The age of 9/11

Pub date September 12, 2006
SectionNews & OpinionSectionOpinion

OPINION We all remember where we were on Sept. 11, 2001. The event rocked the world as the last remaining superpower was attacked in full view of its citizens. The images entered our collective consciousness, and we began a new era of global unrest. The gloves came off, diplomacy was mocked, and the United States blasted onto the world stage, weapons drawn.
Let’s not relive the events of Sept. 11. We have been reminded of that morning over and over as it has become the sole source of George W. Bush’s foreign policy. The international war on terror has taken center stage as Bush and others have used it as a pretext to undermine the pillars of democracy — the rule of law and transparent government. We now take racial profiling for granted. We watch as people are kidnapped from their countries and imprisoned indefinitely. Illegal torture is commonplace, as is the hideous killing of civilians, and now we hear accusations that our soldiers in Iraq seek revenge through rape and murder. We are forced to accept the USA PATRIOT Act and illegal National Security Agency surveillance, supposedly for our own good.
As Bush used Sept. 11 to justify a renewed campaign of imperialist aggression, he also eviscerated social programs at home. He gutted the Federal Emergency Management Agency and placed it under the control of the Department of Homeland Security, leaving us unable to respond adequately to natural disasters. He deployed our National Guard overseas and depleted our treasury to pay for war. He failed to address global warming, in deference to industry supporters. Finally, we have had to let go of the assumption that our government would protect its own people, as we ask: when did the Bush team know about Sept. 11? Will this question take as long to answer as “Who killed JFK?”
Nothing about the Bush regime is working for the average citizen, and yet all of the above have been completely normalized and barely contested by Congress, with hardly a whimper, a press conference, or a filibuster. Five years later, Bush still attempts to build his legacy on the twin towers of fear and aggression, working with the pathological paranoia that has become the hallmark of our 21st-century society.
But five years later, public opinion is reversing. Impeachment, which once seemed as far-fetched as due process for Guantánamo prisoners, has become a rallying cry for the next election. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently passed a resolution in support of Bush’s impeachment, and Sup. Chris Daly has sponsored another one, which will appear on the November ballot. They are an important response from the people to a criminal administration and an anemic Congress. If Bill Clinton can be impeached for a sexual indiscretion to the tune of $60 million in tax dollars and Bush gets off scot-free, what are we telling our children? That a blow job is worse than blowing up a country, and that illegal lying and spying play second fiddle to a marital blunder? The Christian fundamentalists who run our country would have us think so.
Vote for Chris Daly’s impeachment resolution. Yes on J! SFBG
Krissy Keefer
Krissy Keefer is the Green Party candidate for the 8th Congressional District.