Black and White

In a couple of days it will be the 11th of September, 2010. It will be the ninth year after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

I remember the day of the attack very vividly, because I was spending it at an Italian hospital in Venice. Shortly after the attacks happened in New York, I had a little bit of a bloody situation and had to see a doctor. There I was, sitting in a hospital where nobody was talking to me, watching the screen in front of me showing all those horrific messages.

Because the procedure took a while, the my school class had to be waiting for me at the bus. The silence that greeted me that evening after I entered the bus was so defining, I can still hear it today. Nobody new really what was happening and what will come next. We’ve been old enough to grasp the possible implications of those events. A couple month later a classmate of mine wrote that we’ve never came so close to imagine the real possibility of another world war.

He wasn’t all that far off, if we take a close look back and watch what happened since.

Somehow, seeing the news from the US today and over the last years, it feels as if those terrorists succeed not only to kill many, many people, but also to bring down the civility of a whole nation.

USA has been, since the loss of the Soviet Union, in a strange place. Being – for the moment at least – the last standing super power created a vacuum. On the one hand, everybody welcomed the end of the cold war, but on the other hand it was hard to determine towards what the US was now working for.

The United States have been and probably will always be a country full of people with fixed goals and a lot of determination. It’s one of the core values and that’s what made this rather young nation as successful in the 20th century as we know them. But a villain was needed, only nobody really took up the torch.

While this must sound overly simplistic and it is, but the fact that this is true was later shown very clearly in many reports that have shown with with determination the USA worked to create the necessity of a war in Iraq. The republican administration, full of people who remember quite vividly the cold war and some of them helped shape it as well, didn’t know how to act differently. They’ve been looking for a fight and they’ve found one.

No, I’m not joining the chore of the conspiracy theorist, who actually believe that the administration orchestrated this awful attack on their own nation. But I do believe that they have seen the possibilities after the attack has happened.

Sad story is, that we’re witnessing today the deconstruction of a great nation, one that was built on the idea of freedom of speech and that everybody was equal. I admire Americans quite often for what they can accomplish, if they set their minds to it and for the time being, we will continue to see how great things will be invented in the US of A.

At the same time, we’re probably also going to see more of those sad personalities like Glen Beck, who is telling lies, we will see more of plain out stupid people like Sarah Palin, who profit from some peoples need for a simplistic, black and white world view they’ve been used to during the cold war. We will also see more preachers who will, under the cloak of christian faith, try to organize events for burning the Quran.

We’ve been seeing awful acts under the Bush administration, but in a way I’m even more staggered about what we are seeing during the Obama administration. The Republicans, the Tea Party especially are transforming themselves into movements of hatred and corruption. The fact, that those people hide behind the American Constitution makes this only more to a farce then it already is.

The attacks of 9/11 certainly did not bring down a nation to its knees, but they certainly did accelerate the rapid transformation of the United States of America.