Steven is not able to write very much. Fortunately he was able to write this essay — which applies I think not just to the USA, but also to the Anglo-sphere and to a lesser degree, to the West.
…9/11 didn’t bring us together. It’s true that in the immediate aftermath of the event that we all felt sadness and rage. But not about the same things.
Some of us felt sadness at the terrible loss of lives in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania, and rage at the killers.
Others felt sadness at the terrible loss of life amongst those killed by America and its puppets over the decades, in South America and “Palestine” and Viet Nam, and rage at the blind self-centered Americans who had stood by without caring.
We were all anguished. Some of us were anguished because we feared that there might be further and more devastating terrorist attacks against us. Others were anguished because they feared that this might inspire an entirely new round of bloody military aggression by America against innocent people around the world, and conversion of America into a police state.
We all saw clearly. But some of us were looking in a different direction. Some of us clearly saw the remorseless and ruthless murderers behind the attack, and knew that they were our mortal enemies who would attack us again if they possibly could, no matter what we did. Others were looking inward, and saw what they viewed as an ugly need for revenge amongst Americans.
We all vowed never again. Some of us vowed that we would do whatever it took to make sure that the terrorists didn’t strike us again. Others vowed that they would do whatever it took to make America stop doing all the evil things that had inspired the attack in the first place.
The only consensus on 9/11 was that a terrible tragedy had occurred. There was no consensus as to who was truly responsible. And that is why within hours we began to hear, “Ask yourselves why they hate you.” They knew that America had brought this onto itself; deep down they knew that we deserved it.
We all knew that reform was needed. Some of us thought it was the Arab/Islamic world which needed to reform. Others knew, deep down, that America was the true problem. To try to force reform onto the Arab world would be to renew the very mistakes which had caused the attack in the first place. And to even make the attempt would inspire more and more young Arab men to become terrorists against us, increasing the danger to us.
Some of us felt that the “root cause” of this war was Arab failure, and Arab shame at their failure. The others knew that the “root cause” was American failure, and America’s refusal to feel shame at its failure.
We were not united on 9/11 and we have not been united on any day since. But that is not a weakness. If the people of America are ever 100% united on anything whatever, I will know that the country I love has died.
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