9/11 and the Tenth Parallel

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Twin towers of a different kind, Damascus
Among my many emotions on this somber anniversary, the greatest is frustration. Here's why, and what I think we can do to fix it.

In response to a series of events ten years ago today that an arrogant and naive America could not anticipate (much less comprehend), our nation launched two wasteful and devastating wars, dismantled protections of civil liberties, sanctioned torture and illegal detention, built walls—both physical and bureaucratic—around our borders, shamefully failed the selfless volunteers who sacrificed to protect us, and embraced xenophobia and racism in our public discourse. All these rash and careless and downright stupid responses to 9/11 frustrate me, but not nearly as much as our collective failure to respond in one single, all-important way: to seek to understand what led to those events and how can we work to decrease the chances of their ever happening again.