My occasionally snarky thoughts on everything from motherhood, politics, life and current events. Cocktails are sometimes mandatory. Bottoms up!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A discussion amongst friends...

I thought about posting about this the other day after writing a comment on a friend's blog that was most definitely long enough to be a post of it's own. That's always been Harvey's advice... and I should have just done it.

Ah well, better late than never.

My good friend AkshunJ over at On and On and Two Steps Ahead wrote a great post about patriotism, conspiracy theories and our duties as Americans to embrace the freedoms that we have been given, while not following blindly, or believing everything said by our leaders...

His post was inspired by a conversation he had with my hubby WxMan over an email forwarded to us by Mrs. AkshunJ.

Yesterday, my good friend Wxman called me and asked if my wife had forwarded him an email about 9/11 being a government conspiracy. I believe his exact words were, "Is she *trying* to get my blood-pressure going?!"

Go read his post. Really. I'll wait on you...

So, being that I do have some strongly held opinions, I had to respond. If for no other reason to make my position clear. And make sure that both AkshunJ and Mrs. AkshunJ know that I am open to discussion, even if in the end we have to agree to disagree.

AkshunJ continued...

But I was troubled by something. I left the conversation with the feeling that Wxman and Richmond (as well as most Americans) both firmly believe that anyone who would call 9/11 a government conspiracy is pretty much a nutjob in need of professional help. Similar to those who say that the Holocaust didn't happen, or that the first walk on the moon was a hoax. This is NOT the part that troubles me as I tend to agree with them. My issue is the reasoning. I believe it is the strong feelings of patriotism my friends feel that compel them to disbelieve anything other than the official version of events on 9/11. I think that most REASONABLE people, like my friends, feel this way. [emphasis mine]
As I explained to AkshunJ, I *do not* categorically believe whatever the government (or anyone else) provides as "truth." I research. I read. I ask questions. I look to many different sources to see what their take on the information is. Then I make my own decision.

I didn't need to research the conspiracy theories put forth in that email link - I, like he, had already dismissed them not long after they surfaced. Some of them have been kicking around for a looooong time and are really too far farfetched for any real consideration. Not by me, anyway.

I wasn't at all bothered by the forward, though I am saddened that there are people out there who really buy in to a lot of this garbage. Like those who deny the holocaust having ever happened, the folks that believe that the events of 9-11 were orchestrated by our own government cannot be taken seriously by me. Ever.

It makes me sad. And resolved to make sure that at least *I* keep my eye on the ball. As the saying goes, "Those who do not remember history are destined to repeat it." I would include that those who deny the truth of history are destined to repeat it as well.

Back to the conspiracy theory stuff... After doing some research to figure out who these film makers were, I came across some audio transcripts of several interviews that these "Loose Change" guys had done. Listening to them laugh at the plight of the people who allowed themselves to be overcome by boxcutters on airplanes... pissed me off.


That wasn't the only thing - but it sticks in my craw. Their laughter... And it negated any argument they might have put forth even further.

I appreciate debate and listening to other people's points of view. It helps me to better examine my own beliefs and motivations. To hone what *I* really think about any given thing. And I would never want to infringe upon anyone's right to question, doubt, or investigate what people in power/government are doing.

That is part of being an American.

But I do take umbrage when people make light of another person's tragedy, and belittle them for thinking differently than they do. That pisses me off.

And all of the current mental masturbation amongst the talking heads and pundits and politicians over "Who dropped the ball and failed to prevent 9-11..." pisses me off too.** EVERYBODY dropped the damn ball. Now let's just decide what we should do about it fer chrissakes! But, I digress...

Finally, AkshunJ asked, "Are we safer today?"

The truth is, that I *think* so... but I don't know. That may be just my optimistic nature talking.

I will say that I will never feel totally "safe" again. We were attacked on our home turf in a way that *nobody* saw coming. (I don't care what Richard Clarke says...) I am now open to the possibility of it happening again. God forbid.

I am NOT saying that I am living in fear, mind you. But my eyes were opened on 9-11, and I will not close them to the threats again. As comfy as the "cave of denial" can be - I can't live there. Nor do I intend to. Ever. Again.

**And I am sooooo not the only one sick and tired of the mental masturbation over the "who dropped the 9-11 ball." You ROCK SarahK!

Oh, and Akshun?? You and the Mrs. are invited for Thanksgiving again this year... Just sayin'.