When the words 9-11are uttered they conjure up a variety of mixed and poignant feelings to all who remember that fall day; this year marks the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack against the United States, an attack which led eventually to two wars, more than 5,000 American dead, tens of thousands additional American wounded, hundreds of thousands of Afghan and Iraqi killed and wounded and trillions of dollars thrown away.
White House guidance on commemoration plans – for the government – call for a “positive” and “forward-looking” message with minimum reference to Al Qaeda, the New York Times reports.
Commemorations should honour victims of global terror, they say, as citizens of over 90 countries were killed.
OK, I have to admit that when I first heard about the White House guidance on how the nation should commemorate the attacks I was a little taken aback; however, having thought about it, I agree with the President that it’s time to look to the future while still remembering the honored dead. I believe it’s also time to stop hating and to down play Al Qaeda; I’m one of those who’ve never bought into the theory that Al-Qaeda was some sort of well-oiled terror machine; to me they’ve always been a pack of punks hiding out in caves who managed to pull off a terrorists dream attack against the United States, but nothing more. They’re still a bunch of cave dwelling punks and they’re still coming out into light every now and then to lash out and kill and maim.
Following the attacks we invaded Afghanistan with the thought of capturing or killing Osama Bin Laden – the purported master mind of the attack – and to punish the uber-conservative Islamic Taliban government of Afghanistan which had allowed Al Qaeda to shelter and train there; but we weren’t long into the invasion when the Bush/Cheney administration became distracted with Iraq. Bush sent the country into a second war based on lies and manipulated intelligence reports. The cost was enormous both in casualty rates and in treasure squandered to ostensibly settle a Bush family score with Saddam Hussein. Bush left office with one of the lowest presidential approval ratings in history; a ruined economy and no Bin Laden to show for his wasted efforts.
A few months ago President Obama ordered Navy Seals to do what Bush/Cheney could never do – to kill Bin Laden. He was taken out; hiding in Pakistan behind one of his wives, and his body was unceremoniously dumped into the ocean. I admit I was more than a little happy when I heard they had capped him in the head.
So, now the boogey man is gone, and it’s time for the President to move the country past 9-11, past the terror of that day, past the hate filled vilifying of everything Islam, and past the wasteful wars of Bush/Cheney.
Accordingly, the White House has said commemoration plans will place emphasis on the theme of resilience, and warned of future attacks; while highlighting the steps taken to break up plots against the US since 9/11 and praising foreign allies in the fight against terror.
On Tuesday, President Obama reiterated his pledge to support the “9/11 generation” of veterans in a speech to the American Legion in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“They were there, on duty, that September morning, having enlisted in a time of peace, but they instantly transitioned to a war-footing,” the President said.
The President – unlike the Republican Tea Party (GOTP) – supports those who fought, and bled since 9-11. He is opposed to cuts in Veterans Administration (VA) spending and believes it’s the country’s obligation to help those who stepped forward to defend freedom following the attacks. The GOTP slate of presidential hopefuls on the other hand have all said they support massive federal spending cuts including cuts in veteran’s benefits. It’s the typical uber-right response to things. While they’re sending young men and women off to war they’re filling the air with platitudes of support and reverence, but after those same young men and women return, having borne the terrors and pain and suffering of war, having done their bidding, they discard them like broken toys.
It’s time to remember the fallen, and those who have fought since the attacks. It’s time to ensure the first responders who rushed into harm’s way are taken care of and supported; it’s time to care for the wounds of our veterans, and to support their transition back into the civilian world; it’s time to move past the hate and to begin to look to the future. Remaining always ready and always vigilant but doing so with confidence and not the fear inspired by those on the right; it’s time to start beating some of our swords into plow shares.