Saturday, September 11, 2004

September 11, 2004

I remember that morning, as all Americans do. I remember watching the towers which so powerfully defined New York fall into an unimaginable cloud of dust. I felt like I could hear the cries of all those who died that day. I knew my Dad and my sister were somewhere in the city, and I called into work to tell my boss that I wasn't going anywhere until I knew they were okay. As I watched everything unfold, in the back of my mind, I knew why it was all happening...

In the shock wave of 9/11, Americans united, but this union was short lived. Thoughts of love and compassion turned to revenge. Blame was assigned, a rift divided our global family, and our President proclaimed that the perpetrators of this crime "hated freedom." Instead of questioning the true reasons for the attack of 9/11, Americans amplified their presence around the world, and billigerently set out to make things right...

We've failed to learn our lessons. We've only perpetuated the conditions that brought violence to American soil. Christ teaches us to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek. Many Christians today think this is "weak" and that "the terrorists" will destroy us all if we follow the example of Christ. To them I say THINK BIGGER. It's easy to combat violence with violence. It's easy to say "they are evil, they deserve to die." The lessons of human history teach us that we often jump to conclusions without knowing the whole truth. The lessons of history teach us that violence is the only outcome of unresolved social conflict. Violence is cyclical; it feeds from itself, and it is an addictive disorder that our "civilization" can't seem break. Christ saw this. His advise? Read the sermon on the mount... I think you'll find it in Luke.

Shortly, I will explain "the case for oil." Our "war on terrorism" is two faced. On one hand, it represents a 21st century clash of cultural traditions amplified by post modern ambiguities and cultural deconstruction. On the other hand, it represents humanity's oldest nemisis... war as a by product of cultural relativism.

In one corner are the Islamic fundamentalists and their radical militant ideologies. They fight to defend their way of life from western secularism and economic imperialism. In the other corner, WE stand ready to fight them... to defend what? Our home? Why did "they" attack us first? Is it because we did something to THEM first? What could that be?

It has been the objective of American foreign policy for decades to control the politics of the middle east that we might stabilize the region for the sake of economic prosperity... gotta have that oil! This is why we supported Saddam when he gassed the Kurds and the Iranian soldiers. This is why our CIA trained Usama Bin Ladin and his Mujahaddin (pre Al Qeada) to defend Afghanistan from the Soviets. This is why we support the Saudi royal family as they perpetuate their own humanitarian crimes. This is why we so faithfully support Israel as it defiantly occupies U.N. mandated Palestinian soil. On top of that, Israel posses nuclear weapons, which is also in violation of U.N. resolution, but we don't talk about that... all of this so that we could drive our big cars and inflate our economy.

9/11 was an act of Karma. We've been dishing it out for a long time; it was inevitable that our policies would come back and bite us. Don't get me wrong, I'm a pacifist and I believe violence of any sort is wrong. To this day, my heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11. I wish I could tell them that their loss wasn't in vain... but we haven't learned our lessons...

I say this as an American and a humble Christian.

It's not too late to change our ways... the future of human civilization depends on this... violence is the way of all animals. This doesn't make us human; it only proves the truth of our evolutionary heritage. We need to use our God given brains for once; violence is ONLY the tool of the weak.

If only we could follow the example of Christ...

11 Comments:

Blogger redhairblueface said...

You say that we should love our enemies. What love would an administration be showing those families in New York if it decided to turn pacifist and embrace their attackers?

The fact is Gabe, since the Fall, the world has been messed up. Indeed, its been fucked up. We as people need to deal with it in our personal ways. If you as an individual choose to turn the other cheek, then by all means turn the other cheek, but if a government, whose resposibility is to the saftey of its citizens makes that cheek turning its national policy, that government has no legitimacy.

Would the world be great if there were no violence? Sure. In the meantime, there are terrorist groups around the world that target civilians, civilians who did nothing more than go to work that day. They shroud their hate in a religion and teach their kids that suicide is noble. They treat women as property and fight to maintain a stranglehold on political tyranny in their respective regions. Our destruction is their stated goal. We need to deal with this, now. If we don't, you might need to call your boss and instead of telling him or her that you can come into work the next day because you know your family is ok, you may be calling in for a day off because you have to attend their funeral.

7:13 PM  
Blogger sourmonkey said...

Redhairblueface,

Thanks for your comments. I understand what you're saying, and I would agree with it whole heartedly if it weren't for one thing... reality. The reason why I advocate pacifism is because I believe that we are truly at fault in this war on terrorism. Al Qeada may have planned 9/11, but what was the fuel that ignited such hatred for America?

We are our own worst enemy. Our economic consumption has driven us into foreign lands where we're not wanted. It compells us to make deals with dirty regimes around the world. 9/11 was karma.

Okay, so let's throw the example of Christ out the window (who needs it anyway). In the nuclear age (and oh, this is just the beginning), escalating violence needs to be avoided at ALL costs. Nuclear weapons are only the tools of genocide, and America has more of these at the ready than any other country.

My point is that American foreign policy is to blame for 9/11. The "terrorists" which supposedly threaten our lives are only reacting to decades of American politicla aggression in the middle east. We need to stop fueling the flames of this hatred. This is the ONLY true way to combat "terrorism." To kill is to die.

You live by the sword, you die by the sword.

We need to use our God given brainsfor Christ's sake, and the sake of our future children on Earth...

11:56 PM  
Blogger redhairblueface said...

Gabe, this is Michael. I have changed my name for purposes unholy and secret. When are you going to quit blaming yourself for the actions of others? That mentality is going to lead to our "empire" collapsing, not some sort of half-baked notion that our businesses are crippling the third world.

Secondly, you are looking back through history and choosing times to stop arbitrarly so that you can make your point. You want to blame McDonalds because they can somehow make a profit in a region of the world where they are hated. How you explain that, I don't know. Why not blame the British for their religious persecution before America was ever founded? Were it not for them, America would be a much different place today, huh? Go back all the way to the beginning to the Fall and realize that we need to quit blaming ourselves and deal with problems. That is the point of the Fall. We inhereted problems to be dealt with.

If you are on the road and your tire has a blowout, do you sit there for hours pondering why it blew or the moral implications of buying Firestones instead of Goodyears? Do you wring your hands, over and over and over again, until eventually you're an old man on the freeway crying because your tire blewout 50 years ago? No, you look at the problem and you do what you can to fix it, REGARDLESS of why the problem happened.

As much as you would like it to be, the problem is not with me or you, but it is with people who maintain power by sending kids to run into coffee shops and blow themselves up. It is with people who subsidize the remaining family members of suicide bombers. There can be no peace with these people running around and there can be no reasoning with people who think like them.

2:40 PM  
Blogger sourmonkey said...

Hey Michael... are you going to the new Coffee and Culture... or whatever they call it? How's it going?

Once again, I see what you're saying. I use to feel the same way. It's easy to see the world that way. It's easy for me to say arbitrary statements which, although idealistic, may not resemble reality. Your analogy for "idealistic" problem solving is a bit cliche, though.

Our "war on terrorism" is complex... right? I would argue that the REASONs why we have the problems we have in society all stem from the perceptive limitations of the human mind. Civilization is fragile, and history supports this. It is always shifting and evolving. As cultural spheres of influence bump, conflict arises, and if this conflict isn't resolved symbolically, violence ensues. A CIA trained guerrilla fundamentalist heads a scheme to attack the U.S. mainland with commercial airliners. Why did UBL do this?

To use your analogy for fixing a flat tire. YOU want to fix it and drive away as efficiently as possible, right? I will do the same thing, EXCEPT that I will ALSO figure out WHY I got the flat tire in the FIRST place. Then, I'll alter my BEHAVIOR to prevent getting any FUTURE flat tires. In my paradigm, I fight fewer wars, whereas YOU get stuck with flat tire after flat tire after... get the point?

The Bush Administration has made it clear that we're in for a LONG war. HISTORY REVEALS that when empires fight long wars, they die.

By fighting our war on terrorism and perpetuating the cycle of violence we are ONLY insuring the death of our great nation.

The terrorists can't kill us; the only thing they can do is scare us into becoming something we were never meant to be... and it's working.

12:24 AM  
Blogger redhairblueface said...

Extreme Islamic terrorists do what they do because they are extreme Islamic terrorists. We did nothing to deserve having a couple of planes crashed into a couple of our buildings.

Before you say, "They did nothing to have a couple of bombs dropped on their citizens," realize that we have never made their innocent, unarmed citizens a target of violence.

These terrorist fucks have declared war on us. They will fight it to the death. In the mean-time, they will take hostages and saw off their heads until we release their comrades from where.... Iraq!

You blaming yourself, and by extension myself, has lead me to delete your blog's link from my blog.

When you finally come to your senses and realize that a national policy of pacifism in the face of a very real and very lethal enemy is completely wrong-headed, I'll put you back on.

9:13 PM  
Blogger sourmonkey said...

Using the whole boycott trick, eh? Do as you wish, redhairblueface. I'm too lazy to edit my html, so I'm going to leave your link alone. Maybe you can use it to find your way back home after visiting my blog, looking for a sign that I've "come to my senses."

On another forum I've been having a converation about moral relativism. The guy at the other end of the converation believes much the same way that you do. I don't think he's wrong, and likewise I don't think you're wrong. Your perceptions are shaped by certain ideological absolutes which, in reality, are not absolutes. Our "war on terrorism" is the perfect example of moral relativism. Both sides have used religious belief to justify violence. "Terrorism" is AT LEAST as old as civilization itself. Fear is a powerful motivator.

I've been saying this against the wishes the people I talk to. The "war on terrorism" is a war we can't win. Information coming out of intelligence circle is starting to suggest the same thing. Ultimately, our most significant loss will be our American identity and quite possibly the union of our States. Historically, extended and indefinite wars have bankrupted every Empire. We are a part of history; we are neither superior to it nor superior to the reality of universal entropy.

I'll give you a hint. I'm probably not going to "come to my senses." I believe my senses are more than adequate to follow my faith AND my sense of reason.

Pacifism, diplomacy, fiscal responsibility, and alternative energy idependence are the ONLY real ways to survive this clash of civilizations. War is not only a threat to our national security, it is also a threat to the future of our children in uncountable ways.

We started this "war" decades ago when we meddled in middle eastern politics with Machiavellian economic intent. You can believe that our not, but if you don't, you're denying history. This is something Americans LOVE to do. We can wake up and change our behavior, or we can go to war to protect our behavior. How far is your vision?

Moral absolutism yields war.

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