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Ya Basta WTC

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Ya Basta WTC

A decade, at least five trillion dollars, and two major wars since four hijacked American and United Airlines planes were used as weapons to cause the deaths of 2,996 people in New York, Washington and Shanksville, its long past time to stop talking about it. The American public continues to demand the rest of the world's attention for its annual exercise in collective handwringing and jingoistic flag waving. And we give it to them. Every year on this day, and for weeks leading up to the event, international media seem to be consumed by an irresistable urge to reflect on the moment which 'changed the world', with swaths of online and print real estate being given over to 9/11 anniversary stories. Whole front pages are dedicated to photo essays and banners trumpeting the time when "That Most Peace Loving of Nations" found itself on the receiving end of mass violence for once - as if such violence were not an ongoing, and widespread, reality.
 
9/11 has essentially become America's Holocaust, a yardstick for measuring terror - which has thus become something which can only be perpetrated by Islamists against 'Freedom' - and the dead of 9/11 are forever immortalized as the worthiest of victims. It is a singular moment that can never be repeated.  Yet this continued focus on American suffering is not only an insult to other victims of organized violence, it belies the suffering America itself has caused, and continues to cause, in the world.
 
For what has this freedom wrought? An environment in which a culture of fear and hysteria has become "so extreme that it blocks rational thought". An ignorance of - or worse, a justification for - the ongoing mass killing of other, less worthy victims, either openly or by stealth. Systematic torture. Rape as a tool of war. The use of small planes to murder twenty times more children than died from the use of large jets on 9/11. Prisons that don't exist, with inmates who have been dehumanized and disappeared. When we say 'never again', clearly we mean 'never again can such violence happen to America', for it has been happening ever since to the populations of Afghanistan and Iraq - with a body count in the hundreds of thousands, and climbing.

But these victims don't matter. No special forces will hunt down and capture, or simply execute, the guilty; courts, when they bother to prosecute at all, will let almost all of them off the hook entirely. At best, a few of those who carry out the orders will go to jail, and then get early release. When we report on these crimes, it is with a sense of regret, but not outrage.
 
Conveying the horror of the American holocaust continues to be more important than reasoned discourse about its long-term global effects. This is reinforced every time we engage with it, primarily by way of the myriad social restrictions surrounding its proper discussion and understanding. In our continual validation of the uniqueness of 9/11, a moment in time which has no historical equal, we ensure that such violence is ongoing - merely shifting in time, place and in the identity of the victims and perpetrators. The numbers of dead and displaced in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, and other countries surpass the victims of 9/11 by a vast margin, but they died as collateral in a war to preserve, somehow, American freedom (to do as it pleases). The cost is, therefore, worth it.
 
To move beyond this undeniably repulsive, racist fiction, a complete break with the past is required, and long overdue. It is true that, by any reasonable standard of human feeling, the attacks of 09/11/2001 were a tragedy for the relatives and friends of those who died, and for the residents of the cities where they took place -  regardless of its political context, mass killing is always an ocassion for shame. But we should forget it ever happened. The spectacle of 9/11 has become so pervasive, it obscures and distorts any meaningful understanding of its legacy.  Lets have an end to memorials, retrospectives, essays, articles, anniversary events – all of which simply re-affirm the United States' pre-eminence in the world, and thus implicitly allow it to continue to export violence and inflict revenge. Its time for a moratorium on coverage of any sort. Only by refusing to give space to the discourse of American victimhood, can we begin to dismantle a mentality that holds the rest of the world hostage and underpins a cycle of aggression, war and human suffering.

If we care at all about the deaths of 9/11, we'll remove them from our collective rearview mirror altogether.

Let's start today.  
 


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