Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11


There is nothing more jarring than waking up one morning on your honeymoon to a phone call from your mother. "What the hell could my mother want that she'd bother me on my God damn honeymoon," I remember asking myself.

"Turn on the TV," she tells me.

The world was changed that day. Everyone has a different, very personal story to tell about it. Indeed, I was on my honeymoon. In Vegas no less (well, we'd planned to drive to Vegas, but just didn't care to keep going as soon as we hit Mesquite. What was the difference? A hotel is still just a hotel.) Indeed my mother did call to shock me back into harsh reality.

We cut things short and drove home that morning where I was glued to the news for the next couple of days.

The problem is that we haven't learned the horrible lessons of that day. The world hasn't changed for the better because of September 11, 2001. Horrific acts like that one are beset before people and our reaction is a large indicator in to the national soul and consciousness. Instead of trying to be a force of peace and goodness in the world, we were out for blood. And we've paid for it.

Terrorist attacks the world over have risen sharply in direct response to our retaliations in the name of 9/11 and we've soiled the name of United States in one big bloody horror of an occupation of a country that had nothing to do with this atrocity. We went into Afghanistan at first because a few of the people involved were probably hiding there, despite the fact that 15 of 19 hijackers were Saudi Arabian and they could trace all the money into Saudi Arabia. Today, Afghanistan is an occupied wasteland rife with daily terrorist attacks and fighting. Saudi Arabia is stronger than ever. Then, once we'd "toppled" Afghanistan, we went into Iraq under a series of ever-changing (and ever constantly false) pretenses and now our American troops are paying the price for this ill-conceived blunder and our protracted occupation in a country that is facing all out civil war.

We had a moment to look within ourselves as a nation and make things better in those moments after the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Our actions have defined our nation these past five years and to be honest, I'm not very proud of how we, as a nation, proceeded.

I see September 11, 2001 as a wasted opportunity to show the world how a truly great nation reacts to such a calamity.

Since our response (in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.) has, by all accounts, created more terrorists, hopefully we'll be better prepared to deal with the next terrorist attack in a much more Christian way. Perhaps we could start organizing peace in the Middle East instead of destruction. Perhaps we can start spending more money on keeping our citizens healthy and well than on "defense." Perhaps instead of obliterating other nations who we see as an axis of evil, we can work multi-laterally and peacefully toward moderating them.

Perhaps.

But, with George Bush still in office and the House and Senate controlled by Republicans, not today.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

It seems you are blameing the whole U.S. for George Bush. You are aware that most people in the U.S. don't support George Bush? I think many people think that the war on terror was handled poorly. You say no one has learned or nothing has got better but you only list problems created by one man and his government. I think lots of people have learned from it.

Anonymous said...

We elected that man. Whether or not you personally cast your ballot for him is irrelevant; as a member of this democracy, we are beholden to the decisions of the majority. This one man you are eager to blame was put there by the entire population, whether by their apathy or their active support.

"His government" is the one we as a population voted into office. We cannot divest ourselves of responsibility without washing our hands of the democratic process itself. If we weren't tacitly accepting his decisions, we would be making more than just a fuss.

--Steve F.

Bryan said...

In 2001, George Bush was not elected by a majority.

By identifying myself as one of the Americans, I was attempting to shoulder some of the blame.

What I was trying to say is that 9/11 is a lesson that America as a collective hasn't learned.

CheGuevara said...

Of course, everything is Bush's fault. After all, Bush doesn't care about black people.

Anonymous said...

Wow, talk about real "thinkers" here. Apparently combating terrorism has nothing to do with "promoting goodness" in your view? That's just ludicrous. Sadly, it's going to take another tragedy along the lines of 9-11 to make people realize..."Oh, yeah. I forgot. We don't really want to sit on our backsides and let the terrorists kill and maim at will without any consequence." Nah, instead, here's a fine idea: Let's invite them to tea and see if we can organize some peace. When will you wake up and realize that there is no way to reason with TERRORISTS????

Our response in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. has not CREATED more terrorists. It has just drawn attention to them and now the world has a better idea of how many of them there are. I wish that we, the American public (and the entire world), could see the long list of terrorists who've been captured or killed in the last few years. Yet I suppose even then you would say that doesn't make anyone safer. You'd probably be in line to defend them in court, instead. Sad.