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In The Name of 9/11

Doesn't the truth stand for anything? & Words are supposed to have meaning...that is how civilized cultures have progressed. & Without a consensus in the meaning of words, we have chaos.

And perhaps that was the intent of the Bush Administration all along. & As a nation, I believe we are more polarized than at any time since the Civil War. & Many reasonable people have allowed themselves to be manipulated into a "them or us" mentality. Just listen to one of Dwight Eisenhower's speeches and you will remember how inclusive the Republican Party used to be. &

I know that the majority of Republicans would not imagine that we could become a nation of religious fanatics any more than we see ourselves as a nation of skinheads, but the elements are in place and historically we have seen what mass hysteria can accomplish. &


We now have a candidate for vice president who has stated that the "war in Iraq is God's plan" and "a task from God" Though she may indeed speak for a splinter group of extremist, she does not represent me or the majority of Americans. & Because she could in fact become the Commander in Chief, who under the Constitution has the power to initiate war; we must weigh our actions very carefully on November 4 th .

When the Bush family took the opportunity to settle their & vendetta with Saddam Hussein and the Baathe Party, the resulting chaos allowed al-Qaeda to flood Iraq. & In spite of all the human anguish, what have we accomplished? Anbar has been cleared of al-Qaeda and returned to Iraq, a circuitous return to status quo, it would seem.

& All these years later, we are finally strengthening our forces in Afghanistan where the core of al-Qaeda was reportedly concentrated after the September 11th attack. & In the seven intervening years, that nucleus of extremist has splintered like cancer throughout the world. & Are we to spend the rest of our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren attempting to bomb Bush's "Axis of Evil" into oblivion? & This cannot be the answer in a rational world. If we become like our enemies: a closed society of fear, fundamentalism and continued aggression, then they have indeed won.

We mourn the 3,000 people lost this day seven years ago. We mourn the loss of 4,155 confirmed military casualties since the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. We mourn the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's, (many, many of them civilians who have paid with their lives for something they had nothing to do with.)

If ever there was a time for national reflection on a return to reason, that day is today. The coming election will determine the direction, not only of the United States, but the rest of the world and our place in it. & It will determine if we continue to escalate the death and destruction that has dominated the first part of this century or evolve once more as a nation that remains militarily strong but uses the tools of diplomacy, dialogue, intelligence, and wisdom to form an alliance with the rest of the world in our common battle against extremist.