The Nation has made the 9-11-2001 issue available online for free. The opening editorial is fascinating to read from all these years later. Especially chilling is this prescient line:
After the dead are properly mourned, after we have reliably established how this happened and who was responsible, then we Americans must undertake a most difficult conversation among ourselves. Yes, we should speak with one voice expressing our compassion and outrage, but we need a multiplicity of voices, atrue national debate about what sane national security means inthe twenty-first century. The paradox is that if or when we engage in brutal reprisals, they will serve a cathartic function for the vast majority of justifiably outraged Americans. But let us not delude ourselves; they will inflame rather than deter. In the long run, the only way to deal with international terrorism is to build and support international institutions toward that end.
If only they were wrong. If only we’d chosen another path. If only…
I remember waking up that morning and my now-husband telling me that some fool flew a plane into the WTC. We thought it was a little Cessna or something. By the time I got to work, the reality was all over the news and the Net.
The images were unbelievable. It really looked like footage from a movie. I spent my work day online, obsessed with the news. Not just the “official” news. I was reading blogs from people in NYC, reporting “on the ground”. It was terrifying and surreal.
But New Yorkers blew me away. The city that everyone jokes is so hard and cold and isolationist pulled together gloriously, just as they later did after Hurricane Sandy. It was amazing and beautiful.
The rest of the world was with NYC that day. It’s so easy to forget now, but people all over the world reached out in love and peace and kindness. For a moment, I had hope that we could create a better world out of this horror.
I remember too all those, including people who lost loved ones that day, screaming NOT IN OUR NAME. So many of us didn’t want war. Hundreds of thousands were in the streets saying NO to war.
As far as I’m concerned, Cheney and Bush and their crew are all war criminals. They used this pain and sorrow to create a war so they and their buddies could make more money and get more power. They invaded a country that had nothing to do with the attacks based on a plan that already existed. They created an atmosphere of hatred that has driven people into the arms of extremists. ISL is a direct consequence of their actions. Every bit of blood spilled in these conflicts is on their hands.
How many people have died for nothing? How many vets with PTSD and TBIs and other injuries? How much money has KBR, Halliburton, Blackwater, etc. made off this suffering?
What if we’d chosen to reach back in love and peace and kindness instead? What if we’d shown that terror couldn’t destroy our hearts? Think about what kind of world we’d have now. Dream about it.
Maybe we can still create it.