When someone leaves their valuables lying in the front seat of their car with the doors unlocked, we can all understand that it's partly their fault if someone robs them. While the robber, of course, is the person most responsible for the decision to commit the crime, the owner of the car shares blame for not securing his possessions.
I just got done watching the news coverage of the tenth anniversary of 9/11. My heart churned with sorrow for the thousands of people who lost parents, siblings, children and loved ones on that day. Seeing children mourning fathers who they never got a chance to know was painful in a way I can't describe.
But my heart also burned with anger to see George W. Bush addressing the crowd at Ground Zero, quoting Abraham Lincoln and saying that God would help us through our sadness.
For starters, there's the fact that this is the same God the terrorists worshiped. The one they believe sanctified their holy war. The God that originated in their region, and yet we somehow believe that he's on *our* side. So maybe we ought to stop pretending in him once and for all, hm?
But deeper than that, there is the fury that this man stood at the ruins of the Twin Towers, and the crowd did not tear him apart.
I hear a lot of people online talk about 9/11 conspiracies, and it's usually a bunch of insane sci-fi bullshit. Stuff about it being an inside job, committed using hidden explosives and robot planes. It invalidates itself from its sheer ridiculous overcomplexity. These people don't understand that they don't NEED to invent a conspiracy. The truth is so much simpler and so much worse.
The attacks could have been easily prevented, but weren't.
After 9/11, I began to see many, many news reports about how our government had every single piece of information they could have possibly needed to predict and prevent the attacks. But the various departments didn't share the information and put it together. And Bush ignored what warnings managed to reach him.
Whether through arrogance or stupidity, he left us defenseless. He left America's doors unlocked, and the terrorists came right in.
This is not a crazy conspiracy theory. It's what happened. Whatever else you choose to believe, it's inescapable that Bush's administration shares part of the blame for what happened ten years ago. How much blame is a matter of opinion. But it's not zero.
For reasons I can't fathom, we in America (and maybe it's like this everywhere else too) rarely cry for justice when a politician or a corporation commits an unspeakable crime. Maybe it's because sometimes the crimes are simply too big to believe. We can understand the concept of Clinton cheating on his wife. But an American president who allowed three thousand of his own citizens to die through criminal negligence? That seems insane. It's so much easier to turn away from the hard truth and just call him a hero instead because he made a nice speech the day after.
If it's not treason to neglect information that America's enemies are planning an imminent attack on civilians, to use the attacks as a justification to repeal our freedoms and desecrate our constitution, and then to go to war against a country who had nothing to do with the attacks (while ignoring one that certainly did, Saudi Arabia), and cause 4,000 more Americans and 100,000 Iraqis to join the ranks of the dead... To commit a war crime against innocents to avenge a war crime against innocents... If that's not treason, what is?
If there was any justice in the world, Bush, Cheney, and anyone else found responsible for allowing the attacks to occur would be put on trial. They would be found guilty. And they would be hanged.
We've already killed Osama bin Laden, and many other members of his barbaric, evil cult. And that's good. They deserve their deaths and worse. They are the ones who are MOST responsible for the attacks of 9/11.
But we haven't brought to justice the men who failed in their duty to protect us from men like him.
Which means we have failed in our duty as citizens.
Don't just remember the dead. Remember WHY they died. Remember that unreasoning, unbreakable faith made nineteen men believe that these attacks were the will of God, and a righteous, good thing to do. Remember that we knew all about these men and their plans beforehand, and that there is no possible justification for why their plans succeeded anyway.
Never forget the dead or their families. But also never forget that those planes didn't fall out of the sky by accident. There were REASONS why 9/11 happened. If we ignore them, we dishonor the dead and leave ourselves unguarded.
I feel like there's a fire inside me right now. Because I can't stand watching people all agree to tell themselves a pleasant lie. This is too important for that bullshit. I watched the news and did not see one person in any way indicate Bush's accountability for the tragedy that happened on the very ground under his feet. Not one family member of a victim. Not one protester. Maybe they were there and the news just didn't show them. If so, shame on them. But if no one said anything at all, then shame on all of us.
It might have been impolite to bring up such an ugly truth on this day. But if we honestly believe that politeness is more important than truth, then...