Saturday, September 11, 2004

This day marks the third anniversary of the most despicable terrorist crimes ever perpretrated against the United States, where four cross-country jets laden each with several thousand gallons of fuel were hijacked by 19 men, 15 of whom were Saudi Arabian, members all of al Qaeda, whose leader was and remains Osama bin Laden, still at large; two were flown into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center, leading to the collapse of the twin towers, and the other dived into the Pentagon, partially destroying the first three rings of the building, and the fourth crashed in Pennsylvania, perhaps headed toward the Capitol or the White House, all within the space of an hour and fifteen minutes.

2,973 of our fellow Americans were murdered, and the atrocities, unprecedented in its scope and magnitude, that were committed on that day were ruthlessly and shamelessly exploited by this administration to pursue a radicalist agenda, designed to establish the doctrine of 'preemptive' war, as enshrined in the National Security Strategy of the United States, published just under a week following the first anniversary of the attacks. The attacks were implicitly used to justify attacking Iraq, in which al Qaeda and the Hussein regime were invoked side-by-side although never actually directly connected in rhetoric; this did not stop 40% of Americans from believing that Saddam was behind the attacks that occured three years ago this day.

Bin Laden, the architect of the terrorist attacks, who once had $25 million on his head, who was once declared found "dead or alive" by the President himself as the War on Terrorism (now renamed the War on Terror, which is quite different) began on October 7, when our warplanes began attacking Afghanistan after talks with the Taliban to hand over bin Laden, whom they had been harboring, failed, is now conveniently forgotten.

The President does not seem to really care that the man who directed the atrocities against our people is still out there, and that the war against Iraq has strengthened, not weakened, al Qaeda's image in the Arab World.

Attacking Iraq was an unconscionably costly and dangerous diversion from fighting al Qaeda and rebuilding Afghanistan, both of which have proved at best counterproductive toward finally 'defeating' the terrorists, whoever and whereever they may be: the Taliban has been all but decentralized and, in tandem, so has al Qaeda.

Over 1,000 American soldiers (just over a third of the number of people killed on September 11, 2001) have been killed in Iraq, and about $200 billion, all of it borrowed, has been spent to finance what was from the start an unnecessary, unmanageably expensive, and immoral war. Over 10,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the war began in March 2003 as a result of it, over three times the number dead on September 11. We are answering tragedy with tragedy, violence with violence, blood with blood.

In turn, the Bush administration is spitting on the graves of the murdered through its manipulation and exploitation of the dead to further its agenda, in essence, of global dominance: we are now entitled to attack any nation that we perceive to pose a threat, current or future, against us. We think we can fight an amorphous, 'asymmetric' enemy with 'conventional' methods of warfare best used against, say, Nazi Germany; not, however, against al Qaeda, which is not a nation (I really do not think that this administration understands this): instead of building up intelligence gathering and analysis and working to simplify the military in order to fight a wholly new enemy, what is being done is the procurement of the same kind of heavy military hardware, which is not needed, and would in fact appear to violate the fiscal 'responsibility' of the self-professed 'conservatives' running the government.

2,973 Americans did not die martyrs for the sick ambitions of the current incumbents.

For three years they have danced on their graves, and today we must mourn in memoriam the national tragedy that had for a little while united us as one people; and also we must mourn the tragedy of how we faithfully let our government use the atrocities to tear up our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and implicitly justify the war against Iraq, in the name of fighting 'terrorism' and making us 'safer'.

One day those responsible for the crimes perpretrated against us on this day three years past will see their punishment met.

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