Why I Don’t Care at All about 9/11

Before you automatically react to that let me just say that yes, all deaths caused by senseless violence are a tragic loss. You agree? Great, then I’m sure you’ll also agree with what I have to say next:

Approximately 3,000 people died during the attack on September 11, 2001. I was 11 at the time, but I still remember the flurry of political maneuvering that happened during the tense confusion of the aftermath. The United States government utilized our fear to push us into a long-term war in the middle east. This is not in doubt. We know for a fact that we were lied to about how much danger we were in — there can be no denying that the US government used 9/11, used the tragedy of those deaths, to create the conditions for even more death and destruction.

Since 2001, over 100,000 people have been killed in Afghanistan as a direct result of US military involvement.

American bombs in Yemen

I can’t help but think of the quote spoken by the leader of the nation which defeated Hitler: “the death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.” It’s hard for anyone to understand the sheer number of human lives lost because of America. Think of everyone you’ve ever met, not just your friends and family, but everyone you’ve ever spoken to; that’s still not anywhere near 100,000 people (A generous estimate says you may meet 80,000 people in your entire life). 100,000 lives; 100,000 people with friends, lovers, children; 100,000 human beings whose lives were stripped away from them by American bloodthirstiness and greed. Over 31,000 of those dead were civilians.

We know for a fact that we did not enter into war in the middle east to protect ourselves. War is profitable, and the value of that industry rests easily in the tens and hundreds of billions of dollars annually. This is something you know already, and if you don’t, you should. The strongest, most technologically advanced military power the world has ever seen does not wage war for ideology or defense, but to enrich those who profit off the production of body armor, bullets, ground vehicles, manned and unmanned aircraft, information technology, bombs, and the ubiquitous drone, whose constant presence in the skies above middle eastern countries has led to its inclusion in Afghani war rugs and television.

According to the Watson Institute of Brown University, the total death toll of the American war (2001–2016) in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq may be as high as 395,000, with civilian casualties reaching as high as 218,000 dead bodies of men, women, gender-nonconforming folk and children; destroyed, mangled, and violated by bombs dropped by the United States — bombs which are bought and paid for by your tax dollars.

9/11 was a tragedy. As is any loss of life to violence. But frankly, I find it repulsive that year after year I am asked to be moved to patriotic pathos over an event which, before the bodies were even buried, was already being used to convince Americans to kill hundreds of thousands of people on the other side of the world. I will not wave the flag for a country who used the deaths of its own people to enable the deaths of close to half a million people. I will not give credence to the annual commemoration of the spark that lit the powder keg of endless war.

Neither should you.