The annual national hysteria over the September 11th
attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon is in full cry. Dedication of a
remembrance garden at the Pentagon, moments of silence, disclosure of any
personal tale of woe that can be dragged out of survivors is fair game.
been awarded (on average) some $2 million, no matter that the nation has
plunged itself into an unwinnable war on their behalf, no matter that we are
near bankruptcy, awash in contractor greed and fraud. Most importantly, no
matter that over 4,000 American kids have died in Iraq, nearly 1,000 additional
in Afghanistan and tens of thousands bear emotional and otherwise hidden wounds
that will change and have changed their lives forever.
but forgotten, is the brutal fact that we fail almost without exception to care
for those who return, relegating them to the same stumbling, mumbling, suicidal
lives of Vietnam vets.
not done enough, soon enough, in sufficient quantity or quality (or whatever)
for those who survived in New York and Washington. Or don’t forgive me. I don’t really give a damn, as I watch a large
portion of the world implode by way of American nationalism, patriotism,
ignorance and just plain revenge.
the cost. Revenge as long as it doesn’t impede the trip to the mall, stock
dividends or a cozy retirement.
view, whose caskets come home unmet in the dark, whose troops are 99 and 44/100th
percent of the class that didn’t graduate from Princeton. I’m sick to death of
Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and that Coulter witch, who rev the engines of
hatred over the bodies of decent young American men and women. There isn’t a
one of them who ever risked their fat asses on anything more dangerous than a cocaine
high, or who wouldn’t risk a kid for a rating or another book deal.
organized in such a way as to perpetuate the myth of victimhood:
- From Families’ Grief, a Symbol of Loss, Hope
completion of the memorial is not the result of a large-scale government
endeavor, but one led by a determined group of victims’ family members who have
channeled their sorrow into a ceaseless fundraising campaign.
- Lives Shaped by Loss
who lost a parent on 9/11 still grapple with what it means to have had a
childhood so steeped in national tragedy, so riven with anguish and pain.
- Where They Were on 9/11
- A Sister’s Undying Love
- Share Your Story
families who have been run out of their country and threatened with death if
they return? What do we say of the undying love that died—the 25 festive,
hopeful Afghans at a wedding, blown to (literal) bits, including the bride? Who
mourns 60 Afghan children and thirty adults, killed by mistake?
Their stories are ordinary, among hundreds
craters and barricades. They were thinking of heading home to neighbors they
knew and talked with, whose kids played together and headed to the park for
soccer and maybe an ice cream. They watched Saddam’s TV offerings and life wasn’t
all that great under the pressures of economic boycott—but it was life.
stumbled over the targeting, missed everyone but the innocents and the
not-so-innocent who came out of the woodwork for their own revenge. Muslims
understand revenge, as Westerners can’t even comprehend it.
sending Darth Vader outfitted American kids (who speak no Arabic and are scared
half to death) to kick family doors off the hinges and terrorize Iraqi women
and kids might have been a not-entirely-thought-through message.
brought ‘em on in numbers and with intent that put the lie to American shock and awe. But that’s another
argument, one about which Ann Coulter no doubt has much to say. Rush never
apologized to a single American family for
beating the drum with his phallic cigar that brought their kid home in the
middle of the night to a silent and press-not-allowed air base. Bill O’Reilly,
the mouth-that-roared, skitters off home to whatever gated community can stand
Giuliani’s day, George Bush’s war, Rumsfeld’s mistaken hubris–and the world is
not a better place for it.
- Edmonton Journal-Canada-McCain, Obama unite for 9/11 memorial
- Bloomberg-Obama, McCain Put Politics Aside on 9/11 Anniversary
- Scientific American-9/11: Can the lingering medical and emotional effects be measured?
- New York Times-More Asthma Among Those Near 9/11 Site
- New York Times-At Pentagon, Bush Solemnly Looks Back at 9/11