An anniversary is a day that commemorates or celebrates a past event that occurred on the same date of the year as the initial event, and is closely related to a day honoring the memory of a person or an event. After terrorists flew commercial airliners into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and crashed another in a Pennsylvania field, Americans have been reminded to “never forget” the tragic event. It is unlikely any American over the age of three or four will forget 911, but it is highly likely the majority of Americans will forget the long-lasting devastation an incompetent Republican administration’s response wrought on the nation.
Americans will duly commemorate the loss of American lives in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania as a result of the Bush administration’s cavalier attitude to warnings that al Qaeda operatives were going to hijack and use passenger airliners as missiles to take down American buildings, as they should. However horrible the loss of over three-thousand American lives in one terrorist attack on American soil may seem, the true extent of the damage to America in lives and resources that one day’s tragedy caused is something most Americans will never acknowledge much less remember; and that is an epic tragedy in and of itself. The truth is that Republicans desperately want Americans to forget 911, the reason it occurred, and the Bush administration’s carefully planned disastrous response.
First, if the Bush brain trust had heeded the warnings from intelligence sources that terrorists were within days of launching an extremely deadly attack on American soil, there may not be any significance whatsoever to 911. Conspiracy theories aside, a competent administration would have instituted heightened security measures at airports after warnings of credible threats to the nation’s security from terrorists intent on hijacking American passenger jets. Second, since it was revealed fairly soon after the terror attacks that it was primarily Saudi terrorists who carried out the attacks, it put every aspect of the Bush administration response in question for targeting the wrong people and invading two innocent sovereign nations.
It is important to remember that the Taliban, or Afghani people, did not launch attacks on American soil any more than Saddam Hussein or the Iraqi people did. It was an Islamic extremist terror group led by Osama bin Laden; a Saudi. Still, the Bush administration took advantage of the American people’s fear, sadness, and anger to launch an invasion on innocent Afghanis that has lasted 13 years…and counting. It is also important to remember how America finally brought bin Laden to justice, and it was not because America invaded Afghanistan or Iraq; it was accomplished by a relatively small team of highly-trained soldiers working off of credible and verified intelligence sources. No American lives were lost and bin Laden was killed.
Each year since the terror attacks on 911, the nation remembers the 3000-plus American lives lost, but few, if any, Americans think about the many, many hundreds-of-thousands of innocent Muslim lives Bush’s incompetence wasted; including thousands of America’s brave fighting men and women sent to fight, die, or be disabled while invading and waging war against innocent Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, innocent Iraqis (and Syrians) are still dying due to Bush’s invasion of Iraq that spawned the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, or ISIL) and likely many thousands more will die, including Americans, due to the Iraq war; a war Republicans seem overly anxious to reengage American troops in into perpetuity if Dick Cheney, John McCain, and the rest of the Republican warmongers have their way.
However, as terrible as the loss of countless hundreds-of-thousands of lives due to the Bush administration’s incompetent response to 911 is, and it is incredibly horrific, this nation and its people are suffering greatly from the financial costs. There is a world of attention given to the damning effect of Bush’s unfunded tax cuts for the rich on the national debt that are still being paid for with borrowed money and are still accruing interest. However, whatever the final cost of giving the rich more money that was borrowed from China and the Social Security Trust pales in comparison to the trillions and trillions the nation will pay for an incompetent administration’s response to 911.
Most Americans are unaware that throughout the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Bush warmongers conveniently “forgot” to include the costs of the unfunded wars in the nation’s budget. Most Americans are also unaware that this nation is still paying for the Viet Nam war and will continue paying until the last brave Viet Nam Veteran passes away. One would think Republican warmongers would have been smart enough to understand that besides the horrific cost in American lives, there is a terrible financial price to pay for going to war in a foreign nation that posed no threat to this country. But, no-one will ever accuse the Bush administration of being smart. Not only will America continue paying for the actual cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for decades including the interest on the borrowed money to fund it, experts predict the cost of caring for America’s brave Veterans will eclipse at least a few trillion dollars over the next generation.
Those direct financial costs were, and are, devastating to Americans in and of themselves, but the devastation from budget cuts to reduce the deficit Bush’s folly blew up has had a profound economic effect on the nation and is most likely to last over the next decade. However, by then the nation will begin feeling the economic effect of the cost to care for Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans many economists warn will be the undoing of America’s economy.
Americans should give attention to, and remember, the devastating terror attack on 911, but they will likely focus their attention on the lives lost on that one fateful day and that is exactly what Republicans hope they focus on. They know Americans are not deep thinkers, if they think at all, and nothing will please Republicans more than for the people to remember the day Muslims attacked America and killed over three-thousand innocent civilians. However, they want Americans to forget 911 and the long-lasting and ongoing damage an incompetent Republican administration inflicted on America, Iraq, Afghanistan, America’s military, and the economy.
Besides hoping Americans forget that Bush used 911 to wage two completely unnecessary wars of aggression that killed hundreds-of-thousands of innocent Muslims as well as thousands of brave American troops, they want Americans to forget that they will continue paying for those wars with devastating budget cuts to rein in the nation’s long-term debt. A debt that will continue growing because an incompetent Republican administration responded to small terror group’s criminal act with two wars that eclipse the damage from 911 by several orders of magnitude. Americans must never forget 911, because it is the anniversary of day Republicans demonstrated precisely why they should never be given the reins of power again.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.