Strakon Lights Up, No. 105

Nine one one


I hope this finds you well, if you live on the East Coast; and I hope, too, that all your loved ones are alive and well.

I almost wrote "safe," but that hope would be irrational. Thanks to our wise, cautious, and benevolent rulers, we are all potential residents of Hiroshima and Dresden and Tokyo now; and of London, Rotterdam, and Nanking. That is especially true of Americans who live on the Bicoasts; we here in the Heartland are considerably safer, though not actually safe. We are safer because the Muslim armies know where all the power resides — it's not here — and because, in fact, they've never even heard of us. In large measure we have the established mass media, who themselves have barely heard of us, to thank for that. And I do thank them heartily.

This morning my friend Ronn Neff passed along a front-page headline from today's Washington Times, published, of course, before the catastrophe: "Bush 'tilt' to Israel provokes Arab world." I wonder whether anyone apart from a few of us yahoos will learn anything from today's events? Certainly our wise, cautious, and benevolent political rulers won't. They've learned nothing from previous events. Any lessons they learn from this one are sure to be precisely wrong. Wrong, that is, from the standpoint of normal people — from our  standpoint — but not from the standpoint of their masters.


Muslims in the Levant who favor mass murder and war crimes against civilians — so long as those acts are committed by their own forces — are dancing in the streets, squealing with delight, and making the "V for Victory" sign. They are foolish as well as evil. They are fooled by what is seen and blind to what is not seen. They see U.S. military forces being temporarily diverted to guard the American homeland — fighter jets orbiting over Washington, carriers and missile frigates moving into New York Harbor — but they don't see that the U.S. Empire received a massive blood transfusion today: from Us the ruled, to Them the rulers.

Certainly the Muslim armies have struck a heavy blow not only against the American economy in general but against the headquarters of American investment banking in particular: the very sector that I take to be the executive committee of the ruling class. Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers are just two of the leading houses that operated from the now-fallen towers. But again the attackers have seen only what is immediately apparent, not what is hidden and demands a moment's thought. The Empire will now go to war. If, like me, you thought it had already been waging war, for decades, against most of the indigenous peoples of the Mideast, you're going to have to change your perspective. This morning someone on Fox News asked Oliver North whether he thought the attacks were "the Pearl Harbor of the 21st century." He said they were "far worse than Pearl Harbor." I rarely agree with anything that militarist says, but today is an exception.

What happened, domestically, after Pearl Harbor? The Roosevelt Depression finally ended — or, if you prefer, it was effectively masked for four years. And it didn't reappear after 1945: the destruction of European and Asian competitors by strategic bombing during the war gave the U.S. economy an artificial competitive advantage for decades after the war, as did the Marshall Plan and the financial imperialism that came out of Bretton Woods. Recalling the enormous cartelization of the economy that took place during the last "good war," and the structural privileges cemented into place after the war, especially for the big international bankers, I detect an irony of ironies. The economic entities the Muslim armies targeted today — the specialized constellations of fascist power anchored in Wall Street and dependent on Central Government collusion — are going to have a very good war, even if the enemy proves infinitely more elusive than Germany and Japan. Whether we yahoos will have as good a war remains to be seen. Our 401Ks may rebound in a couple of years, but I forecast a prolonged and probably irrevocable bear market for our liberties.

After Oklahoma City — which has just been reduced to a footnote — remember how openly Commissar Charles Schumer and his allies lusted for a fullblown police state? What will they push for now? What won't  they push for?

The overall System of rule is one of Polite Totalitarianism, and it will remain so. But for the time being we must expect to see the iron hand of Impolite Totalitarianism lay aside the velvet glove. For the first time (as far as I know) during an American "crisis," the Authorities have canceled, or at least postponed, an election: Mayor Giuliani and Governor Pataki agreed to shut down today's New York municipal primary. Indeed it would have been extremely difficult to pursue political business as usual in New York. And it's not as if elections have much meaning these days. But cancelling them does have some meaning, symbolic meaning, and that meaning is entirely ominous. Were you even aware that elections were subject to gubernatorial fiat? I certainly wasn't.

I expect we'll be discovering much more about the scope of our rulers' "emergency powers" in the coming weeks and months. One thing that will surprise many people, when they discover it, is how many years those powers have slumbered on the books waiting to be exercised.


Speaking of liberties and totalitarianism, what are we to make, now, of the past several years of airport totalitarianism? Four major commercial airliners hijacked simultaneously! All flying out of U.S. airports! Boston's Logan Airport, from which two of the hijacked airliners departed, is in full C.Y.A. mode, so today they had one of their spokesmen inform the telescreen that Logan is one of the country's most-secure airports. Boy, that's  reassuring, isn't it?

What now? Will air passengers have to show up the night before their flight to be strip-searched and polygraphed? How much further can the Organs turn the screw before they destroy the airlines? Perhaps I should instead ask, How much additional nonsense will air passengers tolerate before they rebel, find jobs where they don't have to fly, and stick to the freeways? (I know, the answer might surprise me.)

At the minimum, I think the Organs' vaunted airport "security" — which, like so many other totalitarian programs, harasses ordinary peaceful folks but not evildoers — deserves a big horse laugh. Though one is hardly in a mood to do any laughing.


"Far worse than Pearl Harbor" may not sound like an understatement, but in fact it is such an understatement that it is misleading. I'm predicting that the System will not just recover but actually flourish once the new war gets going. But it will be a kind of war vastly different from World War II, and it's unlikely that the home front will have any World War II-style victories to cheer.

For Americans, World War II began with a precision attack on military targets, and military targets only, in outlying U.S. territories that many Americans could not find on a map. It ended with the fire-bombing of Tokyo and the atom-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the Japanese heartland. The war against the Muslims will run in reverse. In the context of the centrality of the targets and the mass murder of civilians, today's new war started  with Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.

How will it end? Americans longing for payback, whether proportional or disproportional, are bound to be disappointed. U.S. forces are not going to kill 10,000 or 20,000 terrorists, for the simple reason that nowhere near 10,000 or 20,000 terrorists exist. Even if they did exist, only a small fraction could ever be run to earth, and that only after a protracted pursuit. As I have suggested, the System of elite rule and exploitation will win. It always wins. But in terms of national pride and sentiment, for those who still care about such things, and also in conventional military terms, today's defeat is insurmountable, and it is permanent (unless the regime decides to deploy its nuclear arsenal against millions of Muslim civilians). It's hard not to conclude that, militarily and emotionally, the United State lost the war the minute it began.


This is not a novel or a movie, nor is it a nightmare that we'll ever wake from. Throughout the day I myself have experienced great difficulty keeping that in mind. 10,000 dead at least; perhaps 20,000 or more. And the vast majority of them civilians and emergency-service workers.

It's the blackest day in American history, as I am hardly the first to observe. Already our political rulers, from Bush to Hillary Clinton, are telling us that the only people responsible for setting today's events in motion are "cowardly" Muslim maniacs in the Levant. (There's that word "coward" again, which our rulers always use to describe anyone who risks attacking the world's greatest empire and only superpower.) We, the enemies of Empire and friends of Liberty, know better than Bush and Hillary Clinton and all the rest. Our list of suspects includes quite a few names in addition to Bin Laden and Qaddafi. Names that are less exotic.

Is there any way we can use our knowledge to help ensure that today's victims will not have died in vain? Our knowledge isn't arcane. It depends solely on our ability, which used to be common, to see what is in front of our nose. Given that fact, the only thing I can think of that might be useful is for us to point out the obvious when we discuss today's events with any of our fellow yahoos who still take our rulers' lies seriously. But that's not as easy as it sounds. Point out the obvious once too often these days, and you may find you've suddenly become an unperson.


Because it has been overtaken by events, I've back-burnered the second and concluding part of my analysis of conspiracy.

By the way, Neff points out that one thing you're not  hearing today is anyone ridiculing conspiracies. Funny how that works, isn't it?

September 11, 2001

© 2001 by WTM Enterprises. All rights reserved.

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