save the public option
privilege meme: owning it or bragging about it?

Year Eight: Going on

9-11Moi     the way of it

the old grow older
their bodies betray them
the young meet
senseless, untimely ends
grief descends
in her crow’s plumage
to pick
living bones

and nothing stops

not even our own hearts
filled with ashes

© Lee Kottner, 2009

RIP, innocent victims.

Every now and then I catch myself at an intersection looking up and still expecting to see the Towers. I did this the other day when I was looking down Fifth Ave. from 19th Street, where they used to be clearly visible. No matter what goes up there to replace them, the sight is going to be jarring for a long time, as jarring as seeing nothing there. But eventually, it won't seem so wrong. Eventually, it'll be normal. Eventually, those of us who were living here that day will be gone and the event will be just another part of our city's history.

I wish we could erase the last eight years as easily as that memory. If 9/11 didn't change our city as much as we feared it would, eight years of the regime that was then in power certainly changed our country, and not in a good way. What terrorists couldn't do (wreck us financially), our own unchecked, unregulated, unpunished greed did. When the world stood by us in our tragedy, the Bushies turned it against us with an unprovoked war and aggression. if our own fear in the aftermath didn't turn the city into a high-security, civil rights hell, the propaganda of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney scared the rest of the country into surrendering their right to privacy, protections against unlawful search and seizures, and free speech. Worst of all, when few New Yorkers I knew then wanted us to rush in and kill anyone else in retaliation, the Bush regime led us into being not just retaliatory, eye for an eye killers, but worse, torturers. Mean policies from small, power-hungry men.

Like Pearl Harbor, the attack on the Twin Towers could have been a moment to bring not just U.S. citizens but the world together in common cause. Instead, it was used to divide us, to push forward the personal paranoia, single-minded greed, and power hunger of a minority of arrogant bastards who thought (and still think) they were above the law.

It wasn't an attack from outside that really hurt us, though it killed nearly 3,000 innocent people. it was the machinations of the enemy within that has made us so much less than we were and given voice to our own brand of extremism. And that's how the terrorists win.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


yes -- exactly!!!!


I am surprised this post has only one comment! Half a world away, I was saying the same things.

The comments to this entry are closed.