The LuLac Edition #3295, September 11th, 2016
It was a stunning attack that fundamentally changed this country. While we were resilient, our entire way of life and doing things changed. We went from a nation that was innocent and full of purpose to one that became for good reason vigilant and less trustful. That latter mindset though has seemed to solidify over the years. Just take a look at what 911 did to our country:
1. Increased checks at airports and sea ports. An inconvenience as well as a debate on how effective it really can be.
2. Economically this impact has exceeded a trillion dollars adding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Before 911, there was a budget surplus, that hasn’t happened since then.
3. The attack has precipitated major changes in U.S. national security strategy. With the end of The Cold War, Washington focused on Russia and China. Now by force, a top priority began fighting terrorism in not only word and deed. Before 911 we were a nation at peace on that Monday night of September 10th. By Tuesday, the 11th, we became a nation at war. Those wars made us gun shy and I believe is the main driver as to why the current President has not pulled the trigger on another armed conflict.
4. We’ve become a referee in the Mideast. From dealing with Pakistan’s refusal to let India deliver relief supplies, to trying to walk a fine line with Israel as it protects itself, to the unreliability of our traditional allies to the mess in Syria, we have been dealing with the region as an unintended consequence of 911.
5. 911 and its attacks have given the Immigration crazies the opportunity to gin up resentment of all people entering this country. To this day, people who are Islamic and just trying to make a life in this country are treated like terrorists. We were never very good to our immigrants but 911 has given political figures license to paint all outsiders as enemies of the state. You see that in this year’s campaign. All that passion, non facts and misguided hate are all legacies of 911.
As we pause today to remember those who died, let’s remember that after 15 years we are still in the process of healing. We will never be home free until politicians of all stripes stop using 911 as a way of obstructing the growth of our own country through religious and cultural diversity. Until then we will be stuck in neutral as a nation. One can make the argument that the dead corpse of Osama Bin Laden rotting away in the sea might have put a serious dent in our psyche and even our will to embrace each other as decent countrymen and women.
911 is the day to remember and never forget. But also a day to re-evaluate how both political parties can deal with future threats without losing the very essence of what our moral and guiding principles have always been.