Sunday, September 10, 2006

9/11



The horror of 9/11/01 seems as fresh in my mind as if it had happened yesterday.

I was listening to the radio – it was just before 6:00 a.m. in California – when the first bulletins came in. I turned on the television and sat shocked and transfixed as the World Trade Center was attacked. We all have seen the scenes of panic, heroism and destruction on an unimaginable scale replayed often, but it is the since-suppressed raw video of people falling to their deaths from the upper floors of the Towers, the live, as-it-happened terror that remains indelibly in my mind.

Innocent people were dying in airplanes and buildings because of a madman. A Muslim madman, who caused all this to happen in the name of his religion.

After a while, the replays, partial information, rumors and misinformation became a blur for me. I remember the aftermath well: at the time, I lived under one leg of the approach pattern for a major airport, and was used to the constant sound of aircraft. Suddenly, it stopped. In the days that followed, each time the silence was broken the aircraft heard and sometimes seen were military and that, too, was unsettling.

Memorials, speeches, firemen and others collecting donations for those who fell...amid the sorrow, there was a growing sense of community, a willingness to confront the outrage perpetrated on all of us.

And, for a moment, it seemed we had a government that would rise to the occasion. It didn’t take long for that notion to dissipate.

In the first days, George Bush seemed to be on the brink of greatness. And then, he went off the rails.

The five years that have passed have shown, sadly, that our “leaders” have learned nothing. The mastermind of the heinous attack still lives, unpunished. Those who supported him – which, lest we forget, includes our “friends” the Saudis – have not been called to account. The Taliban and al Qaeda still function with far more freedom than one would expect. A new bureaucracy, giving employment to political hacks who are unqualified to work in a taco stand, has been established.

George Bush developed a sick fixation on Saddam Hussein (probably because the Iraqi ruler wanted to assassinate Bush’s daddy), and thereby added unnecessarily to the American death toll. His political opponents have reduced the victims to numbers, a political tool with which to attack the administration.

So where are we now, five years later? It’s business as usual, with the loved ones and friends of the almost 3000 victims of 9/11, and the friends and loved ones of the thousands killed in pointless battle since, reduced to irrelevant footnotes.

In the days after 9/11, it seemed we would visit condign punishment on those who were responsible. Today, the politicos in Washington are showing themselves to be the shallow, squabbling, self-absorbed fools we feared they would be.

We have not served the victims well. Quick, closely targeted action might well have saved us from the continuing mess. But that is beyond the partisan whiners. Whether they urge us to “stay the course” or “stop the war,” we lose.

Sadly, it appears that those who died on 9/11 died in vain. Bush, his supporters, and those who toe the Democrat party line in opposition to him, should be ashamed of themselves. They continue to mine the destruction and death of that awful day for personal and political gain, point fingers instead of shouldering the burden of avenging the dead and protecting the living. We should be ashamed of ourselves for keeping all of them in office.

The nightmare continues.

But most ordinary Americans remember the clear images and issues of 9/11. We honor those who died, pray that such a disaster will never occur again.

It’s a shame that our “servants” in Washington cannot do likewise.

2 comments:

anonymoustoo said...

Very well said... we need true leaders regardless of party line. The horrible missteps on every front from the days before 9/11 to present should truly have more us standing up demanding better.

Anonymous said...

Many in our nations capital have let us down. Where are the true leaders that we need so bad?
Roz