9.11.2011

9.11.11: an anti-remembrance

Ten years on.

Ten years of Islamophobia, endless war, the open rationalization of torture and massacre.

Ten years of surveillance, insidiously creeping police state, witch hunts, shredding of personal freedoms.

Nine years of torture, medical experiments, indefinite, illegal detention, and massive human rights abuses in the US-run concentration camp known as Guantanamo Bay.

Ten years of the escalation of a brutal sleight of hand that advances western corporate interests above the basic human rights of millions while pretending to be a force for world peace and security, known as the War on Terror.

I'm not reading one single reflection, not watching one commemoration, not answering one "where were you" question, and certainly not listening to anyone else's boring, inconsequential story of where they were when they heard the news.

It makes me want to shout: Go away! Go the fuck away! All of you fixating on this one event, the whole world expected to stand in hushed silence because a bad thing happened to Americans. How many war crimes have been committed since then, excused away because of 9/11? How many unrelated massacres and acts of terrorism and personal tragedies? Get over yourselves!

Some earlier wmtc 9/11-related posts:

2010: it is so time to be over 9.11.

Who is responsible for the attacks of September 11, 2001, and why do you think you know the answer to that question? A 9/11 discussion part one, part two, part three, part four. If you're interested, don't miss the comments.

Thoughts and conversation on the expression "conspiracy theory": part one, part two.

My thoughts on some great 9/11-related art: In the Shadow of No Tower by Art Spiegelman.

30 comments:

Amy said...

It's 8:30, and I am struggling with whether to watch some of the memorial ceremony or not. Like you, thus far I have resisted reading or watching anything commemorating 9/11. But something pulls at me...guilt?...that I SHOULD do something to honor the memory of those who died and those who are their survivors. I know watching a memorial doesn't help them or anyone else; I should be out fighting against hatred, war, oppression. But yet I bet I will soon turn on the TV and cry as I remember.

laura k said...

I can't imagine why you should do anything. Almost every day is the anniversary of some tragedy or crime or massacre. You'd do better to commemorate March 19, in my opinion.

Of course you'll cry if you watch anything, but that doesn't have any significance beyond your own emotions, IMO.

laura k said...

I wouldn't characterize my not watching any memorials as "resisted". More like repelled. I can't get far enough away from it!

Canajun said...

As with all such events the media beats it to a bloody pulp, assisted by every politician wanting to get his/her name in the paper. So I'm with you and can't wait for this day/week/month to be over. It's time to move on people.

Amy said...

Fwiw, I turned on the tv, saw Bush talking, turned it right off. And that was that.

sassy said...

Almost every day is the anniversary of some tragedy or some crime of massacre

So true, this really struck a chord with me. Not to distract from the mourning of those who lost a loved one on 911 but as this poem reminds us there are many reasons to observe a moment of silence.

laura k said...

turned on the tv, saw Bush talking

That's great. You got a reminder of what these public commemorations are really about.

West End Bob said...

How many war crimes have been committed since then, excused away because of 9/11? How many unrelated massacres and acts of terrorism and personal tragedies?

"Hear, hear, laura k!"

Just this morning I said almost the exact words to "drf" - Some things will never change. I'm looking forward to September 12th so the MSM can move on to a new topic du jour . . . .

Northern Girl said...

I agree entirely with everything you say Laura.

I’m having a “media shut down day", since 9/11 is everywhere.

Other nations that have experienced terrorism know that this continual re-living of events is giving in to the terrorists. To play the part of the victim “in perpetuity” is unhealthy. It is like picking away at a scab instead of allowing it to heal.

laura k said...

Sassy, thanks for that. I knew the poem before I clicked - and highly recommend it to those who don't.

Another good one is Ani DiFranco's "Self Evident".

laura k said...

As Canajun and West End Bob say, the media overkill makes it all so much worse. Or maybe that's what makes it, period.

laura k said...

I’m having a “media shut down day"

Wise woman. I dread listening to my baseball game today.

allan said...

Glenn Greenwald, Salon, September 6:

"[I]f I could impose one media rule, it would be that following every column or TV segment featuring American political commentators dramatically unloading their Where-I-Was-on-9/11-and-how-I-felt tales, there would be similar recollections offered from parents in the Muslim world talking about how their children died from the pre-9/11 acts of the U.S. and its client states or from post-9/11 American bombs, drones, checkpoint shootings and night raids: just for the sake of 'balance,' which media outlets claim to crave."

Stephanie said...

David posted this poem on FB and I find it so beautiful and perfectly fitting with the sentiments of your post that I just had to share.

A moment of silence before I start this poem

Kim_in_TO said...

So relieved you posted this! I actually posted to my (mostly unused) blog as well - so strong was the need to counter all the 9/11 posts I am seeing in social media. These are not people who have suffered a personal loss; they are well-meaning people who think they should show compassion because MSM says we should.

allan said...

Remember, Amy:

You won't see anything you haven't seen before. You won't hear anything you haven't heard before. You certainly won't learn anything. In fact, all of the related pro-war propaganda will make you dumber.

laura k said...

David posted this poem on FB and I find it so beautiful and perfectly fitting with the sentiments of your post that I just had to share.

A moment of silence before I start this poem


This is what Sassy linked to, above. It's excellent - thank you.

laura k said...

I actually posted to my (mostly unused) blog as well - so strong was the need to counter all the 9/11 posts I am seeing in social media.

Excellent post, Kim!

I recommend this to everyone here: MCIJ.

Kim_in_TO said...

Thanks, Laura!

M. Yass said...

If I didn't know better, I'd think nuclear bombs had been dropped on NYC on 9/11. 'Course, America would never do that to anyone.

Oh, wait.

(Posted to wrong topic earlier. Sorry, haven't had my coffee yet this morning.)

laura k said...

(Posted to wrong topic earlier. Sorry, haven't had my coffee yet this morning.)

Actually, you posted that to last year's 9/11 post - just as relevant! Thanks.

M. Yass said...

Personally, I'm remembering the terrorist attacks of September 11, 1973 today.

laura k said...

Personally, I'm remembering the terrorist attacks of September 11, 1973 today.

I've noticed many people referencing this. So that's one good thing: an increased awareness of the US's overthrow of a democratically elected government and the installation of a dictator in Chile.

Some Person said...

I way ahead of you, Northern Girl. Heck, my TV only serves as a glorified computer monitor, that's how much I've removed myself from televised media. In fact, the language that plays from my TV is more likely to be Japanese than English (thanks, anime).

Even NPR has to get in on the act. I turned it off and said to the radio as I was driving alone, "We already went over this at my Unitarian Universalist service today. It's done, just stop it already!"

Can I have my Bill-Clinton-got-a-BJ-Livin-La-Vida-Loca-Mark-Mcgwire-Sammy-Sosa-Pets.com-Tickle-Me-Elmo days back, if not literally then at least in spirit?

David said...

I mentioned to people that it is the thirty-eighth anniversary of 9/11 and got the predictable response from my fellow Americans: "Huh?"

I asked people what anniversary the nation of Chile is commemorating today: same response.

When I answered my own question, that Chile is observing the anniversary of 9/11, someone actually said, "how sweet of them," until I explained the story. Then silence.

How much more important our own tragedies are than those of others-- even (especially?) when we caused those events deliberately, with malice aforethought.

Some of us remember. Viva Allende!

Some Person said...

"¡Viva Chile! ¡Viva el pueblo! ¡Vivan los trabajadores!"

johngoldfine said...

But commemorating the attacks would feel a lot more meaningful if, in fact, we had ever stopped commemorating them. Our healing process has been never-ending -- occasionally introspective and edifying, but all too often maudlin and suffocating.

Maybe that's a terrible and insensitive thing to say, I don't know.

But the attacks were supposed to have made us a better and stronger country, not merely a more sentimental one whose most endearing qualities are a penchant for self-pity and a hunger for revenge. And about the worst thing we can do right now is focus too intensely on an event that, let's be honest now, not only killed 3,000 Americans, but that directly or indirectly inspired a pathology of disastrous and very expensive decisions.


--http://www.salon.com/technology/ask_the_pilot/

deang said...

On 911 anniversaries, I just do what I do when people remind that it's Memorial Day: think about the millions of people killed by the US, many of them killed in single acts of violence that resulted in far more deaths than the three thousand killed on September 11, 2001.

allan said...

In the first 3+ years of the Iraq occupation, US troops and its allies were killing between 5,000 and 10,000 Iraqis each month.

If the 10,000 figure is correct, then Iraq was having a "9/11" every 10 days -- for more than three years!

Which is 108 attacks that killed as many people as were killed on 9/11 (who were not all Americans, by the way). And that is just in the first part of the Occupation That Will Never End.

The 9/11 attacks were unquestionably horrific, but the US government and its media lapdogs, in its embrace of US exceptionalism, acts like nothing bad ever happened to anyone before, but anything that happens to the US is the worst thing ever.

I wonder how Abeer Qassim al-Janabi - and the innocent people referred to in this story (WikiLeaks Cable: Iraqi Interrogators Rape Juveniles to Get Confessions) - might feel about that.

laura k said...

Thanks, everyone. Taken together, the thoughts posted in this thread touch on almost every aspect of these "remembrances".