By Timothy S. Flanders
1. More than a decade of bloodshed – has this helped us heal?
Shortly after the attack, a group of families who had lost loved ones in the tragedy voiced their concerns with the slogan “Our grief is not a cry for war.” What has been the result of these 12 years of US wars and bloodshed? How has this impacted us as a nation? Has this pleased the hearts of 9-11 families? Has it brought them peace? Has this brought us peace? Has this brought the world peace? What is the current state of Afghanistain and Iraq? Are they better off? Now that so much opposition seems to have moved the President to pursue diplomacy on Syria, can we see this as a result of war exhaustion?
2. What about Building Seven?
When I first saw Loose Change, I was intrigued but realized that it was rather far fetched. But after I saw the Loose Change makers trounce Popular Mechanics experts in debate, I was further intrigued. Considering the history of US false flags, from the Gulf of Tonkin to Operation Northwoods, this would not be outside of the government’s character, but certainly a giant leap from anything done previously. One of the most compelling questions for me is Building Seven, which seems to shroud the whole event in mystery. The families of those victims have a national campaign to raise awareness about it. Will the numerous classified records and evidence eventually be released to independent investigation? Will we eventually know the full story? Will the academic environment continue to be such that people cannot seriously question these things without being accused of being “conspiratorial”?
3. The execution of Osama bin Laden
When Mr. Rumsfeld had his meeting on the afternoon of September 11th, he urged his staff to find some link to Saddam Hussein. Apparently, though, this was a hard sell because it was believed that Mr. Osama bin Laden was behind the attack, and this became common knowledge soon after. What is the evidence for this? Mr. bin Laden initially denied it, and later a tape was released by the government claiming he was responsible. Is this the extent of the evidence? In any event, what about the execution of Osama bin Laden? Should he have been tried in court, or executed as he was? What about the exuberance of the crowds celebrating his execution? Has this decade of bloodshed helped us heal?
4. Chile’s 9-11 and the drone war
On September 11th, 1973, the US helped overthrow the democracy of Chile and install the dictator Mr. Augusto Pinochet who terrorized the country for decades. In our day, the “War on Terror” is allowing us to assassinate even US citizens without trial (and their innocent children), and massacre civilians with impunity. If we remember the terrorism of 9-11 and the terrible tragedy this was, will we also pause to consider the equivalent of 9-11 attacks multiplied and perpetrated by the United States government in other countries for decades? When someone commits acts of terror, they are filled with an all-consuming hatred. This should give us pause. As the South African Catholic bishops stated during the build up to the Iraq invasion of 2003,
The fight against terrorism cannot be achieved through a war that will inevitably kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people, and terrorise millions more. We strongly believe that one of the main causes for terrorism is the disregard for justified claims of peoples who feel socially, economically and politically excluded, exploited and oppressed.
Or as Robert Bowman wrote,
We are not hated because we practice democracy, value freedom, or uphold human rights. We are hated because our government denies these things to people in Third World countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational corporations. That hatred we have sown has come back to haunt us in the form of terrorism…Instead of sending our sons and daughters around the world to kill Arabs so we can have the oil under their sand, we should send them to rebuild their infrastructure, supply clean water, and feed starving children…In short, we should do good instead of evil. Who would try to stop us? Who would hate us? Who would want to bomb us? that is the truth the American people need to hear.
I pray that this September 11th can be a day of silence and reflection. I welcome your comments in a spirit of charity and respect.