Kevin Ryan's Letter to - and He's Been Waiting for an Answer since 2003

By Kevin Ryan

Seven years later - no answer yet:

In the last two years, Americans have grown so accustomed to being lied to that we have begun to need our lies. Many of us have given up news for tabloid propaganda, reality for reality TV, and reason for easy answers. In government, conservatives have veered so far from the truth on every single issue that even they must be wondering what the words Christian and leadership actually mean. And liberals can do nothing but shout "Iraq, Iraq, we were right about Iraq!" in self-righteous rage as their own freedoms and futures are quickly peeled away bill by bill.

In truth, we all know that we simply need to steal oil in order to maintain our standard of living. That's really why none of us is brave enough to admit that the entire "war on terrorism" was built on ridiculous, absurd lies. We know that the perceived events of September 11th were not only improbable but entirely impossible. Yet we all accept the story of magic steel, melting with a fraction of the heat stress needed, hijackers who die to steal our freedoms only to mysteriously reappear, alive and well in their own countries,and national air defenses that simply stand by for hours as we are attacked. Although witnesses talk of bombs and foreign spies, we're told this is not the story. Our otherwise clueless President knows the story, and he responds by taking vengeance on many poor peasants who just happen to live on oil-rich land, then working hard to conceal just exactly how clueless he was. And we're OK with all of this, as long as we just "Remember 9/11".

Do any of us really think that it will end there? Who are the real terrorists and what will they do next to maintain this cascade of diversionary terror? There is a forensic principle that says we must first look to whoever most benefits from the crime. That could make solving the puzzle quite easy. But few of us are really asking for answers anymore, because we need our fear and the lies that support it. By the time we care to ask again, we may all be carried away in another wave of collective unconscious upheaval, responding to yet a bigger disaster and to the shady figures who claim to be protecting us from such things. But we can't think about that now. Our energies must be spent on protecting ourselves from dark-skinned demons, or better yet in supporting some new hero who will soon vanquish our enemies so that we may live happily ever after.

How did we get here, to this place of nonsensical tragedy, and would we correct our course if we could? Maybe we like lying to ourselves too much to live in the real world. If so, we are a bigger threat to our own security than any terrorist ever could be. You can forget your worries about safety if you intentionally perceive the opposite of everything you see and hear. If peace is war, and fighting terrorism means provoking terrorism, and fiscal conservatism means exploding national debt, then anything is possible but only for a short time.

If lying does matter to us, because we'd like to live longer and in a safer world, then we'd better start acting like it. We'd better find out when the lying started, and who is behind it. And if lying doesn't matter then our safety doesn't matter either, so we can stop spending billions of dollars (and thousands of lives) to protect ourselves from terrorism because when we're terrorized we'll just make up a big ridiculous story about it anyway. That way we can go on lashing out at ourselves and others, until we're left with nothing but our own elaborate and fragile lies.

Kevin Ryan is not a writer, but a manager for Underwriters Laboratories

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