Somehow, Bummer knew he wasn't over-reacting on September 12, 2001.
Bummer's (pre-blog) memo
written that day:
To: The Ordinary People of the Developing World
From: An Ordinary Joe in America
Date: September 12, 2001
Yesterday I woke up to the real time viewing of about 10,000 [ed: turned out to be 3000+]
American civilians in various stages of their fiery deaths, incinerated in terrorist sneak attacks upon the most populated buildings in our most populated city.
Just ordinary Joes and Janes.
A government building and an American mass transit bus, known as a jetliner, also served fiery deaths to hundreds more in the attacks.
The life of ordinary people living in the developing countries of the Islamic world just changed.
I want to express my regret to the ordinary people of the Islamic world, for the unlucky card they were dealt in life. In the coming years, there will not be much regret expressed for the Islamic poor by the ordinary Joes or Joses. And the wrath of an awakened giant will end up destroying much of what the Islamic poor have in their daily lives. So here it is: “I regret what cards you have been dealt.”
But there is nothing I can – or will – do about it. But I will tell you a bit about it, so you understand my regret.
Like most of the 6 billion on Earth, you live your life more or less trying to get shelter, get food, battle disease and salvage a little happiness for you and your family. Unfortunately, the genetic lottery put you in a place on Earth where dictators and thugs still rule, or fight to rule.
You are less than a mule to them. Less than a barrel of oil. To them, you are a mere tool that is best kept dull and under control. The dictators who are your masters, under the excuse of some religious nonsense, know that you feel powerless and desperate. The dictators also know that they are the cause of your desperate straits.
So by striking “America,” portrayed to you as the Devil Incarnate, you feel a momentary power, a belonging, a virility. You are somehow connected to the images on CNN. You have power in the world. You must now be respected.
And your dictator is the one who brought you that feeling. Like an opiate. In the bleakness of your ordinary existence, this was something new.
Thugs have ruled the Earth since recorded time. Beginning about ½ way through the last millennium, that began to change, slowly, in a few parts of the world. About 200 years ago, rule-by-despot was done away with, on paper, in the New World, although the struggle is never over. Others followed. 50 years ago, dictators were again eradicated from more of the Western world, and 10 years ago, even more dictators fell.
This delivery from serfdom has been a 200, perhaps even a 600 year struggle, for the European and American peoples.
You are not so lucky. You and your friends live in the chains of a serf, and your master is a small group of men who rule you with an iron fist. Like a donkey. You are useful to them only to the extent that you keep them in power.
They use the same old story. Religious purity. Or racial purity. Or political/thought purity.
They use tried-and-true versions of the opiates to keep you dull. You are brainwashed that life on Earth is a burden to be endured, and that your god is waiting to reward you when you finish your horrible tasks on earth. Some of you are even brainwashed to believe that fields of luscious virgins await to pleasure you in heaven, if and only if you exit this paltry earth as a martyr.
None of this brainwashing is true, but my purpose here is to express regret, not to argue spiritual matters. In the West, we have fought, and many have died horrible deaths, to create a society where you can think and believe whatever thoughts you desire, and you don’t need anyone’s permission to do that.
Rather, brainwashing is used by your master for good reason - to maintain you as poor, uneducated proletariat (the dull tool), conditioned to equate the ruling dictator with god, or god’s agent, and therefore to be obeyed. The dictator also needs to be able to whip you into a frenzy, when needed, to defend the dictator from internal or external challenge.
During our hundreds of years of struggles, some succumbed to the same brainwashing forces. For example, every few years we have a mass murder episode perpetrated by some “religious cult,” typically made up of people who have fallen to, or below, the lower rungs of our society. They kill, or die, while brainwashed to believe that they are leaving their burdens of this earth to a better place. Maybe even one with beautiful luscious virgins waiting to attend to them.
We even had a whole group of dictators mid-century, one in particular, who was quite literally insane, brainwash entire cities and countries into believing that a small northern European race was the group chosen by god to rule over a third coming. Anyone not in that little group was a mule, or worse. Tens of millions died in the resulting battle. Some were even baked in ovens, like mule-pot-pie. That was good vs. evil. Luckily -- and way too close for comfort -- Good won. Those particular race killers were basically made extinct, except for a few little groups that survive today, sort of like a human zoo.
Most of the people who were around for that stuff are dead now. Most – yes most – of the new generations of Ordinary Joes don’t know what their grandparents lived through. Cannot identify what Kristallnacht or Nanking was. So they got a bit mushy. No need to pay attention to old stuff.
Anyway, the West has become a place of freedom. Life, liberty, and freedom from fear and destruction. You are not so lucky. Instead, probably through little or no fault of your own, you are a slave to (meaning, you are ruled by) the Taliban, or the Hussein posse, or any of the other Islamic fundamentalist dictators who constantly bombard you, since your youth, with messages that:
a) your fundamentalist leader is an agent of god,
b) everyone else must yield to your leader, or they are an instrument of the devil,
c) your life on earth was meant to be horrific due to some flaw beyond your control, and
d) if you act as a soldier for the leader, you will be delivered to heaven (and its luscious waiting virgins), special delivery.
I regret that, given the events of yesterday, your slavery to your dictators is going to become so hard on you and your family in the coming years.
Why are you not lucky? Because before yesterday, Americans (and other Western and democratic peoples) pretty much knew that you got born into an unlucky situation, dealt a bad hand in life, and that is wasn’t really your fault. Thus, we were willing to suffer minor, and major, detriment in order to protect you from the crazed actions of your master. Your master doesn’t care about you – you are just his mules – but Americans actually did care, at least a bit. Meaning, Americans were against your death or injury or deprivation, simply because you are the slave of a dictator.
So Americans, and their leaders, really did believe in things like “surgical strikes”, which are very expensive and result in Americans spending money on surgical strike tools rather than health care and the like, all in order to try – or at least, try a little – to spare you from the crazed actions of the dictators who rule you, and brainwash you so that you don’t know any better.
But that pretty much changed yesterday.
I still know that you are not at fault, or not much at fault, but that has moved way down the list of priorities for me. Way, way down the list. Many, many agree with this, I think.
Rather, my New Priority is to accept that the terrorist dictators, and their soldiers, and their suppliers and backers, simply have to be killed.
And the tools that assist them, destroyed.
And the nests where they breed, eradicated.
For years and years to come. Like the Cold War, which we fought for 40 years before victory arrived.
That is New Priority #1.
And I know that your terrorist dictators and their soldiers will use you as cover, or as tools, or as nests.
And due to brainwashing they have conducted on you, you are helpless to do anything about it.
So as the terrorist dictators are hunted and killed, they will use you and your families as a shield, and thus you shall also die or be injured or suffer.
As their tools are searched and destroyed, you will be in harm’s way, since unwittingly you are one of their tools. And as their nests are eradicated, you will become victims and refugees, since the dictators will sacrifice you first, before them.
I regret that these things will be brought to bear on you and your loved ones. But you are no longer my priority.