. . . The Lord of Hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge. Come behold the works of the Lord who has made desolations in the Earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the Earth. He breaks the bough and cuts the spear in two. He burns the chariot in fire. Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the Earths. The Lord of Hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge.
These words of peace were uttered by a President who is currently waging wars in several countries. These words of prayer , and many other words of prayer, were uttered by my elected representative, Barack Obama, who doesn’t care that his Constitution has a Separation clause and that he was elected to represent Buddhists and Hindus, in addition to many millions of Americans who do not believe in invisible sentient beings. Then again, it’s election season and Mr. Obama is hammering at America’s sweet spot: Judeo-Christian War Mongering.
This was a day when Mr. Obama, like most politicians who hogged the stage on this deservedly sad anniversary, deemed that everyone who died on 9/11 was a “hero,” even though most of the the people who died were victims rather than heroes–there being a huge difference between victims and heroes. But this is not a day that cares about stark distinctions or basic facts.
Contrary to the claim of Barack Obama, 9/11 was not a day when America was “thrust into war.” Rather, America’s leaders decided to convince Americans that a narrowly-focused military mission against a small band of terrorists was somehow not appropriate. Instead of keeping the focus following 9/11, America thrust itself into a $2 billion/week country-wide discretionary occupation of Afghanistan, a war that continues to bleed America of much-needed funds for schools, scientific research and infrastructure. And while Mr. Obama was claiming that America was “thrust into war,” he should have been reminding Americans that our equally expensive military adventure in Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. But this is not the first time that America has resorted to fabrications to justify a lengthy war.
At the Kennedy Center, Mr. Obama said, “It will be said that we kept the faith, that we took a painful blow, and we emerged stronger than before.” I suppose this is the type of thing one is supposed to say on the anniversary of a horrible attack on America. Despite this rhetoric, America’s reckless response to 9/11 has brought America to the brink of financial ruin, with no end in sight. And the damage we’ve done to ourselves far exceeds the waste of tax resources. Consider these figures offered by The Nation:
4,442 American soldiers dead in Iraq, 1,584 in Afghanistan. As of March, $1.25 trillion spent to destroy and then fail to rebuild and stabilize those countries, a cost that has crippled our capacity to respond to an economic crisis that has devastated the American working and middle classes and reverberated throughout the world. Weighing on our collective conscience, also, are hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, tens of thousands of dead Afghans, millions displaced—the overwhelming majority of whom had nothing to do with Al Qaeda’s heinous crimes on 9/11. To this, add a legacy of distrust, anger and grievance against the United States that will persist for years to come.
We are in trouble today because of the reckless way that we have been responding to the despicable attacks of 9/11. We have done much more damage to our own country than any terrorists could have ever imagined doing by themselves.
We are not honoring the dead when we utter falsehoods, even when these falsehoods are politically convenient.