Important!This letter was published four days later, in the July 26, 2018 Sentinel Record under the title “Other 9/11s” — mostly intact but for a few curious edits. The editor clearly has an issue with ellipses and always renders them as a period, followed by a space, and then three more periods. And apparently there is some sort of unspoken rule about 9-11 (always rendered as “9/11” in the newspaper version), that only allows it to be used for the year 2001. Every other reference to 9-11 was changed to “Sept. 11” — every one. Given the hard-right shift of the editorial page generally, I’m grateful it saw the light of day in any form. The resistance continues… Vive la révolution!
Monsieur d’Nalgar, Mardi 26 juillet 2018, ère commune
One final observation, one final broadside against our balmy Benghazi! bellowers… It is exceedingly curious that they fixate their wrath only upon the 9-11 of 2012, when four white Americans died in the violent anarchy of a civil war that we actively participated in. No matter that it also killed tens of thousands of Libyans. Libyans were neither white nor Christian. To navel-gazing Americans, their deaths were inconsequential.
Curious that the 9-11 of 2001 is barely mentioned any more. Almost 3,000 Americans died that day, but it seems that Dubya, good white Methodist Republican that he is, is beyond reproach. Another 7,000 Americans died in the endless wars he and others spun up in that 9-11’s aftermath. More than a million Iraqis and Afghans have also surely died, but then they were brown-skinned and few were Christian, so their deaths, too, were of little consequence.
That 9-11, and the thwarted “awakenings” after it triggered a tsunami of human migrations that are still roiling Europe. They have died by the thousands trying to reach safety and the hope of new opportunities. The Mediterranean’s sharks are well fed and dead babies routinely wash up on its glorious beaches, but these dead babies are usually Muslim, so it matters not. The little heathens probably got what they deserved.
Curious that the 9-11 of 1973 is never mentioned. Nixon’s CIA helped overthrow Chile’s first democratically elected (but tragically socialist) leader. General Pinochet replaced Allende, who died on this particular 9-11. Thousands were “disappeared” and it was common to see bodies along roadsides, or floating in Santiago’s Mapocho River. Later investigations revealed more than 3,000 people killed and 32,000 tortured. But then they were brown-skinned and did not speak English, and that was a long time ago. We didn’t care then or now. And besides, we’re cool with torture these days.
We could go on, and include the 9-11 of 1857, when Mormon zealots and their Paiute allies murdered 120 Missouri and Arkansas Americans trying to immigrate into Utah. Let us pray they used machetes to expedite Trump’s hagiography.
America’s hands are hardly clean. For more than a century, we have helped giant fruit corporations and anti-communist juntas turn tiny countries like Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador into cesspools of violence and corruption. Our “War on Drugs” is a losing proposition for everyone but gangs and governments. We have sowed misery and we are reaping a whirlwind of desperate families at our borders.
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me…” Such eloquence rings hollow when all we yearn for is a new wall to keep out suffering humans who are only guilty of having undertaken incredible, dangerous journeys for one last chance to start over.
No, we are much too busy hating Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to even notice what we have allowed ourselves to become…
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Photograph of “Augusto Pinochet en una imagen del año 1988” (AP). http://blogs.elpais.com/fondo-de-armario/2013/09/golpe-de-estado-de-pinochet-en-chile.html