9/11 profoundly changed everything, and will continue to shape and change the lives of people today and in the future in ways not realized.
As with BC and AD, pre-industrial and post, pre-nuclear and post, there is pre 9/11 and after.
Living prior to 9/11 was a time I can only tell my son about. How we lived our lives in a more buoyant, unencumbered way. How much lighter life felt in general, while traveling, expressing ourselves, speaking out without fear of reprisal or a big eye in the sky watching our every move.
But 9/11 happened and we were all thrust into a new day coupled with a new concept - the "war on terror". A concept as difficult to grasp as getting a good hold on a water balloon without it changing shape.
So every now and then, I have this daydream...
What if 9/11 was treated as a crime and not as an act of war? And what if that crime was properly investigated, evidence collected, the perpetrators hunted down, all witnesses found and questioned, family members of the suspects held and questioned and the findings and testimony displayed in front of a jury in a court of law which would then convict the guilty?
And then the guilty could be sentenced and put to justice by the law of the land for all our eyes to see. The great law of this great land. The United States of America, beacon of freedom and justice to the world.
And by taking this action we could have averted a more drastic and costly one. The action of a military invasion of two countries, the killing and destroying of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children's lives, spending an unimaginable amount of wealth, money, resources, greatly weakening our country's economy for decades to come, imposing drastic and intimidating laws upon its people, placing fear and suspicion within brother against brother, country against country, and derailing millions of lives all over the world for decades to come, all while failing to convince a good number of its own people as to what really happened, causing in response a group of conspiracy theories to spring up, further distracting and dividing the country from a truth that could have easily been had.
OK, so let's say for argument's sake that a bad egg from a foreign land organized a group of evil doers, planned and orchestrated this incredible plot, then came here and pulled off this most amazing crime right under our own nose. Well, then our tip top investigative organizations, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA and others which we pay billions for would, if they didn't outright bust the caper in it's planning stages, would be hot on the trail, spring into action and certainly find the evil doers as well as their kingpin.
Then all the suspects, their families and friends would be grilled under the hot light, thus cracking them like in the movies. I am sure they would sing like canaries.
Then bolstered with the world's sympathy that we had for a moment, our government's diplomatic, intelligence and political contacts could have approached their high level politicians and world contacts " like so many nickels they hold in their pockets" and demanded, for example from the country of Saudi Arabia where most of them were from, to hand 'em over!
In the meantime, while we were going about solving this crime, we as a country could have played some defense, locked our doors and even closed our borders until we were sure this dastardly crime was a "one off".
Well, what if? They chose to see it another way and it went a different way.
But I still have this daydream from time to time.
My 9/11 "what if " daydream.
c doug auld 2013