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From: Keith ( -
Subject: Re: September 11
Date: September 9, 2006 at 9:23 pm PST

In Reply to: September 11 posted by Ellen on September 8, 2006 at 10:37 pm:

I remember September 11th quite vividly: hearing of the first impact on the morning radio news, flipping on CNN, just in time to see the second impact live, realizing in slow-motion that that was what I had just witnessed. Being horrified at the idea of turning innocent men and women into weapons of war.

Not being at all surprised: I thought at the time of the 1993 attack on the WTC that it would only be a matter of time before terrorists flew a hijacked plane into a building. Knowing today that it is only a matter of time before... I could easily get depressed.

Yes, it was a traumatic experience, but for me it's in the past.

Being outside the U.S., I sometimes puzzle over the national mythology around 9/11, that everything is different now. With all due respect to my American friends, I have to say that I don't see anything different at all.

There have always been terrorists. There have always been wars. There have always been righteous reasons and feeble excuses for going to war. True, they upped the ante. But upping the ante is part of the terrorist game. They have always upped the ante. It's the same old stuff and we still haven't learned the lessons. Maybe it's true that we are doomed to repeat life's lessons until we learn them.

For me, the situation raises questions. Old questions that have not changed in decades. How do you combat terrorism effectively? What are the roots of a particular terrorist movement? How to you cut off those roots before they sprout? When is a war justifiable defense and when is it unjustifiable? How to you fight the myth that citizens need to rally behind their leader when he screws up in times of crisis? How to you regain the constitutionally exclusive authority of Congress to declare war?

The answer is blowin' in the wind.


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