Day to Remember 9/11 and Learn From It

Today, as in the past, since the first anniversary, we commemorate that terrible day and its losses. Yet the key to that day is also to understand the forces that initiated those attacks and find a more fundamental way to turn those acts of hate and destruction from gaining a grip on our society and altering our own democracy and way of life.

Nor should they distort our perspective on our own role in the world, our own moral values, and our nation’s role to help make this frail globe a more peaceful and just environment.  Too often we have lost our way and abandoned some of our long held values that have made our country the most respected in the world. 

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is not to let terrorism and the terrorists consume our efforts, our thoughts, and our policies to the detriment of other fundamental challenges we are facing in the fast changing and complex world.

In “rethinking national security,” we need to realize that we can better defeat the forces of hate by addressing more basic and larger issues which have brought so many to desperation, despair, hatred and senseless violence. Certainly, terrorism feeds on poverty even if some terrorists are not poor. It feeds on prejudice. It feeds on ignorance. It is these that we need to address for the cost they bear on any society as they are the breeding ground for terrorism.

We should not let terrorism defeat our larger purposes and more important challenges. If we can keep our sense of proportion and wise perspective, we can address the real dangers to our world and terrorism will lose, not gain. And we will not lose our souls.

2 thoughts on “Day to Remember 9/11 and Learn From It

  1. Alan Berlind September 11, 2012 / 2:16 PM

    Right on, Harry. Offering no excuses for terrorists, we must examine our selves, our biases and our own institutions.

    • Harry C. Blaney III September 13, 2012 / 11:02 AM

      I’m afraid Allan Berlind’s comments have proved again discerning as the recent events in Libya have sadly shown. We had a tragic event where terrorism, hatred, and ignorant reactions have all combined to demonstrate the need for wiser heads on all sides. The movie that provoked the protests was, as the Washington Post, editorial stated, “a despicable piece of bigotry.” And importantly, it went on to say that the incident “…. provoked a series of crude political attacks on President Obama by GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is a discredit to his campaign.”

      The New York Times went further in its September 13th editorial “Murder in Benghazi” saying “…..Mitt Romney who wants Americans to believe he can be president but showed an extraordinary lack of presidential character by using the murders of the Americans in Libya as an excuse not just to attack Mr. Obama, but to did so in a way that suggested either a dangerous ignorance of the facts or an equally dangerous willingness to twist them to his narrow partisan aims.” It went on to say “…Mr. Romney could have easily have held his fire during this crisis, if he could not summon the decency to support the United States government. Instead, he misrepresented the administration as “sympathathizing “ with the attackers.”

      Once again we are proving we are our own worst enemies showing such vulgar sensibility and bad judgement by what has become an opposition party increasingly under the control of crazies and the very very rich right-wing and corporations who have purchased a party for the own greedy ends.

      As Alan Berlind knows well, diplomats remain vulnerable abroad and their work depends on the wise support of our elective officials including those who wish to run to be Commander-in-Chief” and those in Congress of all parties. President Obama and Secretary Clinton have shown that proper restraint and also strong action and condemnation. They have noted these acts are by extremists and terrorists and not the Islamic community as a whole, and that Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his colleagues were working for the L:ibyan people’s goal of a decent society. Obama and Clinton rightly indicated and that America will continue to carry out that objective rather than do what Romney seems to want to make enemies of those who are in fact not our enemies.

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