Here's a link I urge you all to follow. It goes to a video by a Japanese Hip Hop/Rapper called King Giddra. The song's about 9/11 and its aftermath. Don't worry, there are subtitles to the lyrics.
It's only in recent months that I've been able to actually think about 9/11 clearly and not without being immediately hijacked by a numbness that set in for me around that event. I remember I was in grad school when it happened, and in one of my writing courses the professor was asking us to write responses to the event after it happened and I refused to because I didn't feel like I had any response. I was speechless in a literal sense. Whenever I tried to write anything about 9/11, there was always a blank page, which matched my emotions towards the event. I think most Americans reacted to it with what I think of as socially learned responses, and I'm always trying to avoid the social emotional response we've been taught to use for various situations. I want my emotions to be what I feel, I want them to be my emotions, not what my culture has engrained in me as "the way you should act or behave in response to such and such an event". For me, 9/11 wasn't something I could get up in arms about, it wasn't something that made me hate the cultures of the Middle East, it wasn't something I could cry about or scream about or have any reaction to at all. I was just stunned, and it's really only been recently that I feel I can engage with it, and its horrible aftermath with the Bush administration leading us into darker, scarier waters every day. One of the things that has bothered me all along, I guess, is how so many Americans think of 9/11 as America's tragedy because it happened on American soil. But really 9/11 was something so huge that it's the whole world's tragedy. Sure, it hits America hard, but we can't shut out the responses from the rest of the world towards it because it happened in America. The effects of 9/11 everyone feels, all nations are touched by it, ravaged by it in some cases. And we need to listen to what they have to say about it (and about the Bush administration)too.
America, I fear, is returning to isolationism in a particularly weird form. We're closing our ears to what the rest of the world is trying to tell us. We've forgotten how to listen. With a president like Bush who emphasizes war and physical aggression as a way of dealing with the world, this isn't surprising. It was evident in all of the debates this past election that he was unable to hear what people were trying to tell him. He doesn't know how to listen to people. He just does what he wants. I don't want my America to become a culture modeled on that sort of characteristic. It's sad and shameful.
The Japanese have it written into their constitution to not ever make war again. This video's response to 9/11 and Bush's handling of it has wisdom from a culture that has learned its lesson about what war as a response creates: death, death, and more death. It's a wasteful way of dealing with problems. It only sets up more problems for the future. Nothing is ever resolved through war, not really. I hope one day we have an America that understands this, and if any amendment is made to our constitution, it will be an amendment like the Japanese have to never make war again.