Dr. Ruth S. Hertzberg: 9/11’s endless revenge
I know the writer of this thought he was being very patriotic by remembering and almost celebrating the 10 year anniversary of 9/11/2001. Does he want to generate fear and hatred as well as an unending war on terror? Surely as a nation we have over-reacted to this attack, heinous as it was, and have pursued a course that has caused more deaths than the original attack caused. We have fought two wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) and killed people who were not responsible for the act. We have imprisoned and tortured others. I do not think this has developed unity; our reaction was closer to vengeance and retribution. We have gained nothing except unending war and the hatred of many Third World nations. The TV commentator who stated that this was the worst attack on U.S. soil was not quite correct. Has he considered the Civil War in which this nation killed more of its citizens than any other war … on this soil? He might also have remembered the millions of native Americans killed on this soil.
If we do not want our soldiers to “die in vain” we should not wage war in vain! We do not want to forget those who died on 9/11, but we do not want to exact endless revenge for their deaths. Are there really ruthless enemies lurking in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to strike us own? Maybe we, the USA are the ruthless enemy. One man’s terrorist is another man’s (or woman’s) freedom fighter.War is not the answer. Invoking the slogans of past wars (“Remember the Alamo,” “Remember the Maine,” “Remember Pearl Harbor”) will not guide us to “unity,” whatever that is. If we want to think of what’s important in this nation we should recall the stirring words of the Declaration of Independence (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness), the first 10 amendments to the Constitution (the Bill of Rights), the 14th Amendment (Equal Protection of the Laws) or government of the people, by the people and for the people. These are the slogans that will unite us; these are the beliefs that rest of the world, seeking the blessings of liberty and freedom admires and honors.
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