Monday, September 11, 2006

Today I remember the people who died in the attacks and think of their families who are left behind to grieve.
Today I think of the Canadian soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan as a direct result of the ensuing "war on terror".
Today I think of people whose names I have never heard, in countries whose locations I barely know, who have been suffering and dying in endless wars long before September 11, 2001.
This did not begin on September 11, 2001 and it did not end on September 11, 2001.
I do not accept war.


Deb said...

Well said Barbara.

Becky said...

I agree, very well said.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, poignant, & all sadly true.

I feel somewhat bad that the girls were here in the living room with me when we saw the massive devastation take place, but at the same time I'm glad they were exposed to the horrors that humans can commit against each other.

War is retarded.

Stephanie said...

Excellent post. I couldn't have said it better myself

Will said...

Everyone is saying "well said," so I shall say "well put." Tragic day indeed, yet I do not accept war either.

Teddy said...

And I shall be the voice of dissent. Well, I shall speak through John Stuart Mill:

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight... is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself".

War sucks, kids. Unfortunately. It's biblical, and apparantly it's not just the Christians who are doing it these days. Doesn't mean we should seek it out at any opportunity, but neither can we a civilization hope to survive in the face of a barbaric and uncivilized enemy.

Unless you think that sticking our heads in the sand will make it all go away...

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Deb, Becky - thanks - you both addressed this extremely well on your own sites with thoughtful well-written pieces.

War is about the most retarded thing there is, Michelle. Fortunately your girls have parents who have the intelligence and the compassion to guide them through the realization that humans can do monstrous things to each other.

Thanks Stephanie, I'm glad it spoke to you.

Will, I wonder how many people in your country feel the same way, that this was a horrific act, but that the war that is being waged is not the answer. I would suspect an ever increasin number, and their voices are starting to be heard.

The thing is, Teddy, it's getting harder and harder to tell who the "barbaric and uncivilized enemy" is. With scirmishes escalating the way they do, more and more acts of barbarism are committed on all sides.
And what exactly has this war accomplished? Has it prevented bombings in tube stations? Has it uncovered the infamous weapons of mass destruction? Has it made the world a safer place?

Allison said...

I feel the same way. Well said.

Barbara said...


Deb said...

Michelle...I also had my daughter in the room with me. And how do you answer questions when, at the time, you don't even know yourself what the hell is really happening? I sent her to school with a whole lot of them - luckily, the teachers integrated the events into the day's learning.

Ben Heller said...

Well put opinion Barbara.

I accept war if it is justified. Sadly too few wars have been justified in modern history.

I also understand your point about Canadian losses. The Canadians have been dragged into many wars that have had seemingly little to do with the nations security and I include WW2.

Will said...

The phrase we like to say is "Not in our Name." It actually started with a group of families who lost loved ones on 9/11 and didn't like the actions of our government being done in their name. I think many of us have adopted it by now - our way of saying to the world that our government does not speak for us.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Allison, you wrote a most thoughtful and thought-provoking piece about this on your own blog.

Thank you Barbara W.

It was a day that really put our skills as parents to the test, Deb. As you said, there were no answers, but at least you were able to teach your daughter to ask questions. Always ask questions.

Thank you, Ben, and that is precisely it - war is almost never black and white, and we don't ever hear about most of the backroom dealings, I suspect. Meanwhile, countries including Canada continue to send troops, who too often become cannon fodder.

"Not in Our Name" - that's beautiful, Will. That's a very powerful phrase and sentiment to adopt. If enough people say it, the world will notice.

karen said...

Amen. Well writtten post Barbara.

Shone Abet said...

BB... clear, concise, and complete. In a few short lines you captured hours of personal conversation re: Sept. 11th. Important we all remember the tragedy of the day, and remind ourselves it was likely not the only tragedy of the day, week, month, year, or past history in its entirety.

An entirely different post with humor but similar sentiment:

Thought you might enjoy it.

Cheers - Shone

hilary m. said...

I agree with you so much.

Teddy said...

As I said, I'm making no judgement on the war in Iraq. It matters not that I would not have advised in favour of it, nor that I think now as I did then, that WMDs were a red herrring. But it should be noted that in the Kurdish north – which is as Muslim as the rest of Iraq – is in fine shape economically, socially. Suicide bombings do not happen there (although they did, rarely, in the early stages of the war), and American soldiers are welcomed and safe. So are American tourists.

Of course the Kurds are not Arabs...

No, the issue is not Iraq, nor is it the nature of our enemies. The latter is well established, even if unwelcome in the eyes of the pacifist crowd.

The enemy is Islamicism, as I've commented on back home. Salafists and Khomeinists. If you would like to discuss the nature of that enemy, feel free to do so over there.

Ben, if you feel that there is a time for war, but that WW2 did not constitute an appropriate time and place, then I cannot imagine a response.

Ahmadinejad threatens to wipe Isreal off the map, and to execute gays. Does the civilized world at any time have a duty to act or react against that? How long shall we negotiate Iran's research into nuclear weapons?

Barb, I appreciate and thank you for the chance to talk about these issues.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thank you Kees. Your thoughts are always appreciated.

Hi Shone and welcome! Thanks for your kind words. I'm looking forward to checking out the link. I'm keen to find out how to incorporate humour into that topic.

Bless you, Hilary, thanks.

I admit to having huge problems with many aspects of Sharia law, Teddy, and yes there are fundamentalists in the Islam religion who are bastardizing their religion with their twisted take on Islam, but I still cannot accept that Islam is the problem. Every religion attracts its share of insane zealots (but that's a whole other problem I have with religion itself).
I too appreciate your sharing your thoughts here.

Serah said...

On September 11, I was living in Nelson completely oblivious to what was happening in the world. I kept hearing stories about no planes and no mail?? I still didn't know what was happening. And my mom called and left a random message asking if I was okay and told me that she loved me. (She works for "Telus" and the communications buildings were on "code orange" b/c they are a target.) And then you could not get away from it on the tv. Standing in shock watching the tv.
I don't think we've gotten away from it yet.

I was devistated that a "war" happened when I was in grade 8 and the USA was in Iraq. I don't understand war; I will never understand.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That must have been really frightening for your mom, Sarah, and a huge shock for you when you realised what was happening. My husband was away on business and uncertain how or when he could return home.

Teddy said...

Not Islam, Barb, but Islamicism, The radical strain.

But increasingly, if the so-called moderate crowd does not speak up, they become a part of the problem. Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, and Jews all have histories of standing up against radical factions in their midst.

I'd like to see more from the Muslim world.

Anonymous said...

Brava, Barbara. An eloquent and poignant statement in the age of spin and disinformation.

This is neither a war on terror nor a religious war. It is as unjust as it is unjustified.

Despite the finger pointing by the present administration, I fear that the greatest threat to the U.S. comes from within...and from the top.

The events of 9/11 do not justify this war. The war does not ennoble those who lost their lives. I grieve for the innocent victims of this unholy war.


Will said...

I think you misunderstood my comments. WW2 was THE most justified war of the 20th century. It was fought to protect the security of many nations, to regain nations that had been illegally taken by tyrannical regimes, and to destroy a Fascist regime that had bred hatred into its own people.
My point was that Canada was not one of the countries whose security was threatened at that time and if they hadn't been part of the British Commonwealth/Empire may have chosen neutrality like Sweden or Switzerland.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thanks for clarifying that, Teddy.

Thank you, GOB. I think that more and more of your countrymen are beginning to voice your exact sentiments, and in my opinion, it's not a moment too soon.

You are right, Ben. WWII was an entirely different war from those which are being waged currently. Perhaps the last just war?

Teddy said...

Gotcha Ben. That makes much more sense.

So what's justified these days? Darfur? Bosnia? Kosovo? Those three were, or would be, in defence of Muslims.

We're a middle power, and we can contribute. Indeed, we have an obligation to "interfere" in the affairs of soverign nations where attrocities are being committed.

Of course, the rub's in the definition, as you've pointed out, Barb.

Saddam's WMD aside, what about the Kurdish genocide? Justification enough? As I've said, the Kurds in the north of Iraq openly embrance the "yank occupiers".

But to the point, pacifism only gets your so far these days. Go ask the ghost of Chamberlain. Does anyone really believe that if only we left "them" alone, that we'd be safe?

But that's a larger debate, isn't it?

Maureen said...

Couldn't have said it better.