Today should be a day of ruthless questioning and critical thinking….
One of the few heartening things about the 9/11 anniversary this time around is the marked increase in the number of critical voices speaking up. Maybe I am wrong but to me at least there seems to be many more people saying quite plainly, the West’s response was utterly wrong. This is a good thing because it’s true and it needs to continue and become more widespread. We need to be questioning the ‘War on Terror’ and we need to be questioning the entire ritualistic observance of and symbolism of the 9/11 anniversary itself.
On the anniversery of the Bali bombing do we, for example, observe a minutes silence at football matches? Do we on the anniversary of the Madrid bombing? No, we don’t and nor are we expected too. I am sure within their respective countries observances do take place but they are not marked internationally in the way 9/11 is. Of course, this double-standard comes along with the complete lack of any kind of recognition of Iraqi and Afghani (and countless other nations) lives lost, some as a direct consequence of our actions. My deep concern about all this is that it equates to the West sending a clear signal that American lives matter more than those of all others.
No, people will squeal, but how else can it come across? How else can it really, truly be meant? If it is not meant that way, is not time we questioned ruthlessly the parade of official hypocrisy that is on show during this occasion, the casual disregard that is shown for any fatality that did not take place on that fateful day. How much mainstream media coverage this week has focused on the continuing dire situation in Iraq, a situation brought about by fateful and reckless decision of both the US and UK to pursue a personal vendetta against a dictator they happened not to like? Not alot is the answer. Certainly, not enough.
We are encouraged to mourn, to grieve but not to think about the wider consequences of our actions following that day. Anybody who dissents is subjected to invisible but still powerful social pressure to keep quite in the name of a bogus respect. Human empathy is thus twisted and perverted by political elites into a instrument of tyranny just as the whole day has been hijacked by those with an overtly political agenda; to buttress a ‘War on Terror’ and its massive extension of state power that are increasingly losing credibility in the public mind.
What happened 10 years ago was a product of tyranny; a product of social and political systems which we in the West, to this day, help maintain and nourish in the blinkered belief that is the way we make ourselves safe. We believe, we can play, like Rome did, with nations as if they were chess-pieces and be totally immune to any consequence. 9/11 is a reminded that this is not so and maybe that is why it causes so many politicians in particular to behave so skittishly. It is a reminder of our and their own mortality and that they, just like us, cannot control everything. However, rather than being a day of deference and enforced conformity it is my proposal that today should in future be a day of ruthless questioning and critical thinking about the world around us. If you want to pay a fitting tribute to all those that have lost their lives in this fake and hypocritical ‘war’ then I personally cant think of a better way to do it.