Yesterday brought news that the president wants to start bombing ISIS in Syria as well as Iraq. While I don't care much for violent religious fanatics, there does not seem to be much evidence that this group is determined to strike the United States. It was fitting that the news came a day before the anniversary of 9/11, since Obama's new war is entirely consistent with what people used to call "the post-9/11 world" before it just became "the world."
Like most, I remember that horrible morning very vividly, especially my immediate thoughts when I realized the scale of the attacks (I was listening on radio.) I knew, right then and there, that this attack would bring years of war and bloodshed, which was the first time that day that I broke down into tears. The thought that the deaths of that day would end of being just the tip of the iceberg was almost too horrific for me to bear. Even over a dozen years later the cycle continues, with the vague "War on Terror" apparently never-ending. (Hunter S. Thompson pretty much predicted this on 9/12.)
Despite the changeover from the neo-con Dubya to the most liberal president since LBJ, the war persists and even strengthens. We still have Guantanamo Bay. Despite bin Laden's death, the occupation of Afghanistan continues. The mess made in Iraq has led to yet another military intervention. Our government treats its citizens with suspicion, and spies on the people in an unprecedented fashion. The teenagers I teach have never known a time when their country was not at war.
Thirteen years later, it's time to finally break the spell. The bodies have piled up, but nobody is any safer. Come home, America.