11 September 2006


9/11 by the numbers:

total deaths in 9/11 attacks = 3,030
total coalition troop deaths in Afghanistan = 476
total coalition troop deaths in Iraq = 2,902
range of civilian deaths in Iraq since U.S. invasion = 41,650 (min) / 46,318 (max)

Innocence was lost that day five years ago. The United States was always vulnerable to a terrorist attack but September 11 demonstrated that like the Titanic invincibility is merely a fantasy.

Some have said that the 9/11 attacks are a case of the chickens coming home to roost. That perspective is too narrow and harsh in my opinion. I tend to see these events more broadly as the shattering of an illusion. Yes the United States is great in many ways, but we are not immune from such horrible acts. The rest of the world has experienced this type of suffering. Attacks on civilian populations have occurred throughout history in every part of the globe. Sadly, sometimes this suffering has been at the hand of the United States. For me this day was a confirmation that reality is indeed cruel.

Confusion spread over the U.S. landscape that day. Did we as a nation allow ourselves enough time to mourn? Instead of supplanting that feeling of dread and anomie with some type of understanding we were shuttled along a myopic crusade of revenge.

Our leaders quickly seized the moment and put us on a war footing. Uncle Sam was going on the attack. Pre-emption, bitches! What should have been a quest for justice became a campaign of vengeance. Our civil liberties became prey to government predators. The entire world was put on notice—don’t fuck with us or else we will annihilate you, or at least put a boot up your ass while we duct tape our houses and wait cautiously for any slight change in the color-coded terror alert chart.

I remember feeling that brief moment of unity after the attacks. Americans came together despite their socially constructed differences. People across the world displayed their sympathy. It’s tragic how far we’ve fallen from that initial unity. On 9/12 the GOP reinvented its identity by co-opting the pain of 9/11 families and using it to fulfill their imperial fantasies under the guise of freedom and democracy. The Democrats…well, need I say more?

Now the country is stuck in this myopic crusade with no way out. President Can’t Admit a Mistake has pledged he’ll pass on the mess he’s made in IraqIranLebaAfghanistan to his successor. Only a lunatic would want to inherit the presidency in 2008…perhaps Bill Frist is nutty enough for the job?

I have no solutions or answers to this mess. I feel like a spectator watching these weird events unfold over the past five years. At this point I should be happy if I can board an airplane in less than two hours. Always look on the bright side, right?

cross-posted at the defeatists!


I guess you could say this is the "Original Pime". I stopped blogging here regularly in May 2008 (if you don't count the B-Sides diversion - yes it gets confusing) when I joined the Tumblr revolution. Going forward bravely into 2009, this site will serve to house any large image work I produce.

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