10th anniversary of 9/11: a time for sanity

You may have noticed that there’s a significant anniversary approaching. Ten full years since an appalled, baffled populace watched open-mouthed as first one aeroplane, then another, hurtled into the twin towers of the World Trade Cente, what has now become known as Ground Zero. Almost as long since the ‘war on terror‘ was declared and led to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. And Libya? Well, that isn’t couched in the language of the ‘war on terror’ (what government would be silly enough to try and keep selling that one to us now?), but is it really that different?

It’s still the removal of the leader of another nation (albeit a dictator), supposedly for the good of the country’s people, but probably motivated by a whole swath of more sinister concerns. Admittedly, the narrative looks rather different. On this occasion, NATO seems to have the backing of an indigenous rebellion. Even that may be exaggerated, however, or even wholly untrue. And, sadly, the real battle for Libya’s future may be just beginning.

So, as we prepare to remember the 3,000 people who lost their lives in one horrific incident, we’re also mindful of the thousands more who have been subjected to military bombardment in the name of making the planet safer. No, it doesn’t make sense to us, either.

If the tenth anniversary of 9/11 is good for anything, it’s for the kind of quiet, sombre reflection we needed so sorely a decade ago, and which was so grotesquely lacking from our leaders (yet not, on the whole, from those with so much more reason to be enraged ~ those who lost loved ones in 9/11). Remember being told that what we really needed to do was to go shopping? The time’s come to stop shopping, and to grieve. Quietly. Sanely. Nobly. For all those lost ten years ago, and all those lost since then in waves of futile, destructive war.

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