Lost Opportunities  

AstirRelicLatah 66M
1288 posts
9/11/2006 6:11 pm

Last Read:
9/20/2006 6:35 pm

Lost Opportunities

I was wandering around the blogs reading some 911 posts. All of them that I read were mourning the dead from that time five years ago. I also mourn the dead. In addition to mourning the dead, I mourn the lost opportunities we had.

You see 911 was not the first time we had terrorists attack our Country. It was the first time it was serious enough to get all of our attention. I remember exactly where I was when the planes hit the towers. I’m sure all of you remember as well. It’s one of those events…events like the assassination of JFK where we all of us who were alive remember where we were.

It’s always a tragedy when thousands are killed at one time. It’s also a tragedy when we don’t learn from the mistakes and take actions that can protect us in the long term.

Protection for me means not having to depend on Middle Eastern Oil for our liquid fuel needs. We had an opportunity on 911 to change the conversation in the country. Our leaders decided to instead ask us to pretend nothing happened and to go out and spend money to keep our economy strong.

I thought then and still think today this was pretty silly. Instead of starting a Manhattan Project to make us independent of Middle Eastern oil we were asked to spend money on gizmos and baubles.

We concentrated on tax cuts and the elimination of personal freedoms. Our country was ready to show some real sacrifice. We were poised to become the next greatest generation. Instead, we argued about a constitutional amendment about our flag, tax cuts and gay marriage.

No one asked us to sacrifice a thing. We sent our brave young men and women to Afghanistan and no one asked us to sacrifice. We chased a depraved dictator who was secular and no risk to the United States and still no sacrifice was asked from us. You see, we had outsourced our national defense to those how are invisible to the rest of us. We could stay home, be fat and happy and have others sacrifice for us.

Today my daughter had a very tough day. It wasn’t because of 911; it was because of a boot display of dead Vermont soldiers. One of those pair of boots belonged to a friend our family. All my daughter could think of is one of those pair of boots could belong to her brother who is now serving in Iraq. Her thoughts were not on the 3,000 who died, but on a brother who could die at any time.

More lost opportunities….Opportunities for all of us to share the sense of service that it takes to maintain freedom. Instead we concentrate on legislation that takes liberties away and makes us less free…

So, as I think of the 3.000 dead from 911, I think we’ve let them down. We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities their death could have afforded us. It was a rare time when the whole country came together. It was one of those rare times we could have affected real change that would help us seven generations from now.

I’m sad on this day. I’m sad for the families that lost loved ones in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. I’m sad for the families who lost loved ones in Iraq and those who lost loved ones in Afghanistan. But, I’m most sad for the lost opportunities we had…..What are you sad for? What are you happy for? What are your wishes on this day? Peace and love….thanks. Skier

JuicyBBW1001 56F

9/11/2006 6:42 pm

My wish is the same wish you have and that is to bring our men and women who are serving this country home alive and well. My thoughts are with everyone who was affected by this senseless act of violence including my daughter for the Uncle she will never know but certainly had a impact on her life.


AstirRelicLatah replies on 9/12/2006 7:59 am:
Auntie V has pointed out that people take what they need from this medium. I find it interesting that you choose to focus on bringing our soldiers home safely. I'm very sorry for your daughter and not having the impact of her Uncle. It was one of the sadness's of this whole situation.

rm_verriberri 80F
1849 posts
9/11/2006 8:30 pm

You do this very well Skier - I am so glad I discovered you and your blog. I feel very much the same way - we spouted phrases like 'bring it on' - the lockerroom bravado spouted to stay tough in the face of adversity - and mortality - and not the introspective or proactive. We have made these decisions many times... with an economy which powered much of the world, we've looked to profits and not to contributions; we've harvested and not thought of restoration.

I am 'sad' that we seem to be retracing old patterns which we should long have realized do not work. I am sad that what we present to the world is bravado and not acceptance, self-interest instead of ethics and values. I am happy to have realized that 'later' is a hollow excuse, and that 'later' rarely comes. I'm happy to be challenging my perspective of what it is to be both American, and a human in this century. Wishes are elusive at the moment - I would wish that we 'are' what we would 'hope' to be - our actions too often contradict our claimed values. -v

AstirRelicLatah replies on 9/12/2006 8:02 am:
Thanks for your kind words....and, I'm so glad you invited me to the Enigs. I'm not so sure with 911 we were tracing old patterns. Old patterns would have asked us to sacrifice, not go to Disney World. BTW, the Koppel program last night was first class. If you can find a copy, I highly suggest watching it.

Thanks, Skier

Mermaidslut 51F

9/11/2006 9:47 pm

I don't agree with fighting for oil, but I do believe in protecting our constitutional freedoms no matter at home or abroad.... here is one you might be interested in...

Explicit Photos on the Website

AstirRelicLatah replies on 9/12/2006 4:34 am:
Missed opportunities isn't about protecting constitutional freedoms unless you consider the Patriot Act an issue, which I do. I also believe that we have the right to be in bad taste which seems to be the topic of the post you sent me to. But, I'm having a little bit of a hard time finding the connection between this post and the other one...I hope you an help me out there. Thanks.

catkit13 67F

9/12/2006 7:13 am

eloquent, as always, my friend - yes, we did lose great opportunities to learn and to change and, yes, our world is even more dangerous now than ever. the shrinking of our personal liberties, by the powers-that-be in washington, scares me almost more than anything else.
i'm getting on a plane thursday to go to chicago for a few days, and i have very little fear of flying these days. what will be, will be. but, far more sinister, our eroding civil liberties may never be restored, or if they are it will be in some faint form of the real thing.
and i grieve for our boys and girls, fighting in far-flung places around the world, with no clear mission and no clear exit strategy. it's not a pretty picture, and your son is just one of many who remain in my thoughts.
i hope, for the next generation and those that follow, that there will be peace in this world - i heard john lennon's song "imagine" yesterday and it brought tears to my eyes, yet again
your friend in the desert,

AstirRelicLatah replies on 9/12/2006 8:22 am:
Ah, so many roads to go down on your response. I'll start with music, There must be something with Imagine running around. I just heard a Bruce Hornsby version which is haunting. I also don't believe the erosion of our civil liberties is something new...it was well underway when Nixon was taking names during Viet Nam protests....I know because my name was on several lists.

I also believe that there is more peace today outside of Africa than at any other time in human history. We just have a 24/7 sock puppet news cycle that makes us believe we're unsafe. If the media keeps us all scared, we will spend more time watching and more time being more scared. My suggestion is to go on a network news strike. But, that's just my idea.

I'm going to Chicago on Sunday so we'll be crossing in the air. Hope you have a great trip...it's a wonderful city. Skier

wickedeasy 68F  
31113 posts
9/12/2006 3:13 pm

sorry skier - i missed this one yesterday

i's sad that your daughter has to experience that fear -

i'm happy that at least a portion of america is waking up to the very real threats to us here at home - not from terrorists but from our own government

and i wish that we had paid better attention before 9/11



You cannot conceive the many without the one.

AstirRelicLatah replies on 9/13/2006 11:54 am:
I don't think it's a very big portion who is waking up from our own threats, but isn't that the usual case. Thanks.

Mermaidslut 51F

9/12/2006 11:40 pm

Sorry, I think I was actually replying to this post, Tipping our hats to our soldiers and I got mixed up because I had too many tabs open...

ShyWhisper2006 54F
15175 posts
9/13/2006 2:05 am

Thoughtful post ...gives one pause to think...Thank you

AstirRelicLatah replies on 9/13/2006 11:54 am:
You're welcome. Thanks for reading.

silverhawk762 52M/48F

9/13/2006 9:35 am

Hmmmm.... Skier, I'm going to apologize in advance to the gentle nature that is so much a part of you. This is the bloodthirsty bitch side of me that's talking. If a teeth-bared, violent demon scares you, read no further!

If steps had been taken to remove certain people from the face of the planet when the opportunity had presented itself (Bin Laden, Hussein, hell, even Khaddafi!) we wouldn't be discussing 9-11. Get the innocents out if you can, then nuke the entire area. Pave it, make it a parking lot. Then we wouldn't have to worry about whether or not our boys and girls are coming home, because they'll be home watching the fireworks with us.

Do you honestly think that we would have any further problems with terrorism if we turned certain countries into smoking holes with a high level of background radiation? This is my gut reaction to seeing the replayed footage of people choosing to jump out of the towers rather than burning to death, of people covered in blood and dust - people who did nothing but go to work that morning. It's my gut reaction to having to explain to my child why people would do things like fly planes into buildings.

It's really hard to see the gentle side of life when you watch things like this, and when you remember things like Mogadishu, Beirut, the USS Cole... Knowing that eventually it could be my son who is out there fighting because we, as a nation, sat back, spending money on toys instead of obliterating those who are trying to destroy us.

Ok, I'm now taking a deep breath and putting "bloodthirsty" back in her cage... {=}

AstirRelicLatah replies on 9/13/2006 11:52 am:
I can deal with bloodthirsty bitches, but I would like to ask a couple of questions: So you're advocated we kill a few billion Muslims to protect 3,000 people. From my point of view, many of the Arabs think of us as sponsors of Terrorism. We have killed over 20,000 Iraqis since we've started our little foray there and injured over 100,000. And, although Hussein was and is a totally terrible person, he had nothing to do with 911. In fact, as it relates to terrorism, he was a mitigating factor because of the secular nature of his country.

Sending a few nukes over wouldn't keep the religious fanatics from becoming religious fanatics. I highly recommend a new book called Fiasco. In the book the author outlines the perfect way to stoke an insurgency. In many instances, we have done that in Iraq, especially in the early years.

And, yes I do think we would continue to have problems with terrorism if we turned a couple of countries into smoking holes. It's not the countries that are the problem but the radical muslims who are willing to blow themselves up...In my opinion it's the Saudis who cause the biggest problem. If you looked at their schools and watched their funding, you would see that they fund much of the truly radical muslims, like Bin Laden.

Syria and Iran are behind Hezbollah and you could even say that Hezbollah is a forward unit for the Iranian army. But, Hezbollah is not the group that blew up the Cole or any American assets. It was Bin Ladin and friends who come from Saudi Arabia.

So, as much as I would love to see you method work, I don't believe it will in your particular example. BTW, if you want to hear a very good explanation of how the Arabs view the US you could rent Noam Chomsky's lectures from Net Flix. I don't agree with him on all the issues, but he does have an argument that is worth listening to. We aren't the good guys all of the time. In the case of Iraq, it's hard to make any case of us being the good guys.

Thanks for your comments. I love having conversations like this so there is no need to apologize. And, your viewpoint is one that I run into often. Skier

silverhawk762 52M/48F

9/14/2006 6:51 am

As I said - get the innocents out first. There are so many groups like the Taliban that have burrowed their way into Middle Eastern society that no one will ever be able to smoke all of them out. That's a fact of life, and it's the main reason that I realize the "nuke 'em" attitude is pretty much wishful thinking on my "bloodthirsty" part. It tends to be my gut reaction when I hear people going over the same ground over and over - and we as a nation have covered this territory ad nauseum since 9-11.

Hezbollah is just the next contestant in a long line of people who hate America and Israel - it's nothing new, and it won't end with them.

Until the people who are in power in the Middle Eastern and African nations start taking an active role in eliminating the attitudes that foster such groups as Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, the entire world is at risk, and will remain so for generations. Until the citizens of those countries start speaking out against these groups, which is currently unlikely, the Middle East and some African nations will continue to be hotbeds for breeding "terrorist activities".

You're right about us though - we're not the good guys all of the time. It's hard to make the case for going into Iraq on the basis of faulty intelligence after the fact. Keep in mind, though, that this same intelligence was given to our allies, who are also involved in Iraq, and was part of the UN decision to go into Iraq. Hussein had been given many, many opportunities to comply with the UN Security Council, and refused to do so. The U.S. and the UK just happened to be the ones to finally say, "Ok, enough screwing around - either comply with the resolutions or you'll have our boots on the ground."

We were not, and are not, the only country involved in this, and the current actions in Iraq were sanctioned by the UN. This is one of those times (one of many) that the U.S. is bearing the brunt of the blame for the actions of a combined international force.

I'll keep the apologies on this one, then, unless you tell me that I've given insult! Then I'll be willing to grovel!!!! {=}

AstirRelicLatah replies on 9/15/2006 4:30 am:
No insult at all. We agree on about 98% of what you're saying. The 2% is really quibbling. My belief is the real reason the UK and the US pushed into Iraq was to establish a permanent base on Iran's border. If you look at the mutterings of Rummy et al while we were ramping up, they kept saying a force of 30,000. What they didn't way was that this is going to be a permanent force like Korea, Germany and Japan. But, that's about the only place I quibble with you.

So, no apology needed...great comments. Thanks for having strong enough feelings to take the time for your detailed comments. Skier

Perchance2000 58M

9/20/2006 6:20 pm

a little late with reference to the occasion, and I'm afraid a affirmation of a truly sad fact:

there was a very rare opportunity - painful as it was, in particular for those who lost loved ones - to change the course of events

never have the US been closer to regain stature in the world - in particular Europe, but also other parts, including the Islamic world - similar to the admiration that existed at the end of the WWII and when the Marshall Plan in an ingenious way helped bring the European war-ravaged countries back on their feet - then in the weeks, months following 9/11

to seize this opportunity beyond the anger and grief would have been an act of true leadership

it never happened

would it have been possible under a different administration?

we will not know

how sad

that simplistic yet in the end false solutions were sought to be applied - and the consequences are - could it be? - even more painful than the pain inflicted by the shameless attack, directed at so many innocent human beings - not just the pain experienced by those that perished, but the pain that still is experienced by those that were left behind

how truly sad

little has been written about that

thank you for your thoughts!

AstirRelicLatah replies on 9/20/2006 6:37 pm:
A beautiful response. It was worth the writing to read this. And yes, we certainly blew the chance.....and those that died....it looks like they died in vain....and, that's too bad.

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