Today is the sixth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. I feel for 9/11 about the same as I do for Hurricane Katrina -- nothing has changed much since it happened, except that I have to take off my shoes, belt, and jacket (soon my bra?) at the airport. I don't feel any safer, but I don't feel in any more danger either considering I'm not much of a threat to terrorists. And as a black woman, I feel that the US government, particularly the Bush administration, is a bigger threat to my wellbeing.
Agence France Presse, reporting on a Zogby International poll of about 1000 Americans, said that eighty-one percent of those surveyed viewed the attacks as the most significant historical event of their lifetimes, with more people on the east coast -- 90 percent -- agreeing with this statement compared to 75 percent on the west coast.
Please tell me they called up 85-year-old Mrs. Johnson, relocated from the Ninth Ward to Fort Worth, and asked her what she thought.
It's unfortunate that the ills of our government were visited on innocent civilians. However, 9/11 did much to shatter the sacred cow image and myth of America, and was quite humbling to our leadership. Of course our leaders do what they always do in response, which is to puff out their chests and go "take somebody out" to defend their territory.
Unfortunately, the rest of us pay for it, like my friends and family who have fought or are fighting over in Iraq. And the 9/11 aftermath, particularly the Special Commission, simply confirmed my long held belief that the US government lies to the American people. The more than 1 billion dollar FEMA fund set up to compensate rescue workers has, as of July 18, only paid out 45,000 dollars to a worker who fell off a ladder. (My Sicko blog gives some more relevant info about the ongoing abuses suffered by first responders.)
A suit has been filed in Manhattan Supreme Court alleging that Mayor Bloomberg and others, who control the fund, have "unethically profited," using 74 million dollars to pay overhead and legal bills to fight workers' claims. That reaffirms my twin belief that the government doesn't keep its promises.
With a reality as sobering as this, who needs conspiracy theories? And frankly speaking, in my opinion, Hurricane Katrina was a more significant litmus test on governmental responsiveness. Tens of thousands of people sat in the Louisiana Superdome for days without power or water. Without power or water. That's all it took for me to acknowledge that those of us living in America are living in a media-concocted fantasy world. Kanye West was right. For some, more than others, that reality is startlingly clear.
The AFRican Blogger
------Zogby International Poll
Conducted September 6-9, 2007
- 62% of Americans said the nation is now better protected against terrorist attacks compared to before Sept. 11, 2007.
- Another 14% said the nation is less well protected compared to six years ago, and 23% said there is no difference between our preparedness before and after the attacks.
- 91% said they believe the U.S. will be attacked again by terrorists on American soil.
- While 47% believe that attack will come sometime in the next five years, 19% said it could come at any time in the next decade. Another 25% said they expect another attack, but they were unsure when it might take place.
- Just 4% said they believed the U.S. was immune from future terrorist attacks, while 4% were unsure.
- Of those who said a follow-up attack would one day come, 20% said they expected an attack to come against a U.S. food or water source, while 17% expected a terrorist attack to include a disease or poison agent.
- Another 16% said they most expect an attack by car bomb in a crowded area or a mall.
- Just 9% thought a new terrorist attack might come via the Internet against government agencies, while 6% said they most expect the next terrorist attack to include a nuclear weapon.
- Just 2% said they think terrorists will strike again using airplanes.
- In combating terrorism, 34% gave President Bush positive marks for his leadership fighting the way on terror, while 65% gave him negative marks. This is markedly worse than three years ago, when, as he was re-elected, two in three respondents gave the President positive marks for his handling of the war on terror.
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