Will it never end?
I’m Just Sayin’
by SHEILA SMITH
Twelve years later, I find it difficult to read stories chronicling that day. I have never watched any documentaries or movies based on the events. It is too much for me, and I am not sure why, and I wonder if it is selfish of me to say it is too much for me to handle.
I did not lose anyone I knew personally in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. I did not lose anyone close to me in the wars that followed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At 17, I felt very grown up and thought I knew so much. But when a classmate announced loudly in the hallway while we all headed to our second hour class, “Two planes just crashed into buildings in New York!” I felt like a fearful child.
No one knew what was going on. Everything was centered in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, but my little high school in Iota was put on lockdown. We couldn’t even leave one classroom for the next. In our senior year of high school, my classmates and I wondered aloud, “Are we being invaded?”
After all, we were raised to believe America was invincible; Pearl Harbor and genocide were only stories we read in textbooks or heard about from our grandparents and great-grandparents.
Yet, there we were in our literature class, locked in a building away from our parents, watching people jump or fall from buildings and skyscrapers collapsing into busy New York streets, watching as the entire world froze, seeing what was taking place in America.
Younger and more naïve, eventually my grief and fear gave way to anger; I wanted revenge, and I supported those in government that wanted military “campaigns.” They said Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda family were responsible and we needed to bring them to justice; but just where he was, all the intelligence in our government and allies could not determine.
So we went into Iraq for weapons of mass destruction that were never found. Then we went into Afghanistan because of the Taliban and al Qaeda terrorists. And after all that, bin Laden was found and killed in Pakistan.
Now, the powers that be want to go into Syria to stop the government there from using chemical weapons on its people as well as the rebels and radicals within the Free Syrian Army – an army that includes a number of al Qaeda members, an army that has received support and weapons from the U.S. government.
I think of the thousands who died on 9/11 and the thousands who died in Iraq and Afghanistan because of al Qaeda and the decisions made by this country; then I think of our government supporting the same group that helped to kill so many. I should not be surprised; after all, we funded Saddam Hussein in the 1980’s before we decided he was an enemy; we funded bin Laden until we realized he was an enemy in the early 1990’s.
Did our government have foreknowledge of 9/11 before those planes went down? Some argue yes, some argue no; I only say I would not be surprised if the government did.
At the time this column is being written, the Syrian government has supposedly agreed to put its chemical weapons under international control at the request of its own ally, Russia. President Barack Obama is saying the U.S. will have to see how quickly that could happen without a strike.
I’m no expert; but if I look at this country’s history in the past 12 years alone, no matter what Syria agrees to, no matter what Congress ultimately decides – somehow this country will likely find a reason to take action in Syria.
Then we’ll move on to the next enemy we helped create.
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