Posts Tagged ‘9-11’

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ARE WE DONE NOW?

May 5, 2011

Eight years ago to the day, then President George W. Bush announced “Mission Accomplished.”

It wasn’t.

Sunday, May 1, 2011, our current president did no such thing. But he did announce that a covert military operation ended the life of Osama bin Ladin. For nearly all  Americans, this was the real “Mission Accomplished.” People took to the streets in celebration almost immediately after hearing the news.

This does very little to change the current terrorist landscape. However, we have now accomplished the goal that we set when we invaded Afghanistan: to bring to justice those who perpetrated the 9-11 attacks. Al-Qaida is no longer the top-down, heavily-armed and well-financed organization that it was a decade ago. It has been fractured into small groups throughout the world – sometimes with not more than one or two members per group. And now, their leader is gone.

Militarily, President Obama scored a huge success with the death of bin Ladin. Leon Panetta, the head of the CIA, and the Navy Seals team that handled the mission did a remarkable job.

For those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001, there will be some closure and personally, I couldn’t be happier that bin Ladin is out of the picture. But it’s a hollow victory for me. We’ve sacrificed so much blood and treasure over these last nine years that his demise seems far less significant by comparison.

Politically, this event resulted in a boost in the president’s poll numbers. He succeeded where his two predecessors failed. Although, with all the domestic issues that need attention: 8.5% unemployment, stupid-high gas prices, a crumbling infrastructure and increasingly higher food costs, the rise in his popularity will probably be short-lived. As a country, we need to re-think our military strategies. Our “enemies” are not other countries anymore. We do not need huge military forces stationed around the world in order to keep the peace. Small, well-trained forces on the ground like “Seal Team 6” appear to be far more effective. (They executed this operation with incredible precision and not one team member was injured, much less killed.) Plus, so much more can be done from the air than ever before that large numbers of ground troops are not necessary.

The world has become “smaller” and more transparent, especially since 9-11. The human desire to be free is starting to re-shape the Middle East with uprisings in many areas. We can be the beacon of peace in the world by not engaging in warfare and not sticking our foreign policy “nose” where it doesn’t belong. Through the unfiltered lens of the internet, people around the globe can witness life in a free society. What they do with that information is up to them, not us.

So… are we done now?

With 24 people and 40 minutes, we succeeded where nearly ten years, thousands of soldiers lost, tens of thousands of soldiers injured, hundreds of thousands of innocent people killed, and well over a trillion dollars spent, did not.

Can we please end these senseless wars?

Sincerely,

www.MichaelKontras.com

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REMEMBER WITHOUT FEAR

September 11, 2009

RememberLOGO

September 11, 2001 was a day of uncertainty and yes, fear. None of us knew what was happening. We all remember where we were.

From my 2001 web page entry

I am up at 7:30 this morning. I make sure Kenny has everything for his day at school. He leaves the house at 7:50.

“He’s lucky” I thought. “All he has to do is hop the fence in the back yard and he’s on school grounds.”

I cook my usual 2 egg sandwiches and eat breakfast while watching an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” that I taped last night. Around 8:30 I pour a cup of decaf and head for the office. God knows I have plenty to do.

Around 8:50, Lonna calls from her office. “Hi sweetie.”

“Hey. What’s up?” I ask.

“Have you got the TV on?” she asks, with a certain uneasiness in her voice.

“No. Why?” I reply, puzzled by her tone and the call.

“A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center.”

“Oh no” I gasped, reaching over to turn on the 5″ black and white TV on my desk. I couldn’t believe what she was telling me. “When did this happen?”

“Just a couple of minutes ago. They think we’re under attack by terrorists.”

“Dear God, they’re probably right. Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I guess. I need to get back to work…if I can. I just thought I’d call to tell you.”

“Yeah…huh…okay” I mumbled. I couldn’t take my eyes off the tiny screen. “I’ll talk to you later, honey. I…I love you”

“Love you too.” she said, then hung up.

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In order for our country to once again be the beacon of peace and hope around the world, we must remember this day, without fear.

Sincerely,

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www.MichaelKontras.com