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one year stupider (9-11-2)

I?m tired of empty sentiment and rhetoric. It doesn't matter if we will never forget 9/11 if we don't bother to learn anything from it. It doesn't matter how many flags we fly or how many teary eyed eagles we email back and forth or how many headlights we turn on. The attacks one year ago were not about some small group of disgruntled men out to hurt America. It was just one more turn of the screw we helped build, one more blow to the nail (to mix metaphors just a little) we put in place ourselves.

History does not consist of individual events, isolated from all the rest. It all connects. Each event leads to another. Each results from each. America is ?the Great Satan? because it is a devilish thorn in the backsides of many a nation the world over, not because Muslims hate our freedoms. No one hates our freedoms except those who would try to take them away, the very government that is supposed to be protecting them. Terrorists are not jealous of our way of life. They are sick and tired of us pushing them around, foisting our culture on them whether they want it or not, demanding they all live how we live or at least in line enough that we can use them for what we need and forget about them a moment later.

Now, we all sit back and cheer as our government cracks down on terrorists, stomping on anyone who gets in the way, creating anger and pain every step of the way, birthing newer, and possibly more terrible, threats for future generations to face. Attacking Afghanistan didn?t accomplish a thing except to jumpstart some dormant patriotism, however misguided, in the hearts of some American citizens. Well, that, and waking similar feelings in those we leave behind in our wake, amidst the rubble of our carpetbombing, waking feelings that will run so deep that years down the line, once again, we?ll face attacks like those a year ago.

And, yet, we do not change. We just bully some more, come up with excuses to attack new targets. And, for what? To keep us safe? To make the world a better place? When violence has always and will always only beget more violence, hatred has always and will always only beget more hatred, and those who see us as an annoyance now will want us dead later.

I?m tired of the war on terror.

I?m tired of false states of alert.

I?m tired of waving flags.

I?m tired of 9/11.

I?m tired of being on this planet with so many people who have grown only more pigheaded and unquestioningly patriotic in the past year.

I?m tired of being one of the Great Satan?s bastard children.

I?m tired of worrying about how my life will only be made worse by those claiming to be protecting it.

I?m tired of empty sentiment and rhetoric.