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dissenting opinions: a thought on september 11 and people who want me to get over it

I came across this site today: September 11 Photoblog: Photograph your Life

The man behind this project writes:

I've been thinking about September 11th. I've been thinking about the United States response - The Patriot Act. Invading Afganastan & Iraq. Death. Fear. Oppression.

It seems to me that this is NOT the America I want the world to know. So I propose a blogwide Photoblog your Life day on September 11th. Take your camera with you. Take pictures. Show the world your life. Show the world your daily delights. Show the world that we choose life, happiness and freedom.

On September 11th, I'll be carrying my camera with me. I'll snap pictures of my day - the good, the bad, the mundane. And I'm gonna post them here for the world to see. Let's make September 11th a day of affirmation and life.

I first saw this in the afternoon (linked here) and I've been contemplating - and discussing with Faith - exactly what it is that bothers me so much about this project.

I suppose the first thing that irritated me was, well, the first sentence. I'm not sure what the author thinks the response should have been. Death and fear? The most death and fear I've seen was right there and then, in New York, on September 11, 2001. The fear came not from the White House, but from the image of two planes gliding into the World Trade Center.

Oppression? The country that has played host to thousands of anti-war and anti-Bush protests is oppressing people? You don't know oppression, buddy. Try Iran.

And it's not only that the author takes such a hard line against Bush's reaction to 9/11, it's that he's using his anti-Bush sentiments and 9/11 together to, what? Why, to show the world that we choose life, happiness and freedom. Most of us do this almost every day. And some of us mourn on the days we don't. Be it the anniversary of your great grandmother's death, or a year to the day since your beloved dog died, we all take those days and mourn and remember in the way that is most comfortable to us.

September 11 is more than a personal tragedy. It's a day that will forever be a reminder of the worst thing that has happened to America. Why choose this date for a project like this? You can affirm life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness every day if you choose to do so.

Back up a little to the original post I saw the project linked at and I think I can figure out what really got my blood pressure up about this. In the comments:

I'm so sick of hearing about September 11. Yes, it was horrible, but our lives are going on. I think that photoblog is going to be a good way to show that. Very positive. :)

:: Crankydragon :: July 3, 2003 09:25 AM ::

Sick of hearing about it? As if it were an annoying fad or bad pop culture moment that can just be waved off? Never get sick of hearing about. Never. Because we can never afford to forget.

The project author then chimed in the same comments:

I tried to think of how the US must look to the rest of the world. And I wanted to do something about it. To show that we are people - the same as them.

So I'm **NOT** trying to disrespect those who lost. I just trying - in my simple way - to show others that the outcome of the Sept 11th tragedy DOES NOT have to be more death & hate. That somewhere in that horrific day could be the seed of a little understanding. And maybe a way to leave the world a bit better then we left it.

I don't understand how everyone taking pictures of their mundane lives is going to sow the seeds of understanding. And you know what? For the most part, we are not like them. Not by a long shot. We are not like the people of Iran who can't speak ill of their leaders. We are not like the people of Liberia. We are not like socialists or communists or the people who live in fear of the very people who are supposed to protect them. We are not like them at all, because we have freedom. We can dissent without fear, regardless of what you may believe.

The outcome of 9/11 was not death and hate. The cause of 9/11 was hate. Hatred for the United States and hatred for our freedoms. As someone who was personally effected by the events of that day, I reserve my right to hate those who carried out those cowardly acts. I don't want to understand them. I don't want to understand their followers who danced with joy at the death of thousands of Americans. I don't want to understand those who raise their children to be martyrs for a religion of hate. I don't want to be like them. Not at all.

On September 11, I will be at the cemetery with my father, visiting the burial spots of some of his long-time friends, the ones who gave their lives in the tumbling towers on that autumn day, as that is one of the things I'll be doing in my quest to never forget. And then I'll go home and tie a brand new yellow ribbon around my tree right over the old, worn one and send my thanks to the troops for protecting the freedoms that I have and mourn those who lost their lives doing so. The freedoms which some people seem to think don't exist in the post 9/11 world.

I'll take pictures of my day and post in on my photoblog. I'll call it September 11 Photoblog: Photograph Your Thanks. You can all join me if you want.

Addendum: Thanks to Laughing Wolf for reminding about this site

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference dissenting opinions: a thought on september 11 and people who want me to get over it:

» Don't Tell Me To Get Over It from A Gaggle of Gals (and one Guy)
Apparently, there's a guy who's starting some photo project to take place on 9/11. Okay, sounds like an idea. Except [Read More]

» The worst thing that happened to us... from Arguing with signposts...
Michele at A Small Victory goes off on a guy who's photoblogging on Sept. 11. dissenting opinions: a thought on september 11 and people who want me to get over it is worth a read. Michele raises some very pertinent... [Read More]

» Vive la difference? from Alisa In Wonderland
Michele reminds me of something that has been bothering me for a while, and that is the assertion that basically all the people everywhere are the same. We breath, eat, drink, go to the bathroom, have sex, love, hate (oops!...)... [Read More]

» Don't think so. from Inoperable Terran
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» A Pale Voice Chimes In from oxymoronic.org
After reading about the 9/11 Photoblog Project over at Christine's, I left a small, not very well thought out comment... [Read More]

» Pretty scary... from Dave's Chalkboard
a small victory:the gentle art of making enemies has an entry about an ad he say that is pretty scary.... [Read More]

» PERSPECTIVE from OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY
Bryan challenges michele's assertion that 9/11 was "the worst thing that has happened to America" noting that slavery and the treatment of American Indians was... [Read More]

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Comments

Fuck getting over it. Fuck moving on. Fuck anyone who thinks this is over--pull your collective heads out of your asses and realize that this isn't done for quite some time.

When I want to think positive, I think of putting the terrorists on the run in Afghanistan. I think of making sure that Iraqi scientists won't be putting scary weapons into the hands of the terrorists who remain. I think of a President who is damn well set on keeping those bastards on the run.

Fuck forgetting. Now is the time to pull ourselves up, stay strong, stay focused, and refuse to give up until the war is truly won.

Fuck trying to understand. I refuse to understand the terrorist while we're still staring down the barrel of his hatred.

Amen, Michele.

I don't know about the rest of America, but I am proud that thugs like Khaddafi, murderers like Saddam Hussein, inquisitionists like the mullahs in Iran, criminals in Syria, medieval sheiks in the Gulf, and millions of others who do not vote, do not speak freely, oppress women, and are not tolerant of religious, gender, or ethnic diversity don't like me for being an American. I would find it repugnant if they did.
--Victor Davis Hanson

"I'm so sick of hearing about September 11. Yes, it was horrible, but..."

That's really all you need to read. To people like that, Sept. 11 was "a fad or a pop culture moment." It was a neat, little Woodstock experience when we all lit candles and watched a telethon. It was a Jerry Bruckheimer movie that lasted for a few weeks.

Thankfully, weasels like this are in a sniveling, smarmy minority. They just seem like more people because their screeching is so much louder.

hug

I don't begrudge the Bush Administration the right to put the taliban on the run. And I wish that Iraq was about helping the populace there.

I understand that cultures are different. That we have lots of freedoms that the rest of the world don't .

I also think we are all human. That at the end of the day, we all crawl into bed and sleep. In the morning we wake up. We try to look out for our kids in the best way possible.

How can showing that we have some similarities do anything but lessen the hate felt by the rest of the world for the US?

I'd love this if a few dozen people in the world realize there's more to life then hate and more violence.

I lost a friend in the WTC. She would be horrified to learn that her death was used as justification for bombing two countries back to the stone age (say what you will, but the ***collateral*** damage in Afganastan and Iraq has been estimated at over 10,000 people). She would be horrified that our freedom of speech is being suppressed - however slightly - in the name of her death, and "security".

I'll post a link from my site to your objectsion!

One moves on WITH THE MEMORY INTACT.

Sept 11 was the day the USA decided it would no longer co-inhabit the globe with 9th century governments. One by one, they're going down. A couple by sticks, and more by carrots; simultaneously a choice becomes available to them that wasn't there before. That's why Bush always, always stresses that Islam is a religion of peace. It points to a future that is open, by policy and in fact; and somebody has to always ensure that.

The 9/11 event itself is over-fetishized already and if anything is a distraction. I think it's been milked dry by everybody who thinks they can get something for it already.

Its place was pointing out that ancient governments are now technologically too dangerous to live with.

Michele,

I agree with much of your post, and I think you are spot on with many observations. But this one just doesn't sit right with me:

"It's a day that will forever be a reminder of the worst thing that has happened to America."

the worst thing? Was Sept. 11 really the "worst thing" that ever happened to America. I can think of at least two things that are infinitely worse than Sept. 11. Wanna know what they are?

1. Slavery - it cost more American lives in the Civil War than any other war America has been involved in. It resulted in the degradation and humiliation of a whole race of people that we are still fumbling with, even 140 years later.

2. The Trail of Tears (and general shoddy treatment of indians/native americans/first nations - whatever they're calling the comanches, cherokees, choctaws, inuit, etc. these days). The way we treated these people is probably only second to slavery because they didn't have to be somebody's house slave.

Both of these things are much worse than 9/11, as horrible as 9/11 was. And part of what makes them worse was that we did them to ourselves.

Rob, where are you getting your "facts?" Bombing back to the stone age? Maybe some caves in Tora Bora, but they were already there. Not in Iraq, where even the worst case estimates from non-friendly sources put the so-called "collateral" deaths (and apparently includes the FS casualties as civiian) at somewhere around 3,000. Saddam was killing some 5,000 a year on his own, such as the mass grave of the children buried alive, or are all of those mass graves a plot like "Wag the Lynch?"

Get real, get a grip, and get some good info. I will reaffirm life on 9-11, but I will also remember that our enemies have sworn to kill us as individuals and as a nation. They loathe our freedom, our opportunity, and everything else we stand for. They will settle for nothing less than our utter destruction. They now have two less bases, and we will in the course of time raise both areas up. Read the excellent post from two days ago by Lt. Smash -- most of us have a link to him or to it.

Funny, I had just posted a take on 9-11 when Ith brought this to my attention. Glad I had not read it before posting, as would have changed it.

Thank you, Michele, for your well taken fisking of this.

Michele, you point out something that has been bothering me for a while: "we are all the same". No, we are not.

Rob, there is more to a human being than going to bed at night and getting up in the morning. And no, not all of us want the best for their kids - unless being a "martyr" is considered a good thing. Yes, we all have something in common, but we also have very serious differences. The differences are at least as important as the similarities.

Rob, pull your head out of your arse. Talk about inane. Those that perpetrate these acts, and will continue to if allowed, are not in the least bit interested.

It should not, can not be forgotten. Ever.

Lest we forget.

Michele, love your work. And to all you yanks, Happy Fourth Of July!!!!!

(..well it is the 4th down here...)

Woo hoo, I just fisked Rob's comment hard:

http://coolkids.blog-city.com/readblog.cfm?BID=127458

Just wanted to let you know that I have (finally!) added you to my blogroll. Thanks for all the good work you do!

You gave me chills! We just watched the first disc of Pearl Harbor and as shitty a movie it is, I had an epiphany that will stay with me and made it profound. I sat up and screamed "We FORGOT!". That's it! We forgot, but never, ever for me. My birthday is Pearl Harbor Day and my best friend's is September Eleventh.......
I wasn't alive on December 7th, 1941 but I WAS on September Eleventh 2001 and part of my soul died that day and haunts me EVERY day. I get up, I pee, I drink coffee and spat with my spouse, I live and deal and have "moved on" but my life was forever changed that day.

"sick of hearing about it"???Well, I supppose many folks grew weary of hearing about the slaughter of the Jews in Nazi camps; grew bored of hearing about the inhumanity of slavery, etc. This sickness of hearing about Sept. 11 can not be medicated by taking pictures of how great things are for those of us left behind. The only true cure for it is to talk about it, feel the sorrow, help those whose loved ones were killed, and try to protect ourselves against, not only the apathy of those 'sick of hearing about it', but the hatred that caused it in the first place.

Rob meant to say "bombed OUT of the stone age". Afghanistan recently graduated a class of female IT administrators. Given that the Taliban had banned both women and computers that was a bit unlikely to have happened before ;-)

Leftists are peeved over September 11 because it doesn't fit the script of the movie they have playing in their heads. Its the one where the terrible, ersatz West dissolves under the benign influence of Socialism and fusion cuisine and we all wind up living in eco friendly teepees reading RoboNoam and The Alchemist till the end of time.

The leftoids [especially in Europe] are so blinkered and frigid that the best they can offer are crocodile tears for the victims of Islamic terror, or dismissive little statements like 'What happened on 9/11 was terrible...but" Kind of like "Some of my best friends are gay/black/jewish....but" They do this because they are bigots and cannot recognise Americans as being fully human.

Americans as victims of noble beige coloured people does not make sense to them. So they have to try and block this terrible day [where their beloved underdogs revealed themselves to be malignant tyrants] from their collective memories.

I recall last year a girl in one of my tutorials said 'Americans should think about why they brought this upon themselves' I then asked her what a New York office worker did that was so awful in order to bring a Boeing 747 onto themselves'.There was silence while she spluttered on her reply unitl a hail of hissing invective came over me from my peers. 'America abuses the poor!, what about the Afghans [the Taliban] who are being invaded? McDonalds is destroying the world! what about the Bhopal accident?'...blah, blah, blah.

This is why I [living in the far flung provinces of Australia] have decided to become pro American and pro Israeli. If the creeps, morons, dimwits and casually amoral hypocrites of the world hate you then you must must be right.

Happy 4th of July.

scared right wingers makes baby jesus cry

photoblog sounds like a good idea.

i'll go down to the world trade center site and take a picture of that.

There is a reason that this country is the only remaining superpower on this planet. History has shown that communism and governments that rule by tyranny are doomed to fail. 9/11/01 was a wakeup call for this country. The message..."FREEDOM IS NOT FREE". If you want to keep your freedom, you better be prepared to fight for it. That means rooting out those that would do us harm AT THE SOURCE and destroying it. These religious zealots that hate us are not interested in peace. They are brainwashed into believing that we are the evil ones and should be destroyed. I am not interested in finding out why they hate us or trying to appease these wastes of human flesh. If you threaten me, my family, or my country, there will be only one outcome...you will die.

I can hear the responses now "America isn't perfect...yada yada yada". And that's right, we're not. But it's a far cry better than anything else I've seen (and I've been to 18 different countries throughout Europe and Middle East). You have a problem with my country that might be worth fixing, spread the word and try to fix it (if it's for the betterment of all). You just want to sit there and bitch and complain about my country while enjoying her freedoms...GET THE FUCK OUT!

I, too, am sick of 9/11/01. I am sick of the image that is stuck in my mind of that man and woman jumping out of that window, holding hands. Nights where sleep comes hard I wonder. Were they man and wife? Brother and sister? Friends? Coworkers? Strangers? Could have been any of those, two people with fire at their backs finding a lttle company as they leaped to sure death from a hundred stories up.
We will never know who those people were, simply two out of 3,000 whose bodies were smashed and burned by those who hate us. They were my brother and sister. It could just as well been, had those murderous bastards chosen another city and building, been my son or daughter.
I shall move on, 3,000 of my brothers and sisters cannot.
I shall move on when the last Islamofascist that offers me and mine the choice, accept conversion to Islam and life under Sharia is begging for mercy as the gunner of an M1A1 Abrams pulls the trigger. I shall move on when the last government that supports them is shattered. I shall move on when the Palestinians who danced in the streets, celebrating, is dead.
I shall move on. I just have a little business to take care of first.

The guy should try and export his idea to the Arab world. Thus, for instance, instead of celebrating Nakhba day, the Palestinians could celebrate love, friendship and life. They could also get over 48, 67 and so on. All the Arabs could get over the Crusades or the loss of Spain, which happened somewhat earlier than 911. They could even exchange all their Semtex and TNT for cameras. They know how to celebrate, don't they? I've seen them distributing candies and sweets. When was it exactly? Oh, that was precisely on 911.

Michelle,
You write well but that doesn't mean I agree with what your saying. Choosing Sept. 11th to celebrate life and liberty is the perfect occasion. Choosing that day to go out and take a walk, snap some pictures, plant a tree, is perfection in response. What better way to give the fundamentalists the finger than to show them that life goes on, that OUR life goes on. Yes, on Sept 11 America changed. We changed our outlook, we changed our policies, it was a wakeup call to all the idiots who think we could never be touched by war, death, and pain but we suffered that before and America carried through. You might think its the worse event to happen to America, but I've read of worse which carried far darker tides on our shores. Sept 11th wasn't the worst thing, some see it as the best (as good as death can be).

My family lost one of our closest friends in the towers and I almost lost my godfather in the Pentagon. I too was filled with rage, and hate that day. Yet two years later you still carry that hate and anger on. You rage against this man who wants to show that his life goes on and mock him by saying he mixes his anti-bush and anti-9/11 statements. Yet how is that worse than Bush mixing his anti-poor and anti-economy and anti-everything message under the flag of Sept 11th? That is hypocrasy, damning something and then doing the same.

Here, in these comments, the political message reeks of patheticness. You decry the left/liberals for their desire for peace while screaming "Death! Blood! Revenge!" While I supported the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, indeed I think Im one of the few liberals who did, I can also see that in the end its idiocy. We will breed nothing more than hate and fear and more death upon our nation. Its the lesser of two evils, yet its an evil nonetheless.

And so is there evil in what your doing, in stiring up a wave of anger and hate against a man who wants to take pictures to show his life goes on. Its shallow, its sad, yet its human. I too will pray for the troops and thank the freedoms I have while I protest for the freedoms I've lost. For indeed, since Sept 11th, America has changed and not for the better. We have lost more than men and women we loved, we've lost something fundamental that made us America. An innocence, and a freedom.

Chris, what freedom did we lost? As far as I can tell, I still have all my freedoms intact.

The point was this: I'm not going to move on, don't expect me to and don't ask me to get over it.

If we had reacted to Pearl Harbor by saying 'life goes on', and taking pretty pictures on the second anniversary of the event, would we have many freedoms today?

Islamic fundamentalists are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths around the world. They want to impose sharia law, a legal system that makes Nazi Germany look like a hippie commune, on the rest of the world, whether we want it or not. If we don't do something to stop them, they will probably be responsible for thousands, maybe millions more deaths. It's what they do.

Remembering the horror of their expression of pure hatred on Sept. 11th reminds us that this kind of ignorant bigotry still exists. Multiculturalism didn't stop it, the UN didn't stop it, buying the world a coke and teaching it to sing didn't stop it.

Some people saw Sept 11th as the best thing that happened to America? Well, some people think that the world is secretly being ruled by lizard monsters, so it takes all kinds. It was tragic to discover that this kind of disgusting hatred is capable of taking so many lives, and it's tragic to realize that we're going to have to stop it. This is not a 'good' thing. But it is necessary.

Michele, once again your writing captures my feelings perfectly. Thank you.

fancy a 69 morte? its all the rage at the jihad bush cafes

a godless place is run by a police state. welcome to reality. nwo 2003.

Please don't make my arse laugh! I guess you think that sadd'ass was funding terrorists, even though there is absolutley no evidence! Just like his WMDs, that he destroyed b4 goin to war..Regime change i hear you say...wat gives you the right to dictate to change anyone's right of rule?..Yet i don't hear any one of you hypocrites mention OIL..I don't care, i welcome the self prophesised armaggeddon.

Michelle,
What freedoms have we lost? Have you read the Patriot Act or by chance any of the writeups on it? The expanded powers of the FBI, CIA, et al is unwarranted in that they can't even deal with the powers they HAVE now and the information generated from it, yet alone expanded powers that are unneeded. Due process went out the window with their ability to wire tap anyone, get mail on anyone, library accesses, packet sniffing, etc. You might say, oh it doesn't affect you because you have nothing to hide but I'm hardly a conspirciy theorist and there will be a time where it will effect you.

Btw, I'm not asking you to move on. That was kinda stupid of the guy to say though I'm feeling he ment something else. The only time I wanted people to move on was when the media and companies were milking Sept 11th with books, posters, etc. dedicated to it. Its still on my mind though, don't doubt that.

Mary: Thats exactly what they did say as the people at home carried on while supporting the soliders on distant shores. They took pretty pictures and carried on their lives. Yet there was a clear, defined enemy. Clearly defined lines and targets, do we have that now? No, we know sources but you cannot stamp out the entireity of it without mindwiping half the planet.

When I said some see Sept 11th as the best thing to happen to this country, I mean it served as a wakeup call. It served to show our country that we can't be the panzy asses that so many politicians and families have wanted us to be. That force IS necessary and once started we MUST carry through with what we do. Saddam was in power BECAUSE of President Bush and reagen. Anyone forget that fact? He should have been delt with YEARS ago. Same with Iran, we should have dealt with it while we COULD instead of years later while its horrible. So now the son cleans up the mess and is applauded for it, that is sad.

Oh, and as to Islamic fundamentalists taking thousands of lives, the same could be said of America. We instilled half of the nasty dictatorships you now see in the news, we supported them with weapons and arms. We're responsible for much of the worlds suffering and now maybe we've realized we'll have to deal with it. I'm all for cleaning up our own messes I just hope people realize that it isn't the end all be all. Fear and hate lead to pain and suffering, no matter HOW pure your intentions are.

Chris - Arab fundamentalists have recently murdered and are currently enslaving hundreds of thousands of people in the Sudan. The same cannot be said of America..Slavery is allowed under Islamic law. Islamic law also requires that women have fewer rights than we give our animals here, and it also allows for dismemberment as a punishment for petty crime. The same cannot be said of America. There is no comparison.

Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism is currently being financed from the billions of dollars dontated by kleptocracies in the middle east. There is a lot we can do to stop it, and it does not require 'mindwiping half the planet'. It requires cutting off the money supply to the financiers, targeting the people who pay for terror attacks and eliminating the people who hope to carry them out.

During the late 30's, fascism seemed to overtake a large part of the world. Should we have blamed ourselves for allowing those leaders to come into power. Maybe we should have blamed our leaders and attacked them because they allowed this to happen. If we'd done that, goosteps and seig heils would mark our July 4th celebration.

The Islamist's fear and hatred of us (and Saudi Arabia's stupid civil war) were the cause of 9/11. This was not the best thing to happen to us. Do you think the Sudan is benefitting from its 'wake up call?'

Weathy Arabs financed the 9/11 attacks and weathy Arabs carried them out. Yes, there is a clear target, and no, the pointless deaths of thousands was not good for us in any way, shape or form. Mass slaughter is not a teaching tool. There is nothing good about it.

You say: "We are not like... the people who live in fear of the very people who are supposed to protect them." You may not be, but as a fellow American, I'm afraid of the people who are supposed to be protecting me. The police, the president. Maybe I'm just a delusional leftist, but the thought that my country commits violence against other countries is not comforting. If George Bush supports the bombing of Baghdad, why won't he support an attack on my local anarchist bookstore?

I'm slightly disturbed by the fact that you say the outcome of September 11th was not hate, and then turn back around two sentences later and say that you reserve the right to hate because of September 11th. Leftists are all trying to say (clumsily -- myself probably included) that if you don't want to be like those who hate America, don't hate other countries or religions.

Emma:

[PATIENCE] We don't hate the other countries and people. We hate the terrorists and their supporters. Unfortunately, terrorists and their supporters live in countries. So far they have refused to turn themselves in voluntarily to the UN or transport themselves en masse to a secret island hideout run by a mastermind villain. Instead, they are in these other countries, which I have noticed that instead of being separated from the US by leagues of interstellar void or impenetrable force fields are actually on the same planet as we are. Therefore we must deal with the situation as it is, not as we wish it to be. Since we are not omnipotent magicians who can cause terrorists and their supporters to instantaneously vanish with the wave of a magic wand, this will often involve using military measures. And yes, these sometimes involve "violence," since stern frowns only work for so long, and they don't appear to have had any effect on terrorists and their supporters. [/END PATIENCE]

I find it hard to believe that anyone at this time of the year, after all that has happened, can have the gall to make such ridiculous and babyish assertions as you have vomited forth. Whining that "violence is bad" will not stop someone bent on violence. Whining that you are afraid of the government of the United States of America, when you know good goddamn well that this is still the freest nation on earth, makes you sound not confused, but stupid. Good god I am sick of this bullshit.

And besides your stupidity, there is the question of your hypocrisy. You disapprove of military action in Iraq, that much is clear. And I suppose you weren't too happy about military action against the Taliban either. So -- in order to salve your own conscience, and make yourself look good in comparison to us blood-drinking babykillers-by-proxy, you were therefore quite content to let the innocent people suffer under the regimes we have just deposed. You don't care that despite the losses they suffered when we invaded the people of these countries are better off today. Whatever happens to the Afghan peoples and the Iraqis, they won't have to be slaves to the whims of the Taliban or Saddam Hussein and crew. They now have a chance to make something of their countries, a chance neither country had before we went in there. Women and girls are going back to school in Afghanistan. The marshes at the mouths of the Tigris and Euphrates are being restored. Medicines that were supposed to have been given to hospitals have been found stashed away by Hussein's goons. We know about the frozen baby corpses that Hussein demanded of parents at pain of god-knows-what so they could be taken out and paraded around for willing news cameras as "proof" that the sanctions were killing Iraqi babies. We know about the mass graves, such as that one full of little children and their dolls. We know that what we suspected was true. We know everything now.

For years the feminists sat and wrung their hands while the Taliban ground the female population of Afghanistan into the dirt. For years organizations sat back and whined about the "US-led sanctions" killing babies in Iraq when they knew full well that Saddam Hussein was wasting the money and resources of his country (including selling food that was sent to Iraq to feed the supposedly starving population) to build palaces, gather arms, train terrorists, and pay off families of terrorists. The stories were reported daily, you can look them up on Google. All people like you did was sit and whine about how awful everything was, if only someone would Do Something. Well, we did. And now you can't stand it. You probably think of yourself as a progressive liberal something-or-other. But you're not, you're a reactionary. I'd accuse you of being "conservative" but at least conservatives want to conserve things, and I get the feeling you wouldn't lift a finger to save anything that exists if you thought that doing so would cause you a moment's pain.

That's it. I am done. And I don't know why I bothered. I guess I am still an idealist -- I keep thinking I'll cause a breakthrough somewhere.

The lines during the fight against nazi-fascism weren't much clearer than they are now in the fight against islamo-fascism (that is, regimes like those in Egypt, Syria, Iran, the Palestinian Authority) and nazislamism (Al Qaeda, Hamas, Jihad, Hizbullah, the Algerian GIA etc.).
Both fascism and nazism were very widespread ideologies that had made themselves felt and even influential all around the world, including Britain and America itself. The fight against them resembled not so much the war between nations (though that’s what it became eventually) as the war against AIDS or narco-traffic, where the enemy is or might be anywhere.
Indeed, I’d say that both nazism and fascism, and also communism of course, had a wider and more widely scattered appeal than fundamentalist Islam, being thus easier to recognize and locate the enemy nowadays than it was then.
Anyway, to think of war always as a well-defined conflict between two or more nation-states is rather simplistic. That’s what some wars have been in the last two or three centuries, but not even the American Civil War belongs in this category. For most of history, human conflict resembled much more what’s happening right now than it did, say, what took place in the years between 1914 and 18.
It’s almost fair to say that after a short historic interval, we are actually back to the general rule of warring and competing ideologies, religions, ethnicities etc.
On the other hand, of course, if you fight back you’ll annoy your enemies. The best way to please them is to surrender. Well, indeed, there’s an even better way: collective suicide. After we have all killed ourselves to please the Islamic fanatics I’m almost sure they’ll stop attacking us, though, as the anti-Semitism without Jews in Eastern Europe illustrates quite well, not even this is quite assured.

They hated us and struck, now you hate them... and on and on, an eye for an eye until when? till we're all blind? until we realize all politicians justify their acts of aggression until the bitter end?

Like it or not America was built on violence and the ghosts of our boys and girls protecting our freedoms are the ones that slaughtered the native americans by the thousands.

All nations and their political systems have been established thru violence throughout history. The violence has been carried out by those who bought into whatever current political rhetoric justified the other guys as the bad guys.

9-11 was not about our freedoms, it was about one political agenda using violence against another political agenda and a few thousand innocent people getting in the way as it has happened far back into history. So let's hate some more.

Michelle... you say that people should be free to mourn in their own way on 9-11, but apparently you mean everyone except for Rob. I don't think he's saying forget the tragedy, I think he's saying celebrate life as people have done throughout history... despite the tragedies

What needs to be gotten over is the self-righteous Left's antipathy for America. The one genuinely good thing that came out of 9/11 was that it reinvigorated the sense of commonality (most) Americans felt as Americans. The Blame America First Left should applaud such a revival of community spirit, but instead they find it repugnant. So they piss and moan about "jingoism" and project their own hate off onto everyone else.

While they're at it, the anti-American Left's can get over their obsession with "how America looks to the world." It's time the world started worrying about how they look to us. "Harmless" would be the wisest choice.

you think america colonizing the middle east into debt induced slavery is any better? LOL LOL LOL

..and what about the poor liberated Iraqis who now have to buy back their own oil?...Do you know tye Oil pipe that WILL be laid thru Afghanistan was bein negiotiated between the bush govt. and the taliban circa' july 00? It's all about OIL, what SICKENS me is that some of you are so deluded and self denying that you can't admit it. Slavery is not permitted anywhere in Islam, if there is aq power wanting to dominate the whole world into a mono culture it is the US of A peeps!

Andrea: Wow, you sure now how to make an inspiring argument to cause a breakthrough. Name calling and slander works VERY well to get across your point. Have you ever worked retail? If so, the training sure paid off!

You still failed to address the point that the same people and government that took down the Taliban and Hussians governments were the people who put them into power. You dare to call Emma a hypocrit? Its not wrong for her to wish for peace, to wish for her children to grow into a world were they don't have to fear fundamentalists using the same WEAPONS WE SUPPLIED TO KILL US. That is irony dear sir, not our desire for peace. And I SUPPORTED the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, alot of liberals I know did too. Move above the fold and address us as PEOPLE and not the outdated concept of left and right. Considering how medicore the parties are becoming at addressing our needs and how similiar their overall goals are merging...who cares.

Also, what happened to conservatives being for a SMALL government? The way Bush is doing it we'll have the largest and most expensive government EVER. Yes, thats conservativism. Feel the uselessness of adherring to old labels and ideals?

well thats rich when you consider the mostly American European conglomerates view of Africa's population being surplus to the continent's resources..this law is derived from the qur'aan but nowhere have i read ever that legitimised slavery, EVER! I can show web sites that state that G.Bush conspired towards 9/11 so don't waste your time copy and spitting URLs Mary.

The best thing for Africa would be for all the corporations to leave and supplying them arms to kill their brothers,but like peace and justice it ain't gonna happen in my lifetime. And to the Real rulers of the world a few decades is absolutely nothin!

Chris:

I wasn't talking to you, but you sure do seem to be the same sort of fool that Emma is.

I am not a "sir," I am a "ma'am."

That's "conservatism," not "conservativism," "mediocre," not "medicore," and so on. To be kind I will assume that in your zeal to enter your spate of righteous wrath you did not bother to use the "preview" feature.

I did not at all address the topic of large vs. small government and how well or ill the current administration is doing in those areas, since that has nothing to do with this discussion. Your attempt to change the topic is thereby ignored.

I am not sure what working retail has to do with the tenor of my comment. If your measured [SARCASM ALERT] response is supposed to be an example of the proper sort of behavior one working in retail must display, then I confess I hope to never patronize an establishment you are employed at in that capacity.

Name calling and slander? I called Emma no "names" and I did not slander her. In my opinion she -- and you -- are fools, ignoramuses, hypocrites, and reactionaries, and I already explained why. Kindly tell me how that falls under the rubric of "slander."

As for the notion that we "sold them the weapons that they used to kill us" -- I am not sure what you are referring to. Are you perhaps referring to the boxcutters the September 11th terrorists used? Would you like to ban the sale of boxcutters? As for the weapons we supposedly sold the Hussein regime, our contribution was a fraction compared to Russia's and France's. I look forward to hearing that you have sent scolding emails to the embassies of those countries. As for the idea that we should not have sold weapons and other military materials to certain countries with whom we are currently enemies (or at least not too happy with), you betray more boneheaded ignorance of how things work in the real world as opposed to your Candyland fantasy one. Allies and enemies are changing all the time. There is no certainty in the world of realpolitik. The only way to deal with this fact is to be prepared for future problems, and that means militarily prepared as well as diplomatically.

In any case, I am not sure how you expect this wonderful world, where no hostile regime can kill us with weapons we sold them in the past when they were friendlier, to come about. From what I can gather you and your ilk seem to think that if we go into total military retreat everywhere in the world, don hairshirts, and apologize profusely to everyone and their dog about all the bad things we have done for the past three hundred years or so (I am assuming you are exempting the Native Americans and their ancestors from this since as we all know they never engaged in warfare or even had fistfights before the White Devils invaded), then we will become beloved among nations.

I wonder where you were when reports were winging back and forth across the airwaves about what impression eight years of Clinton's limp and ineffectual handling of anything to do with national defense gave to the world community you are so ready to bend over for. I do believe the story was that terrorists like Bin Laden decided that Americans had become soft, weak, cowardly, and would therefore be easy to intimidate. Well, I guess that is true in the case of people like you and Emma. Fortunately, people like you are not in charge.

Chris writes:

You still failed to address the point that the same people and government that took down the Taliban and Hussians governments were the people who put them into power.

Perhaps she did not address this point because it simply is not true. We did not put the Taliban into power. We did not put Saddam Hussein into power. Though we did sell arms to Iraq before Gulf War I, Russia and France sold them many, many times more.

In a previous post, you wrote that we "instilled [sic] half the nasty dictatorships you now see in the news". Kindly name five. No, the Taliban and Saddam Hussein were not ours. Try again.

You (and not just you) simply must get over this fantasy that the US is to blame for every single thing that goes wrong on the planet. It is not. The fact that we once upon a time sold a helicopter to, or permitted a company to trade with, or once looked favorably on, a government which later started slaughtering people wholesale, does not make us responsible for the slaughter. I realize there is some precedent for believing so (e.g. Pinochet), but those examples really are quite rare.

You know, in most places, the choice of governing entities to deal with is not between Sluggo McThug and the People's Party for Peace and Rainbows, but among Sluggo McThug, and the Jihadis' Coalition for Blood and Violence, and the Revolutionary People's Union of Communist Bloodletters, and the Jackbooted Fascists' Brigade for Ethnic Purity. And out of those choices, ol' Sluggo just might look like an angel.

As for Emma, I suggest that she just continue to be continually panicked. After all, if a policeman will shoot a man threatening a baby with a machine gun, what's to stop him from shooting the baby if it cries too much? Nothing at all. Go right ahead and fear everything and everyone, if it makes you feel brave.

As for Emma, I suggest that she just continue to be continually panicked. After all, if a policeman will shoot a man threatening a baby with a machine gun, what's to stop him from shooting the baby if it cries too much? Nothing at all.

Well, nothing except little things like morality and basic human decency. But I doubt Emma thinks a person capable of killing someone is going to have that.

Sad, isn't it?

Argh... thought I had my settings saved here. Bad blank posting.

Andrea: The use of the preview function does not equate to the use of a spell check function. When in a hurry to go to a specific function both can (and will be) ignored in the honor of saving time. You chastise me for changing the subject yet you do that right there, in your "corrections" of my english. Thank you, moving on. My "attempt to change the subject" was actually very much on topic. Your colorful portrayal of liberals (and those before you) gave me the perfect room to make the standard mockeries and insults about the right and conservatives. Please, attempt to understand the other person before dismissing them. As to the retail comment, bad joke/pun that you obviously did not get, agreed to the move on.

I stated the use of slander because you are piling bad things upon our names, distorting/destroying our image which could be damaging to us. Yes, thats a rather extreme stretch of it, but it is slander and a few companies have used that effectively in court. Moving on.

As to the weapons and support, hmmm, let us see. Remember that it was the Reagan administration with George Bush Sr., as Vice President, that guaranteed Iraq's supply of arms and military supplies during its war with Iran. According to published reports, the Reagan-Bush administration "gave the green light to Western Europe to directly sell arms to Iraq" and U.S. arms "were trans-shipped to Iraq through third countries." Moreover, during the first 18 months of George Bush's presidency, Congress repeatedly pressed for the imposition of severe economic sanctions against Iraq, but then President Bush "aggressively resisted them until the day of the Kuwait invasion (2 August 1990)." In sum, therefore, the Reagan-Bush collusion created the "dictator from Baghdad" and this "repeat offender." http://pub154.ezboard.com/famericanlifefrm19.showMessage?topicID=91.topic <--- There's another post for you. Try to google the topic, you'd find alot if you did the research. Yes, Europe supplied the majority of weapons but we also did a pretty damn good job there.

You also mock my ability to understand politics in the modern world. I'm sorry, the world of realpolitik was during the SOVIET era and, well, the wall fell down dear. Thats over, the cold wars done and gone. Yes I know, liberals supported Communism, blah blah blah, but I'm not really a liberal so I don't care. Here's an idea too, when installing a fundamentalist government in a nation with ideals that don't even come close to matching your own, DO NOT PROVIDE CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS ALONG WITH STINGER MISSILES, TANK, RIFLES, ETC. in support! It makes future political uprisings far easier to deal with.

As to your allusions that I'm a grass smoking hippy, I take offense. I can't stand them and I hardly count myself as a member. I support our armed forces, am enlisting when I graduate from college and applied to the Air Force Academy and was accepted. So thank you very much, I know our militaries needed and I damn well support it. All I'm saying is that we should have dealt with the problem before hand, when WE created it (Or wait, when YOUR generation created it) instead of doing it much later on when the problem worsens. As to Clinton, I didn't vote for him.

Oh man, just when I thought the internet was going to be too boring tonight...

Chris sputtered:

BLAH BLAH SHRIEK MONKEY PISSING ON KEYBOARD

I am paraphrasing, of course.

I was going to do a line-by-line "fisking" of this rhodomontade, but then it occurred to me that all Chris' assertions could be answered by "No it's not," "No I didn't," "No," and "You're a moron." So I figured why waste Michele's bandwidth.

You know, Chris, maybe you shouldn't post things in a hurry. Have a nice time at the air force academy. I am sure you'll make lots of friends.

Angie: But the fact is we DID put the Taliban into power. Russia controlled Afghanistan with an iron fist. We supplied arms (stinger missiles, M-16's, explosives, CIA operatives) and money to overthrow the Russian military. BECAUSE of that the Taliban came into power. They faught us with OUR weapons. Don't you see the irony? We permitted Saddam to gain and maintain power in Iraq because he seemed to be a non-fundamentalist leader in the middle east. We needed him to counter balance Iran's growing instability and we supported him AGAINST Iran. We provided much of the chemical weapons used against his own populace and that of Iran during their conflict. Want me to provide links? Oh wait, you'd discount them all because they're on the internet, right? All communist propaganda?

Name five other countries besides Iraq and Afghanistan? Alright, fair enough. These are ones we put into power or else kept in power with arms, operatives, and money. Chile, Mexico, Panama, South America, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, S.Vietnam (do you read history? They were hardly a democracy when we supported them), , Peru, Algeria, Somalia. Is that sufficient? Or should I go on? Don't believe me then break out a freakin history book (and not the crap they give to kids in school). The facts are there hun you just actually have to go out and find them. The crap fed to you in school and in much of the media is so steralized its not even funny.

Now please, to all who misunderstand me (and thats most). I am NOT saying that America shouldn't be waging a war on terrorism. I am NOT saying that war is bad and we should all go sing Kumbia. What I AM saying is that a person has the right and reason to say that the war is wrong in their eyes. That in response they are going to take pictures of normal life and thats correct...life goes on. But I'm drawing out of this discussion because, in all honesty, its pathetic how much its degraded and no one will listen to anyone else. Why do so many people in America ignore politics and just go on day by day...the ANSWER IS RIGHT IN THESE COMMENTS.

Emma:
George W Bush will not support an attack on your local anarchist bookstore because he neither knows about it or cares that it exists. Nobody cares about them. That's democracy for you.

This 'Anwar' is an interesting specimen. He combines leftist sloganeering with pious Islamic delusion. For example he lifts the debt repayments= slavery bullshit from the anti globalisation crowd and mixes it with firebrand Islamowank.

Its the convergence of idiot leftism and Islamofacism. It was bound to happen sooner or later, they have so much in common.

I love high school students who think they know everything.

(That was directed at Chris, by the way, not Christopher V. I just wanted to clarify that.)

Chris, you are wrong on so many, many points I barely know where to begin, and I don't really want to take up Michele's space or my time, but let's try to tackle a few.

We supplied arms...and money to overthrow the Russian military. BECAUSE of that the Taliban came into power.

We supplied arms to a group of fighters, some of whom later joined up with the Taliban. We did not supply the Taliban at the time of the Russian invasion, because they did not exist. By helping the Afghans throw out the Russians, we did not make it inevitable that the Taliban would arise and take over Afghanistan.

We permitted Saddam to gain and maintain power in Iraq ...

See, now this is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about. We "permitted" Saddam... Saddam's party was already in power when Saddam took it (and Iraq) over. Yet we "permitted" this, when our alternative was to...what? Go to war to prevent him? Support some other thug instead? Quietly have him assassinated and install some puppet? Would you have supported any of those options?

I asked Chris for five "nasty dictatorships you read about in the news today", that we have installed. He responds with:

Chile, Mexico, Panama, South America, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, S.Vietnam...Peru, Algeria, Somalia

I sort of thought that Panama was more or less a democracy now; and I admit complete ignorance of Peru. Other than that, with one exception the governments named are neither nasty dictatorships, and we installed none of them. (Yes, I know about Pinochet, but we're talking about today, not thirty years ago. And neither South America nor South Vietnam are countries. We certainly did not install the current government of what is now South Vietnam.)

The dictatorship exception is Iran, which we certainly did not install---unless, of course, you believe that by supporting the Shah we forced the mullahs to overthrow him, and therefore forced them to be the nasty bastards they are today.

You see, your entire post nicely illustrates my point, and the point of this post on my blog from back in March. Only the US is ever responsible for anything. If we do something, and in response other people do something else, then this was inevitable. It's a chain of historic inevitability that always leaves the US responsible for all the messes of the world, either through action or inaction (and it's not that one is wrong and the other is right---they're both wrong, inaction and all possible actions).

I don't want for us to escape criticism for those things we have done wrong, I just think that we are blamed for far more than we are actually responsible for.

At this point, I'm only restating what I said in my previous post. If you didn't get it then, you're not going to get it now, and there's no use repeating it.

The crap fed to you in school...

I am above the age of forty, and have formed my own opinions, thanks.

yeah. so we put Hussein and the taliban into power. Therefore, we had a moral obligation to right a serious mistake, did we not? Its expected of individuals to right their mistakes- why not national entities. But when we try to right a mistake, oooh lordy.. watch out, suddenly we should just leave the mistake alone to fester, yes, a good idea all around... but wait.. personal responsibility goes the way of the dodo with the entitlement generation, so its not a concept they would be familiar with.

Susan is your maiden name Degregario...i am looking for my biological mother...my brother Edward and i are looking for susan lizano/maiden:degregario....thank you ...Dawn....vioyou@aol.com...dreeesh@aol.com

Iím going back to the original post re a Sept 11 photoblog. My initial reaction was similar to Micheleís. But, it did make me think. Perhaps Iíll spend 9/11 pulling out the photos Iíve taken during the prior year, pictures of friends, places, etc. Then Iíll use them to remind myself of the many people who died that day, who wonít be in any new pictures. Iíll allow myself to go back to that dark place in my mind and emotions, remembering my obsession with reading the portraits in the NYTimes, not only to look for those I knew but out of respect for those I didnít. Iíll hope that the families have ďmoved onĒ, the children who lost their young mother, the man who lost his pregnant wife. Iíll allow myself again to wonder about those final moments on the 93rd floor of the South Tower where the victims supposedly gathered in a conference room before the building collapsed (known from cell phone conversations.) Iíll wonder about those who I believe died on the 78th floor waiting for the express elevator when the second plane hit (known from comments indicating some I knew were last seen on that floor.) Iíll remember the moment at the Armory when I saw a picture of a lovely man who only visited the office on certain days to provide tech support and who provided such fabulous support to me. My life has continued on, and I no longer think of 9/11 or these people on a daily basis Ė for that Iím grateful. But I donít desire to forget or to ignore or to pretend 9/11 will ever be just another day for me. It will not be a ďlife-affirming dayĒ for me. It will be a day of mourning and respect, of pulling out those memories that have inevitably faded. I donít presume to know what opinions any of those lost would have on our current situation. We didnít talk politics. We chatted, we said hi in the morning, we complained about the chilly air conditioning. I didnít know them nearly well enough, but they assisted me in my work, always with a smile and with a helping hand. I never want to forget them and wish Iíd had the chance to know them better.

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photo fucking arabic and pakistan

yes Sept 11 was sad and we should "mourn" for those who lost their lives. but really, we should be able to get on with it. how many people still "mourn" pearl harbor day, a just as horrifying day as 9/11?