So I’ve been thinking about 9/11 recently, and I think it’s important, really, to “Never forget 9/11”. Just like Pearl Harbor, racial segregation and the Boston tea party, it’s a historical event that can teach us a good deal about increasing the longevity of our country and even our own. I must pause here and say I didn’t want to write country, because I feel patriotism is a queer act that should never be taken seriously, nor disregarded. I feel one should be patriotic for the human race (suck it Neanderthals), but not for a patch of land on a turd of iron. With that said, consider this train un-derailed.
So the lessons 9/11 can teach us are some of the same lessons that Pearl Harbor, racial segregation and the Boston tea party can as well. *Didn’t think I’d tie them together? I got this, just watch. First, why did 9/11 happen? It wasn’t because Osama Bin Laden hated our freedom. It was because of our foreign policy (no, really). While it’s not totally relevant, “The motivations identified for the attacks include the support of Israel by the United States, presence of the U.S. military in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. enforcement of sanctions against Iraq.” What this boils down to is we were seen as oppressing freedom in the middle east. In other words, people’s rights were viewed as being infringed by the Al-Qaeda. Now, getting into the specifics like why we support Israel, why we have military in Saudi Arabia and why Iraq was sanctioned aren’t quite relevant, but through the link earlier, you can learn these things for yourself.
Now we have the motivation; how did it happen? Simply put, terrorists hijacked 4 planes and used them as missiles filled with people for destruction. How was a thing like this possible? Not only simply through a lapse in security, but the fact that securing a nation against all threats, including ones of this magnitude, is simply not possible 100% of the time. What can we do to prevent or mitigate this kind of risk? I’ll get to that at the end. What did we do? Create the Department of Homeland Security, a government entity that had a budget of nearly a hundred billion dollars last year. I say “we” because the people only had a say of who was in charge at the time, not what they did, so “we” is really congress, the senate, and the president.
Before I go further, I’d like to briefly discuss the other mentioned historical events, namely their cause and result.
The Attack on Pearl Harbor
Cause – Culmination of Japanese invasions and expansions of power, including the invasion of Manchuria. The Japanese wished to disable or cripple U.S.’s naval presense so as to allow for continued expansion.
Effect – The U.S. became involved in World War II, and the internment of thousands of Japanese-American citizens.
Cause – Financial motivations, bunk science and ingrown racism. If you read no other links, read this one.
Effect – Blacks in the U.S. not only were disenfranchised, but were legally subdued in their rights as citizens of the U.S.
Boston Tea Party
Cause – Actions by the British government that expanded control and dependence of the colonies on the British government
Effect – Increasing sanctions by the British government and the eventual start of the American Revolutionary War.
In each example, the cause has a common theme; that is the oppression of a people’s right to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness.
In each example, the act has a common theme; that is, the reaction of the people against those who do he oppressing.
In each example, the end result has a common theme; that is, the overreaction of those in charge to maintain order and power over people.
Now, some of that is a bit of a stretch admittedly, however each could be supported by historical events. What each of these events are are opportunities to learn about how to prevent similar events and peer inside humanity itself to better understand how to improve ourselves. From these examples, we can hypothesize a few things:
Those in power, wish to stay in power.
It is very easy for those in power to abuse their power
After the oppressed revolt, those in power tend to exert their power to an even greater degree.
This is either countered with all out aggression or those in power succeed in retaining their power
The things we can learn from all of this is that first, it’s important to recognize oppression and speak out against it wherever it occurs. Second, when an entity gains too much power it becomes inherently dangerous and thus must either be divided or resisted against. Lastly, from all of these events we learn that wherever there is injustice there will always be those, however few they may be, who speak out against it. And even while their voices may not reach us through the looking glass that is history, their words and actions still mattered, and they acted as a people who recognize that freedom and liberty are of paramount importance. And this is our lesson, today, that it is our duty as citizens of the world, as humans on our rock, that we work to guarantee life, liberty, freedom and equality to all people.
So don’t forget 9/11, because we’re not done being affected by it yet.