Monday, September 11, 2017

The Second Angriest 9/11

I was probably angrier on the day, but too stunned to realize it.  I read a bunch of my previous 9/11 posts last night thanks to facebook's "on this day" feature, and realized that I have mostly been sad.  That the sacrifices were wasted as the US went off to Iraq so that whatever chance we had in Afghanistan was blown.  That Islamophobia is stronger now than in the aftermath of the attack.  A horrible day led to awful responses, but there was much heroism and, thankfully, much restraint.  George W. Bush is my second least favorite President of my lifetime, but he tried hard to not make things about a war on Islam.  Today, we have my least favorite President who is trying to make war on Islam AND enabling white supremacist terrorism.

Yes, Trump dominates my thinking on 9/11, just as he has dominated my attention since November 9th.  I cannot help it, given that one of his first executive orders was to ban Muslims.  While the Islamic State and the occasional attacks by those inspired by IS may have helped to motivate Islamophobia, it is definitely one of things the far right has been trying to do for years and Trump rode that wave.  In the ethnic outbidding that was the GOP primary, Trump was willing to go further, in that auction for far right support, to play up Islamophobia, inciting violence (often hitting the wrong target thanks to the ignorance of bigots).  So, one of the key lessons of 9/11--that Islamist extremists are the adversaries of both the US and much of the Islamic world--has been destroyed.

I am angry that more Americans see the Republicans as better on terrorism (whatever that means) when the President nods and winks and encourages white supremacists, who have killed more Americans since 9/11 than Islamist extremists.  While I very much remember 9/11, I also remember Oklahoma City.  Efforts to fight the far right white supremacists have been fought by the GOP who wanted to protect the far side of their base.  Trump lauds them, retweets them, and makes all kinds of false equivalence.  There is no doubt that white supremacists feel enabled and empowered by Trump, Sessions, Bannon, Miller, Gorka and others.  Just because a few of these guys are out of the White House does not mean that Trump is now "independent" or "moderate" or an "adult."  He is still an awful racist who has given much power to white supremacists (Sessions).  He has not changed since Charlottesville which ... was only a month ago.

We are supposed to be united on this day, but Trump has taken the existing polarization and amped it up several notches with the help of Fox.  So, I'd like to remember the victims and the heroes of 9/11--there were so many of both.  But on this day, all of that is crowded out by the fact that the US has elected the worst President who now betrays on a daily basis the legacies of that day.  So, yeah, I am sad, but I am mostly angry. 

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