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September 5, 2011

9/11 Patriotic Lessons

Steven R. Berryman

Why do the powers that control such things insist that we remember the anniversaries of the 9/11-suicide attack on the World Trade Center twin towers, Pentagon, and Capital as “Patriot Day?”


As we approach the historic 10th anniversary of the potentially decapitating plot, the lessons available are certainly more important than are the semantics and spin born of the events. It was about victims, heroes, and events that changed the world forever; but do beware the spin, and absorb the correct lessons.


The “patriots” were the ones that took the real lessons to heart.


Patriotism itself is a spirit, and not a political position or anointed condition of some type. I’m continually disappointed that the left now maligns the term, and that it has been misused tag for legislation, and diminished as some form of jingoistic arrogance.


Those murdered sinfully as airplanes became missiles were victims, not patriots. The heroes were those who successfully fought back in the skies over Shanksville, PA, and the first responders who saved lives in the aftermath of crumbling buildings in New York and just outside Washington. Firemen, police, and bystanders rose selflessly to the occasions.


I’d like to believe that the above heroism was a spontaneous connection with the patriotism that made America great to begin with – sort of the antithesis of political correctness.


Lessons learned include: Yes, the very expensive American security apparatus failed miserably. Leads at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency were missed; entire programs proven to be toothless paper tigers.


Our response was bad. We added a bureaucratic latter of “Homeland Security,” ignored much of the advice of the 9/11 Commission, and haggled for weeks on a name for the Department of Homeland Security boss. Just another Washington turf war.


Then an over-reactive FBI took assets away from attention to criminal enterprises such as Wall Streeter Bernie Madoff, and corrupt investment firms, and America had a cool trillion plus dollars stolen; mainly not prosecuted to this day!


The attack on 9/11 was an attempt to derail the power and influence of America and to set it off against itself. It worked. We added Transportation Security Agency screening in the most inefficient way, when all we needed to do was to study the known successes of the Israeli programs.


MRI technology for airports proved to be a huge financial windfall to administration-connected manufacturers. Many people have now given up on modern air travel all together due to the delays, inconveniences, and assault on personal privacy that is closely coveted by many.


9/11 itself was proof positive that a modern religion can be infiltrated, corrupted and used as a hiding place for evil. Political correctness continues to provide cover to this day, and peer pressure from within Islam continues to keep many from speaking out against the hijacking of Mohamed.


The real patriotism that I witnessed was more than the F-15 fighters scrambled in the days that followed; more than our military response, certainly in Iraq.


I witnessed a general cooperativeness of American neighbors with each other, and with other nations, that I had only seen in World War II newsreels. I saw more people coming together with common purpose born of events, with a common will to make things better and to begin a process to right ourselves.


What I perceived was subtle, and short lived; ‘twas about a month in duration I distinctly recall…before political correctness, and the hijacking of the situation became politics as usual. Opportunity was squandered in many respects.


Political correctness began to have its day. We began to divisively bash each other once again in partisan politics. Never let a good crisis go to waste.


Viewed backwards through a clear prism, lessons from 9/11 can still be reviewed and built upon, but only if honestly reviewed and applied.


The patriotic value resides therein.


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