Here it is. Another 9/11. The ghastly images of the planes hitting the World Trade Center, the giant fireballs, the Towers collapsing, the shocked and devastated people, the grim-faced firefighters, police offices and volunteers covered in the deadly asbestos, silica, iron, glass-filled dust of the downed towers are once again flashing before our newly horrified eyes.
I have no desire to relive that day; there is no need. I will never forget that day as long as I live.
Perhaps I’m different, in that, although I do not in any way mean to minimize the deaths of those 3,000-plus people who died in the Towers, at the Pentagon and that empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, I believe that there is an even bigger tragedy in the events of 9/11, a tragedy that continues to this day, compounded in geometric progression as thousands more people die in Afghanistan and Iraq, and, here at home, virulent hatred for Muslims grows and flourishes, watered and fertilized by the insane zealotry of people like Pam Geller, Robert Spencer and others, who are well-funded by rich rightwingers to continue to grow their anti-Muslim “jihad” into an industry and moneymaking proposition.
I loathed George Bush and everything he stood for, but I, with trepidation, packed away my loathing and my mistrust of this president and his administration and I dutifully fell in behind the president. When the messages of condolence poured in from all over the world, for the first time, I felt hopeful that somehow we humans, who seem so ferociously bent on killing each other over which mythical being rules supreme, would be able to put aside our differences and come together in harmony for that ultimate dream…world peace.
It was not to be. And that is the real tragedy of 9/11.
Cynical and evil men, who may have even created that tragedy (yes, I admit it, I am a “9/11 Truther”) used it to not only enrich themselves and their cronies beyond their wildest dreams, but to plunge this country into not one, but two wars we cannot win.
And, by far the worst of all, these same men cynically and easily manipulated shocked and frightened people into indulging in their basest impulses, those of hatred and revenge, and even fanned the flames of fear high enough to enable them to pass legislation which does not “keep us safe” from anything – it merely abrogates some of the most basic of our Constitutional freedoms and gives them sweeping new powers: to spy on us by reading our emails and intercepting our cell phone conversations, to infiltrate peaceful activist groups, to racially profile people with suspiciously brown skin, beards and funny hats or headscarves who pray to a different God, and even to arrest someone and detain them indefinitely. Yes, the so-called “Patriot Act” gave the president the power to point his finger at someone and say, “that is a terrorist” – and that person could be arrested and held forever, simply on the president’s word.
You don’t believe me? Read it for yourself. Here is an excellent summary of some of the abuses of power perpetrated on the American people “to keep us safe” via the Patriot Act: http://www.aclu.org/national-security Read it. It should shock you. I hope it shocks you.
The horror of 9/11 could have been the moment when we all came together to create a better world.
The tragedy is that some, and yes, I place the blame squarely upon George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and his criminal administration, used 9/11 to turn this country – and with it, the world – to the dark side of hatred and war.
I will never forget.