Fly a flag on September 11
I received a chain email suggesting I fly a flag on the anniversary of September 11 that instructed me to send the email to eleven of my friends. The chain email made me reflect upon my feelings during the last ten years which I express below.
On September 11, 2001 the United States was attacked by 15 Arab radicals and four other nationalities, none of them Iraqi or Afghani. The world stood beside us in our sorrow in response to this heinous crime.
In response the United States attacked Afghanistan claiming that Afghanistan was harboring Osama Bin Laden and was unwilling to deliver him for justice. In fact Afghanistan twice offered to deliver Osama to a world court instead of the United States in view of the fact that the United States was unwilling or unable to offer proof that Osama was guilty of anything.
After killing more innocent Afghan civilians in the first week of the invasion than died on September 11 in the United States, the military allowed Osama Bin Laden to escape and turned its attention to Iraq. General Colin Powell lied to the United Nations in an attempt to justify the invasion. Members of the Bush administration lied to congress claiming that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” that could be delivered to the shores of the United States. Even though it was unquestionably proven that all were lies and no “weapons of mass destruction” existed many Americans today cling to the belief that they were hidden or moved and just because we can’t find them doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
For ten years we have sent our children to kill and die in a foreign land that could not deliver “weapons of mass destruction” to our shores if they had them. We have a torture prison on Cuban soil and we contract with foreign governments to torture prisoners we capture with impunity anywhere on earth. Torture has now become the American standard for interrogation and many Americans will argue that torture is a good thing. The president claims the right to order the death of any person, of any nationality, anywhere in the world on his word alone. Americans are spied upon, their phone calls, mail and email are inspected and they are subjected to indignities at the airport. They cannot take photos of many public places and events and they can be required to show identification while simply walking on a public sidewalk. The government ignores the Bill of Rights and many Americans acquiesce and “feel so much safer now.”
When I enlisted into the Air Force in 1961 I felt that I would be making the world a better place. I didn’t understand what was going on in Vietnam but I felt that my government knew more than I did and my government would do no wrong. Was I ever wrong!
I am ashamed at the response of my fellow Americans to the criminal attack on the United States on September 11. I share their sorrow but knew from the start that the attack of September 11 was a “Pearl Harbor” event that my government would use to their advantage to achieve goals that otherwise the citizens of the United States would not allow. Many Americans stood shoulder to shoulder with our corrupt government, waved flags and cheered as we bombed Iraq and Afghanistan back to the stone age. Before the invasion, Iraq was the most progressive Middle East country and Saddam an ex-CIA employee. Look at what we have done in Iraq and try to tell me you can be proud of that. I think it is time for Americans to quit waving the flag long enough to look in the mirror and see what we have become.