Fourteen years. So much has happened. So much upon which to reflect.
Did we respond correctly? Did we over-react? In the UK, we have yet another Inquiry (the Chilcot Inquiry), dragging on interminably, likely to spread a whole new swathe of blame on politicians we grew to distrust a long time ago. Does anyone care? Is the Labour Party about to elect a complete outsider as its new Leader because it cares that its politics got way out of touch? Or is the Party about to get even further out of touch? Who exactly is the 'ordinary person' any more? Do they even bother to speak up or vote? At the national, state, town or co-op level?
The body politic in Washington, a body we folks are pretty sure is out of touch with everyone, except possibly the aliens I have been told in and around innumerable book interviews in the past two weeks are the ones actually controlling our planet. That body politic is today, while remembering 9/11, overjoyed with itself for having drawn a new red line with a different country in the Middle East, in its efforts to impose will in a region of the world it has no business imposing its will. A red line which all are privately agreed is little more than a green light for more war further down the road.
War which is privately welcomed in some circles. For war is the very best showcase for the devastating weaponry so many of the world's so-called advanced economies like to sell wherever they can (cf. the DSEI London Arms Fair, taking place next week - the largest arms fair in the world, 30,000 arms dealers). And often to both sides.
As my book, Maggie's Hammer, makes clear, how can one expect politicians to oppose war, when their industry is dependent on it for exports, and the politicians themselves may derive benefit from arms bribes?
Furthermore, how can one specifically expect government in the UK to oppose meddling in hot spots around the world (cf. the UK's newly unveiled drone attack program), when that meddling is bought and paid for by the US government, to allow the latter to avoid Congressional oversight (you actually think Mr and Mrs White Van - the UK equivalent of NASCAR man - want their government to be pursuing its own drone attack program?).
Heaven forbid I ever talk about the military-industrial complex. I am a sagely idealistic cynic. I believe what I see, what I hear, what I can prove through sensible questioning of a subject first-hand (the essence of my investigative style in the book). I don't believe in conspiracy theories. If I saw it, it was real. Not a theory. If it makes sense, and reality evidences it, then it is sensible rationale. Not theory.
But, with arms bribes, and the unholy agreement between the UK and the US, for the former to do the latter's dirty work around the world (most recently evidenced in Syria, with the arming of the al-Nusra Front and the aforementioned drone attacks), let's just say there is pressure for armed conflict to happen.
Also, when one creates that pressure, and war follows, and that war is obliterating due to the devastating nature of the new weaponry now on offer, you not only create the hordes of refugees now gathering at the doors to Europe, you also convince a few angry people that maybe those exporting war need a taste of what it is like to have war imposed upon them. That is what happened on 9/11. And it is clear to me that, fourteen years later, we have learned absolutely nothing.
And so. Today. I remember. I grieve for those lost. On that day and in the response since. I hurt for those still wounded or traumatized. I honor the first responders everywhere, who put the lives of others ahead of their own. I salute the men and women who choose a job I would not perform, and try to keep us safe at night. And I abhor the soul-less politicians, who continue to make policy that makes war, and who then send the sons and daughters of those less fortunate to fight those wars, often for no reason other than their own greed.
Through it all, I remain the idealistic cynic. I continue to write. To advocate. To lighten with my music. Believing that it will all have been worth it, if I can but change the mind of one person. If I am permitted to make the life of one other person a little easier.