Today is September 11, and like every other 9/11 for the past twelve years I find myself looking back. What could we have done to change the course of that fateful day? How were we responsible, or were we responsible at all for the events that day? Did our foreign policy set us up for an attack?
Now, like every September 11, before I don’t have an answer… all I feel on these anniversaries is pain.
Now of course the attack on our Consulate in Benghazi joins the 9/11/01 date and I mourn for the lost there as well.
When I left the Military in 1993 we were at peace, well sort of, the Russians who had for my entire life been the bad guys, were if not allies, at least friendly (as much I suppose as anyone who live under a repressive regime for 70 years could be). We were united in a common cause, the end of international terrorism. The Russians didn’t want their people killed in an attack by a psycho with a backpack full of explosives anymore than we did. We, for the first time in my life, were exchanging information; assisting one another in Space, on the battlefront, in law enforcement, we had a common enemy. An enemy that didn’t call a single country home, that believed in an ideology that couldn’t look at either of our countries as a friend, we were both enemies to Islam, preventing the growth of the Great Caliphate.
Now this morning and for the past several mornings I find that the Russians that I was beginning to feel could be our friends, are actively working with countries that sponsor terrorism. Russian warships have moved out of their normal patrol areas into the Mediterranean and are on an actively hostile footing, that we haven’t seen since the bad days of the Cold War.
I, and I am sure many of you, remember those days. Days waiting to see if this would be the day our leaders finally blinked and the missile started their deadly flight, days that could have been our last.
I was hoping all of that was behind us… with any luck this will end peacefully, all the war toys will be put away, and we can go back to trying to be friends again.