Schedule, 50x50cm, Ed. 3+2P/A

The two airliners flown into the World Trade Center towers were props of a devastatingly selfish and lunatic ideology. Ten years ago, my Dad and I watched the telly in his front room and watched the first tower burn and the second plane hit. It was just before 2 in the afternoon.

The visual shock of fireball plumes at eighty storeys above ground, or the dispersal of debris and bodies, or the engulfing clouds of dust over Lower Manhattan, cannot compare to the emotional shock and trauma spread far and wide as a result of those two murderous impacts on that clear September morning.

As I watched footage of the 9/11 Memorial in New York my heart went out to the victims’ families and I cannot imagine difficulties faced for those in their many journeys of healing.

Just as the events of September 11th 2001 make no sense, so too has the American response. I want to say simply that while sympathies for the victims and victims families are essential, sympathies for the Bush administration’s decade of war are not.

A few weeks ago, I got an email from James Pomerantz asking, “Have you seen this craziness?” James was referring to Francisco Reina‘s Strauss’ Legacy.

Peacemaker 03, 50x35cm, Ed. 3+2P/A

Strauss’ Legacy may be incendiary, angry and even a bit cack-handed, but as I’ve already suggested there have been many reactions to 9/11 and, I for one, am not ready to dismiss a photographic project based purely on the fact that the imagery is coarse and confusing. U.S. foreign policy since 9/11 has been coarse and confusing.

From Reina’s statement:

Strauss’ Legacy focuses on the so-called neocons and the way in which their presence in the American presidential administration on September 11, 2001 shaped events. Particularly close attention is given to the role played by a number of multinational corporations in a conflict which began under the name “Operation Enduring Freedom” and turned into a perfect market niche for multi-million dollar earnings. […]

Ideas were espoused by Strauss’s disciples and followers, leading to the creation of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) in 1997.

PNAC is a highly controversial organization. Many people claim that the project advances the notion of total military and economic world dominance based on the idea that the 20th century was the “American Century,” and that this supremacy must continue into the 21st century. The only way to achieve this domination is by scaring the public with the specter of a dark enemy whose mere existence posed a threat to the survival of the American nation, thereby making it possible to carry out their ambitious plans. This is one of the goals of the neocons, and they were prepared to do whatever it took to attain it. September 11, 2001 was the match that lit the fuse on the savagery that continues today.

9/11 was a catastrophic day. For the 3,000+ people that died then and the hundreds of thousands that have died since in the folly that was the War on Iraq and in the unwinnable war in Afghanistan. Profits and gains have been made but very few of them have been for American families.

Enduring Freedom, 67x85cm, Ed. 3+2P/A