23 April 2010

an end in torment

for weeks, i've been riveted by lawrence wright's the looming tower, an incredibly well-researched and even more impressively written (see pulitzer prize) account of the rise of islamic terrorism and al queda in particular. i've had nightmares, chewed my fingernails to the quick, and relived moments of terror that truly will live forever in infamy.

i learned far too much about osama bin laden, those who came before him (sayyid qutb, ramzi yousef), and their misplaced, irrational even, hatred of america. and the more i learned, the less i understood. men from an insular part of the world, fanatically religious, separated from women, politically and socially oppressed, uneducated: with no plan, no valid worldview, surrendering to god via martyrdom, and twisting the quran to suit their moral depravity, with eyes set on destroying america because who else is to blame for their woes...

and the worst part is that we knew all this, yet foolishly turned a blind eye, in underestimating the power in devotion to cause.

we let 9/11 happen.

after the uss cole bombing in the port of aden in yemen, just under a year before the world trade center crashed to ground zero, the fbi had everything it needed to know that a larger attack on american soil was in the works. all's it needed to link the impending disaster to those set on carrying it out was the information the cia wasn't sharing. and they knew the cia had the info they needed. and the cia knew too. but they didn't share because, well, because no one wanted its toes stepped on.

on 12 september 2001, the cia handed over everything that could have prevented 9/11 had they turned it over on 10 september 2001.

i relived 9/11 today. the emotion. the anger. the sadness. the helplessness. but this time, i did it knowing it could have been stopped, knowing that but for big egos at the top of agencies that exist to protect us, the looming tower would never have been written, those planes would have landed safely as scheduled, and the terrorists on board would have been picked up long before that infamous day was carried out.

and still i weep, and weep harder still. for as senseless as war seems, even the just kind i support, it makes even less sense knowing we waited too long, trusted too deeply in ignoble egos, lost too much, and gave too little to still be stuck in the graveyard of empires osama bin laden sought to draw us into...


1 comment:

  1. Very well written...i was going to write a long winded comment, but decided to turn it into a blog post. I'll let you know when I post it.