Thursday, September 11, 2003

Reflections on the Current Political Climate

This is a free thought essay I wrote after trying to cope with the weight of this day.

Today started out with a trip to campus in the car. As usual the car radio was tuned to whatever clear channel (pun intended) we could get. There was this medley of patriotic songs playing and snipets of George W. making a speech about punishing the offenders of 9/11 (as though their being dead already wasn't punishment enough). Then I get to school and I am nearby the 9/11 memorial service taking place on the mall. The Arizona Daily Wildcat and every other news outlet is covering 9/11 memorials all over the world. Most of which are heartbreaking and act as a healthy reminder of the depths of human tragedy and loss. That was a horrible horrible day, and it is one, like the day Pearl Harbor was attacked, or the Day Martin Luther King Jr was shot, that everyone who was alive that day will remember where they were and what they were doing.

For me, I was in the shower listening to the radio (yes, I have a shower radio) and I remember jumping out of the shower, all soapy to turn on the TV and watch in horror as the 2nd plane hit the WTC. I sat, aghast and in shock, like the rest of the world. I had no idea the tragedy this would bring. I said that day that the US was at war and even if it hadn't been declared that we were.

Today is no different. I am still frozen with shock and grief and the memories of hugging my soon to be girlfriend and telling her that her mother would be ok (her mother works in Pennsylvania and was evacuated before the last plane crashed in that field).

My shock and grief have changed, in fundamental ways. No longer am I horrified only at the loss of the people that day. I am horrified by my country's response to it. Tragedy begets tragedy seems to be the lesson. I am horrified that Bush and Rumsfeld and Ridge feel that it is their place to speak of vengeance and of fighting terror when the U.S. is creating no less of a tragedy by dropping bombs on Iraqi children and starving families and cutting veterans benefits. It is no less of a tragedy that the people of Iraq must live in fear of our soldiers and of car bombs and that they have no infrastructure. No water, no electricity. We have wrought devastation upon their land. We have reigned TERROR on them. We are no better. No matter what mantle is given us by our flag and our nationalism and our "freedom", we ARE NO BETTER.

Bush and his cronies speak of freedom when I have friends (U.S. Citizens) of Middle Eastern heritage who live in FEAR that they are going to be detained and held without an attorney for suspicion of terrorist activity, just for disagreeing with this government.

The tragedy of 9/11 lives on, not only in the loss of lives that day and the stories of children who lost their parents or parents who lost their children. The terror of 9/11 lives on in US military action and occupation. It lives on in a government that is out of control and that doesn't recognize the sanctity of citizenship or of due process.

Today, I do not forget 9/11, I remember what my country can achieve and I remember that REGIME CHANGE BEGINS AT HOME. Today I renew my commitment to fire the current pResident and restore democracy to America and sanity to the world.

Today, in honor of the victims of the 9/11 attacks and all of the victims of the subsequent tragedies in their name, I ask you to do the same.

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