Thursday, September 05, 2002
In a thread on Democratic Underground, a friend has this wonderful comment, which I'm posting in full here because of its clarity and eloquence:
posted by lazarus |
I think this is the way they really think.
Some members of this Bush administration think those men and women died for them. Or was that for "us?" No, I know for certain they didn't die for me. Unlike this administration and its friends, I didn't gain anything by it. We didn't gain anything as a nation, we lost something. These weren't patriots, they were victims. The weren't thinking about liberty and fraternity, they were thinking about donuts.
If I could send myself back a year, I'd do my best to stop them from going, unknowing, to a war they'd never heard of, for a cause they didn't choose. I wouldn't ask them to sacrifice themselves to something which has never done anyone any good. They shouldn't have had to do that, and, really, they didn't. They didn't give themselves for our right to live as free people, or so that we could live a better life. Those men and women didn't sacrifice anything at all, they just died. They just died, and some gluttonous and indiscriminate gods have claimed the sacrifice for themselves.
But it's true that some did die for a cause, though not for some distant and fanciful ideal like "patriotism." They died trying to save lives; and so they were heroes, not patriots, and I think we do their memory a favor by the distinction.
There were nearly three thousand reasons, heroic and otherwise, that people died on that day. None of them had anything to do with a reason so nebulous as "patriotism." And they didn't die to be used as a goad to herd the american people into new and suspicious territory, didn't die so cynical lies could be spun in their names. They just died. They lost everything they ever had and ever will have, and we lost them too. We lost nearly three thousand friends, neighbors, and family members that day, and now their memories are being exchanged, like cheap currency, to buy our allegiance to causes which were not their own.