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August 16, 2007 / Joshua

No Thank You

Last week, there was a column in the Philadelphia Daily News by Stu Bykofsky titled “To save america, we need another 9/11”. The basic argument of the column is that the only thing that could end the political division in America, remind us of the enemy we are fighting and reunite us all around that cause of fighting terrorism instead of each other is another major terrorist attack in this country.

This column is so ridiculous and the columnist so incredibly successful at completely missing the point of his own frightful thinking and empty reasoning I’m not sure where to begin.

I think that such a column was even written reveals just how much of a fraud the “War on Terror” is. Practically speaking, there is no war; at least not one that is two sided, but rather it is what we call the U.S. government declaring war on anything and everything that moves, or appears capable of moving, in a threatening manner. So what Bykofsky calls for here should show us all the indefensible nature of this endless fighting stance billed around some ridiculous fantasy of ultimate power, forever warring to prevent and eradicate all dangers and threats, even when they become impossible to see (and then wishing for more threats / attacks to point to for justification). What kind of insane, quasi-Orwellian world do we live in when people begin to say we really need to be attacked again by our enemy so that we will all remember we are actually at war with that enemy? How can anyone not now dismiss the insane reasoning and fearmongering arguments guiding the “War on Terror”?

Of course, because of the insanity at the root of the War on Terrorism, Bykofsky doesn’t really explain what the refreshed unity we would supposedly have would be good for, or what exactly we should unify around. Should we unify around the Iraq War? And how exactly are we suffering now from a so-called lack of unity?

In the same way that so many now still view the failed Vietnam War, Bykofsky seems to imply that invading Iraq was a good move, but it has been hampered by bad handling and lacklustre support, and because, he argues, “Americans are impatient, We like fast food and fast war”, this has caused us to lose focus and become divided. Well Stu, do you think we might actually be “divided” because the war itself was unwise, unnecessary and a massive mistake? Or because the War on Terror itself is a massive mistake and completely untenable? No, apparently not. You seem to think so long as we can retain that magic “unity” fueled by grief, anger, hate and the need for revenge then everything we do out of such hubris will work out just fine.

That is, until the end of the piece. Beyond the bizarre and muddled reasoning of this column, Bykofsky does us the favor of completely destroying all of that reasoning himself with his last two sentences,

“The unity brought by such an attack sadly won’t last forever.

The first 9/11 proved that.”

Well then what the hell is it good for? Just so we can all feel united and patriotic for a couple months while we bomb the hell out of Iran – or the entire Middle East while we’re at it – and then, within another year, find nothing but all of our current problems and our path of destruction forever growing and multiplying? No thank you. What is hastily, aggressively and unnecessarily done in the name of your precious unity (aka, outrage, anger and fear) is ultimately incompatible to any lasting unity and sensibility.

I should note that on Monday Bykofsky wrote a follow up column, titled “I was wrong about another 911”, in response to the thousands of responses he received vehemently disagreeing with him.


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