Monday, September 11, 2006

So, I've heard that today's some kind of anniversary yeah? Wait, don't tell me, let me guess... It's your birthday right? Hey, looking good, not a day over... not a birthday? Wedding anniversary? Between Tony Blair's face and George Bush's arse? Hmmm, five years, I believe that's wood... Not a wedding anniversary? But I'm getting close right?

So, yeah, September the 11th 2001, or 'niynellevun' as the USians would have it. Grief's a weird thing, I didn't feel anything when my Nan died, my sister was almost hysterical at the end of the service and a few years ago refused to hear any conversation that included the inevitability of our parent's eventual demise. I suspect it's part and parcel of being a moody bugger, I don't tend to go much lower when something genuinely bad happens.

Of course, there's other reasons to distrust public mournathons. The wailing and gnashing of teeth following the death of Princess Di wrongfooted me as much as it did the royal family, I didn't understand how anyone could devote so much of their time to following someone else so intently, 'were they crazy?' I thought, 'I wouldn't do something like that'. The fact that many many times the number of people who died in the Twin Towers on that September day in 2001 have died in the rest of the world since, both those against the American imperialists, those for, and those unfortunate to have been caught in between. The Independent's figures make grim reading.

When passion drives policy it's a bad thing. Thomas Sutcliffe wrote an insightful article in the Independent in March 2000 asking why the parents of Leah Betts or Stephen Lawrence should be allowed to influence policy. When a situation exists where you think the passion is manufactured to drive policy it's worse. The Sun fakes passion as a matter of course. The overwhelming feeling I felt on the 11th of September 2001 was a sinking one that Bush and the neocons around him were going to use these poor dead people as an excuse to kill a hell of a lot more, I couldn't believe they genuinely felt sorrow, but knew that they couldn't show their smiles publicly.

So, sure, let's remember those who died on this anniversary. But let's remember all of those who died, Americans, British, Israelis, Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraqis, Afghans. Those that died in the Al Qaida attacks on this country, Spain, India and other parts of the world. Let us remember those who no longer walk upon this earth and those who do: Osama Bin Ladin; Ayman al-Zawahiri; Mullah Omar; Tony Blair; George W. Bush; Richard Cheney; Donald Rumsfeld.

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