A Decade of Farce

Well, no reading round-up this week unfortunately. I was pretty busy at work, which is when I normally do most of my browsing. So, as an alternative, I’m providing a video clip: GO BLUE!

9/11 Reflection

I sort of feel like it would be remiss not to mention that today is the tenth anniversary of 9/11. I have avoided pretty much all media surrounding the anniversary because I wanted to write something reflective but without the noise of the media and commentary influencing my own memories and thoughts.

Yet, here it is nearly 11pm and I am just now forcing myself to write something – anything. I suppose this is because I find it very difficult to ‘remember’ 9/11 without also remembering what came before and what has since passed. I hold what are probably some pretty unpopular opinions, but I just can’t for the life of me bring myself to grieve for my countrymen and women without also grieving for the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in our subsequent quest for vengeance. Why did we expect to be insulated from the violence that we have for so long perpetrated against others?

I force myself to imagine what it must have been like to hear bodies crashing onto cars; people so desperate to escape the smoke and flames that they leapt to their death. I imagine what it must have been like to have a loved one who never came home from work that day. It is heart-breaking and horrifying. But then, I remember these photos (WARNING: NSFW – disturbing photos, viewer discretion is advised) and can really only conclude that we are no better than those we seek to destroy. When I look at these pictures I can really only think of how sterile the attack on the WTC was; the hijackers did not actually have to witness the death or pain of their victims, let alone continue to inflict that pain hand-to-hand. Just as I imagine it is easier to pull a trigger than sink a lethal stab, how much easier must it have been to fly a plane into a building, compared to tying up naked men, and humiliating and torturing them? Evil has no national boundaries, that is one thing of which I am absolutely sure.

Today I will remember, but not selectively. I will mourn those who perished and empathize with their families, for their lives lost is truly tragic, but I will not watch the patriotism porn and feel sorry for the USA. I will not support the view that retribution is justice, no matter what the collateral price. Today, I remember that an Iraqi’s life – their humanity – is no less than an American’s. Some may call me a bleeding heart liberal; my only reply can be that I would rather have a bleeding heart than a calloused one.

I could say a lot more, but it’s late.

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2 thoughts on “A Decade of Farce

  1. I know this is almost two months since you’ve posted this, but just found your blog (thanks for posting the link on FB). I totally agree with you on everything in this post. It’s taken me years to separate and figure out how to mourn the loss of American lives without buying into the “media porn” around 9/11. I hate that we (American society) value American lives over those of all others. I’m getting my MSW and there are several women (and a man) in my program who are Vets and did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and who are struggling so much with learning how to forgive themselves for what they’ve done, what they’ve done in many ways without a choice. The whole situation is just so damn fucked up. Have you read the book “Baghdad Burning?” If not, I highly recommend it.

    • Thanks for commenting (even if a bit belated)! It’s a lot of mental effort to get into the frame of mind that I was around that day and when I wrote this post so I’ll just say that I found this general mindset to be reassuringly common once I dug beneath the mainstream media. I think that it rests uneasy with a lot of people (which it should imo) and while I’m not happy that there are veterans out there really struggling, I think that it says a lot about the mental health of our country that they are wrestling with these issues and not just accepting everything that we’ve been fed to believe. I think that OWS is also a more recent incarnation of this mindset (and consequently a movement that I am really proud to see spring up). Anyway, I haven’t read Baghdad Burning, but I will definitely check it out (add it to my ever-growing ‘wishlist’ on Amazon!).

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