...It hit me then that this was no accident. Sure enough, the second plane hit, and we all knew. "Go, Osama!" someone said.
I was both shocked and not shocked. I knew that there were people who wanted to attack the States, having lived in the Middle East and seen how hated America was in some quarters. What shocked me was that al-Qaeda managed to do it, to get on the planes and strike so easily. I figured that the US government expected it and was prepared. But how do you prepare for something so big, so horrible?
The scale of the attack also surprised me. I had thought in my mind before, "what would happen if the white house and congress were hit in a war - would the government collapse? what would that mean? who would be the new superpower?" But when the news was reporting the attacks on the Pentagon, and reports of a bomb at the US capital, i thought this was it. It was the collapse of America. I felt sad and frightened, and more American than I had ever felt before.
At first, there was a brief, shameful second where I felt some satisfaction - I didn't think about the fact that there were people in the buildings. I saw this as the big guy getting hit by the little guy, and the government getting payback for supporting Israel's occupation. It was a second, but I still feel disgusted by it. But as I watched the smoke billow and thought about the pain this would cause, my anger immediately shifted to the murderers who killed so many. The projected death tolls were being read, the images of people jumping were being shown, the replays of the towers collapsing. It felt like the end of the world, and I knew who did it. I became angrier and angrier, not only for the evil of the attack, but also because I felt that, as an Arab and a Palestinian, this was being done in my name ....
Go read the whole thing - especially the end - to find out how far a little courage can go.
Worth a second link, Baldilocks has some thoughts on life, death, and a positive response to tragedy.
Three men went to work one Tuesday morning. Only one came back. Gay Patriot tells their moving stories ... and of how one man's life was saved in an unlikely way.
Jane at Armies of Liberation is at a loss for words.