I remember watching the events of September 11 unfold live, and being very upset and disturbed by them. Even as a stupid teenager, I never liked the US foreign policy based on the very little that I knew and understood back then. However, I fully supported US bombing the shit out Afghanistan.
Today, I saw the following image shared on Facebook by a friend, and it inspired me to write this post.
It's always important to see the big picture, and not miss the forest for the trees. Since 911 roughly, 100,000,000 people have died from hunger, which is a total of 30,000 911's in the last 11 years or over seven 911's per day.
You tell me what is worse one: 911 in 11 years, or seven of them EVERY DAY.
But it's so mundane, and boring - right? Who cares about dirty little children dying in dirty little countries you can't even locate on the map. Almost nobody. This is not a rhetorical question, or speculation - it's a statement of fact.
You don't really care, and I don't care. Our actions speak for themselves, and it's pointless to deny it.
If you got a flat tire today, you'd be more upset than if tens of thousands of innocent people died from hunger somewhere far away. Well, they actually did die today. In fact, a few just died in the time that it took you to read that sentence. But you don't really
care all that much.
I'll speak for myself and say that I could feed myself a complete and nutritious diet for about $2 per day, which would have sufficient proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It wouldn't be very tasty, and it would be repetitive. However, for the difference in the price I could easily feed 5 people and save them from starvation. But I won't do that, and you won't either. We just really do fucking care more about a tasty meal more than about saving someone we don't know personally from starvation.
Oh yes, we'd much rather get that sixth pair of shoes, twentieth t-shirt, or make ourselves feel good by spending $1T to kill Bin Laden and chant "USA, USA, USA..." like a horde of morons in front of the White House at night, while sending many more Americans (or Canadians, and Australians, etc) to die overseas.
The politicians we elect blow $1,000,000,000,000 (holy shit, it's hard to keep track of all those zeroes) on counter-terrorism activities, while bathtubs, and car accidents kill THOUSANDS of times more people than terrorists every year - [link]
That means that hundreds of millions of dollars
are being spent for every life saved from terrorists. It's pointless to argue: this is a HUGE misallocation of resources! By simply using that money for healthcare or education, we could save the lives of thousands of times more people. Oh, and that one TRILLION doesn't even include the cost of overseas wars, or the lives lost in them - that's just domestic stuff like the patriot act, TSA agents fondling children's genitalia at airports, drones spying into your bathroom window, etc.
While trillions of dollars were laundered by the military industrial complex bringing "freedom" to a few countries in the middle east, and taking freedoms and privacy away from us in the West, hardly a mention is given to the more important problems facing the world. What has been the bigger tragedy - 911, or the horrendous and disproportional response by the American government and public? In my opinion, the latter.
Oh sure, America got screwed by some terrorists on 911. But guess what? It's not that big of a deal compared to what came later at the hands of Bush and Obama. Terrorists only blew up a few buildings and killed a few thousand people. The puny bearded virgin imbeciles with a love for killing the innocent never had a chance of bringing us down.
But, as always, our own governments to the rescue. Bush and Obama substantially eroded the core values
of western society - freedom of speech, habeas corpus, and the right to be defended in a court of law.
Indefinite detention without trial? You got it. Some people have been in Guantanamo for 11 years without ever being charged. Obama promised to close it as part of his hope and change, but now the gutless media won't hold him to account.
Assassination of US citizens (or anyone, really) without ever being charged with a crime? You got it. al-Awlaki, and more importantly his 16 year old son born in Colorado murdered via drone strike. Can you imagine being the mother of the boy, and having him killed by the government? I mean let's weigh her options here. There's not a shit she can do to hold anyone accountable. She won't even get media time. Suddenly, that suicide vest is starting to look like a sound option.
Right to privacy? Gone with the Patriot Act which Bush passed, and Obama pledged to repeal. But I knew that lying excuse of a slick politician would never do that. Neither would Romney or McCain, by the way. Yeah, he just extended it instead.
All of that thrown under the train for something that is a thousand times less dangerous than bathtubs and bad roads.
I know that many of you will find this post distasteful, rude, and very inconsiderate despite all the facts that I presented arguing to the contrary. I think that overcoming the emotional baggage and analyzing the facts is a very important and underrated skill. If you feel strongly about 911, perhaps the politicians have you by the balls, and can easily get away with achieving their ends while skillfully playing on your feelings.
Oh, and let's set the record straight. In my opinion, 911 was not an inside job. If you think it was, I have nothing but contempt and ridicule for your critical faculties. I had many questions about what happened after watching some pseudo-documentaries on Youtube, but all these questions had expansive and detailed answers. There were no explosives, building seven didn't collapse at free fall speeds, etc.
Do I feel respect for the victims of 911? Not really, because they are dead. I feel much more respect, and indeed optimism and hope for the future, for the people who are still alive but dying from hunger or curable diseases. They can be saved by the million at a low cost, while our freedoms and rights are also protected. Innocent life is on sale today - 99.999% off the government-inflated counter-terrorism price. Are you buying?
PS Please keep this - [link]
- question and the poll results in mind as you reflect on this post.