Monday, September 11, 2006

Five years on, what's changed?

Five years ago, at about the time that I'm starting to write this, American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. At 9:03, United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower. At 9:37, American Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. At 10:03, passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 forced it down near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after a fight with hijackers.

This was huge, and even now it's hard to capture the profundity of the shock it sent through America. We united behind the first strong leader who presented himself, which turned out to be President George W. Bush, who suddenly acquired the ability to speak. We trusted him, giving up many of our civil liberties to fight this threat. We figured we could get them back later, I guess. Soe of us even trusted him so far as to believe that Saddam Hussein needed to be overthrown.

And where has that support of a leader taken us? Are we any safer? No, we're not. Are we any freer, since this is a war for "freedom"? Far from it. Is hatred of America any less prevalent? No, the opposite. Uniting behind big government and aggresive foreign policy didn't work.


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