FOUR YEARS LATER
INCREDIBLE AND BIZARRE. I still grieve over what happened on September 11, 2001. The terrorist attacks, devastation, loss of nearly 3,000 lives, and heroic responses by volunteers still seems incredible. Just as incredible has been the unfathomable manner in which our governmental leaders have ever since reacted to it. These past four years have got to be the most bizarre chapter in U.S. history.
JUSTIFICATIONS AND RATIONALIZATIONS. Instead of thoughtfully considering the range of reasons for the attacks and various plausibly effective responses to it, our President immediately declared war and insisted the attacks occurred because "they are evil" and "hate our freedom." From that point on, we've been on a wild ride. The attacks of September 11, 2001 have been used to:
(1) wage the most nebulous war in world history,
(2) create a national and international environment of secrecy and suspicion,
(3) focus and solidify unprecedented power in the Presidency,
(4) justify the use of a "pre-emptive war" policy (unprecedented and ethically untenable),
(5) justify taking unilateral action in the face of international opposition to American assertions and reactions,
(6) justify war on Afghanistan,
(7) justify war on Iraq,
(8) justify renewal and extension of the Patriot Act,
(9) justify radical increases in defense and homeland security expenditures,
(10) justify an alarmingly high and growing federal budget deficit,
(11) justify radical reduction in local safety-net and self-help initiatives for the poorest of poor Americans,
(12) re-elect a President who has been perceived as winning the "war on terror" (overwhelming evidence to the contrary),
(13) justify the promotion of continued and increased levels violence as the way to end violence and bring about peace, or at least "security."
FALLACIOUS AND MISLEADING. Four years later, the Bush Administration still seems to be using the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 to to justify or rationalize much of its conduct. But terrorism has increased during the past four years; some would say that terrorist recruits have multiplied because of our leaders' chosen responses to terrorism. America and the world is not a safer place four years later. The "evidence" the administration used to connect 9/11 to Iraq and WMDs has proven fallacious and misleading. On it goes...
HONESTY AND INTEGRITY. Does not honesty and integrity (so vocally asserted by the Bush Administration) call for a thorough reevaluation and refocusing of America's response to terrorism? Violence and war has had its "fair" chance. In honor of all who died on 9/11 and in the hope of ending the unnecessary loss of life in the terrorist wars, it is time and past time for change.