Itís appropriate to observe the sad and tragic anniversary today, but we live with the consequences of 9/11 every day. The people we lost can never be replaced, nor can the sense of invulnerability or the spirit of optimism that we felt. We knew on that very day that it was one that would change our lives forever. What we didnít know is that we would lose so much more than we needed to.
We didnít know how short-lived the good will of the world would be after our losses, or that it would be squandered by the arrogance of leaders with contempt for any opinion contrary to their own. We didnít know that the fear that came out of the attacks would be perverted and used to justify trampling upon civil liberties. And we didnít know about the hidden agendas.
In hindsight, itís now obvious that war was inevitable, with or without the rationale of the attacks. Our government and its corporate sponsors just needed a reason, an excuse that would sell it to Congress and the people. Afghanistan was on the radar already. Saddam Hussein had committed the unpardonable sin of outliving the previous war.
Now we had a reason to flush the terrorists out of the caves (which we failed to do) and coincidentally secure oil routes. Now, with a few more lies on top of lies, we had the goods on the evil Saddam, who was amassing weapons and aiming them at us (except that he wasnít).
Now, in the name of those who died on 9/11, many more thousands are dead, and even more are maimed and crippled. Afghanistan has reverted to the warlords and Iraq is a bloody shambles. We are spreading democracy by sharing the violence and destruction indiscriminately. Itís probably not going to work out the way weíve been told. No one on the planet is safer or better off than they were before that day four years ago. No one except perhaps George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden. (Remember him?)