Image: 9/11/11 Man playing the flute at St. Paul’s Chapel by ground zero. Across the street “truthers” gather with Adbuster activists. Somehow this one man on a flute outnumbered the screams of 200 or so activists. -Chanell McLaughlin
I write this in light of a conversation I had with my fiancée about what I would tell my children about the events that shaped my generation. How will I explain Desert Storm and Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom? How will I explain the fateful events of September 11th and The War on Terrorism? How will I shield them from the whitewashed version of American history that is taught in American high school classrooms across the country?
After some soul searching, I came up with a plan and it involves the truth because in my belief the truth, and only the truth, will lead us to the humanistic family we are destined to become. I was born in Wroclaw, Poland in 1978 during the post WWII communist occupation and just 4 years before Polish martial law was declared. The communist party in Poland was a tyranny of the minority making up only around 15% of the population. During my childhood I watched about 1/2 hour of television a week. Not entirely because of my parents austerity, but because there was not as much to watch behind the iron curtain.
I remember Westerns. Not Hollywood sort but the Spaghetti West produced in Italy. When I asked my parents about the images of Indigenous Americans they empowered me in a way that few parents do. They told me the truth. Native Americans were robbed of everything by entitled group colonists under the guise of ideological superiority. Perhaps, those were not the exact words but the memory complicates our recollections.
Having just a tiny bit of honesty at an early age changed me profoundly. After we emigrated, I recall watching GI Joes and having compassion for Cobra because there were no good guys or bad guys. There were only evil deeds. Explaining what happened on that fateful day, I think, is easier to explain to a child than to an adult. I prepared a script with one and only one theme; Bad foreign policy.
image: “Amazing Grace” in front of St. Paul’s Chapel 9/11/11- Leolito Oblima
Son: What happened on 9/11?
Dad: Well son, there were two great wars. The wars started in Europe over, for the most part, because no one trusted each other. Nations had and still do have secret agreements that neither the people living in the country or the people who defend the country are privy to. Some countries had developed faster than other countries and there were also imbalances of power. The end result of the first Great War made Germany pay for the entire war. The second Great War was also led by Germany who had come armed with a new science.
Son: That’s confusing Daddy. What new science?
Dad: It’s more like a pseudoscience or science fiction. The German’s believed that they had reached a peak in genetic science. And dubiously that science brought them to the conclusion that they were genetically superior to their neighbors.
Son: Really Daddy that’s silly.
Son: These silly ideas were not a German invention. The whole world believed silly things. The American’s and the British wanted to control their population and used birth suppression techniques. After the Great Wars the world shifted from a multilateral system to a bilateral power system.
Son: What does that mean daddy?
Dad: Before the war there were many countries that had a lot of power and after there were two countries who had great power. These two countries had a much quieter and much longer war; the Cold War.
Son: Was it in Antarctica?
Son: No, but this war was waged in every other country except the countries who waged the wars. Do you know what the industrial revolution was?
Son: That’s where people started working factories.
Son: That’s right son. The industrial revolution had made the world very dependent on oil. Oil meant energy and energy meant national security. Most of the world’s significant oil reserves are in desert countries. Both of the two countries that controlled the world fought the cold war in other countries and destabilized their governments in the name of their ideologies. The desert countries became dubiously hard to self-govern. The plot of 9/11 can best be described as retribution for decades of bad foreign policy. When the world moved into a unilateral system the oil rich countries filled the vacuum of the enemies of the cold war.