Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thoughts on 9/11, 11 years later. Lest we forget.

As a Canadian, I have a different perspective on the tragedies of 9/11.

Like millions, possibly billions, of other people around the world, I saw the events of that day unfold on TV. I sat on the couch, watched CNN, and cried and cried. On that terrible day I kept waiting for the President of the United States, George W. Bush, to come and appear and say something. Surely, in a few moments, he would appear at a hastily gathered news conference, with camera's clicking and Secret Service agents hovering. He would clear his throat and make some sort of pronouncement, or announcement or comforting words or determined statement. I got more and more scared when this didn't happen. The whole of North America was locked down. Planes grounded. Then, we got this.:
President George W. Bush during 9/11 attacks.
I'm not going to even try to explain why he didn't politely excuse himself a few minutes earlier. Better minds that mine have tried and failed.

Soon after, the U.S, Canada and others were involved in a war against Iraq, even though no Iraqis were involved in 9/11. Saudis were, though. But there was no war against Saudi Arabia. There still hasn't been and never will be a war against Saudi Arabia. The war in Iraq did get rid of Saddam Hussein, but he had no part in 9/11, either. Confusing and awful times for everyone.

In 2008, Barack Obama was running for the office of President of the United States of America. In one of the debates, he was asked if he would go into Pakistan without their permission if terrorists were known to be there. I felt sure he would say "no" but he said he would. I got a jolt. I had a frisson of fear and respect. I believe, even at that time, the U.S. had intelligence that Osama bin Laden may have been in Pakistan. Also, before Obama said that "yes" I had thought he was more of a dove than a hawk. And, though I'm pretty liberal in most ways, when it comes to terrorism, I feel it needs to be dealt with decisively. And, to be honest, I felt it was just political points at that time. Was I ever wrong.
President Obama during search for Osama bin Laden
photo by Pete Souza
I'm a Canadian, and I love my neighbour the United States of America. That's why I hope this November, the citizens of the USA will vote in someone who is decisive and will do the right thing, no matter how unpleasant.

Best, Your neighbour upstairs