Fifteen years ago in the Summer, my cousin and I walked passed the security desk in the lobby of 1601 Market Street in Philly without so much as a head nod towards the elevators. We met with HR, signed some papers, then walked 6 city blocks to get our drug tests, shortcutting through the hallways of City Hall to continue on Market Street. We were new hires at The MCS Group, and this was the start of our Summer jobs we'd go on to hold for the next few years.
But within two Summers, after the Towers fell, things had changed.
I now had to sign into every building before making a delivery, and getting passed security in my own required a badge. Cutting through the once open doorways and public hallways of City Hall was no longer an option. A certain collective unease among the numerous pedestrians about the city streets now could be felt as I walked from building to building, making my rounds.
Small changes of course, but they said and they say that EVERYTHING changed that day.
Surely, airport lines got more inconvenient, and Americans received a shoddy and forced lesson on Muslim history, but I believe we're right back to where we were as a country on September 10th, 2001.
19 Islamic jihadist hijackers, from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, and Lebanon, flew planes into the World Trades killing thousands of innocent US citizens in Lower Manhattan....and we invaded one of the few secular Middle Eastern countries of which none of the aforementioned hijackers ever even visited, a country ruled by a brutal suit and tie-wearing dictator and lawyer who WE installed, a country lacking not only a navy but also an air force, and dismantled said country's entire economy and political system to then re-install a "democracy" which then crumbled into pieces of bloody chaos, resulting in the deaths of over 5,000 American soldiers and over 500,000 Iraqi citizens, to become...the largest breeding ground and base of operations for the most dangerous and sophisticated...Islamic jihadist army.
Oh, and we also invaded Afghanistan, so we can "fight them over there, not here." That fight is still going on, it is our longest war EVER.
Fourteen years later it is, and although hind sight is 20/20, it is hard to fathom that this mess could ever possibly happen in modern times.
It is easy to blame W for all this, and I did at one time, yet there are so many others more culpable. If anything, this guy proved, sadly, what a true pawn the American president actually is.
Others, like certain media outlets, who were 1.) Ignorant of history, 2.) With a complete monopoly on feeding the public information, and 3.) Hungry for nothing but ratings, and therefore war.... War. And the endless kind.
Fourteen years later, and you know how I know we haven't changed one bit?
Donald Trump, the ultimate huckster, is our most popular presidential candidate.
No, of course I don't believe anyone, from the janitors and law clerks in Tower One to our soldiers and Iraqis deserved to perish. But unlike what the hucksters will tell you, it is not only possible, but vital, to EXPLAIN the motives of those 19 hijackers, without EXCUSING them. We still don't know the difference.
Deserve has nothing to do with it, except of course, if you're talking about the government that we get.