Monday, September 11, 2006
Remembering 9/11 Is Not The Same As Putting It Into Context
Mainstream analysis has been astonishingly shallow over the last five years. Most Americans seem satisfied with the idea that these Muslims are crazy zealots, pushed by extremist leaders and pulled by the promises of houris in Paradise. The idea that Muslims and people in Middle East countries might have legitimate grounds for hating us appears difficult for many Americans to grasp. American benevolence in foreign policy is accepted without question by many Americans despite huge amounts of evidence to the contrary.
Were innocent American lives lost on 9/11? Yes. But sanctifying them and raising them to the status of martyrs is useful only in fueling the PR campaign for the "War on Terror." Were some Americans heroic on 9/11, particularly the first responders? Yes. I remember and mourn for them but my idea of honoring their memory is not using it to falsely justify military action against other innocent people. If you want to call any parts of this series of events evil, I would certainly include the cynical manipulations in the aftermath by Bush, et al.
As an aside, I think it should be noted that the number of Americans who died on 9/11/01 is less than the number of Iraqis who have died in the last two months. Interestingly, the US is claiming a reduction in the number of Iraqis killed in fighting because they recently decided to not count those who died in car bombs or mortar attacks. A nice solution: redefine the problem and things look sooo much better. This is a typical Bush Bunch solution.
So this post is just my little plea to look around and read some things that challenge the mainstream views of 9/11. You may decide they are bullshit but at least you'll have an idea of what other people are saying. Reality is rarely as simple we would like it to be.