Nine Years Later.

We all know what happened on September 11, 2001. No one alive for that can escape memories on this ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks. I’d just like to share a few revelations that I came by a few weeks ago that is rather pertinent to today.

In the height of the mosqueversy, my father found himself looking up the footage from the morning of September 11. We watched the coverage from all of the old news shows and the films by people who were in the vicinity that morning. We saw innumerable shots of the planes flying into the buildings, shots which ought to have been unimaginable, but are now accepted as reality. We even saw some clips of the people jumping. Those are really the shots that prompted me to write this.

Can you imagine being in that position? I can’t. You literally have to choose between burning to death or jumping out of a window. Those are your only two choices left to you as a human being about the direction your life will take. Nothing you did made you deserving of this fate. I honestly cannot fathom what it was like to have to make that choice. But there were people that had to.

What right did those terrorists have to put these people in that position? None. There was nothing that justified the indiscriminate murder of these people who had simply gone to work one morning, as they had done for years or decades before. No one should have the ability to put anyone in a position where they have to choose a slow, agonizingly painful death of fire or an eleven second death of free-falling off of the ledge of a building.

I must admit, thinking about what the terrorists did confused and angered me. How could you do this to someone? How could you justify this to yourself? What right do you have to kill these people, or give them the choice between two terrifying deaths? Almost nine years after it had happened, I was still infuriated at these terrorists. No one should be able to force other people to make those sort of choices.

But the fact is that they can. They have, and they very well might again. I’d just like to ask everyone to think about the kinds of horrors that people have done in the name of groups. Religious, nationalistic and social affiliations have caused uncountable deaths over the course of time. The Crusades, the World Wars, all of the civil wars throughout the world, the Ku Klux Klan, the IRA, these are all examples of unnecessary deaths motivated by group ties. The fallacy inherent in that is that these groups are somehow more valuable than the individuals of which they are comprised.

But the individual is traditionally, in America, the exalted form of society. We are guaranteed individual rights by the Constitution and our justice system was set up so that the individual has many protections against the establishment or state. We are spoken to of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that’s what we’ve come to expect. We’ve got to have our lives and liberties in order to get a chance at happiness. But in the name of groups and their all-important goals, we lose liberties and, oftentimes, lives.

Sometimes we–“we” being humans–have the tendency to make important decisions based on the actions of a few in the name of many. Sometimes we tend to ignore the trees for the forest, if I might paraphrase a bit.

What I propose is that we stop hating people based on their group affiliations. Stop hating the Muslims because of what the terrorists did. Stop hating all Americans because of the foreign policy made by a few people who have been dead or out of office for decades. Hell, stop hating all Americans because of the foreign policy crafted by those who have recently left office. If you’re going to hate someone, do it because of what he or she did. If you want to hate me, do it because you hate something I’ve done. Hate me because I insulted you or because I hit you and didn’t apologize or because I wouldn’t let you copy my paper. But don’t hate all libertarians or Americans or white people or women because of what I did. And don’t hate me because I’m an American and you don’t like what some other American did.

What I propose is that we keep the individual at the forefront of our thoughts when we make decisions. Before saying that you can sacrifice the lives of a few because it may advance progress toward a certain goal of a particular group, think about it. The motivations are not the same, surely, but the result may be. People, real, breathing humans, may be forced to make the decision between two certain deaths because of what we do.

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One Response to “Nine Years Later.”

  1. Jay Travis Says:

    Alyx,
    While the idea behind what you are proposing is reasonable and well-intentioned, it overlooks one critical detail. The ONLY person you can define by it, is YOU. You can choose to be a steadfast pacifist if you believe in that as the solution. But the problem is that you are not the person who flew those planes, or the people who gave them that command, or the people who blindly follow those fatwahs because they sincerely believe that to do otherwise is an eternal damnation to their vision of hell.

    It is not what you or I choose that matters, because we are not the ones blowing up others. We are not out there killing people because someone burns a Bible or the American flag. And we are not the ones whose faith commands us to kill anyone else who dares to disagree with us or whose actions offend us. Not yet, anyway.

    But there’s the rub- while you are discussing fairness and tolerance and individual accountability, THEY are stuck by THEIR choices in a backwards, 7th century cult that only accepts or respects violence as a tool of religious and political will. They don’t want to “give peace a chance.” They want to kill you, and me, and every other American who refuses to live in dhimmitude or convert and obey their system- simply because we are not of their cult. There is no “live and let live” in islam, and the past 700 years around the world flies in the face of the “religion of peace” lie that they are selling people here.

    The reality is that regardless of what WE might want or think, THEY are still fighting the Crusades. THEY are still marching to take over the world and rid it of ALL infidels. (Yes, EVEN the ones who cry for tolerance towards them)

    We didn’t fly into those towers 9 years ago. We didn’t go bomb Mecca and Medina the next day- although IF we had made that our official stated policy, that the next attack on US soil or US citizens by jihadists would result in a nuclear missile attack on both of their holy sites without any further discussion, without any UN resolutions or permission from our enemies- then we would not be seeing as much of this as we are now. IF we had simply gone after Bin Laden and his associates and destroyed them where they were hiding, along with ANY country that gave them safe harbor, then we would have made the point to them in a language THEY understand, and in a manner THEY would respect and take seriously. But the cries for tolerance and peace; they see those as merely a sign of weakness and an invitation to further their attacks upon us around the world and here at our home.

    I’ve read enough of your blog to respect you and to understand where you are coming from. You have a good heart, Alyx. But I have to disagree with you on this issue. You don’t stop a rabid dog from attacking your children by blowing a whistle- you put yourself between it and them, and you fight it by any means necessary to protect those you love. This is no different. Islam does not make allowances for your best intentions, and while you may know individual muslims whom you consider friends, that does not change what their religion/political ideology commands of them, as muslims. Nor does it make any of us any safer to turn to appeasement with them.

    Remember Neville Chamberlain- “Peace in our time…” It failed with Mr. Hitler and his ideology in the 1930s, and it will do so again with islam today. “Today, Germany; Tomorrow the world!” is not that far from “Convert or die”. I say better to take Ronald Reagan’s approach to the Soviet Union in the Cold War- Make it perfectly clear that we are willing and able to crush them, and will do so without hesitation at the next sign of attack on their part. Si vis pacem; para bellum.

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