As many of you know, this Tuesday marks the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Twelve years later, where are we?
When the planes first hit the towers that fateful day, America reeled, took a step back, and took stock of itself. Thousands gathered in churches to pray for their friends and families, and for their nation. Political and religious divides vanished instantaneously. Americans united themselves as never before with mourning for the fallen, compassion for the wounded, and righteous fury towards those who would dare to commit such an act of evil. As rescue teams picked through the rubble, intelligence assets swung into action to identify the perpetrators, and the military readied itself to deliver a devastating vengeance upon those responsible. When it was determined that Osama bin Laden's al-Quaeda terror network was to blame, Americans were of a single mind in their goal: Kill bin Laden, wipe out his minions, and make sure this kind of attack can never happen again. While the armed forces abroad entered into battle against the regimes allied with bin Laden, legislators at home drew up new measures and formed new agencies to ensure safety for American citizens. Everyone sincerely believed that this evil attack intended to cripple us had instead made us stronger than ever before.
But where are we now? Political divisiveness is at an all-time high. People are using religious differences, or spite for religion itself, as bludgeons to attack one another, while the terrorists who cause chaos throughout the world still attempt to use "religion" as an excuse for the cancer of death and destruction they spread. Despite the massive casualties we have inflicted upon al-Quaeda, and the fact that bin Laden himself died by the rifle of a U.S. Navy SEAL, Americans have lost their resolve and become discouraged by the amount of blood and treasure required in the hunt for the terrorists who so brazenly attacked them. The politicians have abandoned our commitments in the countries we pursued our enemies into, and the drones that so busily tracked and killed terrorists are now being brought to U.S. airspace to do the same to anyone the government feels threatened by. Laws such as the Patriot Act, once universally supported and hailed as protection against terror attacks, have morphed into Orwellian Frankensteins that allow the government unprecedented and open-ended authority to spy on Americans at will. Meanwhile, the Patriot Act's pet agency, the Department of Homeland Security, is being turned into a domestic army with unlimited power to search, seize, and otherwise assault American citizens, while its little brother, the TSA, uses similar authority to make a specialty of raping travelers in the name of false safety. The rights and freedoms guaranteed to Americans are being trampled, the nation is tearing itself apart along ideological lines, and now, hot on the heels of withdrawing from the War on Terror, Mr. Obama wants to aid groups aligned With al-Quaeda by picking a fight with Syria.
So, where are we now? Are we really stronger as a nation, the way we all believed we would be? Or have we crippled ourselves in a way the terrorists could only have dreamt of?
Where are we?...
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