Monday, September 11, 2006

GROUND ZERO September 11, 2006 8:35 A.M.

Health Effects of 9/11: Sundance Channel, 10 P.M. Monday, September 11, 2006

GROUND ZERO September 11, 2006 8:35 A.M.

Jenna Orkin

Silent crowd standing eight deep. On the top floor of a building to the left a sign reads, "Dissent is Patriotic." Next to it, a peace symbol. In the tradition of sneakers flung over street lamps, high in the fence surrounding what used to be called "the pit," someone has placed a rosary.

A solemn drum beat as an unseen Scottish brigade from the Fire Department begins a funeral march. The crowd-silence deepens. In the distance, the Star-Spangled Banner rises. A woman to the left cries as does another woman to the right. What is it about music that brings out the deepest emotions? Freud said it was the words with which the music was associated. Say the words of the Star-Spangled Banner (if you know them) without the music; see what happens.

Nasal tones. An oboe? No, it's Mayor Bloomberg. The list of names. After several, I move on.

In front of the Path Station, two men in 911 Truth T-shirts hold a banner proclaiming the Bush Regime was responsible. A woman with a poster of a lost loved one shouts, "Traitors!" Then, to passers-by, "These people want to destroy the Constitution and have Shariah law. Islamic fascists were responsible for 9/11. America is good."

The banner-bearers get into a shouting match with her. Winning converts one at a time? In Alice in Wonderland, the Red Queen asks, "What's one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one?"

But most activists operate on a principle not of arithmetic but of exponential progression: "If I email ten people and each of those people emails ten people..." A reasonable principle that somehow never works.

Someone walks around with a sign that reads, "9/11/2006: Five years of the Clinton legacy."

Someone else wears a T-shirt that reads, "Bush was responsible. Bed bugs bite in Brooklyn." Asked what that's about he explains, "They found bedbugs in a police precinct in Brooklyn. I wanted to lighten the message a little."

A well-known activist's T-shirt reads, "Planehuggers did 9/11." By that he means, he says, "The people who think real planes hit the towers."

Perhaps people deliberately design T-shirts in order to provoke questions.

Every camera in the area has now come to check out the shouting match which other members of 911 Truth have joined. All this energy going to argue with one strident woman.

A young 911 Truth member says to a fellow activist, "Get all the people in 911 T-shirts. We shouldn't be part of this."

A man in a black Harley Davidson T-shirt complains to the people in 911 Truth T-shirts, "It's a moment of silence." Then, to his friend, "I gotta slap somebody."

A Japanese woman points to her sign that says "Peace" in Japanese and English.

More drums, this time not in horizontal Scottish style but vertical, Japanese style. Four Buddhist monks and a gaunt Western woman of about sixty stake out space for a mini-concert.

A woman asks a 911 Truth member, "Do you have another DVD?" She shows him the one she'd been given which has been crushed by a hostile passer-by.

The shouting match is over; the crowd disperses. Nobody won.


Anonymous said...

Of course nobody won. It's because the 9/11 Truthers on the ground don't know how to conduct a successful media campaign.

We constantly hear about failures in Iraq and in Afghanistan because the military isn't working to capture the hearts and minds of the people. The 9/11 truth movement fails on the same level when it steps out into public.

In other words, the 9/11 Truthers need to consider their message as a weapon that offends and austracizes the American people when wielded inefficiently or without careful measure. When a crowd of mournful, patriotic, yet misinformed Americans gather to remember the 9/11 victims, the last thing they want to hear is someone telling them that they're wrong and that their patriotism is distorted. That's the only message that they hear.

Instead, the truthers need to be present, yet subdued and ingratiating to the people. Hand out bottled waters. Wear 9/11 t-shirts, but something that is subtle. If someone is offended, apologize and retreat from argument. Use friendliness and openness to encourage inquisitiveness and debate, rather than vocalize a challenge that will stir up a dramatic encounter.

We need warriors in this effort, but we don't need grandstanders or confrontation in public venues. The 9/11 truthers need to learn how to conduct a proper campaign before they move out into the public arena. otherwise, they're setting themselves up as targets.

mrs p said...

It amazes me how every opportunity is ceased to continue the selling of 9/11 fiction to the American masses. I will not not watch ABC's fake show or any other info-mercials that lie. (Or maybe I should watch but can't take my blood pressure rising that much!)I was reflecting this morning on the idea of famous unsolved murders. There's a few right here that were never solved; not yet anyway. It's so obvious who dun it but still no one has been arrested. No statute of limitation on murder. There should be some "Wanted Posters" for the continuing crimes of 911. Mainsteam American Media should be on them them too. What whores they are. The truths of 911 will come out. The murdered souls will get justice someday. Their families don't stand alone. Our prayers go out to the living who still suffer, especially the first responders who are in physical pain and struggle to breathe.

mrs p said...

Such wisdom Shorebreak! Americans are on edge for many reasons but this one carries the heaviest of emotions and many of them don't care who done it or why. They only know their loss and will feel the void of their loss for many years. Sometimes you even give up on wanting revenge because you let go of that part of it; not wanting to hold that poison in you. When you loose someone it takes years and you still think you see them now and then.

Rice Farmer said...

Yes, Shorebreak makes a good point. A confrontational approach when dealing with the general public out on the street wins few converts.

Meanwhile, the 9/11-related stories in this morning's Japanese media are predictably in line with the US mainstream media.

Rice Farmer said...

New debunking article by Joshua Frank, who has apparently joined the ranks of the left gatekeepers and 9/11 debunkers.

This was also posted on CounterPunch.

Green2Go said...

Regarding Carolyn Baker's 9/11 article, "A Requiem for Truth..."

She states:
"But then why am I trying to evaluate the most brilliant and comprehensive scrutiny of 9-11 in print? The folks at did it best, but even some enthusiastic fans of Rubicon have not read Amazon’s review which defines Rubicon far more succinctly and poignantly than I could have:"

This "review" is an editorial review - book description that is usually provided by the publisher/author. I'm not sure I would give Amazon credit for this.

Just my observation/opinion. Other than that it was a good article.

getoned said...

I agree with shorebreak also.

I would add, as well, that there be some focus on our Constitution. Because it will be with an understanding of our Constitution that will bring together the focus that will build around our understanding of a "Free - Press", the fact that our goverment is suppose to serve us (and not the other way around), and the nescessary steps we must take to address serious lapses in our goverment.

As shorebreak notes "(The 9/11 Truthers needs to)...Use friendliness and openness to encourage inquisitiveness and debate..." We do well to provoke questions rather than arguments, answers rather than verbal attacks. And, I would again add, ANY conversation that refers us back to our Constitution.

Rice Farmer said...

Carolyn Baker is spot-on in her latest piece. In my own wanderings about the web, I have lately been pushing hard in this direction, calling journalists on their baiting with the physical evidence and their ignoring of facts that already make our case.

And I like her ideas about getting students to think critically. The science of critical thinking should be taught in schools, beginning in elementary school. Unfortunately, that wouldn't be welcomed by politicians.

JMC said...

RE: clueless 911Truthers

Like everything, there is a time and a place. These embaressments to the movement are not mature enough to know when outrage must defer to empathy. Save confrontation for the elected public servants who deserve it.

This is a broader problem I've noticed with otherwise educated progressives-- not being able to disagree without sounding like condesending prats. It's as if they've learned/assimulated all the progressive talking points but still use a conservative debate model that guarentees alienation, as well as conservative ridgid thinking that keeps us trapped into stupid either/or debates: pro-life/pro-choice, for example.(Why stupid? We are ALL for life and choice, and nobody, given options to prevent it, wants an abortion. Pro-choice leaders need to LEAD and demand birth control which will prevent most abortions. And when the right whines this is endorsing "immorality", pummel them with the choice of birth-control or "baby killing".)

That was just an example. Take any "cultural" issue that divides the nation, gay marriage, gun control, whatever, and there will be this same entrenched confrontational dynamic that wastes energy while feeding the worst fears of the missinformed.

I feel for that woman because she was in pain, she lost people, and on this day, in that moment, as human beings, the people around her could have at least said they were sorry for her loss.

Clueless 911Truthers who can't talk to people are part of a larger problem : the non-empathic strident progressive. I, as a liberal, have been on the recieving end of some of these people's rubish. Now, if I'm offended when a fellow liberal thinks the reason I don't agree with them is that I'm, "well, you know, not as educated", I shudder to think how many undecided voters were driven to Bush after a talk with these gits. The neo-cons may be lying bastards, but they do know how to talk to people.

No, most liberals are not like this but those who do are LOUD. To them I say: Stop it. You're feeding the elitist stereotype. If you can't learn how to talk to people, save your rants for those in power. Not the poor shlub who's struggling to get by.

Bloody hell.

FTW admin said...

carolyn baker responds:

I give Amazon credit for this simply because it appears on the Amazon site and because Mike Ruppert nor FTW wrote the review. It came entirely from Amazon.

Anonymous said...

Follow this link for a photo of a woman who is confronting one of the Loose Change creators.

Look in her eyes. There is pain, anger, and heartbreak. She obviously lost somebody very dear in the WTC attacks.

That's the point I was making earlier. Don't throw 9/11 truth in their faces. Offer them a bottled water or a cup of coffee. Maybe a small flower pin with a yellow ribbon attached. YES, a yellow ribbon. No big banners, no confrontational messages. Identical t-shirts with a small "We will never forget - 9/11 Truth" logo will get the message out.

The point is that to open doors, you need to reach out your hand. Jumping out in front and opening a different door will never work. I hope people learn from this huge tactical error. The 9/11 truth movement mobilized in force and gave the media the perfect opportunity to castigate them and paint them as assholes.

It was not a good day for truth.

FYI, I saw that Kyle Hence (9/11 Citizens Watch) was at a press conference with 9/11 family members in DC rather than at the WTC site. His actions were befitting a positive movement to reach out to the community. I think he "gets it". I hope the others follow suit.

The movement needs to learn how to unite when in public, not confront.

Also, as a final note, I'm also dissapointed in the ones who are out in tattered clothes and alternative hairstyles etc. I have no problem with individualism and self-expression, but if people don't have the common sense to realize that most people aren't so open minded, they shouldn't be out in public promoting an important cause. PR is critical and individualism needs to be set aside for common sense when it comes to dealing with the general public.

Get it together people. This isn't about expression, it's not about "self" and it's not about "I'm right, you're wrong". It's about opening doors and building relationships - even if for an instant. One warm look, friendly eye contact, and especially a small token of relief or empathy can last a lifetime for one individual. One confrontation will build division for everyone who sees it.

Banners, rally's, and vocal demonstrations are good and necessary, but only in their proper place. Chances like the one presented yesterday come very rarely. We can't blow it again.

Marianna said...

Thank you, Shorebreak, for your thoughts on approaching others with "Truth." But I've been finding it's been very difficult to even suggest the views of the truth movement without persons becoming immediately irate, offended, and even verbally retaliatory. And these are not mainstream conservative people I've been talking to (or trying to talk to). The media has done a masterful job creating a reality by which American culture, from one end to the other of the political spectrum, function. This is even more frightening to me than the economic and political spectre confronting us, the fact that so many educated, insightful, "good," Americans have, lockstep, gone along with that hogwash, and refuse to examine what that means to them and to their future.

Anonymous said...


I agree with you. I don't even raise the subject anymore with anyone but those who I know are in agreement. It's like opening yourself up to an assault, andd it has virtually no impact on the person you're speaking with. It's beyond frustrating - and as you stated, it's frightening.

But that's partly where I'm coming from on this issue. In terms of politics, the media has successfully divided the American people. If you have an opinion, you're right wing or you're left wing. There's very little room for gray. The truth about 9/11 is neither left nor right leaning. It's simply a fact. The only way to break the barrier is through positive contact.

We've spent the last five or more years under indoctrination that those who disagree with us are unAmerican. That's an obvious lie, but many people believe it because they fall for the repetition of propaganda. The only way to break through that is to unite rather than to confront. Open the door in a friendly manner rather than pushing someone through it.

I'm not speaking for all cases and situations because there's a time and place for large vocal expression. But there's more than one way to skin a cat. We should be exploring them.

FYI, I recommend the same thing when dealing with those whom you disagree with politically. Sometimes a box of chocolates goes a lot further than a bag of coal. Positive first impressions are key to positive responses. 9/11 Truth needs to take that lesson into the streets when participating in large community events.

Marianna said...

I absolutely agree with Shorebreak's 6:20 am post (my post, just following his, was in response to his 12:25 pm post). I have subscribed to the Buddhist Peace Fellowship's online newsletter for awhile, and remember their suggestions for entering into dialog with persons of differing views with regard to the US's involvement (initially) in Afghanistan... their entire approach is strictly non-confrontational. Listen, ask questions, respect opinions, share one's own. In particular, ask questions. Sounds very similar to your approach, Shorebreak. Maturity, respect and sensitivity can play a large part in whether a dialog comes off successfully (I've participated in a couple that have -- those I see are going nowhere, I back away from, too, for the time... though lately I've been planting the seeds and coming back, eventually). Also, I think, having confidence in one's understanding of the issues helps a great deal -- not allowing oneself to become defensive. And, obviously, compassion and respect in the face of those persons who have experienced direct losses (either at the sites, or in the wars).

After my own struggles, and the the emotional fallout I dealt with in accepting "the Truth", I am most concerned with figuring out ways to help people deal this once the awful reality sets in, you know? Massive grief, betrayal, rage, disgust, cynicism beyond words. We were all traumatized my 9/11, to a greater or lesser degree, depending on whether we experienced direct losses ... this will be a massive aftershock, a second massive traumatization for those people who finally "get it." And if this realization were to happen in great numbers? Talk about chaos!! Talk about a rationale for actively imposing martial law!!! If there weren't so many critical, time-sensitive issues swirling around this, I would think we all might be better off diligently supporting the small grassroots groundswell. But the issues are too looming, and scary and important.

So we need to learn how to talk to and share with, persons whose opinions and realities differ, in ways that are persistant, compassionate and respectful all at the same time. And we need to then not walk away when the light finally goes on, but calmly be with those persons going through the mind warping changes in reality, too.

Rice Farmer said...

Interesting article by Emanuel Sferios. Notice his remarks about types of evidence and mention of Mike Ruppert's work.

FTW admin said...

thank you for the following comment, comseur. however plz be aware ftw does not endorse or recommend 'loose change.'

COMSEUR writes:

can’t do much, but one tries.

Being Non-POTUS, what I do is I pester friends and enemies alike with CDs and DVDs (just ordered another 11 copies of Loose Change 2), and try and spread the word. Over the last 5 years, I have sent out hundreds, filled with info of all sorts.

Books, also good to recommend. The Rubicon. David Ray Griffin. The list goes on and on.

I posted Keith Olberman’s “This Hole In The Ground” on our website. I think it was an excellent piece. I post a lot of “inconvenient” things there. Sometimes I want to grab someone and shout, but I try not to.

It’s slow work. But is worth it.

Five years later this space is still empty.

Bankley said...

'Good cop-bad cop' . I'm a big fan of Michael Ruppert and I also like Alex Jones. I respect their very different styles and try to balance myself somewhere between the extremes. I won't pan one to re-inforce the other. You get what you can from the info available, and carry the truth with your own voice. Regardless of the difference of opinions and nuance, our common fight is against the mass murderers in Brooks Brothers suits. When the house is on fire, we don't need another lullabye.