I am sitting here at a friend's house in gorgeous Richmond-upon-Thames and and thinking about that day, a year ago when 'the world changed'.
I was in a trendy restaurant with a trendy radio producer playing with a plateful of trendy sea-bass, bored out of my mind when he got a call to say the a plane had smashed into the World Trade Centre. The information didn't compute until an hour later when I was back home and watching it all on TV. Then, like everyone else in the world, I was glued to the set for two days in shock.
I went through a depression, mourning all the poor souls that perished. I thought that this was as bad as it could get. Meaningless loss of life, children orphaned, sons, daughters, lovers lost. The world was united in grief and all of our hearts were with the victims. I honestly thought it could not get worse. Then they bombed Afghanistan.
Three times as many civilians have been killed in Afghanistan than died in the WTC. Is there any silences, any tributes for them today? On the news just now, a woman was weeping describing how she heard that her husband had died in the WTC. I don't think she would be comforted to know that a woman in Kabul lost her husband, son and five daughters in an American air attack on their home in the 'War Against Terror'. Let's hope no-one tells her.
How many times will we hear 'God bless America'? How about 'God Bless the Whole World'? Does god's blessing recognise national borders? Does god really pay attention to where America ends and Mexico begins? Does he say 'well, I'll bless these people from here to here 'cause they gave the world the Big Mac but I won't bless these folks here cause all they ever did was write a few poems and grow mustaches'.
There is something seriously wrong here. The victims of september 11th are given names and faces, they are real people. Those in Afghanistan are collateral damage. We were not fooled by the jolly name of 'Daisy Cutter'. We knew that it didn't cut daisies. Can we light some candles for victims of the American Daisy Cutter please?
A poem for 9/11
At 1.46pm London time,
I will observe a minutes silence for those who died on september the 11th
At 1.47pm London time
I will observe a minutes silence for those who died in Afghanistan
At 1.48pm London time
I will observe a minutes silence for those who are about to die in Iraq
God Bless Richmond-Upon-Thames
Shappi Khorsandi is a standup comedian in the UK. See Features