In honor of the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 I tried to remember that this country is, in theory, based on a set of constitutional laws and not religious mythology. I tried to remember that we are a democracy and not a theocracy or a kleptocracy or a chickenshit fascist state. I tried to remember that we're supposed to be the home of the free, land of the brave and not the home of the Patriot Act and land of the "with us or against us." I tried to remember that other countries were encouraged to send us their tired, their poor, their huddled masses yearning to breathe free and we weren't going to send them to Guantanamo.
This country has always had a spotty, inconsistent, multi-tiered track record. The wealthy and the white have always lived in a different America than the rest of us. Sometimes the gap was outrageous, sometimes not as much. Right now it's stupendous. We've reacted to deaths of 3,000 innocents by killing or causing to be killed nearly 920,000 people in Afghanistan and Iraq and that number includes American casualties as well. (More importantly it's based on the lowest credible estimates.) How many people do we need to kill, maim, or displace before we say enough, or vengeance has been sated? Is 306 people per person killed in the 9/11 attacks enough or should we go for 400? What the fuck is the point? They'll all still be dead next 9/11.
I watched football all day on 9/11. I muted the set every time a mindlessly patriotic commercial came on or when a meat puppet wanted to honor the troops. Honor the troops? Some of them weren't even in double digits when 9/11 happened. They've grown up with war and, thanks to our awesomely underfunded and devalued educational system, probably don't even know why they're really fighting and dying.
"After all, this is the guy who tried to kill my Dad."- George W. Bush
"The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on, which was weapons of mass destruction, as the core reason."- Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz
Revenge as a guiding light for foreign policy? Random accusations? Sure. Why not? I mean, it's not like any of us are going to get killed or maimed, right?
The tenth anniversary of a bunch of misguided cowards from a fucked up theocracy attacking the US of A should be a day of remembering what we really stand for, not what a parade of demagogues, cowards, liars, and war profiteers say we stand for. We should remember that people used to look to the US for some semblance of sanity. Yeah, I know, we ruined vast swathes of the world with our anti-Commie bullshit. We also fucked up the Middle East more than the Brits could ever have hoped to do in their day. Nevertheless, prior to and just after 9/11 people around the world still respected us to a degree. Today? Not so much.
Let's make sure that in the next ten years we get back to what we were before we collectively decided to abdicate our roles as citizens of a democracy and gave the whole thing over to "the smartest guys in the room" who've brought us unending war, the Second Great Depression, and the scorn of generations of people around the world.
Peace out, bitches.