The Propagandist Magazine salutes its Allies for carrying on the fight against tyranny. On this anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, our hearts once more go out to those on the front lines (and behind them) who continue the struggle against theocratic fascism.
Paul Simon sings Sounds of Silence at the 9/11 memorial service on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silenceMore >>
In the days that followed September 11th, 2001, most of us had dizzying question marks hovering in our minds in the hazy chaos of this tragedy, as the dust was still falling, both literally and figuratively. Who did it? Why did they do it? What does it mean for the future? The world was going to change, that would be certain, but the view ahead was foggy.
But not for one person.
Christopher Hitchens was already rigorously scanning the facts and forging insights, as he poured down to the page his biting, take-no-prisoners analysis in his usual profilic ouput. Only one day after the towers came down, Hitchens' pen was cutting through the fog, as well as predicting what would come next, from the hassles in airport security to the "great deal of pugnacious talk to be endured in the next few days." On September 12, 2001, in a moving and respectful reflection he wrote in the Evening Standard,
Much of what is said by the cable bombardiers will be worthless, or bluff. But the overused words "civilized world" seem to me
Picture this. In a tiny village in some backwards, rural patch of Pakistan, a village imam who enjoys an occasional romantic rendezvouz with a camel gathers his congregation to burn a Christian bible. Meanwhile, in an even more out-of-the-way goat farm in Saudi Arabia, an otherwise upstanding citizen somehow gets a copy of a Jewish Torah past custom officials so he can torch the thing in front of his mosque.
In France, a Catholic priest in the tiny hamlet of Moutier-Malcard who had a disagreeable meal of Indian curry decides to burn a Hindu prayer book. And for no reason at all, a moonshine-plastered priest in Yellowknife who got ordained online to the Church of the Moose, congregation eleven, immolates a collection of the sayings of Confucius.
The likely result? Absolutely nothing. Zero media attention. No chance of an international incident. Certainly no chance that anyone will die. Possibly, one of these religious yahoos and their dopey congregation will suffer mild burns from getting too close to the flaming tome. That's about it.