Hi Matthew; first thanks for following me or I may not have found you in the Medium labyrinth. And second, thank you very much for this article that so clearly articulates much of what I’ve felt and thought since 9/11.
I was working in Brooklyn Heights on 9/11 and watched the aftermath from the promenade (while the planes were actually hitting the towers and during the resulting chaos we all stayed in the office, calling who we could to let them know we were ok and watching in disbelief on the TV). After it felt semi-safe to go out, I walked down to the promenade and thought: “They’re gonna use this. And we are going to be in a world of hurt for decades because of it”
The clamor of We Will Never Forget makes me feel queasy and I hole up and keep my mouth shut on September 11th these days. The rending of garments and rolling in victim-hood with no acknowledgement of this country’s role in destabilizing entire continents for fifty years or more makes me sad and afraid.
I’m grateful that you took the chance to lay out some hard truths here. There are many, many, many people in this country who can’t or won’t hear what you and other people like Chomsky have been saying all along. Keep saying it. It’s one action we can take.
You end your work saying: “If we change our ways, we can address the root causes of these conflicts, and prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future. Let’s acknowledge our history, confront our current complicity in mass murder, and work to end this cycle of violence.”
No doubt about it; that has to happen. But how? What ways are we to change? Blindly paying taxes that are used to continue US-backed murder, war, terrorism, and misery throughout the world? How do we stop that? Blindly being happy for cheap gas prices and buying bigger cars? Blindly pumping our money into 401k’s that are basically a roll of the dice where we can and do lose money instead of insisting on unions and pensions? And how do we “insist” on these things when we can’t even manage to elect an adult to be the president?
Speaking up here is one thing. And I’m proud of you and grateful to you for doing that. More of us need to do that and let the hate fall where it may.
I’m in the entirely not-of-my-doing situation of never needing to own a car and I never wanted to have children (and have been incredibly fortunate to have had the option not to), so my footprint is small. Is my voice? Maybe. But I can add it to your voice. And to other voices. There are many. But I need to be clearer in my own mind about actual actions I can be taking daily and in the long term.
Who’s got some ideas?
Great continuation of a badly needed conversation, Matthew, thanks again.