The greatest hijacking on 9/11/2001 was not the four al Qaeda terrorist teams in the four planes, but by the media who very literally hijacked the psyche of all Americans and has held them hostage, to this day.
Sure, the terrorists were pure evil, but that was no excuse for the media to ELEVATE al Qaeda and their heinous acts to the level of, literally, an existential threat to America.
And sure, the infamous Neocons played their role as well in CREATING the infamous Global War On Terror (GWOT).
The media collectively aided, abetted, and participated in the hijacking of U.S. foreign — and domestic — policy on 9/11 and in the days, weeks, months, years, and now decades that followed. The media relentlessly touts its skills at investigative journalism, but when it came to the GWOT, their investigative guns went silent, dead silent, absolutely still. Instead they offered megaphones to the promoters of the GWOT.
I’m not arguing that we should have stood by silently without response to the 9/11 attacks, but I am arguing that the media-incited GWOT was the absolutely wrong way to go. I’m more of a Teddy Roosevelt “Speak Softly But Carry a Big Stick” kind of guy — cruise missiles, drones, surgical strikes, and Special Ops missions could have gotten the job done more effectively and efficiently and SILENTLY, without terrorizing innocent Americans in the process. Bin Laden could have been taken out much more quickly and quietly so that no innocent American would ever know that he had ever existed. The only thing the president should have been heard saying was “Those behind this will be dealt with” followed by “Those who were behind it have been dealt with, they are no longer in this world — they have sent to their final destination.” And their names, the names of the individuals, their leader, or their group even should never have ever been broadcast by the media. It is NOT the job of the media to offer megaphones to those who would harm innocent Americans.
The supremely ironic thing is that the GWOT — including and especially the media’s role — probably terrorized innocent Americans far more than the actual al Qaeda terrorists did!
Media headlines such as “America Under Attack” and later “America At War” and endlessly rerunning the video clip of the towers burning and collapsing — these were unforgivable acts of terror — psychological warfare — by the media on all (innocent) Americans. Completely unnecessary. Was it all just for financial gain? Or in large part because so many media types actually ENJOY terrorizing innocent Americans?! Some serious soul searching is needed, by all.
And it was the media, not the relatively small numbers of actual Neocons which did the most terrorizing of innocent Americans — psychological warfare on their own fellow citizens!
To me, the role of the media in puffing up the whole GWOT was the single greatest collective act of terrorism in the entire history of America, of the world, and the entire history of humanity since the dawn of time. And that may be an understatement.
To me, the actions of the media in promoting the GWOT are the greatest shame, the greatest blemish on the history of America.
Sure, the Neocons developing the “plot” to invade and “liberate” Iraq using alleged threat of WMD, but it was the media that puffed it up into a purported existential threat to all of America. Without the aid of the media, I seriously doubt that we would have gone into Iraq. And if we hadn’t disrupted Iraq, ISIS never would have come into existence.
It just gets worse, never better when the media enters the picture.
If you wish to more properly commemorate this event, just turn off and ignore the media for the day. Or even longer. Some of us have the skills to filter the media, but all is lost for all of those who believe that everything the media says is true. I grew up with the mantra “Don’t believe everything you read in the paper [or watch on TV].”
One last personal comment… I was chatting with a Dutch reporter on the National Mall in front of the Capital here in DC around 11 AM on 9/11 and I said “I just know the Neocons will use this as an excuse to invade Iraq.” Sometimes I just wish I could be wrong rather than right more often!
Of course we should memorialize those who needlessly lost their lives on 9/11, but not at the expense of excusing the reprehensible and inexcusable actions of the media on 9/11 and virtually every day since. Not every journalist is a bad person, but collectively the media is a barrel with way too many bad apples that spoil life for everyone.