Monday, March 17, 2008

All this because we forgot to lock the door?

Some seven-and-one-half years ago, on September 11, 2001, 19 men -- reportedly armed with box cutters, although that has never been proven -- burst through the cockpit doors of four jets, and eventually flew three of them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Perhaps you remember that.

Nineteen men, most from Saudi Arabia, reportedly armed with box cutters. Their plan was simple and, in a diabolical sense, clever.

In response, we:

- Curtailed the freedoms of our citizenry, with the assent of a willing and subservient Congress.

- Attacked one third-world country which provided safe haven for the sponsor of the September 11 attack, albeit mostly with air power, a few ground troops, and plentiful cash for Afghan tribal members willing to do our fighting for us.

- Attacked a second third-world country, one which had been rendered militarily impotent ten years earlier by our military, and one which had been kept militarily impotent by the continued presence of our forces.

- Slashed taxes, three separate times, on the wealthiest citizens of our country, dramatically reducing the federal government's income, while dramatically increasing the expenditures of the federal government. Or, in simpler terms, turning a significant budget surplus into a record budget deficit.

- Thumbed our noses at the entire civilized world by rounding up people and imprisoning them, with no charges planned or pending, for an indeterminate period of time, in violation of international law.

- Further thumbed our noses at the entire civilized world by torturing said prisoners, or sending them to third-party countries to be tortured, despite the fact that a high percentage of these prisoners were guilty of nothing more than having been victimized by someone looking for the $10,000 per-person reward we were handing out.

- Instituted randomly draconian procedures to prevent such dangerous items as nail clippers and toothpaste from being brought on board an airplane. Serious and effective measures were never considered.

All this because we forgot to lock the door.

All this in search of a handful of people who represent neither country nor ideology and who are best characterized as deranged but are viewed as charismatic in some parts of the world.

And we never once addressed the underlying issues, did we?