I have always described the affect of the occurrences of ten years ago today on my generation as something of a passive realization. Many of us were old enough to have witnessed the attacks, yet too young to have understood them, or mature enough to have felt their intended fright. I do remember the stereotypical personal location: the small television in my grandma's kitchen, as the happy-faced eight-year-old in his neatly blue school uniform. I remember the desolated twin buildings on the frontpages of newspapers, but can't remember being aware of the hell in front of the Pentagon. Perhaps this can only apply to us who saw them in this detached sort of way. We later had our minutes of silence at school. In another that may have been on the first anniversary, our teacher thoughtfully told us to think of the suffering and the grief of those involved. For whatever reason, I can still see a singular woman running away from the debris in Manhattan, and the bloodied office workers merely walking and confounded. Only through the advent of our technological advances have I been able to truly confront them, taking a decade afterwards to be overwhelmed with the sickness of that day.
And in this feeling, what a disgrace it will always be to have used these atrocities to excuse the war crimes, the torture, the totalitarian erosion of basic civil freedoms, that the perpetrating forces of theocratic tyranny have always approved of. Osama bin Laden being shot in face and dumped in the ocean is irrelevant. He is the Emmanuel Goldstein of this propaganda narrative. "Anti-terrorism" laws are used to justify arrests of dissidents, suppression of activists and protesters, intimidation of peaceful resistantance against local authorities, and photographers in public spaces. "Anti-terrorism" is the reason for a future of total surveillance, national DNA databases, and absolute contempt and presumed guilt of all persons. If we are to believe this is justifiable, then we wish to let the terrorists win. In fact, the west has been well indoctrinated by the tactically comparable forces.