I’m a pretty patriotic person (12 years of army service, honorable discharge and all that), and I’m completely tired of the memorialization of last year. I do believe it should be remembered, much as Pearl Harbor is remembered every December 7th. But, let’s not make a holiday out of it – that just cheapens the whole thing, adding a celebratory aspect that shouldn’t be involved.
Meanwhile, the media have been memorializing September 11th ever since September 12th, so I think we’re all a bit numb from the onslaught. If they’d have let it rest for a few months, maybe I could get up some energy to give a shit about anything other than, “This is gonna foul up traffic on Wednesday.”
There are obviously serious deepseated root causes for the anger toward the US felt by many people. That’s something for politicians to deal with by changing our rather arrogant approach to other countries. The amazing intolerance of some cultures, though, is not our fault and I refuse to believe that we are at fault for the muslim extremists being extremist.
The proximate cause of the attack, though, is certainly knowable. I spent 12 years in the intelligence community, and I trust that the information the country is using to justify Bin Laden as the main bad guy is correct. His own statements and actions have more than removed any lingering doubts. Since the root causes are primarily cultural, and since the President is unwilling to change our unilateral approach to foreign policy, the only thing left to deal with is the proximate cause.
I think we’ve done a good job of taking care of Al Qaeda’s near-term ability to do any harm, and hurt their power base considerably by showing that we are willing to react to force with force. Those who claim violence never solved anything should really study history in more detail. We spent many years rattling sabers without any intent to follow through; we became caricatures of a world power. We’re back to being a world power, but I don’t think our current administration has the right path.
The Kyoto Accord should be signed. The International Criminal Court is a good idea. And, for the short-term, we definitely should not ignore Afghanistan. We promised them we would rebuild their country if they didn’t object to us bombing the piss out of it. Well, I don’t see a lot of cash flowing to Afghanistan right now, and that’s just amazingly poor policy. It shows the world that we don’t keep promises to our allies.
So, we’ve now shown the world that we will react with overwhelming force once we’ve been provoked repeatedly. This contrasts with Israel’s method of overwhelming force when laughed at too loudly. And, we’ve shown that we can’t be trusted to keep promises to friends and we don’t want to play well with others.
Damn, I hope we become isolationist. At least that would be consistent with the President’s views on things. I don’t know how he can think we can be a world power but not be part of the world community. We can’t be first among equals and have anyone take us seriously. We have to actually submit to being one of equals, and that’s something that the right-wing nuts won’t stand for quietly. Meanwhile, the left-wing nuts just want us to self-destruct, since we’re so evil. To them, I say, “find another country.”
Yep, I love America, warts and all. We really need to fix some major flaws, but it’s one of the best places to live.
Back to 9-11, I avoided network TV last night, since every channel was a pandering smarmy 9-11 memorial. Too much sacharine for me. 🙂