around, go back down, back the way you came,
Can't you see that flash of fire ten times brighter than the day?
And behold a mighty city broken in the dust again,
Oh God, Pride of Man, broken in the dust again.
Turn around, go back down, back the way you came,
Babylon is laid to waste, Egypt's buried in her shame,
The mighty men are all beaten down, their kings are fallen in the ways,
Oh God, Pride of Man, broken in the dust again.
Turn around, go back down, back the way you came,
Terror is on every side, lo our leaders are dismayed.
For theose who place their faith in fire, their faith in fire shall be repayed,
Oh God, Pride of Man, broken in the dust again.
A View From Inside the Fourth Reich
I awoke late September 11 around 10 o’clock. Working odd hours it was my Saturday. I stumbled out of bed, made a pot of coffee and then flipped on the computer and began retrieving my email. There was already 71 messages and I had checked it the night before around 1:00 Am. Being on two list servers I wondered what the hell had happened overnight to stir up so much attention. It was a bit unusual to receive that many messages this early.
I clicked on the first few emails and they seemed non-eventful as I shook off the last cobwebs of sleep nursing a cup of coffee. Then I clicked on that first fateful message. It was a reply asking for more info about a plane flying into the World Trade Center. Still a bit foggy I thought what the hell kind of nonsense was that? I had a loose tooth and needed to go to the dentist and was in no mood for jokes. But knowing the poster I paged through the rest of my email looking for original message. Finding the beginning of the thread I clicked on it and began to read the message.
Shit this was no joke it was for real. Shocked into reality I turned on a little black and white rabbit ear job to listen to the news bulletins as I read my remaining emails to see what had happened. The bulletins were surreal, two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center another had crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth had crashed in rural Pennsylvania.
Then I saw a clip of the second plane banking and crashing into the south tower. I just sat there refusing to believe what my eyes had just saw. At first I thought it had to be just a clip from a video game. No, this was reality as grotesque as it seemed. I just sat there in sort of a stunned silence trying to make sense out of what I had just seen. It took several replays of that clip before I could begin to focus on the enormity of it. Just about the time that I could grasp the freakish nature of that plane crashing into the tower, the TV played a clip of the first tower imploding. I just sat there eyes glued to the TV thinking "oh shit we have a fucking moron in the White House and that damn fool is going to start a war."
There were clips of Mayor Rudy Giuliani reassuring New Yorkers that the city would overcome this latest rape of civilization. Mind you I am no fan of Giuliani but I have to hand it to him. Yes he was visibly shaken but he was on the job and in my opinion doing a damn good job under the worst of circumstances. His words were clear, his speech informative and reassuring.
But where the fuck was Smirk? The network I was tuned to soon obliged me. Yup there he was like a wounded little Chihuahua viciously snapping at gnats from somewhere in Louisiana. His words were hardly reassuring in fact they left me with just one thought "my god we’re fucked." The next reports on Smirk had him headed for a bunker in Nebraska running like a scared rabbit. Just when the country needed leadership most Smirk was hiding out in a bunker under Nebraska cornfields.
The blithering fools that head up the anchor desks were no help. They kept droning on in an endless monologue of insipid remarks calling it an attack on America, or comparing it to Pearl Harbor. Not to demean the significance of this act of terrorism but it was not an attack on America or comparable to bombing of Pearl Harbor even if the death toll is likely to surpass those that died at Pearl. Yes it was a national tragedy and yes those that perpetrated this violence on innocent men and women need to be brought to justice. And everyone should extend their best thoughts to the victims and their families and provide any help they might be able to including donating blood.
But its still was nothing more than an act of terrorism no matter how deadly or destructive. Wars are between nations and are not the result of actions of some fanatics. The networks were fanning the flames of war. An endless parade of right wing hardliners followed with talks of war and heaping blame on Clinton. As I sat there watching this endless parade of idiots an overwhelming fear crept over me. This damn thing was spinning out of control. One could sense the ugliness and revenge in the diatribes. As I left for the dentist I had but one hope "cooler heads would prevail."
After returning from the dentist and picking up a few groceries I flipped the TV back on. The anchors were still droning on. About the only significant news was Smirk had sneaked back into Washington and was going to speak to the nation about twelve hours after the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center. At 5:30 PM PDT the networks carried Smirk’s address to the nation. Not expecting much I listened to it anyway. There Smirk was bobbing his head like one of those dashboard ornaments from the 1970s looking scared as hell. A picture of leadership it wasn’t. But even I was surprised with the lack of content and the briefness of his remarks. Shit even Smirk’s speechwriters don’t trust him. I’ve seen bad speeches before but this one was truly pathetic Hardly two minutes worth of meaningless babble and platitudes followed by a recital of the 23rd Psalm. If this was leadership then we might as well be following sheep.
I continued listening to the news still trying to sort it out until around midnight. An eerie feeling was gradually sweeping over me. I had a ghostly feeling of what it must have been like in Germany after Hitler seized power. I had a strange sense of unease and fear. No it wasn’t a fear of more terrorist attacks. If additional terrorists were out there they would be crawling in a hole like the bunker loving coward until the heat died down. It was my own government that I feared.
Something was amiss. I felt that we were not getting the full picture from the media but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. With all of the hardline talk from the usual suspects I went to bed fearing that our own civil rights were in peril. Feeling somewhat disconnected from the whole sordid atrocity I went to sleep ill at ease.
With blocks of downtown Manhattan lying in ruble on awaking the 12th I immediately flipped on the computer and the little black and white rabbit ear job in what amounts to be my home office. My worst fears were soon realized. Smirk was now calling this an act of war and not only was he going to attack the terrorist behind this horrid act but also anyone who sheltered them. Smirk and the right wingers were notching the rhetoric up.
The worthless anchors were simply mouthing the nonsense coming from Smirk and crew, so much for honest reporting and the myth of a liberal media. Being on a couple of list servers for activists I receive a large amount of email. As with any newsworthy event I soon have a huge resource of information to draw from much of which is not reported or is actually censored by the media. There was an email claiming that the clip of Palestinians dancing in the street was filmed in 1991 after the invasion of Kuwait. I don’t know if that was the case or not and have no means to verify it now anyway. There are additional reports of soldiers in Palestine stopping reporters from filming. For now I’ll file it under the unsure label. But there is no doubt the media is hyping the event for Smirk.
Now I know what was wrong. Watching the media the entire day outside of the little time it took me to drive to the dentist office and pick up a few groceries I had watch the coverage completely. Sometimes if you want to hid something its best to put it in plain sight. In all the coverage the day before the media did not interview a single liberal from Congress. The only clips of interviews or statements all came from the hard right. Where was a statement from either of New York’s esteemed Senators? This event had an obvious impact on their constituents. Hillary and her senior colleague had been deep six-ed. Where was the interviews with former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton? True Clinton was in Australia but a satellite link is not exactly rocket science nowadays. Where were statements by former Vice President Gore? Where were statements by such liberal leaders of congress such as Ted Kennedy or Paul Wellstone? No the media coverage was being scripted for and by the hard right.
With everyone aware of the pitiful performance of Smirk the day before a bizarre story began to emerge in and effort to frame the bunker loving coward as a leader. The news began floating a story that the White House and Air Force One were targets the day before. Initially the report stated that there was a fifth plane. The claim to the fifth plane was soon dropped like a lead anchor and the story changed again. The new version made the weird claim that the plane that struck the Pentagon had first tried to target the White House but was unable to reach it and then circled around DC to strike the Pentagon.
Such a claim is bullshit, those terrorist were going for the 100% shots after all if they missed it would be rather unlikely they would get a second chance. Whoever planned these acts of terrorism were experts. They could have chosen dozen of flights bound for midwest locations such as St Louis, Chicago, Dallas, the Twin Cities or any number of other cities, but they passed those planes up and only chose flights bound for the west coast. They wanted a full load of fuel for maximum damage.
They selected their targets with the same care. Taller buildings surround the White House; it would have been a difficult target to reach, as would the Capitol. On the other hand the Pentagon was an ideal target just like the World Trade Center. It extends over a vast expanse and is even visible from space and no tall buildings surround it. It was an unobstructed target that would be easily recognized from a distance just as the World Trade Center Towers. The White House as well as the Capitol would have been low percentage targets requiring expert piloting to reach.
In the days that followed this story grew legs becoming more and more bizarre until it finally reached the level of a story straight out of the twilight zone. By Sunday it was known that the order was given to the military to shoot down any airliner that was acting erratically and headed for Washington DC. Supposedly the order was given by the bunker lover himself. More likely Cheney ordered the yapping Chihuahua to sign the order.
The question then emerged was the airliner that went down in Pennsylvania shot down or did it crash. In one of the many emails I received over the span of a week, there was a report of a cell phone call from that doomed airliner in which the man talking to his wife reported white smoke coming out of one of the engines. Did Smirk and company blow that airliner out of the sky after the pilot and passengers regained control of it? The thought of trading lives is revolting to me. But strangely if Smirk and company did blow this airliner out of the sky in light of the other tragedies of that day I would not have held it against him if he admitted to taking such action. However, all bets are off if he then chose to lie about it.
Then in one of the strangest turns of the day hit the media. Rumsfeld foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog blasted top officials for leaking "secret" information. Rummy’s attack was directed towards Orin Hatch, the hard right Senator from Utah for informing the press that bin Laden was the chief suspect because of some phone intercepts. For Christ sakes the NSA’s Echelon program is not exactly news to anyone that has ever listen to the news or read a paper. But why are Smirk and company trying to put a lid on everything. Whatever the truth is, it is going to take a long time to come out.
Before leaving for the dentist to have the bum tooth extracted there were reports of some right wing congress critters calling for increase spending for intelligence and the use of less than savory characters as CIA agents. My god these fools haven’t learnt one god damn thing in the last twenty years. Jesus are these fools forgetting that it was just such policies under Reagan and Bush the pappy that trained the leading suspect bin Laden in the 1980s?
Even in the 1980s bin Laden was known as a rogue or at least the CIA is now desperately claiming they knew that in an effort to distance themselves from their handiwork, but it didn’t stop them from training him. Well at least the taxpayer now knows the CIA did one hell of a bang up job in training bin Laden in Ronnie’s jihad against the USSR. Now folks ask yourself how many other bin Ladens has the CIA trained? If you find the answer somewhat unsettling just remember that is exactly what these right wing fools in congress are proposing to do again. They want to train more rogues. Now that’s got to make you feel more comfortable, right?
I got back home from the dentist and my mouth is still numb, Christ
I hate dentists. I flipped the TV back on. Shit the whole damn world
to have gone bat shit crazy, the media is parroting the lines coming
the bunker loving coward and his administration. There is now talk of
Article 5 of the NATO alliance calling for mutual defense. Hell, we
don’t have any evidence of who is responsible but god damn it we’re
to go to war anyway.
There is loose talk now that bin Laden was unable to pull this assault on humanity off without the aid of a rogue state. The bunker lover’s mouthpieces are claiming it was two sophisticated and too expensive for bin Laden to have acted alone. Their idle chitchat points a finger at Iraq. That’s the same Iraq that Reagan and Bush the pappy supplied weapons to back in the 1980s. The same Iraq that Bush the pappy engaged in the Gulf War but chose to leave its madman in charge. I wonder if someone isn’t trying to blow up a smoke screen to cover their tracks and failures.
The claim is silly. Bin Laden is the same fellow that bombed the two American embassies in Africa within hours of each other. Clearly if bin Laden could pull that off he could target two targets within the US just as easily. Nor would it have been expensive, just pay for the pilot training for a handful of terrorists. And as we later found out some of those involved received that training here in the United States for as little as ten thousand dollars. Later reports from Germany have called for the United States to investigate the trading in the stocks of the re-insurers of the Trade Center. Seems as if the Germans have detected some unusual short trading in those stocks by bin Laden associates.
Where was the outrage over those embassy bombings in Africa? As I recall the same right wingers that are now calling for an all out war were the same ones that viciously criticized President Clinton’s response. They condemned the targeting of a plant in Sudan claiming it was a pharmaceutical plant and not a site to make nerve gas. Yet that site was picked by the same CIA that they are now willingly to give blanket funding to. The only difference is the skin color of the majority of those killed in the embassy bombings. It seems as if the right wingers don’t mind if those with darker skin color are killed, they are expendable.
I’m not going to believe a damn thing coming from this bunker lover’s administration including the story about a jetliner circling around DC unable to reach the White House but adeptly crashing into the Pentagon. The media coverage is full of clips showing Smirk doing his imitation of leadership. Well then why is he quivering like a Chihuahua trying to shit a bowling ball? And where the hell is Dick? Why don’t we see any clips of him at least offering condolences to those killed and their families? Cheney is completely out of the picture. The media and the administration have to prop up Smirk’s image as a leader so Dick gets deep six-ed like Hillary.
Why don’t the media just admit that they are the propaganda arm of the Republican Party? I go to bed disgusted, the media is acting like a willing sock puppet for the right wingers and the bunker loving Smirk. We’re headed like a bat out of hell for a deep abyss. Christ no one can serious believes Smirk would be allowed to plan anything other than a Sunday afternoon picnic. We haven’t seen this amount of effort in propagandizing by the media since the Kennedy assassination. Someone is desperately trying to cover their tracks again. At least the bum tooth is gone but damn it I’m sick of soup already.
Thursday, two days after the act of terrorism its my Monday I got to go to work but at least I’ll be able to watch the news for the most part of the day working the three to midnight shift. The news is only bleaker, more wild-eyed talk of war and hardly any victims have been found alive the death toll is going to be horrendous. Shit Article 5 of NATO has been invoked, bunker loving Smirk is now not only calling for war he is now calling for an extended war. The rhetoric is being notched up more. Military units are on the move, reservists and the National Guard are being activated and we still don’t have any proof of who the hell was responsible.
Throughout this whole sordid tragedy the media has been throwing puff balls at the military and intelligence types asking how it was that we failed to detect this attack. This parade of experts along with their Republican counter parts in congress lamely try to blame former President Clinton. All of these experts want additional funding for intelligence. Now wait just one god damn minute these are the same Republican in congress that claimed throwing additional money at education was not a solution. But now they are using a national tragedy of immense portions to pour money down a damn rat hole for agencies that are not accountable to congress or to the citizens and produced and trained the leading suspect.
There will be plenty of blame to go around for the failure to detect this attack. But it is not the first time our intelligence agencies failed. The CIA has a long history of sordid failures. It failed to detect the India bomb, the Pakistan bomb, and the downfall of the USSR. In 1976 associates of the CIA supported Pinochet placed a car bomb in the car of a citizen of Chile killing him in the streets of Washington DC, pappy Bush was the CIA director at the time and reports suggest he had advance warning of the plot.
Further the history of the CIA is littered with close associations with savage barbarians that are the plague of mankind: Nazi war criminals, Pol Pot, Noregia, Marcos, Pinochet, Suharto, the Shah of Iran and yes, bin Laden. Now some in congress are demanding that the CIA once again be allowed to train, equip and use the same type of rogues all in the name of patriotism and American apple pie.
There has been no mention of how US policy has provided a breeding ground for such scum to thrive in. In fact the CIA is undoubtedly the largest terrorist organization in the world. It was the CIA that supported and trained the right wing death squads in Central America during the 1980s. It was the CIA that supported the coup against Allende that lead to the fascist state of Chile under Pinochet. It was the CIA that installed Noregia in Panama. The CIA has toppled more governments in the world than any other terrorist organization. Hell the CIA even toppled governments in Canada and Australia because they were leaning to the left. And there lies the problem. It requires a fundamental change in US policy from overthrowing reform minded governments or those leaning to the left in an effort to prop up corporate America.
As tragic as the events of September 11 were with estimates of five thousand perishing it pales in comparison to the number of victims of United States sponsored terrorism in Central America during the Reagan administration. Well over one hundred thousand perished in Central America at the hands of right wing death squads supported by the Reagan administration. Nor should we ever forget that the blood of five thousand New Yorkers are on the hands of Reagan and Bush the pappy for training bin Laden.
More funding for the intelligence agencies and looser controls on the CIA are not the answer to stopping terrorism. For the doubters one of the Iranians involved in the first bombing of the World Trade Center is believed to have received training in explosives at the Redstone Arsenal's Hazardous Devices School in a program ran by the State Department.
Secondly there is the matter of airport security. There have been dozens of reports of the lax security at airports. The reports have been met with stony silence and glares from airport officials. Nothing was done to alleviate the problem other than a propaganda blitz to restore the corporate image of the airlines. Nor do officials take airport security seriously. Instead of hiring well-paid professionals, airports use minimum wage rent-a-cops as security. That’s hardly reassuring when burger flippers can earn more money. Another simple solution would be to limit the carry on luggage.
One of the most successful anti-hijacking programs ever devised fell victim to the budget cuts during the Reagan administration. In the 1970s every US flight had a sky marshal aboard. Not a single plane was ever hijacked with a sky marshal aboard. But such mundane programs don’t buy votes. It couldn’t be put into a jingle for election campaigns like Star Wars. If cooler heads can prevail perhaps the bunker loving Smirk’s effort to revive the Star Wars nonsense can finally be laid in the ash heap of failed policies of the hard right. If anything, this American tragedy should underline the futility of such nonsense. Terrorists simply don’t need missiles to attack us, any tramp steamer will do or just a handy airliner. So far I haven’t heard a single official mention the vulnerability of our harbors to acts of terrorism. Like the sky marshal program it is too mundane and too hard to compress into an electioneering jingle. Smirk and company are too busy stumbling off to war for such measures to be considered.
Finally the numerous failures of the bunker lover administration must be noted. In January Smirk and company chose to ignore the Hart-Rudman Report on domestic terrorism. Smirk’s rich boy welfare was more important. Then there was Smirk’s response to other bin Laden threats. In Yemen after threats from bin Laden, Bush withdrew the FBI that were still investigating the attack on the USS Cole. In Jordan after a threat from bin Laden Smirk cut short a joint military training exercise and withdrew the Marines. After another threat from bin Laden Smirk withdrew the US Fifth Fleet from its home base in the Persian Gulf. All of these withdraws were highly visible in the region but never made the news in the US. But the bunker-loving Smirk just put his tail between his legs and ran like a coward in everyone of those incidents. So why shouldn’t bin Laden become embolden after such responses?
Then there are a number of reports of sources informing the intelligence agencies of an imminent attack on US soil. The Germans report of an arrested suspect wanting to make a deal calling US intelligence warning of such an attack. He called several times warning of the attack only to have the intelligence officers hang up on him. The Mossad also warned of a similar attack. The FBI even arrested an Islamic militant in Boston that was known to be linked with bin Laden and had numerous flight manuals in his possession.
Finally there was that report the day before of the FBI raiding and shutting down an Islamic ISP and seizing their records. Perhaps, the FBI did detect something amiss but all of the prior warnings were ignored. There is plenty of blame to share in this attack but in the end it comes full circle and lies at the feet of the United States foreign policy of protecting corporate America by overthrowing leftist governments.
By the end of the week Smirk is calling for an extended war against all countries that he labels as havens for terrorist. The damn imbecile wants to go to war with almost half the world. My god he has sixty countries on his list even Hitler wasn’t that ambitious. Somehow if the past is any indication of what countries the hard right will label as havens for terrorist such third world hell holes in Central America ran by right wing death squads will not make the list. But you can bet your last dollar Cuba will be at the top of the list along with any other leftist or reform minded government.
We can get some idea of what countries Smirk wants to invade besides Afghanistan by some of his ill advised actions. The bunker lover has already stated that he will refuse to recognize the election in Belarus because it wasn’t free and honest. Since when has Smirk ever been an authority on free elections. The last free election we had for president was in 1996. Five corrupt political hacks appointed the bunker lover to the Oval Office after the bunker lover and Bro Jeb stole the election in Florida.
The news is even more ominous from Belarus. The US Embassy in Belarus has admitted that it is pursuing a policy similar to that in 1980s Nicaragua, in which anti-government Contra rebels were funded and supported. The US Ambassador to Belarus is Michael Kozak, who worked as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and Bush Senior, in Panama, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Once again we see the same failed policy of the United States in undermining governments.
This would be the time when the United States could grab the brass ring in the fight against terrorism worldwide. But instead the very day before the attack the United States found itself voting against the ratification of the United Nations landmark International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist.
But this is hardly the first snub of the United Nations by the bunker lover and the hard right in congress. In a bill introduced by Jesse Helms and Tom Delay in May entitled the Servicemen Protection Act. This bill calls authorizes an invasion of yet another country. Mind you the target country is none of the usual rogue nations such as Iran, Iraq, Cuba or even North Korea. Nope, the target is none other than the stoic Dutch. What has the idyllic land of windmills and tulips done to provoke a bill authorizing an invasion? The answer is simple it is the home of the Hague home of the United Nations World Court and the expected establishment of the International Criminal Court. The bill introduced would authorize an immediate invasion of Holland if any United States serviceman was brought before the tribunal for war crimes. The bill is not needed. US law already carries penlaties for war crimes. If the measure should pass and be signed into law, the United Nations would bar the United States from presenting any evidence in the World Court against a suspect even including bin Laden’s attack on the World Trade Center.
Prior to September 11 Washington DC was busy erecting a two mile long fence to keep protestors out of a World Trade Organization meeting. The so called free trade agreement scheduled to be negotiated was nothing more than an attempt to take the fascist, corporate rule policy global.
As horrendous as the death of over five thousand is, there are already additional causalities that the media has not mention. The first is our first amendment rights. Even before this event our right to assemble and speak out have been severely restricted by the bunker lover, Smirk. The fence building in Washington is proof enough. This summer the people in Europe sent Smirk a message that even a drunken frat boy could understand when thousands collectively mooned him on his visit to Sweden. Meanwhile we were content to be herded like sheep into so called first amendment zones half a mile away from Smirk’s photo opts, so much for our freedom of speech. Even before the election we allowed judges during the Republican National Convention to hold protestors on excessive bail for misdemeanors. Our constitutional rights are meaningless to the fascist state of corporatism.
Already in the short span of a week there are many in congress plotting to use this tragedy as a means to further limit our rights. There are numerous reports of Arabic people detained indefinitely. The media stresses the fact they have not been arrested just detained. That’s just a polite way of saying they are being held as political prisoners without one god damn regard to their constitutional rights.
On Thursday two days following the attack the House attached the Combating Terrorism Act to the annual spending bill that funds the Commerce, Justice and State departments for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, then unanimously approved it. The bill would allow the FBI to implement its Carnivore system off spying on Internet traffic without the need for a search warrant, so much for our right to privacy. Within a week Attorney General Aschroft sent to congress a request to congress that could only be described as a draconian assault on our constitutional rights.
It would be amiss in reporting on the tragedy of September 11 without mentioning how such a tragedy brings out the best in Americans. Before Tuesday evening the Red Cross was already asking people to delay donating blood. They were simply overwhelmed in donors. Construction workers were donating their time in the rescue efforts. Others were helping in the distribution of donated goods to the rescue workers and victims. The news was full of such acts of kindness and good will.
But just as the event brought out the best in people it brought out the worst in others. There were several reports of gasoline price gouging with the price of gallon reaching seven dollars in some locations. Gun and ammunition sales soared as the hard right bought up the available supply. More disturbing were the numerous attacks on Muslims and Arabic looking people even resulting in a couple murders. And the right wingers still refuses to pass a hate crime bill.. In a similar vein con-artists sought to take advantage of the opportunity presented by collecting donations under false intentions.
It’s been a week since the tragedy and finally there are some signs of hope that cooler heads may prevail. The support for the bunker loving Smirk is melting away like ice cream in the hot Arizona sun. In just a matter of a few days it has tumbled over twenty points from a high of 91%. Some of those that wanted to bomb em back to the stone age are now more restrained. The latest polls show that one of five Americans want to wait until we are sure who was responsible before taking any action. But the media and the bunker lover are stilling fanning the flames of war; we are a drift in turbulent seas rudderless and leaderless. The bunker lover is still trying to pretend to be a leader and made a thinly veiled comment about wanted dead or alive posters from the old west. Most Americans now reject this sort of vigilante justice.
In perhaps one of the most astounding stupid remarks ever made by any president, the bunker lover described his war lust as a crusade. In short order aides such as Powell rushed to damage control. Did it ever occur to that idiot that Moslems were the victims of the crusades and that such a remark would be regarded as wildly inflammatory throughout the Moslem world?
But such insensitivity of Americans to others is part of the
I was struck by many images during the past week. One that grabbed my
was a report from Moscow. In what could only be described as an already
large lei Muscovites were continuing to lay bouquets in front of the
Embassy to express their sorrow and sympathy. Now when and hell was the
last time Americans ever did the same? In fifty years I can only recall
one case the death of Princess Di. We have much to learn from others.