Monday, September 18, 2006

5 years, one week

Disclaimer: Ok I tried not to write this, and put it off for a week, because I'm not sure if I can make myself understood properly. It is not my intention to offend or belittle anyone's experience. It is not my intention to mock anyone. And it is certainly not my intention to disrespect the dead, and those still coping with the void of lost love ones in their lives.


The fact is that I don't really care where you were on September 11, 2001.

I don't care that you were eating two-minute noodles on your sofa. That you were walking your dog past a window display of televisions. That you had just come home from a night on the turps to switch on the tv.

That's not to say that this experience is not important to you. It is. It is just not important to me.

What I really want to know is:

Where are you on September 11, 2006.

Five years have passed, and what I really want to know is where are we now.

The United States of America was attacked by an international terrorist organisation. We ran off to Afghanistan to find its leader. Five years later we are embroiled in still more bombings and attempted attacks, and yet are still no closer to the inner circle of this organisation (though we did manage to find Saddam hiding in a basement, when we slipped into Iraq under the cloudy pretences of searching for WMD). We invaded Afghanistan, didn't find much, and yet are still surprised when this international organisation manages to conduct their warfare from the heart of London. How long will it take for us to realise that this is not a crazy little group of bearded men, operating out of dusty caves in sandy hills. This is a group who's members live in the houses and apartments next door to you and me.

It is no secret that I was opposed to the invasion of both Afghanistan and Iraq. I saw first hand what the devastation of infrastructure can do to a country in East Timor in 2000, and I wouldn't wish anything like that on anyone. I am not going to go into the reasons here why we should or should not have started this war. However, whether is was justified or not, one thing is for sure: it's too late to back out now.

So, what I want to hear, read and discuss is more about what people are feeling NOW. What do they think of their governments' actions in the present time. What they think the future holds. How they think we can ever get out of this mess without leaving several Middle Eastern countries in complete ruins. Al Qaeda detroyed the twin towers, but we are the ones continuing to this day to destroy the lives and livelihoods of many millions of people. At home and abroad.

September 11, 2001, was the day the western world opened it's eyes to the future. Let's not close them again. By all means remember the past- history tells us it's how we learn. But let's not shrug our shoulders and wash our hands of the present and the future.

So, tell me, where are you on September 11, 2006?


Mia said...

Well let’s see 9.11.06? I was explaining to my 2 dead relative’s kids that not Muslims support Al Qaeda and that Islam is not a religion of war. I think the thing is here for people outside of NYC outside of the USA it’s not such a big thing. You know yeah yeah towers were destroyed big tragedy the fact is that those weren’t just building those were people. But for us here it’s so much more. We are still feeling the effects of that attack in terms of the health of those who breathed that air while they were there rescuing people.

I don’t support our middle eastern policies I don’t support the war in Iraq or what’s going on in Afghanistan I have too many relatives in both places risking their lives because my “cough cough” leader has a gung ho mentality. I’ve gotten into many an argument with my Kuwaiti friends over my stance over Iraq. They support us being there because of the threat Saddam posed to them. My opinion? Let’s mind our business que se jodan you wanted Saddam out you should’ve done it yourselves. Now what would I like to see? I’d like to see us pull out of Iraq but we’re screwed now aren’t we with the mess that this idiot created ? I’d like to see someone in office who has the balls to say you know we flupped up it’s time for us to get out and change these policies going on here.

Mignon said...

9/11/06? I was taking Madeleine to her first day of school, paying bills, folding laundry... doing stuff. And while I agree with you about the risk of dwelling on the past, one thing I learned this year has changed my thoughts on 9/11/01. We had a friend from college come to visit a couple weeks ago. He's a New Yorker and was there during the attack. He had pictures on his laptop - before and after, and as the night wore on here and we had more beers to go with our burgers he talked about what it was like in the city that day and the weeks afterwards. While I admit to not being overly sensitive about 9/11, I think I now understand better why New Yorkers are. It was their apocalypse.

I agree completely with you about the wars in Afghanastan and Iraq and I get pissed when people use 9/11 as some sort of battle cry to justify these aggressions, but I will cut New Yorkers some slack when it comes to remembering that day 5 years ago.

Louise said...

Oh I KNEW I wasn't going to be able to explain myself properly over this...

What I meant was not to forget the past- how could we? It was a horrific even that changed the lives of millions of people.

But I guess what I am saying is that I thought by now there would be more talk about where we are five years later (together WITH the memories). And by the way Mia, I thought your 9/11 memorial on your blog was beautifully poignant, one of the best I have seen. I would never suggest we stop remembering it, I just want more dialogue on how to resolve this mess now, without leaving Iraq a volatile and vulnerable mess.

Anonymous said...

I get what you mean Lou. :-)

Mia said...

Lou: Hon I understood what you meant but the truth of the matter is that our grief has basically got us stuck. Bush well that man is no help at all he's just dug this HUGE hole for us and I don't see how we're going to get out of it. You know the thing is he got us into a war that the majority of Americans did not support. The few that did support it were misguided they actually went on his word. He tied Iraq to what happened in NY and that was apples and oranges. Now five years later we are so screwed. I don't see us getting out of Iraq unless we have new leadership and even then they are worse off then when we invaded.

PS Thanks for the kind words regarding my memorial. I had to take the music off and change the template. I was depressing the crap out of myself.