A friend posts an ink portrait of Salvador Allende with the caption, NEVER FORGET 9/11/73.
A friend of his comments, "I already forgot. What happened?"
I contribute a comment with a link to the Wikipedia entry on the Chilean coup d'état engineered in part by our own CIA in 1973.
Another friend asks if that's really more important to me or us.
Not MORE important. Just one of many examples of how the US has sabotaged or suppressed democracy worldwide in the name of corporate profits.
The CIA was involved in the coup that deposed an elected president and brought Augusto Pinochet to power. ITTand other companies were worried about losing access to Chile's copper mines under Salvador Allende. They couldn't thwart Allende's election, so they tried other means to get rid of him. They hired the Chilean military to stage a coup. Thousands of Chilean citizens were killed or "disappeared" over the next 15 years.
A few years later, they brought a similarly brutal right-wing government to power in Argentina.
Unfortunately, I cannot resist pissing on his parade.
I mourn for the thousands killed 9/11/2001, but I also mourn for the million-plus killed by the US invasions of Afghanistan & Iraq, the 3 million killed in the Vietnam conflict, the countless millions killed by US interventions all over the world.
9/11/2001 happened because of US foreign policy. Our government has armed and otherwise enabled dictators in the Middle East, like the Saudi royal family (worst human rights record on the planet), Mubarak in Egypt, the Pahlavi family in Iran (installed by the CIA in 1953).
The Taliban evolved from the Mujahideen we hired to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan in the 1980s.
We keep Israel's government in power, with its system of Apartheid that Bishop Desmond Tutu declared worse than South Africa's. (Lebanon remembers the Sabra & Shatila massacres, 9/11/1982.)
In The Earthworm That Blows No Trumpet, history professor Stephanie Zeleny makes a nationwide splash with two books on how important and effective it is to teach history as cause and effect, working backward in time from the present (or from any important event) to find the root causes. If you want to know why 9/11/2001 happened, ask why al Qaeda came to be. People didn't just wake up one day and say, "I think I'll become a terrorist!"
The chronology below is not in reverse order. However, it shows how CIA meddling in Iran in the 1950s led to a group of mostly Saudi men highjacking jetliners and flying them into symbols of American imperialism in 2001. Of course, that meddling has its causes, too, mostly having to do with the US capitalist class's pathological fear of socialism (or anything else that interferes with maximizing profit).
- Iran's elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, proposed nationalizing Iranian oil, rather than letting the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (later BP) abscond with all the profits.
- The CIA and MI6 put the Pahlavi family (shahs) in a position of absolute power, deposing Mossadegh in a coup and dismantling the elected parliament.
- The Pahlavi regime brutally repressed dissent through mass murder, maiming, and torture, but they did not eliminate the religious opposition groups.
- Ayatollah Khomeini and his crew had gone into exile in the 1950s, but when they sensed that the second shah's positioned had weakened (lacking support from Jimmy Carter's administration), they returned and led the successful revolution of 1978-79.
- The revolution pushed all US influence out, including western oil companies who had been responsible for removing Mossadegh.
- A group of revolutionaries seized the US embassy in November 1979 and held hostages there for 444 days. (They released the children, women, and African-American men early on). They sent the hostages home to the US the day after Ronald Reagan's inauguration as US president in 1981.
- Iran became the big bad bogeyman in southwest Asia.
- The Reagan administration armed Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the only viable counterweight to Iran in the region. Iraq and Iran went to war for eight years.
- Saddam got more US weapons, including the chemical weapons that he used against Iran and his internal foes such as the Kurds in the north and Iran-sympathizing Shi'ites in the south.
- Neither side actually won that war, but it left a million dead and large chunks of both nations in desperate poverty by the cease-fire in 1988.
- Saddam was sitting pretty by 1990, when he casually floated the idea of invading Kuwait, a small wealthy neighboring kingdom, because of Kuwait's alleged slant-drilling into oil under Iraqi ground. US envoy April Glaspie did not tell him, "Gee, Saddam, that would be a terrible idea to invade a US ally."
- In August 1990, Iraq seized Kuwait.
- Outraged by Saddam's actions, President George H.W. Bush dispatched 500,000 US troops into Saudi Arabia (Operation Desert Shield).
- After months of diplomatic intransigence on the part of the US and Iraq, in January 1991, US forces bombed the shit out of Iraq, liberated Kuwait, and inexplicably left Saddam in power (Operation Desert Storm). About 150 Americans, 200 coalition troops, and at least 20,000 Iraqi soldiers died. The amount of civilians killed in Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia may never be known.
- After Desert Storm, US troops were permanently stationed on bases in Saudi Arabia.
- Osama bin Laden, scion of an influential engineering and construction family, perceived US troops in his native Saudi Arabia as an occupying force in the land of Islam's two holiest sites, Mecca and Medina. In bin Laden's eyes, along with Israel's occupation of the third-holiest site, Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock, this occupation was an unbearable affront to Islam.
- Bin Laden used his money and connections to build an international network of terrorists (or freedom fighters, depending on your perspective).
- US and UN economic sanctions against Iraq continued through the 1990s, leaving millions of Iraqi civilians hungry, sick, and without desperately needed medicines. Depleted uranium munitions left behind from Desert Storm caused outbreaks of leukemia among Iraq's children. Landmines and cluster bombs fragments killed and maimed many more children.
- President Bill Clinton maintained the sanctions, which his secretary of state Madeline Albright unambiguously declared were worth it despite the mass civilian deaths they caused.
- Bin Laden's al Qaeda operatives set off explosions at the World Trade Center in 1993; the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998; and the USS Cole at Aden, Yemen, in 2000.
- In 2001, rookie President George W. Bush ignored warnings that al Qaeda was likely to launch attacks against US targets imminently, while his minions at the Pentagon were assembling something called Project for a New American Century and discussing ways they might knock Saddam from his perch.
I think you know the rest. If you don't, do some research.