Monday, March 20, 2006

There was another way.

Do you remember how we Americans had the good will of the world after 9/11? An article from Common Dreams entitled "What might have been" calls this to mind and explores how things could have been different:

How different our foreign policy might have been had we empanelled a group of experts to study the root causes of terrorism and had we initiated a nationwide conversation about the roots of terrorism and about what drives people to give up their lives to suicide? The pathetic rationale that “they hate our way of life” and that “they hate our freedom” would be comical if it were not so tragically na├»ve.

What might have been if the President had called on Americans to sacrifice something other than our civil liberties? How much safer might we be now if the President had called upon the wealthiest Americans to sacrifice some of the profits they have made, at least in part because of our country’s infrastructure, an educated workforce, low tax rates and a robust economy? Would not genuine patriotism have dictated that the richest Americans, those who have benefited most from America’s prosperity, would make some financial sacrifices to make our country more secure?
What might have been if we had translated the world’s support after 9/11 into a serious attempt to solve, once and for all, the problem between Israel and the Palestinians? And how much safer might we now be if we had not abandoned Afghanistan to the opium lords? What might have been possible, if the President had immediately and strongly supported the creation of the 9/11 Commission and allowed this commission to do its job and had then gone on to follow its recommendations, instead of fighting the process all the way and then performing poorly in implementing the Commission’s recommendations?

Just think about it. And think about this:

For of all sad words of tongue or pen
The saddest are these: it might have been.

-- John Greenleaf Whittier

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