Dienstag, 11. September 2007

Remembering 9/11

I started the day offering an old friend, who happens to be American, coffee in my "I love New York" mug. For who could not but remember that day 6 years ago, that changed history. The images of 9/11 were in my mind all day, but I couldn't find words to express them.

Then I got a message from another old friend, Gabe Kramer, who also happens to be American. Gabe is a great union organizer and was one of the first people I contacted on 9/11. I found his words moving. So here they are as food for thought:

"After 9/11, SEIU put together a small book of photos and short biographies of the scores of our union members killed in those buildings. Workers from several different SEIU local organizations were included, especially from the New York building cleaners local and a public sector office workers local. What struck me about those people was how international they were. They came from Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Of course, that's how New York is.

It then made me think of the people who died in the 1998 al Qaeda bombings in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. At the time, I did not really think very hard about it. When I looked through the images from the SEIU book and thought about the gruesome news 1998 photographs from Africa, I became totally enraged. These people were all just going to work, trying to make a decent life. That can be a hard thing to do in New York, and it's a very hard thing to do in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. None of them were crusaders, or agents of imperialism, or capitalism, or the conspiracy of International Jewry. These were people who went to work and then had the misfortune of being crushed or burned into dust for no good reason at all.

The idea in the jihadist way of thinking that these acts were somehow liberating or moral or just is vomitous.

The idea in the hard left way of thinking that these acts were somehow understandable in light of or comparable to the crimes of America and Israel at first made sense to me. But as the years have passed this more and more seems like an impoverished, misleading, and suspect view.

By all means, let's hold America and Israel and every other shitty democracy to account for its crimes. But this is besides the point of 9/11. Confusing this with the point of 9/11 is somehow morally degrading.

The point of 9/11 is... well, like the torture and killings in Chile, the main point of 9/11 is that humans are frail and weak, that good lives and mediocre lives should not be transformed into hell on earth, and that therefore we not be tortured and killed by other humans.

The minor point is those who want to build a perfect society on the bones of others are motherfuckers."
P.S. This post is dedicated to M.B. She knows why.

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