Five Years After

September 11th, 2006 at 3:35 pm by Mark
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     Sometimes a picture’s worth a thousand words.
     Other times, they’re worth ten thousand.  I’ll try not to write them all down.

     Throughout my travels, I actually have very few pictures, let alone pictures of me.  That’s why this one is so special to me.  It was taken 28-Dec-2000.

 Mark Steel in front of the WTC

     Nine months later, those beautiful landmarks were gone.  I was in a foreign country having abuse and saliva hurled at me by random morons with their, “Fucking yanks got what you deserved!” and other such slanders.
     Mind you, “screaming” is considered a violent act there, and they had a tendency to make examples of non-citizens, so I had to either take the abuse or take my chances beating on some of them.
     Door number two was easier, knowing that I could go home and shave my hair and beard, and they’d be too stupid to know it was me if they saw me again.

     Contrary to popular belief, the 9/11 attacks took little to pull off.  That’s the one thing the public doesn’t like to hear.
     It wasn’t the work of a brilliant, criminal mastermind with an endless supply of money.  All it took was a few idiots with the nerve and will to actually do it.
     I was out there, and I know first hand that there are a lot of idiots in the world, with the will to do it.  Fortunately, few of them have the nerve, but the possibility has always been there, and continues to be there.

     “There was no problem before this stupid President!  We could travel anywhere under the last one!”
     Even through the 90’s, foreign travel was discouraged to “ALL COUNTRIES, DUE TO HIGH POSSIBILITY OF ANTI-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES.”  These notices were in every Post Office and Airport in the country.  Surely I’m not the only one who noticed them.
     But certainly, after 9/11, it got worse.  Half the world saw America as weak, saw that retribution could be had for whatever made-up reasons we needed it, and apparently, all it took was a few plane tickets and some box cutters.

     “We shouldn’t be in Iraq since it had nothing to do with 9/11!”
     We unhinged Afghanistan because there were camps training armies of Jihaadists.  These things are all over the Middle East, as well.
     Regardless of whether or not Iraq had anything to do with it, two facts remain.  First, it was an unsecure country with  tons of munitions.  Second, a stabilized Iraq dead in the middle of a Jihaadist region is a perfectly good thing.
     For Iraqis who are fed up with Totalitarian control, isn’t it nice to see them on television now wearing Levis and playing soccer instead of being terrorized by a leader who has had no qualms about killing them by the hundreds of thousands?
     And for Jihaadists … Iraq is a poison pill where the majority of them will face the front, and die for their cause, without killing as many innocent civillians as they have for last thirty years.

     “You’re more likely get killed by lightning than killed by a terrorist!”
     Maybe that’s true.  But maybe it’s only true of now, post-9/11, because we certainly didn’t think it would happen on 10-Sep-2001, now did we?
     Realistically, the NOAA & NWS agree that there were 3684 reported deaths by lightning between 1959 and 2004.  2997 people died (not including the hijackers) on that single day, 11-Sep-2001.
     Given those statistics, is it really fair, comparing nearly fifty years to a single day?
     Regardless of how we may dislike the new “security” measures at airports, they usually don’t inconvenience us terribly.  Sure, we’ve hit a few bumps lately, but we’ll get through it.

     Without the politics to add fuel to these arguments, they all fall apart.  We can sit here, as citizens, getting a tenth of the story at best, and try to second guess, analyze, and make all these stupid connections to find a single person responsible for the mess.
     Thoughts like that will almost never represent the truth.

     We should remember what life was like, realisticly, before 9/11.  We should remember the day.  We should remember those who died for no reason.  And we should never forget.
     Maybe when we all start doing that, we’ll begin to see some improvement.

9/11 Memorial

Firefighter Memorial

Thanks, Mia, for the last two pictures


One Response to “Five Years After”

  1. Mia Says:

    Excellent! I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with that!