What the Fuck has Happened?
Something has, so I feel the responsibility to comment
This Tuesday morning, I woke up to the news that the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, the White House, and possibly numerous other targets in the United States had been destroyed. I later discovered this report to contain a great degree of misinformation, though not nearly enough.
For a moment, the panicking newspeople, the horrible footage, and the shocking news was all trying to convince me that the United States itself had been destroyed.
In the past, I’ve watched stories of pain on the news and empathized with those struggles every person eventually endures during the course of their lives. In some fashion or another, we all make the news, for better or for worse. But this story was different. This was an attack against me. Against me, my family, and my friends; my home, my way of life, my world. They hit us while we were away, at work, and at home. They hit the people reporting the news, and they hit the people absorbing it. This was an attack against you. This was, in effect, a simultaneous attack on everyone.
If not themselves, most people in the United States have acquaintances in those regions affected by these attacks. But despite this, the shock goes even deeper. Watching the preliminary reactions of world leaders, I came to realize (not surprisingly) that the world was equally shaken.
Not even the terrorist government of Afghanistan could distance itself quickly enough from these horrible events. This is a government that outlaws Internet access and its deadly secrets to all but their most trusted and reliable government officials. Information is enemy number one. Raped women are labeled as “disgraced” and “whores” and murdered. But don’t ever take me for a news source on any of this because I’m not. I’m just here to spread valuable information to those who are fortunate enough to possess access to it. Not even the “official” news media ever seems to know anything for certain.
Of course the reason for such worldwide denials from known asshole governments is that any assent or even silence could have us waking up to a giant hole in the planet where a country used to be. Even Osama Bin Laden denies that he was involved, though he “applauds” the attacks.
Every time something happens they seem to look toward Osama Bin Laden. For one of the biggest terrorist threats in the world, he doesn’t really seem to do much of anything. I haven’t once heard of a situation in which he’s actually taken credit for anything. Perhaps (whether he’s directly responsible for anything or not) it’s because he knows when not to get his hands dirty if he can still get the job done.
New York Times: Reliable Sources Claim Osama Bin Laden Shits
“Osama Bin Laden denies the fact that he shits, but applauds the efforts of others who take shits.”
The real problem is that (despite collaborators here and there) there’s a very real possibility that there might not even be any tangible enemy to visibly fight; to sink our nails into. No one to release our frustrations against. It’s worth pointing out the obvious in this case: we’re all human beings. There are some really, really fucked up Christians, and Jews, and Muslims, and atheists, and agnostics, and all... but then there are the rest of us blessed with the gift of some degree of sanity and perspective; despite our differing beliefs, opinions, and background. And in each of us, however messed up we are, whatever mistakes and crimes we may commit in our lives, we all cling to a degree of humanity. There is something good in each of us. I’m not qualified to enter into debates over humanity and its place in the universe, whether scientifically or religiously. All I can observe is that there are certain traits in us that merit recognition.
My disbelief is over how anyone could rejoice at such a horrible event. It must be their misguided perspective on the situation.
I’m aware of antigovernment sentiment; especially that directed toward the U.S. Debate is never a settled topic. There are those who believe the U.S. should not be involved in any foreign affairs whatsoever. There are those who believe the U.S. should not side with anyone, or should side with one over another. Why are we the peacekeepers? Why are we always involved? Am I my brother’s keeper?
This is a valid point. The United States has fucked up a lot. The reason is because we all, individually, have fucked up in our lives and that’s what humans do all the time: fuck up. I, personally, don’t understand how we can turn away when we’re needed; when people are suffering. During many very important moments in history, we’ve turned away for too long. During our hesitation over what became World War II, Britain lost a lot of sleep, and Europe lost a lot of Jews. And far more was lost before things were resolved.
We get yelled at when we intervene, and we get yelled at when we don’t. Despite my sentiments, despite these ongoing debates with valid points on both ends, this attack on the world is irrelevant to all of them. This was an attack on humanity and freedom. The attackers, in effect, attacked even themselves.
Terrorism is an enemy willing to die in order to kill as many human beings as possible, cause havoc, and destroy humanity. How can we fight this threat? What now seems like only a handful of terrorists were willing to give their lives in order to kill thousands of people.
I’m not a public service message, nor am I government propaganda, or some multimillion dollar movie designed to soak you out of your patriotic summer money. But I am someone who noticed that hundreds of firefighters, police, and rescue workers sacrificed their lives in order to save a handful of people. And more continue to do so. Over the years, whether they were recognized or not, innumerable persons have done so.
Terrorists use such terror as we’ve witnessed to prove a point. And these terrorists have indeed proven a point, and a very powerful one. With all the news of rescues and outpourings of support, of passengers on a plane realizing their imminent death and choosing to heroically save countless lives, of solidarity, the terrorists have only proven one thing that seems to overshadow every other: for every handful of assholes willing to jeopardize life, safety, freedom, and humanity, an entire world is willing to stand against them.