September 11

Where Were You On September 11?

So goddamned sick of that question.

Yes, it was horrible. Yes, it was a national, and for many, a personal tragedy. Yes, we are scarred as a people and a nation.

But does anyone remember what happened on September 12? And thereafter?

Islamophobia kicks into high gear. Islamists are discriminated against, harassed, and beaten. Mosques are vandalized. On September 12, Army recruiters show up at schools and scores students join, caught up in a nationalistic fervor. The result? A 20-year engagement in which the death toll of U.S. soldiers (not to mention civilians) far, far, FAR surpassed the number of those unfortunates who died when the planes hit, the Twin Towers went down, and a part of the Pentagon was torn apart. And it turned out to be all for naught. The Taliban, the so-called enemy trained by the U.S. military, are now in control of the nation the U.S. was supposed to “save.”

When all this started, I remember reading an article in which the author interviewed Russian soldiers who’d fought in Afghanistan before the U.S. barged in. One soldier called it “Russia’s Vietnam.” Another said the U.S. forces would never defeat them because the Taliban would just retreat into the rugged, cave-dotted mountains where they would never be found, a terrain on which it was impossible to fight. A third called it suicidal. And a fourth–well, he laughed and said, “good luck.”

I suppose here would be a good place to mention that the U.S. military trained the… Continue reading