A Decade of Delusion
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Will our autopsy report read "global war on terror"?
That sounds harsh, and it's tempting to argue that we should refrain from political debate on the 9/11 anniversary to honour those who died and to respect those who lost loved ones. I would be willing to do that if the cheerleaders for the US empire would refrain from using the day to justify the wars of aggression that followed 9/11. But given the events of the past decade, there is no way to take the politics out of the anniversary.
We should take time on 9/11 to remember the nearly 3,000 victims who died that day. But as responsible citizens, we also should face a harsh reality: While the terrorism of fanatical individuals and groups is a serious threat, much greater damage has been done by our nation-state caught up in its own fanatical notions of imperial greatness.
That's why I feel no satisfaction in being part of the anti-war/anti-empire movement. Being right means nothing if we failed to create a more just foreign policy conducted by a more humble nation.
Ten years later, I feel the same thing that I felt on 9/11 - an indescribable grief over the senseless death of that day and of days to come.
Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center. His latest book is 'All My Bones Shake: Radical Politics in the Prophetic Voice' (Soft Skull Press). He is also the author of 'Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity' (South End Press).