Many cultures celebrate anniversaries of important events or milestones like the length of a marriage, years a business has existed, or any event important enough to remember on a specific date. For the past week, Americans were reminded to remember the terror attacks on 9/11 and in many cases, organizations repeated the phrase “never forget” as if anyone over the age of fourteen needs to be told to remember the death and devastation America suffered. However, there are reasons to remember the vicious attacks other than the toll in innocent lives; Americans should remember how Republicans used the event and subsequent anniversaries for political gain. 9/11 signifies the beginning of America’s crusade against Islam and Republicans’ money-making scams to enrich the oil industry and corporations. Republican policies since 9/11 have caused untold damage to America and the world making their celebration of 9/11 tantamount to Germans celebrating the Holocaust.
Most of the civilized world remembers commercial airliners crashing into the World Trade Towers and the resulting collapse of the landmarks. Shortly after the terrorist attacks, there were few nations who were not as outraged and angered as Americans, but their support came to an abrupt halt when George W. Bush uttered those now infamous words that “if you’re not with us, you’re against us.” First, Bush failed to recognize that most of the civilized world was with us, but as humans are wont to do, they railed at being given the choice of blind allegiance or being labeled an enemy. Indeed, when Bush made his pronouncement, it signaled to the world that their suspicions of America’s imperialism were correct and that people like Bush were classic American bullies.
The terrorist attacks were preventable if Bush and his arrogant cabinet had heeded warnings that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda intended to fly commercial airliners into American buildings. It is historical fact now, but based on the way Bush panted to wage war on Iraq, it is not a conspiracy theory to state his administration used the attacks for political gain and to establish dominance in the Middle East. Unfortunately, Bush presided over two wars that destabilized the region, incited anti-American anger in the Muslim world, assisted in Iran’s ascension as the dominant force in the region, and killed U.S. service members as well as hundreds-of-thousands of innocent Iraqis. Along the way, Dick Cheney’s company, Halliburton, was awarded multi-billion-dollar no-bid government contracts and the fundamentalist mercenary army of onward Christian soldiers known as Blackwater was elevated to god-like status at the expense of America’s military. Although Bush and company used 9/11 to wage war and murder innocent Muslims in his Christian Crusade, it was the damage to Americans and their freedoms that is most memorable and outrageous.
It was not coincidence that every time Americans began questioning Bush’s motivation for attacking Iraq, the politically-motivated terror alert warnings were elevated to show an impending attack. It was also not happenstance that legitimate questions about the Iraq war earned decent Americans traitor status and accusations of not supporting the troops. Although it is reasonable to commemorate a day to remember the deaths of innocent Americans on 9/11, for many, the day signifies the start of divisiveness and fracturing of America into those who “are with us,” and those who “are against us.” Is it not curious and hypocritical that conservatives assailed Bush criticism and Iraq War dissent as unpatriotic, but have demonized President Obama while there are two active wars? It is not curious because hypocrisy is a characteristic conservative trait, and next to their aversion to veracity, embodies what it means to be a Republican.
There is nothing whatsoever wrong with acknowledging the terror attacks on 9/11 or honoring the dead whether they are fire-fighters, innocent civilians, or soldiers killed because Bush ignored warnings and yearned for war with Iraq, but there is something terribly wrong with what Republicans have used the attacks for. It is common knowledge now that when Republicans needed votes and political capital, they invoked 9/11 relentlessly and in the process demeaned the victims and sacrifice of America’s heroes. They truly celebrated the terror attacks instead of honoring the dead or learning from their mistakes because they profited from the attacks. Republicans still feel 9/11 is their property to the point of refusing to acknowledge that President Obama fulfilled his promise of finding and killing Osama Bin Laden 8 years after self-proclaimed “war-president” George W. Bush said he did not think or care about Bin Laden. Intelligent Americans know Bush never cared about Bin Laden because if he had, he would have used intelligence agencies and special-ops soldiers to find and kill him instead of committing trillions-of-dollars and hundreds-of-thousands of America’s brave soldiers to invade a sovereign nation with no connection to the 9/11 attacks.
Today when Americans commemorate the tragic loss of life on 9/11, it is important to remember that the one-day events, as tragic as they were, began America’s downward spiral in world opinion that President Obama has managed to assuage with compassionate dialogue instead of cowboy diplomacy. It is also important to remember that immediately after the attacks, Americans were united and would have worked to overcome any challenge our country faced, but instead of motivating the country to greatness or energy independence, Bush told Americans to go shopping. Despite the dire economic challenges Bush-Republicans caused, or the divisive class-war they are still waging on 98% of Americans, conservatives still revere 9/11 for all the wrong reasons. It is not a day for celebration or patriotic displays; instead, Americans should mourn the loss of lives and freedoms because Republicans took advantage of an American tragedy for political gain and money.
It is sad, but the divisiveness started by Republicans after 9/11 shows no sign of abating. Bush and his Republican cohorts used 9/11 for political capital and fear-mongering to suppress dissension against tax cuts for the wealthy, two unnecessary wars, and deregulating every industry that made them money; that is the 9/11 legacy, and Republicans do own it. They ignored warnings of the attacks, used 9/11 to frighten Americans into supporting Bush’s agenda, and they own the damage those policies are still wreaking on America.
It is difficult to think about 9/11 as anything other than a giant screw-up and subsequent devastation at the hands of Republicans, because although that one day is seared in our memories, there are ten years’ worth of damage that Osama Bin Laden only aspired to in his wildest dreams. What Bin Laden could never achieve, Republicans accomplished using fear, division, and obstructionism and there is no sign of them letting up; because until they destroy America at the behest of corporatists and theocrats, the terror attacks will continue with every GOP policy emanating from Boehner, McConnell, and the rest of the anti-American terrorists in the Republican Party. Never forget 9/11; the day Republicans began their non-stop terror attacks on the United States of America.