Yesterday marked the two-year anniversary of 9-11. For me, it is not difficult to realize that it has been two years since the day America was attacked. This is true because the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have had no real effect on me directly. Sure, as an American I was definitely angered by the terrorist attacks. I am also very sympathetic to the friends and families of those lost in the attacks. Besides that, the only way this has affected me at all is the increase in gasoline prices.
To be honest with you, our government has not properly dealt with the actual terrorists that planned that day from hell. The American public was constantly assured that swift justice would be served, but did that really provide any sort of comfort? No. If you ask me, I am sorry to say that I actually voted for that man; an obviously uneducated vote. I am an American, let me remind you. I think that the whole issue with global terrorism was incorrectly addressed.
The only right thing we have done thus far to avenge the deaths of the victims of 9-11 was the pursuit of al-Qaeda. However, those plans to seek out and destroy every single terror cell in the al-Qaeda network were never followed through to completion. Does Osama bin Laden not live? Obviously, we do not - and may not ever - know. My guess is that the son of a bitch still lives, probably watching CNN, laughing at the exhausted, maybe half-hearted, attempts to hunt him down.
Now let me comment on something else. I am not from around here - not that this fact should allow anyone to pass judgement on me - and believe my not being from here has something to do with this opinion column. Actually, it’s probably not the type of relationship that most would expect. The relationship to me not being from around here actually has something to do with the “war on terror.”
Five suspected terrorists involved with al-Qaeda were found living in Lackawanna, NY, which is about a 20 minute drive from my house in Buffalo. I write this to also tell you that this had little to no impact on my life, even being so close to home. I, like many Americans, choose not to live in fear of terrorism, so when the nation is running around buying duct tape and plastic to shield their houses from biological weapons, I simply see it on the news and wonder why?
Back to the matter at hand. It has been 24 months since the 9-11 attacks. I am very glad to see that the nation is not at a high terror warning anymore. I choose not to lead my life based on the color of alert presented to us on a television channel that succumbs to the ignorance of Bush.
Let me tell you something that does make me question how things are going. The term that describes our major weapons of mass destruction is nuclear. Now let me help those like Bush that have never actually read the word out loud and listened to what the hell they were saying. Nuclear is spelled n-u-c-l-e-a-r, not n-u-c-u-l-a-r, so when an entire news channel changes their pronunciation to agree with that of our fearless leader, I have to laugh.
In regards to my recent usage of the word fear, I must address another topic. This involves the general idea of what a terrorist attack leads to. According to Bush and his drones, terrorists intend to strike fear and distress into the hearts of the nation or group they attack. Obviously, this would be intentional.
Now before I continue, I am going to rip off the movie, Bowling for Columbine. If you haven’t seen the movie - more like a documentary - you might want to look into it. The American public is fed advice that would make one want to never go outside. Sure, we’d like to receive warnings about weather conditions and such, but every time a crime is committed, we do not deserve to hear the words “…you might want to take some extra precaution” or “…don’t bring attention to the fact that you’re an American … keep a low profile.” Does this mean that every time there is a violent crime committed, we should stay in our homes and lock the doors? Our current federal government is very good at letting the citizens of this country live in fear.
Once again, I must reiterate the fact that it has been 731 days since the day terror struck the United States. I think it’s too bad that Bush does not daily address the real reason we are currently at war - money.
Before our eyes, our objectives have gone from vengeance for the attacks of September 11, 2001, to the liberation of the Iraqi people. It’s quite strange to actually observe the change in the government’s objective. Not all that long ago, we were fighting a war on terror, then in search of weapons of mass destruction, and most recently the liberation of the Iraqi people.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Saddam Hussein is a maniac that would, and in fact has sacrificed his own children to establish dominance through fear, but I don’t believe he is responsible for the attacks of 9-11. People think that we were at war with Saddam’s regime, but the truth is we still are. This is true because U.S. soldiers are still being killed daily. This also shows how appreciative some people are.
I believe that Saddam and his regime did have weapons of mass destruction, probably from the notion of being beaten to death by Bush, but where are they? Where is Saddam? Once again, where is bin Laden? I am seeing a trend develop under the leadership of Bush and his sidekicks. I’ll bet his father is proud of him.
We can draw a possible conclusion from this, and it is only a possible conclusion with no real facts to back it up. This might be a somewhat difficult idea to comprehend, or not. Next year there will be a presidential election. Since Hussein and bin Laden are still at large, it makes me think that Bush‘s campaign slogan next year could be “I’ll finish what I started.” Perhaps, to the surprise of the American public, bin Laden or Hussein will resurface. This might bias voters to vote for Bush, someone who has experience dealing with both. That would be convenient for the man. Imagine that, Bush holding himself on a pedestal with the conception of being an American hero. I think that would fit right in with the rest of the truth according to Bush.
Let’s be realistic, there is already growing anti-American sentiment in the Middle East and, because of our role as liberator to the Iraqi people, we can only expect more. Now, as an American, I believe that we should focus our attention on the problems in America. It’s a shame that we are willing to spend billions of our taxpayer’s dollars on a foreign military effort. I can’t believe that it is so easy for our government to spend all this money when I could walk outside a bar in Buffalo and see someone pulling beer bottles from out of a Dumpster. Sad but true.
It has been 17,544 hours since the worst terrorist attack in America that I have been alive for. I wish I could finish this discussion with something good to say about the future of our pursuit of those responsible for the 9-11 attacks. I feel sorry for the friends and families of those lost in the attacks. I can’t even imagine the grief and frustration they feel. I am honest when I say that if I had lost a loved one in the attacks, I wouldn’t give a damn about the freedom of Iraqi people. My only concern would be the payback that those maniacs responsible deserve. In closing, I would like to say that I wish that the families and friends of the victims of 9-11 get what they deserve - closure.
Richard S. Rast is a junior Civil Engineering major from Buffalo, NY.