On the tenth anniversary of the destruction of the Twin Towers inNew Yorkthe papers, television and newspapers in theUnited Kingdomwere full of articles and shows about 9/11. The anniversary was treated by our media as an entertainment, albeit a solemn one. Papers were filled and television and radio stations overwhelmed and no doubt much readership was attained and much advertising sold. It was a circus where grief was the clown.
In that terrible event nearly 3,000 people died and thousands more were injured. The anniversary was very fully covered, but I refrained from adding to the volume of writing about 9/11 on the day, because there was nothing that I could add to what was written. Instead I am now writing about the anniversary day.
However, as the day has now past I think it time to add to the very little in print about one of the tragedies that 9/11 spawned, about which virtually nothing was heard on the tenth anniversary.
Pakistanis a nation allied to ours and to the United States of America. It has, since 9/11 suffered far more deaths than those suffered in New Yorkon that 9th September. In fact, according to Imran Khan, a former cricketer and now a Pakistani politician, thirty five thousand people have died as a result of violent terrorism (and a little so called friendly fire) inPakistan in the past eight years. IfNew York has suffered as a result of terrorism and we must mourn and remember her dead, then what respect should we pay for the dead ofPakistan, killed by terrorists?
One death, a thousand deaths, a million deaths; our imagination cannot cope with the big numbers. We can feel the death of one person; we can barely understand the death of a thousand people. What are thirty five thousand deaths? A football stadium filled with people, not cheering or applauding but dead, lifeless.
When we learn of the death of millions our feelings break down and we cannot do justice to feeling for the deaths of millions. What feeling is proper?
“Show me what thou’lt do:
Woo’t weep? woo’t fight? woo’t fast? woo’t tear thyself?
Woo’t drink up eisel? eat a crocodile?”
Our feelings are too small, our imagination too limited to cope.
In the Catacombs of Paris the bones of six million souls repose. The paths of the catacombs are long and tortuous and the bones of those who lived hundreds of years ago are piled high, tastefully arranged as an entertainment.
In Manhattanthere is a monument to those killed by terrorists (or perhaps I should state more accurately by criminals who specialise in terrorising people) just over ten years ago. There is no monument to the thirty five thousand Pakistanis who have died in similar circumstances and there is little recognition of the fact thatPakistanhas paid a far higher price in these affairs thanNew York City.
Filed under: climate change, justice, law Tagged: | 911, at a crocodile, catacombs of paris, Imran Khan, media treatment of anniversary of 9/11, pakistan deaths due to terrorism, terrorism, twin towers, Woo't drink up eisel