11 September, 2006

9/11 anniversary, the "war on terror," and the uselesssness of facts

So, today marks the five-year anniversary of the World Trade center attacks in NYC. I woke up this morning, as most Americans, I am guessing, to news coverage of solemn remembrance ceremonies, narratives of friends and families of people lost on 9/11, and footage of the planes flying into the buildings.
Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, Cheney was on the news yesterday admitting that there is no proven connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, nor are there any weapons of mass destruction, nor is there any connection between Saddam and Al-Qaida. Yet we are doing a "pretty good job" in Iraq!
Therefore, the "war on terror" is still justified, as is our presence in Iraq, according to the government, pundits, and a lot of Americans. Along with the justification for increased fear-mongering about the lack of security at our airports, borders, ports, etc. And meanwhile, nothing has happened on American soil in the 5 years that we have supposedly been at war. Nothing, that is, except for Arab and South-Asian looking men being detained for no reason, civil liberties being eroded, people being pulled off of planes for speaking Arabic, and a slew of other "suspicious" activity.
So, every reason for being in Iraq is refuted, there is no terrorism to speak of against America, and here we are, hundreds of thousands of civilians later, with two toppled governments overseas, and the possibility of expansion into other Middle Eastern countries based on a supposed war that is being fought.
Why? The sentimental pull of 9/11, its fortification of a particular kind of American identity (non-brown), and the branding of Arabs, Islam, and Arabic as perpetually suspect allow for American military action overseas to be justified, no matter what the facts of the matter are. This is blatant racism, yet it is hardly ever called such, except for in isolated incidents. So, pulling someone off a plane might be racist, but since there is a "real" threat from Islamicists, screening Muslim men is a legitimate consideration. But tell me what is the "real" in the threat, please, because I have yet to see it, and things have gotten so blurry that it seems as long as there is a Middle East, and as long as there is Islam, Americans will think there is a threat. What is this besides racism? If you paint with a broad enough brush, everyone is a potential terrorist, and we are in a renewed stage of American expansionism, or if we are calling things by their true names, imperialism.

2 comments:

A Muslim in America said...

Unfortunately, we have brought this upon ourselves.....prior to 9/11 we were living a pretty good life in the US. Obviously we are now going to be looked upon with suspicion. Either we work to correct this perception or we get out of the US and go back to our own country. Like the UAE folks say about expatriates living in the UAE....."if you don't like it here, you are free to leave the UAE at any time". Ditto for us Muslims living in the US!!!

Pondering American said...

Good Grief where to start.

First there were several reason for the Iraq invasion. (/11 If I remember right really was never a big reason as in IRaq was behind 9/11. But anywho we shall leave Iraq for a second

Have you been paying attention? Did you notice that little plot the UK just broke up with all the Jetliners. PErhaps I am mistaken and maybe that was a dream. Oh and that plot a few months back that was foiled in Canada. LEts not forget that

One reason that we have not been attacked is because we are on the hunt and on alert and inho very lucky

Race- We must be very careful that Racism does not enter into this. When people are scared that is always a danger. BUt I must say to equate Racism with huge War on terror is pretty silly.

This is a war against a evil political though hiding behind religion. That is what we are war at not radical Islam.

If you got some suggestions of how this should be combatted let me know

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