9/11 and History
by James Hufferd, Ph.D.
Coordinator, 911 Truth Grassroots Organiazaion
We all live within a continuing narrative of events large and small that is more-or-less fixed inside our heads, spun into ordered and complex layers and infused with familiar meaning by succeeding decades of accretion and experience. Our internalized mental narrative representations of the world are as much a landscape, with features just as prominent and orienting for each of us as the Rocky Mountains, the Mississippi, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, your local thoroughfare, or the drug store or fire or police station on the corner of your street. And the features and shape of your narrative are as fixed in your own constellation as the stars in the sky and as textured and comfortable as the covers on your bed.
It’s four steps and a right to the bathroom door. If it became suddenly five or three, we’d bang into the wall or panic would set in. Altering the nighttime or daytime temperature of your room by five degrees either way can spin into a major issue in search of resolution – either call the repairman or change your wardrobe.
People with stories to tell or points to make comparing the world before 9/11 and after 9/11 very seldom endeavor to tell us what it was about 9/11 that elicited the changes or, even more rarely, what actually happened on 9/11 to account for the dramatic before and after changes in life, mores, attitudes, agendas, expectations, requirements, and events that have followed. Have you noticed? 9/11 has, thus, become our greatest non-event.
Thus, 9/11 intrudes itself in our history as a clear break, but normally without plausible definition. The orchestra conductors of our collective existence have imposed on us a mythical account of happenings that day certainly less compelling, but akin to murky cock-and-bull stories from the Old Testament or Greek mythology – a story absurd on its face, maximally insulting our adult intelligence.
But, contrary to popular belief, few educated people in our culture are fully buying it these days. You don’t believe me? Just think about how nearly all of the plethora of social commentators and decriers of our country’s stupendous dysfunction and failure to provide for and coddle us these days talk and write in detail about things both before and after the life-changing events of 9/11, but conspicuously avoid saying anything at all about the events themselves – what lay behind them, what brought them about, what they consisted in and what produced the effects we observed, who bore responsibility. And the stock excuse for this jaw-dropping omission of the very heart of the matter that flew for most people in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 – that everybody knows anyway – certainly doesn’t apply now. Because, people don’t “know” these things. If, indeed, they ever did, they’re really not so sure now. (I, for one, attribute this suspension of certainty, or greater acuity of judgment, to us. Because, who else has been busy disabusing people of 9/11 fairy tales, albeit subtly and from afar in most cases due to our failure to grow into a numerically-large movement?)
And so, to me, it’s a sign that we’re actually getting someplace, thanks to our persistence, and that even (or especially) people who are asleep eventually do wake up to smell the coffee. The glue that held the old, ridiculous narrative at least loosely in place for a decade is no longer sticking very well, and the country – as we all know – is, as a result of cruel disappointments on many fronts, now coming unglued!
And now, there’s an at least even chance, it seems, that our main, great issue, our chief demand, that 9/11 be really and seriously investigated, as something eminently pertinent to real American justice and our constitutional guarantees, is going to gain inclusion as one of the small number of prominent demands put forward by the far-more-accepted and better-understood Occupy (Wall Street) Movement that has surged into being. And, to my mind, such may well be the most momentous and propitious happening in our existence as a movement to date, increasing whatever chance there is of our referendum and other efforts and maneuvers’ success. Because, no matter what ultimately happens to the Occupy Movement itself, whether it dissolves and breaks up in the chill of winter, succeeds in eliciting meaningful adherence and reform, or is coopted or hijacked or diverted, as our legions of Cassandras expect, its high-water mark of public acceptance will help to legitimate our demand for many and get them to think seriously about the subject of 9/11 perhaps for the first time.
Short of that, we are asking multitudes of people to change their whole way of looking at how our country and the world works, going back to the good guys (us) vs. all the successive bad guys from before World War II forward in order to see that true, menacing evil can lurk and operate from and amid our side, and not always from the conjured lesser-known alien others. And, for most, growing up on pulp fiction and westerns, saccharine founding fathers and chest-thumping speeches and sermons, that’s quite a stretch.