Today is the 10th Anniversary of September 11 in America, and rapper Ludacris’ birthday. In Chile, it was the day when Allende was overthrown and replaced by Augusto Pinochet with help from the CIA. Today is another day where they opened the 9/11 Memorial to honour the victims of that day and to show off the in-progress “Freedom Tower”, which in all honestly pales compared to the original towers. In about 4 years or 2015, the new World Trade Center 1 building or “Freedom Tower” will be ready for commercial use and for tourists. Seriously, the only people I see around Lower Manhattan are mostly tourists, regularly visiting the mass grave site and the death of the America many of them either hardly cared for or took for granted.
Since that fateful day in 2001, America has exploited this human tragedy to engage in a modern-day crusade against Arabs, to grab more power from the people in the name of security, and to promote a culture of short-term thinking. The War of Terror as it is known in the rest of the world, has resulted in a weak Iraq that is now run by an Iranian puppet, an Afghanistan that is now our version of the Soviet occupation of the country, and it has encouraged average Arab citizens in the region to take matters into their own hands after realising that America does not care for them despite paying lip service over democratic rights. Since 9/11, the government has now taken more control over the people with the implementation of the PATRIOT ACT that undermines due process, healthcare reform that only benefits the healthcare providers, and blanket bailouts that reward businesses for bad behaviour. Even worse, is the growing trend of Americans simply living in the present with the assumption that there is no bright future, which results in actions that are rooted in a narrow worldview.
The one question that we all need to ask is: “Are we better off than we were 10 years ago”? In my view, despite all the advances in electronics, web 2.0, and the fact an ethnic minority can become President in America, overall things are worse than they are a decade ago. The country called the United States of America is now reaching a breaking point with a government based on “checks and balances” stonewalling the other for fickle votes, an economy that is now becoming increasingly locked into a Lost Decade, and a culture that celebrates people not based on their merits but on their abilities to be vulgar on camera.
All of this hoopla over the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 has reached the point where I stopped caring about it. Yes, 9/11 was a gross human tragedy that was the result of bureaucratic incompetence from both the Federal government and the Bush Administration. Yes, many people who died that day did not deserve to be attacked by a bunch of confused, ignorant and weak-minded men with ties to an anti-American Saudi named Osama Bin Laden. Yes, America did have a right to go into Afghanistan to get Al-Qaida and Bin Laden after what had happened in 9/11. However, all of this was undermined by Bush’s need to exploit the tragedy to invade Iraq for its resources and its strategic location in the Middle East and Bush’s handling of the tragedy, in addition to invading Iraq, only created more distrust towards America and its government.
The oversimplified explanation that 9/11 happened because “Muslims hated America’s Freedoms” was a great answer for many Americans but it fueled distrust and anger from others. This answer and the general handling of the tragedy was why a “9/11 Truth” movement emerged in response to anger at Bush’s invasion of Iraq and the distrust in government. Most of these Truthers only believe the conspiracy because they are ignorant of the real science behind the attacks while some are in the movement to protest the Bush Administration or use it to find answers about the attacks on their own terms. These people are not crazy, loony, or outcasts as the American media portrays them but rather people who are confused, angry, and distrustful of the government and their exploitation of the 9/11 tragedy for political and economic gains. I think the 9/11 attacks occurred as they were presented but there was most likely a cover-up to mask any instances of incompetence from the Bush Administration in preventing or reducing the real attacks themselves.
The death of Osama Bin Laden should have brought closure to the tragedy on 9/11 but it was used as a cheap excuse to celebrate in the midst of an American decline. Also, as a result of the poor handling of the Bin Laden Kill Mission by the Obama Administration, people now have started questioning the exact circumstances of the mission, and whether there was any real confirmation of his death. None of this was made any better by the media’s acceptance of the official account at face value instead of investigating or asking tough questions of what really happened. The media is also at fault for turning today’s 10-year anniversary into a celebration of sorts when it is nothing but a gross American tragedy that brought the country in the wrong direction at the cost of its people.