Wednesday, August 16, 2006

9/11 Revisited

A moment of great sadness last night, Bush, when Ellie put on the CD of that post 9/11 concert, "America: A Tribute to Heroes." Great songs, with a huge amount of heart and soul put into their rendering that night. The artists seemed to transcend the idea of "performing" on that occasion. They seemed rather to be enacting their feelings around that tragedy in their songs. And the sadness, for me, came up around the missed opportunity, because the gift that 9/11 offered us, in all its grotesque and catastrophic violence, was the gift of glimpsing our unity as a people, the deep level of emotion at which we all can share our common humanity.

It was a moment that could have capitalized on differently from the way in which you did. It was a moment in which the entire world was ready to gather around us in support and sympathy. It was a moment of common cause, not only in our country but in the world beyond our borders. Was it Chirac who said, at the time, "We are all Americans today"? That was the feeling, anyway.

So, Bush, what an unprecedented opportunity. I'd venture to say that never before in human history had such an opportunity presented itself to a man in your position. All it required was a man who had it in him to reach out to the world, unashamed of vulnerability, and accept all that sympathy and help; a man interested in the "root causes" you speak about so glibly, and ready to address them even as he sought to redress the violence with appropriate strength and action. Instead, your response was unmitigated anger and aggression. You played on the understandable--indeed, the justifiable--instinct to hit back, and ignored the opportunity to heal.

It saddens the heart, Bush, to see that opportunity squandered. What a reversal since the moment of that concert! The divisiveness, the hatred, the insecurity and mistrust, the tragic increase in violence and death throughout the world. It saddens the heart...


PK said...

It saddens my heart too Peter, but it's done now, and we have to live with his least for another 2 years..

denn said...

any of you see the pic of Bush sitting on a Harley Motorcycle, saying, "Just looking"? Need I repeat, a first rate moron to the nth degree. And worse, a lot of Harley boys will now think better of him.