This weekend I have been remembering the destruction of the World Trade Centre and the horrible surreal quality of that experience as I stood alone in my kitchen.
First the collison of the aircraft into the buildings left one shocked and then the buildings collapsing as they did seem so unreal and yet horribly real.
A friend of mine stopped during all this and made a careless and thoughtless remark when I told him the US World Trade Center was under attack. "Good, the American deserve it!" In an instant my opinion of this person I have know for years changed. I have never felt the same about him since.
I remember the 3,000 or so innocent people who died that day just going about their daily routine. I also think of the hundreds of thousands of innocent people who have died in the two wars started by the US in retaliation, in Afghanistan and Iraq. And, I think of the prisoners who have suffered torture and confinement for as long as seven years. In spite of the claim they were the "worst of the worst" they were and are mostly innocent people some continuing to suffer. When you think of their plight you cannot help but feel the deep horror of being caught up in a hopeless situation with no justice in sight.
I don't don't know how one evaluated the balance of justice between the attack on the US and the dreadful events since in retaliation. Sadly, there is no justice or justification for either.
I also remember the other 9/11 event in 1973. It was the day that the democratic government of Chile was overthown and their progressive leader Salvador Allende, after addressing his people, commited suicide rather than be captured by the forces of Augusto Pinoche, who become dictator and murderer of so many of the Chilean people. The United States was backing Pinochet. The US has often been on the wrong side of history in Latin American. For this alone, Henry Kissinger and Richard NIxon shall always be war criminals in my mind. It was followed by the American backed "Operation Condor" in which the group of South American dictators agreed to form death squads to kill each others opposition members as they sought sanctuary in other counties. Many innocent people paid the price to remove a government of which the U.S. government did not approve.
These two events on 9/11 are not without similarities. When I hear the question posed, "Who could do this and why do they hate us? Well sadly the answer is the same; people just like the rest of us who have the power to do anything to affect change in a country they have come to view a threat and come to believe they have a right to try to strike out. We never seem to learn that violence is no solution to resolve a problem.