by Travis Mateer
Two days after the attacks of 9/11, Stephen King was pushing back on White House claims that no one could have imagined such an attack. That’s not true, King said in his New York Times piece, because Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris had the ultimate goal of hijacking a plane from the Denver airport and flying it into New York City.
People keep saying ”like a movie,” ”like a book,” ”like a war zone,” and I keep thinking: No, not at all like a movie or a book — that’s no computer-generated image, because you can’t see any wash or blur in the background. This is what it really looks like when an actual plane filled with actual human beings and loaded with jet fuel hits a skyscraper. This is the truth.
Certainly, it seems to me that the idea of an enormous intelligence breakdown is ludicrous; again, this was not like a book, not like a movie; this was men armed with nothing but knives and box cutters relying on simple speed to keep people off balance long enough to accomplish their goals. In the case of the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, they failed. With the other three, however, they succeeded quite nicely. Cost of weaponry? Based on what we know now, less than $100. This qualifies them as cut-rate, low-tech, stealth guerrillas flying well under the radar of American intelligence. We must realize this and grasp an even more difficult truth: although it is comforting to have a bogyman, and every child’s party needs a paper donkey to pin the tail on, this Osama bin Laden fellow may not have been the guy responsible. It wouldn’t hurt to remember that the boys who shot up Columbine High School planned to finish their day by hijacking a jetliner and flying it into — yes, that’s right — the World Trade Center. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris weren’t exactly rocket scientists, and the guys who did this didn’t have to be either. All you had to be was willing to die, and these guys were. It could happen again. And now that crazos the world over see that it’s possible to get 72 hours of uninterrupted air time on a budget, it will almost certainly happen again.
When it comes to imagining violent scenarios, Stephen King knows what he’s talking about. I’m not sure what age I was when I first read King’s story about a school shooting, titled Rage, but it was probably around high school.
If you didn’t know Stephen King was making money off depicting violence in schools a few decades before Columbine, here’s the plot summary of the story:
Charlie Decker, a Maine high school senior, is called to a meeting with his principal about a previous incident in which he struck his chemistry teacher with a pipe wrench, leading to the teacher’s hospitalization and Charlie’s suspension. Charlie then subjects the principal to a series of insulting remarks, resulting in his expulsion. Charlie storms out of the office and retrieves a pistol from his locker, then sets the contents of his locker on fire. He then returns to his classroom and fatally shoots his algebra teacher, Miss Jean Underwood. The fire triggers an alarm, but Charlie forces his classmates to stay in the room, killing a history teacher, Mr. Peter Vance, when he attempts to enter. As the other students and teachers evacuate the school, the police and media arrive at the scene.
See? Stephen King knows what he’s talking about AND he was way ahead of the times.
Why am I thinking about Stephen King, 9/11, and Columbine? I listened to a podcast, is one reason, and we’re going to be hearing a lot about dark-skinned terrorists again, is another.
Normally I don’t write about geopolitics at this local blog, but since an Israeli Consul is going to be speaking in Missoula on Wednesday, I think I’ll have something to write later this week. Here’s what’s happening on campus tomorrow:
Wednesday’s 20th annual International Conference on Central and Southwest Asia at the University of Montana has gained new urgency after violence erupted in Israel and the Gaza Strip over the weekend.
Conference organizer Bob Seidenschwarz said Israeli Consul General Marco Sermoneta’s keynote speech Wednesday evening remains on the schedule, although its content is likely to change. Sermoneta’s speech was titled “Charting a new course: Israel’s engagement in the Middle East and Beyond.” Montana Commerce Department Director Scott Osterman will join Sermoneta for a facilitated discussion starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the University Center’s third-floor theater on the UM campus.
I’m excited to attend this. Will we hear anything about Ukrainian Nazis and that hilarious “gaffe” up in Canada?
The Canadian parliament’s standing ovation for a Ukrainian war veteran who turned out to be a former fighter for Nazi Germany has reignited calls to take down a monument honoring his unit.
Yaroslav Hunka, 98, who served in the voluntary 14th Grenadier Division of the Waffen SS, was applauded as a war hero by Canadian leaders on Friday without them realizing he actually fought in a Nazi unit.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has since apologized for the gaffe, calling it “deeply embarrassing.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was visiting Canada’s parliament at the time of the standing ovation.
It’s very confusing when your freedom fighters against evil Russia are sometimes ALSO Nazis. Will Mehrdad Kia be around Wednesday to tell America we’re wimpy for not taking out Iran and being better pals with Ukraine against evil Russia?
Yes, this man is very thoughtful, and here are some of his thoughts on Biden being a wimp:
The American foreign policy of retreat projected weakness and sent the wrong signal to Putin, who brazenly invaded a sovereign country, Ukraine, convinced that the Biden administration, just like the Obama White House in the case of the Russian invasion of Crimea, would ignore aggression against a sovereign country by Russian forces. The heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people, along with mass demonstrations across Europe demanding a strong response to Russian aggression forced the hand of the United States and its European allies, resulting into military support for the Zelensky government in Kiev.
As an observer who has been equally critical of both Democrats and Republicans in many foreign policy issues, I have to confess that I have rarely seen a weaker and more disjointed foreign policy approach than the one implemented by the Biden administration. Advancing a U. S. foreign policy that advocates a strong American presence in critical regions of the world through a close alliance with our traditional partners will minimize the possibility of U. S. military intervention in the future, and it will significantly reduce the likelihood of conflict erupting in various corners of the world because of intervention by China and Russia, such as what we see now in the cases of Taiwan and Ukraine.
Are you starting to see why I don’t write about geopolitics and US foreign policy? If you appreciate me knowing what NOT to cover from my little blog, the consider throwing Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF) some support, or you can make a donation at my about page.
Thanks for reading!