On September 12th 2001, an almost unprecedented event occurred: the world stood in shock and awe by America’s side. A French national newspaper blared “We Are All Americans Today” across its front page. Nations far and wide offered their sympathy and support. Pledges of assistance in bringing those responsible to justice were arriving from every corner of the globe. The stereotype of the “ugly American” was forgotten.
On that day, the world was perhaps closer to being in harmony than it has been in many years.
A responsible, enlightened government would have built the following years on a policy of “remember 9/12”. Instead of using “revenge” rhetoric to justify plunging headlong into a multi-front war with countries not involved in the event, we could have ushered in a new era of international friendship and co-operation. Instead of spurning the offers of help in its time of need, America could have forged deep bonds with foreign powers.
The Bush administration, with its shallow use of religious overtones to offset acts of extreme violence, is no longer punishing a crime, nor even truly waging a war. It’s jihad.
Perhaps it’s not too late for America to turn back that particular clock. It’s definitely too late for the current government.
Remember 9/12, and what could have been.