Around 9/11/2001 I was having a period of news fast (not consuming any news). I had found that it made me feel less down and stressed, and most often I learnt about the more interesting stuff anyway, through others. When I called my friend A that day, he said, agitated: "Oh yeah, you don't have a TV! You've got to get to a TV Karolina, it's like some totally freaked out action movie!!... Like Armageddon!"
When eventually I got to A's TV I remember Malou (famous Swedish anchorwoman) sitting in front of a big video screen, showing an air plane time after time flying into a skyscraper, while she was interviewing people with any distant connection to the US, and I found it tasteless. So I felt informed enough and left. (And little did I think then about how the towers fell, or why a plane would at all make a building collapse into a neat little pile of dust...)
A bit later I heard that now the US was going to start a war on Afghanistan. It could not be serious!!!, I thought. Why??? Apparently because they believed that he who had carried out the 9/11 attack was located there, but what did that have to do with this? If he had been hiding in New York, would they be bombing New York? Is this not a matter of police work, where innocent are left aside? What do they mean, "war"?!...
Up to that day my perception of the US was based mostly on TV series, like Friends and Full house. There people were nice and funny and said: "I love you daddy!" - "Aaaaaw!" and such things. They had their peculiarities but at large they were much like us (Swedes), rich, developed and therefore peaceful. Unconsciously I was harbouring a notion that war was something that belonged to the past. To the time before we became this civilised. The only reason there were still some wars here and there was that everybody had not yet achieved this degree of civilisation, but they would too eventually, and then all wars would end! Thus my mind turned itself into a knot, trying to understand the US's behaviour now!...
And it was in this connection that it finally came to my knowledge that the US never had been peaceful. That they had already bombed 26 countries after the 2nd world war. (The number of countries has not gone up between 2001 and now, only the number of bombings...) And thus they ruined my pretty, liniary writing of history that went from war to peace. Soon thereafter they enforced immunity to crimes of war for their soldiers in Irak, by threatening to otherwise sabotage a peace project in Bosnia with their veto. Shear kidnapping that is, because they had nothing against the peace project in Bosnia!... Etc. As if they were going out of their ways to make sure my naive, good perception of them would never be restored. And they succeeded.
So where was I now? The country that had been saluted as the great hero nation of the world, was acting like a rogue state! And was still saluted as heroes!!... By other countries that I also considered good, civilised and peaceful... My belief in the ultimate inner good of the world creeked in its foundations.
Now, many years later, I have come to a new analysis of the world. Apparently being rich and developed is not enough for a country to also be good. It's probably more true that money is power, and power always corrupts. Perhaps it can be said that wherever lots of money is involved, assaults will be made and suffering will occur. Diamond trade, sex trade, child adoption, trade between rich and poor countries,... And my new cure against this evil is now instead: The civil society! An involved and informed public that meddles in everything, and forces those in power to behave humanely. But even more importantly: Takes matters into their own hands and create good development wherever possible. Proving it possible by being an example.
It is the responsibility of every new generation to win back the power of the people!