9/11: Six Years Later

The gray clouds and falling rain bring an added sadness to this tragic anniversary. Each year that passes makes us all think of the loved ones we lost and the overall tragedy of the day.

Each year that passes makes us all think of the loved ones we lost and the overall tragedy of the day. This seems to be even truer this year since the anniversary lands for the first time on a Tuesday. In contrast to past anniversaries and on that very day, today is marked by gray clouds and rain adding a new degree of sadness. For me the rain drives home another sad truth that eats at my heart with each passing year.

The fact that Bush/Cheney—who will forever be fused into one evil entity—used 9/11 to wage their failed war on terror in a country that was in no way involved in the attacks was bad enough. The fact that those members of Al Qaeda responsible for the attacks never had ties to Iraq before but now have been growing in strength since our attempts to “liberate” the Iraqi people is even sadder. But saddest still is how many Americans to this day believe the continued lies from Bush/Cheney.

The truth remains that a small but fanatic group of men—whose money came mostly from Saudi Arabia and military training from the US—were responsible for the horrors of 9/11. Not Saddam, not Iraq. The war waged by Bush/Cheney was an act of vengeance and cockiness. We need a base of operations in the Middle East as long as we are reliant on oil. This is not a criticism, but a plain truth. Iraq was picked because of threats made to Bush’s father and a misguided idea that it was an easy win.

In the end, 9/11 will go down in my history as a tragic act that could have been avoided if intelligence was taken seriously. At the very least it was an act that could have been properly avenged if reality and truth hadn’t taken a back seat to greed and ego. America has this recent record of bad relationships. We helped create Al Qaeda as a way to get the Russians out of Afghanistan. We supported Saddam in his bid to invade Iran. Even now we are changing tunes and asking the insurgency to be our friends. And, of course Vietnam.

So what is the answer? How can we avoid another 9/11-type attack on America or another failed war or whatever? I feel the logic is clear. We need to stop acting like the so-called enemies we are fighting. We need to stop trying to force people to see things the American way while we make little or no effort to learn what they want. We barrel our way into ancient cultures with no regard for even trying to communicate. We’re tourist with large guns speaking slowly and loudly thinking people will understand our English.

America also needs to keep its promises. If it did, once the Russians were out of Afghanistan, Al Qaeda would have been our allies, not our sworn enemies because we would have helped them rebuild. It’s the same story over and over again. And as Bush/Cheney worries about spreading a version of Democracy that America itself does not follow—let’s face it, they’d not be in office if we did—other parts of the world crumble and new enemies are fostered each day.

It’s time to embrace the corniness and learn to love thy neighbor. It’s time to find out how to live together. And for anyone who thinks that our enemies threw the first punch on 9/11, you need to do your homework. I’m not forgiving them the horrors of their actions, but I’m also not holding our own government harmless. It’s time to stop thinking in terms of us vs. them and time to open our eyes to the falling boundaries of a growing global community.

“Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace”
–John Lennon

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