Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. I listened to news reports about the attacks, and grew sad in remembering what happened. Then I tried to think about why those men would want to attack the US.
Ignorance promotes aggression
If you truly knew your enemies, you would not only see them as having different ideas, but as a father or mother, son or daughter. They love their family and try to help provide a good life. They just want to be happy… just like you and me. Ignorance dehumanizes the Americans that are being targeted. And ignorance about the terrorists leads us to fear them. Fear is a feeling of insecurity. When we don’t know a person, we’re cautious. And when we don’t know a situation, we are fearful. But knowledge gives us power over the situation, and it gives us the power to decide whether attacking is justified. Those who call for war sound the most confident, but in fact, they are the most fearful, whether they are patriots or terrorists.
The 9-11 attack is the wake-up call
Did the terrorists surprise you on 9-11? They surprised me. I realize now that the attack is our wake-up call to find out what is happening in the world. The attacks happened in a world in which the US spends massive amounts of money and sells loads of military weapons. In fact, the US is the biggest spender and biggest weapons exporter of any other country in the world. We provide money and arms to different countries and different groups. Some of them have fundamentalist religious beliefs and/or have powerful ethnic grudges. Our money influences these alliances and animosities. After years of involvement, we have developed a worldwide reputation, accurate or not.
With our money comes great power, and great responsibility
How do we stop future terrorism? We start taking responsibility. We start thinking about the consequences of our actions. What do you think we can do to prevent people from developing a mentality that would make them attack us? Asking these questions is part of being an accountable and empowered American.
I know we can do it.