Well, I've been flamed before, so I might as well get flamed again . . .
To begin with, my bona fides regarding 911 are as credible as anyone else's: We live ten minutes from the Pentagon. I have a wife who was in an office building two short blocks from the White House that morning (which, as you'll recall, is where some thought the Pennsyvania plane was headed); I have a son who is (and was then) an airline pilot based in New York; and I have another son who was on his way to work in lower Manhattan that morning. It is not likely that I will forget the terror I felt until I knew that all of them were safe; and it's not likely that I will forget how I felt afterward. And my pilot son will never forget how he felt when the possibility presented itself that--in a previous job--he might have been a flight instructor for one of the terrorists, even though it would have been completely unwitting, of course. After long discussions with law enforcement, he was relieved to find out that it was not the case.
As much as anyone else here, I would like to see those responsible tracked down and punished. Who in his right mind wouldn't?
So, let's look at this string in reverse order, starting with Kuki. Yes, we do need to remember the resolve the world felt that day. Absolutely we do. We resolved to bring those who did this awful thing to justice. And then we invaded a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, poured the lion's share of our resources in there at the expense of going after the perpetrators. And some people drank the government Kool-Aid that said they were related, but we know very well that they weren't. And there's something else we need to remember about that day: we need to remember the support and sympathy we had from across the globe. But we quickly squandered that.
Nothin but blue skies and Mike decry "Bush bashers" and say we're too nice to our enemies, that we're the injured party and we need to stand up for ourselves. Mike, as a cop you must have read stories about fellow cops who go out to serve a warrant, wind up at the wrong house, and beat the door down. They always lose those lawsuits, because there's no excuse for not getting the facts straight. Well, that's exactly what we've done. We went to the wrong address, and fought the wrong war. There wasn't a single Iraqi on those planes, nor anyone who trained in Iraq, nor anyone who even cared about Iraq. We beat down the wrong door, and now we're paying a dear price. Meanwhile, the real perpetrator makes videos, trains more terrorists, and spreads cells into--ironically--the place we did attack. And we sit around and muse over how he's dyed his beard.
rescuedad says he stands behind our government good or bad. I do not. I stand behind our country good or bad, but not necessarily the government. They are very different things. The country is We the People. The founders said so. You can look it up, if there are any unshredded copies of the Constitution left. The government, as Mark Twain said, is "our servant. . .and a temporary one." To say that if you don't support the government you're somehow un-American is the ultimate false choice. Any government that we're willing to stand behind whether it's good or bad is not a government of a free land.
And we are the land of the free, and we must always remember that dissent is not disloyalty. Time and again dissent has been proven the mark of a truly free people.
As to the original question, many people who discover that we travel an awful lot ask if we're not afraid. No we are not afraid. We will not walk this life in fear. We believe we are prudent; we try to be sensible and act sensibly both at home and abroad.
I do not have a "to hell with the rest of the world" attitude that is so prevalent now among so many in the US. Quite the contrary, I somehow feel much more humble. I smile more at people from abroad, and I try harder to learn more about other cultures. Somehow, I think it is more important than ever.
Call me a fool. I know you will.