I was born September 11, 1951, so the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC occurred on my 50th birthday.
It was our generation’s Pearl Harbor.
It was also the beginning of a disastrous decade, as Bush, Rove, and the Right at large, fired up all their engines behind an ugly, jingoist propaganda campaign that divided this nation, left us less secure, undermined our liberties, and helped bankrupt us.
The popular theme now is that we are one nation united in this memory and in our determination to confront terrorism. The reality is that George Bush ignored a specific CIA warning that Osama bin Laden was “determined” to strike the US, a warning delivered about a month before the attacks. His famous (or infamous) response, “you’ve covered your ass now.”
Then, on a clear blue Tuesday morning, thousands died, and Bush & Co. immediately blamed Bill Clinton, Democrats, liberals, anyone they could think of. They browbeat a bunch of Congressional Dems into supporting a poorly-managed war in Afghanistan that failed to capture or kill bin Laden and has become the longest conflict in our history. A year after the attacks, when Enron and other corporate scandals were threatening Republicans’ control of the federal government, they decided this was the time to crank up another war, in Iraq. Rove went around telling Republican candidates, “talk about the war,” and they rolled to a big victory that November. The lies about weapons of mass destruction and connections between bin Laden and Saddam Hussein came thick and fast, dutifully repeated by our mass media. The rest is foul history.
UPDATE – Slate/Pro Publica has a rundown of some of the better reporting on 9/11 and the aftermath – Pro Publica on 9/11
9/11 was a preventable tragedy. What occurred after was a crime, and the perpetrators (or, perhaps, “perpetraitors”) have gotten off scott-free, rich, and still a malevolent influence on our policy, while millions of ordinary Americans have suffered, thousands died.
Damn you people to Hell.