Saturday, September 15, 2007

6th Anniversary of September 11th

This week saw the 6th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. It was interesting to me, how little attention it got. Sure, MSNBC ran the NBC coverage of the events, but who watches MSNBC in the morning? Since then the talk of the anniversary quickly faded into accusations. There are always the accusations that America blew up their own building or knew that it was coming. Merinews (which I found via the Huffington Post) even trotted out the expert opinion of the Housing Director in France to bolster their claims of Bush’s prior knowledge. Keith Olbermann, taking his lead from the Huffington Post, began making accusations that the Iraq report was timed to be so close to the 6th anniversary. I find that ironic sense the anniversary passed with only scant notice. OJ Simpson’s alleged armed robbery is getting more press than the 9/11 anniversary.

Six years ago, I was driving to work when I heard the news. It was my second day of work at a new job, so while everyone else in the mail center went to watch the coverage live, I folded 1200 child letters. I did not see any pictures of the Trade Center until almost 5 that evening. I lived in Colorado Springs at the time, and I remember a lot people running around talking about the terrorists attacking NORAD, and then people running around saying the President was coming to NORAD. Neither of which happened by the way. There was a lot of talk about September 11th being the day that changed a nation. Six years later no building have been built and the American government bickers more than it did. That is not a very good change.

The question everyone has been asking this week is ‘Is America safer now’? Sadly, most people asked it because of the report of an army general and the presence of TV cameras rather than because one ought to reflect on such things on important anniversaries. My answer would be no we are not. For two reasons. One is that I still think communism and especially China is a bigger threat than any terrorist group could ever be. Two is that I am not convinced that we understand our enemy yet. I don’t think we understand our enemy because we go out of our way to detach a person’s actions from his religion. American politicians love to talk about how they believe life begins at conception, but they promise not to act on that belief. One of a million examples. The Liberal press goes out of its way to detach terrorist activities from their Islamic religion. Even the republicans like to call it Islamic-Fascism, as if the problem with the terrorists was Fascism some how. I am not saying there are no peaceful Muslims. I know Muslims like Mohammed Ali exist. My point is that Bin Laden is a terrorist because of his religion, or at least his take on it. Either way it is a religious belief. And we can safely conclude he is not alone in that belief. Is our government equipped to fight a religious belief, and is the military the best way to fight a religious belief as the Neo-Cons claim? Is allowing Afghanistan and Iraq to write Islamic based constitutions that Bin Laden would probably approve of the best way to defeat terrorism? The debate today seems to center on whether or not we should pursue a military or a political solution. To me the solution is primarily spiritual, but that is the one solution our government is not equipped to deal out. The Afghan Constitution which we support has made that solution illegal and highly dangerous. To me this is not understanding the enemy.

I suppose the point to my wandering rant, is about lessons. What lesson did we learn from 9/11? The answer is none. What lesson should we have learned? That man is more than a physical being, and thus, he needs more than a physical solution. I hope we learn it soon.