Chris Hedges Imperialism Original

Hedges: The Evil We Do Is the Evil We Get

The hijackers who carried out the attacks on 9/11, like all radical jihadist groups in the Middle East, spoke to us in the murderous language we taught them.
Original illustration by Mr. Fish.

By Chris Hedges / Original to ScheerPost

I was in Times Square in New York City shortly after the second plane banked and plowed into the South Tower. The crowd looking up at the Jumbotron gasped in dismay at the billowing black smoke and the fireball that erupted from the tower. There was no question now that the two attacks on the twin towers were acts of terrorism. The earlier supposition, that perhaps the pilot had a heart attack or lost control of the plane when it struck the North Tower seventeen minutes earlier, vanished with the second attack. The city fell into a collective state of shock. Fear palpitated throughout the streets. Would they strike again? Where? Was my family safe? Should I go to work? Should I go home? What did it mean? Who would do this? Why?

The explosions and collapse of the towers, however, were, to me, intimately familiar. I had seen it before. This was the familiar language of empire.  I had watched these incendiary messages dropped on southern Kuwait and Iraq during the first Persian Gulf War and descend with thundering concussions in Gaza and Bosnia. The calling card of empire, as was true in Vietnam, is tons of lethal ordnance dropped from the sky. The hijackers spoke to America in the idiom we taught them.

The ignorance, masquerading as innocence, of Americans, mostly white Americans, was nauseating. It was the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. It was the greatest act of terrorism in American history. It was an incomprehensible act of barbarity. The stunningly naïve rhetoric, which saturated the media, saw the blues artist Willie King sit up all night and write his song “Terrorized”.

“Now you talk ‘bout terror,” he sang. “I been terrorized all my days.”

But it was not only Black Americans who were familiar with the endemic terror built into the machinery of white supremacy, capitalism, and empire, but those overseas who the empire for decades sought to subdue, dominate, and destroy. They knew there is no moral difference between those who fire Hellfire and cruise missiles or pilot militarized drones, obliterating wedding parties, village gatherings or families, and suicide bombers. They knew there is no moral difference between those who carpet-bomb North Vietnam or southern Iraq and those who fly planes into buildings. In short, they knew the evil that spawned evil. America was not attacked because the hijackers hated us for our values. America was not attacked because the hijackers followed the Quran — which forbids suicide and the murder of women and children. America was not attacked because of a clash of civilizations. America was attacked because the virtues we espouse are a lie. We were attacked for our hypocrisy. We were attacked for the campaigns of industrial slaughter that are our primary way of speaking with the rest of the planet. Robert McNamara, the Secretary of Defense in the summer of 1965, called the bombing raids, which would eventually kill hundreds of thousands of civilians north of Saigon, a form of communication with the communist government in Hanoi. 

We did not, and do not, grasp that we are the mirror image of those we seek to destroy. We too kill with an inchoate fury.

The lives of Iraqis, Afghanis, Syrians, Libyans, and Yemenis are as precious as the lives of those killed in the twin towers. But this understanding, this ability to see the world as the world saw us, eluded Americans who, refusing to acknowledge the blood on their own hands, instantly bifurcated the world into good and evil, us and them, the blessed and the damned. The country drank deep of the dark elixir of nationalism, the heady elevation of us as a noble and wronged people. The flip side of nationalism is always racism. And the poisons of racism and hate infected the American nation to propel it into the greatest strategic blunder in its history, one from which it will never recover. 

We did not, and do not, grasp that we are the mirror image of those we seek to destroy. We too kill with an inchoate fury. Over the past two decades we have extinguished the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who never sought to harm the United States or were involved in the attacks on American soil. We too use religion, in our case the Christian faith, to mount a jihad or crusade. We too go to war to fight phantoms of our own creation.  

I walked down the West Side Highway that morning to the moonscape the twin towers had become after they collapsed. Climbing over the rubble, hacking, and coughing because of the toxic fumes from the burning asbestos, jet fuel, lead, mercury, cellulose, and construction debris, I saw the tiny bits of human flesh and body parts that was all that remained from the towers’ nearly 3,000 victims. It was obvious no one in the towers when they collapsed survived.

The manipulation of the images, however, had already begun. The scores of “jumpers,” those who leapt to their deaths before the collapses, were censored from the live broadcasts. They seemed to wait for turns. They often fell singly or in pairs, sometimes with improvised parachutes made from drapes, sometimes replicating the motions of swimmers. They reached speeds of 150 miles an hour during the ten seconds it took before they hit the pavement. The bodies made a sickening thud on impact. All who saw them fall spoke of this sound. 

The mass suicide was one of the pivotal events of 9/11. But it was immediately expunged from public consciousness. The jumpers did not fit into the myth the nation demanded. The hopelessness and despair were too disturbing. It exposed our smallness and fragility. It illustrated that there are levels of suffering and fear that lead us to willingly embrace death. The “jumpers” reminded us that one day we will all face only one choice and that is how we will die, not how we will live. 

The story being fabricated out of the ashes of the twin towers was a story of resilience, heroism, courage and self-sacrifice, not collective suicide. So, the mass murder and mass suicide were replaced with an encomium to the virtues and prowess of the American spirit. 

The nation, fed this narrative, soon parroted back the clichés about terror. We became what we abhorred. The 9/11 deaths were used to justify the invasion of Afghanistan, “Shock and Awe”, targeted assassinations, torture, offshore penal colonies, gunning down families at checkpoints, air strikes, drone attacks, missile strikes and the killing of dozens and soon hundreds and then thousands and later tens of thousands and finally hundreds of thousands of innocent people. The corpses piled up in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan, justified by our beatified dead. Twenty years later these dead haunt us like Banquo’s ghost. 

The intoxication of violence, the anodyne of war, is a poison. It condemns critical thought as treason. Its call to patriotism is little more than collective self-worship. It imparts a god-like power and license to destroy, not only things, but other human beings. But war is, ultimately, about betrayal, as the defeat in Afghanistan elucidates. Betrayal of the young by the old. Betrayal of idealists by cynics. Betrayal of soldiers and marines by war profiteers and politicians. 

The defeat in Afghanistan has not forced a reckoning. The media coverage does not acknowledge the defeat, replacing it with the absurd idea that, by withdrawing, we defeated ourselves.

War, like all idols, begins by demanding the sacrifice of others but ends with the demand for self-sacrifice. The Greeks, like Sigmund Freud, grasped that war is the purist expression of the death instinct, the desire to exterminate all systems of life, including, ultimately, our own. Ares, the Greek god of war, was frequently drunk, quarrelsome, impetuous, and a lover of violence for its own sake. He was hated by nearly all the other gods, except the god of the underworld, Hades, to whom he delivered a steady stream of new souls. Ares’s sister, Eris, the goddess of chaos and strife, spread rumor and jealousy to fan the flames of war.

The defeat in Afghanistan has not forced a reckoning. The media coverage does not acknowledge the defeat, replacing it with the absurd idea that, by withdrawing, we defeated ourselves. The plight of women under Taliban rule and the frantic effort of the elites and those who collaborated with the foreign occupation forces to flee are myopically used to ignore the two decades of unmitigated terror and death we perpetrated on the Afghan people. 

This moral fragmentation, where we define ourselves by tangential and often fictitious acts of goodness, is a psychological escape hatch. It allows us to avoid looking at who we are and what we have done. This willful blindness is what the psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton calls “doubling,” the “division of the self into two functioning wholes, so that the part-self acts as an entire self.” This doubling, Lifton noted, is often done “outside of awareness.” And it is an essential ingredient to carrying out evil. If we refuse to see ourselves as we are, if we cannot shatter the lie perpetuated by our moral fragmentation, there is no hope of redemption. The gravest danger we face is the danger of alienation, not only from the world around us, but from ourselves.

Chris Hedges writes a regular original column for ScheerPost. Click here to sign up for email alerts.

Chris Hedges
Chris HedgesChris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning NewsThe Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He is the host of the Emmy Award-nominated RT America show On Contact. 

Copyright 2021 Chris Hedges


  1. Pema Chodron has given good talks on “Moral Injury”– what the damage is when we don’t live up to our own ethics. The need for atonement is part of healing from this damage. We are going to be for the next many decades trying to do this, if we are willing to try to stop the military-industrial complex and the illusion that any modern war can be “won” or justified.

  2. Wells’ listening to NEW FACTS from ex FBI. CIA regarding the Capital faux pas.

    allowed the CHARGE OF THE TRUMP
    the caveat is:


    by ——- wait for it, THE LEFT !

    Now munch on that!

    1. Do you not realize that what you have written is incoherent? How are people of this intelligence level able to continue breathing?

  3. “We did not, and do not, grasp that we are the mirror image of those we seek to destroy. We too kill with an inchoate fury.”

    Mirrors are wonderful things. And also terrible.

    They are wonderful because they reveal what we truly are. And they are terrible because they reveal what we truly are.

    What is the most important part of the experience of looking into a mirror? It’s that consciousness that’s looking through it. The consciousness of an individual or of an entire nation.

    Mirrors can reveal beauty or ugliness of the face and body. But they cannot reveal the beauty and ugliness of the spirit… the consciousness that processes the image into a comprehensible image.

    If not a mirror, what can reveal the beauty or ugliness of the spirit that’s peering into its reflection? Only the honesty and clarity and courage of the spirit that does the looking. And the interpreting of it. And then, the decisions about what to do about the image that the spirit has beheld.

    In television and movie productions, a common dramatic touch is the breaking of glass or a mirror. This manifests the idea of shattering… of dramatic change… of a shift… of getting everyone’s attention… the sense that something demands a response and has been forever altered.

    And that’s the thing. This symbolic breaking of the glass is necessary for every person… every group… every nation. No one is the embodiment of absolute beauty or perfection. Everyone and everything needs constant re-evaluation and assessment to see where it fits on the wide scale of the polarities of Good and Evil, right and wrong, on the right path or one that leads astray. It is a process that never ends… or at least never should on this side of Heaven.

    Nations never seem to look into the mirror. They can’t afford to. Nations are held together by carefully woven narratives and fairy tales that are at their heart more empty space than hard reality. Nations are held together by myths and inventions and conjured ideas and scrubbed and erased history and the denial of committing any acts of evil. You can’t let anything disturb that house of cards or the whole thing will collapse.

    And that’s why nations never self-regenerate. The momentum for clarity and change has long been eradicated from the national spirit. When change to a nation comes it comes from outside. Because the inside has rusted and rotted away.

    What can regenerate is the courageous individual. The one with the strength and honesty to look at his or her own ugliness and decide to do something about it. The power is within all of us should we choose to exercise it.

    And when we do, that image in the mirror we look at is so damn more pleasing than it was before. We may not be able to save a Nation but we can save ourselves… if we really look deep enough into that mirror and get in touch with the one who is doing the looking.

    1. Thanks to Roundball Shaman for these comments promoting self-awareness. He echoes the Oracle. “Know Thyself, if ye seek wisdom”. (Said to have been graven in stone over the entrance to the Oracle’s temple at Delphi).

      We have been molded to be a nation of black iron pots and black iron kettles, all condemning each other for being black.

      We have been taught since earliest childhood to each build for ourselves a contrived identity formed from adopted pretenses. We all have been raised to carry the burden of desperate egos. Roundball Shaman writes about how nations do this. How nations are “held together by carefully woven narratives and fairy tales that are at their heart more empty space than hard reality. Nations are held together by myths and inventions and conjured ideas and scrubbed and erased history and the denial of committing any acts of evil. You can’t let anything disturb that house of cards or the whole thing will collapse”.

      Isn’t every word of that also true for individuals nurtured in a consumer culture that does everything it can to be as coercive as possible in teaching people to be dissatisfied with ourselves, so we think we need to consume something to feel better?

      The “whole thing will collapse”? I’ve seen it happen numerous times. If you lay bare the contradictions in some people’s desperately constructed egos, their whole identity “will collapse”. If they truly ‘see themselves’, their true selves, who they really are behind those carefully and elaborately constructed egos, the horror of the vision can cause what used to be called a ‘nervous breakdown’.

      The Cult of Victimhood that now dominates our nation’s consciousness delivers people into self-righteousness, the diametrical opposite of self-awareness.

      The current political faction that calls itself ‘the Left’, ( but does the bidding of the status quo establishment power structure), is markedly worse in this than the confused people on the (so-called) Right. It is only natural that it would be. People on the Left embrace an identity that includes their belief in their own moral superiority. Few Leftists are self-aware enough to ‘see’ their own faults, as they denounce their opponents for having the SAME faults.

      Pots and kettles… Pots and kettles…

      Thank you again to Roundball Shaman for this eloquent promotion of self-awareness. He might give more thought to his mirror metaphor, however. He folds it against itself, leaving a perceptive reader thinking “Wait. What?”

      First he says that “mirrors reveal what we truly are”. Then he tells us that mirrors “cannot reveal the beauty and ugliness of the spirit”. He uses these directly contradictory ideas to introduce the concept that Oscar Wilde discussed in ‘The Critic as Artist’. Indeed, it is the consciousness of the perceiver that imparts whatever meaning or shape is found in the perception.

      Shakespeare said the same, (as have many others), in Romeo and Juliet. It was Juliet’s lament, (wasn’t it?, it’s been a long time). “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Nothing is either good or bad, except as thinking makes it so”.

      1. “We have been molded to be a nation of black iron pots and black iron kettles, all condemning each other for being black.”

        Who is doing the molding? And why? Do they have our best interests at heart? How could they? They don’t know who and what we are. And they certainly aren’t acting out of self-sacrifice and caring for others. They sow chaos to create chaos.

        “We have been taught since earliest childhood to each build for ourselves a contrived identity formed from adopted pretenses. We all have been raised to carry the burden of desperate egos.”

        We each choose our identity. Some of us will “choose” to let others do this for us. Others of us know that only in our own lifetime quest to learn who we are can find our true selves – the One that’s always behind every thought and perception and judgment we have. The One that just sits back and looks and looks. The One behind all the noise of layers of false identity that we have taken on.

        “…individuals nurtured in a consumer culture that does everything it can to be as coercive as possible in teaching people to be dissatisfied with ourselves, so we think we need to consume something to feel better?”

        And what is the motivation for this? Material self-enrichment on the part of selfish and egotistical persons and corporations who have no values other than profit and self promotion at the expense of others. Yet, the individual still holds the power to decide how they will perceive him or herself — as persons of value or as objects to be used, mined, and abused for the amusement and enrichment of others.

        “their whole identity ‘will collapse’… the horror of the vision can cause what used to be called a ‘nervous breakdown’.”

        This is sad but necessary. It is the only way out of the Dark Cave of our personal existence. Every one of us was put into our own personal cave of darkness. And only we as individuals can find our way out. Grasping the ‘horror of the vision’ is to finally see oneself lost deep in that cave, and the nervous breakdown is the fever that must be broken in order for the body to begin the healing process.

        “The Cult of Victimhood that now dominates our nation’s consciousness delivers people into self-righteousness, the diametrical opposite of self-awareness.”

        The Cult of Victimhood is the lazy person’s way to get social capital. ‘Oh, poor oppressed me’ means that you owe me something and you must do things to please me. It’s all about “Me! Poor Me!” Infantile pounding on the table and blatting until you get your way. But it works if others let this work.

        “… He might give more thought to his mirror metaphor, however. He folds it against itself, leaving a perceptive reader thinking ‘Wait. What?’ First he says that “mirrors reveal what we truly are”. Then he tells us that mirrors “cannot reveal the beauty and ugliness of the spirit”.

        Let me rephrase. The physical structure of the mirror by itself can’t reveal anything. It is the interplay and intersection between the physical mirror and the spiritual Self doing the looking where all the magic happens.

        We all always playing a game of ‘catch up’ with ‘reality’. We are using our limited tools of physical and mental perception to conjure the world in our thoughts while at the same time trying to look backwards into the other direction at the “I” of our consciousness that is doing all the looking and conjuring. In other words, we are always spinning two plates of changing imagery both in front of and behind us and trying to get meaningful and comprehensible pictures and perceptions and merge them into One… and then everything again has changed in a few seconds and we start again.

        Thanks for your thoughtful words.

  4. Thank you so much Chris. I am sorry you were there as a witness but I also know you have covered war all around the world. I enjoyed the great interview with Michael Moore! I have felt very alone for 20 years and would have lost my mind without truthtellers like you. I haven’t been in the streets since Occupy Wall Street. That was the last time since Vietnam. I often wonder how informed Romans felt as their neighbors rushed to the Coliseum..

  5. It’s called “blow back” in intelligence and military circles. And it is not only welcomed, as it was on 9/11/2001, but encouraged, by those “war pigs” and their puppet masters in corporate America.
    9/11 was a bonanza that was unequaled in the history of the American military industrial complex. Not only did it serve as a profit vehicle unparalleled, but it further solidified the MIC as the unquestioned driver of our economy.
    Oh, and it also helped create an all new generation of potential enemies in the children of those innocents that were slaughtered because someone made Americans feel “uncomfortable”
    And there is no end in site.

    1. I think this is true. But what are we all trying to do to stop it? 43 billion dollars for nuclear war heads on submarines, in the Pentagon budget for this year. In what part of one’s understanding of the fragility of Earth do that many nuclear warheads to destroy the planet figure as a positive??? How can we stop this????

  6. sigh…..

    You Reap what you Sow.

    It’s really not that hard.

    To ignore evil is to be complicit with it.

    It’s really not that hard.

    What they do to others, they will eventually do to you.

    It’s really not that hard.

  7. “Until the lions have their own historians, the tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.”
    Having served 3 tours of duty in Vietnam, I bore witness to man’s inhumanity to man. Like Chris Hedges experience on 9/11, it left an indelible scar on my psyche, and my soul. There is no circle of hell in Dante’s Inferno that is deep enough for all those who have profited from the countless deaths of the innocents, either by money or power.

  8. So happy to see another super solidly written Chris Hedges article on the sickening memory of 9.11 .

    The idoim that America taught: bomb the shit out of them.

    And the one Chalmers Johnson taught us: blow back. And, yes, she is a bitch.

  9. “The gravest danger we face is the danger of alienation, not only from the world around us, but from ourselves.” This is the fundamental human sickness that is killing us and most other life on our planet. More precisely, it is the individual and collective egoic mind, with it’s pathological capacity to abstract existence into a disassociated state, that has alienated humans from all that is life-giving, sacred, and sane.

  10. There are many on the Left and the Right who question the 9/11 narrative.
    Doesn’t one run the risk of appearing as arrogant as the oligarchs by simply dismissing those views?
    The first step towards any Truth requires humility.

  11. Taliban and 9/11
    The media is now full of analyzes of the war in Afghanistan. But the events that started the war must not be analyzed. The fact that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, with the support of The Taliban, were behind a terrorist attack on the United States on the 11th of September 2001, has been established in the Western world as a historical fact. Taliban itself has never accepted this Bush’s version of 9/11. Now that Taliban has taken control in Afghanistan, can we not expect that the government in Afghanistan will present evidence that it was not Osama bin Laden who was behind 9/11? And should this go so far as to an international investigation, we should expect astronomical claims from the Taliban against the United States for war crimes.

    When George W. Bush after 9/11 demanded that the Taliban extradite bin Laden, the Taliban replied that they would do so if the United States provided evidence. To which Bush replied: “We do not need no stinkin evidence. We know he’s guilty.” The FBI, of course, launched an investigation of bin Laden. But an FBI spokesman, Rex Tomb, stated in 2006 that the agency had “no hard evidence” linking bin Laden to 9/11. In the program “The Investigation and the Evidence” on BBC News on the 5th of October 2001, the conclusion was that there was no direct evidence linking bin Laden to the 9/11 attacks. German Federal Judge Dieter Deiseroth ruled in December 2009 that no independent court had established evidence against bin Laden.

    The Secretary General of NATO, Lord Robertson, had presented a report after a 3-week investigation into the 9/11 actions. In a briefing for the Nato Council and for the member states on the second of October 2001 he stated: “The facts are clear and compelling”. That this was to be considered as an attack from outside on the United States. “We know that those who carried out these attacks were part of al-Qaeda, under the leadership of Osama bin Laden. The United States can now receive full support from the 18 NATO-countries in its fight against terrorism.” But at the same time, he announced that the report could not be made public.

    In an interview with CBS News (August 22. 2019), the central spokesman for the Taliban, Suhail Shaheen, claimed that the Taliban had always known that al-Qaeda was not behind 9/11. The Taliban was ready to take the al-Qaeda leader to court if evidence was presented that al-Qaeda was involved. The average Afghan has so far had little knowledge of 9/11. The situation in Pakistan, however, is very different.

    In 2007, conducted an opinion poll on Muslims’ perception of 9/11. Less than one in four Muslims believed that al-Qaeda was behind it. Pakistanis were the most skeptical, with only 3% believing that al-Qaeda did it. Former leader of ISI (The Inter Services Intelligence) in Pakistan, Hamid Gul, supported this view.

    Hamid Gul was a three-star Pakistani general who received much of the credit for the mobilization of the Mujahedin in opposition to the Soviet occupation from 1979 to 1989. He helped “build up” bin Laden as a fanatical Mujahedin, and had very good knowledge and understanding of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Already on the 26th of September 2001, he claimed that al-Qaeda could not be behind 9/11 because its lack of resources in order to execute such a complex operation. He later said that the Taliban must demand an international investigation into 9/11.

    Now 20 years after the start of The War on Terror we can be be sure of that the US has no hard evidence backing the claim of bin Laden and al-Qaeda being behind 9/11. If the US had such evidence, it would of course have been presented long time ago. With the victory of Taliban we can now expect a demand for a new international investigation into the 9/11 actions, with the full support of middle eastern countries like Pakistan, Iran and Egypt.

    1. Spot on Einar… Let’s all of us discard our Red caps and Blue caps, and strap on our Thinking caps.

  12. “The defeat in Afghanistan has not forced a reckoning. The media coverage does not acknowledge the defeat, replacing it with the absurd idea that, by withdrawing, we defeated ourselves.”

    Ain’t it the truth.

    Reminds me of a quote from Johnny Unitas- “We didn’t lose we just ran out of time”

    Yeah, well, you still lost dude……

  13. Visible minorities, man the joystick, set the code
    Group of seven pick and choose, which target gets the load
    Forever-wars, foreign-actions, orders of the day
    Demolition, reconstruction, we get paid either way.

  14. Prior to the Iraq invasion, I had a bumper sticker on my car that said “NO WAR ON IRAQ”.

    I was regularly threatened, cut off, honked at, given the middle finger, and had garbage and beer cans thrown at me.

    The 43 year old woman I was dating at the time was so uncomfortable with it, she warned me while parked in her driveway to watch out for her father, who was a former Marine.

    That military madness has proliferated and is still with us.

  15. The dynamic of “othering,” scapegoating, splitting into black and white, good and evil is certainly alive and well in the current news cycle and mainstream media. Just don’t ask any questions or you, too, will be a target.

  16. “We did not, and do not, grasp that we are the mirror image of those we seek to destroy. We too kill with an inchoate fury.”

    To which I would add, “We just do it with a more advanced technology.”

  17. Hedges pontificates on propaganda narrative to commemorate the 20th anniversary of this false flag operation, throwing in the obligatory references of leftish pseudo-radical rhetoric to white supremacy and the like to distract his audience from the total untenability of the empire’s official conspiracy theory (e.g., the Al Qaeda (Al CIAda) plot). Unsurprising, given how he now collaborates with the official coverup of the covid coup, consistent as well with his years of service as a war correspondent promoting the lies of empire (e.g., the ethnic cleansing storyline to cover up the US-NATO destruction of Yugoslavia).

    1. You said a mouthful Niko… Despite his eloquence, Chris damn near converts his surname into a verb.

  18. It’s interesting that Hedges is one of the few who nowadays mentions the jumpers. The jumpers were a main feature in the MSM back in the first few years following 911 and there was even at least one documentary made about them. However, Hedges is right that they have been largely expunged from the public view. So the question is, WHY?

    IMO it’s because the fact of the jumpers is somewhat at odds with the official narrative. We can see for ourselves that the majority of the kerosene from the airplane strikes was consumed in the initial fireball, and we can see that the fires are largely out within a few minutes of the strikes. Furthermore we can see that the fire does not propagate through the building (compare the towers before collapse with tower block fires from other parts of the world). So why did people at the top of the towers – many floors removed from the impacted areas and the initial fireball – jump to their deaths?

    WHAT was making them jump? Where was the heat source?

    Since no one has ever answered this question I suggest it is YET ANOTHER anomaly (and YET ANOTHER dead end when it comes to stonewalling by officials) that we can add to our critique of the ‘Book of Lies’ that is the official narrative of 911.

  19. Truth is simple to see, but your eyes need to be open to see it. US Invade countries for Economic and Financial gain, to support the lifestyles back at home. But that wouldn’t win the hearts of men and women, so they say it’s about fighting for the rights of women and children, about Democracy, and for the religious masses, It’s about fighting evil.
    Colonialism was the same thing. But then people believed they were spreading the Gospel and truth and saving others. This is how Evil has taken control of the entire western world.
    Our ancestors were against Technological development, based on the tales of the past, when nations destroy their natural inheritance, there is always a need to attack others, especially if their demand cannot be met through fair trade. The west consumes most of the resources on the planet.
    Truth is hated in the west, and deeply, while the Pathology of emptiness thrives.
    You can’t fight evil, truth is about transcending evil, It’s about disobedience and stop feeding the beast. You keep feeding the beast and yet you expect that by feeding that beast you will outgrow it, that’s wishful thinking.
    I love Chris Hedges work, but sometimes he is blind to the true force that controls the world. This is a slave planet, a Matrix, you can either renounce it, or keep fighting and die with it.
    The path is for an individual, the solitary, not a group consciousness. The foundation of the civilizations is corrupted to it’s core, Fascists of the past are still the same Fascists of today, If you want to awaken people, then tell them the truth of their past if you know it, if you don’t then you will most likely disorient them.
    Evil controls and enslave people through base desires and passions. And through these desires and passions is how Man is driven to commit crimes that hurt his own soul, and destroy it.

  20. It’s my understanding that to be a journalist is to always strive to seek the truth, wherever uncomfortable place that truth may lead one. Although I am an admirer of his work, Hedges willingly and without question accepts the official 9/11 narrative. In doing so, Hedges is engaging in his own “willful blindness.”

    The mass murder of American citizens on 9/11 has been the pivotal event of the 21st century. The evidence that contradicts the official narrative is vast, yet ScheerPost gives no column space to exposing the enormity of these lies.

    To ignore the mass fraud the Government has spun about the events of 9/11 is shameful, and I believe, an abdication of the responsibilities inherent in being a journalist.

    1. “willingly and without question” — so you know what Hedges and others who may not agree with you have been reading, researching, analyzing, thinking about, talking about, meditating on, grokking, digging into, exploring, sifting through, etc. in two decades since that day? You know the subtleties and complexities of the positions on this topic held by Hedges and and others who may not agree with you, or may agree with you in part but not all? You are such a omniscient narrator of our universe that none can hide from your awesome understanding?

      1. Chris Hedges is a person of great honor and integrity. As a long time reader of his books and his essays, I know that he has always sought out the truth, despite the immense cost to him personally and professionally. Although I am not a person of influence, I choose to follow his example.

        That said, I prefer that we keep this exchange dignified, and ask that you not lower the bar with snark and personal attacks.

        What “subtleties and complexities” are you referring to? The evidence contradicting the official narrative is glaringly evident for all to see and who wish to look. I’ve been waiting the better part of twenty years for Hedges and others on the Left to acknowledge it, but thus far I have not seen it.

        I’m simply asking why?

      2. I can only speak for myself. I spent a year researching the claims and found them unconvincing.

      3. Bush administration: “935 lies” about the Iraq war between 2001 and 2003.
        But no major lie about 9/11. How likely is that?
        Regarding the towers: Newton or Bush? I would go for Newton.

      4. Nobody who pays attention thinks the Bush Administration didn’t tell lies about 9/11, starting with the role of the Saudis and what warnings were ignored beforehand. That does not mean that all theories/research as to the truth of things is equally valid…

  21. It seems to me that it’s been mostly, if not entirely, the various white races of people which (who) have been the scourge of the planet and every other living thing on it pretty much since day one. I have a friend who has a great t-shirt, which I suppose is available from online t-shirt vendors. On the front of it is a historical photograph of a group of American Indians. Geronimo is one, I think Crazy Horse and Yellow Hand are among the others. They are all looking fairly sternly at the camera and all are fairly bristling with weapons, rifles pistols, bandoliers of bullets. etc. The caption under the photo reads”Fighting terrorism since 1492″ I love it.

  22. Great article as usual by Hedges but tell those of us who don’t have blinders on things we don’t already know. The psychological phenomenon of “doubling” was interesting. It seems that patriotism is merely nationwide doubling, because it captures the psyche of an entire nation, namely empires.

  23. Great article Chris – Thank you again for your continued lucidity in this world run amok…

  24. The breakdown of ethics and morality is in my opinion a result of overcrowding and limited resources worldwide. The fossil fuel moguls, and other ruling elites, want a destabilized Middle East in order to acquired cheap oil, and at the same time sell arms and stymie an organized cohesive opposition to Western Imperialism. Bush/Chaney were desperate for a reason to invade Iraq, and–cynically–used 911 to create a pretext for that bogus invasion. Afghanistan was a similar situation, a false premise leading to a ‘logical conclusion’ (a syllogism). So, while I agree with Chris Hedges’ essay within the context of moral equivalences, I believe that the broader reasons for war are based in more primitive areas of the brain: resource acquisition and survival in an overcrowded world. That being said, the twenty years of ‘warfare’ have diverted funds, efforts and time, that might have been used to avoid the apocalyptical global climate crisis, which almost assuredly will be the collective demise of our species.

  25. I usually hibernate for a couple of days around 9/11 , because it’s just worth listening to the bullshit and sentimental crap from journalists surrounding the events around and the agenda after 9/11 . I can’t believe that a smart guy like Chris Hedges , after 20 years and all the evidence that has surfaced since then, still believes in the official government narrative . So the question is ,does he still believe the story or is he just afraid that he will be labeled a “conspiracy theorist” . BOO ! They have called Chris Hedges everything in the book so why would he be afraid of another false narrative label . Let’s get real here . The official 9/11 story concocted just 33 minutes after the south tower collision , is a “conspiracy theory” with very little evidence backing it up. If that story with the prevailing evidence made it in a court room they would laugh it out of the building . There is so much physical , and circumstancial evidence and over 150 eyewitness accounts in the last 20 years, it makes the 9/11 story , pretty much a joke. If Chris believes in science , he should start with the documentary on Prime Video called “SEVEN” .Its a video summarizing a peer reviewed study from the structural engineering dept. at the University of Alaska . Their study in written form is online and the video makes sense of it to the lay person . SPOILER ALERT : The overwelming conclusion was that WTC building 7 in the fashion that it collapsed had to have been brought down by explosives in a coordinated fashion . All 48 column were compromised at once in order to get a building to fall down into its own footprint at free fall speed . You can’t make this stuff up. The NIST report conveniently , left out key parts to the building called “stiffeners” that would have automatically rendered their explanation of 2 office fire and bending steel on column 79 impossible . So the stiffeners were a problem for them so they just made up the story that they were never there at all. Maybe one day , in my lifetime ,I will see at least 1 credible journalist who has the balls and the credible evidence behind him or her ,and isn’t afraid to stop the nonsense of the official 9/11 fantasy . I guess they feel now that their audience can’t handle the truth and are afraid of the “establishment ” throwing disparaging labels at them . Where the hell is the 5th estate ?

    1. Do you think nobody has heard these claims before? We have been hearing them for 20 years. Citing a film by the guy who did the atrociously flawed Loose Change series is a non-starter for me, anyway. What a load of trash those were.

      1. I’m not astonished that an individual that hides behind the moniker “Moderator” would be sniping at men like Charles and Einar who post their names along with their observations…. Perhaps one day you’ll list categorically, the many errors in their conclusions while pointing to the flawless and irrefutable evidence provided by N.I.S.T. and the 9/11 Commission.
        Please let us know when your rhetoric has reached that level of competence or courage.

      2. STRAWMAN ALERT. “…flawless and irrefutable evidence provided by N.I.S.T. and the 9/11 Commission” — who the hell said this??? Not me or anybody on this site. Maybe if 9/11 obsessives like the hadn’t been crying wolf with lousy “connect-the-dots” evidence for two decades more people would listen.

      3. Our moderator is negatively inclined to inquiry. Buildings one and two came down in about 10 seconds; those poor bodies and souls who jumped from the tops fell in freefall for about 10 seconds as well! Open your eyes and realize the truth may be painful, a dissonant thud in your cognition. The truth is all that matters! Your critique of Dylan Avery‘s work as “a load of trash “suggests you have not done proper personal inquiry into the obvious and critical contradictions piled into the official 9/11 explanation. Or perhaps you refuse to except the possibility you have been lied to… Too painful for you?? What about the multiplicative pain and terror inflicted on our brothers and sisters in NYC and across the oceans? Watch Seven, Dylan Avery’s succinct presentation of Dr. Leroy Hulsey’s 4 year forensic study of the collapse of seven and our government’s blatant coverup. Then you may wish to see “The Unspeakable”Avery’s depiction of the struggle of for families to find the truth about the death of their loved ones on 911. “The Unspeakable” is scheduled for release on YouTube today, 9/17. Chris Hedges’ brilliant work has generated so much critical analysis. Let it flow! The fall of building seven was a central event 911. This skyscraper came down at 5:20 PM that afternoon; 52 stories straight down and 5.4 seconds including 2.25 seconds free fall
        (Gravity driven with no resistance from the structure below). For this to happen, there must be near simultaneous global failure of all 81 steel columns. This is controlled demolition. Another Dylan put it so well
        “ don’t criticize what you don’t understand”.

    2. As just one example, did you see the building collapse in South Florida back in June?

      Your type of grand claim is readily debunked.

  26. Chris , the 20 years in Afghanistan was not a defeat , it was a victory . 8 trillion dollars spent , profits made , generals advancing to the board of directors of the military arms contractors and high positions on wall street, the stock prices of military contractors in the ozone layer. Mission accomplished !

    1. This is actually a reply to Moderator’s all caps “STRAWMAN ALERT”.

      I wasn’t building a straw man or in fact anything that remotely resembled a man… instead, I was simply pointing out the flawed rhetoric of a joker who’d probably keep his mouth shut if the security blanket of anonymity was stripped from his soft swaddled ass.

      And BTW Nancy; what in hell is obsessive about “connecting the dots”… How in Christ’s name do you think crimes are solved? Would you prefer putting your faith in an Ouija Board??

      Here’s a newsflash Honey… Putting “quotation marks” around a word, doesn’t spontaneously turn it into a pejorative; though the Warren Commission did almost as thorough a number on the term “conspiracy”, as Lee Atwater and Karl Rove did with the word “liberal”.

      You mentioned you’d spent an entire year investigating “truthers” 9/11 claims and weren’t convinced… Splendid.
      Cite the specific evidence and allegations made by “Architects &,Engineers for 9/11 Truth” that you found holes in.

      How about we throw caution to the wind, and let’s you and me put grammar, logic and rhetoric to the test.
      I’ll sign in with my given name as I always have, and you can duck behind any pseudonym that gives you confidence… If accuracy weighs into your consideration, I’d recommend “Milk Toast”.

      I think that Bob’s readers might enjoy our little sparring match… What do you say sport?

      1. You made a strawman argument and I don’t argue with anybody who calls me sport. Nor do I have any reason you are less anonymous than I. Connecting the dots is in quotes as, yes, shorthand pejorative for the endless piling on of cherry-picked “experts” statements, odd coincidences and so on which is the undoing of most conspiracists, well-meaning or not. Humans want certitude, and whether you believe patly in the clearly suspect official narratives about 9/11 or JFK or the killings of MLK, RFK, Malcolm X and so on, or you spend your days insulting people on the internet if they disagree that COVID 19 is “a false flag flu” or the WTC buildings could only have fallen by controlled demolition then you, too, have lost credibility as somebody who can’t challenge their own surety in the face of complicating facts.

  27. I tried posting the following on Consortium News, where I originzally found this article. They won’t allow it, w/out explanation…
    I don’t get it. Why all the sturm and drang over a false narrative? Why are Chris Hedges and Joe Lauria (in a companion article) trying to rationalize the trite script for something that never happened? The ‘highjackers’ and their evil leader Atta (right out of Central Casting) didn’t rig the buildings for demolition. They didn’t massively short United and American Airlines weeks before the event. They didn’t sell the property rights to Larry Silverstein and they didn’t insure the buildings against separate terrorist attacks, at a valuation twice the amount for which they were previously insured. They didn’t allow operational control of the FAA and the DoD to PTech, and they didn’t send interceptors out in the wrong direction. Basing such ramblings on a myth is like psycho-analyzing Lee Harvey Oswald to try and explain the assassination of JFK. I smell a big stinky Red Herring.

    1. They also didn’t commission the blueprints for WTC7’s REPLACEMENT a full 17 MONTHS before it came crashing down like a tired Las Vegas casino… For Christ’s sake, what’s a billionaire gotta do to get himself investigated; much less arrested?

      1. Well Mr. “Moderator”, it looks as though you’re taking a cautious pass at an open forum debate of your views on 9/11… Good for you. At least you have the intellect to recognize when you’re in for a rhetorical ass-whipping.

        Returning to the topic of Silverstein; I’ll include the video clip that features his premeditative and breathtaking chutzpah.

        Bob might want to feature it in one of his podcasts; but I’m not making any bets on it.
        guys like Dan Ellsberg don’t come around often.

  28. This was the confirming lesson I took away from 9/11, both at the time and in the years since: There is nothing, literally nothing, that will ever induce American progressives to side with their own country against a foreign foe.

    1. You mean, like the foes we developed and nurtured for decades like the mujaheedeen and Saddam Hussein before their usefulness was complete? Or do you mean like a foe like Saudi Arabia, which we nurture and protect because of oil and other base interests, even as they foment the ideology of terror and hatred through the whole Sunni world? Or the foes inside our own government who pursue torture and invasions and other nonsensical creators of blowback and mass death and suffering? Which foes are we talking, Mr. Sanity Inspector?

  29. I posted a comment on 9/17. Today I see the persistent Yellow heading “your comment is awaiting moderation”. Why isn’t my comment posted for the Scheerpost Community in the meantime. Seems as if the commentator has personal opinions that he or she feels are trenchant.The fall of building seven is critically important. Can the commentator please explain why Seven fell as it did? It doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

  30. Since the comments have divulged into conspiracism and name-calling , I would like to respectfully correct the misunderstandings (and would like the Scheerpost journalist/editors to investigate further). First lets sing Kumbaya and do our child flower dance 🙂 I would point to important references that at the very least would convert a mainstream-TV-loving-there-is-no-evil elites into questioning their own believes. In the world full of espionage and intelligence there are made-up plots and fake personas, but two things don’t lie: Money and Science and Buried Official New stories.

    *Queue Money by Pink Floyd* MONEY!! There are no better investigators into Walls Street corruption than the former bulls turned activist – Wall Street on Parade. Read the unaccountable BAILOUT happened on that nice occasion:

    *Queue Bill Nye theme song* Ladies and gentlemen what is the number one thing a structural building fail that needs to be accounted for? It’s the mechanics of the falls that need to be accounted for to help with structural engineers design resilient buildings, but unfortunately without fancy computer equipment for simulation that NIST posses what can we do? Well we have a publicly funded study using same supercomputers by University of Alaska researchers because researchers where not given a transparent study by NIST. Also, funnily enough NIST failed to provide the full report of their study because of it would pose a national security threat. Excuse me is a the safety design of a building not a security threat, if not we should make them all wobble. That’s not the only thing that we have, fun fact: German physicist/mathematician from the prestigious Max Planck Institute came to the same conclusion of explosion with some creative ODE simulation and guess what? When he was to present his work at an engineering summit he got denied a visa. Here is an explanation along with his research paper:

    Finally we reach buried stories, for that we have the amazing Whitney Webb:

    With that in mind, take a look at this official story that happened a few weeks in Mexico:

    Now if you still want to cognitive dissonant your ass. Be my guest and drink the cool-aid. Cheers to ignorance is a bliss!

    I’m kidding, but these thing should hopefully make you more critical about elites and events that make them wealthier or more powerful *cough*cough* COVID*cough*cough* for that follow DRASTIC and all the other critical thinkers like Bret Weinstein and Chris Martenson from Peak Prosperity. Cheers!

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