Inhabitatio Dei: A Real 9/11 Reflection---
Dan has what I’d consider to be a reflection on 9/11 that really has some substance:As today, is September 11th, I thought I would engage in a bit of remembering — it is, after all, important to recall moments of our history, for this is the story in which we live.
On this day in 1973, Augusto Pinochet’s American-backed coup overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende. This resulted in seventeen years of torture, terror, and disappearances in Chile, and (according to people like Milton Friedman, who saw Chile as a textbook example of the type of world he wished to create) set a precedent for the way in which the United States acted in Latin America (particularly in the ’70s and ’80s… although they are at it again, as Obama’s government backed the Honduran coup which overthrew the democratically elected government of Manuel Zelaya in June of this year).
Sponsoring terror, imposing military rule, depriving local populations of their rights, their food, their land, their livelihood, their health, their children and their lives… this is the way that the US continues to engage with the world at large. It is enough to make some people want to fly planes into buildings. Which, not altogether surprisingly, is what happened on another September 11th.
Posted in American Politics, Peacemaking.
By Halden – September 11, 2009
Threads from Henry's Web: The Problem with Revenge---preview:
It’s 9/11 and the events eight years ago are on most people’s minds. Many Christians will be praying today, as my wife wrote in her devotional. What will those prayers consist of? What is a Christian response?
Shortly before the second gulf war began, I wrote an essay simply titled Revenge! I want to quote from it here:As a nation, we have been living in the role of Michael Palin’s character. We see the bad guys in our sights and we shout “Revenge!” in the hope that when revenge has taken place we will be safer, life will return to pre-9/11 normalcy, and we can forget all about this extra security. Most of us know this won’t be the case, but that doesn’t stop the wishful thinking.
This was illustrated during the bombing of Afghanistan, and later during the ground war. Repeatedly the reporters would ask various military spokesmen whether they had caught or killed Osama bin Laden yet. The answer? Nobody knew. But why was that the question? Did we really think that a bombing campaign could be so targeted as to kill a single individual? Sure, he might die, but bombs are not weapons of assassination in the normal course of events. Did we think that if Osama were caught or killed that the terrorism would end? Surely we aren’t that naive!
But there is that little program in our brains that wants to yell “Revenge!” and expects that life will be a little sweeter when it is accomplished.
In some ways we face a similar situation with Iraq. I know there is a powerful motivation for revenge. I am a veteran of the 1991-1992 gulf war. It annoys me every time I see Saddam Hussein expressing himself on television. I confess I wouldn’t mind having the driver’s seat of a steam roller with Saddam’s feet stuck in setting cement. I’d yell “Revenge!” and “Take that!” and roll over him, and on the other side I’d feel good!
But then would my family be any safer? Would my country be more secure? Would anything be more normal when all was said and done? Very likely not.
I need to let that resentment go. I need to tone down the shout “Revenge!” I need to consider what will actually make things more secure.
Finally here are 2 posts of mine on the subject from last year: TheoPoetic Musings: 9-11 Remembered and TheoPoetic Musings: 9-11 Continued.