Saturday, September 11, 2021

Twenty Years

It was just another hot, process filled day for a mid-grade LCDR in Bahrain when the brief flush of the post-Cold War peace ended and the world we know today was rebuilt from the rubble.

I would not have expected things to be where they are today, 20-yrs later. For the first few months in theater before I returned home to a very different America, we were focused on what a more direct culture would call a "punitive expedition" - not what it became.

In late 2001 and through 2002, we could see what was forming in DC, Brussels, think tanks, and faculty lounges in The West that became the complete disaster of pet theories and projects thrown on to the backs of the dead in New York City, The Pentagon, and that sad little field in Pennsylvania. 

They played off the rage of a nation to have us spend trillions of dollars to, what, exactly?

Multiples of the numbers of people killing on Sept. 11th died fighting the wars that followed from Afghanistan across Iraq, Syria, Libya, and various other dusty hell holes in Africa ... for what exactly? Orders of magnitude of civilians were killed by us in the process of creating ... what exactly?

We've discussed the above here before and this isn't a day for me to go on about it again.

I do think of my youngest daughter on that day, not even six months old at home with her mother and sister. I thought of them a lot that day and was hoping that we would help create a better world for them. Did we? Maybe, as we don't know what alternative futures would have looked like ... but did we do our best?

I don't know. Maybe, but I doubt it. The negative effects of our humiliation in Afghanistan on our nation and our place in the world will resonate through the rest of this decade and longer.

Though he is dead, Bin Laden did get something from his attack 20-yrs ago. I think part of what we need to do is acknowledge and accept that if you told him where things were in 2021, he may not be exceptionally happy, but he would feel much better today and the rest of us.

As I like to do, I want to pick a clip from AM TV that Americans watched. Watch it again just to remember the place and time.

A final note: those who mastermined 911? A few are dead, and many of those still alive are still in custody ... and only now going on trial. Think about that as well. Think about that and other parts of our government and leading institutions that created the state of play today. Think how we can change both to better serve our nation and the West.

Action is always better than anger.

No comments: