Today is the day when Americans pause to gloat over the appalling revenge they took in return for 2,977 people killed in the World Trade Center terrorist attack.

This used to be the day when I’d point out that the US killed around 1 million Iraqis and 1/2 million Afghans in retaliation for something a small group of mostly-Saudis did. That was some revenge, indeed. When the US has a tantrum, millions die.

Congress and the American people leapt into action, and quickly passed an unacceptably vague “authorization for the use of military force” that has been used as a blank check for starting wars, ever since. For example Obama’s invasion of Syria was probably done secretly, under cover of the AUMF. Because: 9/11. Meanwhile, congress can’t even put reasonable background checks in firearms purchases.

In the meantime, maybe we can stop talking about 9/11. We were willing to flex our collective might on a global scale, for revenge over something that, apparently, is an acceptable casualty-rate.

I will not be mentioning 9/11 on this blog again.

------ divider ------

I didn’t work very hard on my chart, so I did not include the details of the rate at which mass shooting casualties have been piling up. And now they are counting 9/11 casualties as including people who have died of obstructive lung disease or from toxic exposure during the event. I only counted killed in mass shootings, not wounded, or the red line would be much, much higher than the 9/11 casualty-rate. Either way: please consider this an “infographic” not an attempt to do data science.

I am not saying that background checks will help much with gun violence. It’s just an example of a very low bar that congress cannot even meet. It’s not entirely congress’ fault, of course, it’s just plain old American nastiness.


  1. says

    Over a period of just 10 days this month, three people directly affected by school shootings committed suicide.

    Two were survivors of the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; the third was the father of a first grader killed in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Sydney Aiello was 19 and a student at Florida Atlantic University, and she was a close friend of Meadow Pollack, who died in the Stoneman Douglas massacre.


  2. says

    As I saw elsewhere today: More people died from Hurricane Maria in 2017 than on 9/11, but a hurricane can’t be used as propaganda for invading other countries. Not to mention those who caused some of the deaths from Hurricane Maria are still in the US government.

  3. Allison says


    just look at this absolute garbage

    How about we don’t?

    Seeing the name “Guiliani” told me all I needed to know (and more than I wanted.)

    I remember in the days after the attacks seeing him running around claiming credit for doing all kinds of “leadership,” when in fact there was no leadership at all; what direction there was was mostly commands to do the wrong thing. As usual, the city’s government and other power centers were utterly unprepared for the emergency, and as usual, it was the people on the ground (or in the building) who ignored the bosses and did what was needed on their own. I particularly remember that the Port Authority (the owner of the building) told people in the WTC towers to stay on their own floor and not evacuate, and I also recall that some on-site Morgan Stanley executive ordered all MS employees to evacuate and stuck around to make sure everyone was gone, which is why they survived. (Being on the floors below the fire helped, too.)

    Unfortunately, New Yorkers, especially the NY media, love people with Godzilla-sized egos and don’t care whether they actually do anything worth doing, so it’s no surprise that they bought into and even glorified Guiliani’s self-promotion, just as they did with a certain Mr. Trump. In fact, Guiliani strikes me as a somewhat more socially competent version of Mr. Trump.

  4. says

    Guiliani strikes me as a somewhat more socially competent version of Mr. Trump.

    Your “damning people with faint praises” skills are truly impressive.

  5. jrkrideau says

    @ 11 Marcus
    In bin Laden’s case I would not even it a yrric victory.

    Loo at what he has achieved if we assume that the enemy was the USA. Afghan, in an almost 2 decade war has bleed US resouses into the country, turned ragtag Taiban into a power that negotiates with the US Govt.

    Next stop, Iraq. Have the USA invade and turn a fairly secular country into a snakepit of warring jihdi terrorist groups including ISIS. Create or reinforce jihdi groups such Boko Haram in Western Africa.

    Bin Ladin was the arsonist in a bone-dry forest. He could not predict the directions the fire would take but he knew there would be a coflagration.

    With the active,if uwitting supportfof George W. Bush, he probably succeded beyond his wildest dreams.

Leave a Reply