9/11: Honor, Remembrance, and Reconciliation

On this, the tenth anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks on New York and Washington D.C., I feel I have little that I can personally add to what has already been said, and what will no doubt be said today. I’ve mentioned before that 9/11 acted as a catalyst in my life, that it drove me towards what is now The Wild Hunt, urging me to stop sitting on the sidelines of my faith community and become an active participant. Over the years I have collected Pagan responses to 9/11, from the political, to the magical, to the deeply personal. This year, rather than explore or opine on a personal level, I will simply share some of the thoughts, remembrances, and initiatives generated this year from within the modern Pagan community.

9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York.

  • At PNC-Minnesota Cara Schulz shares some deeply personal thoughts on 9/11, telling of how she lost a friend that day, and asks others to share their thoughts, prayers, and stories from that time. Schulz says that 9/11 “is seared into our DNA.  Most of us, after ten years, are able to look past the events of that day and live normal lives.  Others are still crippled by grief.”
  • Circle Sanctuary has created a Facebook page called “Pagans Healing Remembering 9/11.” Its purpose: “Pagans of many paths sharing 9/11 healing & memorial rites, experiences, reflections, plus tributes to Pagans who were killed, wounded, impacted by the September 11, 2001 attacks, rescue, recovery on that date & in the time since. Also a place for Pagans to share visions of hope, strength, renewal, peace, & visions of working together with those of many paths for a better world.”
  • In addition, Circle Sanctuary will be holding a “Healing From September 11th” ritual on September 20th at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve near Barneveld, Wisconsin. This ritual is free and open to the public.
  • Outgoing COG First Officer Peter Dybing, who is also works as a firefighter and EMT, shares his perspective of 9/11. Dybing says he has “spent much time contemplating their sacrifice and am greatly concerned that the memory of their honorable actions is being distorted to support an American obsession with security that leans toward paranoia.”
  • The Dogwood Local Council of the Covenant of the Goddess has launched a special page for “13 Magickal Days of Remembrances” for 9/11.
  • At their Facebook page, ADF Archdruid Kirk Thomas shares a prayer for 9/11“Our hearts sing out to the Sacred Dead, who dwell within Your great halls. Grant us, we pray, the wisdom to look deep within ourselves, to see the truth of our lives, that every day we spend in the Midworld may be a blessing unto ourselves, each other, and to the Earth our Mother. Let us not live in blindness, but open our eyes to Your mysteries, that we may revel in every dancing moment. And when our time comes, as it will, let us take that last journey with the knowledge that we have lived full, generous, and pious lives. So be it!”
  • New York City Councilman Dan Halloran, one of two openly Pagan/Heathen elected officials in the United States, appears in the new documentary “9/11: Reflections Then and Now.” Halloran lost his cousin, Lt. Vincent Halloran, that day, and nearly lost his brother, Patrick. At a special screening of the film, Halloran said that “one of the most important things to remember is almost every New Yorker was touched by this tragedy, a 9/11 family in New York is not a unique thing.”
  • Patheos Pagan Portal manager Star Foster shares her own thoughts and remembrances of that day, exploring theodicy within the context of modern Paganism. “Grappling with why our Gods allowed 9/11 to happen, allow any tragedy to happen, is key to our understanding of the event.”
  • Also at Patheos, T. Thorn Coyle writes about reconciliation and 9/11. “We need to reconcile with one another. To do so requires a courage sometimes barely imaginable, and yet we see examples of it every day. We see it each time a firefighter runs toward a burning building. What will we do next time we are on fire?”

My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Please feel free to share your own remembrances, or links to other Pagan expressions on this day.

About Jason Pitzl-Waters
  • Pagan Puff Pieces

    That’s my city. It’s so surreal. I almost forgot that everything of the last ten years came back to an actual attack on the place I lived, where real buildings exploded, and real people died. It took very little time for us to declare it “Patriot Day” or “the new Pearl Harbor” or whatever, as if were jumping around going “Oooh! Oooh! History!”

    I’ve been watching a music video of cameos of the towers in movies over and over. Maybe I miss them more than I thought. I always thought it was suspicious how quickly I got used to not seeing them anymore. I still don’t care at all about what will go up in their place. I don’t know why. I didn’t even jump for joy when Bin Laden died, even though I intellectually knew I should. I don’t know why.

    It’s like nothing had to do with anything.

    • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

      It’s the level of trauma. Some wounds are so great, so terrible, so senseless that they remain open. They can never be closed or restored. It was so sudden, so terrible, so incomprehensible, that there is nothing you can latch onto to start getting your bearings and healing.

      I didn’t jump for joy either, when Bin Laden fell. Probably because there was no justice in his death, no retribution. He was killed and given a proper burial at sea. We didn’t get to see his dead body (for fear it would anger the very people we are supposed to be fighting) and he was given all the due respect in death that he denied ever single person he had killed.

      These are reasons why there is only emptiness inside.

      • Pagan Puff Pieces

        For you, perhaps.
        Me, I don’t even care about that.

        This is going to sound like a weird thing to say to a group of Pagans, but I’m sick of trying to find meaning in all this.

      • Baruch Dreamstalker

        “We didn’t get to see his dead body (for fear it would anger the very people we are supposed to be fighting)”

        Wrong. It was for fear of angering the millions we are trying to convince that we are not the enemy of their religion, only of those who attacked us and murdered thousands of innocents, and their cohorts.

        We have to be mature enough to recognize different Moslem populations. There are Islamic Americans who, like us, are a religious minority with whom we may actually have some interests in common, particularly creeping Christianization of public life. There are our enemies in the name of Islam, whom we must fight and defeat, not because they are Moslem but because they have made themselves our enemies. And there are about a billion other Moslems only peripherally interested in us but for whom our conduct of war and our treatment of Islamic Americans can be inflammatory if mishandled.

        Fighting our enemies is a war we must pursue. Everything else must be diplomacy. Sanctify the war if that is your Path but please don’t extend it into the realm of diplomacy.

        • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

          I hear your words, but I find some of reality troubling….
          You say convince the Millions we are not their enemy. But what about the rest of that Billion? How many of them already are our enemies?

          As for the Christians, yes, I am worried about them as well. But the populations of Extremist Christians are rather small. I think numbers wise, we are fairly close in population size. Also, they mostly attempt to influence via laws. Yes, they have a lot of power and they do have a presidential candidate, but these are things we can easily deal with.

          Yes, Muslims are a minority in the US, true. But just because they are a minority doesn’t mean they are small or powerless.

          According to one article i found, there are roughly 600,000 Muslims in New York City alone. link for convenience.
          http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/09/06/2011-09-06_suspicion_lingers_muslims_say_they_feel_tension_growing_stronger_as_wtc_annivers.html

          Now, according to a Pew Poll (which I am aware some people have issues with their poll taking) 5% of Muslims in America are favorable to Al Qaeda. (2% very, 3% somewhat.)

          It also estimates that there are 1.8 million adult Muslims, and an estimate of 2.7 million Muslims total in the US.

          http://www.islamist-watch.org/blog/2011/09/pew-poll-quantifies-the-radical-minority-of-us

          Last i checked, I don’t think there were even a fraction of that number of Pagans in the US.

          However, the point I’m driving at is lets say that Pew exaggerated the numbers and there’s only about 2% of Muslims who support Al Qaeda in the US, either extremely or willingly. What do these numbers tell us?

          That roughly 12,000 Muslims in New York City alone believe Al Qaeda is doing the right thing. that 54,000 Muslims in the US alone believe that Al Qaeda is in the right.

          Again, I am not sure that the total population of Pagans in the US comes close to those numbers, but it’s been a while since that data was posted, if anyone has it, I would love to see our population numbers.

          Now, for the sake of argument, let’s say that only 1/1000 of those who believe that Al Qaeda is in the right among US Muslims is actually willing to go out and do anything for those beliefs. that means that roughly 12 Muslims in New York City, and roughly 54 Muslims in the US are willing to go out and kill in the name of Islam.

          Not much right?

          So let’s say that our police and FBI are really good, and they have a 90% detection rate. that still means that one in ten is likely to get through and pull something. So, we’ve got roughly 1 terrorist in New York, and 5 in the US.

          Again, not much.

          However, let us look at what a lone or pair of individuals can do.

          Columbine in 1999, two untrained youths arms with guns killed 13 people, injuring another 24.

          Brekivik, the Berserker, with limited training, killed around 70 people, wounding others.

          The Oklahoma City Bombing, one man with a truck of explosives killed 168 people, injuring a further 680.The blast destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a sixteen-block radius, destroyed or burned 86 cars, and shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings.[3][4] The bomb was estimated to have caused at least $652 million worth of damage.[5] (according to wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_City_bombing)

          We all know the stats on 9/11, which was done by 19 men. I think less than 12 terrorists were in the New York Planes.

          One man can do a lot.

          Now then, what if I’m wrong in my numbers. what if it isn’t 1/1000 that’s willing, but 1/100. Or what if there’s a group protesting, and that 1/1000 goes out and incites them into a mob? Suddenly, the numbers grow.

          Or what if the populations themselves grow? According to USA Today http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_City_bombing Muslim populations are among the fastest growing due to birth rates and conversions. By the year 2030 Muslims could number about 2.2 Billion and equal 26.4% of the world population. As of 2010, they numbered 1.6 Billion and were 23.4% of the worlds population.

          Let us turn again to the math. For the sake of argument, we will say that world wide, only 2% of muslims feel that Al Qaeda and groups like it are in the right. (I know this number to be blatantly, low, but lets run with it).

          2% of 1.6 billion = 32,000,000

          That’s a higher number than the populations of most countries. And that number isn’t even close to the reality. The reality is close to 40-60% of Muslim populations over in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Roughly 640,000,000 – 960,000,000 Muslims feel that Al Qaeda and groups like it are in the right.

          Which means that even if 1 in a Million of those Muslims who believe this decides to actively join the cause of Islamic Extremism, you’re looking at between 640-960 willing, able, fanatically people who are happy to kill the infidel, or at least fund and aid those who do. and it’s likely to be higher than just one in a million. Even if it’s just 1 in a Thousand you’re looking at 640,000-960,000.

          I don’t see the Christians putting out those kinds of numbers in the US or Globally. So yeah, I’m going to be watching both groups carefully.

          And Baruch, those millions who aren’t are enemies? I just showed you the potential millions that already are. Forgive me if i’m not worried about ticking off a few more in the face of those already there. Go for diplomacy, I’ll support you, but realize:

          It only take one to kill hundreds. And they have millions already.

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            here’s the USA Today link. my pc goofed and put the OK city boming twice: http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2011-01-27-1Amuslim27_ST_N.htm

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            You and I look at world Islam through different lenses. I see roughly a billion people living their lives peaceably under a law they find tolerable. The book of that law holds some disturbing stuff but it’s not activated for most of them.

            The same btw is true of a billion or so Christians in the word. There’s scary stuff in their book too. But it’s not activated for most of them, either.

            Yes, you can crank the math and show a multitude who could be ready to do us harm. But how much does this magnitude matter? As you say, one man can do a lot, so how badly does it matter how many there are?

            Anyone really taken with the numbers of our enemies can make a career of defending against them in any of a myriad of ways. Unlike some of the commenters on this board, I honor those who have taken up such careers. But stirring up fear on the Internet is not one of them.

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            “You and I look at world Islam through different lenses. I see roughly a billion people living their lives peaceably under a law they find tolerable. The book of that law holds some disturbing stuff but it’s not activated for most of them.”

            I think here is where I see through a different lens. The rampant homophobia, the female genital mutilation, rampant violations of civil rights under religious rule, the stoning of adulterers, making women have four male witnesses to prove that her rape was actually a rape because her testimony doesn’t count
            (completely ignoring that the only four men she could likely find would probably be said rapists), the harassment of non-believers including murder and kidnappings with forced conversions, and many other atrocities that are all “Activated” from that book of laws. And all of these are well documented.

            Not trying to stir up fear. Just trying to pass along knowledge. A man can only have as much preparation as he has foresight. I seek only to give knowledge, like like the Ravens of Odin. I force no man to believe what I say. I respect you, Baruch, you have lived long and know much. Please know there is much still to learn, and we are both on that road.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Alchemist, I neglected to thank you for supporting my diplomacy. I started my reply before finishing your comment. Sorry, I hate it when someone does that to me.

            I look at Sharia and think, “Historically ormal human civilization.” In a current New Yorker article on declinism Adam Gopnik points out that it’s hard to find historical parallels for Western culture because we have emancipation of women, legal rights for homosexuals and at least legal racial desegregation all at once. But that goes both ways; comparing another civilization with ours is pointless.

            This is where I’m culture-centric, but I usually express it not as “Mine is better” but as “Mine is mine.”

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            Baruch, I see you are holding cultural relativism. This is not a bad thing, I too try to do the same. My success level is..mixed, perhaps, but I do my best.

            Were it only in Muslim lands that these things were practiced, I would find them bad, but would not seek to force my ways upon them. The problem arises in that Islam is an Abrahamic faith, and like all Abrahamic faiths, it seeks supremacy and the destruction of all other ways of life for its own. So I worry, and I watch, because I do not wish to lose the old ways again.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Alchemist, I only appear to be talking to myself. This is a reply to your comment about cultural relativism.

            I hold it up to a point. I support my values, but don’t pretend they are anything other than that. If I could force an end to, for example, female genital mutilation I would do it in a shot. Not because of some universal value but because of values of mine that I hold strongly.

            Of course, in the real world the means of forcing such outcomes always wind up infringing other values I hold dear. Aye, there’s the rub.

            Yes, Islam has a dominionist streak no less baleful than the Christian one, and we need to be vigilant. Eg, we needed to go to war over 9/11. Honor the fallen.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    Nine-11 first responders were exposed to carcinogens, and many are showing cancers usually found in men 40 years their senior. This cancer is not covered by the health plan set up for them by the government. Care2 has a petition to extend them coverage. Look it up at www(dot)Care2(dot)com.

  • http://alimoongoddess.com/ Ali

    Amazing how fresh the wounds can feel so many years later. Thank you for posting the links. I think its so important to remember that people of many paths were lost that day. I get sick of seeing all the “God bless” & typical pro-Christian, anti-anything else stuff that seems to go along with all the patriotic statements (not that there is anything wrong with it, just sick of the assumptions that its how everyone believes or should be). To really move forward we have to realize that we must all live together peacefully.

  • Anonymous

    . . . and a moment of silence for the many thousands of innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan who died in our two post-9/11 wars of empire.

    • fyreflye

      I’m with black pagan. It’s time to stop feeling sorry for ourselves, stop playing the victim, stop allowing ourselves to be manipulated by fear, and see clearly what our government has done and is doing in the name of “security,” of “protecting” us, to advance the political and economic agenda of a small coterie that really owns this country. The hundreds of thousands of victims of that agenda in Iraq, in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Sudan need to be remembered too. But what politician, media star or pundit will venture to do that on this occasion?

    • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

      And who might I ask, are these innocents?

      Do you speak of our American and Allied soldiers, slaughtered by Muslim Extremists as they fight to defend one of the few nations that permit those of us who call ourselves Pagan to worship as we please?

      Or do you speak for those Iraqis and Afgans who died by American and Allied weapons? Those Muslims that fought against us, who were soldiers of their governments? Goverments that oppressed those who didn’t think like them, believed like them, were not born like them, were of a different race, or religion, or ideology? Do you speak of the Army of Saddam, long legendary for it’s human rights violations and mass murder? Do you speak of the Taliban, known the world over for its Islamic Fundamentalism? A Fundamentalism, I might add, which would make even the most Fundamentalism Christian blush? Are these the innocents you speak of? For there have not been thousands of civilian casualties in those countries to which we have gone to war. There have barely been hundreds?

      You call them Wars of Empire. Are we an Empire? I have read throughout history of Empires. Rome, Alexander, Brittan, China, Japan, and many others. These are not the wars of an Empire. If they were, the war would have been far more brutal, and those lands we battled in would be ours, not returned to their people with aid to become democracies.

      I would that they had been wars of Empire. I would that we had acted as the Pagan Roman Empire would have done. For the Roman Empire devastated and destroyed all those in an area where but One Citizen had fallen victim to murder by the local populace.

      We lost thousands of innocent lives on that morning.

      Yet what have we given as grave goods and retribution to the dead? Our own people spit on their graves, act as if we should simply bend the knee, pray for the Peace, Submit to the Peace, and not seek justice, or retribution, were-geld, or anything. That it is we who are to blame for their deaths, not a Fundamentalist Religion of extremism, tyranny, and hate.

      There is a theory that the Viking Age came about in response to the forced Christianize of the Scandinavian and Germanic tribes. This theory is put out by one of the leading historians in Norway. At the Bloody Verdict of Verdun, 4000 Saxons were converted to Christianity and Killed, murdered in the name of the One God. For the next Two hundred years, the people of Scandinavian waged chaos, blood, and carnage in the name of Heathen Gods as they fought to retain their Godkin.

      On 9/11 3000+ people were slain in the name of the One God yet again. For the next 10 years we waged a war with our tongues tied and our hands behind our back. And now, after a mere ten years, it is coming to a close. The One god still stands, his followers grow ever stronger, and people too afraid to speak against the Moon rail at the Cross and scream that a nation that lets them pray to Many Gods or None has killed more innocent lives than those who scream “God is the Greatest” as they slaughter women and children simply because they do not believe in Islam.

      Black Pagan, you speak of innocent victims? You are right. According to Islam, every Muslim killed, be they soldier or civilian, is an “Innocent Victim.” Even Bin Laddin himself was an “Innocent Victim.” Why? Because they believe in Islam, and were cleansed of their sins, just as a Christian who accept Christ is cleansed of his sins. So by that reckoning, you are right, we have killed “thousands of innocents.”

      But I will say to you this, according to the same belief that says we have killed thousands of innocents, Every Single Person Who Died on 9/11 was a Evil Sinner That Deserved To Burn, simply because they were not a Muslim.

      So keep your innocence. I find it ash upon my tongue.

      • Anonymous

        Actually I’m pretty sure they’re talking about the hundreds of thousands of non-combatants who’ve either been killed, maimed, orphaned, widowed, tortured, indefinitely imprisoned or generally had their lives ruined in the name of “retribution”. You go ahead and tell yourself that every last one of them was a slavering muslim fundamentalist ready to slaughter infidels if it makes you feel better. No doubt you find innocence has an ill taste, blood seems so much more to your liking that you’d curse the rest of us for not choosing to drink deep along with you.

        • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

          Actually, I tell myself the truth. That many of those innocents where slain or maimed, were done so in bombings and other attacks on US and Allied troops by said Muslim Extremists. They have no problem killing their own innocents to get at us infidels. Have we killed civilians. Yeah, but not thousands.

          • kenneth

            You’re right, we haven’t killed thousands of civilians. Several million would be a more reasonable count. Many hundreds of thousands in Iraq alone. Not all of them were killed by our troops, not by a long shot. But they were people who would not have died but for our involvement. We also bear a share of the blame for Saddam’s decades of slaughter. He was, literally, our employee. We gave him the money and technical ability to produce chemical weapons.

            Since the cold war, we have funneled billions of dollars and high-tech weaponry into dozens of third-world civil wars, each of which resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. We have actually trained foreign death squads on our own soil and supported genocidal dictators over democracies in every instance where the dictator enforced our regional interests. The problem of Muslim extremists is one that was largely created by our own hand. We propped up the dictators like Mubarak who brutally cut off every avenue of legitimate social and economic opportunity for countries full of young and often educated young men. We had a big hand in creating conditions where violent jihad became an attractive career choice.

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            So…let me get this straight. We are responsible when we don’t go in. We are responsible when we do go in. In other words, we are responsible no matter what we do?

            We are responsible because we sold them weapons? I don’t suppose you remember why those weapons were sold in the first place? Or why we went in there this time?

            You can say that the US is responsible for several million deaths, both by action and inaction. But I find it rather hypocritical to blame the US for death under both situations. After all, if we are guilty because we do not act, then the only logical way to not be guilty is to act to prevent. Yet when action to prevent further atrocities is taken, we are guilty for the deaths that happen because of action, leading to a catch 22 where the only way to prevent guilt by action is inaction.

            So tell me, are we then guilty for the deaths of everyone we have or have not faced? Perhaps we are guilty of the Holocaust, because we did not act sooner? Or are we guilty for all the Germans we killed when we acted to stop the Holocaust? Or are we guilty no matter what?

            That argument sounds familiar to me. I have heard it many a times from those who claim that deeds do not matter, guilt is automatic, and there is only forgiveness from one source…

          • kenneth

            You won’t find me selling forgiveness or automatic guilt. The point is we are responsible for all of our actions and their outcomes. We tend to tell ourselves a very one-sided and convenient story about 9/11. There we were, a people of near-perfect peace and virtue just doing our own thing when these crazy Muslims came out of nowhere to attack us. Why? Well, because, you know, those people hate freedom and our happiness. There’s a hell of a lot more to it than that. I’m not suggesting it’s possible to have a zero-harm foreign policy.

            On the other hand, when you treat other people’s lives with the reckless abandon we have for decades, it’s going to have consequences. Through some mix of stupidity and carelessness, we have become one of the largest and most visible external sources of misery for tens of millions of people across the globe. Yes, there are Imams and others who spin and exaggerate that to their own evil ends, but there’s a lot of real, legitimate grievance at the core of it.

            We have this idea that because we self-identify as history’s inherent “good guys” (what empire doesn’t?), that the rest of the world will just have to shut up and accept whatever collateral damage we do in that spirit. Are you an Iraqi with no hope of a job or electric service? Was that OUR bomb that decapitated your 8-year old girl? Tough cookies, fella, just be grateful we’re saving you from terrorists. Would WE accept that from a foreign power who claimed a right by historical mandate to do that to us? If memory serves, we vaporized entire cities of the last fools who tried that logic on us. The victims of 9/11 were innocent, but we are not. We made the ground fertile for the movements that grew their killers.

          • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

            Alright, by your logic we are responsible. Fair enough. But I can’t help you are leaving some people out.

            You say our policies over there are responsible. I will not say we were not involved or meddling in affairs over there. However, Most of our interactions there were taken because of the Soviet Union’s actions taken in the Middle East. Before that, there were the machinations of the British, German, French, and other European Empires (which were actually empires). Before that were the the actions and policies of the various Islamic Empires/Caliphates who ran the entire Islamic Middle East, which lasted pretty close to a Thousand years, and really only ended with the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Again, you have failed to mention them, or their policies towards the various Christian Nations in Europe, most of which started when the Caliphate at the time started carving up the Eastern Roman Empire (which in turn sparked the Crusades.)

            If we are handing out responsibility, we should do so fairly. Let us speak of Mohammed, who started the ideology of Islam. Or of Christ, who helped influence the thinking of Mohammed. Or Abraham, who started the entire Monotheistic shindig? They have all had a hand in this current situation. Or perhaps we should speak of the Chinese, who invented the gun and gunpowder. Sure, it was the Europeans who managed to turn said invention into the death dealing scythe we know today, but without the Chinese inventing it, we would hardly have the modern military equipment you state has been used to slaughter the innocent (which it has, many times). Yet you seem unwilling to speak as to the responsibility of the inventors of the causes of modern warfare.

            So, you can blame America, and perhaps rightly so. But there’s more to blame than the policies of a nation which has only been a world player for all of sixty or so odd years. Especially in a conflict that has been building and going on since the inception of Islam, or perhaps even Monotheism itself, and influenced by world events that have occurred both far and wide and deep in time. I would give more credence to your words about America killing the innocent if you actually bothered to mention any of those who could also (and in many cases are) responsible. Yet you seem to treat each death as if it was our fault, regardless of who actually pulls a trigger or blows up a bomb.

            The ground was already fertile with killers long before we got there. Yes, we think we’re the good guys. But you don’t have to be an empire to believe that. You just have to be a human. They think they’re the good guys too. I don’t see you calling them an empire. I don’t see you calling them on much of anything. I just see you calling us “evil.” By denying them the responsibility of their actions, and forcing that responsibility on us, I can’t help but feel you are denying them the chance to grow and stand equal with the rest of the world.

      • Anonymous

        Dude, you’re reaching bigtime with that last statement. Two guys from my high school died in 9/11. One of them taught me a Who song on the guitar in 9th grade. They were innocent, just as the thousands of non-combatants in Afghanistan and Iraq were.

        And yes, the US is an empire. You can’t be a country with hundreds of military bases all over the world and not be.

        • Baruch Dreamstalker

          I’m not looking for a debate on the definition of empire but many places where we have those bases would be the first to yell if we announced we were removing them. Our allies have invested in social programs while we have invested in arms to defend them.

          Perhaps the anti-military types like Dennis Kucinich could get together with the tax-cutters like Eric Cantor and propose a massive ten-year reduction of expenditures by shutting down our Cold War bases.

        • kenneth

          You’re right, we are every bit an empire. It’s more like a thousand bases at present. Our military spending is close to three-quarters of a TRILLION dollars a year, which has almost doubled since 2001 and is almost equal to what the entire rest of the planet spends on military budgets. There is no way to even begin to understand the United States as anything else but an imperial power.

        • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

          I would have asked were I was reaching with my last statement, but then I saw where Kenneth said the US was guilty of every death in the area ever, so now I see where you’re coming from, BlackPagan.

          Or perhaps you are talking about my statement in regards to the “innocence” of those that died during 9/11? I am not reaching. That is the prevailing idea in those Muslims that believe Al Qaeda is right. Non-Muslims are sinners, evil beasts to be converted or killed. We are not innocent in their eyes, we deserve only to burn.

          • Anonda

            “I would have asked were I was reaching with my last statement, but then I saw where Kenneth said the US was guilty of every death in the area ever, so now I see where you’re coming from, BlackPagan.”

            you are putting wrong words into their mouth norse…
            the point is that many political issues are more interconnected and interrelated and many people are ignorant about this..they dont account for history, beliefs, culture and the interconnectedness therein….

            this is the reason it is wise to be mindful of one’s actions because you may never know what the outcome could be…
            i dont believe in karma and retribution but,
            in some circumstances, some actions and decisions can have dire consequences…
            it is not a matter of us v them or good guy vs bad guy…

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            You are right, issues are inteconnected and interrelated. People get along at all levels of awareness of this complexity. Trying to move someone from one level to another with blasts of guilt is probably counterproductive.

    • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

      And who might I ask, are these innocents?

      Do you speak of our American and Allied soldiers, slaughtered by Muslim Extremists as they fight to defend one of the few nations that permit those of us who call ourselves Pagan to worship as we please?

      Or do you speak for those Iraqis and Afgans who died by American and Allied weapons? Those Muslims that fought against us, who were soldiers of their governments? Goverments that oppressed those who didn’t think like them, believed like them, were not born like them, were of a different race, or religion, or ideology? Do you speak of the Army of Saddam, long legendary for it’s human rights violations and mass murder? Do you speak of the Taliban, known the world over for its Islamic Fundamentalism? A Fundamentalism, I might add, which would make even the most Fundamentalism Christian blush? Are these the innocents you speak of? For there have not been thousands of civilian casualties in those countries to which we have gone to war. There have barely been hundreds?

      You call them Wars of Empire. Are we an Empire? I have read throughout history of Empires. Rome, Alexander, Brittan, China, Japan, and many others. These are not the wars of an Empire. If they were, the war would have been far more brutal, and those lands we battled in would be ours, not returned to their people with aid to become democracies.

      I would that they had been wars of Empire. I would that we had acted as the Pagan Roman Empire would have done. For the Roman Empire devastated and destroyed all those in an area where but One Citizen had fallen victim to murder by the local populace.

      We lost thousands of innocent lives on that morning.

      Yet what have we given as grave goods and retribution to the dead? Our own people spit on their graves, act as if we should simply bend the knee, pray for the Peace, Submit to the Peace, and not seek justice, or retribution, were-geld, or anything. That it is we who are to blame for their deaths, not a Fundamentalist Religion of extremism, tyranny, and hate.

      There is a theory that the Viking Age came about in response to the forced Christianize of the Scandinavian and Germanic tribes. This theory is put out by one of the leading historians in Norway. At the Bloody Verdict of Verdun, 4000 Saxons were converted to Christianity and Killed, murdered in the name of the One God. For the next Two hundred years, the people of Scandinavian waged chaos, blood, and carnage in the name of Heathen Gods as they fought to retain their Godkin.

      On 9/11 3000+ people were slain in the name of the One God yet again. For the next 10 years we waged a war with our tongues tied and our hands behind our back. And now, after a mere ten years, it is coming to a close. The One god still stands, his followers grow ever stronger, and people too afraid to speak against the Moon rail at the Cross and scream that a nation that lets them pray to Many Gods or None has killed more innocent lives than those who scream “God is the Greatest” as they slaughter women and children simply because they do not believe in Islam.

      Black Pagan, you speak of innocent victims? You are right. According to Islam, every Muslim killed, be they soldier or civilian, is an “Innocent Victim.” Even Bin Laddin himself was an “Innocent Victim.” Why? Because they believe in Islam, and were cleansed of their sins, just as a Christian who accept Christ is cleansed of his sins. So by that reckoning, you are right, we have killed “thousands of innocents.”

      But I will say to you this, according to the same belief that says we have killed thousands of innocents, Every Single Person Who Died on 9/11 was a Evil Sinner That Deserved To Burn, simply because they were not a Muslim.

      So keep your innocence. I find it ash upon my tongue.

  • Alex Pendragon

    We lost more than two super skyscrapers and three thousand lives that day. One bitter, evil Islamist fundamentalist did in one day what the Soviet Union failed to do in four decades of cold war……..he took away my country. The grand “shining city on the hill” I was so proud of is no more, replaced by an elitist, entitled, crippled and suicidal empire that is collapsing upon itself. I can hear Joseph Stalin snickering in his grave even now as the likes of Michele Bachman and Rick Perry are actually ALLOWED to run for the office of President of what once was the richest and most powerful nation on the Earth, now laid low by a cabal of fundamentalist American Taliban and corporate puppet “conservatives” who would make the likes of Barry Goldwater puke.

    • http://heathenfaith.blogspot.com Norse Alchemist

      Yes, how dare we have a nation where a man may have an opinion, even a fundamentalist one, and run for office to serve his peers. Truly, this is what the Islamic Terrorists wished. To be forgotten in the face of the Cross, while they drive us to hate and tear at each other.

      Don’t like Perry? Don’t vote for him. Get others to not vote for him. But I ask you, do no spit on the freedoms we still have by cursing one man for his religion simply because he bows to the cross, and ignore far worse fundamentalists who have killed in the name of the same god he prays too.

  • http://vermillionrush.wordpress.com Vermillion

    I was shocked, the September 11th wank that has run rampant since…well September 11th seemed to be downplayed more then usual this year. I don’t know if that had to do with the fact it was the 10th anniversary or maybe because I avoided it as much as possible (which is a bloody feat as I live in NYC) but my urge to maim folks was quite low this year.

    The memorial looks good, maybe in the winter I’ll pop down and take a glance at it.