Monday, September 11, 2006

Was It Worth It?

I picked this photo off the Internet five years ago. It always made me uneasy somehow, and I'm not sure why. Too glib? Too irreverent? Too morbid?

I don't know. But I kept it. Now I know why. Because, five years later, it's the question I ask the perpetrators of 911. Leaving aside the myriad conspiracy theories, let's assume the official story (Osama bin Laden & al Qaeda) is the truth. How many Muslim deaths have resulted from that one outrageous act? Tens of thousands, we're told. Was it worth it? Has the situation of any Muslims throughout the world changed for the better because of it? Is death really a victory?

But meanwhile, I have a question for the US and the rest of the west too. Was/Is our response really the correct one? The number of American soldiers killed in Iraq has already exceeded the number of those who were killed in the World Trade Center.

I remember saying to many people at the time that I thought that the American people were essentially good-hearted, open-hearted, generous people. They didn't deserve this. And yet, somehow they (or their governments) lacked skilfull means. Even before 911, I thought that so many actions of the government with respect to foreign policy were wrong-headed. Not just Bush. Or Clinton. Or Reagan. Or Whoever. Historically wrong-headed is what I mean. So that what often presented itself was US support of brutality and dictatorship, rather than the fine spirit of the American people.

So what happened after 911? Two countries were invaded, one of which didn't really have anything to do with 911. And the other has been a pit of quicksand for successive invaders over decades. And occupiers are rarely popular.

911 shut me up for a long time. There was nothing to say when compared to the insanity of it, the hatred, and the subsequent rage for revenge. Really, it's a sadder, more constrained world we live in now. Perhaps that was the goal. Nothing succeeds like excess.

2 comments:

w.t. said...

Without knowing a solution I know that anger,rage, violence and destruction will never work. I also think that the more we put our angry attention to it all, the more we whip it up with arguments, the more we feed into the sensation of it all, the more the news is flooded with it... the more we keep feeding negative energy,which then will expand and expand, like the black forces in science fiction, slowly first, then more rapidly obscuring the light. There is so much more to life then we can see, grasp or understand in the physical world. We may get an inkling when we listen to our subconcious.

It is not only the destruction of people, but of animals, insect life, delicate environments...the whole web of the living world is being irreversably disturbed.

Shakin' said...

There is a Psychological warfare being conducted and portion of it is being conducted against the American Public. The latest is campaign is “We are Not Safe”. A small minority of fundamental fascists now dictate American Foreign Policy. The response is out of proportion to reality. Reducing a tiny fraction of the Pentagon’s budget and redirecting the money toward health care would ensure each American coverage in case of a medical emergency.

There has been a sacrifice of civil liberties that is also out of proportion and excessive. The fact is there was a threat and needed to be dealt with. Iraq was not the threat; it was a country that was comfortably contained. Missiles, planes and aircraft carriers are not effective against a fundamental psychopath who manages to smuggle cardboard cutters onto a passenger plane.

The hope is a change in direction that may come this fall when an election is held for seats in the Senate and Congress. Hopefully a change in the senate and congress will restrain the Texas Corporate Mafia Syndicate. Not that I have any strong views on the subject.

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