Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11 memories

10 years ago I was a Freshman at Boston University. As one of the only lucky college students to actually have a (relatively) working television. I was getting ready for my first class of the day when 3 of my friends from my dorm room floor rushed in and let us know we had to put on the television.

As soon as we turned it on, we were all confused. We had no idea what was going on. Once we realized that something had caused one of the twin towers to start burning the panic and confusion only got worse. My roommate, a Great Neck resident with friends working in the towers, was on the phone instantly. My first reaction was shock, what the hell was happening. My second was, "Holy Crap, we are going to go to war."

That second thought was something that, the more I have expanded upon and contemplated, the more I realize its intensity. We were at war with terrorists who were using violence for political action. One of the metrics for sucess in a terrorist effort is to create such a state of fear that the population you are terrorizing has to drastically change their way of life. The way our government changed, the way we lowered our humanitarian and POW handling standards, the way we changed security in many different fronts and the entirety of the homeland security act are all evidence of their successes.

Ignoring the issue that for the following 3 years that if you even questioned the government on any of their actions you were considered "UnAmerican" the real detrimental fact that one of Bin Laden's main goals was to bankrupt the U.S. economy as a result of his organization's terrorist efforts and we played right into that goal. A recent NPR interview with Washington Post national security reporter Dana Priest, the co-author of both the Post's investigative series and the book Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State detailed a frightening side of America's war on terror.
"The government said, 'We're facing an enemy we don't understand, we don't have the tools to deal with it, here's billions ... of dollars and a blank check after that for anybody with a good idea to go and pursue it,' " she says. "Not only does the government find it difficult to get its arms around itself, [but now] it doesn't know what's inside, it doesn't know what works, it doesn't know what doesn't work. And nobody still, 10 years later, is really in charge of those questions."
The current estimate of what has been spent on these efforts is in the multiple hundreds of billion dollars, but honestly there is no real way to be sure right now, and the more sunlight that is put on this, the deeper the hole will go. When we are currently talking about the overspending of government and cutting back things like health care, social security and other social programs, why aren't we taking a more serious look at these costs which are still on going?

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