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Long ramble about 9/11 (x-post from Twitter) 

While it's still the day, I might as well post some thoughts.

9/11 is, as you might imagine, one of the most prominent early memories I have. Perhaps, as a result of that, it's an event I've long had a morbid curiosity about.

The event itself was a tragedy, of course. I can't imagine how horrifying pretty much anyone even tangentially involved must have felt. Reading about it still gives me shivers.

I also feel that the US government absolutely exploited the hell out of it in the aftermath.

I can imagine the desire for revenge was probably overwhelming, but ultimately the domestic legislation (like the PATRIOT ACT), ridiculous xenophobia even towards allied nations (freedom fries, anyone?) and pretty much the entire War on Terror were tremendous acts of self-harm.

The War on Terror particularly was just... Worthless? Pointless? "Terror" is an abstract, nebulous, and completely subjective subject. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. It's the perfect set up for an endless, unwinnable war.

(And really, it doesn't take a leap of logic to know that invading, bombing and occupying multiple countries for years on end is only likely to embolden and generate sympathy for those who oppose you.)

(Also, does it even need mentioning that Osama bin Laden, the man they were out to get from the start, wasn't even in any of the countries the US invaded?)

Ultimately, the actions the American government undertook in the aftermath of 9/11 killed hundreds of times more people than the attack itself, did magnitudes more economic damage, and ultimately achieved very little. It makes for an incredibly sorry state of affairs.

9/11 changed the world. On the day, it brought out some of the best in humanity, but since then... It filled the world with a paranoia that still seems unshakeable, and every day since, that has brought out the worst in humanity.

I feel bad when I'm reminded of a friend who is too young to have experienced or remember the world prior to 2001.

I was young, and rose-tinted glasses these may be, but it honestly feels like a great deal of hope and optimism left the world on that day. And it's not come back.

This was a bit meandering. I have twenty years of both idle and impassioned thoughts about all of this that I've never really tried to write down before. Sorry.

(Also, am I the only one who finds the existence of 9/11 memorial gift shops kinda distasteful??)

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