Like just about everyone, I remember precisely where I was- watching one smoldering tower on TV as we watched that second plane fly into the World Trade Center. The word "shocked" cannot describe how I felt. How we all felt that morning. People dying in horrific ways. You know those details.
It was a Tuesday. City staff meeting at 1030 MST. That was all we talked about.
These are some observations I have made over the past ten years. They are opinions and you may agree or disagree with them. Things I have gathered along the way. I'm going to bounce around a bit...please forgive me.
My anger and initial thoughts were directed at our country- a country that armed a lunatic like Bin Laden. Bin Laden was our buddy as long as he was busy killing Russians in Afghanistan. After that war was over, Bin Laden turned his sights on us. We had a couple of chances to nab the guy but we didn't. I get a little angry thinking about that failure of President Clinton's. I often wonder if Bill thinks about that. I doubt it. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4540958/ns/nightly_news/t/osama-bin-laden-missed-opportunities/
I get physically sick when I think of those people on those planes. To this day, I am overwhelmed by the courage shown by the people on Flight 93.
After 09/11/01, our government did some interesting things. They appropriated billions for the surviving family members of people killed in the attacks. In fact the average has been about 2 million dollars per family. About 125 victim families did not file claims. They asked claimants to waive all rights to sue the government, the airlines, etc. Odd. What were they worried about?
Nobody complained about those unprecedented earmarks. Complaining about them would have been seen as callous and cold. The government did two other things which were huge in scope. They passed the Patriot Act which essentially allows government to eavesdrop on whoever they feel like. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_PATRIOT_Act
They also managed to install a new 55,000 person army and bureaucracy in the form of the Transportation and Safety Administration or TSA. Some of these goons were paid 6 figures and beyond. Many Federal agencies were able to get rid of their "retired on duty" employees and transfer them into the TSA. This also freed up promotions in the FBI, DEA, and IRS among others.
I hated it when Rahm Emanuel was caught saying- "never let a crisis go to waste." It sickens me that our government is so willing to exploit their citizens' fear- that they can actually make jokes about it.
The government's fingerprints, as always, are all over this tragedy. They armed and sponsored that lunatic Bin Laden. Clinton let Bin Laden go- more than once. Government knew Al Qaeda operatives were flying airplanes in the U.S.A. in 2001 and law enforcement could have easily begun a surveillance- but didn't. I've spoken about the other steps, call them intrusions, that the government has taken since then. I've failed to mention a war here or there and a bunch of kidnapped people being detained in a camp we can't seem to close.
I want to mention one other item before the big finish. Anybody believing in a God or Allah that supports killing people is a fraud. That belief system is prima facia bullshit. Get a new religion. Or a new God. Quickly. If that's the only God available to me- I don't want him.
I hate to say it, but I think Bin Laden won. We responded to his brand of hate with hate of our own. Bin Laden killed about 3000 or so of us- and we've been busy killing hundreds of thousands of them for years. About 300 times as many as died in the WTC. http://www.unknownnews.net/casualties.html
Do you know what a pyrrhic victory is? That's a victory that is so costly that another similar victory would spell defeat. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrrhic_victory
So in addition to all of those lost lives, we have spent billions. Some believe three trillion over the last decade. That's a lot of revenge. And on May 2, we finally found that boogie man and we executed him. We won, didn't we?
His father was in the construction business. The son- a civil engineer turned sociopath, was in the de-construction business. Now he's been deconstructed. All that pain and suffering and dying- for what? For hatred. What a ridiculous waste of life.
That's what I've learned in the last 10 years. I've had to re-live it every year for 10 years. I keep hoping all of this will start to fade away soon.