9/11

A day of mourning and remembrance.

My son was two years old at that time and doesn’t have any personal recollections of that moment yet has a rather clear understanding of what happened. Some wackos somehow crashed three airplanes into three of the most important buildings in America and, by doing so, simply changed the world.

I still remember vividly having my eyes glued to the TV screen. All those people jumping from the windows. So much desperation. One question still haunts me to this day. What made those wackos do what they did? What made them so ‘desperate’ as to … OK, they must have had some ‘predisposition’ of sorts… not every desperate person does what they did … only in a normal world really desperate people get noticed by their community and are treated accordingly. They get help and/or are rendered harmless to the others.

So our real problem is why hadn’t the wider community noticed that particular kind of ‘desperation’, and its intensity, and why hadn’t something been done about it. Another thing. There is something else that the wider community has failed to notice.
That the closer community, exactly those people who in normal circumstances notice and stop this kind of tragic occurrences, helped the perpetrators instead of blowing the whistle.

And it seems we continue to not understand what had really happened.

A ‘war on terror’ has been declared.
Only there is a small problem here.
Nobody can fight ‘terror’, just as nobody can fight the blue color.
The only thing we can do, as warriors, is fight terrorists. And if we limit ourselves to fighting them we perversely confirm their mantra – ‘we are under attack, we are weak so the only thing we can do is use ‘terror’ as weapon’.

Maybe thirteen years of this is enough.

The reality is that we are far more powerful than they are. This situation offers us a lot more options than they have.
Among these options is that in parallel with defending ourselves we might try to separate the active terrorists from the communities that support them. In order to do this we must recognize that those communities do have grievances. Some make sense, some don’t but if we disconsider all their grievances, wholesale, we do nothing but validate what the extremists are preaching: ‘those “white” people simply don’t care about any of us’. That’s why so many members of the communities among which the terrorist are usually hiding turn their heads when they see a terrorist act being prepared. Most of them wouldn’t participate directly – because of fear or maybe they abhor violence, as any normal human being does – but being convinced that ‘the “white” people don’t care about them’ makes them wonder ‘why should I care if the “white” people ‘gets it’?’

There is no shortage of people crazy enough to do horrible things. Just watch the 5 o’clock news. There is no way to change that. What we can do is give enough positive reasons to the communities to ‘call 911’ instead of turning away their heads. And sometimes gloat.

PS. ‘Positive reasons’ doesn’t mean ‘bribe them’. That might help a little but would not solve the situation. What we need to do is to convince them, and even some of our people too, that being different doesn’t mean being less human. After that things will become way simpler. No normal human being is comfortable seeing how his FELLOW human being is killed or otherwise hurt.