911 The Unhealed Wound
We remember the day, hour by hour, the twin towers falling; we lay wreaths at Arlington, the Pentagon, a field in Pennsylvania, and the tolling of names at Ground Zero. Some say we have moved on, because there have been no similar attacks, although a few have reportedly been foiled. But the fact is that Americans have been dying by the hundreds in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those who hate America found targets closer to their nesting ground in the Middle East. Now, we are debating a third stage, the destruction of chemical weapon in Syria, with unknowable consequences. Yet it is intolerable that Assad should remain in power, even if Syria removes all its chemical weapons, because there is no strategy for stopping the bloodshed in Syria if he remains in power. Bombs still rip through the thin fabric of society in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the price the US has paid to establish some sense of civil order. Some in war-weary America say let the Middle East destroy itself from within, standing ready to respond forcefully to any threat which directly challenges our interests. Others say, as they are now saying about Syria, to effect a diplomatic solution. The problem is that diplomatic resolutions of Middle East conflicts have had limited success. I used my press pass to gain admittance to Ground Zero before the last shattered remnant of a wall had been removed, looking out over a killing field that is still part graveyard, realizing with sudden swiftness that the Arab terrorist no longer fears US might, nor do they respect treaties and agreements by governments they abhor..
As I once wrote in a diplomatic paper, there comes a time when all appeals to reason have fallen on deafened ears, when the best of diplomacy is of no avail; it is at those times we are reminded of the lesson taught to Maggie Thatcher in the Falklands, the lesson known to every prime minister of Israel: sometimes you just have to shoot somebody. Someday, when all Middle East terrorist groups acknowledge that they all bear some responsibility for fashioning the atmosphere which created 911, we can then say we have established accountability for 911.