Thoughts on September 11th

September 11th is the anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City. This terrorist attack was carried out by Al-Qaeda. An organization that has long waged war on the U.S. And whose head, Osama Bin Laden, has been killed. This hasn’t stopped the American government from pointing to its remnants as a reason for war though.

Indeed, September 11th is an event that launched a series of unfinished and seemingly unending wars around the globe. What should have been strictly a day of grief and mourning for victims became a pretext for expansive government warfare. This warfare has devastated and destroyed the lives of thousands. These additional casualties are worth mourning as much as the people who died on 9-11. They range the gamut from Iraqi children to Pakistani adults.

The greatest service we can render these dead individuals is to fight against the use of aggressive force and coercion. Both terrorism practiced by non-government actors and warfare conducted by governments can do massive harm to the lives of innocents. We don’t have to choose between one or the other as something to protest. They are both worthy of condemnation.

Aggressive coercion and force is present in both cases. It tends to be more institutionalized in the case of governments, but the damaging effect is the same. A good example is September 11th and the atomic bombings during World War 2. Both of which involved the direct targeting of civilians and killed large numbers of non-combatants. The actors were different, but the damage done was immense nevertheless.

Both of these incidents also involved the practice of terrorism. An act that can occur in the context of statist warfare too. In spite of the fact that governments have a habit of defining terrorism in terms that exclude them as potential users of it, but this is not an objective approach. It’s just an approach that is designed to make them look good.

Making state terrorist entities look bad is the task of the radical anarchist activist. One way to go about it is to promote the works of left scholars such as Noam Chomsky and William Blum. Both of whom have documented a great deal of atrocities committed by governments and especially the U.S. government. In addition, James Bovard is a good figure on the libertarian right to consult. I wish my readers happy reading in pursuit of knowledge on this subject!

Anarchy and Democracy
Fighting Fascism
Markets Not Capitalism
The Anatomy of Escape
Organization Theory