September 11, again.
It’s Sept. 11 again, the seventh anniversary of that tragic day in 2001 when militant Muslim jihadists commandeered four airliners armed with nothing more than boxcutters and crashed two of them into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and into a corn field in Pennsylvania. Roughly 3,000 people died that terrible morning, most of them Americans but many from countries all over the world.
It’s Sept. 11 again and the man who masterminded the horror and carnage, Osama bin Laden, is still at large.
Instead of turning its vast resources to bin Laden’s capture and trial before a world court, America under the leadership of George W. Bush dropped a just war in Afghanistan, where bin Laden and al Qaida were operating with impunity, and undertook a criminal, unjust war of opportunity against Iraq and its leader, Saddam Hussein.
It’s Sept. 11 and America has spent roughly $553 billion on the Iraq War. More than 4,000 American soldiers have lost their lives. Tens of thousands more have been maimed, physically or mentally, for life. Over 1,255,026 Iraqis have died since the invasion of their country in March, 2003. More than a million of them have fled the country for their lives. Saddam Hussein, an evil man and ruthless dictator, was captured and executed, but there were no weapons of mass destruction. al Qaida, bin Laden’s network of terrorist jihadists, didn’t exist in Iraq until after America invaded and occupied the country. Iraq’s infrastructure was destroyed, her precious historical treasures looted and smashed, her schools trampled, and the freedoms enjoyed by a secularized populace were undermined and eventually removed. Her people, who once lived for the most part peacefully in mixed neighborhoods, are now divided, and when America finally, finally leaves Iraq to the Iraqis, a violent, bloody civil war is all but certain.
Meanwhile, the neglected fight in Afghanistan is ramping up as the Taliban’s forces regroup and attack both military and civilian targets there. Soldiers are finally being sent back there, but they’re facing the prospect of not only starting over, but fighting an emboldened, strengthened and well-rested enemy, even as America’s awesome military might has been stretched to the breaking point.
In other news, the long-sleeping Russian bear is waking up. It’s also well-rested, hungry and in a very unpleasant mood.
It’s Sept. 11 again and America’s economy is crumbling around us. Americans are losing their homes, their jobs, and their hope. When Americans asked, “What can we do? How can we help? What can we sacrifice to avenge the lives lost in the terrible terror attacks of that bright, late summer morning”, George W. Bush said “Go shopping.” And we did, even though we didn’t have the money and had to use our credit cards. Today, we are finally realizing that it was all a sham, manufactured on a massive and convenient catastrophy to transform the rich into the fabulously wealthy on our backs and with our hard-earned money.
It’s Sept. 11 again, and America is only beginning to understand how casually her leaders trampled her Constitution. We’ve lost many of our civil rights. We’re being spied upon by our own government. We have a prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, that rivals any the Nazis dreamed up. We’ve lost our right not to be detained indefinitely or otherwise without knowing why, and also our right to a fair trial before our peers. We’ve sneered at the Geneva Conventions regarding the humane treatment of prisoners of war and have adopted torture as a legitimate way to gather intelligence.
It’s Sept. 11 again and roughly half of Americans are planning to vote for another lying president who would continue the grim, America-destroying work of Bush and the neocons while further fattening the Swiss bank accounts of the ultra rich. His vice presidential candidate is a stunningly stupid, unqualified woman who would overturn Roe vs Wade, ban books, favor teaching creationism in our schools and work to turn our democracy into a theocracy. And yes, that fine Christian woman is an unashamed liar, too.
It’s Sept. 11 again. Somewhere, bin Laden is laughing at us. His plan has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.