9/11/2001

In 2001 I worked the graveyard shift. On September 11th, as my shift was coming to a close I turned on the television right as the news started reporting on a plane that had apparently flown into one of the World Trade Center towers. It was of interest to me, but had not yet quite made the impact on my psyche that it would in the coming minutes.

About ten minutes after I started watching the newscast, a second plane roared across the screen and into the other tower. As it became readily apparent that this was no accident, and as the atmosphere of the newscast took a turn toward a severely dire note, I sat bewildered that anyone could do what I had just watched done live on television.

In the next few hours I watched an absolute tragedy unfold, as I witnessed people forced to jump to their deaths to avoid being consumed alive by fire, and then ultimately watched thousands of people perish when the towers collapsed. I would like to say that this moment was my awakening to what the world of geopolitics is all about, but it was not. I was relatively young (in my twenty’s) and had still not developed the social consciousness that I have today. But, nevertheless, it had tremendous impact on my psyche, and has greatly assisted in developing the worldview that I currently possess.

9/11 was not an inside job, and there is no good evidence that it was anything more-or-less than the generally accepted narrative which has been presented — although the American government has certainly downplayed its own role in fostering the geopolitical environment in which the event transpired.

Islamic extremists, raised on a philosophy of intolerance and hate, and fueled by a disastrous, interventionist, crony capitalist, military-industrial-centric foreign policy (blowback), promoted for decades by State and “Defense” departments that had virtually no interest in peace, hijacked commercial airliners and used them as guided missiles, in an effort to cause large scale destruction to a society that they perceived as antithetical to their worldview. Men on both sides of this perversion showed willful disregard for humanity, and hold the blame for the deaths of so many virtual innocents.

In the ensuing years America has not straightened up its act, and has done nothing less than double down on the policies and behaviors that drew such ire from a group of men that if not given reason to direct their malicious intentions towards the United States, would generally sit in their own corner of the world and kill each other, as they have done for millennia. The world is a more dangerous place for such an approach, as the emergence of groups like ISIS, and the resurgence of the Taliban, definitively demonstrates.

Not only that, but the surveillance apparatus of the United States has grown exponentially, and now intrudes on virtually every liberty that we hold near and dear in the Western world. Secret FISA courts regularly infringe on the constitutional protections of the citizenry. Virtually every single piece of digital information that exists is vacuumed up in the name of “safety.” The Department of Homeland Security, which was formed in response to these attacks, has grown into a bureaucratic behemoth, and its adjunct, the TSA, routinely abuses American’s privacy and dignity. And the Patriot Act, which was also passed in response to 9/11, gives the federal government authority that would make America’s founders physically ill. The willful and seemingly-boundless intrusions on the constitutionally-protected liberties of American citizens, and the massive loss of life from waging the War on Terror, is the second great tragedy which began on September 11th, 2001.

Today is a day of mourning for the liberties of the world at large, as the event that occurred on 9/11/2001 has led to the greatest destruction of the freedoms of the world in my lifetime. The conspiracy theories that fly around the web addressing this event only serve to cheapen the loss of life and liberty that has occurred because of this tragedy, so I implore you to leave them be, at least for today, and focus instead on the solution.

Support public servants who wish to lessen America’s military footprint in the world and wish to expand its peaceful, economic one. Support the posts you see in your newsfeed today that seek to humbly remember the fallen and express love for our fellowman. Remember what actually took place on September 11th, 2001, and mourn the loss of life that occurred that day and in the ensuing years. Cherish your loved ones, and keep in mind that any one of us can be gone in the blink of an eye. Be the change you wish to see in the world.

9/11 was a tragedy, and one that should be remembered, but it has led to many more tragedies that are just as momentous, if perhaps not as prominent in the public psyche as they should be. Please keep your fellowman in mind today, and realize that a better world can be had for all if we stop thinking in the collectivistic manner that led to the behaviors of corrupt men on both sides of this tragedy, and start focusing on the individualistic thinking that leads, somewhat ironically, to generally peaceful interactions for humanity on the whole.

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