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11 Sep 01, Five years on

Two years ago, I opened my personal recollection of the events in the US on September 11, 2001 with a quote from New York Times columnist Nicholas D.Kristof. Let me repeat it, for it still rings true:

But as we commemorate the anniversary of 9/11, let’s remember that almost as many people are still dying in Darfur every week as died in the World Trade Center attack.
- Nicholas D.Kristof, New York Times, 11 September 2004

We feel for the people of New York City whose lives were disrupted, and in many cases destroyed, by the actions of suicide radical hijackers on September 11, 2001. They were innocent people going about their daily lives. They were residents and workers in a city thought safe from attack. They were victims of an attack so utterly bewildering in its imagination and audacity.

But we are enabled to feel for the people of New York City most of all because their suffering was televised.

Did we feel for the people of Bam, wiped out by an earthquake in December 2003? Did we hold ceremonies to read the names of the residents of Banda Aceh killed by tsunami in December 2004? Did we feel for the people of Tyre in July 2006 as their city was bombed to pieces by a foreign army seeking revenge for the abduction of two soldiers?

Did we feel for the thousands of Iraqi Kurds in 1988, killed by weapons of mass destruction under the direction of our then-ally Saddam Hussein?

For today, enough of politics. Day in, day out, I feel outrage at the politicisation of 11.9.01 by the executives of White House Halliburton. The total bullshit espoused by Rice, Cheney et al on the Sunday talk shows yesterday demonstrates that the US has moved not one millimetre closer to understanding how poisonous their global ideology has been, and still is.

Time for me to step back and reflect with the people of New York, following events on WBAI and WNYC radio online, following the reportage of the prayers and sermons of the truly Christian clergy of the US. Knowing full well that I, and indeed all of us, can do a damn lot better in understanding our world as a whole.

There's a stack of background reading material Out There of course, but I recommend the Center for Cooperative Research for their exhaustive documentation of known events relating to the events of 11.9.01. And from today's Sydney Morning Herald, Paul McGeough's excellent column, the title of which sums the last five years up quite well:

The world offered unity. It was rejected.