I posted this to Facebook just now. I expect to get considerable vitriol in response. And let it come, I say. The monstrous act that was 9/11 deserves better remembrance than we have given it; it deserves a remembrance that moves toward world where that sort of thing doesn’t happen, not actions like ours, which move us to a world of more and more 9/11s.
Here is what I wrote:
Devastation in Afghanistan, even worse than before, and quite likely increased chaos there when we leave in two years. A destroyed Iraq, hundreds of thousands dead, including thousands more Americans, and a staggering number of civilians we will never exactly know in both Iraq and Afghanistan. A complete mess of US foreign policy in the Middle East and removing the major check against Iran’s spread of power in the region.
What a shameful way to honor the memories of thousands of victims of 9/11 and the many heroes who lost their lives, risked them or suffered great injury at the World Trade Center.
And the reason it could happen is that American citizens responded to these horrific attacks not with cries for justice, but with flag-waving and howls for revenge, allowing unscrupulous people to exploit their grief to advance their fascist vision and line their own pockets. It would be nice to hope that, 11 years later, we had learned something. But it’s pretty obvious we haven’t.
Instead of learning a lesson we have idiots asking fictional “Gods” to bless “our country.” We have other idiots trying to replicate the Iraqi disaster on a much bigger scale with Iran. And we cheer when we kill some Salafist militant leader, ignoring the fact that we keep fertilizing the soil which will grow a thousand more. We owe the victims of 9/11 and all other victims of terrorism, state terrorism or any other political-criminal acts better than that. It might be time to aspire to meeting that obligation.