Today, once again, we look back with grief and confusion at a terrible day in America’s history. According to Wikipedia, 2,996 people were killed and over 6,000 injured that day during 4 attacks carried about by the terrorist group al-Qaeda. 343 firefighters and 72 law enforcement officers were killed that day. Men, women and children of all walks of life lost their lives in an evil attempt to destabilize and destroy and punish America for supposed crimes against Islam according to a videotape released by Osama bin Laden, founder of al-Qaeda.
In 1996, bin Laden issued a fatwā calling for American troops to leave Saudi Arabia. In 1998, al-Qaeda wrote, “for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples.”For a brief period during and after the attacks shocked and frightened Americans became emotionally united against a common enemy. Everyone consoled each other and many prayed and memorials were held. Bumper stickers were printed and shirts screened. We were sad for the dead, proud to be American, and glad to be alive.
Meanwhile, our leaders were taking steps to prevent another terrorist attack from happening. Namely, they created at least two new departments of government.
From Wikipedia: The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a cabinet department of the United States federal government with responsibilities in public security, roughly comparable to the interior or home ministries of other countries. Its stated missions involve anti-terrorism, border security, immigration and customs, cyber security, and disaster prevention and management. It was created in response to the September 11 attacks and is the youngest U.S. cabinet department. In fiscal year 2017, it was allocated a net discretionary budget of $40.6 billion.Also according to Wikipedia : The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that has authority over the security of the traveling public in the United States. It was created as a response to the September 11 attacks. For fiscal year 2012, the TSA had a budget of roughly $7.6 billion. Part of the TSA budget comes from a $2.50 per-passenger tax. The Obama administration had proposed tripling this fee by 2019, with most of the increase going to reduce the national debt.Need I say more? We now live in a society where we are constantly watched by millions of cameras, have our cell phones and internet messages monitored by satellites, are guilty until proven innocent, and are asked to spy and report on our suspicious neighbors and fellow citizens. Have you seen this government sponsored campaign ?
Personally I don’t think it is ‘everyone’s job’ to become homeland security spies. Sure, if you are going about your day and something obviously wrong is going on, call 911. But to ask people to watch poorly done videos and have them be constantly on alert and paranoidly looking for details of a scene in case they need to make a report is just wrong. We PAY people to protect us, police, FBI, the military. It is our job to LOVE our neighbors, raise our children to be kind and tolerant of others beliefs, speak words of peace, love and wisdom in our communities. Volunteer, give to charity, invite people over for a meal, visit the sick and elderly. Leave the crime fighting to the professionals. In doing these things we do not let the terrorists win. Love wins.