Sep 13, 2021
For several weeks, the media had been building up the approaching 20th anniversary of 9/11. On the anniversary day itself, there were multiple ceremonies across the country to remember the nearly 3,000 people who died in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.
On 9/11/2001, it was a natural human response that people were horrified at the deliberate murder of so many people and were angry at those terrorists who were responsible. It is understandable that there are some people today who still want to honor and remember all those who died.
But behind all the planned ceremonies, the politicians, the media and those that run this society have their own reasons to continue to talk about and remember 9/11. That is, in remembering what happened on 9/11, they want people to forget what happened before 9/11/2001 and forget what has happened in the 20 years since.
The terrorist attacks on 9/11 did not happen in a vacuum. They arose out of decades of U.S. imperialism dominating and exploiting the peoples of the Middle East and the rest of the world. U.S. government policies in the Middle East are carried out to maintain control over a key area of world commerce and control over the resources of the region, especially oil. To protect the profits of U.S. corporations, the U.S. has sent in its own military forces, or used those of its surrogates, like Israel. The U.S. government has propped up authoritarian regimes and undermined regimes that tried to take a distance from U.S. imperialism. They have pitted one regime against another. For the people of the Middle East, the presence of U.S. imperialism has meant continual wars and lives of unending poverty and despair. U.S. imperialism has produced a breeding ground for people who hate what the U.S. has done—and a few of them, in their blind anger, would kill innocent civilians.
After 9/11/2001, those who run this society, backed by the politicians and the media, tried to rally the U.S. population behind them so they could continue the same policies of U.S. imperialism for the next 20 years. They used 9/11 and fighting terrorism as the pretext to occupy Afghanistan, invade Iraq and to conduct other wars in the Middle East.
Since 2001, over 7,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed in wars in other countries—and the number of people, civilians and soldiers, from those countries who have died are hundreds of times that number. And people living in those countries are more impoverished than ever.
After 9/11/2001, the politicians and the media talked about how “people were united” and how “we are all together.” For 9/11/2021, they repeated the same ideas, hoping that people forget that we are not all together, that we live in a society divided into classes.
The truth is, we live in a society divided between the capitalist class and the working class. The capitalist class in this country benefits from the policies that U.S. imperialism carries out around the world, exploiting working people in other countries. And that same capitalist class exploits working people here.
In the 20 years before 9/11, and in the 20 years since, the standard of the working class has been pushed down. That is something that we cannot forget.