Blogsam and Jetsam

Flotsam is the part of the wreckage of a ship or its cargo found floating on the water. Jetsam is cargo or parts of a ship that are deliberately thrown overboard, as to lighten the ship in an emergency, and that subsequently either sinks or is washed ashore. This is my personal blog version of the above. Loot freely.

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Location: The Hinterlands, Upstate NY

I'm annoyed that the world is going crazier faster than it used to be. But it's interesting to watch.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


...Is not something I usually am in blogland. But today I must vent.

I had thought that the "five-year anniversary of nine-eleven" would be yet another overhyped media event that washed over me like so much seawater but it wasn't. Several things over the past couple of days have given me the need to scream "AMERICANS! What has happened to us?!"

First I read Kiki Sammis' beautiful and touching "Love" post on her blog She Just Walks Around With It (link on my sidebar.) Then I read the transcript of Keith Olbermann's brave and wonderful Tuesday night broadcast (link :
Yesterday I voted in the NY primary election specifically to express my anti-war sentiment. Last night I finally viewed an impressive bit of "previously unreleased" documentary 9/11 home video shot by one of two women in a 36th floor apartment. It was something HBF found and I'll edit in a link as soon as I get one (if you know what I'm talking about, email me please) because that quiet video was FAR better than anything else I've seen covering that fateful day.

Those things brought back all the sadness and all the loss and all the amassed potential of those days...but then they also brought back the one three-year old thought to which I keep returning because I STILL have no answer: "What HAPPENED? Why IRAQ?"

Sure I have a 9/11 story; everyone does. Mine is fortunately very removed from actual tragedy. I had taken my then-four-year-old son with me to a service-while-you-wait oil change at the dealership so we watched Peter Jennings narrate the horrible events as they developed. At first I knit but then I just sat holding my boy. Tightly. While surrounded by three retired men and two retired women, I was the one who said first "ohmigawd that's a jet plane" and then much later in tones of great sadness, "we're going to have to have a war over this."

In those strange crazy days immediately after the World Trade Center fell, I was just as caught in the fervor as everyone else. I wanted to FIND the parties who did it and GET them. Thought we should imprison them all for life and was happy that we knew the guy we needed was Osama Bin Laden. I spent a lot of hours at the office googling everything I could find, especially the CIA World Fact Book. I was perfectly fine with going into Afghanistan. The Taliban seemed to support OBL and it didn't hurt that I was still furious over those statues.

Yes, it was terrible that we were bombing people, yes it was terrible that we were ruining the infrastructure and I hated that term "daisy-cutter" just on principle. But I knew the nation had to find SOMEwhere to put all the frustration and grief and rage that those 19 men had triggered and Afghanistan seemed to be the place. Sure we were tearing it down but that was okay because then we'd build it back up even better than it had been before--with less killing and oppression! And with more freedom! And women's rights! And artwork! And probably Coca-Cola!

I was so naive. I thought the way it would work was that we would make Afghanistan essentially a US colony, pump a ton of money into it and make it our base of operations for the entire region. I thought the fighting would die down quickly but that we'd then hear about this secret mission or that covert op over in Tajikistan or Uzbekistan and eventually the banner headline would read "Osama Bin Laden Captured and Held for Questioning." I actually kept a map of the Mideast on my bulletin board for months so that I'd know exactly where all the secret activity might be. I trusted my government to use its impressive might to FIX that horrible mess and I think a lot of my countrymen felt the same way.

I truly thought that by the time my Ducklings were old enough, joining the Peace Corps to help rebuild Afghanistan would be a viable only mildly-dangerous option for them. (Yes, you may snicker at my optimism. )

Three years ago I said "Iraq?!? Why IRAQ?!" I'm still saying it. And much worse.

I see no connection between OBL and Saddam Hussein, we now know there is no connection between Saddam Hussein and WMD and Iraq and Iran used to hate each other. Therefore the only conclusion an average-Joe media viewer like me can draw is that this war must be about something else entirely. Something more important to the current administration than the thousands of lives and billions of dollars lost in that conflict.

Friends, there IS nothing that important. Therefore the current regime--excuse me, I mean administration--is at best criminally stupid and at worst deliberately and evilly using the entire country for its own selfish gain.

The 2004 election broke my spirit. You may think I jest but I do not: I haven't been the same American since. That was the election that was supposed to fix what the Supposed Fixers had done. That was the election that was going to restore my faith in my fellow countrymen. That was the election before which I spent an entire week exhorting people to "Be sure to go vote! I don't care HOW you vote; just go DO it!"

You all saw how it turned out.

It's two years later and we have another chance. Why do I feel like Linus in his pumpkin patch?


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