This is a blog written by Americans, and it is the 11th of September, and so I felt like there had to be a post.
One recollection of September 11, 2001:
My heart broke that morning, once the shock of waking up to "we're under attack" wore off. It broke for the buildings destroyed, the innocent lives snuffed out in fire and collapse, the untold damage, the fear and panic in the country.
But what stuck with me, what took the pieces of my heart and pounded them to dust, was the absolute certainty that we, as a nation, would swiftly move to take revenge, that we would take the violence and the fear visited upon us, and we would visit them upon other people a hundredfold. It was dread; it was certainty.
At the time I didn't know we would declare not one but two preemptive wars, one of which was planned in the 90s and was simply waiting for an excuse. I didn't know that we would also sacrifice any moral high ground we once had, that we would sacrifice our own civil liberties, our own self-respect and integrity as a nation on the altar of the almighty trinity of nationalism: Fear, Violence and the Illusion of Safety. I didn't know we would torture people, or hold people in prison with no intention of ever giving them a trial of any kind. I didn't know we would extradite people for the express purpose of being tortured, or that we would hire mercenaries and turn a blind eye to war crimes they commit. I didn't know any of these things.
But I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that the fear and violence which had been visited upon us, we would visit upon others a hundredfold. (Not because of any extraordinary viciousness, but because we had the power, paired with the disease of empire; because no one could stop us, least of all ourselves.)
And we have done, are doing, exactly that.
So I grieve the many losses of that day - including the 2,996 people we counted because they died on our soil, the 2,000+ who died in Afghanistan whom we counted, the 4,700+ who died in Iraq whom we counted, the tens of thousands of American and allied injuries that we are not supposed to count or talk about, and the hundreds of thousands we have not been counted, whom we are not allowed to attempt to count.