This morning, walking through the IU campus with puppy Shadow, I came upon a field with what looked to be thousands of, what? — flowers, candles? — (sorry, forgot to take a picture) a veritable sea of little pinkish things, in ragged rows. Aaah, yes. It’s the 10th anniversary of 9/11. So there must be 3000 of them.
Coming closer, I could finally see that they were not flowers, and not candles, but, damn it! flags. Tiny little American flags sticking up out of the ground in remembrance.
Right then, the vision of driving from Wyoming towards northern Idaho came in. It must have been the second or third day after 9/11/01. Every car, every truck, all seemed to have flags on them, window stickers or bumper stickers, everybody a flag-waving American.
I had heard that American flags had sprouted up all over New York City as well. I imagine they sprouted up across the globe, waved sadly by foreigners whose empathy for the pain suffered by Americans opened their hearts even as their trust in the U.S. government had been sliding for years. “We are all Americans,” they shouted, unaware of the trap that had been set for world domination with this single, perfidious act of mass murder.
I wanted none of it then. And I want none of it now. No heart-pounding, thumping patriotism for me. Then and now, whenever I see an American flag used to fan the flames of 9/11 I feel nauseated. Just as I knew in my gut that it was an inside job from the start, so I knew that they were setting us up for more war, big time.
I have a feeling that it’s only when we stop identifying as citizens of this nation state that we can transform the corporate military complex’s crazed mania for permanent war. As Einstein said, you don’t solve a problem by the same kind of thinking that created it. Instead, you enlarge the frame within which it is seen; this changes the atmosphere, and spins out new possibilities.
Space travel, the Internet, and the growing global awareness of ET presence have together shrunk the nation-state frame to the point where it appears tiny, stupid, downright ignorant and foolish. As astronauts can’t help but notice, territorial boundaries on Earth do not exist. It’s time we recognize that we are all one people, one tribe on this tiny twirling planet, Earth.