Where did this concept of the 'Post-9/11 Era' come from? Seriously, where? I'm confused. And tired of hearing the term used as an excuse for pre-emptive strikes, a war which by definition can not end until this world does, and the idea that everything was all hunky-dory and on the way to communal bliss before the Twin Towers collapsed.
I have a problem with this. I strongly suspect that existence was not substantively different in 2000, or even subtly different in fundamental ways. Tragic as they were, the events of 9/11 didn't bring about a new era of international and national politics. Or at least I'm not convinced they should have.
Terrorism isn't actually anything new. Nothing under the sun is, if the writer of Ecclesiastes is to be believed. Ever since the Fall, there have been two kinds of people on Earth. Those who kill people, and those who manage to get by with just considering it fleetingly once or twice. People kill people for lots of reasons, but most of them have to do with power, and they always have. Terrorism isn't any different. The attack on the World Trade Center certainly wasn't the first attack of this type on US soil. If I remember correctly, the next previous major attack of this type was the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building. Timothy McVeigh wasn't even a member of an overseas terrorist organization. But that's neither here nor there. I already stated my most important point. Terrorism is nothing new.
When I first heard the term 'War on Terrorism', I suspected it was a reactionary move, and that it would disappear in a year or two; or maybe drift into some sort of beg-the-world-to-do-more-to-help-each-other tactic. I still suspect it was a reactionary move; so much of what happened right after the attack was. Not that all reactionary moves are bad, they just tend to be less well thought-out. And the War on Terrorism continues on. It, together with the idea of a post-9/11 era in which all bets are off, is used as an excuse for all and sundry; invasion of a sovereign nation later found to be not quite so closely tied to terrorists, and not as much of a threat as previously thought, some sort of weird new type of person called an 'enemy combatant', and admitted spying on US citizens. The War on Terrorism also, by definition, can't end. Wars on ideologies pretty much never do.
There will always be terrorism. It's not really possible to perform a few surgical strikes and fix all the world's problems. Nor is it possible to give everyone a democratic government and expect that to fix all the world's problems. Nor is it possible to make terrorism go away by acting as if we've suddenly realized it exists. If 9/11 ushered in a new era, it's only because having this be a new era, well, makes for a lot of excuses. That sounds kind of harsh; but I'm tired of living with excuses. And I'm really tired of hearing 'post-9/11 era' and 'War on Terrorism' all the time. After five years, those excuses are no longer valid.
My grandpa died today. I think far more people will mourn him than he would ever have been willing to admit.
I thought about saying lots of nice things. I could, you know; he did lots of nice things. He really was kind and compassionate and humble and funny and all the things people say at funerals and memorial services. But in the end, they're just words. I, and everyone else who knew him knew what he was like, and how much we'll miss him.
Right, then. See you later, Grandpa.
In the midst of my recent contemplations on life, liberty, and my pursuit of a nice quiet life, I would like to point out that it is extremely cold outside. Six below currently, I think.
You may now return to your regularly scheduled weekend.