Don't Allow Terrorists to Weaken U.S. Democracy
On the Anniversary of the Terrorist Attacks
Have terrorists stolen the U.S. Constitution? Or will we refuse to be intimidated, refuse to give up democracy and freedom?
(This article originally appeared here on September 11, 2002, on the first anniversary of the 9/11 bombings. Its message is still important.)
The terrorists destroyed two big buildings and damaged another, killing thousands of people.
The terrorists did not destroy the United States Constitution -- but they tricked many U.S. politicians into damaging it. We cannot let our elected leaders be so easily outsmarted.
Dropping a lot of bombs on Afghan peasants, or Iraqi peasants, is not a very direct way to help America's children feel safe. America's anti-terror strategy must go beyond crude violence.
For a while, waving the U.S. flag made people feel better. Now they are looking for a deeper, fuller, bolder way to the future.
A year ago we had two enormous opportunities. Luckily they have not yet vanished -- we still have a chance to use them.
FIRST, We have the opportunity to declare that we will never again allow ourselves to become so dependent on foreign oil -- and take action, starting immediately, to diversify our energy sources.
SECOND, We have the opportunity to help our children to know more about the world in which they are growing up, by such simple gestures as placing a globe or a world atlas into every American home. No one can spend five minutes with a globe, without learning something new.
Many years from now, we and our children will look back on these days to see what happened as a result of the terrorist attacks. What will we be able to say was our response -- "we destroyed our own U.S. Constitution" or "we the people gained deeper knowledge of the world and we began to shift away from dependence on foreign oil"? The choice is easy.
Hanno T. Beck is the publisher of the Progress Report.
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