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Across America Tonight ...
13 September 2001
I am on the road tonight, the only way to get out of L.A. and back home to our daughter and our friends in New York City. Oddly enough, I have never driven across this vast country. My wife and I have now stopped in Flagstaff for a few hours sleep before moving on.
The sorrow and anger builds across America. Talk radio tonight was filled with calls for carpet-bombing every Arab country. Many want revenge, blood. But a surprising number of people have called for us to not add to the killing of more innocent humans. The rest stops and the convenience stores along the way were filled with quiet, solemn people, many of whom, like us, can get home no other way than by this four-day trip.
Our daughter is fine, mostly frightened by my desire to fly home to her rather than drive. Once again, I was outvoted 2 to 1. This is nothing new.
We have learned of more people we know who have lost their lives. Bill Weems, who worked as a line producer for us this year, was on the flight from Boston that crashed into the World Trade Center. He was such a sweet and decent soul. Such senseless madness.
The children of New York who are orphaned tonight ... what do we say or do? I will do my part -- anything, something -- as soon as I get to New York. But it will never be enough.
The firefighters of New York: they are on every other block, every day, and they are your best neighbors. Sitting out on the sidewalks in front of the fire stations, a good word and a kind smile to all who pass ... now, 350+ of them gone, having risked their lives to save the victims of a carnage they soon became part of.
A good friend from Flint is a clerical worker at the Pentagon. I have heard no word about her condition. I have tried contacting her family to no avail. Her son, Malcolm, worked on our show. I cannot find him. I keep getting tears in my eyes. Once she gave me a tour of the Pentagon, took me everywhere, and got such a kick out of taking me around this building I used to march on. Will our mutual friends who know Barbara, and know how she is, please write me? Please.
The man who occupies the White House cried today. Good. Keep crying, Mr. Bush. The more you cry, the less you will go to that dark side in all humans where anger rages to a point where we want to blindly kill. Your dad's and Reagan's old cronies -- Eagleberger, Baker, Schultz -- are all calling for you to bomb first and ask questions later. You must NOT do this. If only because you do not want to stoop to these mass murderers' level. Yes, find out who did it. Yes, see that they NEVER do it again.
But GET A GRIP, man. "Declare war?" War against whom? One guy in the desert whom we can never seem to find? Are our leaders telling us that the most powerful country on earth cannot dispose of one sick evil f---wad of a guy? Because if that is what you are telling us, then we are truly screwed. If you are unable to take out this lone ZZ Top wannabe, what on earth would you do for us if we were attacked by a nation of millions? For chrissakes, call the Israelis and have them do that thing they do when they want to get their man! We pay them enough billions each year, I am SURE they would be happy to accommodate your request.
But I beg you, Mr. Bush, stay with the tears. Go today to comfort the wounded of New York. Tell the mayor, a guy most of us have not liked, that he is doing an incredible job, keeping the spirits of everyone up as high as they can be at this moment. Being there for a city I believe he loves, his own cancer still with him, he goes beyond the call of duty.
But do not declare war and massacre more innocents. After bin Laden's previous act of terror, our last elected president went and bombed what he said was "bin Laden's camp" in Afghanistan -- but instead just killed civilians. Then he bombed a factory in the Sudan, saying it was "making chemical weapons." It turned out to be making aspirin. Innocent people murdered by our Air Force.
Back in May, you gave the Taliban in Afghanistan $48 million dollars of our tax money. No free nation on earth would give them a cent, but you gave them a gift of $48 million because they said they had "banned all drugs."
Because your drug war was more important than the actual war the Taliban had inflicted on its own people, you helped to fund the regime who had given refuge to the very man you now say is responsible for killing my friend on that plane and for killing the friends of families of thousands and thousands of people. How dare you talk about more killing now! Shame! Shame! Shame! Explain your actions in support of the Taliban! Tell us why your father and his partner Mr. Reagan trained Mr. bin Laden in how to be a terrorist!
Am I angry? You bet I am. I am an American citizen, and my leaders have taken my money to fund mass murder. And now my friends have paid the price with their lives.
Keep crying, Mr. Bush. Keep running to Omaha or wherever it is you go while others die, just as you ran during Vietnam while claiming to be "on duty" in the Air National Guard. Nine boys from my high school died in that miserable war. And now you are asking for "unity" so you can start another one? Do not insult me or my country like this!
Yes, I, too, will be in church at noon today, on this national day of mourning. I will pray for you, and us, and the children of New York, and the children of this sad and ugly world ...
Yours, Michael Moore.