September 11, 2007
Remember the 2,974I understand how Ezra Klein feels:
I felt a bit conflicted about writing this post. What you want to do is remember an awful crime. What you end up doing is invoking a Republican talking point. That is all that remains of the term "9/11." As Gary Kamiya correctly points out, 9/11 need hardly be remembered: The President won't stop bringing it up."Yet those who use 9-11 as a battlecry don't have trouble with their icons bashing the very city where the tragedy occurred and demonizing the widows of the 9-11 dead. Even their leading presidential contender who wraps the tragedy of 9/11 around himself doesn't have a problem appearing with said bile-spewing icon at an event that supposedly remembers, you guessed it... 9-11.
It's revolting how the war-hungry right has appropriated 9-11 so completely by exploiting our collective grief to launch an unjustified war. Gary Kamiya in his excellent Salon article said it best:
Sept. 11 is a totemic date for the Bush administration. It justifies everything, explains everything, ends all argument. It is the crime that must be eternally punished, the wound that can never heal, the moral high ground that can never be taken. Bush's reaction to 9/11 was to declare a "war on terror," of which the Iraq adventure was said to be the "front line." The American establishment signed off on this war because of 9/11. To oppose Bush's "war on terror" was to risk another terror attack and dishonor our dead. The establishment has now turned against the Iraq front, but it has not questioned the "war on terror" itself, or the assumptions on which it is based.Even now, and on this very day, the exploitation continues.
Meanwhile, the rest of us who are appalled by their bastardization of this tragedy are castigated for not joining in. Oh, please. Spare us your mockery of indignance. Just because we don't share your penchant for publicly invoking 9-11 every chance you get doesn't mean your grief is any more relevant.
Rather, like Ezra Klein, I prefer to remember the 2,974:
9/11 has been robbed of its significance. It no longer lights up the neurons recalling an American tragedy, but instead activates [one] that understand political strategy. I hate them for that. So this isn't a 9/11 remembrance. We've never been allowed to forget 9/11. Not for an instant. What we have been allowed to forget is 2,974 individuals who perished in that attack, who didn't die because they wanted to invade Iraq or because they thought Republicans were insufficiently competitive in elections, but because they were murdered. Remember them.
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