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imperialism & war

Post Post 9/11 thoughts

As a senior in highschool, the events of September 11th still haunt my mind. President Bush claims we were attacked because of our freedom, but is that really true?
September 11th, 2001

"Turn on your radio! Damnit Kira, wake up and turn on your radio!"
I opened my eyes slowly as my mother screamed at me from our kitchen. I tried to rub the sleep out of my eyes, rising out of bed wondering why on earth my mother was so hysterical. "Probably some special on NPR about kids who do their homework or something" I grumpily thought, wishing she'd leave me alone with my warm blankets and deep sleep.
Already I could hear her running out of the kitchen to drag me out of bed. I jumped out of bed and ran to the stairs, meeting her halfway up. I only had to take one look at her face to realize there was no special on NPR. Her eyes were wet with tears and her voice shook.
"Someone flew two planes into the World Trade Center in New York City and another one into the Pentagon... " As horrible as it sounds, my first thought was, "So?" I could only think of two little planes flying into an empty building. I mean, it was 7:00 am, who'd be working then?
"Who did it?" I asked quietly. She looked sharply at me, "The Palestinian Liberation Front claims responsibility." The sharp look was because she knew of my own support for Palestine and how I was common not to even recognize half of Israel as a "real" country. I shook my head at her and hurried back upstairs, getting dressed as quick as I could.
"It was probably Bush," I began thinking, "Our government is twisted enough to pull some shit like this. Plus the Palestinians don't have enough money for planes anyway... " I was still thinking only a few people had died.
I hurried downstairs to our basement where our dusty TV was turned on, my mother sobbing in front of it. "What's she freaking out about?" I wondered to myself. Until I turned my head to the image on the screen. BAM! The second plane hit the tower like a bird hitting glass. "Jesus fucking Christ!" I shouted. That was no little plane. That was a jetliner.
It dawned on me that moment that New York was at least three hours ahead of us. "Oh Gods. Oh Gods, Oh Gods... " I began repeating. There were people in that building. There were people in that plane. I turned to my moaning mother, "There's a lot of people dead, isn't there?"
The events of September 11th shocked me only because of the amount of destruction, quickness and bloodshed it caused. Ever since I had learned of the horrible pain the U.S. had inflicted on other countries, there was always a dark statement that had infested itself in my mind. "One day, somebody is going to want revenge... "
For years, The United States has been exploiting poorer countries for our own marketable benefit. And for years the US has acted as though it was untouchable, that no one would dare strike back at the most powerful nation in the world.
Perhaps that's one of the factors that made 9/11 so shocking, who on the earth would be stupid enough to do this? Stupid only because we would find out who did this or we would find someone to blame September 11th on. Our country has a hot temper, which means someone was going to pay.
And yet, in some ways aren't we at fault? Did we through past actions bring this ghastly event on to ourselves? We have supported dictators/governments with money, weapons, and training for years that have oppressed and murdered thousands of people. Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Somosa of Nicaragua, The Shah of Iran, Pinochet of Chile, Diem of South Vietnam, and the list goes on and on. So makes our imperialistic country so innocent? Why not expect something like 9/11?
We told ourselves we were invincible, and for years we got away with this ignorance. Finally though, we were awakened. The president claims we were attacked because of our freedom and the greatness of our country. Well I'm sorry Mr. President Bush; this is not a great country. This is a corrupt and arrogant country that I have been ashamed of for years now.
September 11th was the day our Karma finally stepped in and it was like a blow in the stomach for most Americans. Yes, it's sad and awful that over 3,100 people died, who probably never intended on hurting people in foreign lands. They themselves did not deserve the death that came upon them.
I hoped after 9/11 the US would realize how flawed our foreign policies are, but it seems like our government is only supporting this system more. Bombing people in Afghanistan will not bring anyone back to life from September 11th, 2001. Instead of solving problems diplomatically, it will probably only create more.
We are not untouchable. We are flawless. Our government and the majority of US citizens need to recognize this in order for no more 9/11's to occur. We must re-evaluate our foreign policies, diplomatically and corporately. Instead of seeing ourselves as an elite part of the world, we must begin to realize that we are all sisters and brothers. Human beings are all connected, no matter what Americans tell themselves.

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Response 19.Dec.2001 14:02


You have a good understanding of events and reality. Although I do not agree with all of you theories I respect you critical thinking skills. It is extremly heartening to see young people like you in highschool that are aware of social justice issues and the state of the world in general.
My response is that if you are indeed serious about knowing Truth and acting upon your principles to make the world a better place (as impractically utopian as that sounds) than do some personal study of Anarchism.
I suggest the following literature:

"A People's HIstory of the United States, by Howard Zinn