Tuesday, October 17, 2006

9/11: Then and now

Note: I am republishing my blog entry related to 9/11.

I had initially posted edtoons on that entry, but one comment made me realize that I should post links to those edtoons as I did with the Kim Jong-il edtoons. It's only fair to these cartoonists for me to provide links to their work as I do with the news articles that I comment on this blog. Since finding links to those 9/11 edtoons are not readily available, I decided to forego using them at all. If I can find my own edtoon related to this issue, I shall post it here.


As I was deleting some old e-mails, I came across one that I hadn't seen in a while. It contained editorial cartoons that related our moods in the days and weeks immediately following the 9/11 attacks. I remembered those days and how things seemed to be crazy and out of whack. There was shock, horror, confusion, anger, and a general sense of anomie. Fast forward to today.

Does it feel to you like our mood then seems quite a bit different than it is now? Understand that I'm not at all saying that we are no longer outraged - that sting will always be with us - but that, back then, we seemed more focused on what we wanted to do. We wanted to "kill the bastards" who did this evil act against our people. Today, though, we seem less focused. Why is that? Answering that is a bit complex, because the reasons come from different sources, but in short, it is because our war effort has not been focused like it needs to be.

Yes, we went to Afghanistan and Iraq, but our military efforts there didn't seem to stop the terrorists' effort in spreading fear. Granted, the mood that we felt 5 years ago demanded that we do something - and we did. But 5 years later, it doesn't seem to be enough. Yes, we chased out the Taliban from Afghanistan and we toppled Hussein from Iraq, but our victories there seem to be a Pyrrhic victory.

However, don't think that I'm saying that we need to pull out of Iraq, or that we need to cease our efforts in seeking out the terrorists to severely damage or even end their activities. What I'm suggesting is that we rethink how we're doing things - to find, in other words, how we might be doing these things better and more efficiently. So far, we seem to be doing things largely because we're doing them. That's not a good enough plan. Granted, I'm no military person, but even a civilian such as myself knows that we could be doing things better.

Come election day, think about which candidate that you vote for can do a better job on how we're conducting this war. The victims of 9/11 and our soldiers in the field deserve better than the leadership that is coming from our politicans right now. Their sacrifices must not be in vain, and we must do our part to make it so - and part of that effort comes at the ballot box.

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