Friday, September 12, 2008

Seven Years (and a Day) On

Another 9/11 anniversary passed yesterday. I always have such conflicting feelings on that day.

2974 innocent people died, and millions more were traumatized when the Twin Towers fell. Horrible, I know, but what about the thousands that die every day from ongoing wars and diseases and lack of basic resources like shelter, food and water? And what about the countless people who’ve died as a result of the U.S.’s post-9/11 war on terror? Why doesn’t the world recognize the suffering they go through like it recognizes the suffering of America? Just because all those people don’t come from the most powerful country in the world doesn’t mean they hurt any less.

Here’s an article I came across on about “The Other 9/11” – one in which the U.S. was the bad guy. Kinda puts things in perspective.


Nicholas Karavatos said...

Unfortunately, everybody feels that their own pain is the only pain, or more painful than other people’s pain.

Just under 3000 people is a minuscule number, relatively.

The earthquake in Bam, Iran caused in a couple minutes about the same amount of deaths as what the US experienced in the Vietnam War. The US is still traumatized by Vietnam. How do Iranians feel about Bam?

Would the Cold War have been less icy if Americans internalized the Russian trauma of losing 20,000,000 WWII-era citizens?

On the other hand – and everyone’s going to hate this – there have been and are today worse situations and conflicts than those in the Occupied Territories of Palestine, though none have been more exploited (except perhaps the exploitation of 9/11 by the Bush-Cheney Regime) .

In the aftermath of the recent devastating earthquake in China, I was watching a debate on TV that included a Syrian. I forget her name, but she laughably claimed to have no connection whatsoever to the Syrian government though she was broadcasting from Damascus. She began to lose her temper and demand that all TV news stations stop reporting on the earthquake in China (who cares?) that had just happened and start broadcasting 24 hours a day on the Palestinian cause. Incredible, no matter what your sympathies, I think.

Everyone thinks their own pain (or pain they appropriate) is the only pain. Everyone says the world needs more empathy, but most people just want others to empathize with them or their own identity group.

It’s hard to empathize with others. It’s easy to blubber on about one’s own blessed victimhood.

I did not watch any commemorative reporting on September 11, and I think the project name "Freedom Towers" is Orwellian.

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