(Incidentally, the best indictment I ever saw of this syndrome was on the FX show "Rescue Me," when a firefighter who'd lost friends at Ground Zero was asked to speak to a "grief counseling" group full of people who were miles away when the planes hit. The firefighter, understandably, loses it and tells them they're a bunch of pussies. Sympathy, after all, having a hierarchy, and everyone not equally affected no matter how much, in a really sickway, they wanted to be.)
The real trouble was, it was bullshit from the start. If this truly had been a great cause, Bush would have called for enlistments and conservation, not spending and travel. If this truly had been the transformation of our country, Bush would have called for charity to alleviate the desperation and poverty that makes hatred of America seem like a solution. If Sept. 11 had been the wakeup call that everybody said it was, five years ago, we'd have rededicated ourselves to making this country, truly, the richest and most prosperous and free nation on earth, so that if somebody wanted to hate us for our freedoms, at least we'd deserve it.
If Sept. 11 had been the making of us, we'd be painting schools in Afghanistan, not in Iraq. And Osama would be swinging from a tall tree.
As I said before, I've had the privilege of having a couple great commanding officers and I've had some shitheads. I know what a good leader is when I see it and I knew Bush was no leader long before he was elected. 9/11 and the resultant mess came as no surprise. This is an oustanding 'must-read'.
And just a note to folks who were so traumatized by 9/11, though you were miles and miles away. Shut up. I'm tired of hearing '9/11 changed everything'.
Ask the folks who go to Manhattan and work in a place once darkened by the shadows of WTC how that goes. Better yet, ask the 'terrorist magnet'* I'm married to who incidentally works across the street from the Pit. She and her colleagues were back in the building as soon as it was deemed safe. We mourned and buried our dead and then we moved on. [I should say most of us have moved on. Some have clung to that day because it's the only thing that gives their lives meaning.]
If we in New York were like a lot of the simpering chickenshits in this country, afraid of our shadows and the bad swarthy people, the city wouldn't run (I'd love to see some of the bigots on the right walk down our streets and not shit themselves. We got some neighborhoods that look more like Khandahar than NYC. Hell, my new neighbor wears a turban and his wife a burkha; lovely people btw and Shayna is friends with their chickens, the people on the other side are Sikhs, though I don't think the bigots could tell the difference.). Three million people use the NYC subway system every day, another few million use the East River and Hudson River crossings and while we keep the threats in the backs of our minds, it doesn't change what we do, the same things we did before 9/11.
We, the people who were attacked on 9/11, dare I say were allowed to be attacked, are not the ones calling for American Jihad.