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September 11th - The Wooden Anniversary

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With a publication deadline looming I am, as usual, swamped with the incessant banality of editing minutia. Had it not been for a brief glimpse at my computer, I might have missed entirely the reminder that today is the fifth anniversary of September 11th. This is one of those dates each year when I am grateful to live in Europe. Not for any political reason, but simply to spare myself the sometimes painful, sometimes sanctimonious reflections of political hacks trying to somehow categorize the meaning of this catastrophic wound in our national and global identity. But, since I seem to have divinely ordained to be reminded of the date, I will dutifully oblige and scribble down some of my own humble reflections.

It's been five years since one of the most tragic events ever to transpire on U.S. soil. Five years nearly to the minute as of the time of this writing. Certainly a moment worthy of serious and sobor reflection and not simply a post hastily thrown together during a fleeting break from book editing.

But here I am. And here are we all. Our lives go on and this day serves as a painful reminder of both the atrocity that happened and those yet to come. And yet another sharp reminder that five years later, our elected officials have only made the problem painfully worse.

Five years to the day that a group of criminals, deranged by the twin evils of deprivation and marginalization, embraced destruction against their perceived oppressors. And in five years we have failed to learn the lessons they sought to violently impart and are each and every day convincing our global brothers and sisters that perhaps the terrorists were right about us.

Five years to the day and the United States is directly responsible for the deaths of a minimum of 62,000 people worldwide. Some sources quote as high as 180,000. This says nothing about the collateral damage caused by displacement, destroyed infrastructures, disease, and famine which have cause an additional 4.5 million refuges and cost our country more than the total amount of debt worldwide. Our own initiation of violence has effectively inserted the United States as a causal problem in the creation of thousands new terrorists every. single. day.

Five years to the day and the U.S. foreign policy is in shambles, we've allowed ourselves to become consumed with a failed civil war that was initiated through lies, manipulation, and greed. And five years later, our leadership says that we would have invaded Iraq with or without WMDs. Meanwhile, the Taliban are making a daily resurgence in Afghanistan, effectively robbing the world of the single benefit to have come from the administration's deranged counter-response.
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Five years later and we are daily uncovering lies here at home. Every time we bother to pay attention, there is a new report of how the White House manipulated the media coverage and investigation of 9-11. And the administration has yet to effectively respond to credible evidence that the events of five years ago did not go down as officially reported. Please, please answer these questions I would LOVE to dismiss these rational and educated opinions as mere partisan gibberish.

Five years later and I am scared, frustrated, angry, and cynical. Five years ago, the terrorists robbed us of our innocence in a single clear morning. And in the five years hence, the Bush administration has systematically robbed us of everything else.

BUT...

Five years later and we have all become more educated about the lives and beliefs of our Muslim brothers and sisters.

Five years later and we have become more educated about the region we have invaded.

Five years later, and we are beginning to see that only more death and destruction lay at the end of a violent path and are ready to consider our own complicity in forming a lasting peace.

Five years later and the War for Oil has prompted one of the more marked price jumps in decades and we are finally starting to consider sustainable environmental alternatives.

Five years later and we have shed our naivete that we somehow transcend the events in the rest of the world.

Five years later, among all this destruction and chaos, the war mongers have not yet robbed us of hope and we are reminded that governments belong to We the People.

Five years later, and we can all look forward to regime change.

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Dr. Daverth is an International Relations scholar who writes extensively on global security and postmodern political theory. His daily rants can be found at The Hindsight Factor

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