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Sept. 11

Today, we give pause to think of the 3,000 who died in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The 3,000 victims from around the world who died that day in New York City, Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania corn field near Pittsburgh, were battle casualties, in every sense as the losses at Pearl Harbor, D-Day or any scene of conflict.

President Bush is right when he talks about this country being at war. People are still dying in Afghanistan and Iraq, military and civilian. The tragedy continues and we can only hope stability is round the corner. Peace might be too ambitious of a goal at this point in time.

So, on this day also, we pay tribute to our troops in the field and their families, especially those who have suffered loss of life or maiming.

Sept. 11 is a time to ask if the United States is on the right course in rebuilding Iraq, or for that matter, Afghanistan.

President Bush appears to have learned we cannot go it alone and a true international response is needed to help the Iraqi nation. Clearly, the administration did not plan the peace as well as it planned the war.

Not much is being said about why we can’t find Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. The weapons of mass destruction also are still to be found, which makes for a truth in advertising issue.

Another matter is who pays for it all. The military costs, so far, have been put on the nation’s charge card, and we have a ballooning budget deficit to show for it.

On the domestic scene, we have the Patriot Act and the erosion of civil liberties to question. Many people are being held without the due process of law promised by our Constitution. Do the spooks really need to look at our library use history?

The Patriot Act is being credited with saving lives, but the truth of the matter is that if our national security and spy agencies had cooperated before Sept. 11, 2001, lives also could have been saved.

We can only hope they have gotten it right.

Here’s one other thing to note on this sad day. A federal judge has ruled that Sept. 11 victims can sue United Airlines, American Airlines, Boeing and the landlord of the World Trade Center for negligence.

This news broke Sept. 10. Large insurance companies also announced they were suing Osama bin Laden, al Qaida, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Sudan and others they say are responsible for billions of dollars of losses.

Claims against the airlines are that they should have better screened passengers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The World Trade Center landlords and owners face claims about unsafe construction and ineffective evacuation plans.

Boeing should have had cockpit doors to prevent terrorists from breaking in.

We can see that even in this time of war, the American way is alive and well. Sue “em.

Opinions published in this space are formulated by members of the Summit Daily News editorial board: Michael Bennett, Jim Pokrandt, Jason Starr, Rachel Toth, Reid Williams, Aidan Leonard and Martha Lunsky.


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