The Cult of 9/11….
Let’s deal with the silly argument first shall we? I don’t mean to be disrespectful to those that died on September 11th 10 years ago but no doubt I will be accused of being so. However, it is the cult that has been built up around 9/11 which is in fact disrespectful a) because it intrudes on private grief and turns it into a mawkish ritual and b) because it manipulates that grief and the consequent empathy people feel for political ends. This is the real reason this ritualistic observance happens every September since, its politics folks, pure and simple, it’s there to alibi the agenda of politicians and to remind people why the very stupid indeed, War on Terror is a necessary thing.
If we want to pay a fitting tribute to the people that died maybe we should have a day of critical examination of where the “War on Terror” has led us. We should also mourn the 100’s of thousands of dead Iraqis and Afghans who have been killed by it and us – all in the name of ‘civilisation’. We should come clean about the conduct of our own side, only yesterday shocking details emerged of how UK troops behaved in Iraq. The guilty in these cases should be found and punished without fear or favour, if we are serious about being ‘civilised’ that is.
We should question the very continuation of the “War on Terror” itself and seek its end. Me and David Miliband may not agree on many things politically BUT he was totally right that the words “War on Terror” should never have been used – it’s just a shame this position is a little lacking in moral authority due to the last Labour governments role in rendition and shipping opponents of dictatorships – like the one in Libya – back to the tender embrace of their ruling despot and a sharpened pair of pliers.
In short, rather than this mawkish ritualistic outpouring that we have to endure every 9/11 – the best way to honour those who died and to show some respect for the families of the deceased is not the faux grief of the manipulative politician but to engage in some serious critical engagement with the outcomes of 9/11 and use the lessons we learn to build a better world in the future, one that is maybe just a less fixated on the past.