When the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a farm in Pennsylvania were attacked, most Americans saw it as an attack on America itself. Sure, it all happened on American soil and killed many Americans, but the truth is that it wasn’t a direct attack on America alone. People tend to forget that the buildings destroyed in New York were part of the World Trade Center. Remember that when you’re waving your American flag in memory of September 11th, 235 of the people that died that day (excluding the terrorists) were from countries other than the US. Flag-waving is perfect fine and relatively harmless, but don’t fool yourself into believing that it makes you a good American. Remember, even terrorists know how to wave a flag.
The problem, as I see it, is over-nationalism. If you believe our country is great, I would have to agree that you’re quite right. However, do not let your alacrity for patriotism keep you from looking at the big picture. The reality is that we are a great nation, but we’re still full of and governed by human beings. Though we may hold certain people to a higher standard than the other, remember that they are as prone to making mistakes as you and I. Just because a person of authority claims something, do not assume that it is 100% correct.
I will not go off on our president, but the fact is he led us into war under false pretenses using our humanity against us. He knew that Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator, yet he did nothing about it until two years into his presidency. At what point did Hussein become such a threat to this country? The answer is: when the Bush administration decided he was. This illustrates that even good and well-meaning people can be led astray.
The reality is that Hussein shouldn’t have been in power. But, who are we to decide such a thing? Certainly he was not the biggest threat at the time. And, more importantly, what cost are we willing to pay? I sincerely hope that it isn’t as president Bush has said, that “we will do what is necessary, we will spend what is necessary.” This implies a whole spectrum of easily-abused measures, including unjust and immoral wars. If we are to become the world’s terrorist police, let us not fall into the terrorism business. Let us not forget that while we are undoubtedly the most powerful nation in the world, we would be better suited to be the most compassionate.