9/11–Let’s Get Real!

All right, I have to say it.  I find the coverage of the 9/11 10-year anniversary nauseating.

The way we are collectively wallowing in our victimhood, while at the same time celebrating our oh-so-macho response to being attacked.

The way so few voices are talking about the reasons for the anger that launched those pilots at the US; the money that funded them; the horrendous aftermath of the attack, in which we rattled our sabers, swore vengeance against the “axis of evil,” and started a war in Iraq that cost hundreds of thousands of people their lives.

The way we aren’t talking about the corporate capitalist policies of exploitation and greed that led to widespread misery in the places where Al Qaeda operatives like to hide, places where starving parents opt to send their sons to the madrassa so they can eat, not knowing or caring what kind of indoctrination may be occurring between bites.

The way we aren’t talking about the indoctrination our children are getting here in our schools, through the sanitized version of the 9/11 story, in which the U.S. is always the good cop, policing the rest of the world in a superior and politically correct manner.

No one ever mentions anything about our status as the largest military operation in the world and the largest exporter of guns and military hardware—the biggest fomenter, therefore of violence on the planet.  How could we naively expect that this violence would not come home to roost?

And now those same policies of profit-seeking callousness have reached their limit in the natural world, and the violence we have wreaked on our environment can and will return to bite us—in fact, it is already visible in the erratic weather patterns of global warming, leading to natural disasters and food instability even here in the heart of Empire.

Instead of the obsessive repetition of schizophrenic patriotic self-congratulation alongside whining victimhood, we aren’t we talking about what really matters: moving forward in a way that radically changes the culture, both national and international, that produced 9/11?

Until we begin to have this forward-looking conversation, in which all the cards are put on the table and no credible way out of the morass of violence, greed and destructive exploitation is ignored, we will be stuck in a sick Groundhog Day of our own making, with no way to stop the repetitive madness.

I don’t know about you, but I want to wake up to a new day.

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