Monday, December 3, 2012
9/11 Was Not Just A Terrorist Attack - The Return of America the Great
9/11 was not just a terrorist attack. At very least, its effects were much more far reaching.
9/11 was an injection of poison that no one seemed to notice. That was the damage that was done, not just the lives lost. America was poisoned with a shot injected into the largest city of this once great country by those deluded with hate, by those who grew to hate us in part from our own actions over the past hundred years of our paying no attention whatsoever to what our actions were doing to those then third world nations of the world. We were injected with a poison that spread out rapidly, reaching across our country, and then spreading out to the world.
In modern pop culture terms it was like we were bit by a zombie and then we bit others conveying the poison to the world. The infection spread partly from fear of terrorism, but also from our own words and actions. America is rather new to the need to protect our homelands from terrorism and sadly, we reacted to it like children.
Fear is contagious and we helped to spread it. This was what FDR meant when he said, "Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself."
After 9/11 we were turned into a Zombie country. We were infectious, WE then were dangerous. We went to war against the nearest country that fit our need to kill; someone, anyone We did what was right before we were attacked. We should have cleaned up in Iraq in the 80s, not in 2003. We rightly went into Afghanistan in 2002 and attacked our attackers, Al Qaeda and their associates the Taliban. We nearly devastated them and the Taliban. But then we let Bin Laden escape to Pakistan. Why? Because, we weren't through satiating our revenge. You can blame the Bush Administration, they were the head of the pimple at that time that was America.
What other country has two million people in thousands of prisons and jails in its own country? Who had secret prisons around the world? In Romania, in Poland, in Guantanamo? That poison we were injected with on 9/11 made us go crazy. Our own past with nonsense like our "War on Drugs", a war on many of our own citizenry, gave us a mindset that allowed us to be led into a "War on Terror". So we went into the longest war in our history in Afghanistan, a "war" that spread against a rag tag global group of terrorists and wannabees. We found a way to allow ourselves to torture prisoners, to terrorize individuals in a confined setting. We used things like "extraordinary rendition" to kidnap and torture and when that became too difficult to do, we found other countries who had brutal natures and we allowed them to do those things in our name.
The Bush Administration kept these things going for many of those years. Those secret prisons were shut down in 2006 and in 2009 it became official policy that we do not do that anymore, under a different administration. For years the flag draped coffins at Dover were banned to be photographed when America's children, killed in war, were brought home to their final resting place. The worst thing we can ever do, is to force ourselves away from facing that we are indeed at war. When at war you need it to be painfully obvious. Let that be a lesson to us.
Labeling so many things as "war" allowed us to think as you do in a war. In war we do things that are not normally allowed. Murder, is legal and not even called, "murder". The "Fog of War" includes killing the lame, women, old people, and children. It allows us to kill our own citizens, something that should never happen without due process and judicial interference. And we did that. We killed an American citizen with a missile in another country by first labeling him as traitor. His father even went to court to sue the country to keep it from happening, asking instead that he captured, to bring his son back, give him a trial as he was guaranteed by having been through all his life, a great thing, an American citizen. But in killing him we devalued what we are as Americans.
One of the great things about our Country, about being an American citizen, is the protection of our own country and in having due process, not presidential dictate leading to capital punishment. After we killed that American, we then killed his sixteen year old son, shortly thereafter and in the same manner, using a bomb delivered on the end of a missile.
Is this who we are now?
Is that America? Does that sound like America to you? Is this, what our once "Great Nation" is about now? All this because we were afraid? Because of Fear? When we are afraid does that give us the right to throw our long standing ethical principles, right out the window?
President Obama, as soon as he took office on January 22, 2009, put a stop to our torturing people around the world, on principle. Some people complain a lot about Pres. Obama and what he has done since coming into office. They have various considerations on how we should be rebuilding our economy, treating our citizens, and fighting (or even being in) a war. But the one thing the Obama Administration has been and is doing, is helping our country to heal itself after ten years of our longest war ever (other than our "War" on drugs and the American citizen).
Healing is difficult, it can be painful, but it is necessary.
Look, having a "War" on things is dangerous. That attitude alone is dangerous and we need to stop doing it. Legalizing Marijuana strangely enough, is one way to help end that mindset of having a "war" on something because it means an end to extraordinary actions against something that some only some people don't like. When it leads our own country into rationalizing actions against our own citizens, then we really have gone astray. Whether it is arresting someone in our own country for possessing even small amounts of Cannabis, or in blowing an American up in another country for terrorism and being a traitor, we need to make up our minds who we are and what we are allowed to do, in any circumstance.
As it helped lead us into our, out of context, "War on Terrorism", something that sounds good, feels good but counter-intuitively isn't good, it also led us into something else. Things like the "Tea Party", extremism in our country, the Republican Right taking over to the detriment of our country and even the GOP, their own party. But as things go these types of things tend to be cyclical and the pendulum can only swing so far to one extreme or the other before it either swings back, or simply breaks the mechanism. And we have been far too close to that for far too long now.
Being an American means something. It should mean something, anyway. It should mean something extraordinary and these last ten years and more we have diluted what it means to be an American. We need to stop that. We need to get back on the path and we need to heal. Not only ourselves within our own country, but also in how others view our country and its citizens. We need to get back to the business of being "Great" and not saying it. It's not just about our military power or our economy. It's also about our principles, our existence, our being a leader in doing things around the world, and within our own country. We need to decide what is "right" and stick to it.
Sometimes being that kind of a country is difficult, it can be painful. Lives can be lost over it. But we have in the past been the kind of country that can "take it on the chin" and continue on, even through difficult times, and continue doing what is right.
Which kind of country do you want us to be?
During these past ten years we have at times been, in contemporary parlance a, "chicken shit" country. Literally, we have been scared of our own shadows. Remember the colored, "Shades of Danger" alerts that we stopped using in 2011? As it turned out, we only needed them for feeling all fuzzy safe. The Bush administration had pushed us into an old fashioned Texas style retribution and we all know that revenge destroys both the deserving and the undeserving. It can also make one into the other.
But now we are painfully trying to leave that juvenile opiate of war and the mindset of retribution behind. Shouldn't we now finally go back to being the kind of country we were once again? Shouldn't we allow this healing process that the Obama Administration is trying to help us with, happen? To return to being once again that great nation that we once were?
We have evolved during this process. We are a different country now than we were in 2000. We have entered the 21st Century as a country at war and we need to stop that and become a country that is on the forefront of delivering peace. Of advocating Peace. If we want to be at war then we need to be at war against those who are fighting a war against us. But it is not toward our own citizens. It is not toward those who use recreational drugs. It is not toward terrorists. Terrorists require police actions, intelligence operations, not full scale war actions. Going to war in Iraq when any "war action" was really in Afghanistan, was simply ludicrous.
War against terrorism is a concept that may very will never end. Those wannabees who wish to be terrorists can simply do so. But do they deserve a war? Maybe so, but do WE deserve it? No. Surely we can handle them with smaller, less devastating actions that will not destroy those innocents nearby them as "collateral damage" and create new terrorists in their wake because of our killing their relatives and loved ones, as inadvertently as it may be.
Jeh Johnson, the Defense Department's General Counsel, the head Lawyer for the Defense Department, went out this past week for the Obama Administration to say just this. He spoke at Oxford University in Britain and said that wars against something like terrorism can go on forever and we need to find an end to it. He said that we are fighting against a new kind of thing and that at some point we need to call an end to the "war" actions.
"How will this conflict end. It is an unconventional conflict against an unconventional enemy, and will not end in conventional terms." - Jeh Johnson
At some point he said, this will have to be turned over to police and intelligence agencies, and the sooner the better.
America is finally coming back into its own. We are striving to return to being the once great nation we had been and perhaps in the end, we will become an even greater nation than before.
A lot of what I'm talking about here falls under a single word: Honor. War gives a wink and a nod to acting in dishonorable ways, and that has to stop. We have to acknowledge our past actions but then we have to move on to heal from them.
But we have to allow it to happen, we have to let it happen, and we have to support those who are trying to do this hard work. We have to want it and embrace the change as well as a embrace a different, more mature way of being and looking at things. We have to be brave, to persevere through adversity and no matter what, we have to not allow those fear mongers who have spoken out for so long and have led us astray, to influence us, ever again.
In the end, we have to be Honorable. We have to face it, to admit it, that we were not at some points in these past ten years. And then we have to move on to build ourselves a better way of being, under any situation.
This, is America.
Make that mean something once again. Allow America to again come into its own and to remain so from here forward, no matter what.