A Memorial to the Terrorists - When the
Terrorists Are Us
By Michael Moore
November 23, 202:
Information Clearing House-- Eleven days ago on
Veterans Day, while watching the cable news, I
learned that our Congress, never missing a chance to
ingratiate themselves with what they think Middle
America wants — more money for the military, more
flags flying everywhere, more fake patriotism and
more pandering to the fake patriots — decided it was
time to create a brand new national memorial on the
already overcrowded National Mall in Washington,
D.C., between the Lincoln Memorial and the U.S.
Capitol building. The memorial will be called “The
Global War on Terrorism Memorial.” I’m not making
And what patriotic politician or red-blooded
American wouldn’t be in favor of that!
Well, me. I’m not in favor of
it. And I hope you won’t be, either.
A memorial to the victims, the brave Americans
who’ve died in The Global War on Terrorism.
Is this an Onion prank?An Orwell novel?
Because my first question is — the victims of whose terrorism? The scattered
actions of a few crazed Muslims?
Or the massive, organized, government-sponsored
terror from a half-crazed Christian nation where
half of its people still worship an orange man in a
long red tie?
It turns out, this proposed memorial is not to
honor those Third World people who’ve been slain by
the sword in our hands. It’s for our dead!
Would anyone mind if I stated an inconvenient fact?
Other than the horrific, tragic loss of nearly 3,000
people in just two hours on that one day in
September of 2001, the total number of Americans
slaughtered by foreign terrorists over
the past 50 years, is perhaps an average grand
total of 10-20 people a year.
Every life is precious. But let me give this some
perspective. By any means of mathematics, history,
or honesty, when it comes to creating terror and
killing the innocent, the USA is the modern day
Genghis Khan and Bubonic Plague rolled into one.
Whether it’s the four million we
killed invading and bombing Southeast Asia in the
60s and 70s, or the hundreds of thousands
of civilians killed by the sanctions we’ve imposed
on Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, the former Yugoslavia and
Syria over the years, or the 200,000
George W. Bush killed in his 2003 Iraqi
invasion, or the one million
Iranians who died when Bush’s Daddy and Reagan
backed and armed Saddam in his invasion of Iran in
the ‘80s (and when that killing wasn’t enough, we
switched and began selling arms to both sides, just
As D.H. Lawrence once pointed out, “the
essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic,
and a killer.” Our European ancestors came here
and committed an unimaginable genocide of the
Native Peoples, and it would not be until the
democratically-elected Adolph Hitler came to
power that the world would once again see such a
level of bloodshed and madness.
While we were killing off the American Indians,
our European forefathers also went to Africa to
kidnap human beings and bring them in chains to
America and force them, under the most brutal
conditions, to build this new country for us, to
farm it for us, to raise many of our children — all
while our white slave masters raped their women on a
daily basis and lynched any of them who dared to
learn to read. Terror? Oh, ya. We wrote the user’s
manual on it.
But this new potential National Monument on
Global Terror is not about the
terror we’ve committed. It’s to honor
Americans who’ve been killed by foreign
terrorists. And to honor our troops who have killed
those terrorists and their innocent families. The
irony is so rich and so depressing. A nation that
terrorized and slaughtered the people who were
already here, and that has been killing Black people
from 1619 right up through George Floyd and beyond,
a nation populated by numerous white supremacist
terrorists who will never see a day in jail (in
fact, they now get seats in Congress), and the
nearly two million people of color incarcerated,
hunted, detained, chained by an ankle bracelet —
mostly to terrorize their neighbors and families to
prove to them just exactly who it is that runs this
So now the chief terrorists are planning to build
a memorial to themselves, to heap praise on
themselves over how valiantly they have fought
terrorism. Wow. Talk about hubris! Like the Brits
constructing a memorial to themselves for how well
they fought off the Catholics in Belfast.
Or the Spanish honoring their vicious
Or the Israelis building a monument to how many
Palestinian civilians they’ve killed.
Or a statue to “Feminist Leader Mitch McConnell”
for his work in getting the government to take
control over women’s reproductive organs.
Please. Let’s get our definition of terms
straight. It is terrorism when thousands of
police are hired to contain the poor in slums and
trailers. It is terrorism to seize a
family’s home because they can’t pay their child’s
hospital bill. It is terrorism to send
those children to dilapidated schools ensuring their
lifetime of poverty. It is terrorism when
40 million people in your country are hungry, 50
million can’t read or write above a 5th grade level,
and a million others must sleep on the streets or
under bridges. Infrastructure! It’s all about the
optics when terrorizing the poor is the main idea.
And what good terrorist wouldn’t want to claim
the mantle of the victim instead of being the
terrorizer? Of course, many whom we have labeled as
“terrorists” are in fact the
victims of ours or others’ terror. Is a
Palestinian mother whose home has been bulldozed and
her children killed — and then she responds in what
we would call the self-defense of her family and
country with an act of violence against those who
did the killing — is she a terrorist? Or is she a
patriot, a colonial, a Yank, a freedom fighter? When
we invaded Iraq and killed hundreds of thousands of
civilians, and then some of those civilians in turn
made IEDs and placed them on the roads to kill our
invading troops, were they the “enemy terrorists,”
or were they simply trying to defend their homes and
save their own lives?
The nation that terrorizes not only the world but
its own people (as we do) does not have the moral
right to build a memorial to itself as the “victims”
of terror and the defenders of the innocents. And to
build it right next to the Vietnam War Memorial, a
monument that exists to remind us of our own
senseless acts of terrorism on the Vietnamese
people, a memorial that stands with its nearly
60,000 names as an apology to our young dead, a
monument that sorrowfully screams NEVER AGAIN. A
granite wall that is inscribed with the names of the
nine boys from my high school who were sent there to
die. In vain. For nothing. That’s why you honor them
with a memorial.
But our current Congress hopes we will stand by
and allow a monument to a Lie sit beside
the World War II memorial to my uncle killed in the
Philippines, your grandfather who died on the beach
in Normandy, your father who sacrificed his life
that day in Pearl Harbor. Let’s not allow this
degradation of their lives by those who seek to
politicize our National Mall. We already have
numerous 9/11 memorials. We need a Wounded Knee
memorial. We need restitution (or something similar)
to the descendants of slaves. We need a monument to
the millions of American women raped by American
men, and the hundreds of millions of women who since
our beginning have been held back, held down, the
door shut in their face, the better job denied, only
allowed, to this day, to hold just 26% of the seats
in Congress when they are, in fact, the majority
gender. We need a Rosa Parks Day.
We need someone to forgive us.
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