Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lessons From 9/11: Spitting Truth to Power

Today, many people will take the time out to mourn those lost on 9/11 and celebrate the people who acted to save lives on that day. When 9/11 happened, I was in the 7th grade. The science class (my first class of the day after home room) had barely started when the teacher was called out of his room. After a while he came back and announced that the World Trace Center had just been attacked. The first thing that came to mind was paratroopers gliding down and running through the streets. I had no clue what the World Trade Center was, what the attacks means, or why they happened.

After that, we would hear speeches in various classes about the terrorists attacking because they were jealous of our freedoms and hated how great of a country America was. I had been told better, and learned more from doing research over the years. The teacher who had been the main one telling us that patriotic BS saw me as one of her favorite students. I wonder how long that would have lasted if she had heard what I was really beginning to think about the attacks. Back then I couldn’t articulate what I thought at the time. I could repeat what I had heard, but couldn't debate anything yet.

Over the years I've come to understand what I had learned then, and more about why those attacks and others occurred. It came to the point that I stopped watching the news because I understood the science behind why terrorist attacks occur. I didn’t need any indoctrination to se the attacks the way I was expected to see them.

The people who took action to save lives that day and the victims who died should be commended (for those who survived) and remembered (for those who died). But it would do those heroes and victims more justice if the people and organizations who were supposed to be responsible for our protection never held accountable for their failure. They failed to protect us form attacks that they had been WARNED were going to happen. They also failed to show us the role that they played in causing or motivating the attacks in the first place.

Although many would like to think otherwise, the concept of power and freedom between countries are closely related to resources in function: Thee is only so much of either to go around. When one country has more freedom and power than another, it is because the rulers of the more prosperous country have done something to take power, resources, and therefore freedom away from the other country. It has never been a secret how America got its power and continues to maintain that power. Corporate and political control and influence over foreign governments and military violence (when the first two fail) are how the US and its allies keep their power, even today.

For the objective thinkers, here are some questions and fats to think about, and then possibly take action on. While the rest of the country mourns, unresolved questions like these leave the opportunity for future attacks and disasters like 9/11 open to happen again...

1) The Miseducation of the American Citizen: The terrorists of 9/11 placed a mirror in front of the US. The attacks exposed the not-so-civilized nature of the average American citizen. After the attacks religious and ethnic slurs, along with grossly distorted descriptions of Arabic culture and Islamic teaching flooded the internet, general conversation, and the radio. Most people didn’t, and still don’t know anything about Islam or Arabs, alone given the differences between the views of traditional Muslims and Muslim extremists. Closed minded people refused, and still refuse to this day, to learn more. Regardless of their lack of understanding, Americans called for blood to run in the streets of the Middle East (and they got it).

2) Why did no one fight back?: Each plane had 2 – 4attackers only armed with box cutters and martial arts training. They were up against a flight crew with a locked cockpit, and 100+ other passengers. Why did the passengers of only one plane decide to fight back? A person can be as good as they want to be at martial arts, they are not invincible. Can 2 people really beat 10 people fighting them at one time? Fear is a powerful tool.

3) The Third Building: The government has still failed to answer why the third building at the World Trade Center collapsed although it was never hit by any planes.

4) Fear is a Powerful Tool: Bullies use fear and violence to control the feelings and actions of others. They are usually shocked when they come cross a “victim” who is willing to fight back (or gained the ability to do so despite the bully’s pressure). It has been so long since the US had been attacked on its own land that it was shocking. The US was usually attacking other people’s homelands. The fear and hatred that this put in people’s hearts and minds allowed for the government to respond by providing the people with wars that would “end” terrorism. They also managed to take away many of our Constitutional rights and imprison many innocent people in the process. Every war the US has ever fought in, there was a "terrorist" attack that preceded. From the Revolutionary war to the War in Libya. They were always found to be inside jobs after the war had been started.

5) The War on Terrorism Can’t Be Won: As long as there are “Haves” and “Have Nots”, there will never be peace in domestic or foreign lands. As long as those two classes exist, the Haves will always have because they have taken from and disenfranchised the Have Nots. In the eyes of a desperate man in one of those US occupied counties, a US citizen reciting patriotic rhetoric can be seen as responsible for that man’s conditions. They their patriotism shows a passive agreement with their government’s actions. Therefore, if or when he decides to attack, he won’t discriminate against who he hurts in the process. Religious, political, racial, and other forms of extremism are always born out of extreme conditions. One man’s terrorist will always be another man’s freedom fighter. People are always looking for catalysts for change to improve their conditions, whether the methods are right or wrong.

6) Remembering the Dead: Mourning the loss of a loved one, though painful, can and should also be used as a learning tool for the living. Learn from the mistakes they made (how and why they made them) while living so you can better yourself. And to the best of your ability learn how unnecessary losses such as these can be avoided in the future. Hold your elected officials and local/national corporations and businesses accountable for the decisions they make that affect you. In a democratic country, what you don’t hold your elected officials accountable for, you and your loved ones will always be the ones who suffer the consequences.

Here are some other sites and books to check out for more info.

How to Hustle and Win, Part One: A Survival Guide for the Ghetto

9/11 We Know - FAQ

Fahrenheit 9/11

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