9/11 Reflections

A month has past since the tragedy. Ktheory took a little hiatus while I moved into my new apartment in Chicago and created a routine. The hiatus continued because I felt compelled to write about the tragedy, but I don't want to. The attack feels so monumental that it requires comment. So here goes:

How we should act
On principle, any civilization is never justified in killing a person. Even with a global coalition, even if our enemies commit heinous acts, we should not kill them. Wars are never truly won and they will never solve all our problems. My youthful idealism is quickly fading, but I still think that any lethal military action is unjustifiable. We should increase domestic security and use more diplomacy.

Blind Patriotism
"God Bless America" is suddenly as ubiquitous fast food and beer advertisements. What the hell does that mean? 'God blesses America', so we can go off and fight our holy war to preserve freedom? Since God doesn't bless the rest of the world, we can blow them up. So, why not write it everywhere, like on your new American flag. It's voluntary propaganda for the government.

Operation: Enduring [the US Government's] Freedom [to Bomb People They Don't Like]
I don't know what freedom is. I think it holds deep, personal truth. Politicians use it, void of meaning, to stir up strong sentiment. September 12, Ashcroft said,
"It's time to end the academic debate between civil liberties and security."

International relations are a lot like children on a playground. We¡¯re a fat rich kid who everybody pretends to like. We¡¯re the leader of the popular clique. There¡¯s a weird scrawny kid on the corner, but nobody every pays any attention to him. But the scrawny kid craves attention, and now he just played a mean joke on us. If we don¡¯t beat up that scrawny kid, nobody will like us anymore. Right?

"We have to fly our jets around to show how angry we are. It's all show business."
-Kurt Vonnegut

"How can you say that civilization doesn't progress? In every war we develop a new way to kill each other."
-I read this, but forget where

[See also: Get Your War On]

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