Friday, September 10, 2010
What Nine Years Have Wrought
Here's a headline that puts tomorrow's ninth anniversary of September 11 in some perspective:
U.S. Soldiers Allegedly Killed Afghan Civilians, Kept Body Parts As Trophies
"A dozen U.S. soldiers are charged with organizing a secret 'kill team' which allegedly murdered Afghan civilians at random and cut fingers and other body parts from corpses as trophies. Charging documents released Wednesday shed new light on the cases against 12 soldiers who served a year in southern Afghanistan with a Stryker infantry brigade. The most serious accusations involve five soldiers -- Calvin Gibbs, Adam Winfield, Jeremy Mortlock, Andrew Holmes and Michael Wagnon II -- who are said to have slain three Afghans earlier this year. According to reports, those men would likely be charged with premeditated murder, but may face additional charges relating to obstructing justice, possessing human body parts and retaining mortar rounds for personal use..."
This is Afghanistan they're talking about. You know, the good war, the one supposed to be preventing actual terrorists (as opposed to Saddam's imaginary ones) from attacking the U.S. I wonder who's winning that war? Because it sure looks like it's become a war of terrorist vs. terrorist to me.
Speaking of terrorists, a crazed anti-gay pastor of a microchurch in Florida may or may not have cancelled his plans to burn some holy Qurans to celebrate the anniversary of 911. The crazed anti-gay inbred morons of the Westboro Baptist Church may join in. Meanwhile, Muslim houses of worship in Tennessee and New York State have been targeted by bigots and arsonists. The proposed Islamic community center in downtown Manhattan continues to be attacked by right-wing Republicans, Zionists, and the odd liberal or two. Or three. People in government are actually suggesting Muslim Americans should be deprived of their rights.
All this hate against Muslims. Go on any blog to any discussion of Muslims, mosques or Islam and you'll find commenter after commenter reciting similarly worded tirades about Muslims overrunning Europe, inflicting Sharia law on civil societies, now setting their sights on our shores. Read these comments, these blogs, these news stories. Respectable news organizations ponder American anxiety over Muslims. Change Muslims to Jews. Change Mosque to Synagogue. Change Islam to Judaism. Do you not feel a chill down your spine?
What kind of country is this one becoming? What nation is in the throes of its birth? Who are these people who believe all Muslims share in the collective guilt of September 11? Who are these people who allow that insinuation, whose silence becomes acquiescence? Among the silent are allegedly progressive politicians. They know that the leaders of the Cordoba House initiative have nothing to do with terrorists, no specific links to Al Qaeda, well, as far as they know. But in their silence, or in their weak assertion that perhaps the proposed community center is legally right but morally unwise, they reveal a corruption in their hearts. They're willing to sacrifice Muslims on an altar of intolerance. The Carl Paladinos, Rick Lazios, and Sarah Palins of this world, these are the would-be Goebbelses and Himmlers of our time just waiting for their chance. And those who remain silent while Muslims are dehumanized and demonized and presumed guilty by association, they are the Good Germans who could have said something, but didn't. Nevermind the fact that many of those killed on 911 were Muslims. Nevermind that the biggest victims of Al Qaeda worldwide have been Muslims. Nevermind that Muslims aren't one monolithic mass. Nevermind that most of the tens (hundreds?) of thousands of people killed in the American wars of this new millennium have been Muslims.
"I just have to commit one act and the Americans will destroy themselves..." --Osama bin Laden
Who is winning this war that began on that beautiful and sad morning nine years ago? I don't think it's the good guys. It's another war that needs to end before the cancerous malignant rot at its core metastasizes. So who is profaning the memory of all those innocent people who died on September 11, 2001? It's not the people building mosques.