Shelter from the Storm


September 11, 2002. I awoke this morning to a dark, stormy Vermont. How appropriate, I thought, that today would be like this. Not so much because of the dead a year ago, but moreso because of those killed since those towers fell last September and those almost certain to be killed in the near future. I haven’t turned my TV on for a week, just because I don’t want to become victim to the sentimentalist (or even worse, jingoist) nonsense being turned out on this anniversary.

I was in New York last September 11th just north of the Village and I can still see those towers collapsing in front of the streetcorner crowd I found myself in that Tuesday morning. I can still taste the acrid smoke of capital and those who work for her as it filled my lungs at a gathering for peace the next day in Washington Square Park. I can still remember the joy at finally finding my friend after wondering if she was dead, or killed at her job near the WTC. I can still remember the overwhelming sense of sadness that engulfed my being when I knew that the brutality I saw would be answered by more of the same. So I don’t need TV to remind me.

I watched my son go off to Boston for college two weeks ago and I see his sister every day after her second-grade school day. What kind of world have we made for them? And what kind of world is being purposely unmade by the men and women who have chosen to twist a desire for justice into revenge and domination? I challenge those who think that war on the world is going to make their lives safer to just look at a child’s face and notice the hope that lies there. Now multiply that hope by the number of children all over the world. Then remember-war doesn’t bring hope, only sadness.

Tonight, Donald Rumsfeld’s protege Kenneth Adelman speaks at the University of Vermont. The title of his speech, which is sponsored by the campus Young Republicans, is “Bomb Iraq Now.” Many students and townspeople who disagree with this bloodthirsty call will be out in force to challenge Mr. Adelman. Unfortunately, neither he nor his superiors seem to care what we think. Perhaps that’s because they will feel no sadness from this war they wage. After all, it won’t be them or their relations who will die. Hell, they won’t even feel the effect of any economic pinch such an attack would bring. No, instead they will profit from their undisguised drive for world domination.

Ron Jacobs lives in Burlington, VT. He can be reached at: rjacobs@zoo.uvm.edu


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Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

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