Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9-11 Again

Another September 11.

We have not gotten over it - we still seem incapable of undoing the damage we did to ourselves after the attacks. It's depressing - I look back at things I wrote in 2010 or 2006, and they are depressingly familiar. Very little has happened in those 12 years to move back from our initial overreactions. Looking at the rather insane overreaction to the Boston Bombing (shutting down the metro area because of a kid with a gun (maybe) and a homemade bomb (maybe)? Really? Yes; we did that), it's hard not to see a lot of hope for us. We have become very willing to turn over power to the government, police, military - not just in the first panic of the event (that's understandable, and frankly, that's what the police are there for) - but afterwards, onwards. It's hard to look at Edward Snowden's revelations, or the treatment of Snowden, or the people reporting on Snowden, or Bradley Manning, for that matter, and not despair a little. (Hopefully we can do better by Chelsea Manning at some point; I'm not optimistic.)

That's enough. I imagine I will get to do this all again next year. All I have to counter it is the thought that there are people like Manning and Snowden who are willing to act anyway; that this stuff gets aired out more than it did in the 00's; that people might start thinking about it. You never know. And, sometimes, things happen that do start to show some cracks - like the Syrian Situation. The fact that Obama put it to the vote is important - highly gratifying, too. Whatever his reasons - to avoid taking full responsibility, to buy time, to avoid the war (knowing the idiots in the house would never give him anything, even a war), or just because he's the first president in half a century or so to read the constitution - it's gratifying. And seems to have done some good in avoiding getting involved in the war.

I remarked on Facebook that everyone I knew who had expressed an opinion of the war had been against it - from the nuttiest teabagger (Obama wants to start WWIII!) to the Hippiest lefty. The polls tell the same story. So - the notion that democracy and legality might prevail (and diplomacy, internationally - though since that involves the Russians, one can't get too optimistic) is a cause for some hope. Maybe we will learn from it.

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