9/11 Photograph, By Ted S. Warren, Associated Press.
WABC News. Photograph July 10, 2006.
A building in New York City is buried. Fires are blazing. It is highly possible people were killed or injured. The public speculates. Could it be a bomb blast, an act of terrorism, homegrown or international? Might the cause be a gas leak or an electrical explosion? Perhaps, it is a crime of vengeance. Early on, suicide was not considered. For me, while the cause is important, it pales in comparison to the fact.
War is in the air; it blows with the wind. Acts of violence travel. They cannot be isolated or contained to lands far from our shores. If we accept war anywhere, we consent to it here. Warfare is not a concept; it is concrete. Combat comes easily to the minds of men or women in conflict. Witness today, yesterday, and everyday. We as a nation are at war. While the struggle is far from our shores, it looms large in our collective psyche.
Our leaders reassure us, and on the surface, Americans accept the faÃ§ade they present. [Some] Americans love when Bush bellows and Cheney chants, “We will confront them overseas so we do not have to confront them here at home.” Americans applaud this non-sequitur logic. They surmise war can be isolated and they are insulated. In 2004, that was the battle cry. There were no terrorist attacks on American shores since September 11, 2001. Therefore, the theory was proposed, President Bush and his hawkish policies protected us. Many accepted this as true.
They then cast their ballots for this magnificent man. They gave the Bush, Cheney team their mandate, or so that is how the Administration framed it. Again, and again the Emperor exclaimed he had capital to spend and he spent it. Thus, we have the cost of war.
Causalities abound; the numbers are climbing. Iraqi civilians are raped, maimed, murdered; yet, they do not count. They are merely collateral damage. Citizens of the United States remain safe, sane, or so it appears. Thus, we support our President and allow him to continue in office.
However, in our heart-of-hearts, we know; America is not out of harm’s way. We recognize war is in the wind. When a building explodes or implodes in New York City, we all panic with reason. Citizens understand what they never wish to express. As long as we accept war is an option, we are admitting that it can and will touch us, just as it affects our “enemies.” No one is sheltered from the scars combat causes.
King George II cannot protect and defend America from farther feuds; nor can Cheney or Rumsfeld. These lovelies created what comes closer. With thanks to our beloved President and his Cabinet, the possibility of war within the United States is real.
For now, the prospect settles only in the recesses of our minds, and on drawing boards elsewhere. Still, we all know the threat is valid. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice can rant and rage about States rights; yet, she too has no power to guard against the aggression she helped to promote.
Once the notion is placed on the table, the tremors will be felt throughout the globe. No man is an island; nor can any of us ever be insulated or isolated.
After receiving many replies to this treatise, I realized that what might be so obvious to me, the writer, is not apparent, to many a dear reader. Perchance I was not clear in my communication.
Possibly some are so offended by this Administration and the ample accusations; terrorists are everywhere, they missed my message. Those persons, and admittedly, typically I am among these, distrust Bush and the Bunch so much, that they see any talk of terrorism as a means for distracting Americans from the real issues.
There are those that awoke hours after the initial blasts. They already read and heard the theories. These individuals knew the explosion was likely a suicide attempt. Therefore, these bookworms thought I was telling tales. I was stirring the National Security soup of the day. For these persons, I was making an issue of what was nothing more than a “normal” event in the course of any day.
Numerous persons are concerned even consumed with an exit strategy. They want us out of Iraq and Afghanistan. An event in a single day is not their focus. These individuals might not question the entrance into war per se. They struggle with the constant loss this conflict brings. They may think stuff happens; hostilities occur, related to Iraq or not.
I am repeatedly reminded, that as a whole, most people think war is an option, the one of last resort; however, the alternative is often considered acceptable.
Conceivably, that may be the challenge. When I wrote this treatise, I was speaking of my truth. For me, “War is not an option, not now or ever!” I do not think terrorism is a reason for combat. I believe slavery, genocide, homicide, rape, and racism were not the causes of wars in the past. Economic power and the desire for supremacy are, in my mind, the rationale behind battles and bickering.
For me, the blast was a reminder of where we have been. It is where we still are. On this planet, war is in the wind! It has been for centuries.
For those that rose hours after investigations began, they could again sink into the comfort of complacency. For the many that bash-Bush, more power to you. I was not denying the validity of your beliefs. I share these. My only question was and is, why is war an option, ever? I believe that if it is in the wind in the East, it will be in the air traveling westward.
We can sit in the comfort of our cushy chairs. We can profess how terrible the terrorist are or how awful the insurgent Bush is. However, as long as we, Americans, allow for and accept war as an option, on our shores or on those aboard, then we can never know with certainty where the next strike will hit. I think this is why those on the streets at the time of the blast were shaken.
When I penned this missive, I was speaking to the stress exhibited by those there, near the building in New York City. I was also addressing my own eternal anxiety. Why is violent behavior ever an option? Even now, believing the cause of the blast was an attempted suicide does not ease my mind. Why do we aggressively strike out and hurt others or ourselves?
I hope this communiqué helps to clarify my intent. Perhaps, those that felt confused will re-visit the message.
Please Peruse the Possibilities When War is in the Wind.
• Four-Story Building Collapses on East Side of Manhattan, New York Times. The Associated Press. July 10, 2006
• New York building collapses, burns, CNN News. July 10, 2006
• At least 11 injured in Manhattan building collapse, By Wil Cruz, Lauren Johnston and Chick Benett. Newsday.com. July 10, 2006
• UPDATE 2-Building collapses in New York City, Reuters. July 10, 2006. 9:59am ET
• President Bush Discusses Progress in the War on Terror July 12, 2004
• Policies in Focus. National Security Strategy, The White House.
• Cost of War.
• Iraq Body Count.
• Bush has a big agenda for 2005, By David Gregory, Chief White House correspondent. NBC News. December 30, 2004
• President Holds Press Conference. “I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it.” November 4, 2004
• Iraq insurgency in ‘last throes,’ Cheney says, CNN News. Monday, June 20, 2005
• Iraq: Collateral damage, By Ashok Mitra. Rediff.com India Limited. March 25, 2003
• Bush Began to Plan War Three Months After 9/11. Book Says President Called Secrecy Vital. By William Hamilton. Washington Post. Saturday, April 17, 2004
• How Many Dead Iraqis? Guessing about collateral damage. By Fred Kaplan. Slate.Tuesday, February 25, 2003
• Strictly Confidential. Likely Humanitarian Scenarios. United Nations Document. December 10, 2002
• Collateral Damage or Civilian Massacre in Haditha?, By Tim McGirk, Baghdad. Time Magazine. March 19, 2006, PDF version
• The Promise of Democratic Peace, Why Promoting Freedom Is the Only Realistic Path to Security. By Condoleezza Rice. The Washington Post. Sunday, December 11, 2005
• Remarks at the American University in Cairo, By Secretary Condoleezza. Rice Cairo, Egypt. June 20, 2005
“America will not impose our style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, to attain their own freedom, and to make their own way.”
• The Iran Plans,
Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb? By Seymour M. Hersh. The New Yorker. April 17, 2006
• North Korea missles rattle European markets, El Financiero en lÃnea. July 5, 2006