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2002-09-09 - 7:51 p.m.

Why is it that the leaders of the so-called "free world" are so obsessed with fear and hatred?

It was inevitable that this week would be dominated by "September 11- one year on". I have to admit that to an extent I am drawn to the ridiculous media coverage in which the front page story of Sunday's paper is something that happened a year ago on the other side of the world. I would have expected as much on Wednesday, and understood it, but I think a separate 16 page liftout every day of this week is plain sick.

I was sceptical about all this "unseen footage" of probably the most televised event in the history of the world, but I must admit I saw some things today that still made me shiver in... I don't know, possibly disbelief even after all this time that any of this happened.

But what I object to is the way in which the masses are being manipulated. I greet most of the newspaper reports with a mixture of contempt and disgust...

"One year later the pain is still there for victim's families" (paraphrase)

Of fucking course it's still there. Just like the pain is still there for the families of the thousands of other people who died on that day and every other day in completely unrelated incidents- car accidents, cancer, suicide. Nobody can deny that September 11 changed the world forever and sent a fear throughout the world that has not gone away, but please spare me the insinuation that the people who died in New York City that day were any more tragic than the countless others.

"Survey shows 50% of people still sad about events"

And it gets better- they break it down into gender statistics. Apparently women are more likely to show their emotions than men. Fuck me.

And my pet hate is the fear campaign being waged on us, to justify war. Apparently Australians are still too complacent about the real possibility that such an event could happen here. We have tall buildings. We have planes. We have lunatics. Go figure.

"Why on Earth are we here? Surely not to live in fear"

Yes it is possible that there could be a repeat of September 11 anywhere in the world. Yes it is possible that if you walk through Central Park at night you could be murdered. But why should we let our lives be run by fear? Isn't that the message that first came out of September 11 that Georgey boy has conveniently forgotten now that he has a chance to upstage Daddy? That we weren't going to let "these bastards" (and I use such words cautiously because it is the whole "us and them" mentality that drives fear and hatred) grind us down?

For 45 years the world lived in fear of Nuclear War. I guess they still do to an extent but between 1945 and 1989 it was fever pitch. However there was never a repeat of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And might I add that so many people were sickened by the idea of Palestinians dancing in the street after September 11 but in all the joy of VJ day celebrations throughout the Western World in 1945 I doubt anyone raised an eyelid for the 150,000 innocent Japanese civilians whose only crime was to be born in a hostile country. I was shocked and horrified by last year's events, but I'm not about to start judging people whose shoes I've thankfully never had to walk in. I've never lived in a country where a Government calls in the tanks to knock down your suburb because one of your peers committed an atrocity. These people have been brainwashed into hating Americans. Were all Germans evil during the Second World War? No, but most of them would have pledged their loyalty to a madman nonetheless.

I hope I am never held personally accountable for the actions of the Howards, the George Dubyhas and the Blairs of this world.

If you want to change the world, start by changing yourself.

From Little Things Big Things Grow


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