September 10th started out just as plainly and hum-drum as any Monday that semester at Western Kentucky University. Classes @ 915am, then off to work just after lunch. The next day, I had to be in court with my two roommates. There was a palpable buzz in the air, murmurings of a plane, New York, and then the baliffs and police made everyone leave the building. I didn't see it happen live on TV. But, my friends and I watched the seemingly endless loops of footage as they poured in. And then, the strangest thing happened. As the afternoon set in on Bowling Green, Kentucky, lines of cars poured into gas stations. Every single station in town ran out of gas before 8pm. It was surreal, how the fear that would later be stoked within the population was already ablaze. More murmurs of 'Arabs', oil, money, and retaliation filled the air.
Six years later, i keep thinking back to the image of all those cars at all those gas stations. Why?
Six years later, i keep thinking back to the thousands of bumper stickers on mini-vans, SUVs, trucks, and cars: 'never forget', 'support our troops', 'where were you', and 'let's roll'.
Six years later, i keep thinking back to what that day meant and what it has become. My emotions from that day and the days since then stem not just from my lack of perspective, or my geographical frame of reference, or my confusion, but from the fact that since that day the neo-conservatives and their mouth-pieces in the media have turned it into nothing more than a slogan, and excuse. It was the day that gave them carde blanche.
Bush used it as validation for his Iraq debacle and in speech after speech after speech. Fox'News' has used it to attack virtually anyone and everyone that is against the war, anyone that wishes to debate immigration from a differing perspective, anyone that questions the 'official' story of how the attacks happened. Rudy Guiliani is using it to try and become president. Michelle Malkin used it to sell books, as did Sean Hannity and many others. They use it because of how well fear motivates, and how that fear benifits them.
Malkin had this to say on her blog today:
The 9/10 crowd stubbornly refuses to connect the dots to see any connection at all between 9/11 and the Iraq war
That makes absolutely no sense at all. That day in September had nothing to do with Iraq until the current Republican administration made their ham-fisted connection and sold it like so much snake-oil to the American public. It wasn't until all the poor planning, the spin, the conjecture, the hype, and the fear were poured on that those two things became inextricably linked.
Malkin even goes further, and feels necessary to show a photo of a man thowing himself out of one of the windows of the WTC. Why? For what f**king reason does this woman feel the need to exploit his death? What reason does anyone on the side of the neo-conservative movement have for exploiting all the deaths on that day? Do they think it gives them power? Do they honestly believe that they are being reverent to the memories of those that died?
That day has created a vast array of feelings within just about everyone in America. For some it was confusion. For others, fear, or hatred, anxiety, or loss, and sadness. For me, it seems have created a disconnection with my country in a way. I can sympathize with loss, but not loss on this level. I can see the tragedy replayed ad infinitum on television, but the same emotions of that day are gone. But most of all, I feel disconnected from those that are meant to represent me in government. I feel disconnected from the initial story of how that day transpired. Not because i believe George W. Bush is directly responsible, but because i believe that there is information that we still don't know about. I feel disconnected from the media and how certain viewpoints are stiffled or silenced all together.
I wish i could look on this day as a day of remembrance. But, i jsut can't. I can't seem to get over the knowledge that this day has become the day that people like Malkin, Coulter, Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, and thousands of other neo-con beasts will forever use as their attention-whore flag. "Look at me, I have a TV show, a radio show, a newspaper column, a blog and I will use the deaths of thousands of people to do whatever I want!"
Those that died that day deserve better. Their families deserve better. We all deserve better.
Malkin goes on to say in her blog today
It’s not just a once-a-year slogan.
My daughter was born one year and one day after September 11th, 2001. She just turned 5 and has no idea about that day six years ago. I don't know when she'll realize it or what she will think about it. The only thing that i hope for is that she will think for herself and not let fear motivate how she sees her world.
Even now, I can't seem to correctly articulate how I feel. In all probability, this diary will be lost amongst dozens more that remember this day in one fashion or another. The only thing that I know is that a tragedy has been turned into a marketing tool over the last 6 years, and it continues to make me sick.