9/11 and our future

Last week being in London on the 2nd anniversary of 9/11 felt a bit strange. News clips of the memorial services here — especially the clips of children speaking about lost parents — were very sad moments to see.Seems that the war on terror will be a hot topic of the 2004 presidential elections. The post-war clean-up challenges and set up of a free Iraqi society have emboldened critics (some of them the same politicians who voted for the war and for the Patriot Act, by the way).

Some thoughtful perspective from Andrew Sullivan:

I have made plenty of criticisms of this president; and will do so again. But he’s currently the only leader in this country who actually gets the depth of our predicament and the need for innovative, enterprising and ruthless action to improve it.

The paradox is that the more he succeeds and the more the threat of terror recedes, the more his opponents will take the calm as evidence that nothing much has to be done, that nothing much has been done, that America, by acting, is the real source of world conflict, and that retreat and amnesia are the cure-alls.

I don’t think most Americans believe this. I think they are still angry and still afraid and still determined.

I remember thinking two years ago that support for the war was easy then; but the real test would be in a few years when forgetfulness would set in and complacency revived.

Which means, of course, that the real test of our mettle is now. So the question is not, once again: what have we done wrong? It is: Where are we going to hit those bastards today?

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