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Remembering 9/11 and Moving Forward

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America must move from the errant, retributive justice of 9/11 to a healing, restorative process of truth and reconciliation.

Before the Congress adjourns, I will bring forth a new proposal for the establishment of a National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation, which will have the power to compel testimony and gather official documents to reveal to the American people not only the underlying deception which has divided us, but in that process of truth seeking set our nation on a path of reconciliation.

We suffer in our remembrance of 9/11, because of the terrible loss of innocent lives on that grim day. We also suffer because 9/11 was seized as an opportunity to run a political agenda, which has set America on a course of the destruction of another nation and the destruction of our own Constitution. And we have become less secure as a result of the warped practice of pursing peace through the exercise of pre-emptive military strength.

It is not simply 9/11 that needs to be remembered. We also need to remember the politicization of 9/11 and the polarizing narrative which followed, locking us into endless conflict, a war on terror which has wrought further terror worldwide and which has severely damaged our standing worldwide as an honorable, compassionate nation. As we were all victims of 9/11, so we have become victims of the interpretation of 9/11.

Our government's external response to 9/11 was to attack a nation which did not attack us. Indeed on the first anniversary of 9/11, the Bush Administration issued a well-publicized stern warning to Iraq which was part of a campaign to induce people to believe Iraq had something to do with 9/11.

The deliberate, systematic connection of Iraq with 9/11 has led America into a philosophical and moral cul-de-sac as over one million Iraqis and over 4155 US soldiers have died in a war which will cost over $3 trillion. Additionally, soldiers from 23 other countries have died in the Iraq war.

We attempt to unite Iraq by further dividing it. We talk about restoring Iraq while taking steps to place control of its vast oil wealth in the hands of US oil giants. And we intend to impose upon the Iraqi people the cost of rebuilding a country which our government ruined, keeping a once prosperous nation lashed to debt and poverty for a long, long time. Iraq has paid for 9/11. We all continue to pay for 9/11.

The heartbreaking loss of the lives and injuries to America troops further binds us to the Administration's illogic of the Iraq war: We remember our troops' sacrifice by demanding more sacrifice; we support our troops by continuing the war.

The dominant color of our new national security since 911 is neither red, white nor blue. Everyday is orange. Everyday reminders of fear of 9/11 become banal... Yet we no longer hear the airport announcements nor see the orange colored warnings because they have commonplace standards in our new national security state, as is the Patriot Act, wiretapping, and a host of invasions of privacy and diminution of civil liberties. The Constitution has been roundly attacked by the very people who took an oath to defend it.

There is a powerful desire across America for change, not necessarily from control by one political party to another, but a change from living with lies to living with truth.

Over two dozen nations, facing peril within and without, deeply divided by politics and war have travelled down a path of restoring civil society through a formal process of reconciliation. At some point within each of those countries it was understood that the way forward is shown through the light of truth. This process is not without pain because it requires a willingness to study evidence to which eyes had been averted and ears had been closed. But in the process of truth and reconciliation, nations found new strength, new resolve, and new commitment.

The South African Truth and Reconciliation enabled that nation to come to grips with its past through a public confessional, bringing forward those who committed crimes and having the power to grant amnesty for full disclosure of crimes against the people. Of course, our path may necessarily be different: High US government officials stand accused in Impeachment petitions of violating national and international law. Our continued existence as a democracy may depend upon how thoroughly we seek the truth. I will call upon the America people to join me in supporting this effort.

The truth can move us forward, as a unified whole, so that we can one day become a re-United States. 9/11 is the day the world changed. It is the day America embraced a metaphor of war. If we are open to truth and reconciliation, we may one day be able, once again, to embrace peace.

 

Dennis Kucinich is former US Congressman and two-time presidential candidate from Ohio who served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Visit his website at  KucinichAction

Follow him on Twitter at @Dennis_Kucinich

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You are one of the good guys, and millions know it... by Michael Fury on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 7:34:42 AM
to you Mr. Kucinich. I have tremendous respect for... by Kris Malmquist on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 8:41:37 AM
Comment from Ratings:   America could ve... by Sherry Mann on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 10:08:18 AM
So sad to not see your name on the ballot!The dail... by Cheryl Abraham on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 10:34:08 AM
and not even Dennis Kucinich is in a position to g... by Brett Paatsch on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 11:42:23 AM
At a meeting showing "Hijacking catastrophe&q... by tjb on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 12:15:56 PM
"Sit down and shut up" you say?Without a... by William Whitten on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 2:08:47 PM
9/11, The Patriot Act, The Military Commissions Ac... by Lance Ciepiela on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 12:44:23 PM
I remember 911 because I was in a family for more ... by Marty Didier on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 1:48:24 PM
Comment from Ratings:   I agree with you... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 2:02:07 PM
I too am grateful for Dennis's courage, but be... by Bia Winter on Friday, Sep 12, 2008 at 9:22:15 AM
As one of the people--the first actually--who crit... by Sherry Mann on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 2:19:41 PM
Everytime you have commented on the Reverend Jacks... by C.Bid on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 9:27:16 PM
Who is guilty of 9/11?  Do you think maybe it... by Sherry Mann on Friday, Sep 12, 2008 at 12:05:39 AM
is something, however, that is comparable to my ow... by C.Bid on Friday, Sep 12, 2008 at 8:04:50 AM
 " The very word ' secrecy ' is ... by Nemo on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 2:31:02 PM
I love your comments, though I don't usually say s... by Sherry Mann on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 3:19:19 PM
About the only true hero and patriot we have left ... by Hayesml47 on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 3:23:38 PM
Mr. Kucinich,You had your chance to articulate abo... by Bill Cain on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 3:35:01 PM
If Dennis wants to be taken seriously by the other... by Hayesml47 on Friday, Sep 12, 2008 at 6:31:02 AM
Mr Kucinich,You are the Establishment's Anger ... by aberamsay on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 6:42:44 PM
Kucinich has more courage in his little finger tha... by Bia Winter on Friday, Sep 12, 2008 at 9:31:20 AM
Heros actually DO something constructive. This man... by Bill Cain on Friday, Sep 12, 2008 at 10:06:53 PM
Kucinich has done a lot of things most Congresscri... by Bia Winter on Sunday, Sep 14, 2008 at 7:56:55 AM
OpedNews is a Good place to Start!  If you know a... by boomerang on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 7:03:42 PM
My post is to Marty Didier and any other individua... by boomerang on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 7:07:26 PM
... but we're not. And its for certain the cre... by Mr M on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 7:20:50 PM
Was his death by natural causes...or something els... by boomerang on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 8:27:26 PM
I respect anyone willing to come out on any aspect... by County Guard on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 9:17:35 PM
When Bush was given the Presidency by the Supreme ... by Mel Smith on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 10:51:44 PM
and sit below the Gallows on the National Mall!&nb... by Bia Winter on Friday, Sep 12, 2008 at 9:05:17 AM
He said so himself.And I'm the only real kanga... by Mark E. Smith on Thursday, Sep 11, 2008 at 11:06:42 PM
People do not want the truth, they are happy with ... by pft on Friday, Sep 12, 2008 at 1:10:49 AM
Mark E. Smith,I loved your intelligent sarcasm. So... by aberamsay on Friday, Sep 12, 2008 at 1:53:25 AM
No they are truth tellers. Granted they may not be... by Ty on Saturday, Sep 13, 2008 at 2:22:37 PM
I hate when people talk about 9/11 like it actuall... by Nfamous on Friday, Sep 12, 2008 at 7:47:43 AM
Comment from Ratings:   If only there we... by Kris Malmquist on Friday, Sep 12, 2008 at 8:43:24 AM
Dennis Kucinich is one of the BEST we have, so lay... by Bia Winter on Friday, Sep 12, 2008 at 9:16:46 AM
~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerberus ... by Nemo on Friday, Sep 12, 2008 at 12:10:22 PM
That there is a much greater significance and cons... by dotmafia on Saturday, Sep 13, 2008 at 3:05:59 PM
I have seen this before, along with them being hit... by nightgaunt on Sunday, Sep 21, 2008 at 3:38:06 PM