Despite not being in a great mood for writing socio-political commentary, I'd be remiss to let this day pass by without saying at least something.
I'll never forget how I felt on that morning when I saw the twin towers collapse live on TV. Knowing that, as I watched, hundreds of people were dying before my very eyes. It was horrible; one of the most horrible crimes against humanity in my own time. I was in no way immediately involved, and yet I felt violated because what little sanity and goodness remained in my human world had been demolished by madmen.
I am ashamed to say that this horrible feeling allowed the equally mad Mr. Bush to pull me along on his "war against terror" for longer than I'd care to admit. It is probably for this reason that I'm now so dead-set against him: I feel like my emotions were exploited to political ends. But violence can't be solved through more violence; and certainly not when it's directed against people who had nothing to do with the violence in the first place.
So on this day as the media and news encourage me to remember September 11, 2001 with sorrow and reflection, I find it extraordinarily difficult. Because that reflection is always followed by the echoing southern drawl of, "... And that's why we must remain ever-vigilant against terror." What an age we live in when I can't even give myself the luxury of even feeling compassion and sorrow for my fellow man, because as soon as I do, some warmongering yokel will trot up and exploit that sentiment for political ends. That, my friends, is truly a crime against all our humanity.
On her LiveJournal, my old friend Susanne reminded us all of another anniversary that's gone overshadowed. While bombs continue to explode in Iraq and Afghanistan, while terrorists ominously remind Americans that more is yet to come, consider that this, to the day, is the 100th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi first adopting his methodology of satyagraha, or non-violent protest. He called upon his fellow Indians to defy the new law and suffer the punishments for doing so, rather than resisting through violent means.
History, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.
Posted on September 11, 2006 06:59 PM
Did you know that Mahatma Gandi adopted his non violence policy after observing English suffragettes demonstrating for the vote? Womens non violent protest in England while he was studying there was his model for change towards India's own mandate for self government. It's unfortunate that today some in his country have abandoned those ideals.Posted on September 12, 2006 08:05 AM
It's an odd thought I just had, but I'd like to know a few stats concerning 9/11. For one, I don't know how many people were killed in the attacks. But besides that, I'd like to compare whatever the number of people killed on 9/11 to the number of people killed, innocent and otherwise, in any and all of the wars and attacks carried out in the name of defense against terror. I really wonder which number would be more astounding.
Number of people killed in the 9/11 attacks: 2,973
Total coalition forces killed in Iraq: 3,330
Iraqi civilian deaths due to war: Around 40,000
Number of people who perished due to hurricane Katrina: 1,836
Number of people who die of cancer in the U.S. each year: About 0.5 Million
Total emergency budget spending allocated to Iraq war (not counting regular military spending): $320 Billion U.S.
This year's total U.S. national education budget: $69.4 Billion U.S.
Total budget for the U.S. National Cancer Institute in 2006: $4.79 Billion U.S.
Posted on September 12, 2006 11:01 PM
Wow, and those numbers represent just Iraq, they don't include Afghanistan. Still, Nearly 3000 people killed in the 9/11 attacks, incredible. As for the US budget stuff, who's surprised? Not me.Posted on September 13, 2006 07:04 AM