Posted by: r.m. | September 11, 2009

9-11 + 8. more of the same.

IN preparing for my interview on Press TV regarding 8 years post 9-11, I find – not surprisingly – that little has changed since I spoke about this issue 2 years ago at Shaw University.  (Reference: War, Racism, and Reverse Robin Hood.” Speech given at Shaw University in September 2007) Only the victims have increased. The moneys spent on destruction and death have increased.

* According to the National Priorities Project: “To date, $915.1 billion dollars have been allocated to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The national, state, and local numbers we provide are based on the total approved amounts through the end of Fiscal Year 2009. In addition to this approved amount, the FY2010 budget shows a $130 billion request for more war spending. This would bring total war spending in Iraq and Afghanistan to more than $1 trillion.” Moneys spent on death and destruction is moneys not spent on education and health care and environmental remediation.

*According to Norman Soloman, “Last year, while the U.S. government was spending nearly $100 million a day on military efforts in Afghanistan, an Oxfam report put the total amount of humanitarian aid to the country from all sources at just $7 million per day.”

* More than 1 million Iraqis and Afghanis killed since 2001.

* Obama, the man who promised change, has promised more US occupation troops in Afghanistan (+ 45,000 troops), in, what he calls, a “war of necessity.” A war for what? What is the necessity of war? Ah.. yes, the business of war…

Sometimes writers say it best. I am reading Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s new book, the angel’s game, and find this line quite pertinent: “All he had learned during the war was how to kill other men before they killed him — in the name of great and empty-sounding causes that seemed more absurd and repellent the closer he came to the fighting.” (pages 33-34)

Sometimes poets say it best. I read Suheir Hammad again. I read ‘First Writing Since’

She wrote: …

i know for sure who will pay.

in the world, it will be women, mostly colored and poor.women will
have to bury children, and support themselves through grief.”either
you are with us, or with the terrorists” – meaning keep your people
under control and your resistance censored.meaning we got the loot
and the nukes.

in america, it will be those amongst us who refuse blanket attacks on
the shivering.those of us who work toward social justice, in
support of civil liberties, in opposition to hateful foreign

She wrote:

there is life here.anyone reading this is breathing, maybe hurting,
but breathing for sure.and if there is any light to come, it will
shine from the eyes of those who look for peace and justice after the
rubble and rhetoric are cleared and the phoenix has risen.

affirm life.
affirm life.
we got to carry each other now.
you are either with life, or against it.
affirm life.

I write these words while the news coverage speaks of Israel launching two rockets against a town in the South. Again.

P.S. As David Barsamian said in a talk recently in Beirut about Obama (talk was entitled: Old Wine, New Bottles), “People love to hear English spoken after 8 years.”


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