Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering September 11, 2001

Seven years ago today, the United States of America was attacked by al-Qaeda. The series of coordinated hijackings killed 2,974 people. Another 24 are missing and presumed dead. The overwhelming majority of these victims were civilians. The world mourned with us.

A revealing videotape showed Osama bin Laden as the mastermind behind the attacks.

The Bush administration claimed they never could have predicted the attacks. We now know this is false. The August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief made it clear that a terrorist attack inside the United States was imminent. But while the terrorist warnings were "blinking red," Bush was on a very long vacation at his ranch.

We know these facts now. No doubt, the public knows a lot now that Bush wouldn't tell us back then. He wouldn't tell us. He didn't want us to know. He stonewalled an investigation into the incompetence leading up to that fateful day. But eventually we got the 9/11 Commission Report... which held nobody accountable.

In the days and months after September 11, 2001, it seemed we had slipped into some kind of alternate universe where down was up, left was right, false was true, and wrong was the way we were headed.

Our government responded to the attacks by declaring a War on Terrorism, enacting the USA Patriot Act, drafting torture memos, and invading Afghanistan which was harboring al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Bush vowed to get bin Laden "dead or alive." But soon it seemed he forgot his mission:
"So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him... to be honest with you." -- George W. Bush, March 13, 2002.
He soon closed the unit responsible for capturing Osama Bin Laden. The American public didn't blink. Neither did the mainstream media. It seemed we were willing to accept anything without question.

And that's how we were led into the unrelated, unnecessary, distracting, and idiotic invasion of Iraq. The Bush administration fabricated the imminent threat of Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction. They forged a document claiming terrorists trained in Iraq and Iraq bought yellowcake uranium from Niger with the help of al Qaeda.

Indeed, the entire Iraq war was plotted before 9/11 with the main goal of controlling Iraq's natural resources.

But we went along because we were told lies, we were scared of terrorism, and we were blinded by patriotism.

There have been 4,155 U.S. Military deaths, and possibly 150,000 Iraqi civilian deaths. It's a travesty that the lives lost on September 11, 2001, have been exploited to launch this destruction.

Sadly, there are still people living in that alternate universe where the disaster of 9/11 is somehow seen as a the shining moment of the Bush administration. They cling to the notion that we were saved by George W. Bush when in reality he failed us. Yet the Republican party continues to use the tragedy for blatant propaganda and political gain. (Warning: the following video was shown at the RNC and is very offensive.)

After seven years of the War on Terrorism, we are no safer. Osama bin Laden lives on, we turned Iraq into a terrorist nation, and al-Qaeda is plotting new attacks from sanctuaries in nuclear-armed Pakistan.

And George W. Bush has never even apologized.

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