The tragedy of 9/11 is very fresh to most of us, and I wished we had learned more lessons from it than we have. Saw one list in the papers about “things you have probably forgotten” about those events.
Let me add one of my own.
The almost immediate desire of Congress to shield the airlines and others guilty of the most horrible breaches of security from being sued. Before the twin towers many different media had pointed out major lapses---showing how easy it was to smuggle arms, explosives, knives and box cutters (!) on board. After each story the airlines promised to improve---but did not. (Similar stories have run periodically since 2001, btw.)
Then came 9/11..and nearly 3000 people died. Remember the video tapes of the hijackers going easily thru security in Boston and other cities? I do. Congress did, but acting with enormous speed---which Washington can do when its interests (not ours) are threatened—it said the airlines couldn’t be sued. Once again, Big Business, which had contributed to members of Congress in major ways---their identities often protected behind weak election laws (and now totally so by the Supreme Court’s infamous “Citizens United” decision) got its way…and the families of the victims never got their day in court—against U.S. firms..although Congress last week allowed them to sue Saudi Arabia because most of the hijackers came from there. (And we wonder why American Muslims feel threatened.)
There was another recent anniversary observed by the news media…of our bombing of Laos in the Vietnam war (never declared by Congress). More bombs fell in 2 years on this NEUTRAL nation that on Germany & Japan during WW2 combined. Some stories called the bombing “covert’ or “secret.” It was also illegal, Congress never declared war here either.
30% of the bombs failed to explode. An estimated 80 MILLION un-exploded bombs are there...many little “bomblets” which look like baseballs, and which have killed and maimed Laotian kids ever since.
On his visit there last week, Mr. Obama announced a tripling of aid funds to help find and defuse them. About time.
These are some of the things all Americans should remember about our past wars and why we should follow the Constitution and go to war legally and carefully.
I'm just sayin'...