Yesterday the US was drowning in self-pity again, remembering "the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor" or whatever labels are used to describe 9/11/2001.
Donald and Melania gave their show and everybody was playing the once a year favorite game "Where were you on 9/11/2001?".
Funny enough, I also still remember that day.
I was in a big sports store in my hometown Wiesbaden, Germany, when suddenly I saw the burning towers on the big screens they had on the walls.
I watched in disbelief, hoping that it was some Die Hard flic, but alas, it was "reality".
All day long we then watched the second plane come in and the towers finally falling, wondering if this is the prophecy fulfilling.
Wether or not we will ever get to know the truth in 2031, after the usual 30 years when some CIA files are made public, it was some event for sure and, let´s face it, a moment of silent or not so silent joy and a bit of Schadenfreude (yes that´s German!) for many.
My aunt summed it up nicely when she told me: "I pity those people who died there, but now the Amis know what it´s like. All year long they bomb the shit out of other people and now they got a taste of their own medicine!"
And, as a member of the one white people to ever get seriously bombed by the Americans (nowadays they prefer to bomb "brown" people), having trembled in the bomb shelters of World War II as a child in Germany, she knows a thing or two about death and destruction, about having to pass the corpses of those who didn´t make it to the bomb shelter in time the next day, about the horrors people are going through right now in Syria and before that in Iraq, and maybe soon in Iran.
In what would be called classical guerilla warfare nowadays, three Roman legions plus auxiliaries were annihilated by Germanic warriors under the leadership of Hermann, der Cherusker, leading to the famous sentence by emperor Augustus which I, more than 1900 years later, still had to learn in Latin class:
Quintili Vare, legiones redde! - Quintilius Varus, give me back my legions!
(How´s that for Germanic Schadenfreude?)
Varus, the commander of the Roman troops, had been Roman prefect in Syria before, and when he came to Germania he treated the local population as he had treated the Syrians – with no respect and demanding heavy tolls in gold and silver.
So when the Syrians watched the arrival of his severed head in Rome on CNN, they were all like "Alhamdulillah, another bully got what he deserved!" 😎
But the one 9/11 which is the most horrible for me, the one for which 9/11/2001 could be seen as karmic justice, is 9/11/1973, when a military coup in Chile, sponsored by The Good Ol´ Boys, lead to the death, torture, imprisonment and suffering of thousands of people.
We cannot say for sure if President Allende would have turned Chile into another Cuba, the American argument for supporting the coup, but for sure he was democratically elected and representing the will of the majority of the Chilean people. And I think International Law also is against a country interfering into another country´s internal affairs.
But in those dark days another Germanic hero rose to the support of the supressed.
Willy Brandt, then chancellor of West-Germany, applying the German constitution how it is meant to, gave asylum to many Chilean refugees or asylum seekers, as they were called in those days.
This wave of political refugees enriched and invigorated political discourse and protest culture in Germany, like the Kurds do today.
The slogan El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido, rendered nowadays as The people united will never be defeated on many a demonstration in the US, could be heard during those days in the streets of Germany.
And if I then see members of the Alt-Right in T-Shirts with slogans like Pinochet did nothing wrong I could just throw up.
El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido
Hard to watch but that´s what American foreign policy is about up till today