Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thoughts on 9/11, Seven Years Out

I was not planning to post about the fact it is September 11th. In fact, I was specifically avoiding posting about it. But then I got sucked in to watching this video -, and now I pretty much have to post.

Watching this video made me cry, and I am not much of a crier at all. Seeing the plane crash into the towers, seeing the towers fall, knowing that they were filled with thousands of normal people just going about their normal daily business... that was a horrible day.

But it also inspired many other emotions -mainly, anger. All of those quotes from leaders "we will find the terrorists", "we will back the president," all these promises, all this crap. Looking back to 9/11 also reminds me of all the horrible things that have happened since then... how we never really pursued preventing terrorism in a meaningful way, how we never found Bin Laden and are still struggling to bring order to Afghanistan but don't have enough troops because we burst into a perfectly sovereign country with no meaningful link whatsoever to international terrorism, how the war in Iraq has actually increased terrorism, how the reason we are in Iraq is because the president lied to us and played on peoples genuine fears and emotions with false information and fear mongering, and how the rest of those people responsible for protecting us - the Congress, Colin Powell, etc, just went blindly along with these lies out of fear of being labelled unpatriotic. It just makes remember how pointless so much of the violence in the world right now is, especially the violence that that U.S. is involved in, and brings me a whole other kind of sadness.

And then, thinking of the vote in congress... and how 3/4 of both the senate and the house voted to go to war in Iraq despite the fact that there was no real evidence supporting the invasion and it flew in the face of international norms. I get mad that so many of these people are still in power, especially in the executive but also in Congress. I find a fury pride in the fact that both Minnesotan Senators, Paul Wellstone and Mark Dayton, voted against war. And then of course comes the sadness thinking of Paul Wellstone's sudden, unexpected death when he is one of the few Washington politicians I truly respected, "Never separate the life you live from the words you speak." I love that quote. Yes. My emotional/mental connections got the best of me today.

Anyways... my point is this. I want a government that respects these freedom it claims to be defending, that acts wisely on the international stage to bring those who actually perpetrate terrorism to justice while still earning respect and focusing on peace, that brings the country together in pride, not in fear. I cannot believe that we have been dealing with this terrible situation, the fear mongering, the lies, the abuses, the tension, for seven years. I can only hope that the next president, whoever he may be, and the next Congress collectively, will find a way to move this country forward away from this twisted legacy of 9/11 and towards something we can be proud of.

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