I remember that day, although I missed it all but the shouting (didn't realize it was happening, being alone in the house & not watching the news, until after the towers fell), but I don't want to remember it. I have not yet gone to see Ground Zero. I worked across the street the summer after high school, I was in & out of the WTC complex every day, taking walks, eating lunch, watching the trains come & go. I was in the complex on 9/9/01, taking the train to see my mother-in-law, two days before the end. I can't go see it, look down into it, it's too hard, even to think about it brings tears to my eyes.
But what bothers me as well, is not the pain of the wound to my city, not the pain of the deaths of thousands, not the pain of the individual stories, but the pain of the wound to my country and its ideals which I hold dear.
This is a country founded on certain ideals, of rugged individualism, of civil liberty, of speaking truth to power, of government of the people, by the people and for the people.
It has become a country of fear, paranoia, greedy self-interested government officials, us-vs-them, rich-vs-poor, management-vs-unorganized-labor, suppression of civil rights, theft of elections, and well on the way to Nehemiah Scudder's government.
The result of 9/11, then, is that the terrorists have won. And it's not actually that the terrorists beat us down. We did it to ourselves. We elected a bunch of greedy, elitist, racist SOBs who have systematically done this to us. We have not risen up and thrown the bastards out of office; instead we re-elected them in 2004.
Our government, that is supposed to be for us, has instead used 9/11 as an excuse, a propaganda point, to push us into a needless war based on lies, to suppress our freedom to travel and to assemble, to exert such pressure on the Press that no longer is it the independent critic of government that it needs to be, but is instead a ministry of propaganda. I wish to God there were a liberal media, but with all the fear-mongering about the awful liberal media, there is no more liberal mainstream media, only pro-government and really-pro-government media, unless faced with personal disaster like Katrina.
The country is starting to awaken from its long sleep. Polls predict major anti-incumbency feeling. But the forces of power continue to press down. Now, in the middle of political-primary season, the American Broadcasting Company brings out its propaganda piece, "The Path to 9/11", where the blame for 9/11 is cast almost entirely on the Democrats, where the Clinton administration is accused falsely of doing exactly what the Bush administration actually did (ignoring calls to capture UBL in Saudia Arabia vs. ignoring calls to capture UBL in Tora Bora), to once again promote, falsely, the Government's fear-strategy, their theory that a vote for Democrats is a vote for the enemies of the country. To call one's Honorable Opposition traitors - this undermines the ideals of this country, and once again is an example of the pot calliing the tin can, black.
I'll say it right out: [extreme rhetoric deleted]
UPDATED 9/18/06: Actually, since using such extreme rhetoric hurts real people, rather than affecting those who use such rhetoric in public against me & mine, I cannot bear to keep it on my blog where it has already hurt a friend of many years standing.
Instead, I simply decry in the strongest terms the extreme rhetoric used by certain elements in the leadership of this country, and by their friends in the mainstream media. Such rhetoric has been used in other countries, where it can lead to extreme actions to fit the words. That does not belong on the American stage.
I apologize for trying to use such rhetoric myself. It does not belong in the mouths or pens of decent people anywhere.
[end of update]
* * *
My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of Liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrims' pride:
From every mountainside, let Freedom ring!
Our fathers' God, to thee, author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright with freedom's holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.
* * *
O, thus be it ever where freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto, “In god is our trust”;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
* * *
May the good Lord save our land and our people from those who would destroy her in the name of greed, using the name of patriotism.