Twelve years ago today I woke up, still ‘intoxicated’ from the night before, to my mother coming into my room saying, “Wake up, we’re under attack.” I remember lifting my head to the window and pushing the curtain aside to see what was going on outside. I saw nothing. I turned on the tv to see that a plane had flown into the world trade center and it was burning. I watched for a bit to see live when the second plane hit. It was in that moment that I remember this invincible feeling I had my entire life sucked out of my body. The world stood still for me in that moment.
This event was a wake up call for everyone in the US who had that same sense of ignorant invincibility. Suddenly, ‘the most powerful country in the world’ was unable to protect its citizens. The most militaristic country in the world was unable to stop violence against its own people. It’s a very powerful thing to think about the fact that these people, knowing full well the US is more powerful in battle, would still attack.
The attacks, of course, were aimed not only at the citizens, but at the way of life led in the United States. A way of life that kept its citizens in a blissfully ignorant state of mind for many years, now struck down in a moment by those who were actually retaliating for things the citizens in the US didn’t know had happened.
Our ignorance dug so deep that we as a unified country backed a war in a place that had nothing to do with the attacks. We allowed ourselves to believe that by allowing a sweeping military action in the middle east, we would somehow find resolution to the missing feeling of ignorant bliss we once blanketed ourselves in. And after the bombs were dropped, the smoke cleared… and what did we find but a war founded on lies by our own government. (to this day we still have not seen any of the security tapes from hundreds of stores and the like from outside the pentagon where a plane allegedly hit) Like drinking to get over the pain of a lost friend, we destroyed the stability of another country to help alleviate the pain of our own, and it didn’t work.
We of course didn’t allow the acting out to stop there. We decided that conducting operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan would actually help us feel some sense of retribution. Eventually we started killing top members of the outfit we had originally armed and there was a sense of relief with each one. Finally they killed Osama bin Laden and all was well with the world… right?
Today, twelve years after the attacks in the United States, we sit knowing that the US is the bully of the world and lies to its own people. We joke about how we know that we are ‘spreading freedom by dropping bombs’ and knowing the rest of the world doesn’t like it. We destabilized the middle east with a conflict that is unable to have a positive resolution because that area of the world is never at peace. And we too, the peacemakers’, are never at peace either.
The mission of the terrorists was to show Americans that they are not invincible and they accomplished this. The most ignorant thing we could do now is ignore the fact that we are indeed able to be targeted by foreign adversaries. Knowing this we should then understand that our bombs, and their bombs are getting too big for this little blue dot floating around in space. The United States has the biggest military in the world and they still can’t protect everyone. It is time to recognize that war and violence is not the answer. We must lead by example.
Best Countries In The World For Education:
2. South Korea
3. Hong Kong
6. United Kingdom
8. New Zealand
17. United States
Best Countries In The World For Healthcare
3. San Marino
37. United States
Most Democratic Countries In The World
5. New Zealand
21. United States
World’s Least Corrupt Countries
1. Denmark (tie)
1. Finland (tie)
1. New Zealand (tie)
7. Australia (tie)
7. Norway (tie)
9. Netherlands (tie)
9. Canada (tie)
19. United States
Best Countries In The World For Business
1. New Zealand
3. Hong Kong
10. United Kingdom
12. United States
I can go on and on with a bunch of these but the point is that the United States is not actually that good at anything other than war. If the US expects to be a world leader, then they must lead at something. The time has come to put down the guns and pick up the books. Get to work and change the world in a truly positive way.
For now, we must recognize that we live in the dark ages… a militaristic powerhouse that isn’t smart, healthy or good for business. We need to take the microscope that is facing outward on the world and turn it inward to focus on the problems at home. Capitalism is not working when the system is set up for the president (of whatever party) to be a temporary fascist militaristic warmongerer. The United States of America must understand that capitalism doesn’t work when you waste all of your capital. If you cut the military budget in half, you would still have the most powerful military in the world, and imagine what else you would have… universal healthcare? Free education? Help for the homeless? End starvation?
Do I sound like a fucking hippie? Maybe… But on September the 11th, 2001 my eyes were opened in a way that I feel could make the world a better place, if only we learn from what made people so angry they were willing to die to make a point against us. We lead by force just like all of the other ‘bad guys’ of the world, when we should be leading by example. Who will try to free the US from its tyranny? Imagine that where you stand, everyone looking in does not see a country that is amazing, but a country that fits all the statistics noted above AND forces with their military for the rest of the world to be just like them.
Open your eyes and learn from the mistakes.