9/11… Our memory lives on
A new friend… well someone who’s blog I just found and enjoy reading at any rate… posted yesterday about 9/11 and has quite a conversation going on over at her blog about the aftermath of the attack. I realized my comments would be too long to post over there so I decided I wanted to post about it here.
Think for a minute about Pearl Harbor. Another devastating unprovoked attack on Americans that worked the populace up into a torrent of hatred and vengeance. There was no 24 hour news coverage back then of course, but old-timers can still tell you where they were and what they were doing when they heard that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. It was the main reason the public finally gave their blessing to the Fed’s long-held plans to enter World War II.
Pearl Harbor was also the justification for locking up over 100,000 Japanese-Americans — over two-thirds of whom were US citizens – in squalid internment camps. This happened even though State Department official reports written in 1941 concluded that most Japanese nationals and “90 to 98%” of Japanese American citizens were loyal. Anyone who was at least one-eighth Japanese, even if they had mostly Caucasian ancestry, was eligible for internment. **
One would have hoped we would react better than we did back in the 1940s and I will say that the government at least behaved more circumspectly this time. They didn’t round up everyone with Middle Eastern heritage and haul them off to Montana. They did create a No Fly List — including over a million names according to most recent estimates — and we meekly submitted. They passed urgent laws allowing them to wire-tap our phones with no warrant. We didn’t resist. They arrested and detained people indefinitely at an off-shore military base. We didn’t speak out. They waved the flag around, mumbled vaguely about home-land security and urged us to remember 9/11 when we did finally begin to question their power-grabbing actions.
The government uses our fear and ignorance to control us. I guess its just a facet of the human herd condition to hate those who are different from ourselves. And when you combine that fact with the almost pathological aversion to thinking that seems to affect most of the populace, you have the situations that happened after Pearl Harbor and 9/11.
Two separate and heinous attacks on American soil. Both led to hatred and violence. Both led to America going to war. Granted, in the first case America actually went to war against the group that had attacked us, while in the second case we attacked a country that is only kinda sorta similar in a vague general way to the group who attacked us, but that isn’t the point right now.
Or maybe that is exactly the point. Is there anybody out there — anybody in the free world — that thinks America couldn’t find Osama if we really wanted to? With the apparently unlimited funds that Bush is willing to spend to fund his war-machine does anybody really believe we still haven’t been able to find — seven years later — the man responsible for 09/11? Are they even pretending to look for him anymore?
Why weren’t we hunting down Osama like a rabid dog? Why is he still at large seven years after attacking American citizens on American soil? Why have we lost thousands of men and women fighting a war against people who kinda sorta look like the people who attacked us? And why is the immediate response “remember 9/11″ every time someone questions the war in Iraq? “Remember 9/11″ has become a standard cry used to justify anything the government does. Curtailing personal freedoms, ignoring habeas corpus, ethnic profiling, and junking due process are all results of remembering 9/11.
Do I feel great sympathy for the people lost in the Twin Towers attack? Yes. Does my heart break for the families who were left behind to try to piece their lives together after this hideous tragedy? Of course. Just as I feel so very sorry for the thousands lost and injured in Bush’s Iraq war and their families.
They aren’t getting a national day of remembrance. A day when virtually our whole society stops for a minute to reflect on the pain they have endured. These fallen soldiers don’t even get a hero’s welcome home as they did in other wars… when flag-draped coffins on the nightly news gave us all cause to stop and reflect for a moment on the ultimate sacrifice some unnamed soldier had made on our behalf.
I guess there’s remembering and then there’s remembering. Remembering 9/11 — good. Remembering over 4,000 American soldiers dead in an illegal war made possible by fanning the flames of Americans’ fear and ignorance along with blatant lying — bad. The powers-that-be wanted you to remember 9/11 so badly it was the main theme of their 2004 political convention. I half expected to see little statues of elephants holding up the crippled twin towers buildings positioned around the stage.
Obviously, America is never going to forget the 9/11 attack. Just like we haven’t forgotten the My Lai Massacre. Or the Sand Creek Massacre. Or even the Haun’s Mill Massacre, but I guess only Mormons should really remember that one if you think about it. Wait… we’ve forgiven or at the very least forgotten all of these attacks. Perhaps because remembering them wasn’t convenient to the powers-that-be?
I’m not trying to say we should forget 9/11. I’m just saying please think about why the powers-that-be are so desperate that we should all remember it. Think about how they use your sympathy and empathy for their own purposes.