Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Truest statement of the week


The constant demand that we “Never forget!,” the events of September 11, 2001 is rather laughable. Forgetting is difficult after enduring 20 years of war propaganda. News stories about that day are plentiful albeit useless, that is to say they add nothing to our understanding of why the U.S. was attacked and depend upon sentiment, jingoism, and tried and true claims of exceptionalism to maintain fear, hatred, and support for war.

The aftermath of September 11 gets surprisingly short shrift but it is just as important as the who, what, when, where, why, and how of that date. It was just three days later that the Senate and House of Representatives voted to begin what are now called the forever wars. On September 14, 2001 California’s congresswoman Barbara Lee cast the lone vote against the Authorization for Use of Military Force. It gave George W. Bush broad authority to “use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001…”

The 9/11 event isn’t forgotten, but the near universal approval of the attack on Afghanistan is rarely mentioned now. The corrosive impact of that war on international and domestic law is also swept under the rug. In the past 20 years presidents have claimed the right to kill anyone they claim is a threat, deny the right to civilian trials, and gather and keep electronic information on everyone in the United States. These assaults on human rights have been largely forgotten, as the shock of the day turned otherwise intelligent people into supporters of aggression.


-- Margaret Kimberley, "20 Years of Post 9/11 Amnesia" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).





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