Some thoughts on the Events of 9/11
When I think back on that horrible day four years ago, I can still feel the frightening empty feeling that permeated my entire body. As I watched that plane hit the first tower and then the subsequent planes that followed in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia I knew our lives would be changed forever! Still, even then I did not fully realize how much that day would touch my life.
I know on that day our nation was shocked that an outside enemy had attacked our country proper in an unprecedented attack. We no longer enjoyed the protection of those natural boundaries that always seemed to provide us with a safety barrier from outside forces.
No enemy could possibly attack us by land, sea, or air with our monitoring capabilities. Any missile attack would immediately be quashed and if necessary we were ready and able to launch a counter attack. We knew we had no need to fear an invasion across our borders from Canada or Mexico. Those countries were our allies. We may at times have our differences but we were always able to maintain our friendly relations and work on any differences. With our Naval capabilities we were certain no attack by sea would be forth coming that we could not thwart in its tracks. In other words we were impenetrable. We had all our years of fighting the cold war to assure us that was the case.
We were wrong! What we didn’t anticipate, what we couldn’t fathom, was an attack by a handful of terrorists who quietly slipped into our country and blended into the mainstream population while they readied their plans of attack. Nor did we ever really think we would be at war with an ideology based on hatred and violence but with no one country to call home. Past wars were always with specific countries. You could see the tide of war building. You could begin to make some preparation in case other means did not work.
Of course we have had our own brand of terrorism. In the 60’s we had the Black Panther movement. Then we had years of the terror caused by the Unibomber. Wondering when he would strike again. Wondering if he would ever be caught. We didn’t catch him until his brother notified the authorities he suspected his brother was the bomber. Nor can we forget the Oklahoma Bombing. Such destruction of human life and property was beyond my ability to find any rationale for the bombers’ motives. Nor did the subsequent trials shed any further light on the reasons for anyone committing such a horrific crime against humanity!
Further back in our history there was the KKK. They terrorized the Black community or any White person who made the mistake of treating a Black person with respect or friendship. They burned crosses in yards, beat up, or hung “uppity” Blacks from the end of the Civil War until the late 60’s and early 70’s. The KKK is still in existence but has chosen to unite forces with the Arrian Nation and the Neo-Nazi movement under the umbrella of a “pseudo-Christian” brotherhood Of the three, I personally distrust the Neo-Nazi’s the most. But, they are all dangerous.
Across our country from East to West and North to South we have an ever increasing number of extremist cells and militias. Much of this I fear gets its roots from the many socio-economic changes during the late 60’s and early 70’s. Many men were left with their entire role in the American culture threatened. They were no longer the sole household provider as in the past in most cases. Their role as the final authority was removed in their household. They now had to compete in the work force not just with returning veterans but women who were seeking equal pay for equal work and equal job opportunities. That left many men without jobs or with increased competition for jobs like never before. They also had to compete with the new Black job seekers who now were legally able to compete but with the same edge given to women, quotas to meet new federal guidelines. These embittered, displaced men taught much of their uncertainty and anger to their sons while everywhere else these sons were being taught a new shared role in the family structure and societal structure. I already see a change for the good in the young men and women of the current generation. But changes to the very fabric of one’s value systems can be devastating. Those affected either changed with the trend or were left feeling alienated and off to the side. They were and are filled with a rage and don’t now how to get rid of that rage. So, they turn to others like themselves and become victimized by radical groups that play on their rage and focus it in a destructive manner!
What really puzzles me is that these groups all attract men and women of every socio-economic level, every professional level, and every educational level. Before World War II some of our judges and most influential politicians, doctors, lawyers, college professors, and teachers were Nazis. Had the leader of the American Nazi Party not been so enamored with Hitler and insisted on personally meeting Hitler before Hitler was ready to acknowledge his counter parts in America, things here in America might have taken a different turn on the “home front.” He was quickly eliminated but the damage was already done. The new party leader managed to continue the party’s infiltration into the labor movement, American politics, and other key areas of American life but their cover was blown thank God!
So, where does all this leave us now. How does any of it tie into what happened on 9/11 four years ago? Maybe it doesn’t. Then maybe it all does in its own twisted sick way. I believe cultures and countries become complacent. They struggle and fight and claw their way up to a certain level of advancement. Then what happens? People get used to all the trappings of their prosperity. They stay at that pinnacle for a time. But they become lax in those very areas that brought about that prosperity. Educational standards start slipping. New technological advances are passed by for continued profits alone using out dated technology! When the maximum profit at home is reached the jobs and industry are taken out of the country to a cheaper work force that yields even greater profit for less than half the benefit output.
The advanced society begins to hit other less developed economies for industrial and natural resources. Those lesser developed countries have less restrictive environmental laws, less restrictive labor laws, and countless other advantages that have led to the rise of international conglomerates. These conglomerates now have the ability to affect the economies and politics all over the world, even at home.
At home we are going through our own social up heaval. Abroad, the new monies made have given rise to powerful men and women who began to think more about their pockets than their own people they now rule. They continue to get richer and as they do so their people get poorer. So in turn they have used whatever means they could to further subjugate their own countrymen and women.
Here at home, Socialism and fascism is beginning to take over or at least attempting to take over the Democratic party. The public at large doesn’t like the way things are here at home but hasn’t yet figured out what the real issues are. They are still looking at their own very small piece if the big picture. They can’t perceive such a take over possible in a Democracy. Abroad, the discontent of the poor is spinning out of control. Extremism is nutured by the greed of a few. That extremism is looking for a cause for all its misery. The root of the evil must be those powerful rich people across the water.
But the problem isn’t just in the Middle East. Throughout the world there are poor people being raped economically by the powerfully rich and greedy leaders and corporate monsters. Those that are poor become jealous of those who aren’t poor. They want to live the good life. They want to see their children grow up well fed, educated and successful and in good health. They see the changes in their own country and they also see that their life isn’t better. Of course their leaders are getting richer and more powerful by the day. They look for a scapegoat. They have become easy targets for extremism!
They go back to those countries that first began to filter in through their various business enterprises and they see that is when changes began that affected their lives. But none of those changes were for the betterment of their lives. At times they even helped those powerful nations in times of war asking only for their freedom to be self ruling and self determining nations. Promises were made, but were circumvented by secret treaties. The international organizations in place after both those major wars betrayed them. They even added insult to injury. They gave a millennium old enemy some of its Holiest land for a home after they promised they wouldn’t. These new people, enemies from the beginning of time were not supposed to affect the indigenous people in any fashion. Then against all agreements otherwise they were allowed to create their own country on the land they settled and bring their refugees there from all over the world much to the displeasure of the people already living in that country.
Their fellow Arabic nations didn’t like this idea too much either. The new nation didn’t like the idea of being surrounded by this ancient enemy. In the subsequent war that broke out they took more land and expanded their new country but in the process drove out hundreds of thousands of the indigenous inhabitants as refugees.
Now along with these changes just mentioned, the now powerful nation helped rebuild countries all over Europe. Because these countries couldn’t even form adequate armies strategic bases were established all over the European continent because again in their haste to end the war quickly once the end was in site the major nations of the time again didn’t address thoroughly all the issues relating to smaller nations. Countries were punished for their war affiliations with those who started the war. But no clear time intervals were established for the regaining of these smaller nation’s return to self rule. One country was even allowed to take over many smaller countries and form one huge nation of people who were until recently virtually living in a police state because no one wanted more conflict.
years later, the nation that became a huge and powerful police state invaded a smaller neighboring nation for strategic reasons. The other powerful nations saw a chance to stop the occupation but didn’t have the training or language skills to fight off the occupier. So they enlisted the help of other idigenous peoples from all the countries in the region along with the support of some of the greedy rulers and trained them and armed them to fight the occupier. They were so successful the occupier collapsed and their home countries didn’t want them back out of fear of revolutions and take overs at home. All the while these events are taking place the international peace keeper is busy making money off the poor in one of the smaller middle eastern countries so it can’t possibly do its job without the whole world discovering their dirty little secret! The situation is further complicated because several countries, one being the former occupier that is now defunct and one of the wimpy allies is selling weapons as was the powerful nation. But the powerful nation stopped when it realized that a monster of another type had been created.
This new monster is now empowered as never before. They realize none of the European nations can really afford an army of any great strength to be a threat to them. But the powerful nation is a different thing. So they decide if they can bring down the powerful nation as they did the occupier, they can spread their extremism world wide. Or at least that is what they think. So they culminate a twenty year campaign of terror attacks against the powerful nation all over the world into one bold strike at the the powerful nation and at the millennium old enemy who now has its homeland in the heart of their most treasured religious centers by crashing planes into the buildings at the heart of the business district of the powerful nation!
All the larger nations that blew it after the two major world wars know who they are. The current powerful nation knows who it is. It even knows it will be in trouble if it doesn’t make some changes at home. But there is a huge “silent” majority in that nation that is slow to wake up! But, some of those other once powerful nations want to see the powerful nation fall. They want to elevate their own self interest and status but in doing so are willing to again affect and jeopardize world peace.
Finally in America we have a President who has realized what needs to be done. With the help of England and other coalition forces, it appears that what should have been done years ago when the last World War ended is finally being done. We are helping two crucial Middle East countries that were harbors of safe haven for the terrorists become free. They now have elected a government elected by the people in free, democratic process. One has a Constitution written by officials elected by its people and the other has a temporary elected government writing a Constitution. Once that Constitution is ratified by the people, a new government will be elected by that country’s peopl in compliance with the new constitution. It is hoped that once this process is observed by the people of the other nations in the region now ruled by autocrats and despots, a peaceful transition to democracy will occur in those other nations.
These changes will not occur over night. But they will bring peace and prosperity to Iraq and Afghanistan if successful. I believe they are the only hope for peace in the region and for a safer world. What a fitting tribute to those who died on 9/11 four years ago!