This was a horrible day. A horrible, horrible day. I sat through most of it just numbed, in shock. Which was better then that horrible, hour-long panic when it just seemed like the news got more and more horrific, drumming a crescendo into our psyche with each passing minute, and no one – no one at all, anywhere – in this supposed age of information had any idea what the hell was going on, save that Bad Things were happening and many, many people were dying.
Tomorrow things will get cleaned up a bit, and hopefully some survivors will be found.
Soon after that maybe we’ll find the guys who did it. Or not. Maybe we’ll strike at the right guys. Or not. It really doesn’t matter, after all. It would not be retribution, but revenge. There could never be a retribution. Not of an equal scale. It would not be possible. How do you burn the psyche of another civilization?
It is important – it is vital that we – not just Americans, but everyone – do not descend to their level. I have heard reports of American racists attacking Arabs and Indians in the streets, and am profoundly disgusted. I am reminded of much the same reaction after the Oklahoma City bombing, before noted Arab terrorist Timothy McVeigh was arrested.
This was not an attack by Islam, or by Afghanistan, or by any easily quantifiable “Other”. That would make dealing with this all too easy.
No, this is the twenty-first century now, and war is a personal thing. It’s all too easy to imagine a tightly organized group of people planning this. It took years, probably, learning how to fly the planes and defeat the airline security and probably infiltrating employees into the airports. And the people who did were willing to die to make the point that we could be hurt.
Well, congratulations. Even in America we can feel pain. We have greaving parents and orphaned children here as well. What an accomplishment, for whatever cause they felt this was worth.
Unlike most of the media talking heads tonight, I don’t think our world was too profoundly changed today. More’s the pity, really. It’s just more of the same, with those mind-shattering latterday touches like the doomed passengers frantically dialing out their last messages via cell phone. More insanity and death and stupidity. No shortage of that ever, really.
Thankfully, watching television with a manic intensity, there was some hope as well.
The firefighters who marched up the World Trade Center stairs, before it collapsed. We’d better build a monument to them. That’s what I’d like to remember.