Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never forget (the hype)

We have a fascination for numbers and anniversaries in this nation of ours. Today is the tenth anniversary of the attacks on 9/11. Of course it would be impossible to forget with all the patriotic hoo-hah and frenzy around us. But what makes today any more significant than yesterday - or tomorrow?

In time I'm sure stores will promote Patriot Day sales where you can get an additional 15% off that appliance purchase.

The real legacy of 9/11 isn't the lives lost that day, however. The real legacy is the shredding of the Bill of Rights that has continued unabated through today. The PATRIOT Act. Expanded wiretapping authority. Holding detainees indefinitely without charges. Torture. Metal detectors at municipal and small town courthouses. Scope and grope.

We, the people, have gladly acceded to the demands of the government to give up our freedoms in exchange for some nebulous concept called security. Let's be real for a second, those who wish to do harm to others have always found, and will always find, a way to carry out their acts. We don't live in a bubble.

My freedom is more important to me than worrying about that tiny chance that something bad is going to happen. The world didn't suddenly become more dangerous on September 12, 2001. The world has always been a dangerous place. What happened on that day is the great superpower that threw its weight around all over the world got its comeuppance.

Our government has been responsible for thousands of deaths around the world through our policies and warmongering. No one shed a tear for the innocents who were murdered in Korea, Vietnam, Central America or the Middle East when it was our soldiers or allies doing the killing.

So say a prayer for the men and women who died that day. Remember the sacrifice the police officers and firefighters who rushed into the buildings made. But don't forget the assault on our personal liberties that was "justified" by the events of that day.


FTU said...

Using today of all days to (accurately) describe the choking out of our civil liberties is like picking the moment before climax to hand your husband a breath mint or to ask your wife how long it has been since she shaved her legs. Bad timing. Very bad timing.

"Patriotic hoo-hah?" Why is today more significant?

It was the moment in modern American history when the nation began to understand what the world is like for many other people. It was the moment when we lost our global sense of safety. We couldn't ward off this danger by not going out at night or carrying pepper spray or a firearm. It was always the reality, but it was when the perception "bubble" burst.

There were hours of unanswered calls to loved ones, not knowing if they were okay, incinerated, or gasping for breath as they were crushed to death under tons of rubble. We watched people jump to their death on television.

No one deserves that. To say that the hundreds of first responders and civilians that died got their "comeuppance" in the same post that you say to pray for them is the same hypocritical double talk in which the government engages. More importantly, it is cruel.

You do not know who has and who hasn't shed tears for the tragic loss of human life in other parts of the world. To state that no one has is a sad and inaccurate portrayal of the American people.

Not everyone has a law degree, the technical savvy to know how to blog, or even an understanding of today's technology. It is hard to understand the complexities of the socio-political status. Just because people are not as educated and well-read as you are does not mean their hearts do not ache for tragedies all over the world, even if they do not understand the role the U.S. has played in them.

Many of those same people have begun to understand the philosophy of "Live free or die" and are trying to figure out how to put it into action.

You and your family will not be pulled from your home tonight and tortured and killed for your anti-government post. (In other parts of the world you may be.) If you were, people would revolt. It is not as sophisticated as you wish people were--but it is in the American psyche that civil liberties are paramount.

Tomorrow, I will return to my typical criticism of my government and their policies. I will promote the importance of keeping government in check and fighting on every front to restore and preserve the unique liberties that Americans have.

Today, I will remember and honor. I will remember the people on United 93 who facing their own deaths, diverted the plane away from the intended target. I will remember those that were lost and the survivors that were left behind. I will honor the men and women that selflessly ran into a crumbling nightmare.

Look on the bright side. People who have/are dealing with the pain of that day, regardless of what it is for them, will be drinking today. They will get in their cars to drive home. They will be arrested.

It's good for business.

Paul B. Kennedy said...

Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments.

The bubble didn't burst on 9/11. Back in 1994 the Federal building in Oklahoma City was bombed. Since it didn't happen in New York on live television the shelf life of the OKC bombing was fairly short.

9/11 was a tragedy -- but a greater tragedy is the manner in which the citizens of this country have handed their civil liberties over to the state without so much as a question.