Monday, September 11, 2006

Things done changed

We are at War
Sista Soulja on Terminator-X's Buck Whylin'

Five years ago the world changed. Regardless of whether you agree with the changes or not this has to be an accepted fact.

The day the towers fell the world we existed in drew to a close and a new reality dawned on us in the western world.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingAt that point in time as most of us watched on TV as the second plane struck the building or later as the towers lost structural integrity and came crumbling down did we really fathom the extent to which the world was going to change? Did we realize then that this was the start of living in a state of war?

A state of war from which we have yet to emerge.

Did we realize that blood would be shed in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that secret military jails would be set up all over the world, that combatants would be interned at Guantanamo? Did we realize that this devastating act would give governments carte blanche to become proactive or preemptive instead of reactive to perceived threats? Did we realize that?

Did we realize that civil liberties would be lost, lives would be upturned, personal information would be collected and our lives would be more restricted all in the name of maintaining our other freedoms? Have we even noticed that yet?

Did we realize that our society would gain new stereotypes? We had become accustomed to that age old one where we feared black men but now there is a new fear of brown folks and folks with long beards, or middle eastern style headwear or other garb which isn't western and folks who pray on planes and folk who bring deodorant and toothpaste and bottled water on planes and anyone who well anyone who just fits the so-called threat profile. Did we anticipate that?

Did we anticipate the Iraq invasion? Did we anticipate the existence of sleeper cells, the fact that your neighbor could be one of them and how much dread the word terrorism would bring with it. Did we realize that any dissident or anyone with a beef against a government could be discredited by labeling him/her a terrorist?

Did we realize that we would view the Islamic religion with new eyes?

Did we realize that governments would clamp down with new security/patriot acts giving them extra powers? Did we realize that any slight disruption to our electricity supply or our subway system could bring out that fear that lurks just beneath the surface that maybe just maybe this time it was another terrorist act? Did these thoughts cross even if so fleetingly across our minds on September 11th 2001?

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingDid we realize that gas prices would be driven sky high, economies would stutter and airplane travel would become a major hassle?

Well 9/11 sure changed things. It gave us an enemy and it gave us new fears.

After the Soviet Union collapsed and the Berlin Wall fell the Western world lacked a distinct threat, a real bad guy to focus on, to put a face to. Well 9/11 changed that. Bin Laden, Al Qaeda a new enemy had emerged.

I wont argue whether the west helped in the creation of this enemy and if so how they did it and I wont argue whether or not the enemy is just a bunch of fundamentalist madmen. The fact is folk exist out there who are probably planning attacks right now and we live now in a world where we wonder, even if its not constantly on our mind, what will be the next target, which country, which city, which group of people will have their everyday lives disrupted. What will be targeted; airports, airplanes, stadiums, buildings, trains? Will it be London, Madrid, Toronto even?

We have no idea. All we know is that the war is on, (even though our leaders might say we're winning or have won already) and as such another strike could happen anywhere because well that's what happens in war.

Things done changed on September 11 2001.


Luke Cage said...

Casually looking behind our shoulder (but fearfully doing so at the same time) there is no doubt that every American's mentality was altered that day man. And with each new overseas incident we do, every act we commit, whether it be for the good of the people or cramming democracy down the throats of folks who don't want it, right now in the world there is someone who is taking serious umbrage to the way we do things. Folks are very very upset with big bad America and unfortunately, its time to pay the piper.

Honest said...

Situation has seriously changed and after flying from Heathrow yesterday I can truly say we'll never have that carefree feeling when we travel again.

While we wait, our government needs to truly re think our foreign policy and how we deal with the rest of the world. It's not only hurting our country but others by association

Scratchie said...

The world has certainly changed. I am yet to understand how they are waging war on a people who they cannot yet understand. How do you kill the spirit of a person whose sole purpose in life is to die?

Miz JJ said...

The world has changed, but I am not sure if the terror threat is a really something Americans should be worried about. Over 30,000 Americans are killed each year by guns. Not by terrorists, but by Americans. That means in the last year over 150,000 people have died. That is 50 times the amount of people that died in the WTC/Pentagon attacks. I guess it is easier to be afraid of the outsiders than it is to be afraid of yourself.

princessdominique said...

I got trapped in NY on business on 9/11. They shut down the highways and wouldn't let us leave. I keep remembering that that day we were supposed to go sightseeing downtown. I would have been trapped right in the middle of it.

Melody said...

De 2nd pic in your post (people tryin' 2 find their way thru de fog) still has that Apocalyptic aura 2 it.

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Abeni said...

Yep,changed for ever.

aarond said...

Interesting to see that other minorities are now being profiled to the point that they now feel fear in seeing the police!

Stunner said...

That picture of the towers continues to haunt so many persons around the world.

The world certainly changed sice that incident and continues to change.

obifromsouthlondon said...

to be honest i was quite indifferent to the whole anniversary thing and felt cynical. yesterday afternoon I listened to a special radio program exploring how families of the victims were coping and I felt ashamed of my cynicism. it is easy to forget the human aspect of all this. people like all of us dealing with grief and pain. America, Iraq whereever