonies & seeing Bush, Clinton, Obama all together putting political differences aside.

    1. fredwilson

      yes, a good day for america

    1. kidmercury

      yes! i’ve grown weary of posting 9/11 links in fredland as there is no antidote for ignorance, but able danger is one of a few bazillion smoking guns that help us awaken to the truth of 9/11. well done for posting!but i suppose on a holy day like today i should follow in your footsteps and give the gift of truth… here is my favorite site on the whole entire world wide web: http://www.patriotsquestion

      1. raycote

        OK !As implausible as your claim seems that material really demands one at least open up a window of doubt.I just wonder how many here dismiss this possibility as so incomprehensibly heinous as to make your link unworthy of even a drive by click?

        1. kidmercury

          most people can never allow themselves to honestly consider 9/11 truth because it would shatter their reality, so they’re not going to click on that link. yet, that is. eventually the truth always wins, and though it seems unlikely to a predominantly pessimistic community like fredland, the victory of the truth is coming sooner rather than later. let’s check back in 16 months. 

  18. Rohan

    Important to remember. That day changed the world forever.. 



      1. Rohan

        Profound as usual from the Grimster.. 🙂

        1. fredwilson

          the grimster! nice

  19. Donna Brewington White

    I still don’t trust myself to say much about this day and what it represents.  I don’t know what I have a right to say.  I am sobered by the vast complexity of 9/11 – the implications and ramifications on both personal and global levels, the range of emotions and reactions.I hope that the ache I feel never goes away completely.  Yesterday, going through security at the airport the day before the anniversary of 9/11, felt like a ritual, of sorts.   Something that I will share and I hope that this doesn’t trivialize the significance of 9/11, is that 10 years ago, NYC felt like a much more distant place than it does today.  The way my life and work and connections have evolved since then, it now feels familiar and close.  The imprint made by 9/11 and the empathy felt for NYC is in some way a part of this.Unlike now, in 2001 I had few friends, acquaintances and business contacts there.  However, I did have several business acquaintances that traveled frequently to NYC from the West Coast.  I remember those tentative emails that I sent out the following week, the relief felt as the responses came.  Minor comfort in the scheme of things.  Everyone seemed to know someone or someone who knew someone who had perished.I noticed something in the business communications exchanged during that time.  Not dramatically, but business became more personal for a while.  There were more personal greetings and wishes for wellbeing in emails, more sincerity in phone conversations, more of a sense of caring.  I know that for me, a wall came down that never went back up.I’ve always had a friendly professionalism so perhaps the change was imperceptible to others, but something changed inside.  It might have been the beginning of a new level of transparency and of greater appreciation that the person on the other end of a business communication is a person.  When I include the phrase “I hope that you are well” in an email— I am not just being polite.

    1. JLM

      Well said and with obvious empathy and concern.  We are all in this together and none of us are getting out alive, so let’s be nice to each other while we can.Well played!

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Been savoring that “well played.” I can go a long way on that. Thanks.

    2. Robert Thuston

      this captures an important change in sentiment that i think is very relevant.  well said too.

  20. Dave Pinsen

    I still have the laminated ID card I got the last time I visited the WTC, in June of 2011. Just posted a pic of it on my blog. I’d been planning to go back to the same office in September, but didn’t get there before the 11th. I think everyone at the company I went to see made it out that day though. If memory serves, they occupied the 33rd & 34th floors (my card says 34 on it, but I think they had the 33rd floor too).

  21. Ivan Vecchiato

    Fred, I live in Italy, quite far to say that I can feel what New York is feeling today, but I’m very much close to all of you. I was already an adult in 2001 and those images are still fresh to me. Since when I came to New York City, a few years ago, when I fell in love with your city, I feel so sensitive to what you lost that day, that I needed to express it in this comment.Happy rebirth, New York City.

  22. Robert Thuston

    Scott Heiferman, cofounder of Meetup, just sent out an awesome email to the Meetup community on how 9/11 spurred the start of the Meet-up network.I think he hits the nail on the head with his email to the community (represents “voice” as well).     To quote Scott:”When the towers fell, I found myself talking to more neighbors in the days after 9/11 than ever before.  People said hello to neighbors in days after 9/11 than ever before. People said hello to neighbors (next-door and across the city) who they’d normally ignore.  People were looking after each other, helping each other, and meeting up with each other.  You know, being neighborly.”  “A lot of people were thinking that maybe 9/11 could bring people together in a lasting way.  So the idea for Meetup was born:  Could we use the internet to get off the internet — and grow local communities?”I think they are succeeding.  Even in Alabama I see meet-ups having a large effect on how individuals are associating with and engaging in the development of “local communities”.Events like 9/11, as awful as they are, force people to change priorities and see the world from a new perspective.  They call it post traumatic growth.  And I think Meet-up is an example of some of the good that has grown from something so tragic.  It’s important to remember such things, and i’m glad to hear from entrepreneurs like Scott who chose to rebuild with a sense of purpose and optimism.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Well said, Robert.

    2. awaldstein

      Was a great email from Scott. I published it on my Tumblr this morning @

    3. fredwilson

      makes me proud to be an investor in meetup and a friend of Scott’s

      1. markslater

        i have to tell you – i found that post a bit cringy. I just don’t think its right to link 9-11 to any type of ‘success’. 3,000 people dying hatched your business idea that you now are attempting to associate with that tragedy?Even if that were the case – the respectful move – to people who lost loved ones – is to uncouple any “material gain” or “business venture” from such a tragedy.

        1. fredwilson

          Scott isn’t really in it for the money

          1. markslater

            well thats good to know. so i am probably lost in a bit of the translation. you clearly feel he is authentic in what he wrote – thats good enough for me.

  23. Dave Pinsen

    For those of you unfamiliar with Regretsy, it calls itself “the fail blog of handcrafts”. Here Regretsy curates a collection of 9/11-related crafts from Etsy: “The mother of all 9/11 posts”. 

    1. Donna Brewington White

      I can’t get my mouth to close.

      1. leigh

        oh wow.  so second that reaction.  

        1. Tereza


    2. fredwilson

      i will go take a look dave. thanks for the link

  24. leigh

    My daughter was 6 and flew by herself over seas so I didn’t let her go near a TV during that entire time period.  Last night she asked me to show her the footage as she had never seen it before (and had not wanted to).   I talked to her about my own experience of watching the event as it happened in the first floor of my building that had the entire staff of AON Canada watching on as their friends and colleagues perished and we all knew that the world would never quite be the same.  Then Cee and I watched the US vs. John Lennon.  Important conversations now years later – how did we get from there to here and what choices are we going to collectively take for our Global future.



    1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

      So well said, “stop being small…”….

  26. LIAD

    Paul Simon playing Sounds of Silence at the memorial today – Hauntingly Beautiful –

    1. fredwilson

      thanks for sending that liad. i missed it but now can watch it.

    2. William Mougayar

      I liked that as well. Was very appropriate choice & well performed.

    3. Dave W Baldwin

      Thanks Liad… Everyone should tweet that.

  27. leeschneider

    Best thing I’ve seen in the recent weeks has been the George W. Bush 9/11 interview on National Geographic (http://channel.nationalgeog….  Really impressive hour of television.  I was 20, in college at George Washington living in an apartment a couple miles from the Pentagon.  From our balcony we could see the Pentagon and the black smoke.  Really surreal.  A few days later driving by the Pentagon it literally looked like a war zone – armored trucks with machine guns on the roof, troops everywhere.  Just crazy.

  28. Tereza

    9/11 changed everything, it seemed, but it was a really weird inflection point for me personally as well. I was fairly newly married and still doing consulting but was really now looking to leave.  When the planes crashed into the towers there was a distinct feeling of — oh God — and that we were being thrown backwards in time not forward.I was in the 11 Madison building at 24th street on the 26th floor in a biz dev meeting.  We were in a huddle and started to hear secretaries and analysts whoop in exclamation. I thought maybe someone had just proposed or something.  Then one of our young analysts ran in and said — “A plane crashed into one of the Towers”.  We ran out and could see a black gash and smoke coming out.  The gal who’d seen it was trying to recall what she’d seen.  She thought it was a small private plane.  So we’re staring out and then we see the second plane hit.  Holy crap.Then one of the partners was like, “hey, let’s get back to our meeting.”  The economy was shitty and he really wanted to win this work.  We went back in and then my colleague — actually it’s Amy Bevilacqua — she comments on AVC sometimes — said, “We’re having a national crisis here.  I think we need to pay attention to what’s going on.”  God bless you, Amy.The building we were in had a picture-perfect view of downtown, with massive floor-to-ceiling windows for a big chunk of the block.  The reception area was facing straight at the Towers and was flanked by two large television screens.  That’s where everyone gathered, probably 150 of us.  We all were looking ahead through the big windows at the real burning towers. The TVs on our right and left had live shots that ran in a minute or so delay, with commentary.  The windows were like the biggest TV screen you ever saw.  And we were all just staring out it dumbfounded like you do at a TV screen, kind of detached and not understanding, while the buildings billowed black smoke.Some people were freaking out, some were keeping cool.  Then my friend Karen says — Ohmigod, my BROTHER works in one of the towers!!  Holy shit.  She calls her sister-in-law.  “He’s in Chicago today.”  Thank God.  We all started to think of if we know anyone in there.  I had a few friends at AmEx and Deloitte in World Financial Ctr, and was expecting to know b-school classmates in World Trade.  And I was thinking of friends who were married to Wall Streeters, putting together a list in my head of who I needed to call.And then, we watched the buildings fall down.  It was totally, utterly unbelievable.A bunch of people said they were walking down to St. Vincents to donate blood.  I walked up to Midtown to find my husband figuring if more planes were going to be hitting buildings I wanted to be with him.Turned out miraculously I did not know anyone who was in either of the Towers.  At PwC we lost about 6 people in the planes.  It’s a road warrior company so statistically if a plane went down one of our people would be on it.  Really any of us could’ve been on any of those planes.  The Firm did an amazing job of finding out quickly who was flying where and trying to figure out who we lost.  That was really sad.  Turns out my current partner Bob was in the air when the planes hit, too, and made his earlier flight by a hair, otherwise would’ve been on one of the fated flights.Pretty quickly, the stories started coming in.  My friend from AmEx told us how she came up from the subway and there were bodies dropping around her.  One very close family friend knew by sight that Cantor had been decimated;  they were one of his biggest clients.  He could tell by looking at the floors which companies had been hit, he knew them so well.  And my college floormate, I heard, had been at Cantor for 10 years since we graduated, and been laid off the week before.  I be no one ever was so relieved to be laid off.  Within about 2-3 weeks I was on planes myself again.  That was freaky. And I got “randomly checked” on every single flight I took for the next couple of months.  I guess that happens when your name looks funky like mine does.That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Thanks, T.  Was missing your voice in all this.  Not disappointed.

    2. Guest

      “When the planes crashed into the towers there was a distinct feeling of — oh God — and that we were being thrown backwards in time not forward.” I had that same feeling way out here, and I live in the middle of the country. I actually went out into my car that afternoon and watched people. The massive lines at the gas pumps, etc. You captured my thoughts and feelings perfectly with that statement I quote above.Thanks for the post @Tereza:disqus

  29. Scott Barnett

    On 9/11/2001 I was fortunate enough to be working from home instead of going into NYC to our office on Canal Street.  I spent the day glued to my TV set and emailing/calling/IM’ing friends and family who worked in or near the WTC to make sure everyone was ok.  It was a powerful day in every sense of the word. I’m not sure the chatter on today’s post is the best way to honor the sacrifice that so many mothers/fathers/husbands/wives/children made on 9/11, I am so glad that we live in a time and place where people can indeed speak their mind and do what they think needs to be done to make this world a better place.For me personally, I searched for ways to “help” during a mostly helpless time – and wound up signing up as a volunteer with our towns First Aid Squad on 9/12/2001.  I have been volunteering ever since – I spent the time to become EMT certified in early 2002, and I have ridden thousands of hours and gone on hudreds of calls in our town helping people in their greatest time of need.  I am sorry in a way that it took such a horrible disaster to get me to finally take the action to volunteer (I had been thinking about doing this for many years before 9/11), but I do think it’s one of the most substantial things I’ve done in my life.I listened to the memorial this morning on my way to Newark Airport to fly to a conference – I found myself more emotional this year than in previous 9/11’s, but never once thought about not flying today.I am sad for the loss of so many people ten years ago who were taken much too early, but I am hopeful for the promise that many of us have made to make a difference every day.  And I celebrate my 10 year anniversary tomorrow as an EMT in New Jersey.

  30. JamesHRH

    I didn’t think of this much today. Went to Silverton Falls, near Castle Mountain, in Banff National Park, for a hike, with my wife, kids and dog. Beautiful day.As is the case with most of mankind’s affairs – cause, effect and accountability depend mostly on your PoV. Here’s mine:- people with a spiritual life have the desire to act in a more God like manner ( existence of God/Gods immaterial ). Its about a measuring of one’s actions.- organized religion, is a social, not a spiritual, construct. Of man and by man.- And, for most of the millennia, every church has organized the fearful, ignorant and typically illiterate ( in all corners of the globe ) through fear, guilt or a nonsensical personal relationship with a God.- organized religion, on a good day, is a break even ‘good done by’ / ‘bad done by’ proposition.- Kid, to suggest that GW Bush had the engagement or intestinal fortitude to pull an inside job is preposterous. If you make it Dick Cheney, Oliver Stone has a development deal waiting for you.- that you spend your time on this topic is a loss to humanity: your reputation here indicates intelligence and fire; you could do something more useful with your time, I am sure.- to do it on 9/11 is just immature.- JLM is completely accurate in each and every statement regarding the amazing entity that is the USofA- I find it goes against JLM’s crisp, humanistic logic and life of courage and honor, to suggest that a God played a role in any of the outcomes ( good and bad ) that run through the narrative of American history.- and as Gust Avodackos says in Charlie Wilson’s War ( roughly ) : ‘I like that America does not fight religious wars, because most of the guys we fight think God is on their side too’.- Secularism is the largest religious group in North America. Many practices of 1776 have been improved on, I think it is time for a change in design of the US currency: ‘United in Liberty’ for ‘In God We Trust’ is my suggestion.- I get that I live, historically speaking, a life of ridiculous luxury and privilege: while my father, uncle and grandfather-in-law all volunteered or saw time in Europe in WWII, I have no prospect of armed conflict for myself or my children, and live in Louis CK’s amazing world where noone is happy. – maybe my view on God changes if that isn’t the case, but I doubt it.- in the course of human history, the unlucky and innocent ( and occasionally the valiant and brave ) fall victim to the tyranny of the broken and weak. 9/11 was such a day.In October 2001, I bought a Tshirt in Fargo ND. Beautiful rendering of Lady Liberty, in a mosaic of rusty tiled images. Underneath it simply said United We Stand.One can only hope that, in the 21st century, more people are literate, considerate and engaged enough to defend the liberty of all, while uniting to stand against any and all forces ( regardless of their type or origin ) who would impose their will on others.

    1. kidmercury

      my behavior is exemplary and i take great pride in being a responsible citizen and human. if you want to diss me, which is most welcome and adds to the fun for all, hopefully you’ll stick around and participate in a full discussion on 9/11 (no worries if you’re scared though). first, let’s see if we agree on the basic facts: let us know if you know how many buildings fell in new york on 9/11. 

      1. JamesHRH

        I have it at 3. And an extended family member had a front row seat to all of it. It didn’t look like a ICBM wrapped in a hologram to him, FWIW.I get that you don’t worry about anyone judging your actions (other than you). That’s your call.I bet Dick Cheney thinks his behaviour is exemplary and I am sure he takes great pride in being a responsible citizen and human.My point is simply that people here are reflecting on this event and considering the meaning, personally and on a larger scale, of a human tragedy.You are not.You are telling them that they are blind to the truth (i.e, stupid). Uncool, IMO.

        1. kidmercury

          yes, let’s go with three. i trust we agree that means WTC 1, WTC 2, and WTC 7 — please clarify if you are referring to some other buildings. okay, now what’s your explanation for building 7, the building that was not hit by a plane? if you dont’ recall, please look at the building 7 collapse videos on youtube to see that that building was not hit by a plane. i generally agree with these guys: for the remainder of your comment, you are half right. i am telling people they are blind to the truth. i am not saying they are stupid, though. in fact, i word i focus on is ignorance, which implies i believe them to be intelligent enough to understand the matter, but CHOOSING to be ignorant of it. 

  31. RU812

    @Raj:twitter I am an active duty U.S. Navy SEAL. It was my friends who blew across the Pak border and shot UBL in the face.  We have been “getting the bad guys” from the day it started and will continue to the day it ends.  The unfortunate part is that there is usually no end in sight for these sort of things.  The who did what to whom comments regarding Islam, The United States, and the West are frankly pedestrian and marked on all sides by gross misrepresentations and revisionist history.  The bottom line is that evil is a function of the human condition and evil people do harm to one another.  Plenty of blame can be shared around the table as all sides have re-allocated the productive capacity of humans toward evil in the name of religion, greed, piety, pride, etc.  About 10 days ago I had a son. I gave him the middle name “Mychal.”  I named him after a person who died in the towers by the name of Emmet Judge, or Father Emmet “Mychal” Judge. Mine wasn’t a celebration of America, but rather an attempt in my own mind to reconcile the sorrow I have seen, and delivered, over the past 10 years following through with promises made to the children of 9/11 and to the country.  Father Judge was a Gay Franciscan Priest who made a life worth living out of ministry to the poor, the disease afflicted, the addicted, and to the Firefighters of the NYC fire department.  I named my son that name because while my die is cast and my life halfway over, our children’s have just begun.None of us stand a chance at healing… or a future worth having… unless we start to use the power of technology and communication to dis-intermediate other evil human beings from leveraging our imagination and energy toward hatred, evil, and the antithesis of what my Jesus, and your Mohamed really wanted for the world.            

    1. fredwilson

      thanks for taking the time to leave that comment and for all that you have done in the service of our country

    2. Raj

      Congrats on the birth of your son!I have great respect for military service men and women and perhaps greater respect for their families and the collective sacrifice.  I have less respect for the politicians and governments that abuse the generosity of these fine folks who make such sacrifices. There’s nothing pedestrian about understanding our past behavior that has resulted in the current conflict.  Our enemies certainly haven’t forgotten. 

    3. Dale Allyn

      Thank you for your service. And congratulations on the birth of your newborn son.

  32. Dave W Baldwin

    I’ve been out of cellular range all weekend, so I’ve been reading through the comments quickly.As a Midwesterner, I felt so removed, yet so close simultaneously.  Went on to write a song that Thursday night to perform that Saturday.An angle no one has mentioned happening that day is this.  There is no way we really know what it was like on the two planes that went into the towers and the third into the Pentagon.Yet, on the fourth plane, thanks to the advent of wireless communication, those passengers were alerted to what was taking place and figured out what was happening up front.  What they did moving forward from that moment shows the resilience of brave souls who have a passionate faith in their fellow man.  What took place begs the question to all of us… do we have what it takes?Unfortunately, some of the commenters would be only concerned whether that plane would have taken out Republicans in the White House or Democrats over on the Hill.

  33. Stefano Bernardi

    @fredwilson:disqus Fred, I’m really curious to understand why such an educated and obviously smarter-than-the-average-person guy like you never had any doubts about the official version presented to the population.The 10 years anniversary should make us have an incredible number of doubts and question after having watched and experienced what happened to our world in this period.I’ve made it a goal recently to change my attitude and challenge everything and I can’t get a single fact of the story to make sense to me.

    1. fredwilson

      do you know kid mercury?if not, you should

      1. Stefano Bernardi

        I don’t, but I read all his comments. I’m not ready to say it was an inside job, since from my research I can’t conclude that. But I’m pretty ready to say that the towers were deliberately blown up, and now the question for me lies in why it was covered up.@kidmercury:disqus if you’re in the Bay Area I’d love to meet 🙂

  34. shaukat hayat khan

    yes i agree that time heals every wound with the passage of time.i have unforgettable memories in my mind and the crying people are still in front of my eyes and as a human being i hate those people which are responsible for this mega event.but the question arises who are the people responsible for that?what category the responsible people belong to?  what were the purposes of the responsible people?why 4000 people were on leave on 9/11?which religion these 4000 people belong to?Muslims,Hindus,Christians,Jews.

  35. kidmercury

    oh boy…..charlie droppin’ a link to PNAC (project for a new american century)! somebody give this guy a kook badge! (still no badges and no virtual currency here in fredland…..sad) well done charlie! *claps*oh and don’t forget there’s more than the patriot act…..9/11 was also declared patriot day by the great george bush jr! oh but it gets better still — remember there’s a $10 sept 11 fee you pay when flying! lol  i gotta chuckle everytime i see that one. us americans getting taken to the cleaners big time! perhaps it is justice served, though. ignorance always gets its proper reward. this was a great comment charlie. normally i dont read the long stuff but i started skimming it and then got sucked in for the whole read. :)9/11 was an inside job,kid mercury

  36. JamesHRH

    Striking post Charlie.Thoughtful and heartfelt.Bartender, he’s drinking on me all night.

  37. Donna Brewington White

    Poignant, Charlie.  Thanks for writing this.  Couldn’t have been fun to do so.  Even though I resonate with some (much?) of what you shared, there is a lot here that is challenging.I appreciate having someone I trust challenge my thinking, even if it’s painful. I do love this country. Deeply.  But it is not a blind love.

  38. Dave Pinsen

    What you write about how you felt seeing the fighter planes overhead on the 14th, I remember hearing similar sentiments then from my sister who lived in Manhattan, about how she and all of her friends (all within the Manhattan mainstream politically, but pretty left-leaning from a national perspective) were now “supporting the troops”. My views have changed over the years, and while I don’t buy Kid Mercury’s perspective — or yours entirely about PNAC, Halliburton, etc. (for one, we already had forward operating bases in the Middle East before, in Qatar and Kuwait), I do have a more cynical view than JLM these days.It’s not that I don’t think there economic motivations embedded in our wars, but I think they are a little less obvious than those on the left usually claim, and I think they are more emergent properties than top-down motivations. “War for oil” is too simplistic, and its belied by the reality of nearly all the oil contracts in Iraq going to non-US companies (among other points). I think President Bush, for one, genuinely believed the stuff in his speeches about the transformative potential of democracy in Middle East and Central Asia, just like he genuinely believed domestically that helping poor people buy homes they couldn’t afford otherwise would transform them into middle class homeowners.But what’s not simplistic is that whenever you throw a trillion dollars and hundreds of thousands of people at something, you create a lot of financial and career opportunities, not just for private companies but for NGOs, professionals in the military and diplomatic bureaucracies, independent contractors of those bureaucracies, etc. Set someone to work at an insoluble problem, and pay him generously, and it’s not in his interest to tell you it’s insoluble, or not worth the effort, or that you’re focusing on the wrong problem. It’s in his interest to keep plugging away.One example is the much-lauded counterinsurgency scholars in the U.S. military, such as David Petraeus, or John Nagl. Petraeus was a 2-star division commander in the US Army when the war in Iraq started, and now he’s running the CIA, after retiring as a 4-star general. Nagl retired a Lieutenant Colonel but is now ensconced in a nice gig at a D.C. think tank (Project for a New American Security). Counterinsurgency has been good for their careers, and a lot of our military capabilities have been geared toward it. Most likely, the careers of some combined arms/conventional warfare officers have lagged behind.All the military’s new-found expertise at counterinsurgency will do us little good in conventional warfare. And what both proponents and opponents of our military sometimes forget is that it’s our country’s conventional capabilities — particularly, at sea — that have arguably done the most good since World War II, deterring conflicts between major powers and allowing a focus on trade and development.At the risk of making this a Sigma Algebra-length comment, I’m going to take this a little further down the organizational ladder. The military has, to some extent, replaced manufacturing as the direct and indirect employer of blue collar Republicans (“Reagan Democrats” in Reagan’s day). This forms a larger and more powerful constituency for certain policies than any handful of defense contractors. It also dulls the electoral anger at the offshoring of so many of America’s manufacturing jobs.When so many voters on the right are deriving their livelihoods from the government (via defense spending), and so many on the left are as well (via education and other social spending), there is a smaller political constituency for policies that would strengthen the private sector, which pays for all the rest.

  39. kidmercury

    well, maybe some day we can get a criminal trial to help us get to the bottom of 9/11. you know there has never been a criminal trial, and the 9/11 commission, whose top members said the commission’s mission was compromised, was not even a criminal investigation to begin with? true story. oh well, no big deal i guess. who has time to worry about that when there are wars to manufacture, new government bureaus to create, and new fees to levy upon the american taxpayer! hooray for justice!

  40. JamesHRH

    Come on Kid, everybody who has ever tried to lead any group to do anything know that the biggest issue is to get people to care enough to do a good job.This isn’t an inside job from the get go, its an inside job from the “OH NO’ ( a CYA cover up not a CIA coverup).Every commission gets nowhere and nothing makes sense, ever. Who puts their hand up and says ‘Yeah, I just didn’t care enough to make sure this didn’t happen, ’cause, really, who knew?’What they do is start wrapping their butts in teflon, before the heat burns them up to their eyebrows.And criminal prosecution actually sounds like a good idea, until you think about what it does to the application stack @ US Govt HR ( bad pay, people think poorly of you, and you could go to jail, come on down ’cause Uncle Sam needs you!).Why don’t you try and change the system rather than spin fairy tales and inflame the emotions of people who suffered from this loss?And finally, Dick Cheney seized a golden opportunity (from his PoV) and the US will be digging out from the financial and foreign policy disaster that is the Iraq war, for some time. Charlie is right.Most moderate Americans think Cheney is a whack job, with a delusional sense of Evil in the World, but to suggest he would kill 3000 people to advance his foreign policy objective is dopey.For every question you raise (all answered by a CYA coverup), your conclusion raises 100’s more (where are the planes? how do 100’s of air trafficker controllers get their memories erased?).Get off it. Get on to fixing it. Or go sit at the little kids table.

  41. kidmercury

    lol oh boy. tell me about building 7 and waht caused that to fall. tell me why FBI agents sibel edmonds and colleen rowley say the investigation into 9/11 was thwarted. tell me why US ambassador michael springman said he was told to allow the terrorists into the country. tell me why they found thermate, a chemical used in explosives not naturally found in building construction or planes, on the debris after the collapse. tell me why bin laden is not on the FBI’s most wanted list for 9/11. tell me why FBI chief of investigative publicity rex tomb said there is no hard evidence linking bin laden to 9/11. that’s just scratching the surface, i could go on and on. educate yourself about 9/11, and then let’s talk.

  42. JamesHRH

    @charliecrystle:disqus @kidmercury:disqus  I am a bit like the early stage reformed addict when it comes to low empathy…..and a big believer in time and place, even online.Point taken, though.Kid, whattaya drinkin’?

  43. Donna Brewington White

    I could use one or two… after reading that.  Include me on the tab.

  44. Dave Pinsen

    You responded before I finished my opus. Gave you a like for the beautifully-written, sad testimony that comprised the first part of your initial comment here, even if I don’t endorse all the rest of it.You make a great point about the soft power of American business in this response though.

  45. Donna Brewington White

    Finally, you show up.  I knew you’d have something worthwhile to say. (Besides Regretsy, that is. That was bad.)  Now I can move on.Chuckled about your reference to @sigmaalgebra:disqus — proud of him for “liking” your comment.