Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven years ago....

I am certain that everyone with a pulse and of sound mind can remember where they were September 11, 2001. I was sitting in a continuing education class of two hundred people. When all of a sudden, a woman screamed and ran out of the room. Shortly afterwards, a man came into the room and walked up to the instructor and whispered something into his ear.

“I’m sorry ladies and gentlemen, due to circumstances beyond our control, we will end today’s class and I encourage you to leave the facility immediately and drive safely home”.

It was not until my friends and I got into the car and turned on the radio did we learn what had happened. “Two commercial airlines had struck the World Trade Center” The very first thing that came to my mind was al-Qaeda. I thought no one else was “meshuga” or bold enough to pull that off, but al-Qaeda! I live in D.C. and the class was in Baltimore and I thought of my family. Fortunately, I did not have any family or close friends in any of the three locations struck. I also remember, strangely, not having any fear, but feeling concerned about the future.

Perhaps, like you, I remained glued to CNN. I did not support George Bush, but it appeared that the administration was doing all that it could do to assess the situation and provide some national protection. I can also remember wondering if U.S. foreign policy had gotten so bad that it instigated fringe, anti-U.S. groups to action? With all of America’s wealth and technology, it could not surmise and prevent this disaster from happening? Or did someone just drop the ball as was done at Pearl Harbor?

The amount of support and wishes of goodwill this country received after these attacks were unprecedented. America had the world in its hands! However, the Bush Administration squandered this opportunity in favor of narrow interests and, perhaps, self-interest. As a result, we are now paying dearly. Economic conditions are cyclical. The wars in the middle-east and the mortgage crises have exacerbated this down cycle for America. Much of the ups and downs in the economy are market driven. However, policies could have been put in place to counter the repercussions of market errors, but this administration chose to abrogate oversight responsibilities in the spirit of “less government”. The money that is lost in these wars could have been used to shore up our fragile infrastructure and our recession only compounds our economic condition.

After our experience of the last seven years, I now place judgment over all other criteria in selecting the next president. I support Barack Obama because he is not married to the narrow, self-interest thinking of the current administration. War, inherently, should be an option of last resort. After diplomacy has been exhausted and military action is necessary, we should proceed with clear objectives. Our president, after receiving the best counsel possible should then take military action.

Senator Obama will bring a team together based on sound judgment that will lead us through this mine field left by the greed and disinterest of the past.

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