Monday, September 12, 2011

Never forget.

With non-stop 24/7 coverage, the 10th Anniversary has come but has not yet gone. We are still wallowing in the absolute horror of what happened in New York, Washington, DC and Shanksville, PA. It seems like people everywhere are all saying one thing: We will never forget. In fact, I find this proclamation self-centered, solipsistic, simplistic and short-sighted.

Only 100 years ago, World War I monuments proliferated throughout towns, cities and villages across Europe, America, Australia, New Zealand, India, Canada and other nations. The world had just suffered through around five years of sustained slaughter and surely we would never forget.

However, just twenty years later, we were at it again. This time with nuclear weapons.

The blood was barely dry from WW II, when we were slaughtering ourselves and others in Korea and Vietnam.

Slaughter, whether of "innocents" or soldiers, is ceaseless.

One nation's "never forget" is another nation's divine retribution.

I'm sorry this is so cynical, so anti-American. And the people who "did this to us," may be the incarnation of pure evil but they did not wake one morning and suddenly decide to try to destroy America. America was not passive in the Muslim world.

We have supported torture, put terrorists on our payroll and put despots in charge. We have taken trillions in oil wealth for our own purposes. We have flouted our wealth and imposed our values.

There is very little in the world that is black or white. We, Americans, were victims of horror but not unwitting, innocent victims. Though the 3,000 who died were innocent, America is not without sin.

I'm not excusing, rationalizing or minimizing the horror of what happened 10 years ago yesterday. But I do believe that more intelligent national introspection would have been more productive glib sloganeering.

It's easy to say 'Never forget."

It's not so easy to act in ways that don't propagate and extend hatred.


Mike Vassolo said...

I thought I was the only one who felt like this. No such thing as innocent victims in this country.

Red Red said...

Yesterday my 14 year old son asked me why anyone would have wanted to do that to us 10 years ago. Not a short or simple answer.

simon billing said...

"It is never worth a first class man's time to express a majority opinion. By definition, there are plenty of others to do that." Prof. G.H. Hardy (Cantab.)

A gutsy, and good) post George.

fedex said...

As a non-american, I really appreciated this post.

peggy said...

have you seen krugman's short post on his nyt blog? and rumsfeld's tweet-response? he cancelled his subscription. who would have thought rumsfeld had been reading the nyt in the first place. that he publically announced the cancellation strikes me as odd and desperate, as well as inappropriate. but so did things he had done before.

as a human, i do appreciate your post. as an aside, i think your post is as pro-american as it can get.

Omair said...

Thank you for speaking up about this, George. It was a horrific tragedy, no one can argue that. But as always, it's the innocents who suffer most.

"R.I.P. the 2,976 American people that lost their lives on 9/11 and R.I.P. the 48,644 Afghani and 1,690,903 Iraqi people that paid the ultimate price for a crime they did not commit."

rebrivved said...

By chance, my husband and I were in New York on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. It was painful to be near where the twin towers used to stand. And so so sad to watch those who lost loved ones at the memorial. Clearly, they haven't forgotten. But, the U.S. has. Because if remembered all those lives lost in the U.S., Iraq & Afghanistam, we couldn't go on killing each other.

Dinesh Bhadwal said...

Just because you sometimes write about movies, i am mentioning this. Last night i watched 'Reign over me'. I was looking for cinema on 9/11 and i picked this film(the other being 'Taxi to the dark side', which i am yet to watch). Other than the subject, the one thing which got me interested was Adam Sandler. I wanted to see how he would perform in a non-comic role. What a disappointment! Sheer disgrace. Both the acting and treatment. After slaughtering millions around the world, is it appropriate to portray the white man as the victim? It is blatant propaganda like this that is alienating more and more Americans around the world.