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Turned on the television in my 8th grade reading class after receiving an email that the first tower had been hit. I remember talking with my students about a plane crashing into the Empire State Building during WWII. The second plane hit and a student immediately said “That was not an accident.”
AJC has reflections from some Atlantans.
God bless the victims and God bless America.
I was late for my Wills class, as usual. It was 9:02 when I reached to turn the car off and heard the DJ say they were reading a report about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. They somewhat laughed it off as a mistake or surmised it may be a small plane. I entered the classroom and at 10:15 I walked out and the faces on the people–I’ll never forget it. Found a television and caught up on the news of the last hour.
This ol’ World won’t be the same.
I would spend a lot of summers in New York and had my first summer clerkship there in 2002. My apartment window looked downtown and every day I was reminded of World Trade’s absence. At that point it was a gaping pit downtown and in every New Yorker’s heart. Everyone knew people who had died there.
The new tower is almost complete, and now when I see a movie shot in pre-9/11 NYC that pans across World Trade I am jarred by its presence the way I was before by its absence.
Maybe we tend to over memorialize in this country but in ten years more than a quarter of Americans will have no direct memory of 9/11. Perhaps a national holiday is in order.
We were on holiday, saw the surreal scenes and sat transfixed in front of the TV all day with friends.
Later reportings of obvious clues showed our national security had badly & incompetently failed.
We can not be at peace with the future until all the Muslim majority countries, their religious and political leaders and their peoples actively denounce and bring terrorists to justice. They are the ones that can best stop the slaughter of innocent people.
We need to never forget, but we need to move on too. No one wants to feel/live life as we all did that horrible day, and for so many years thereafter. Something’s different this year though, in that I think we’re finally moving on, as a national psyche, for lack of a better way to put it.
I heard a soundbite from one New Yorker this morning saying he finally felt he could relax again. And I’m sure he meant “relaxed” in a somewhat different way, as we will (“we” meaning those of us who lived through and watched in collective horror, fear and anger) never see the New York City skyline in the same way we did pre-9/11. Ever.
But a “new normal” is a healthy thing. We can thus turn more of our energies and attentions once more to being forward-thinking, progress-driven Americans. And re-build our national psyche.
We need to do more than move on, we need to wake up to the legacy of fear it left behind and address how that legacy has been used to expand government’s power and curtail individual freedom. You’re far more likely to be killed driving to work than by a terrorist and yet the terrorist behind every bush has become a convenient boogeyman to scare us away for our basic rights.
We still have troops in Afghanistan and we (and I have to wonder if even they) don’t know why they’re there.
Before we move on, can we at least either understand their current mission? If not, can we get them home like yesterday?
I never understood Bush II’s invasion of a sabre-rattling dicatator led Iraq unless it was specific to destroying weapons of mass destruction or protecting American lives. It was a misguided hunting expedition.
To get Saddam, a missle down his chimney would suffice.
He was not worth one drop of American blood.
As a hawk I want the most technologically advanced, powerful military on the planet. That said, in these times it is not necessary to be deployed all over the world maintaining multi-billion dollar bases to support local foreign economies. Bring a lot more than combat troops home.
dic-a-tator must have been a Freudian slip not needing a midifier !
To be blunt, this is no longer about Bush. It’s also not about Iraq.
We have people serving and dying in Afghanistan under a President who campaigned against that mission. He now has a timetable some distance away (2014?) to bring them home. Why are they there today? They’re dying at a rate as high as ever. If the President doesn’t support the mission, and we no longer even understand what the mission is (what does victory look like?), then why are we waiting?
History will judge Bush. We can continue to judge Bush. But Bush can’t bring the troops home, nor explain to us why they need to be in harms way for another couple of years.
To be blunt, it was an extension of the thought, what do we hope to accomplish ?……it is a long running question.
I think loads of Americans are keenly aware, now, of that legacy of fear, and the erosion of privacy and the threat of a surveillance society in our lives. ‘Cause they sure do complain about it all day long on Facebook and all the rest of the Internets.
And then they continue to vote for the two parties that want to continue the status quo.
They have so few other choices. Seems the solution then is ballot reform. Extreme ballot reform.
Michael Yon is a former Green Beret, native of Winter Haven, Fl. who has been reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan since December 2004. No other reporter has spent as much time with combat troops in these two wars. Michael’s dispatches from the frontlines have earned him the reputation as the premier independent combat journalist of his generation. His work has been featured on “Good Morning America,” The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CNN, ABC, FOX, as well as hundreds of other major media outlets all around the world.
The above is cut & paste of who Michael Yon is, a former Green Beret. I have followed Michael Yon for many years. His call for leaving Afghanistan. A must read.
Michael has described his reasoning for withdrawing from Afghanistan. I totally agree. Having heard Romney’s saber rattling, it makes me sick. The President is no better…today is the day to withdraw.
9/11 was a Bush/Clinton intelligence failure, not a military failure. Subsequently we had the failed Bush/Obama interventionist foreign policy. Now we have useless politicians and commentators telling us we need more military spending to “keep us safe.” The purpose of the military is to defend this country not to get more defense industry jobs for one’s district or to keep open unnecessary military installations. Cut active Army to maximum 500,000 in five years and cut the Marines to maximum 180,000. Eliminate the third version of the F-35. Close all Asian and European Army and Marine installations and of course exit Afghanistan. A comprehensive BRAC for stateside posts should be conducted immediately. Georgia, for example has several unnecessary military bases. Just a few examples of how to reduce military spending.
Which Georgia base is unnecessary? Ft. Benning, which is home to the infantry school, OCS, Airborne training, and the Rangers; Ft. Gordon, home to the communications training school; Ft. Stewart, home to the 3rd Infantry Division and other Ranger units; King’s Bay, home to the Nuclear missile sub fleet; Moody, home to the 23rd Air Wing (close air support worldwide); or Robins, home of one of three Air Force Materiel Commands, which is a worldwide manager for a wide range of aircraft, engines, missiles, software and avionics and accessories components? Which of these functions can we eliminate or consolidate to a base with room stateside? Also, if we close or installations in Korea, Japan (we have a treaty obligation to provide their defense, but who needs to honor agreements, especially ones we forced on defeated enemies?), and in Europe, what happens when a crisis arises that threatens the flow of oil out of the Middle East or if China uses force to resolve disputes over disputed islands in the Pacific? And don’t give me any nonsense about those issues not being a concern to us, oil is a global commodity and those East Asian nations (Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines) have major ties to the US economy and the global economy. We cannot bury our heads in the sand, however, we can be smarter about how we use our power. We do not need to occupy and attack every nuisance, but we should not cut off our capability to respond to major geopolitical world events. Certainly our military can deploy within a matter of days anywhere in the world, however, these bases serve important roles in maintaining our logistics capabilities and in nurturing positive diplomatic relationships. They also promote cross-cultural exchange, which can prove invaluable. And, truthfully, if you look at the costs, it is far cheaper to house troops and equipment overseas than in the US. That said, we can reduce facilities overseas, without abandoning them altogether. We should also work with Japan to revise our treaty so that they can re-establish a true military and work alongside us as a full partner and ally.
Move the com. school to Stewart and close Gordon. Move Albany Marine Log. Base to Lejeune with the rest of the east coast Marines and close Albany. If Japan, NATO and Korea can’t defend themselves after 50 or 60 years, something is seriously wrong. Doubt if any country plans on invading Japan anyway. And by the way who threatens NATO and why should we keep troops there? As far as I know the Soviet Union is not going to reconstitute in the near future.
By reducing the size of our armed forces we will have room to house our people stateside. Better we spend money here than in another country’s economy. With our current airlift and sea transport capacity we are not cut off from anywhere. That’s why we should continue to maintain overseas AF and Naval Installations.
“A crisis that threatens the flow of oil out of the Mideast”, well that’s why we have a Navy. They maintain the sea lanes. A serious ground situation could be handled like Gulf War One was handled, via Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. And yes I mean a serious situation, not another invasion of Iraq. And by the way, Mideast Oil has become increasingly less important to this country. And you want us to get involved if China seizes a disputed island. Sorry, not our responsibility.
“Promote cross-cultural exchange” sorry but not the function of the military; that’s the function of State, AID, and the Peace Corp.
Another BRAC is not the answer. During the last BRAC, I read more than 50 instalation justifications on why they should stay open.I read much of what the BRAC commission published. Nothing was decided on a cost savings basis. It was all political. Another BRAC would just show once again that DoD understands how to game the system.
I agree that there are some very expensive systems that might not pass a cost-benefit analysis, but the offset to that is that all of the current equipment has too many miles and to many hours on them. Much of the current equipment needs to be replaced, it is just beyond repair.
It does not make sense to just cut the military budget. What makes more sense is a zero based budgeting that looks at everything. But, of course, as long as the Senate is completely impotent, that will never happen.
A BRAC is only as good as the persons on the commission. Fort Mac was closed as a result of BRAC. This time around I recommend members be GSU and UGA grad business or econ. students or faculty and some former military, not community members or politicians who want to close nothing. We got a whole bunch of small NG and AR installations in this state that could be consolidated or moved to larger installations. Gillem or Dobbins could house some of these units. And why can’t we merge Moody and Robbins?
Yes, equipment always wears out and must be replaced. Nothing new about that. But 200 billion for the useless F-22 system and now three versions of the F-35.
It does make sense to cut the military. We just need politicians that are willing to do the job, not no-nothing pork barrelers like Chambliss and Gingrey whose main occupation is to keep Lockheed in business and not close any Ga. installations.
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