Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Meaning of 11 September

Today is Thursday, 11 September 2008.

In 1970, Salvador Allende, a Socialist, received a plurality of votes for President of Chile. His expected (and absolutely democratic and constitutional) election by the Chilean Congress was unacceptable to the Nixon-Kissinger regime. Thus, the CIA, acting through rogue elements of the Chilean army, assassinated the army’s commander-in-chief, General Rene Schneider, who opposed a military coup.

Nonetheless, Allende was duly elected, and the CIA continued to collaborate on and fund a sabotage and terror campaign, culminating in a coup on this date, 11 September, in 1973. The subsequent military dictatorship proceeded to murder tens of thousands and torture tens of thousands more (while looting billions from the public treasury).

This is a textbook example of state-sponsored (public) terrorism, authored in this case by the government of the United States of America.

On this date, 11 September, in 2001, the military wing of al-Qaeda hijacked three airplanes and flew them into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, destroying the former and damaging the latter, killing 2,974.

This is a textbook example of non-state-sponsored (private) terrorism.

The so-called “9-11” is blithely labeled “the day that changed everything for America”. However, for many Americans, terrorism (American state-sponsored) was as familiar and as American as apple pie. These include Native Americans and African-Americans, the latter under both slavery and segregation.

For many, if not most, Americans, the only thing that actually “changed” on “9-11” was the realization that Americans could be, not only the perpetrators of terrorism, but also its victims.

If 11 September is to be commemorated, it should honour and mourn all victims of public, as well as private, terrorism, “them” as well as “us”.


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