A Worthy Response
By Austin Brown
I wore all black the day after 9/11. I had seen the events unfold on television down in Mexico. I wore black that day out of a sense of patriotic tragedy. It was a death of not only 2800 people, but the death of America herself.
Before 9/11 was bastardized into "The War on Terror", before the wholesale prices on Old Glory at Wal-Mart, there was an actual event that merited a mournful response. Yet, in the days to follow, the full-scale commercialization of the tragedy, the speeches written specifically to ensure the politicians' words would be immortalized in history books, and the incessant drone of the media shouting over and over that "Something must be done", all began to prove to me my worst nightmare. 9/11 was to be an excuse. An excuse for any and all military action from that point on, an excuse to justify Americas need for imperialistic and dictatorial rule over the planet, an excuse to separate and examine people of other nationalities and religions, and finally, an excuse to justify and identify with the total repression and destruction of the Palestinians at the hands of the Zionists.
Terrorism happens all over the world and has been going on for some time. But when it happened in NYC, it became an atrocity worth destabilizing the world balance of power so that we could have our vengeance. We would, at all costs, pursue the nameless and ever evil "cowards", the terrorists.
The medias portrayal of all this has been appalling. After watching countless hours of pro-government media, who wouldn't be brainwashed into believing that A.) the US is completely innocent and undeserving of 9/11 and that B.) George W. Bush is NOT a complete idiot and one of the worst presidents when it comes to the good of the people and that he may even be a great and fearless leader and that C.) someone had to pay and since we cant find Osama, we move right down the "Axis of Evil" list and onto Saddam and possibly N. Korea. The media tells us that this is what must be done at all costs, even if it includes civil and international rights infringements.
Lets us examine this phrase I hear over and over again, this "Threat to our freedom" Where exactly is that threat and to what degree. Surely all the terror cells in the world could not defeat and pillage America. I see no al Qaeda ships full of invading soldiers, I see no al Qaeda f-16's bombing our cities. The terrorist simply do not have the means to "destroy America" or our way of life. Anyone who can count can see this. The idea of Osama and his henchmen taking over our government is laughable.
Bush says we should be "safe" from "terrorism" and that we should be "free" to live our lives without fear. Is this where our freedom is threatened? That I may not go to the Statue of Liberty for "fear" of a terror attack? Thus I am not "free" to live my life as I might want? It's a pretty thin argument that this is where our freedom is threatened.
America was founded on the idea of taking risks. As Edward Abbey says in regards to our National Parks, "Every man has the God given right to fall off a cliff, die in an avalanche, or be eaten by a bear." Do we remove all of these "threats" from our forests so as to make the "safe" for us to explore? And in doing so, without regard for ecology and nature, to ruin the very thing we are attempting to explore? Why are we trying to sanitize the world of terror, simply because it happened to us this one time? In truth we will never be able to rid the world of terror and attempting to do so will only bring more upon us.
The real "threat to our freedom" lies in the background check and fingerprinting of Muslim immigrants. The "threat to our freedom" lies in airport checkpoints. The "threat to our freedom" lies in the power given to our border agents, who can detain anyone for any reason. The real threat comes from the law enforcement community looking for "suspicious" people. It lies in the suspicious neighbor who fancies himself a patriot and tips off the FBI about his middle-eastern neighbor, thus ruining the life of a valid immigrant. (This in particular smacks of McCarthyism and the Red Scare) The threat lies in the creation of a "Homeland Security" branch which is slated to have Gestapo style powers of search and seizure. The real threat and the real fear lies in the fact that anyone, anywhere in the world can be detained, question, searched, suspected and arrested by American or American sponsored coalition government agents. I'll be damned if I'll trade my freedom for "safety".
9/11 changed many things. It was very effective at turning the US into a police state run by profiteers who pledge freedom but give "safety". It was effective at crippling the average Americans' pocket book now and for years to come. But most of all, it was effective at getting America to waste its resources, its youth in the military, its time and its very soul to chase after the phantom "cowards" whom will never go away and who will dramatically increase with every political mistake the US governme