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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

modernity vs terrorism « Previous | |Next »
September 9, 2011

The mainstream media's interpretation of 9/11 ten years on is still one of (western) modernity vs (Islamic) terrorism and modernity winning over terror. The West stood firm--staying the course--- in this clash of civilizations. However, ever vigilant we must be. This is war.

Most of the western commentary read like an attempt to justify the horrors committed by the West in the last decade and to bat away a faith based presidency's ruthlessness and venom for revenge (a crusade) in its long war against a nihilist Islam. It's a good v evil view of the world that allows for no shades of grey, and, as know, there are many shades of grey. Despite this it is still us v them,

MoirA 9:11anna.jpg

What is covered over or rationalized away in this conception of an enlightened modernity (science and progress; freedom and civilisation) fighting off the dark, irrationality of barbarism (myth and superstition) of them (Al Qaeda, Taliban insurgents, 'terror' itself) is the dark side of modernity.

Consider the lies about Iraq's WMD's; the destruction of Iraq and the civil war in Afghanistan; the drones bombing in Pakistan; the acceptance of torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay; the surveillance of western citizens and the erosion of their civil liberties; renditions, detention camps to incarcerate refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan; and the turn against science around global warming.

Violence and terror are an integral part of western modernity and always have been; just like the ferocious drive to extract as much out of the Earth as possible without giving anything back to it; or pollution in its many destructive forms. The deaths of the non-American civilians (100, 000) are deemed to be insignificant. American security was what mattered and it is held that there is little that is fundamentally wrong with American foreign policy in the Middle East.

We are still immersed in the middle of "the American era of endless war" with no end in sight and the US has done little to honestly confront the nation’s past wrongs done under the veil of secrecy.

After September 11, 2001, it was often said, “everything changed.” The shock of that day, on which nearly three thousand American civilians were murdered, still reverberates, affecting politics, law, and policy in the US and elsewhere. What has stayed with me is how Australia has changed as a result of the war on terror. We've become so security obsessed, so suspicious, so wary of strangers. Ordinary office buildings require IDs before they'll let you in. Taking pictures is a suspicious activity. Private security guards are everywhere. Factories, boats and convention centres have become high security sites, concrete barricades blocked the area around Parliament House. Australia sees itself as Fortress Australia.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:21 PM | | Comments (4)


The 9/11 anniversary is largely about the American suffering.It's the "Where-I-Was-on-9/11-and-how-I-felt" tales. There are no recollections offered from parents in the Muslim world talking about how their children died from the post-9/11 American bombs, drones, checkpoint shootings and night raids. They are invisible in this media talk.

It is assumed in establishment media discourse to be necessary for citizens to sacrifice their civil liberties in the name of fighting Terrorism.

What was denied by Howard + the Coalition was that U.S. wrongdoing against Muslims may have motivated the attacks by terrorists.

They hate us for our freedoms... And if you're not 100% with us, then you're with THEM!

That's all we need to know... apparently.