Monday, September 12, 2011

Ten Years Later

UPDATE V: Did Republi-cons exploit 9/11 for political gain? You be the judge, read the Washington Post, About that Paul Krugman allegation of 9/11 shame.

UPDATE IV: "The legacy of 9/11 can’t be fully measured even now, but perhaps the most damaging aspect can be found in our national discourse.

Taking the long view, it is possible to see the roots of today’s political dysfunction — the hate, fear, anger and resentment — firmly planted in the soil at Ground Zero.

Did Osama bin Laden envision such a thing when he plotted the attacks? Probably not. He might have imagined that we would retaliate, and this would cost us lives and treasure. But he couldn’t have known that we eventually would lose our common sense of who we are. This has been the big surprise of 9/11 — an ongoing, self-perpetuating act of American self-destruction.

Something was unleashed 10 years ago that bears our scrutiny. It wasn’t only evil, though the attacks were certainly that. The event was so cataclysmic and horrifying that it caused a sort of emotional breakdown in the American constitution. Simply put, it damaged our collective soul and seems to have released a free-ranging hysteria that has contaminated our interactions ever since. . .

[S]urvival ultimately depends on our willingness to marshal reason and restraint against the emotional terrorism that surely will bring us down."

Read the Washington Post, An America that no longer knows itself.

UPDATE III: Something for our resident Pastor-to-the-Dictators, who defends hundreds of killings, arrests and torture cases by Middle East dictators, to think about, from the New York Times, And Hate Begat Hate:

"IN their shock after Sept. 11, 2001, Americans frequently asked, 'Why do they hate us so much?' It wasn’t clear just who 'they' were — Muslims, Arabs or simply anyone who was not American. The easy answer that many Americans found comforting was equally vague: that 'they' were jealous of America’s wealth, opportunities, democracy and what have you.

But in this part of the world — in Pakistan, where I live, and in Afghanistan next door, from which the Sept. 11 attacks were directed — those who detested America were much more identifiable, and so were their reasons. They were a small group of Islamic extremists who supported Al Qaeda; a larger group of students studying at madrasas, which had expanded rapidly since the 1980s; and young militants who had been empowered by years of support from Pakistan’s military intelligence services to fight against India in Kashmir. They were a tiny minority of Pakistan’s 150 million people at the time. In their eyes, America was an imperial, oppressive, heathen power just like the Soviet Union, which they had defeated in Afghanistan.

Now, with the United States about to enter the 11th year of the longest war it has ever fought, far more of my neighbors in Pakistan have joined the list of America’s detractors."

UPDATE II: "What if the United States' response to the Sept. 11 attacks was a politics of forgiveness and peace?" Read The New York Times, The Cycle of Revenge, which note that:

"In the New Testament, Peter asks Jesus about the quantity of forgiveness: How many times should we forgive someone who had sinned against him. Is seven times enough, he wonders out loud? To which Jesus replies, from his full messianic height, 'No, not seven times, but seventy times seven,' meaning, there is no quantity to forgiveness, just an infinite quality."

UPDATE: "The war our enemies began on Sept. 11, 2001, is long over. Perhaps now, after 10 years of anxiety and self-doubt, we can acknowledge our victory and begin the postwar renewal and reconciliation that the nation so desperately needs.

There never was a 'war on terrorism.' It wasn’t 'terrorism' that crashed airliners into buildings on that brilliant Tuesday morning. The attacks were carried out by a 19-member assault team from al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization then being sheltered by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. There most definitely was a war against al-Qaeda, and we won."

Read the Washington Post, Post-9/11 permanent state of war should have ended long ago.
A topic for discussion today: 9/11, ten years later, what do you remember of that day, and what lessons have we learned, the cost of 9/11, one estimate is $3.3 trillion, and lost chances and those persistent myths about the attacks