Look Back in Anguish

We miss you.

I suppose it’s difficult to avoid discussing the whole 9/11 ten-year anniversary. It was a terrible day and it ushered in a terrible decade. I suppose I must thank the media (and of course professional football) for cheapening the anniversary and by doing so performing a preemptive lumpectomy on my throat, leaving me, rather than sad, increasingly angry and irritated as the day progressed.

Here’s the thing. 9/11 was a nasty attack on our country by a buncha bearded thugs who could no more hope to destroy the USA than I could hope to replace Peyton Manning as QB of the Colts. They murdered several thousand people and fucked up our psyche for a while, but when all was said and done we were way too big for them to seriously damage us. The only way they could win was if in our fear and outrage we destroyed ourselves.

Which we didn’t do. Quite.

You know what really pisses me off? When smug people claim that 9/11 was our generation’s “Pearl Harbor.” 9/11 was not our generation’s “Pearl Harbor.” Pearl Harbor was a shockingly effective attack against our military which badly weakened us while simultaneously propelling us into war against highly-militarized countries which together posed an actual existential threat to the United States of America.

9/11, on the other hand, took down a couple of buildings and was orchestrated by a bearded maniac who commanded no armies and who ended his life hiding out in a suburban house in Pakistan eating junk food and watching porn. Fuck Osama Bin Laden. Most of the power he had we gave him ourselves.

This in no way lessons the sacrifice of the men and women he killed, the soldiers who took the field to track him down, or those who went upstairs into the fire. Their courage will remain as a model to the rest of us. And when I ultimately face my own death, I hope I do so with the same heroism they displayed, though I doubt I will.

A wise man (me) once said, “Those who persist in misunderstanding and misrepresenting history are doomed to get their asses handed to them by smarter guys with a better handle on reality.”

So shame on the people who exploited this event for their own political purposes. And shame on those who do the same on the anniversary. They damage us more than Bin Laden ever did.


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2 Responses to “Look Back in Anguish”

  1. sarah Says:

    well said.

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