Monday, September 13, 2010

POST 9/11 THOUGHTS ON AIR RAIDS















Aside from being too tired yesterday to contribute anything that might mark the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center towers, I was also somewhat conflicted about what I really felt nine years after the event. Especially as I lived for almost a decade in full view of them. I would never argue it was anything but a dreadful spectacle of death and destruction, and dealt a massive, and shockingly traumatic blow to the psyche of America. The conflict starts when I too plainly hear the horror and the death toll being exploited for political gain and to generate irrational fear, bigotry, and hatred. It deepens when I find myself sadly aware that many of exploiters (Rudi Giuliani being a prime exception) come from a middle-country mindset that has traditionally loathed New York City for its supposed moral decadence and shameless diversity.
To put everything in perspective, I tell myself that the 2001 attacks were nothing more than an unorthodox surprise air raid. I can understand the concept of an air raid. I am younger than the English children in the picture but old enough to have been told how, when I was a still a tiny baby, Nazi V1 rockets (I guess today we would call them drones) reigned destruction on the streets of the town where I lived. Thus when I hear people talk about Ground Zero being a sacred site or hallowed ground, I can only reflect just how many other cities on this planet have their own sacred sites and hallowed ground. London, Rotterdam, Coventry, Hanoi, Liverpool, Tokyo, Berlin, Guernica, Dresden, Baghdad, Leningrad, and, of course, Hiroshima and Nagasaki – once started the list goes on and on. And, in some cases, it wasn’t just the terror of a single awful morning, but bombing that went on for weeks – even months – with the body count running into tens or hundreds of thousands. Sadly, many of these atrocities were authored in our name by British and American military strategist. (Indeed, my own father was marginally complicit in the fire-storming of Dresden, and died in the process.) Don’t think I’m trying to diminish the profound impact of 9/11 on the USA, all I am suggesting is that, instead of making September 11th a date of institutional mourning, let us focus instead on working to a world where humans being do not feel the need to drop high explosives, or worse, from the sky to kill and maim other humans.

I have – maybe self indulgently – posted links two pieces of WWII Brit blitz propaganda, to show the impact of air raids in a slightly different cultural light.

Click here for London Can Take It
Click here for Noel Coward

5 comments:

Graeme K Talboys said...

A very British "Hear hear".

My grandfather was a fireman in London through all that and my mother and her sisters grew up with it on a daily basis.

A shock to see the photograph as well, as the cover of my latest novel is based on it (a tale of the childhood of the daughter of Jerry and Catherine Cornelius - with Mike's blessing).

Timmy said...

Yeah, you're right. Them 9-11 attacks were nothing. None of us, especially the families of the ones exterminated, have any right to be resentful or vengeful. In fact, let's promote the wacky religimus kooks that implemented that day's fun all over the WORLD! YEAH! Bombs, away! Improvise your hatred & mask it as tolerance! After all, this IS the end of the pig-dog Americans, aint it?

Grubbermeister said...

Couldn't agree more, Mr. Farren. Well put.

Pepsi said...

So, Timmy, on whom do you intend to exact this terrible revenge?

The Stash Dauber said...

Well said, Mick.

Verification: rolopec