September 11 at 21
Pearl Harbor Redux
September 11th is all grown up, old enough to buy a stiff shot of whiskey.
Pearl Harbor (1941), another day of infamy, turned 21 in 1962; the world was dominated by the Cold War, the price of gasoline was 31 cents a gallon and we were tip-toeing our way into Vietnam.
We were all but at war with the Russians, exactly where we find ourselves today.
The genesis of the Pearl Harbor attack was the decision by the United States to stop Japan’s oil supply, the lifeblood of the world since its 19th-century discovery.
Oil dominates America with devastating (and now predictable) results.
9/11 creator and al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was born in Saudi Arabia, ground zero of our oil obsession.
If al-Qaeda was the point of the 9/11 spear, Saudi Arabia was the shaft, home to 15 of the 19 hijackers. The FBI found the Saudi’s provided aid to them as they trained in the U.S.
Bin Laden’s rationale for the 9/11 attacks was his fury at the presence of the American military on the Arabian Peninsula.
Would the U.S. be there but for oil?
5,452 people died on September, 11, 2001 and in the war that followed. Thousands more bear life-changing scars from brutal physical and psychological wounds.
Today, 21 years on, we grovel at the feet of Saudi Arabia, to gain oil and protect our economy.
As America once withheld oil from Japan to strangle their economy, the Saudi’s use the same threat to keep us subservient.
For oil we have sacrificed the moral authority once a component of American democracy even to the point of our ignoring the Saudi’s brutal murder of Jamal Kashoggi.
September 11th and the Afghan war are bitter signposts reminding us of our weakness in the world as well as our inability to change, even when the future is at stake.