Monday, September 12, 2011

Are the Terrorists Still Winning?

The answer is simple.  Yes.  Over the course of the last few weeks there was an impending sense of doom as Americans were inundated with scenes of the September 11, 2001 tragedies, when commercial jets crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania.  Yesterday, there were interminable memorials across the country.  On TV there were constant reminders at the start of sporting events, during commercial breaks, and of course the usual special programs.  Football coaches wore NYPD caps.  Politicians, never ones to miss a chance to remind us what their party did or the other party did not do, used the day to gain political points.  We almost reveled in misery.

Finally, the terrorists got into the act as well, reminding us of their presence.  There were either the imagined threats, or the day was used to stroke our fears with mostly idle threats. I have always felt that the few resources that they had were exhausted on that one day in 2001.  Otherwise, there would have been many more attacks.  Our government was unprepared, and it is still relatively easy to enter this country.  It is very easy for those who wish to be disruptive to create idle threats and throw this country into a frenzy of fear.  The government cannot afford to let any threat pass.

After the attacks on 9-11, this country allowed a president and his followers to take us into two ill advised wars, bringing about the killing and maiming of thousands of our soldiers untold numbers of innocent civilians.  The costs of those wars have practically bankrupted this country, and thrown it into a recession from which it will struggle to recover for years to come.  Its citizens have suffered the pain of losing their pensions, their homes, and their jobs.  The politics resulting from the government's huge war debts have become even more polarized and extreme.  It is almost reminiscent of Germany, following the end of WWI, when citizens actually carried almost worthless cash in wheelbarrows.  They looked for someone to blame and allowed extremist politicians to take over and persecute those whom they blamed for their misfortunes.

Then there are the constitutional rights of Americans that have been abused with an extreme "Patriot Act," which grew out of fear of terrorist attacks.  Citizens have been held and harassed without provocation, simply because they are of Middle Eastern derivation. Citizens have resorted to harassing their fellow citizens for no other reason that the fact that they were seen reading an article or book that could be construed as being related to terrorism. 

Have the terrorists won?  Surely.  One morning in 2001 caused a  ripple effect that this country is still reeling from.  They are still winning as is evidenced by the reaction this past week.  We are still dwelling on that morning.  We can't let it go even after 10 years.  Nine years before I was born the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  We let that go.  Let's let the attacks of September 11, 2001 go as well.  It is done.  It can't be taken back.