Like most Nashvillians, I will never forget the terrible events of Sept. 11, 2001. I still vividly remember the carnage that day, as two planes destroyed the Twin Towers, another plane hit and damaged the Pentagon, and a fourth plane crashed into a field on its way to the White House, thanks to the heroics of the passengers of Flight 93.
However, unlike many Americans, I am not content to gullibly believe what I am told to believe, so I have never subscribed to the prevailing fiction that the United States was attacked because some “evil” people hate our freedoms and our values, and attacked us because we are “good,” out of sheer spite. Nor am I foolish enough to believe that Islamic jihadists are trying to “take over the world” when they don’t have the armies, navies and air forces required to conquer Spain, much less military superpowers like Israel and the United States.
So why were we attacked on 9/11?
I think the answer is quite simple, and to understand it requires only a little honest reflection on our part. I call it “Bubba’s dilemma.” Please allow me to have my Clint Eastwood moment and address an invisible American redneck.
“Bubba, think of the biggest, baddest man you know — the one you’d never want to tangle with in a million years. Now, what would happen if you mistreated and humiliated his brothers and sisters on a daily basis?”
“Duh, he’d kick my stupid butt!”
Men like Osama bin Laden will never accept the bizarre idea that Jews and Christians should be allowed to harm completely innocent Palestinians because God favors Jews and Christians and it is their “Manifest Destiny” to tell other people where and how to live (and die).
Muslims get it, Bubba, and are able to read the handwriting on the wall. You’re the one with ADD.
So it’s long past time to “get a clue,” Bubba. If you care about your brothers and sisters, tell your stupid, evil government to stop harming theirs.
Please don’t get me wrong. The Americans who died on 9/11 were innocent. But their government and nation were far from innocent. Long before innocent Americans suffered and died, Palestinians suffered and many died, thanks to the policies and actions of the governments of Israel and the United States.
If we want peace, we need to understand human nature. Just as Americans will risk life and limb to defend Americans, so Muslims will risk life and limb to protect their loved ones. There is no way to escape this simple reality. If you want to live in peace don’t allow your government to harm and mistreat others.
Yes, it really is that simple, Bubba.
Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.