a politcal coming of age

apparently osama bin laden, al qaida, and the taliban were responsible. and people wanted revenge. i felt that way too. but within a few days i started thinking about the endgame. we could punch back. but then what? if you indiscriminately bomb countries that “harbor terrorists” you’re probably gonna piss off some would-be terrorists.

it occured to me that the appropriate response lay in eliminating the seeds of terrorism: reducing poverty, fighting for social justice, and improving american public relations (aka foreign policy) around the world.

i just hoped the people who decided our countries’ official response would come to the same conclusion. that they would rise above the mass retaliatory knee-jerk gripping the country. it didn’t seem like they would, and looking back, we know that they did everything but.

less than a week later, a teach-in entitled understanding the attack on america was scheduled at unc. the gist of this impromptu panel was that our politicized and schizophrenic american foreign policy has a pretty crappy track record. this was not to say we deserved what we got, but rather to understand current events within the context of recent history.

i had no real sense of politcal identity before september 11th, feeling as out of touch with the “liberal” democrats as their “socially conservative” republican counterparts. but at this teach-in i discovered a group of people calling themselves progressives, who were much more politically and socially innovative than your average democrat.

in a single instant what had previously been loosely connected feelings and my gut responses to current events coalesced with the existence of a way to communicate them.



Does this all have anything to do with your response to the movie? Did it have an effect on you?

I’m taking to calling myself a radical leftist.
after 9/11 it didn’t make sense to be just a moderate liberal anymore.
I like it when you have multi posts on a theme.

thanks. the movie got me remembering some pre-blog times.


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