AS WE mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11, it is a disservice to the memory of those whose lives were lost to retell the story as one of the so-called resilience of a great nation. We need to be honest with ourselves if we can hope not to repeat our mistakes. The truth is that the terrorists did win. And we helped them.
The principal goal of terrorism is to intimidate and influence its enemy’s way of life. They set out to put us in a constant state of fear and cripple our economy. They have succeeded every day since 9/11 as we executed their agenda for them.
Questions asked by Americans about the legitimacy of a war in Iraq were met, ironically, with cries of anti-Americanism. We had an administration lobby for the right to torture prisoners and spy on its own citizens in the name of national security - all while showering us with the golden phrase “freedom is on the march.’’
Financially, we were brought to our knees. We had massive amounts of new legislation restricting travel and trade, and more security required at borders and ports, while legislation that could have prevented a global economic crisis was ignored and an outrageously expensive war in Iraq dragged on. These expenses have robbed the two most significant components necessary for a society to progress: education and science.
However you choose to measure it - in lives lost, financially, philosophically, spiritually - the terrorists have been kicking the crap out of us.