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Someone at Metafilter posted the same link I did today - Who were you on September 11th?

Most of the MeFites took the opportunity to enage in the ususal America Is Just a Big Bully line of reasoning.

There was one guy, Ed, who posted this in regards to another poster quoting James Lileks:

Funny how it's easy to disregard the Rwanda and Bosnia genocides and yet remain the eternal victim because of 9/11.

James Lileks: What the hell does he have to be angry about? He's Caucasian, male, and living in the richest nation in the world. He has more opportunities in one day than a Third World citizen has in a lifetime. Is he being targeted because of his ethnicity? Is he being thrown into a camp and being repeatedly raped? Is he being buried alive in a pit by hateful condotierres paid a pack of cigarettes a day?

The 9/11 victimhood seems to me an excuse for the Angry White Male to make a comeback. Except this time it seems to be justified, even if you weren't anywhere near the WTC. And that's the sick cancer festering within the American psyche.

No, ed. You are the sick cancer. You and the people who can't seem to understand why we haven't moved on, why we will, in all probability, not move on and why we feel it necessary to continue to stay with the anger and pain. You and the people who think that only those who were standing in the shadow of those two towers have any right to feel like a victim, you are the cancer on our psyche. You and your friends who spend your time engaging in moral equivelancy, who compare every single person in America who feels victimized or traumatized by 9/11 with Rwandans and starving kids in Africa and terrorists who strap bombs to themselves because of some root cause.

James Lileks, like myself, like so many others, were the victims of 9/11 because we are American and it was an attack on America. Your belief that being an American is a shameful thing does not negate or diminish our sorrow and pain at all. In fact, I feel even more anguish when I realize that people like you are trying to minimize the real loss so many people felt that day.

With a few exceptions, like David, the rest of the MeFi gang took someone's well-meant post and turned into a snarkfest filled with flippant remarks.

Grow up, people. Take a look at this country you live in. Go on, look at it. You are free. Yes, you are free to throw insults around and free to berate the president if you don't like him, but I am free to berate you if I feel like it. Those 3,000 people died because we are free and our enemies don't like it. Our democracy is a threat to their perversion of a religion. If you don't think that we owe those dead people anything, then you should pack your bags and go live in a country where you won't have to worry about being attacked because your homeland wants you to live free.


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So I was over there at MeFi seeing what was what, when I stumbled across this steaming pile. And so I clicked on the link. I mean, sure it's at Information Clearinghouse so you can't actually take it seriously, but I am just floored by the depths and lengths to which these lunatics will sink and go to assign some BS political agenda and conspiracy theory to 9/11. What a complete and total crock of shit.

What is most annoying is that all the alleged beurocratic breakdowns are supposed to be evidence that we conspired to bring this upon ourselves to hasten a an attack on AFganistan and Iraq. Hhhmmm... So let's think about this, shall we. Numerous government agencies and private industries alike, across multiple branches of the government all working in concert to cause a horrible catastrophe and then successfully covering it up. OR, all these agencies no more organized and effective than the DMV or the Post Office just plain fucked up.

Jeez, that's a tough one, huh.

Dangnabbit HTML crap

MetaFilter link is http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/28055

And the article is http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4582.htm

I couldn't agree with you more Michele. The ignorant anti-Americanism that resides in some of our own citizens astounds me.

One of the truths in this world is that America is a free nation and that Americans are fundamentally a decent people. The people of the world who live in freedom do so because of the sacrifice of Americans (not disrespect to the Brits, but without the US, Hitler would have won WWII).

Those who feel we are no better (or are worse) than the Islamic facists in the Middle East should go live in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan for a year.

I doubt they would, or would stay long.

Beaker, I take offense to your statement:

"the sacrifice of Americans (not disrespect to the Brits, but without the US, Hitler would have won WWII)."

Where was America when the war started? America's influence helped win WWII, but if we'd waited for America to step up to the plate, Hitler would have already won. Britain was bombed, not America, in WWII. Don't talk about the sacrifice of America in isolation to the sacrifices of the other allied nations that were often far greater (children separated from their families, cities bombed, financial ruin).

(this is not related to the comments on Sept 11th, I just couldn't let this WWII reference slide by).

Uh, Trish, as I'm sure you probably know, the UK managed to survive the Battle of Britain largely because of two things:

1) War materiel provided without advance payment in full -- a violation of then-extant international law -- thanks to FDR's Lend-Lease program; and

2) Radar technology developed by American and British scientists, which helped them to track incoming German bombers and rockets and meet the threat.

(There were also the American pilots who went to Britain via Canada to fly for the RAF, badly depleted after the Battle of Britain.)

It's true that the British went above and beyond in fighting the Nazi and Fascist menace and Europe prior to U.S. entry into the war, but without America's Lend-Lease material, Britian would probably have had to capitulate very early on.

No no, Americans didn't suffer in WW2, we didn't suffer September 11, 2001, we have never suffered. We aren't really human, we're clockwork oranges or something. Get with the program, people!

I'd laugh harder at Andrea's snarkage, but I've actually had the pleasure of having Europeans tell me in an irony-free context that Americans are not human.

Incidentally, those MeFi tards have no idea what thunder they're calling down. I mean, dissing Lileks? Ouch.

I've said this many times in my blog: America is a fractured society. The reason why you hear and see a "typical American" be anti-America is because we have NEVER FULLY dealt with domestic sociology. To be totally honest, when the 9/11 attacks occured, my first thought was, "Someone is already wriiting the screenplay for this". Ain't that crazy? There are millions of unhappy Americans who are thinking about their next paycheck and not the horror of 9/11.

I cannot, under any circumstances, look at Metafilter again. But thanks for the reminder of why I stopped reading it and posting to it. When you are someone like me (and if you knew me you would understand) and you find yourself being called a lunatic conservative, you realize that either:

A. You are dealing with a group of people who have lost all sense of political perspective, whose world is a mispressed copy of "Dark Side of the Moon" with 9 identical repetitions of "Us and Them".

B. You are dealing with a group of puerile idiots who aren't worth the monitor ink.

I chose B, and moved on.

The sad thing is that people like "Ed" don't really care about the people in Bosnia or Rowanda. They make a lot of noise about them, yes, but for the Eds out there in the world, that noise is primarily to make you pay attention to Ed and recognize how Righteous™ he is. The people of Rowanda and Bosnia and Iraq and elsewhere are just interchangeable props to that end.

Wow -- Evan -- I wonder where you had gone to... but I have to agree. I've barely gone to MeFi since about May. I prefer to go to blogs like this one, where the quality never goes down the chute as is the custom on MeFi. The kneejerk "WE HATE BUSH" variations that followed =any= news item really put me off.

In any case, I didn't even bother to visit the thread. I already know what's going on.

Thanks, Michele. MeFi can be a bitter pill often, but I keep my hand in, so to speak, if only to remind the Usual Suspects that MeFi is not simply an echo chamber for their own warped, or in some cases just truly ignorant, philosophy.

The most frustrating thing is how these Americans feel guilty about being American.

I have absolutely no desire to know what it feels like to live in a third world refugee camp. Instead of lowering my standards so that I have to live in filth, I would rather "teach them to fish" and give them the opportunity to lift themselves up.

There IS evil in the world. When faced with that, I choose to die fighting rather than kneeling and exposing my neck to be slit for me.

I suspect most of the MeFi jackasses have never spent so much as two hours in any third-world craphole. Hang around places with 50% unemployment and shantytowns for more than the obligatory two-weeks-smoking-hash-in-some-cute-rustic-spot and you get a better sense of perspective.

I would give the folks their due if they at least put their money where there mouth is.

What I don't get is people who think we overreacted to 9-11. In some ways -- emotionally -- perhaps. Understandable, we've become a sentimental culture.

But militarily, I still think we've under-reacted. I waited Sept. 12 for a response, and then another day and am still waiting. We still don't have bin Laden. The Saudis and Pakistanis haven't been confronted militarily. Iran still sits around supporting terrorism and trying to get the bomb. NK yanks our chain. Al Qaeda is still plotting; instead of absolutely cowering in fear that we'd strike again.

People forget we were anthraxed, too. People forget that Mullah Omar made threats in 1998, and Al Qaeda followed through. He also made threats in 2001 -- that the U.S. would be "made extinct". There is a plan to kill us all.

Yet Bush pussyfoots around. People think it's a joke.

It ain't a joke. If we cannot deter terrorism, we may suffer massive casualties and lose a good part of our liveable land. Notice I said deter, not prevent.

That is where Bush has gone wrong. He didn't teach the behaviorial lesson -- that if you touch us, you will die in such a shitstorm of nuclear radiation that your bones will glow for three generations as a warning to others.

Previous generations of Americans knew that -- but we don't seem to understand. It is enormously expensive to try to prevent terrorism.

But if you have a public list posted on the White House gate that says, "Here are the nations we will destroy, in the order in which we will destroy them, one minute after any terrorist attack on the U.S." it would be a different story. We're not going on wild goose chases all over the globe. We're just going to attack these nations. And forget about doing The Hadj for about 100,000 years unless you want to bleed from all your orifices when you return from it.

These are not nice people we are dealing with, but they can be detered if they think their homelands will be annihilated. It may actually save lives in the long run.

Disregarded Bosnia and Rwanda? Humph. Well, as a member of the left who grew up during the 90s, I REMEMBER THOSE. And I'm still mad that we didn't (couldn't?) do more.

So when I hear these same people carping about how bad it was to invade Iraq, I want to beat my head into a wall. You can say we did it badly, you can say we didn't send in enough troops, you can make all the policy arguments you want, but at least this time we didn't just sit on our hands and let the evil men rule.

We could've just killed every man, woman, and child in Iraq to end the threat from that country. Instead, we went in on the ground with the goal (largely successful) of minimizing civilian casualties, and now we're trying to help the Iraqis attain the same level of freedom and safety we have.

Are they actually surprised that the price for freedom is blood?

Lileks answers the braying moonbats at MetaFilter:


There you go. The problem isn't Islamist fascism. It's the sick cancer of men with low melanin concentrations who can't forget that picture of two strangers - one Asian, one Black - embracing in sobs in a bodega as the smoke and dust rolled down the street. This is why I left Metafilter right after 9/11. They don't mind if you're angry. You can be angry about important things, like Microsoft security lapses and Ashcroft crusades. But 200 stories of skyscraper falling to the ground? Thousands dead, ten thousand orphaned, ten million mourning?

Dude. Get a grip.

Metafilter reminds me why you shouldn't talk politics in bars. The words Ignorance and Self-aggrandizement should be linked to MeFi on the search engines.

I'm a privileged white male patriarch hegemonic etc. I have vivid, detailed nightmares about 9-11 even though I wasn't in New York. My city was under attack, though, and is likely to be again. I live about six miles from the Capitol dome. Bin Laden and company think they will go to Heaven if they give us all the plague, and I wish we could kill the sons of bitches already.

But I am also one of those annoying people who criticize our foreign policy. Not just Bush, either. The reason is simple: We are backing dictators and tyrants. My tax dollars go to some very bad guys. Weapons, training, money... I think it all has to stop. I've heard that our bad guys are better than the alternative, but I don't think that's anywhere near good enough.

I don't say this because I'm an America-hater. In fact, I don't see how you can be an American and not hold the Declaration of Independence sacred. In there, it says all people have certain rights, and that to secure these rights, they can make their own kind of governments. We say we believe this, and yet here we are giving weapons to dictators. That's as un-American as it can possibly get.

So yes, let's kill Al Qaeda, and let's stop backing dictatorships. I think we can all agree on that, whether we're on the left or the right.

Lileks said it well over a year ago:

If you combined Noam Chomsky and Emily Post at age 22 and set them in front of a computer after their 89th consecutive dateless Saturday, youd have a perfect example of the recent MeFi member.

There is no need for a debate between Americans and Brits as to who did the most to win WWII. The contributions of both countries were absolutely essential.

In addition to fighting when no one else was doing so, Britain made a number of important technical and organizational contributions. These included: (a) much of the early radar development (Robert Watson-Watt and others); (b) development of a networked command-and-control system for air defense (Air Marshall Dowding); © the Spitfire and Hurricane fighters.

The justified pride that we feel as Americans should not lead us to shortchange the contributions of others.

"...even if you weren't anywhere near the WTC."

Ehrm, I was in Stockholm, approximately half a globe away. Somehow I managed to be angry anyway. And I still am.

That goes for Michele's comment as well:
"James Lileks, like myself, like so many others, were the victims of 9/11 because we are American and it was an attack on America."

It was an attack on America as the leader of the free and democratic world. It was an attack on me and everybody else who values freedom.

BTW, a great site which I somehow has managed to miss. Will check it out often from now on.

which I somehow have managed to miss

Someone wrote: That is where Bush has gone wrong. He didn't teach the behaviorial lesson -- that if you touch us, you will die in such a shitstorm of nuclear radiation that your bones will glow for three generations as a warning to others.

Some people seem to have permanently surrendered their intellects to the emotions of 9/11.

FYI: No "shitstorm of nuclear radiation" is going to end terrorism. No shitstorm of PATRIOT and VICTORY Acts are going to bring back the twin towers. They will only destroy what makes America great, what you once treasured. Those who feel a deep-seated need to turn America into their own personal angel of vengeance are destroying America.

I suppose the one amusing thing to come out of this 'discussion' is that all the criticism of Metafilter prejudice, ignorance, bile, hatred &c. is just as easily turned round and put on this place...the same thing just coming from the other side of the political fence. But hey, any chance of give and take in a discussion is always lost in the rush to pick & support your team in the great American political football game. 'Boo! You horrible Metafilter lefties!' 'Sucks to you ASM (or whoever) righties!' 'Go my team!' ZZZZzzzz....

Oh, and to follow up on the 'If it weren't for the US you'd be speaking German' meme...Why do so many Americans say this? Or the more general 'If it wasn't for the US many people in the world wouldn't be free'? I suppose it would be churlish to point out that modern America wouldn't exist were it not for the actions, inventions & philosophies of Europeans (among others).

The bottom line is that the most free & most 'successful' countries around the world are so because they have managed to take on the best elements of the cultures of the world and tried to reject the worst. The 'free peoples' (for want of a better phrase) of the world owe their freedom to each other. To say otherwise is to completely disrespect all those from all cultures who have lived, worked and died for the freedom we all enjoy today.

While the post 9/11 'war' continues, it would seem more sensible for those around the world who embrace freedom stick together and work with each other.

Unfortunately, I see here, on Lileks, on Metafilter and too many other places, people - of all political stripes - too ready to defend their own corner, poke sticks at the others and fight amongst themselves. I see too many Americans ready to attack & berate the French (or Europeans in general) over what are relatively small differences in ideology rather than the genocidal extremists who see all Westerners as evil dogs who deserve to die. And of course, too many Europeans hating Americans for equally minor differences.

Maybe it is because we can't debate with the terrorists that we have to put our hatred of what they do & represent onto those we can debate with.

Ultimately I think we ALL need to grow up a little.

'Sucks to you ASM...'

Make that ASV

Many of you people who are down on MetaFilter can't really be taken seriously, given your history on MetaFilter. In most cases, those complaining about Meta are really just those who got there intellectual and/or ideological asses kicked on Meta. Then you ran away, where you now safely whimper from afar. It's as simple as that.

Sorry to burst your bubble, Pelican. I've never belonged to Metafilter. And that would be "their" not "there." Sorry for going all intellectual on your ass.

because there's no higher intellectual pursuit than pointing out someone's spelling mistakes.


A "commie" friend of mine who still participates in Metafilter (who is, incidentally, the little ankle-biter above named rhyax) just pointed me to a thread in their "self discussion" area about your post (and Lilek's response). Congratulations on your new membership in the world of zealotry and racism!


Honestly, parts of this thread read like a parody. Thrill as we are told that the American left is actually conservative! Chill as we learn that ultra conservative Lileks is actually just a pale imitation of Garrison Keillor, and that he has (like the rest of us) a "psychologically unhealthy fixation on the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center". Gasp in disbelief as we are told, yet again, that we should GET OVER 9/11 ALREADY (by the operator of cruel.com, no less).

But also notice that there are plenty of smart, intelligent people participating in the thread as well (including the user who posted it in the first place). Some of them are users (and friends) who were there back when I participated. I don't know why they stay sometimes, given that they are often lost in the piddlings of the kids.

Just for the record (as my posting on my personal weblog explains) I didn't leave Metafilter for purely ideological reasons either, so I don't really want to be classified as a martyr who was driven away by the moonbats. I just didn't have the time or intellectual energy left to devote to the struggle after my own work and my teaching responsibilities were dispatched; the same reason I don't "blog" regularly or participate in other sites often.

Please keep telling us why you left Metafilter, Evan. That really makes your point about how unimportant and irrelevant the site is.

Some of them are users (and friends) who were there back when I participated. I don't know why they stay sometimes, given that they are often lost in the piddlings of the kids.

Cause the non-political threads are still fun, and I sometimes get a chance to puncture peoples smugness, which I detest more than rectal itching, no matter what side of the fence it comes from. BTW, ev, I'm livin' in the city now, we oughta grab a brewski sometime.

I cannot, under any circumstances, look at Metafilter again....Posted by: Evan Izer at September 5, 2003 02:20 AM

http://metatalk.metafilter.com/mefi/3514...Honestly, parts of this thread read like a parody....Posted by: Evan Izer at September 7, 2003 08:09 PM

What's wrong with this picture?

Evan, there are a lot of people who wish that you had not left MetaFilter (either time), because you were not afraid to call it as you see it and to speak out against what can at times be a very one-sided argument. MetaFilter is often the scene of bloodied noses and crushed egos, but it is at (almost) all times done by those who hold passionate beliefs about the subject matter, rather than with an intent to wound personally. The MeTa thread under scrutiny here is certainly MeFi at a low point but, without the lows, how could we recognise and enjoy the highs?

If you truly do not intend to return to MetaFilter, which I believe is the poorer for your absence, just leave and don't look back. By saying that you cannot stand to look at the site and then making disparaging comments about the content, you only make yourself a target for ridicule.

On a personal note, I miss your comments on MeFi and at #mefi and wish that you would write more on your personal site. Even though I disagree with a lot of what you say, I always enjoy your honesty in expressing yourself.

my cat's breath smells like evanizer's purple heart.